Guide To Depositing a Check

They may seem old-fashioned compared to digital payment methods, but checks are still very much a part of many people’s financial lives. In fact, there are a whopping 14.5 billion checks circulating every year in the U.S.

If you receive checks, you have options in terms of how to deposit them, including in person at a bank, at an ATM, or via a mobile app. Here’s what you need to know about the different methods for depositing a check and the easiest way to get the job done.

How To Deposit a Check in 5 Steps

Typically, depositing a check involves these five simple steps (unless of course you automate the process with direct deposit). Follow these guidelines to successfully get a check into your bank account where you can then use it.

1. Select Your Preferred Method

Your financial institution may have different ways you can deposit a check, including in person, at an ATM, or through their mobile app. The method you choose will affect the specifics of what you need to do to deposit your check. If you choose to go in person, double check the bank’s open hours. For mobile apps, you will need to download the app. Most ATMs will let you deposit a check as long as the machine is in your bank’s network.

2. Gather What You Need

Aside from your paper check, the exact type of documentation you’ll need will depend on how you go about depositing a check:

•   In person: This procedure can vary depending on your financial institution. At some banks, you may be able to use your debit card at a teller’s window to deposit a check, no deposit slip required.

In other cases, you may need to get and fill out a deposit slip. This piece of paper outlines how much you want to deposit and to which account. Information you will need to fill out includes your name, account number, and deposit amount. In many cases, banks may also need to see a government-issued photo ID when you make the deposit.

•   Mobile app: You will need to log into your bank’s mobile app on your device. Be prepared to take a photo of the front and back of the check. Typically taking a photo against a dark background helps the app take a clearer photo.

•   ATM: When heading to the ATM, you’ll need your debit card. Check to see if the ATM accepts check deposits for your financial institution. Also, a few ATMs still require that checks be put into envelopes (provided at the machine) for deposit.

3. Endorse Your Check

Endorsing your check means to sign your name on the back of it in the appropriate place (it typically says “Endorse here” or provides a line to sign on). You can write “for deposit only” on the back when making a deposit so that the money can only go to your account.

Some checks also have a box you can tick if you’re making a mobile deposit. Or your bank may request that mobile deposit checks are endorsed with your name and a phrase like, “for electronic deposit at [bank]” or “for mobile deposit at [bank].”

4. Confirm Deposit Amount

If you deposit a check in person, you may need to indicate the amount on the deposit slip. If you’re using your bank’s mobile app, you may have to enter in the payment amount of your check. Same goes if you deposit it at an ATM.

Before confirming your deposit, make sure you have indicated the correct information. Being even one digit off from your account number, for example, could result in delays to access the funds you’ve deposited.

5. Wait for Confirmation

Once you’ve successfully deposited a check in person, the bank teller may give you a confirmation slip reflecting the transaction or you can request one. You can also check your bank’s website or app to see the pending deposit.

With mobile deposits, you may receive a pop-up confirmation message or an email acknowledging receipt of the check. Some banks may show the pending transaction in the app right away.

At an ATM, you usually receive a receipt of the transaction. Hang onto this piece of paper until you confirm that the deposit has indeed been posted to your account.

In terms of how long it will take for the check to deposit and be cleared, that will vary depending on such factors as how you deposited it, the amount, and the bank it’s drawn on. It could take between one and several days.

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Ways of Depositing a Check

When it comes to depositing a check, the method you choose will depend on what your bank offers and what feels most convenient for you.

In Person

Though not always convenient, you can take your check to your local bank and deposit it into your account. (Worth noting: Some banks may allow you to cash checks without an account there, but you may have to pay a fee.)

Mobile App

Many banks and credit unions offer mobile apps for their customers. A popular feature is mobile check deposit, which allows you to snap a photo of the check with your device and deposit it remotely…no trip to a bank or ATM required.

ATM

Traditional and some online-only banks offer the convenience of depositing a check at an ATM, whether to your checking or savings account. Read your account’s fine print or contact customer service to see if this needs to be at an ATM in your bank’s network.

💡 Quick Tip: Want a new checking account that offers more access to your money? With 55,000+ ATMs in the Allpoint network, you can get cash when and where you choose.

