SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

before and after home renovation

HGTV’s Matt Blashaw Shares His Best Spring Renovation Tips

What is it about springtime that makes us want to tidy up our closets and refresh our homes? Maybe you’ve been admiring spaces on Pinterest and Instagram. Maybe you’re flipping through home design magazines and dreaming about the perfect master bathroom, an updated kitchen, or a new patio to enjoy this summer.

In fact, according to a recent SoFi survey* of 1,023 people ages 25-73, we found that the majority (45%) of people get their home renovation inspiration from HGTV and DIY Network, followed by friends or family (44%) and home blogs and websites (29%), Pinterest (25%), home decor and community websites like Houzz, and then Instagram (15%). Maybe it’s finally time to tackle your dream renovation project, once and for all!

SoFi partnered with HGTV’s Matt Blashaw , host of the popular show Yard Crashers, to help you achieve your dream home renovation without breaking the bank—or your budget. Here are a few of Matt’s tips to consider before your next home project gets underway:

Read more
topdown of packed suitcase

How to Afford Traveling After College

After classes are over, finals have been taken, and mortarboards have been hung up, recent graduates pack up their suitcases for a trip of a lifetime. Taking a big trip after graduating from college has become a time-tested rite of passage.

Many new grads jet off to Europe or South America for the summer soon after the graduation ceremony ends. Usually, traveling after college serves a dual purpose: it is both a way to celebrate your huge accomplishment and to have some fun before joining the permanent workforce.

The only problem is that with many students graduating with hefty student loan debt and no source of income yet, funding your dream college graduation trip can be difficult. The good news is that, whether you’re planning an ecotourism trip to Belize or a classic tour of Italy, there are ways to make your dream trip happen.

Read more
art student on smartphone

Unexpected Costs When Applying to College or Grad School

Applying to college or grad school can be a stressful experience. Between the different application requirements, test prep, and deadlines, there can be a lot to cover. And getting all of your ducks in a row can take a bit of legwork.

Before you file your applications, you’ll want to do your research on the schools and programs you are considering. When it comes to college and grad school, tuition isn’t the only thing that can get expensive. As you go through the application process, there are hidden costs and unexpected fees that can add up to a pretty penny.

Here are some of the hidden fees that pop up when you apply to college or grad school. With this information you can create a budget to prepare for the costs that may arise during the application process.

Read more
brown and white puppy in backpack

The True Cost of Owning a Pet

Almost 70% of U.S. households have a pet at home, with 60% of U.S. households having a dog and 47% of households having a cat. And there’s a good reason: our pets make us happier and healthier . Having a pet at home can improve self-esteem, physical fitness, and decrease loneliness. Plus, there’s pretty much nothing cuter than a newly adopted kitten or puppy.

But for all the positives of pet ownership, the costs can be overwhelming. As it turns out, 98% of pet owners seriously underestimated the cost of pet ownership. Excluding emergency and other serious vet procedures, the cost of taking care of a dog over the course of its lifetime ranges from $27,074 to $42,545. Thinking smaller?

The lifetime cost of owning a rabbit ranges between $12,893 and $19,338. Most of these costs end up concentrated at the start of adoption, when new pet owners pay for adoption fees , vaccinations, vet care, and the bulk of supplies, while the remaining costs are spread out over the animal’s lifespan and account for things like food, vet care, and supplies.

Read more
overhead of classic car

Hobbies: Worth Going into Debt For?

Having hobbies that you enjoy can add significant pleasure to your life. From skydiving to knitting, or archaeology to photography, hobbies can provide endless possibilities for fun and engagement. Some of them can be fairly inexpensive (and there are even hobbies that cost nothing, or nearly so), while others can cost some pretty big bucks.

To add to the picture, what’s affordable for one person may be pricey for someone else. If your hobbies fall into the big-bucks category, based on your financial circumstances, you may find that you’re spending more than what you can finance from your income alone—and, in that case, you may be going into debt to continue to enjoy the hobbies you love.

So, is it worth it? Are hobbies worth going into debt for? Only you can answer that question, but we’ll provide observations and insights for you to consider in this post, including ways to budget hobbies effectively if you’d like to better manage expenses. And, if you’ve found that you’re already in more debt than you’d like from the pursuit of hobbies, and you’d like to get out of that debt, we’ll offer up some practical tips.

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender