SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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.

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Preparing Your Financial Go-Bag in the Face of Disaster

You may have noticed lately the increased incidences of extreme weather — everything from hurricanes to wildfires to a polar vortex. Of course, in the event of a natural disaster, your first obligation is to protect your family.

In advance of these events, most people think immediately of non-negotiable musts like food , water and other supplies (as well they should). However, it’s also a sound idea to make sure that your savings, investments, and other financial obligations are kept safe from the elements and the possible ravages of nature.

As more of our financial lives go online and are stored in clouds, we may tend to dismiss the possibility that natural disasters can wreak havoc on our financial records.

Should an emergency happen in your area, you and your family and friends may need to hang tight for several days before things return to a relative normal.

In this post, we suggest ways to consider how to protect your finances and investments from the physical damage caused by forces of nature. Just like your overall survival plan, protecting your money and financial records takes preparation.

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10 Easy Ways to Make Money in College

The beauty of college is it’s one of the only times in your life where your primary responsibility is to learn and grow. But all of this freedom to expand your horizons can come with a hefty price tag.

The average cost of tuition at a private undergraduate college during the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676. The rising cost of attending college has also caused student loan debt to skyrocket—Americans collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt .

When faced with the reality of tuition costs, room and board, books, school supplies, and other living expenses, a college student’s budget can be extremely tight. If you’ve been left wondering “how to make money as a student,” one way is to improve your personal cash flow.

Finding a side hustle that works in your busy student schedule can be a great way to combat the high cost of attending college. Here are some tips on how to earn money in college, without taking too much time away from your studies and social life.

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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.

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5 FAFSA Considerations To Think About

If you think you’ll need to apply for federal student loans to pay for your college education, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is mandatory. Filling it out is relatively straightforward, and doing so may successfully qualify you for multiple types of federal funding. But, you may find yourself needing some guidance in filling it out, and that’s perfectly normal.

To find assistance, check to see if a local high school or community college is offering a financial aid services FAFSA prep event. If so, consider attending because you may find it helpful to listen to people experienced in filling out the application. They can offer strategies and tips that can streamline the process, and answer your questions.

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