Keeping Safety in Mind When Depositing Checks

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to be safe when depositing checks. Keep these safety tips in mind:

•   One key step is to make sure a check is valid and comes from a legitimate source. If you’re not expecting a payment and receive a check in the mail, you’re not wrong to be suspicious. It could be part of a scam. The same holds true for checks you were expecting but that arrive for a higher amount of money than you anticipated.

•   If you want to verify a check, or see if it’s legitimate, hold the check up to the light to see if there are any watermarks (which are a good thing) or if there’s any evidence that it’s been tampered with (a bad thing). In addition, get a feel for the paper the check is printed on; if it feels thin, like the paper you put in a printer, it may be fraudulent.

•   Checks also have a safety feature called an MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) line. Located at the bottom of the check, this usually shows details like the issuing bank’s routing number. The ink should look flat and dull. If it looks shiny when you hold it under the light, it may be a fake check.

Think you have a fake check in hand? Talk to your bank about how to proceed, and you may want to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which has a Scam Tracker department.

One last suggestion: You might also keep in mind that mobile deposit and even direct deposit (bypassing checks altogether) are often good options in terms of safety. These techniques can be preferable to looking for a bank branch or ATM that can accept your check, especially at night or in bad weather.

Recommended: Cashier’s Check vs Certified Check

The Takeaway

Depositing a check typically involves five simple steps: Select a deposit method, gather materials, endorse the check, confirm its amount, and be sure that it’s hit your account.

While checks are a common, time-honored way to receive funds, you have plenty of options today to send and receive money. Check out what different banks offer (and how much services cost) to make sure you have the right banking partner for you.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

How do you deposit a check into your account?

You can deposit a check in your account either in person, through your bank’s mobile app, or at an ATM. Once you decide on a method, you gather what you need, endorse the check, confirm its amount, and receive acknowledgement that it’s in your account.

How do you deposit a check at an ATM?

You can deposit a check at an ATM by going to a machine that will accept your deposit — your bank may stipulate which ones are acceptable. Insert your debit card and enter the correct PIN number, then follow the prompts to deposit your check.

How do you deposit a check without going to the bank?

You can deposit a check without going to the bank by doing it through your bank’s mobile app or at an ATM.


Photo credit: iStock/AndreyPopov

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://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.

*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

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How to Manage Your Money With a Vault Bank Account

Saving money for the future might be a financial priority for you, but putting intention into action can be challenging. Perhaps you have multiple goals: an emergency fund, money for next year’s big vacation, and saving toward the down payment on a house. You may wonder how much to put towards each and how to keep those savings separated but growing steadily.

Enter the vault bank account. This kind of sub-savings account can help you stash cash for different dreams and needs while staying organized. Read on to learn more about vault bank accounts and how they can help you make steady progress toward your money goals.

What Are Vault Bank Accounts?

Also known as a sub-savings account, a vault bank account is a digital banking feature that allows you to safely tuck away money towards multiple goals. This cash is usually tracked separately from your main savings account balance, making it easy to keep tabs on your different savings targets.

However, these accounts are not available at all banks. What’s more, banks that do offer them vary in what they call them, and they may have slightly different nuances in how they function. The main purpose is to provide an easy way to set aside and track funds for your various savings goals. For instance, you could have a general savings account balance, a vault for your emergency fund, and a vault for cash that’s earmarked to buy a new laptop.

With a vault bank account, you can typically name each sub-account. You might call one “Paris trip” and another “Emergency fund.” In many cases, you can set target dates (by when you’ll have accrued a certain amount) and automate savings into the sub-accounts. That means a specific amount can be automatically transferred into the vault at a preset frequency.

The Advantages of Using a Vault Bank Account?

As you might imagine, a number of pluses come with a vault bank account.

•   Easy tracking of savings goals. Instead of having all your savings pooled into a single balance, your vault funds can be tracked separately from your main savings account balance.

For instance, you can create separate vaults for holiday gifts, vacations, home improvements, or to save for a car or home. A vault bank account makes it easy to see exactly how much you’ve saved for each goal. You can tell at a glance how much progress you’ve made by saving.

•   Streamlined savings. Besides making it easy to track your different goals, vault accounts mean you won’t have to open multiple bank accounts — which can be labor-intensive and involve various account fees and requirements.

•   Ability to automate your finances. By using recurring transfers, as noted above, you don’t have to fret about whether you’re steadily saving for that vacation, mountain bike, or wedding fund. Automating your savings keeps you moving right along to achieve your goals as your money grows via additional deposits and interest.

