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FOMO Spending and How to Avoid It

The fear of missing out can play a major role in influencing how people spend their money, at the same time often motivating them to buy things they can’t actually afford. This modern form of debt, known as FOMO spending, is hard to avoid if you feel peer pressure to live outside your means.

When it comes to what are millennials spending money on—there’s no single answer. But Millennials are more likely to spend money on comforts and conveniences than other generations. Things like Ubers, coffees, and fancy dinners with friends, which can add up quickly if you’re not paying attention or are splurging to keep you with your friends’ lifestyles.

Avoiding FOMO spending doesn’t have to mean giving up every nice dinner or outing, but you should work within your budget and try to become comfortable saying no to overspending.

Wait, Back Up—What Is FOMO?

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is a feeling of anxiety someone might experience about not being part of an event that is happening, usually triggered these days by seeing social media posts from friends enjoying an activity, and wishing you were part of the fun. While it’s certainly true that businesses employ FOMO tactics to get you to buy things, it’s not just a sales strategy.

Nick Hobson Ph.D, says “While the fear of missing out has always been there, the explosion of social media has launched our young people headfirst into the FOMO experience.” For many people now, social media is their main community lifeline, and having the impression that you are not part of the “in” group is enough to trigger a stress response like FOMO.

FOMO Spending to Keep Up with Peers

A 2018 study from Qualtrics and Credit Karma found that almost 40% of about 1,000 Americans ages 18 to 34 who were surveyed said they have gone into debt just to keep up with their friends’ lifestyles. This is FOMO taken the the financial extreme.

People are fighting FOMO by spending more than they have on things like travel, clothes, food, and going out. Whether it’s bigger “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences you can’t miss out on like trips, music festivals, or weddings, or even smaller events like dinner and drinks, FOMO spending can really add up over time.

According to the study, 27% of millennials feel uncomfortable saying no when a friend suggests an activity that they can’t afford. Nearly 75% of those who said they have gone into debt due to FOMO also said they’ve kept it a secret.

Money is one of the most difficult subjects to broach with friends, but also one of the most important to discuss. FOMO spending often stems from peer pressure to buy something you can’t afford so that you can still participate in a group.

If you are scared of being left out, and you become stressed, that fear of missing out on quality time with friends or family can add up to extra spending and debt.

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How Can You Avoid FOMO Spending?

Reining in FOMO spending can be hard, especially if your friends are truly living at a different income level than you. But odds are, some of your friend group might be in the same situation, and are overspending in an effort to impress. Avoid FOMO spending by finding which of these tips works best for you:

1. Suggest Free Alternatives

The first way to conquer FOMO spending is to simply stop spending! While it’s of course not that easy, why not come up with a free alternative when a friend suggests plans?

Meeting for up for a $5 latte at a cafe could just as easily turn into sitting on your couch with a homemade cup of joe. Friends want to go out to the movies or the mall? Suggest visiting a museum on a day they offer free admission instead.

2. Limit Your Card Usage and Carry Cash

Limiting your spending on credit or even debit cards and making the majority of your purchases with cash will drastically impact how often you impulse spend on something when the feeling of FOMO creeps in.

If you only withdraw a certain amount before heading out to dinner or the bar, you’ll already have a pre-set budget that you know you feel comfortable spending.

3. Create a Budget and Stick to It

Along those same lines, creating a monthly or even weekly budget will may also help you cut down on FOMO spending. Your budget can, and should, include money for savings or big-ticket items like travel you know you have coming up.

Not sure where to put the money you are saving? Save, spend, and earn all in one product with a checking and savings account with SoFi.

By putting some money away, and then calculating how much “fun” money you have left over after bills, you’ll know exactly when you’ve reached your limit. While a budget might not help you eliminate FOMO spending altogether, you’ll at least give yourself more constraints if you limit yourself to a specific spending amount.

4. Lower Your Social Media Exposure

The endless scrolling on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer some instant gratification, but social media is one of the main contributing factors of FOMO.

Targeted ads, influencers touting products, and even your own friends’ posts can all add up to spending money so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Trade in your laptop or phone time before bed for a good old-fashioned book or movie.

If You Must Spend, Still Plan Ahead

You won’t be able to avoid FOMO spending all of the time, so it’s also important to have a strategy in place for how you want to make the best use of your time and money if the feeling kicks in.

