Guide to Improving Your Money Mindset

Guide to Improving Your Money Mindset

Achieving your financial goals in life isn’t just about how much you earn; it’s also about your money mindset. Some of our most deeply held beliefs are about money. Do you talk about money and seek to enhance your knowledge? Do you think of yourself as a spender or a saver? What does financial success look like to you? The answers to these questions all reflect our money mindset. Changing these ideas can be challenging but worth it.

To create a solid financial future, it’s essential to have a strong, positive money mindset. So, if your financial habits need a little (or a lot of) work, here’s how to change your money mindset. Read on to learn:

•   What is a money mindset?

•   What is a negative money mindset?

•   How can I change my money mindset?

•   Why is reshaping my money mindset important?

What Is a Money Mindset?

Your money mindset is your approach to handling money. It determines your spending and saving habits as well as your motivations for your financial management.

Whether you are aware of it or not, everyone has a money mindset — a collection of beliefs starting from childhood that shape what you do with your money. (Your money mindset could even be, “I never think or talk about money.”)

Your money mindset can lead to both positive and negative financial decisions.

For example, have you automated your savings, transferring cash out of your paycheck first and budgeting with the remainder? Or do you think saving isn’t something you need to or can focus on just yet? Do you use a budget? Can you treat yourself occasionally, or is buying a $5 coffee not a part of your financial plan? Your money mindset characterizes your relationship with money, and so it is essential to understand and possibly tweak it.

What Is a Negative Money Mindset?

A negative money mindset is a set of unhelpful financial beliefs that can lead to poor resource management. It often involves a constant feeling of stress or guilt regarding money or simply disorganization. It may also involve the belief that “if I just made more money, things would change or all my problems would be solved.” While a higher salary or inheritance might help you toward your financial goals, having more money won’t change your financial mindset.

While it may seem counterintuitive, your income level doesn’t automatically determine your sense of financial freedom. Additionally, it’s worth noting that your money mindset exists whether you’re conscious of how it influences your behavior or not.

Here are some examples of the ways in which a negative money mindset might have a bad influence on your life:

•   You might spend too much money due to comparison with others. You see a friend or colleague renting a pricey apartment and think you should too. That can be an aspect of lifestyle creep, in which your spending increases as your income grows, preventing you from saving and acquiring assets.

•   You might not save for long-term goals, like a house or retirement, because your parents never wanted to talk about money when you were growing up.

•   Because money stresses you out, you might fail to set financial goals, like paying off your student loans on time.

If it feels like you’re in this negative zone when it comes to your finances, know that you are not saddled with it for life. We’ll explore how to develop a money mindset that’s more positive and productive later in this article.

How Your Beliefs on Money Affect Your Finances

Your primary, most powerful beliefs about money most likely come from your parents and your childhood. Every child absorbs financial beliefs from the most influential people in their life. Then, as you grow older and begin handling money, they live out those financial beliefs, for better or worse.

For example, if your parents modeled money as a way to pamper yourself, you may find that you impulse-shop when life becomes challenging. Your money mindset is that spending equals financial self-care.

On the other hand, you may have a reputation among your friends as “cheap” because you grew up in a penny-pinching household that considered luxuries a waste of money. In both cases, your money mindset puts your financial habits into motion.

These examples underscore that children tend to mimic the behaviors of their parents and adopt their money habits in their own adult life.

Why Reshaping Your Money Mindset Is Important

It’s crucial to address negative money mindsets. Otherwise, you’ll likely continue to act on the same faulty beliefs. For example, you might realize that your parents’ approach to money made a lasting impact because you always feel uneasy when treating yourself. Conversely, you might struggle to control your spending because none of your family or friends ever follows a budget.

Recognizing an unproductive facet of your money mindset gives you the power to change it. By asking yourself questions about how you currently treat your money and how you’d like to change, you can reorient yourself and create a long-term financial plan. In fact, reshaping your money mindset may include setting financial goals for the first time in your life.

By changing your money mindset you can take full control of your finances, break bad spending habits, and reach your financial goals.

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How to Change Your Money Mindset

So, you might wonder, exactly how can you change your mindset about money? While your upbringing and core experiences impact you in significant ways, you have the ability to recast your money mindset or create an all-new one. When reshaping your money mindset, the following tips can help you transform unhelpful financial behaviors into life-changing, literally enriching habits.

Success With Money Is a Possibility

One key to changing your money mindset is to increase your confidence in your abilities. Don’t count yourself out because of your background or financial circumstances — it’s possible to change these patterns.

Whether you’re working up the courage to sit down and make a beginner’s budget, tackle lingering debts, or give yourself permission to make a fun but totally unnecessary purchase, believing it’s possible is crucial for your success. Perhaps saying affirmations will help you, or maybe reading about others who have attained what you are dreaming of will work best. The right technique is a personal decision.

Understanding Why You Feel This Way

Money is emotional for everyone. Feeling anxious, worried, or excited about your money is normal. Our emotions are rooted in beliefs; therefore, you might feel elated or stressed on payday depending on the beliefs you’re associating with your money. You might crave the feeling of going shopping or you might wake up in the middle of the night worried about your car payments.

