SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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9 Ways to Cut Down Your Monthly Expenses

With each passing phase of your life comes plenty of new experiences, joys, opportunities and obstacles. The bright points may encompass things like gaining a higher education, getting married, having a child, buying a home, or going on that epic vacation you’ve always dreamed of. All of these adventures are rewarding and fulfilling in their own ways, but as you’ll find, many may add hefty expenses to your monthly bills…hence, the obstacles.

Indeed, those monthly expenses can really add up. With that higher education comes student loans; getting married now costs an average of $35,329 in America; raising a child through the age of 17 costs another $233,610 ; and the median home in the United States will set you back $200,000 .

In fact, the average American spends roughly 90% of his or her income each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But even with all those bills, there are still ways to save and go further with your money. Here are nine tips to help you cut down your monthly expenses and save even more for the fun parts of life.

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What to Buy & What to Avoid Buying During the Holiday Season

After the turkey’s been devoured, the wine consumed, and everyone is pleasantly stuffed (okay, overstuffed), millions of us head to the couch or the car to kick-start our holiday shopping. (You guessed it—this post is all about the Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts!)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday used to be two distinctly separate shopping holidays, but as online shopping becomes more and more prevalent, the two dates are merging into a weekend-long sale extravaganza.

In an attempt to stand out from all the noise on the actual day, some retailers will often start their Black Friday deals earlier in the week—and even extend their deals into December.

And by taking advantage of the steep discounts following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can maximize your budget and get the gifts you’ve been eyeing.
While it can seem like almost everything is on sale from Thanksgiving all the way through the day after Christmas, there are certain buys that may be better deals than others.

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10 Ways to Maximize Sales and Stretch Your Dollar This Holiday Season

Christmas carols are playing on the radio, decorated trees and presents line window displays—the holiday season is quickly approaching. If you’re stressed about all the holiday shopping you have left to do, you’re not alone.

Between finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list and fighting crowds at the mall, holiday shopping isn’t always a pleasant activity. But doing some of your shopping before the holidays are in full swing could help alleviate some of the shopping-related stress and can be financially advantageous. With all the hustle and bustle around the holidays, staying ahead of your shopping can be difficult.

Doing the bulk of your holiday shopping online could end up saving you a little bit of money, especially when you’re taking advantage of Black Friday sales or other holiday deals. Here are 10 helpful tips so you can get ahead on your holiday shopping and make the most of your money.

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10 Shopping Tricks to Help You Capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Christmas Eve used to be the shopping day filled with the most delicious drama. Who knew if any of the year’s must-have gifts would still be available? What items would already be marked down to prices so low, you just couldn’t resist? And would the mall close before you got that one last gift?

These days, of course, Thanksgiving weekend gets all the hype—and way more business. One survey found that in 2017 , 69% of shoppers were planning to hit the stores on Black Friday, and 71% were planning to go online on Cyber Monday. Only 40% said they would be buying on Christmas Eve.

Retail experts predict Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) will continue to edge out Black Friday (Nov. 23) this year, although most shoppers still plan to participate in both. Each event has its pros (bigtime bargains and the thrill of the hunt) and cons (long lines, sore losers and crashing websites). So, it pays to be a happy hybrid shopper, making the most of every possible buy. As with all things that involve your money, it’s smart to have a plan. Here are 10 tips that can help you capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

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5 Surprising Medical School Debt Statistics

As a kid, there’s a strong chance you dreamed about becoming a doctor. In fact, according to Fatherly’s Imagination Report , becoming a doctor is the number one dream of young girls nationwide. It’s also the number one dream career for children living in the West and the mid-Atlantic, and second in the Great Lakes, Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest, according to Fatherly.

And apparently a lot of those kids actually followed through on their dreams, as more than 51,000 people applied to med school in the 2017 to 2018 school year. Of those applicants, more than 21,000 actually got in. (And if you’re wondering what it takes to be part of the 40% who got accepted, the Association of American Medical Colleges revealed that the average MCAT score for applicants was 501.8 in the 2016 to 2017 school year and 504.7 for 2017 to 2018. The average score for matriculating students was 508.7 in the 2016 to 2017 school year and 510.4 for 2017 to 2018. In other words, MCAT scores aren’t trending down.)

Upon graduation, these medical school students turned doctors can expect an average salary of $294,000 a year, and more if they follow through with a specialty such as becoming an orthopedic surgeon, a job which commands an average salary of $489,000 . Or if they choose to live and practice in a state that pays medical professionals particularly well, like North Dakota, they can expect to make an average of $361,000.

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