Delayed Gratification

If you have a sudden urge to buy something because of FOMO, try instead to write the item down, whether in a Notes app on your phone or even just a physical piece of paper, and come back to it 24 hours later.

This will help you avoid impulse purchases just because something is on sale, for instance, and evaluate in a day if it’s something you still really need.

Buying in Person

Nothing crushes the FOMO spending feeling more than forcing yourself to trek to an actual physical store to make a purchase.

Too many times, FOMO spending happens when you are online shopping and the ease of delivery right to your door doesn’t make you think twice about your purchase.

Introducing SoFi Checking and Savings®

The study mentioned above also reported that two-thirds of millennials regret spending more on social situations than they planned, and one-third do not think they will be able to sustain their lifestyle for a year without going into debt.

This is where SoFi Checking and Savings comes in. You’ll be able to see the big picture on your spending and keep tabs on your cash flow. SoFi Checking and Savings is a checking and savings account that makes it easy to know where you stand and what you spend.

Put a stop to FOMO spending with SoFi Checking and Savings!


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

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How to Organize Your Finances & Keep Them Organized

You’ve got stacks of bills on your desk. There are old, never-opened bank statements shoved into a drawer and money sitting in accounts at five different banks; no—six different banks.

It’s getting to the point where it is annoying and stressful. Maybe it even keeps you up at night, or you beat yourself up for having not taken action.

But mostly, you know that it doesn’t have to be this way. The time has come to organize your finances.

The hardest part of organizing your finances is knowing where to start. Luckily, there are some very simple steps you can take and starting is as much a matter of motivation as anything else.

You just have to sit down and do it.

It also helps to have some guidance to nudge you in the right direction. So if you’re feeling lost about how to organize finances, we’re outlining six steps that will help you to put your money in order.

What’s great about organizing your finances is that the work is front-end heavy. It might take you a few weeks to get the hang of it, but once you do, maintenance and upkeep are relatively simple.

How to Organize Finances

Here are some ideas on how to organize your finances at home, written out step by step.

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Step One: Gather Statements

A great first step is to gather up statements and logging into all accounts. (Arguably, the hardest part.) More specifically, you need to know information about your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.

Assets: Bank accounts, retirement accounts, home equity, other real estate or investments

Liabilities: Credit cards, student loans, mortgage(s), other sources of debt

Income: Salary, gifts, alimony, investment income, business income, etc.

Expenses: Credit card and debit card statements, ATM or cash withdrawals, other sources of spending

Organize this information using files, spreadsheets, or whatever else works for you. Of the four categories, “expenses” is the most difficult category for which to gain a clear picture. For now, simply identify the ways in which money is leaving your pocket.

Later, we will create a budget, but your job right now is to determine where the money is leaving from each month.

Step Two: Determine Your Goals

Once you’ve got all your documents in place, it’s time to think about your financial goals. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next year, five years, and ten years. It helps to write these down.

Some ideas?

Saving up an emergency fund and paying down all high-interest debt like credit cards are two great places to start. Beyond this, work on putting a percentage of your salary away for retirement or saving for a down payment.

While you’re at it, write down your “fun” money goals such as travel and a wedding. Once you’ve done this, put a price on each of these goals, and a date you’d like to achieve them by.

When you go through this exercise, you may notice that you can’t work on all of your goals quite yet. That’s okay; simply put them in order of highest priority to lowest, and start from the top of that list.

Step Three: Consolidate Where You Can

Having lots of different credit cards and bank accounts can get too confusing to manage properly.

Credit cards:

If you are able to successfully manage having credit cards (paying off the balance in full each month), then you may want to whittle down to having just one or two cards. If you have multiple cards with balances, work on paying them off, one by one (while continuing to make minimum payments on all cards).

You can do this in the traditional way, by paying off the cards with the highest interest rate first (called the “avalanche” method), or by chipping away at the card with the smallest balance first (the “snowball” method). Just choose one, and pick off those credit card balances.

Those with high-interest credit card debt could also consider paying off cards with a personal loan at a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate could help borrowers to pay their debt back faster, but it should be noted that this strategy doesn’t cut to the root of the problem of why the debt exists in the first place.