Delving into how much money you have coming in and going out may help you better manage your funds. If you have a financial plan that allows you to sock money away and also treat yourself a few times a month, getting paid might create feelings of satisfaction or confidence. Hence, your money mindset is creating positive emotions for you. However, if your paycheck reminds you of your mounting bills, it’s probably time to identify where these feelings are coming from. This way, you can start shifting your money mindset to elevate the stress and anxiety.

Additionally, the more you avoid money, the more intimidating it can feel. Even people with plenty of income might run from figuring out their living expenses because it sparks negative emotions.

Avoid Comparing Yourself to Peers or Social Media Standards

Parent’s aren’t the only ones who influence your money mindset. Peers and mainstream culture send messages about what success looks like or how to best manage your money.

Seeing what others do or think as irrelevant to your money mindset. What works for someone else may or may not work for you, especially if you have different goals. Plenty of general financial principles are worth adhering to, but even those aren’t set in stone. For example, there are many different types of budgeting methods, including the 50/30/20 budget rule. Therefore, it’s wise to understand your own financial situation and find solutions that work for you to improve your money mindset. Even if your twin sibling swears by a certain tactic, it may not be right for you, and that’s okay.

Overcoming Your Financial Fears

Change can be scary, and so can money, so cut yourself some slack if you’re afraid of changing your money mindset. It can be comfortable to settle back into the familiar, even when it’s not working.

However, overcoming financial anxiety and developing a positive money mindset is possible. Forge ahead at your own pace, and explore your money mindset. What are the things that worry you about money? Where are your biggest fears coming from?

As you unpack that, remind yourself of your motivation to change. Keep your goals at the forefront, and encourage yourself to take a step in that direction. Taking a small but concrete action toward your goals is how to develop resilience, a key characteristic for succeeding in life.

Recommended: Should You Pay Off Student Loans or Invest?

Avoid Dwelling on the Past

As you attempt to change your money mindset, there may be errors from the past sticking in your mind, reinforcing the idea that you are bad at financial management. Dwelling on the past can stop you from creating a different future. The failures, mistakes, and traumas from the past are real — but they don’t have to define you. For example, if you’ve endured a romantic breakup, that doesn’t mean you can’t date again and find love. In the same way, just because you had too much credit debt recently doesn’t mean you can’t get that issue wrangled.

It’s a good idea to jettison this kind of looking-back viewpoint. Instead, try putting your effort toward what you can change in the present and strive to achieve in the future.

The Takeaway

Your money mindset is the attitude and beliefs that form your relationship with your personal finances and it drives your financial habits. Since most people pick up unhealthy financial habits along with healthy ones, it’s crucial to recognize the financial beliefs that aren’t serving you. Then you can set about changing your money mindset and shifting your behavior to better achieve your goals.

If you need help saving and budgeting, see how SoFi can help you bank better. When you open an online bank account with us and sign up for direct deposit, you’ll enjoy a stellar 2.00% APY, no account fees, and automatic saving features. Together, these perks can help you take control of your finances and improve your money mindset.

Watch your money grow with SoFi.

FAQ

How do I get rid of a money scarcity mindset?

The belief that you never have and never will have enough money is part of your money mindset. To change that belief, identify where the mindset came from and make a positive change, such as setting a small savings goal and achieving it.

What is a poor money mindset?

A poor money mindset consists of unproductive beliefs about money that lead to negative financial decisions and habits. An unhealthy relationship with money when growing up or having made past financial mistakes can create a poor money mindset.

How is a money mindset formed?

You form your money mindset through the financial beliefs you hold as true. Your childhood, peers, and financial successes and failures help define your money mindset.


Photo credit: iStock/gorodenkoff

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 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
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.
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Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

You know the saying that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes? There’s another pair of sure things in every life: time and money. They are two of the most precious commodities: the things we all want more of, or to make the most of.

Unlike death and taxes, your finances and time, if managed well, can elevate your quality of life significantly. Finding ways to make the most of these two resources can enhance how secure and enjoyable your days are.

Read on to understand the time-money relationship and how to make it work as well as possible. You’ll learn:

•   What “time is money” actually means?

•   What the relationship between money and time is?

•   Tips for managing time and money as well as possible.

What Does ‘Time Is Money’ Actually Mean?

The phrase “time is money” means that a person can translate their available hours into money by getting paid to work. If you’re sitting around relaxing, for instance, you could instead be working and earning cash.

This saying can be further explained in terms of opportunity cost. Let’s say a person has an hour to spend. That person can choose to work for that hour or they can choose to do something that does not yield any income, like reading a book. The person who reads the book loses the opportunity to earn income for that hour. If the person can earn $50 an hour, the opportunity cost of choosing to read a book is $50. Thus, time is money.

Of course, it’s every person’s decision about how much they want to work versus enjoy their free time as they see fit. Some people are driven to work 60 or more a week; others, craving work-life balance or, say, taking care of children, work much less (if at all). They have chosen a different path.

What Is the Relationship Between Time and Money?

Balancing time and money can involve a trade-off. To make more money, some people spend more time on their careers and have less time for the other obligations and pleasures in life, whether that means spending time with family, relaxing, or pursuing hobbies and passion projects. Working long hours can mean less time to clean, shop, and otherwise handle chores. If one makes enough by working, they can perhaps delegate those duties and hire someone to handle them.

For example, a lawyer might be able to afford to pay a landscaper $50 an hour to do yard work while they earn $300 an hour working with a client. The lawyer nets $250 by doing so. If the lawyer does the yardwork and not the landscaper, the lawyer loses the $300 they could have earned doing legal work. Seen through a financial lens, it could be sensible to embrace strategies that maximize your earning power with the limited time you have. If, however, you are a person who earns less than a lawyer and/or you love to garden and care for your property, you might well decide to do the yard work yourself.

Recommended: What Is the Time Value of Money (TVM)?

Tips for Managing Time and Money

As you may see from the yard work example above, good time management is not just about working every waking hour. It’s about allocating time for tasks wisely and balancing work and personal lives. Otherwise, your health, mood, and personal relationships could suffer. Not every minute of your time should have a price tag on it.

Here are some time and money management tips to get you started.

Prioritizing Tasks

You only have so many hours in a day to get things done, so prioritizing is critical. Work, picking children up from school or daycare, grocery shopping, and preparing food are daily and weekly priorities. So too are things like exercise, meditation, seeing loved ones, and doing whatever feeds your spirit, from rafting to reading. Plan your priorities daily, but typically no more than three or you could feel overwhelmed.

Writing Down Your Schedule

Your daily schedule is critical, but planning your time weekly and monthly can also keep you on-task and organized. More than that, it can help you visualize your available time and consolidate tasks so you can make your life more manageable. For example, can you combine one task with another? Can you go to the grocery store while your child is on a playdate, saving you a trip? Can you fit in a workout during your lunch hour? Organizing your time and life can make you much more efficient and reduce stress.

There are many calendar-keeping tools available, from cool journals to apps. Using alerts on your mobile phone can also help you keep track of the “musts” on your daily schedule.

Putting Time Limits on Tasks

Spending more time on enjoyable tasks and putting off the less palatable ones is human nature. But it’s also procrastination that can leave you short on time and stressed about deadlines at work and at home.

One good solution: Set time limits for activities and schedule them wisely. Tackle a difficult project when you have the most energy, such as first thing in the morning. Block off an hour or two. If you split up challenging tasks into manageable chunks, you won’t become overwhelmed. Just getting started and seeing some progress can motivate you to continue.

Focusing on One Task at a Time

Multitasking can be a fast track to inefficiency. Walking the dog and listening to a podcast is one thing, but trying to write a report while your child is doing homework (and asking for help), is another — and probably not efficient — one.

Given a quiet room and time to focus, you might knock out the report in an hour or two. Multitasking, on the other hand, can mean for many of us that nothing receives your full attention and is done well.

Removing Interruptions While Working

Social media, pop-up notifications, emails, phone calls, colleagues who want to chat on Slack, family members, and pets all can enrich and inspire your life, but when you are balancing time vs. money, face the facts. They pull you away from work and from being efficient. Find ways to eliminate interruptions, and you’ll likely accomplish more things, more quickly.

If you have an urgent task and work at home, consider going to a coffee shop or a library where you might have more peace. If colleagues at work are a problem, ask to use a conference room temporarily to get your work done or say you are on deadline and pull back from chat apps and email alerts. To avoid technology distractions, try putting your phone away in a drawer so that it is out of sight and out of mind while working.

Creating a Realistic Budget

When it comes to the financial aspect of money vs. time, budgeting can really optimize your efforts to wrangle your funds. A budget helps you account for your income, expenses, and savings so there are fewer surprises and so you hit your goals. Many people, in fact, believe that being disciplined with money or more accountable for it is a major key to wealth.

Making a budget typically involves looking at your monthly after-tax income, including keeping track of money from side hustles and the like. Then, you will subtract the cost of your monthly necessities (housing, food, medical care), as well as debt, and then allocate what’s left to spending and saving. This process should reveal if you are living within your means, or are you spending more than you earn?

If your expenses exceed your income, look for ways to cut back on spending, such as eating out less, biking to work instead of driving or calling an Uber, or perhaps consolidating high-interest credit card debt with a lower-interest personal loan. The ultimate goal is to create a budget that you can live with and with room to save for long-term goals, like the down payment for a house or for retirement.

Finding Ways to Invest Your Money

A reasonable goal for long-term financial planning is to set aside 10% of your income and invest it. You can educate yourself with books, podcasts, websites, and apps to, say, learn the pros and cons of stocks vs. bonds. A professional financial advisor can also help you to find the best vehicles to build wealth. For example, a 401(k), a diversified portfolio of stocks and mutual funds, or a passion like watch investing or whiskey investing can all play a role in your investing.

Remember, however, the golden rule for investments, though, since they are not covered by the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Only invest what you can afford to lose.

Using Time for Yourself Wisely

Work-life balance is increasingly a goal for Americans, and a number of companies are experimenting with four-day workweeks as one path to achieving this.

Overwork and burnout are real dangers for those who Incessantly strive to capitalize financially. It’s definitely wise to schedule time for yourself. It can be as simple as meditating, spending time with family, working out, volunteering, or pursuing a hobby. Spending time on things that bring you joy can spur you to be your best when you are working, too.

Automating Your Bills and Payments

Automating your monthly bills can be a win-win. Paying bills on time is the biggest single contributor (at 35%) to your credit score, and taking care of those charges before they accrue late fees also makes good money sense.

What’s more, in terms of the time vs. money equation, setting up automated bill payments will also free up some space in your schedule. Your bills will be paid on time each month, without you having to click around websites or write checks and buy stamps to mail them. It will take a few minutes of work up front, but the task is then much easier.

Watching Your Spending

Remember that budget you diligently prepared? Stick to it by following the 30-day spending rule. Wait 30 days before purchasing an item to avoid overspending and racking up debt. If you do spend too much, you’ll pay unnecessary fees on overdrafts or credit card interest payments.

The Takeaway

There’s little doubt that time and money are two valuable but limited resources. Making the most of each requires some smart strategies, such as budgeting, scheduling, reducing overspending, and finding work-life balance. But by respecting the value of time and money — and managing them well, you’ll likely enjoy a better quality of life, today and in the future.

Want to have more time and watch your money grow faster? With a SoFi bank account, that’s totally possible. We’re an online bank, so we provide a quick and convenient way to manage your finances 24/7. And sign up for our Checking and Savings with direct deposit, and you’ll earn a whopping 2.00% APY, pay no account fees, and have access to a network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs.

Ready to bank better with SoFi?

FAQ

Is time worth more than money?

The answer to this question is subjective. To a person who is terminally ill, time is clearly the most precious commodity; they might rather have less money and more time. In another scenario, someone might say money matters more. They might be willing to work every free minute for years to ensure they have a high-paying career, even if they don’t have much free time to enjoy the luxurious life they lead.

Is it worse to waste my time or money?

Neither wasting time nor money is a great idea, though many of us of course do so from time to time. A better approach can be to minimize the waste and balance your life so you have both enough time and money. This often requires prioritizing, planning, and budgeting.

What are the benefits of managing time and money wisely?

A key benefit of managing time and money wisely is better quality of life. Effective time and money management will make all aspects of your life easier because you gain peace of mind and may stress less about your money and your schedule. You can take control of two very important variables.


Photo credit: iStock/busracavus

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 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
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.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
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How Much Does It Cost to Go to a Music Festival?

How Much Does It Cost to Go to a Music Festival?

If you’re wondering how much it costs to go to a music festival, the short answer is probably “a lot.” Weekend passes are often a few to several hundred dollars, and that doesn’t cover all the expenses.

But does that mean you should skip the entire experience? Not at all. Attending music festivals is a fun way to sample a lot of different bands and musicians while enjoying time spent outdoors, likely with your best friends.

Keep reading to learn more about music festival costs and money-saving moves so you don’t bust your budget while hearing some amazing music. You’ll learn:

•   What are the average costs of a music festival?

•   What are the main expenses to consider when going to a music festival?

•   How can attending a music festival be more affordable?

What Is the Average Cost of a Popular Music Festival?

To start, the average cost of music festival tickets (typically for a weekend-long event) is about $200 to $600, but those aren’t the only charges. If travel is required to attend, musical festival expenses can shoot up quite quickly. Transportation costs and lodging are often premium-priced during a festival, since businesses know they can get top dollar.

What the typical music festival cost is depends greatly on where the festival is located and the type of experience the attendee is looking to have. Camping out versus staying in a luxury hotel will save money, as will skipping the VIP tickets for the basic ones, bought at early-bird pricing.

Recommended: Tips for Finding the Top Travel Deals

Main Expenses to Consider When Going to a Music Festival

Again — everyone’s music festival experience looks differently and costs can vary. That being said, these are some common music festival expenses worth planning for. Know them as you budget, and let the headline performers keep you money motivated.

Ticket Costs

The first cost all music festival attendees need to plan for is the cost of the ticket. These tickets can cost hundreds of dollars — especially if someone is attending a multi-day event. For instance, in 2022, tickets to Bonnaroo in Tennessee were $350 and up for four days, and Coachella, in Indio, California, passes began at $449 for three days.

Costs will vary depending on when you buy tickets (they get more expensive closer to the actual performance date), and whether you decide to shell out for the VIP options.

Traveling Costs

If you have to travel to attend the event, you may need to budget for the expense. You can see whether, say, driving vs. flying costs more, or look into bus tickets, but do remember to add this as a line item to your budget.

Transportation Costs

Even if you live nearby, you may need to pay for an Uber or Lyft ride to attend the event. At the very least, remember to account for gas and parking expenses.

Lodging Costs

Music festivals likely attract large crowds and visitors from around the world, which means that local hotel and home rental costs can shoot up. Book early to avoid overpaying once pickings are slim.

Meal Costs

Because music festivals have their attendees held somewhat captive for the day or days of the event, the food for sale there can be quite expensive. Think about what you pay at a concert or in an airport to get a sense of what you might need to pay.

Clothing Costs

Part of the fun for many festival-goers is planning what you’ll wear. Sure, some people are happy in their usual jeans and a t-shirt, but if you want to buy some new clothes or accessories before a music festival, be sure to add those costs to your budget.

Recommended: Budgeting for Beginners

Tips for Being Able to Afford Going to a Music Festival

The price tag for a music festival experience can be steep, but it can also be an amazing and memorable experience. Here are some ways to bring the costs down so you can be part of the fun. And another way saving money can help you that’s worth mentioning: Do a great job cost-cutting, and maybe you can attend an additional festival.

Budgeting for a Festival Expense

From tickets to transportation to food, plan out what the day or weekend will entail cost-wise and make a budget. This can be done in a journal, on a piece of paper, or in an app. You can also learn how to make a budget in Excel. If you can plan for this outing months in advance, you can slowly save up for it so your overall budget doesn’t take a major hit.

Once you know the total amount needed, you can divide that by the number of months until it’s time to pay for your expenses. The figure you see is how much you should save monthly to afford the festival.

Not Buying VIP Tickets

Music festivals often have different tiers of tickets and offer some sort of VIP ticket for a much higher price than the cost of normal entrance. Skip these overpriced tickets, and spend the money on food or transportation instead.

Buying Tickets as Early as Possibly

Some music festivals offer cheaper tickets for people who book early, so don’t sleep on those good deals. If possible, save up before tickets go on sale to take advantage of early booking deals.

Planning Travel Accommodations as Early as Possible

It can be possible to save on travel and lodging by booking those things sooner rather than later as well. (This is a wise move when trying to save money for a trip of any kind.) Once tickets are booked, try to find some travel deals. When flights and hotels get down to the last few available options, prices tend to soar.

Bringing Your Own Food and Water

If allowed, pack food and lots of water to avoid overspending on food and drinks at the event. As a bonus, this means spending less time in line and more time enjoying the music. Some music festivals won’t allow attendees to bring in their own food, but most allow water from outside sources. Not overspending on water is a great way to save money and stay hydrated while out in the sun all day.

Volunteering

Some music festivals offer volunteers the chance to trade work for access to the festival. It’s always worth seeing whether such opportunities are available — they may very well be worth the trade-off.

Walking Wherever You Can Instead of Using Transportation

If staying nearby, try walking to the event. Parking is often expensive at music festivals, and ride-share prices surge as well due to high demand.

Camping Rather Than Staying at a Hotel

Because it can be hard for the many attendees of music festivals to find affordable lodging nearby, some music festivals are held at campgrounds. Camping is a great way to save a lot of money versus hotel costs, and it can add to the fun of the weekend.

Recommended: Financial New Year’s Resolutions

The Takeaway

Music festival costs can vary greatly, but the major ones are often undeniably expensive. Planning ahead for these amazing events can be one of the best ways to manage costs. By booking early, camping instead of staying at a hotel, and considering volunteer opportunities on-site, you may be able to listen to your fill of music and still have money in the bank.

Need to save up for a music festival or other short-term goal? SoFi has you covered. Open a bank account online with direct deposit, and your SoFi Checking and Savings won’t charge you any account fees, will offer you automatic savings features, and pay you a terrific 2.00% APY.

Bank smarter with SoFi.

FAQ

Why are music festivals so expensive?

Attending music festivals can be expensive. The tickets for weekend-long events are pricey (the organizers have to cover the bands’ fees, the space, set-up, advertising, and more). Plus, if you travel to get there, you have transportation and lodging costs to contend with as well, plus food costs are part of the experience, too.

How much does it cost to hold the festival?

One reason that tickets for music festivals are so expensive is that it can cost a lot of money to host these events. It can cost millions upon millions of dollars to host a music festival — especially when top-tier musical talent is performing; their fees can be steep, in keeping with their stature.

Should I use my emergency fund for a festival?

Emergency funds are a type of savings fund specifically earmarked for unexpected expenses that interrupt daily life, such as a car repair, medical bill, or loss of one’s income. Since a music festival is a planned expense, you should not tap your emergency fund for this. Instead, it’s better to gradually save up for the cost of the festival in advance.

Should you layaway your festival tickets?

Whenever possible, it’s best not to make a purchase using a layaway arrangement, especially for an unnecessary expense like a music festival. While layaways don’t come with interest like credit cards, they do typically charge fees for spreading out the cost of the purchase. It’s best to create a budget for attending a music festival and to save up for festival tickets in advance.


Photo credit: iStock/urbazon

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 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
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.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
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Why Do We Feel Guilty Spending Money?

Why Do We Feel Guilty Spending Money?