•   A motivation boost. Easily keeping tabs on your progress can keep you motivated to continue saving. When you see how much progress you’ve made after months of saving consistently, you’ll likely feel your sense of financial security soar.

•   Accessibility of your funds. When you’re ready to tap into your funds, a savings vault makes it simple to move the money from your vault to your checking account.

Earn up to 4.60% APY with a high-yield savings account from SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings account and earn up to 4.60% APY - with no minimum balance and no account fees.


How to Transfer Funds Into and Out of Vaults

While it depends on the financial institution you have a savings vault with, moving money in and out of vaults should be pretty straightforward. Depending on the bank, you usually can transfer funds in and out of your vault to your checking account, main savings account, or external linked account.

For instance, you might first select the vault sub-savings account you’d like to move your funds into, then hit “Transfer,” and choose a linked account. You can typically pick either a one-time or recurring transfer when choosing your transfer. Then, click on “Next” to continue and complete the transaction.

Recommended: How Do Savings Accounts Work?

Are Vault Bank Accounts Secure?

As vault bank accounts are extensions of your savings account, they are protected up to the insured limits, just like with another deposit account, in the very rare instance of a bank failing. If your vault savings account is with a bank, it’s most likely insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, per insured institution. Savings vaults with credit unions are typically protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, per insured institution.

Vault bank savings accounts are considered sub-accounts or accounts within an account. In turn, all the different funds within your savings are protected as a single account and are insured up to $250,000.

In addition, most banks have advanced, state-of-the-art security measures in place, such as encryption. You will likely be offered two-factor authentication, and it can be wise to use that feature.

Vault Bank Account Fees and Pricing

Pricing and fees for a vault bank savings account depend on the financial institution. Some may charge a monthly account fee and require you to keep a minimum balance in your savings account. There might also be inactivity fees and overdraft fees, among others. However, some vault accounts are free and carry no fees.

Recommended: Best IRAs for Young Adults

The Takeaway

A vault bank account can be a simple, streamlined way to save for different goals. It has sub-accounts you can dedicate funds towards for, say, rainy day expenses, a down payment on a house, or a big purchase, like new furniture. When shopping for a vault account, it’s important to be mindful of potential fees or account balance minimums. By finding one with no or minimal fees, more funds can be put toward your savings. For this reason, SoFi’s savings vaults can be a good option.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What is a vault bank account?

A vault savings account is one that has sub-accounts you can use to set up separate savings goals. The money in these savings goals is separate from your main savings account balance, and you can typically label them and set target savings dates.

How can I transfer money from my vault to my available balance?

Moving money from your vault to your checking account is usually straightforward and quickly executed. This can easily be done through your mobile banking app.

Are vault bank accounts secure?

While no bank account is 100% secure, vault bank accounts are very safe. They’re usually backed by either FDIC or NCUA insurance, plus the security measures the bank deploys to protect your identity and finances.

Can I have multiple vaults in my bank account?

You can have multiple sub-accounts or vaults in your savings account, if your bank offers this feature. The maximum number of vaults varies by the bank, with some allowing up to 20 active vaults at one time.

Are there any fees for using a vault bank account?

Depending on where you bank, your financial institution might charge such fees as a monthly account fee, among others. Some might require that you keep a minimum balance. However, there are also banks that provide this type of account with no or low fees, so it can be wise to shop around and read the fine print.


Photo credit: iStock/HuiLiu

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://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, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

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Savings Account Advantages and Disadvantages

If you’re looking for a place to safely store (and grow) money you don’t need right away, a savings account could be a great choice. These accounts are typically federally insured, pay interest on your deposits, and allow easy access to your funds when you need them.

That said, savings accounts also have some downsides. The interest rates can be low and may not keep up with inflation, which means your money could lose spending power over time. Many savings accounts also put limits on how often you can access your refunds, such as six withdrawals or transfers per month.

Depending on your needs and savings goals, a savings account may or may not be your best option. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of a savings account, plus alternatives that could be a better choice for growing your nest egg.

What Is a Savings Account?

A savings account is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution that earns interest over time. These accounts are designed to help people save money while providing easy access to funds when needed. This makes them well-suited for emergency savings and money you’re setting aside for an upcoming goal like a large purchase or vacation.