Bank accounts:

First, determine what accounts you need. For most people, it will be some combination of a checking account, savings account for mid-term savings goals, one or two retirement accounts, and perhaps a Health Savings Account and accounts designed specifically for kid’s college. Of course, some folks may find that having more accounts helps them manage their money better. Figure out what works for you.

If you have multiple, old, obsolete accounts floating around, it’s time to start consolidating. Merge accounts where it makes sense, and close accounts that you don’t use. Get all of your money exactly where it needs to be. This is arguably the most difficult step in the process, but it’s important.

These days, there are more different kinds of accounts than ever before. This is great because people have so many options, but it’s difficult because, well, there are so many options. If you’re looking for a simple account that has the ease of use of a checking account and the interest rate of a high-yield savings account, take a look at SoFi Checking and Savings®. This could be an all-in-one checking and savings account that you’re looking for.

Step Four: Track Your Spending

Now that your goals have been decided and accounts are in place, it’s time to build out a framework for budgeting. And before you can build a budget, you have to take some time to track your spending.

Tracking spending is going to look a little bit different for everyone. You may need to try a few different methods before you find what works best for you. Some ideas: Track your spending old-school style in a notebook, with pen and paper, tracking spending in Excel using downloads from your banks, or using an app like SoFi Relay.

After tracking your spending for two months (it is also possible to track backwards, if you want to get moving fast on your financial organization), take a look at your spending patterns. Some spending might be straightforward, like rent or mortgage loan payments. Other spending categories might surprise you. The idea here is to have a realistic idea of your monthly cash flow so that you can build a budget plan.

While you are tracking your monthly inflows and outflows, take note of whether you have extra money left over at the end of the month, are breaking even, or are dipping into savings or using credit to cover the difference. If you spent more than you earned, does this happen often? Understand your patterns.

Step Five: Build A Budget

There’s a reason that you track your monthly cash inflows and outflows before you build a budget. Without some idea of what you’re actually spending in each major budgetary category, you have no real basis for which you can build one. With a starter budget, the first goal is to be realistic and to learn your spending patterns. The second goal is to use it as a framework to spend less and save more.

Your next step is to build out budget categories. Again, these will be different for everyone, but some common categories include Rent/mortgage payment, insurance, utilities, groceries, entertainment, dining out, medical costs, transportation, housing supplies, toiletries, clothes, debt payments, and incidentals.

As your monthly budget and budgeting technique becomes more streamlined, you’ll be able to determine the areas you want to pare back on. Ultimately, the goal is to build savings right into the budget plan.

Step Six: Automate Where You Can

One of the single greatest things you can do to make your financial life easier is to automate wherever it makes sense. Every time you automate, you remove some amount of labor and emotional stress from your life.

The first way to do this is through automatic bill-pay services. You can set most of your utilities to automatically deduct money from your account or charge a credit card. For bills that aren’t compatible with auto-pay, set yourself a reminder to pay on your calendar so that you won’t forget.

Next, automate your savings. Doing so with a 401k through your work is a great option if you have access to one. If you want to save money outside of a workplace retirement plan (or don’t have one), it is also possible to set up an automatic contribution to a savings account of your choice. You can do this once or twice a month, based on how much you want to save and your payment schedule.

When it comes to organizing finances, the hardest part is just getting started. Don’t feel like you have to do all of these steps in one night, but do give yourself a timeline to complete them. You’ll be so happy you did. Once your financial infrastructure is set up and in you’re in groove, maintenance is easy as pie.

Ready to get your money organized? Check out SoFi Checking and Savings account that has no account fees.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

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couple going through finances

How to Set Up a Budget as a Couple

Studies show that disagreements about money —how to spend it, how much to save each paycheck, and how to split living expenses—are the reason most couples fight. One of the best ways to avoid arguments over finances is talk about your financial goals and work together to create a budget you both can live with.

Here are nine tips to create a “couple budget” and help avoid those fights in the future.

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Money

Most couples go to great lengths to avoid talking about money, especially if one or both carry a large amount of debt. But it’s important to be upfront about your income, savings, debt, and spending habits before you try to set up a budget together.

Don’t try to hide how much you owe or how much of your paycheck you typically spend each month. A SoFi survey found that even the most communicative couples will go to great lengths to hide their financial information from each other, including keeping secret bank accounts, lying about their spending, and hiding their debt.