At face value, money appears to be simply about dollars and cents passing from one hand to another.

But in reality, our purse strings have deep ties to our emotions. We get elated, sad, and angry over money matters. And it’s certainly not uncommon to feel guilty about spending money, even when it’s a necessary purchase.

Some purchases trigger more guilt than others, and some people are more prone to experiencing this unpleasant sensation than others. Understanding why this happens can help you avoid negative feelings about money, which is one of the top stressors in many people’s lives.

Keep reading to learn:

•   Why do I feel guilty when I spend money?

•   Is it a bad thing to spend money?

•   How can I stop feeling guilty after spending money?

Is Spending Money a Bad Thing?

Spending money in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a necessary reality of life. It would be hard to imagine navigating daily life without spending cash to, say, buy food or commute to work.

But there are a lot of opinions out there about how people should spend their cash, which can lead to conflicting emotions. Treating oneself can stir up feelings around self-worth, and spending money on a big-ticket item can trigger anxiety about future finances. (You’ll learn more about these scenarios in a moment.)

Despite money’s necessary role in life, feeling guilty about spending it is fairly common. Most Americans — 60% in fact — report feeling anxiety around their personal finances. That stress can snowball, getting tied up with guilt and creating free-floating money worries.

Spending cash is an inescapable reality, but the guilt associated with it doesn’t have to be.

Recommended: How to Cut Back on Spending

Reasons Why We Feel Guilty About Spending Money

Often, guilt and anxiety around spending money come from the motivation for the transaction, not the purchase itself. Learning to stop feeling guilty after spending money may require people to notice when they feel guilt or shame after a purchase and change their mindset or spending behavior accordingly.

Everyone has different emotional triggers around their spending, but there are some common scenarios when someone might feel guilty, such as these:

Buying Items to Keep Up With Friends

FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” may be a silly acronym, but it’s a powerful motivator for spending.

People may spend more so they don’t miss valuable time with friends or feel they are fitting into their group of pals. That could mean paying too much for a vacation or buying high-end fashions or a cool new watch they see friends wearing. These expenses can be small, subtle purchases, too, like meeting a friend at a pricier restaurant than you’d usually visit, or it could reflect a significant financial decision, like buying a new instead of used car to “keep up with the Joneses.”

FOMO spending may make someone feel guilty about spending money because it’s tied to the deep desire to fit it. It is often more about self-image and self-esteem than a particular item.

Recommended: How to Save Money on Hotels

Buying Items That Do Not Align With Our Financial Values

Similar to FOMO spending, cultural messaging about “the right way” to spend can lead to a sense of guilt or buyer’s remorse.

It may be the influence of social media encouraging someone to buy a certain brand or societal pressure (the American dream) to own property. Whatever the purchase is, guilt could crop up because it’s not something the individual truly wants — and deep down, they know that.

Saving Goals Impacted by Impulse Spending

An impulse or unexpected purchase could lead to feeling guilty after spending money.

It could be something as simple as forgetting lunch at home and having to buy something expensive near the office. Or maybe it’s buying something you totally didn’t plan to but saw it was on sale. It may be a small purchase, but it eats into your budget and savings goals because it’s unexpected.

Many of these purchases arise from a lack of planning, leading to guilt. You feel as if you messed up, and now you are literally paying for it. Buying a new set of luggage, for instance, is not a good reason to use emergency funds or money in your savings account, so you may be upset with yourself.

Having a Money Mindset Tied to Emotions and Past Experiences

Guilt about spending money may have little to do with the individual and be more connected to their family or upbringing.

People who grew up with parents or guardians in debt may experience feelings of scarcity around money. If you grew up always hearing there wasn’t enough money and getting calls from collection agencies, you may hold a sense of guilt with every purchase.

Or, if someone’s experienced debt in the past, any transaction may trigger anxiety as they remember their old patterns of overspending.

Recommended: Managing Finances When Dealing With Depression

Tips to Help You Stop Feeling Bad About Spending Money

Instead of agonizing over every purchase or waking up worried about bills, it may be time to stop feeling guilty when you spend money. Here are some strategies to help combat those negative feelings while improving your financial wellness.

Taking Care of Financial Responsibilities

When people prioritize financial responsibilities, they may feel less guilty spending the surplus, or leftover money, in their budget.

That means enacting a “paying yourself first” mindset, which can be one of the most important personal finance basics. When a paycheck deposits, immediately put money away towards future goals, like retirement or savings. Setting up automatic transfers makes it easy.

Taking care of financial responsibilities first can give someone the freedom to use the remaining cash relatively guilt-free.

30-Day Savings Rule

To avoid guilt over impulse spending, try implementing a 30-day rule on purchases. If you want to purchase something, whether it’s a new laptop or a new coat, wait 30 days. After 30 days, you can buy it. But in many cases, you may find you don’t even want it anymore.

Slowing down the purchase process can help separate needs from wants, as well as quit spending money impulsively.

If impulse purchasing is a major source of guilt, consider a 30-day freeze on shopping, buying only necessities for a month. This can be a good tip to stop overspending. It can help you reset your spending behaviors.