Unlike checking accounts, which are primarily used for daily transactions, savings accounts are intended for longer-term deposits, and you may be limited to a certain number of transactions you can make each month, such as six or nine.

Savings accounts at banks in the U.S are typically insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor per institution. In the case of joint accounts, each co-owner can get up to $250,000 in FDIC coverage across their joint accounts at the same bank. Savings accounts at credit unions have similar protections through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Recommended: Reasons to Keep Money in a Savings Account

Earn up to 4.60% APY with a high-yield savings account from SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings account and earn up to 4.60% APY - with no minimum balance and no account fees.


Savings Account Pros and Cons

Savings accounts offer a range of benefits, as well as some drawbacks. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about whether a savings account is the right choice for your needs and goals.

Pros

•   Earns interest: Savings accounts earn interest, which means your money can grow over time. The interest rate is expressed as an annual percentage yield (APY), which tells you how much you’ll earn on your deposits over one year, including compound interest. APYs vary depending on the bank and the type of savings account. Online savings accounts generally offer higher APYs than traditional savings accounts.

•   Safety and security: Funds in savings accounts are usually federally insured. This means you’re protected (up to at least $250,000) if the bank were to run into financial trouble or shut its doors.

•   Liquidity: While not as liquid as checking accounts, savings accounts still allow easy access to your money. You can withdraw money or transfer it to other accounts relatively easily and quickly.

•   Low or no opening deposit required: Unlike some savings and investment vehicles, you can often open a savings account with little or no money. Many online banks have no minimum deposit requirements; traditional banks may require a deposit, but it’s often as low as $25.

•   Encourages saving: By keeping money in a savings account separate from your daily spending funds, you may be less tempted to spend it. Some institutions allow you to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings for a set amount on a set day (such as right after you get paid). This allows you to save without thinking about it.

Recommended: What Is a Long-Term Savings Account?

Cons

•   Variable interest rates: The interest rates for savings accounts aren’t fixed, which means they can vary with the federal funds rate, the benchmark rate set by the Federal Reserve. If the Fed raises the federal funds rate, APYs on savings accounts tend to increase. However, if the Fed lowers rates, your savings account APY may go down.

•   Relatively low returns: Compared to other investment options, savings accounts generally offer lower interest rates. This means your money grows more slowly than it might in higher-risk investments. As of May 20, 2024, the national average yield for savings accounts is 0.45%. However, many online banks have savings interest rates higher than the national average for savings accounts.

•   Limited transactions: A federal rule called Regulation D used to limit withdrawals from savings accounts to no more than six a month. That changed in April 2020 when the Federal Reserve announced that it was removing the requirement that banks enforce the limit. Even so, banks and credit unions have largely kept restrictions in place.

•   Inflation risk: The interest earned on savings accounts may not always keep pace with inflation. Any time your savings isn’t growing at the same rate as inflation, you are effectively losing money because the real value of your money is diminishing.

•   May have minimum balance requirements: You might need to keep a certain amount of money in your savings account in order to avoid monthly maintenance fees and/or earn the top interest rate.

Pros of Savings Accounts

Cons of Savings Accounts

Earns interest Interest rate can change
Money is safe Low return
Easy access to funds Rates may not beat inflation
Automatic savings Transaction limits
Takes no or little money to start Might have fees and account balance minimums

Savings Accounts vs Checking Accounts

While both savings and checking accounts serve essential roles in personal finance, they have different purposes and distinct features.

Checking accounts are designed for spending money. Therefore they generally offer little to no interest, come with debit cards, and allow unlimited transactions. Savings accounts, on the other hand, are set up to encourage saving. They pay interest on your deposits, don’t come with debit cards, and may place some limitations in how, and how often, you can access your cash.

Here’s a look at how these two accounts types compare side-by-side.

Savings Account

Checking Account

Main purpose Save money and earn interest Manage daily transactions and spending
Interest earned Earns interest Low or no interest
Transaction limits Yes (typically six withdrawals/transfers per month) No
Fees Low or no fees with minimum balance May have monthly and other fees
Accessibility Moderate (designed for less frequent use) High (designed for frequent access and use)
Check-writing No Yes
Debit Card No (just ATM card) Yes

Is a Savings Account Right for You?