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Be Upfront About Your Financial Goals

Talking about money also means sharing your money goals. Your partner’s aim might be to become a millionaire by the age of 40. You might be happy to just get out of debt.

Whether you are saving to buy a house or hoping to pay off your student loans in five years, you and your partner need to have a clear understanding of each other’s financial goals so that your budget supports both of you. You may also want to create a shared long-term goal for you to work on as a couple.

Track Your Daily Expenses

Before you try to set up a budget as a couple, you’ll want to understand how much of your income you each spend every month. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of how much you are spending each month on housing, utilities, entertainment, groceries, transportation, health care, insurance, eating out, personal care, clothing, travel, loans, and child care, if applicable.

For an easy way to track your money, sign up for SoFi Relay. With SoFi Relay you can keep tabs on your cash flow and spending habits, plus find ways to save, in real time.

Agree to a Budget and Stick With It

Committing to a budget isn’t always easy, but a good rule of thumb is to put 20% of your income towards savings, 50% towards necessities such as housing, utilities, and groceries, and 30% towards discretionary spending such as eating out and entertainment.

Another way to approach your budget is to list all your sources of income and monthly expenses and compare the two. Ideally, you should have more income than expenses.

You and your partner can decide how to use the difference, whether it is adding money to a retirement account or saving up for a dream vacation or a down payment on a new home.

Set Up a Weekly Meeting

Talking about money doesn’t end with disclosing your income, bills, and goals, and then agreeing to a monthly budget. Many couples set up a weekly meeting to discuss upcoming bills and expenses.

You can use this time to make any adjustments to your budget or plan for any unexpected expenses and determine how to use any unanticipated income such as a bonus or inheritance. It will also allow you to discuss and evaluate any long-term financial goals.

Be Open About How You Will Handle Debt

Be upfront with your partner about how much you owe, whether it is credit card debt, a student loan, a car loan, or all three.

Then make a plan for tackling that debt as well as deciding together what your new financial goal will be once you and your partner are no longer using discretionary income to pay off debts.

Make Sure You Have an Emergency Fund

Many people agree that it’s important to set aside three to six months worth of living expenses in case of an accident, illness, or job loss.

Even if you can’t set aside enough money to cover a full three month’s worth of expenses, it can be a good idea to set aside at least a few hundred dollars in case of an unexpected expense.

Don’t Forget About Retirement

While retirement may seem like a long way off, you and your partner should still factor contributing to a retirement account into your budget plans. Even if you’re paying off debt, saving for retirement should be an important part of your budget. You’ll both thank yourselves later.

Decide How to Split Costs When Living Together

Even if you don’t want to combine your checking and saving accounts, you will need to come up with a plan for sharing household expenses.

One way to split costs when you live together is to set up a household account that you each put money into. This account would be used to pay for any shared expenses such as housing, utilities, and groceries, as well as shared entertainment expenses.

SoFi Checking and Savings Can Help Keep Track of Your Money

SoFi Checking and Savings, a checking and savings account, allows you to transfer money to other people with no fees through its peer-to-peer transfers. If the other person also has a SoFi Checking and Savings, the transfer is instant.

Looking for strategies for creating a budget with your partner? SoFi Checking and Savings helps you keep track of your money. Learn more today.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

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5 Reasons You Should Track Your Spending

If the thought of sitting down to make a budget is overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. One poll found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

It makes sense. We’re all crazy-busy, and already spend more than enough time in front of our computer and telephone screens. Very few people get excited to come home and budget after a long, exhausting day at work.

Some folks may avoid building a budget because they don’t know where to start. Others may be struggling with finding the motivation to sit down and do it.

For those that don’t know where to start, here’s your first step: Track your spending. It is impossible to build a meaningful budget if you don’t know where the money is going in the first place. (Building a budget requires you assign dollar figures to spending categories, which you’ll need some sense of first.)

If you’re struggling with motivation, we’ll also cover the five reasons you should track your spending, along with some tips on how to track spending and ultimately, build out a budget plan.

Identify Areas That You’re Overspending

In every person’s spending hides some sort of gremlin, busting up budgets while lurking around completely unnoticed. And there’s no way to uncover the problem without spending some real time looking at the numbers. The truth is, spending is so easy and frictionless these days, that it’s nearly impossible to do mental accounting on how much we’re spending in each category and overall.