Improving Your Money Mindset

Understanding needs versus wants can be a helpful way to understand and improve money mindset.

For some, the idea of a want is “bad,” translating to guilt when a purchase isn’t absolutely necessary. But, wants can make life more comfortable and bring pleasure — two very good things. So the key is differentiating between needs and wants, and understanding where wants fit into a budget. Perhaps not every want can or should be satisfied, but recognizing they are part of life and budgeting for them is important.

You might try the 50/30/20 budget rule, which says to put 50% of your after-tax earnings towards needs, 30% to wants, and 20% toward savings.

Creating a Personalized Budget

Sometimes guilt stems from the unknown. If someone doesn’t know how much cash they have in their bank account, they may feel guilty purchasing something.

This is where a personalized budget comes into play and can help you manage your money better. Everyone’s budget will be a little different, but feeling knowledgeable about and in control of one’s money can help alleviate guilt.

For example, if someone looks forward to having brunch out every Saturday, they may create a line item in their budget for it. That way, they don’t feel guilty spending the money as it’s earmarked for that purpose. They eliminate the possibility of anxiety spiraling over that cost.

Only Spending Money That You Have

It sounds like common sense, but only spending money that’s available can help prevent guilt around money. It’s an unhappy fact that many Americans carry credit-card debt: The typical balance is currently over $5,000, and the average rate on existing credit-card accounts is more than 15%.

There are of course times when paying with a credit card and carrying a balance are necessary, such as when your hot-water heater breaks or you get hit with a major dental bill. But in general, it’s wise to pay with a debit card or cash so you don’t wind up getting stuck with high-interest debt. By only spending the money you have, you can avoid guilt, worry, and a lower credit score to boot.

Guilt isn’t constructive and won’t change your financial situation. However, working on financial discipline can improve the overall outlook on spending and make sure your purchases are ones you can truly afford.

The Takeaway

People feel guilt about spending money for many different reasons, even when they can afford their purchases. Getting rid of that guilt is possible through:

•   Understanding why spending makes someone feel guilty.

•   Learning financial responsibility to prevent guilt altogether.

One place guilt shouldn’t crop up? In a bank account. Avoid it by knowing that you have an account that pays you a terrific interest rate while charging you no fees. That’s what you’ll enjoy online banking with SoFi. You’ll earn a hyper competitive 2.00% APY with direct deposit while paying no monthly or maintenance fees, plus you’ll have access to the Allpoint network of more than 55,000+ fee-free ATMs.

Bank smarter with SoFi.

FAQ

How do I get over my guilt of overspending?

First, figure out what kind of spending makes you feel guilty and why. Perhaps it’s based on childhood or past experiences. Then, consider creating a budget and planning purchases to avoid buyer’s remorse or impulse spending.

What is the psychology behind overspending?

People may overspend because they’re afraid of missing out on experiences, they want a self-esteem boost, or they want to fit in with their peers.

How do you forgive yourself for not saving money?

Understanding the emotional triggers behind overspending and not saving can help build a sense of self-compassion. Many people overspend or fail to prioritize saving. Dwelling on it won’t change the past. For these reasons, forgiving yourself and moving on is best.


Photo credit: iStock/Deagreez

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 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
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.
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How Long Does a Direct Deposit Take to Go Through?

Is there anything worse than waiting for a check to clear? If you can relate to that (awful) feeling, it’s likely that you love direct deposit. It can be a huge convenience when you’re getting paid or otherwise receiving funds. This process often transfers money into your account almost instantaneously.

No paper checks are ever issued. The money is transferred electronically, and you can typically access that money on that same day — sometimes even before your scheduled payday.

Even with all of the financial tech available at your fingertips, like online banking and mobile apps, it can still be a drag to deposit a check.

Whether it’s trying to take a clear photo of the front and back to submit to the bank, which will deposit it pending review, or physically bringing it into a branch, these hassles are easily avoided by signing up for direct deposit.

Read on to learn more about direct deposit, including:

•   How does direct deposit work?

•   How do you set up direct deposit?

•   How long does direct deposit take?

•   What are the advantages of direct deposit?

How Does Direct Deposit Work?

Direct deposit allows someone to electronically send money from their bank or financial institution directly into someone else’s.

The money is sent via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, which transfers money between banks and financial institutions.

ACH transfers eliminate the need to send physical checks or cash. These transfers can also happen almost instantaneously because they’re digital and you don’t need to worry about things like proving that a check is legitimate. That means direct deposit can be faster and more convenient.

Most employers now offer direct deposit as an option, and, in some states, even require it. Employers typically find direct deposit convenient because they can process payroll much faster without having to deal with issuing, signing, and mailing checks.

Direct deposit is a popular way to get your paycheck, but that isn’t the only use. It may also be the way you get a tax refund, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, investment-related dividends, as well as other payments.

Recommended: How Long Does It Take a Mobile Deposit to Clear?

How Do You Set Up Direct Deposit?

