09/17/2020

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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

6 Steps to Improving Personal Cash Flow, So You Can Be Like Your Own CFO

Picture this: It’s the end of the month, you’ve paid all your bills, and even had a little fun. You’ve made ends meet, as you always do, but your savings account isn’t growing and there’s nothing left to fund an emergency should one arise. Sound familiar? If you’re just breaking even—or worse, excess spending (spending more money than you’re taking in)—you’ve got a personal cash flow problem.

Maybe you’ve been living this way for a while, and it now feels normal. But here’s the deal: Without a positive cash flow (meaning you earn more than you spend), it’s hard to get ahead financially. Until you’re in the black, you could be shut out of good financial opportunities—including getting low interest rates on personal loans, or a mortgage loan, or even student loan refinancing. You’re also missing out on the money you could be earning by investing what you save.

The good news is, it’s possible to turn that around. You’re the Chief Financial Officer of your life, so it’s up to you to learn exactly how to improve your monthly cash flow. It will take some work, but by increasing your income and lowering your expenses—both fixed (rent, utilities, and car payments), and discretionary (entertainment and clothing)—you can make dramatic shifts in your financial life. Follow this six-step plan, and you’ll see your monthly cash flow move from negative to positive even faster than you’d expect.

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End of year debt payoff checklist

Your One-Minute Checklist To Eliminate Debt (And Make 2017 Really Payoff)

As the year draws to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on your finances—especially if you’re a recent grad who’s newly employed. You’re likely bringing home a significant paycheck for the first time in your life, but also have big-time monthly bills to pay, including student loans. Without proper planning, that debt can easily drag you down.

So how can you balance paying your bills, eliminating your debt, and saving for your future while still allowing yourself a few bucks for fun?

Start achieving your 2017-and-beyond financial goals by asking yourself these key questions:

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How Good is your Financial Health Right Now?

Editor’s Note: This new series on Financial Fitness comes from personal finance expert, and new SoFi content partner, Dr. Tony Pennells, founder of The Freedom Club. Using proven tools and systems, Dr. Tony demystifies “financial freedom” with common sense solutions to help people create true wealth (the type that makes money that you don’t have to work for!).

Do you have every intention of setting money aside for your future, paying down debt or creating an emergency buffer, but never quite seem to get there? Do you find that no matter how much money you earn, by the end of the pay period you have almost nothing? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study showed that 47% of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 to cover a financial emergency (via The Atlantic)

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How to Create a Budget You’ll Actually Follow in 6 Steps

Maybe you hate budgets. Maybe the idea of tracking your cash and being mindful of every cup of joe you purchase makes you want to hit the nearest wine bar. But here’s the thing: You have retirement goals, right? And things you’d like to do this week or next month, yes? Budgeting helps you hit those goals. An effective spending plan makes it possible to save toward a big trip, a down payment on a house, put money away for retirement, and pay down debt. It also helps you stay in check so you don’t overspend and miss opportunities to build wealth. (And who doesn’t like building wealth?)

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