It’s not uncommon to hear stories about people who are tracking their spending for the first time who realize they are spending hundreds more in certain categories than they had anticipated.

For example, lots of people find they are spending more than they expected on dining out, Starbucks, groceries they don’t use, or shopping. Sometimes, the act of daily or weekly tracking alone inspires people to spend less.

What’s Measured Gets Improved

When it comes to spending less and saving more, the old adage holds true: what’s measured is what gets improved. There’s hardly a way to make meaningful change if you have no benchmark for which you can build from. Say, for example, that you want to spend less on dining out. That’s great, but how can you spend less, if you don’t know how much you spend now?

Only after tracking your spending for a time can you begin to build a meaningful budget. Think about building a budget without knowing how much you spend in each category! There would literally be no point.

For example, say that you guess that you spend $100 on gas each month. But if you had actually tracked your spending, you would know that you get gas once/week, and it costs $40 each fill. Really, you need to budget $160 for gas each month (or slightly less, if you are trying to reduce gas spending).

Feel Inspired to Make Eliminations

The shock of seeing how much you’re spending (and on what) may be the inspiration you need to make real changes. And perhaps these changes extend beyond simply nixing the daily Starbucks habit.

Use that motivation to eliminate unused subscriptions, to work on lowering your gas or phone bill, to cut out entire spending categories, to take public transportation more, or to consider more drastic measures—like getting a roommate or moving into a more affordable place.

Change is never easy to make, but it’s best to use the spark of motivation you first have when you realize that there are plenty of ways to cut back.

Give Yourself the Freedom to Spend on What You Love

Sure, budgeting can feel restricting at first. But eventually, you may come to find that budgeting gives you both peace of mind and the freedom to spend on exactly what you love.

Without a budget, it is possible to feel anxious every time you swipe your card, not sure if you can really afford this thing. With a budget, you can make a purchase knowing that you planned for it and that the money will be there.

Here’s what a lot of people get wrong: the tracking of spending doesn’t have to result in the diminishment of your pleasure. Instead, it’s about looking at how you spend, and assigning priority to those different expenses.

Ask yourself this question: In retrospect, was that purchase worth it? And what purchases weren’t? Again, eliminate the categories that don’t bring you utility or joy, keep the ones that do, and never hesitate to spend on those items again. Tracking and budgeting allow you this freedom.

Build Saving Into Your Plan

If you want to build savings into your monthly financial plan, but can’t imagine how, you have to begin by tracking your spending. Identify areas that you can cut back in so that you are then able to re-allocate those funds to your future.

Once you have found some spending categories where you can give yourself some leeway, practice moving that spare cash into a savings account at the end of the month.

After a month or two of this, you’re ready to truly build savings into your budget, through automation. To do this, set up an automatic transfer of funds from your account, scheduled a few days after your paycheck hits.

Now, you can do as Warren Buffet says: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” Building automatic saving into your monthly financial plan is always best, but monitor to make sure you don’t overdraft your account.

Ready for a Better Banking Experience?

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Tips and Tricks On How To Track Spending

Start By Gathering Account and Income Information

If you want to make a personal budget and keep track of spending, your first step is to know exactly where money is moving both to and from. Gather up information on checking accounts, credit cards, online mobile transfer accounts (like PayPal), and so on. Organize your information and make sure that you can log into all of your accounts.

While you’re at it, make sure that you have all sources of income accounted for. Know what these figures are both before and after income and other taxes. It will be up to you whether you budget with after-tax income or pre-tax-income (and consider taxes a line item in your budget), but start with both figures.

Track Last Month’s Income

Instead of starting in the middle of the month, begin by looking at the most recent full month’s worth of spending. Practice putting money into categories like groceries, entertainment, dining out, bills, etc.

You may want to practice doing this in a few different ways. A good way to start is by downloading all of a month’s spending into a spreadsheet. (This should be an option provided by your bank, usually under the “statements” tab or something similar.)

This method requires more upfront work, but forcing yourself to sit with the numbers and manually identify transactions is an important skill to learn. You can also switch to using an app like SoFi Relay.