Setting up direct deposit is likely to be very simple — and fast. If you’re wondering how long it takes to set up direct deposit, all you have to do is fill out a direct deposit authorization form. Typically, this just takes a few minutes, provided you have the right information on hand (such as bank account and routing numbers; more on that below).

This usually happens on your first day of work, but you can often choose direct deposit or change your information later on. Some companies handle this process entirely online and some use a third party to sign you up.

When setting up a direct deposit, especially at a new job, you’ll want to remember to have the following information available to make it as simple as possible:

•   Your bank account number(s) and type of account

•   Bank routing number

•   Bank name and address

•   Whether your putting money in a checking or savings account

•   How much of your paycheck you want to deposit in the account (you may want to split the deposit; read on for details)

•   A blank, void personal check

Much of this information can all be found on a personal check, by checking your banking website or app, or by contacting your financial institution directly.

Splitting Your Direct Deposit

If you want to split your paycheck between multiple accounts, you can typically add each account to the direct deposit form and specify how much of your pay should go into each. Most forms ask what percentage of your pay goes into each, instead of just a dollar value. You may need to fill out a new form for each account.

For example, you might designate a set amount of money to move automatically into whatever kind of savings account you have, while leaving what you know you’ll need in checking for bills and smaller payments.

It’s up to you, of course, to determine how much of your paycheck to save; many financial experts recommend 10%.

Ready for a Better Banking Experience?

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account and start earning up to 2.00% APY on your cash!


How Long Does It Take to Get Direct Deposit?

Signing up for direct deposit can be done in minutes. However, it may not take effect for a few weeks or even more because the payor has to confirm your bank account information.

With your employer, direct deposit may take one or two pay cycles to become active. During that time, you may receive a paper check as payment instead.

In some cases, an employer may hire an employee at the start of the pay cycle so that the direct deposit authorization process is done just in time for the new employee to receive his or her first payment via direct deposit.

Recommended: What to Do If Your Check Is Lost or Stolen?

Is Direct Deposit Instantaneous?

How long does it take direct deposit to actually go through? Exactly when you will have access to your direct deposit income will depend on the entity issuing the funds and perhaps your financial institution that receives the funds.

For example, if your employer uses payroll software to process your paycheck and send the transfer, they’ll set a pay date, which might be a day or two before your regular payday.

That’s the date the funds will be transferred into your bank account, and you can typically access the funds by the end of that day.

That said, other direct deposits may process on a different timeline. The funds could take one to three days to become available. To learn how long direct deposits take to post to your account, you can contact your bank directly, or watch to see what time of day the first few direct deposits come into your account.

Advantages of Direct Deposit

Receiving your paycheck or other income via direct deposit can simplify your life.

You won’t have to worry about waiting for a check or making time to take the check to the bank for deposit. And, you typically have access to your money sooner, since you don’t have to wait for a check to clear.

Direct deposit also makes it easier to stay on top of your personal finances because you know exactly when money is coming into your account.

This accuracy can help you manage your money and work towards short-term financial goals, such as paying all your bills on time or saving for an upcoming expense.

If you know when you have access to your paycheck, for example, it’s possible to schedule your other bills or an automatic transfer to your savings account soon after the direct deposit is scheduled.

Other advantages of direct deposit include:

•   Your bank might waive your account maintenance fee if you receive regular direct deposits.

•   It reduces the risk of check fraud or identity theft from a lost or stolen check.

•   You can’t lose or misplace the funds.

•   Electronic records don’t clutter draws or fill file cabinets.

•   You can easily track your paychecks and make sure none have been missed, since there is an electronic record of each payment in one place.

The Takeaway

Direct deposits are a convenient, electronic way to receive funds. This process is typically used when an employer, government agency, or other third party instructs its financial institution to digitally deposit funds into your spending or savings account on a specific date.

Direct deposit eliminates the hassle of depositing paper checks and, once the funds are transferred into your bank account, they are available to you, often almost instantaneously.

Direct deposit can make it easier to keep track of your finances, pay bills on time, and avoid negative balances and overdraft fees.

Looking for more ways to simplify your financial life? Consider opening a bank account online with SoFi. When you open our Checking and Savings with direct deposit, you can earn a hyper competitive 2.00% APY — and never have to worry about fees or overdraft charges. Plus eligible account holders have access to their paycheck up to two days early.

Sign up with SoFi: It’s the smarter way to bank.

FAQ

Is direct deposit instant?

While direct deposit is intended to be instantaneous, the exact timeline will vary with who is sending you the money and the system they use to transfer funds. It could take one to three days to clear.

Why hasn’t my direct deposit hit yet?

Direct deposit funds are often available almost instantaneously, but sometimes the transfer takes longer to go through and be processed by the receiving bank. Direct deposits can take between one and three days. Contact your bank and/or the payor if your funds have not arrived when due.

Why does direct deposit take 2 days?

While direct deposits are often available immediately, in other cases the funds can take a couple of days to hit your account and be accessed. This may be due to the software the payor is using or your bank’s way of processing and clearing the direct deposit.


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 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
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.
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