Determine Your Categories

After looking through last month’s spending and putting transactions into categories, determine how much you’d like to spend in each category. These categories can be as broad or as narrow as works for you and your budgeting style. Don’t forget to account for expenses that don’t happen monthly (like semi-annual car insurance payments) and incidentals.

Increasingly, folks do their shopping at stores like Target or on Amazon, where spending doesn’t fit nicely into one category. During one trip, you could easily buy groceries, toiletries, clothes, and furniture. This makes it hard to budget by category. In that case, consider giving yourself a budget by store.

Get Into A Groove

Maybe you’ll continue to update your spreadsheet with downloaded information from your account, and this is the tracking method that you’ll stick with forever.

Perhaps you’ll find something that you like better, such as app or program. To figure it out, you’re going to have to try it all out. This will be hard in the first few months—give yourself the space to feel frustration—but know that it does get easier over time. The good news is that money-tracking technology is getting better and more helpful and there are many solutions you can check out.

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Checking and Savings® is one option to check out. It is a bank account online that comes with a dashboard that provides weekly expense tracking and members can earn up to 2.00% APY.

After a few months of tracking, you’ll have a better idea of how to put purchases into categories that work as part of a bigger budgetary system. For most people, this will be the hardest part, but it will be worth it. You’ll get into a groove, feel in control of your spending, and finally be able to say, “I am confident in my ability to keep track of my spending.”

Get started with SoFi Checking and Savings to keep track of your expenses.



External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.

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Making Financial Decisions as a Couple

Financial decisions. They’re already hard enough as an individual, and even harder to do with another person who has their own independent ideas.

Our relationships with money are a very personal thing. We each grow up with preconceived notions about money and through our own individual experiences develop feelings about money, including how it should be spent and whether it should be saved.

Considering how personal and therefore complicated it already is to make financial decisions on our own, it probably comes as no surprise that doing so with a partner can pose even more of a challenge.

As with any difficult conversation with a partner, deep-seeded personal feelings are involved and that makes navigating money conversations feel tricky. The first step is understanding that financial decision making as a couple may not come naturally, and that’s completely fine! These conversations take practice.

And ultimately, the work is worth it. Arguments about money are the leading indicator for divorce —not disagreements about the children or even a rogue in-law or two. If you and your partner can devise a method for having productive conversations about financial decisions, it could preserve the relationship.

Here are a few strategies to try and ideas to keep in mind when making financial decisions with your partner.

Start Early

This doesn’t mean that you come into a first date armed with twenty questions about a person’s financial life. That would be weird. But it may not be smart to wait until you’re married to talk about money, either.

As your relationship with a person develops, it could be a good idea to make it a practice to talk about money as you would talk about other important factors in your relationship, such as whether you want to have kids.

At the beginning stages, start with easier topics, like who pays for dinner and whether or not you enjoy your jobs. With comfort and practice, you can begin to discuss weightier topics like debt and future financial goals.

The very fact that marriages are dissolving because of arguments over money makes the case for why it is so important to have these conversations early (and often). Not only are you able to practice without the stress of needing to take immediate action, but you can get a feel for how your partner navigates money decisions.

And if you have found that you are with someone who holds wildly different values about money, you may need to consider this before making any further commitments to this person.

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Make a Date to Talk

Sometimes it feels easiest to dive headfirst into a big money talk in order to get it the heck out of the way. But this may not be your best strategy. Instead of bringing up the topic of money out of the blue, give your partner some notice.

No one is their best self when they feel caught off guard. A conversation about a tough financial decision will be more productive with two calm, prepared people at the table.

Set a time to talk about the financial decision at hand. Maybe, you’ll even want to make it into a “real” date and treat yourself to a coffee at the local shop or a favorite take-out dinner and wine.

No matter how you do it, the most important thing is that you have a designated time for the talk. This strategy can be applied to discussing one particular financial decision, or you can utilize it on a regular basis.

Write It Out

Sometimes, it’s just plain hard to communicate how you feel. This is especially true for topics that affect us deeply and in confusing ways, like money. If you and your partner are people that like to put their feelings down in written word, consider writing each other a letter prior to your financial “date.”

While this exercise may feel unrelated to financial decision making, it really isn’t. There is important work to be done in laying the groundwork for future conversations. No matter how pragmatic a financial decision may seem, feelings may (understandably) become involved.

In your letter, include some background on how you were raised to think about money, your money stressors, and your financial goals. Focus the letter on yourself and from where your financial beliefs stem.

Not only will this help your partner understand where you are coming from, but it will provide you with some very useful introspection about money and your system of values.

Be Prepared to Listen

When financial decision making, your first priority should not be to explain your point of view. To have a truly productive conversation, you must be committed to listening.

This is good practice in all conversations with your partner and loved ones, but especially when talking about financial decisions.

Here’s the thing about making financial decisions; it’s not usually black and white; there is generally no right and no wrong. Being open to listening often translates into being open to learning.

Not only is your partner’s perspective important, but you might even be able to learn something from them. We’re all learning as we go anyway, and by listening, you have a chance to learn and evolve as a couple.

Be Communicative

One key to a productive and healthy conversation regarding a financial decision with your partner is to communicate your feelings, thoughts, and fears. Something that seems obvious to you may not be obvious to them, so give your partner the grace of explaining yourself in a calm and thorough way.

When you communicate, stick with talking about how you feel regarding a matter and avoid making declarations about what your partner has done in the past or what you’re hoping that they will do in the future.

Making comments about how a person is spending can quickly turn accusatory, making a person defensive. Even when having tough conversations, do your best to remove judgment from the equation.

Also, accept that just because you have explained something to your partner once, that they understand what you mean and where you are coming from. Don’t lose your cool if you have to remind your partner what’s important or a priority to you, especially if that’s not the way they seem wired to operate.

Crunch the Numbers

If you are making a big (or small) financial decision, you and your partner are going to want to sit down and work out a plan. You might find it helpful to have a Google doc or some pen and paper handy so you can write it all down.

Because while it’s one thing to have money goals and plans, it’s another thing to map them out. Take the time to figure out exactly how each financial decision would play out over the short and long term. Break big costs down into monthly numbers. Enact plans for these reaching goals, such as setting up automatic transfers from checking accounts and into savings accounts.

Sometimes, the numbers help guide financial decision making within a relationship. You and your partner can see, on paper, what is possible (and what isn’t). The exercise may provide a new perspective altogether or at the very least, get you on the same page regarding the different options with your money.

If you feel at a loss for what you should be focusing on or how to accomplish your goals, you may want to hire a financial expert, such as a credentialed financial planner. Some financial guidance from a person skilled in financial planning could be just what a couple needs to step up their money game.

Compromise

If you’re in a partnership, you already know that compromise is the name of the game. The good news with money is, compromising is not only possible but often ideal. For example, you do not have to pick just one savings goal to work on at a time. Financial decisions don’t have to be “one or the other.”

Also, know that there is no perfect formula for how a couple makes financial decisions. Just because your best friend and her boo may divide up their finances in a certain way or prioritize working on a particular goal with their partner, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it this way. Part of compromise with your partner is abandoning the idea that your partnership should work like anyone else’s.

Compromise is certainly more difficult when partners disagree about big picture money issues, such as whether saving is a priority or paying off debt is important.

Put Plans Into Action

Once you’ve hashed out your money goals and fears with your honey, it’s time to take legitimate steps towards making your dreams a reality. Use the fact that you have a built-in accountability buddy and set weekly goals for accomplishing tasks.

One such goal should be to start a savings account that exists separate from your checking accounts. It may help you avoid the temptation of spending money that lingers in your account for too long.

You could try a bank account online like SoFi Checking and Savings®. You can use any ATM that accepts Mastercard and we’ll reimburse all of your ATM fees. Best of all? SoFi Checking and Savings has no account fees (fee structure subject to change), which means you can try it out without fear of being overcharged.

You (and your partner) are free to use it in a way that makes the most sense in accomplishing the financial goals you’ve laid out before you.

It’s the perfect option for setting up a new checking and savings account whether you’re doing it solo or jointly with a significant other. A SoFi Checking and Savings account can be used for a specific savings goal, or it can be used as your all-purpose money needs.

No matter your financial goals, take steps towards accomplishing them. You give your relationship the greatest gift of all by turning your financial dreams into reality.

Setting new savings goals with your partner? Merging your finances? Learn more about spending, saving, and earning, all in one product with SoFi Checking and Savings.



External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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