Whether a savings account is right for you depends on your financial needs and savings goals. A savings account could be the right place to stash your cash if you are:

Building an emergency fund: Due to its liquidity and security, a savings account can be a good place to keep your emergency savings.

Saving for a short-term goal: If you are saving up for a goal that is a few months to a few years in the future — such as a vacation, home improvement project, or a down payment on a car —- a savings account can be a great option.

Looking for low-risk savings: If you prefer a low-risk place to store your money while still earning some interest, a savings account can make sense. Just keep in mind that for mid- to long-term savings goals (defined as roughly five years or more), investing in the market may be more appropriate, though there is risk involved.

Recommended: How Much Should I Have in Savings?

Choosing a Savings Account

Savings accounts are offered by different types of financial institutions, including traditional banks, online banks, and credit unions. There are also many different types of savings accounts, including traditional savings accounts and high-yield savings accounts. Which to pick?

When choosing the right savings account for your needs, it helps to consider the following factors:

•   Interest rate: APYs offered by savings accounts can vary widely, so it pays to shop around. While rates are generally low, some institutions offer higher rates, particularly online banks.

•   Fees: Ideally, you want to open a savings account with no (or very low) fees. Be sure to check if there are any requirements to avoid fees, such as maintaining a minimum balance.

•   Accessibility: Consider how easy it will be to access your funds and if the account comes with any limitations on how many withdrawals or transfers you can make per month. You may also want to look for accounts with user-friendly online and mobile banking options.

•   Insurance: You’ll want to make sure that the institution offering the savings account is insured by the FDIC or NCUA.

Alternatives to Savings Accounts

A traditional or high-yield savings account isn’t the only place to put your savings. Depending on your goals, you may want to consider other options. Here are some alternatives.

•   Money market accounts (MMAs): MMAs often offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, plus a debit card and/or check-writing privileges. However, they might require a higher opening and ongoing minimum balance.

•   Certificates of deposit (CDs): CDs typically offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts in exchange for locking your money in for a set period of time (anywhere from a few months to a few years). They can be a good option if you don’t need immediate access to your funds. However, you may be able to find a high-yield savings account that offers the same or better APY with fewer restrictions.

•   Investment accounts: For longer-term goals, you may want to consider investment accounts like individual retirement accounts (IRAs), mutual funds, or stock portfolios, which can offer higher returns but come with greater risk.

•   Treasury securities: U.S. Treasury securities, such as bonds and bills, are low-risk investments backed by the federal government. They offer different maturity terms and interest rates.

SoFi Savings Accounts

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What are the cons of a savings account?

Savings accounts, while beneficial for many reasons, do have some drawbacks:

•   Relatively low interest rates: Savings accounts generally offer lower interest rates compared to other investment options.

•   Limited transactions: You may be limited to six withdrawals and transfers per month. Exceeding this limit can result in fees.

•   Inflation risk: The interest earned may not always keep pace with inflation, potentially reducing the purchasing power of your savings over time.

•   Opportunity cost: Funds in a savings account might earn less compared to higher-yield investments, representing a missed opportunity for greater returns.

What is the benefit of a savings account?

Savings accounts offer significant benefits. They provide a safe and secure place for your money (since your deposits are typically insured up to $250,000). These accounts also earn interest, allowing your money to grow over time, albeit often at a modest rate. In addition, savings accounts offer easy access to your funds when needed. And many come with minimal or no fees, though a minimum balance may be required.

Is it worth putting money in a savings account?

Yes, putting money in a savings account can be worth it, especially for specific financial needs. For example, savings accounts can be the ideal spot for building an emergency fund due to their safety, liquidity, and ease of access. They can also be a good choice for short-term savings goals, such as vacations or major purchases. Since interest rates are relatively low, however, they are generally not ideal for long-term savings goals like retirement or a child’s college fund.


Photo credit: iStock/Ridofranz

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


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 to Budget on a Fluctuating Income

How to Budget on a Fluctuating Income

Budgeting can be challenging even with a stable income, but it becomes much more complex when your income fluctuates. Many freelancers, gig workers, seasonal employees, and commission-based professionals are familiar with the uncertainty of irregular compensation. With the right strategies, however, you can come up with a budget that allows you to manage your expenses, save for future goals, and feel less stressed about money — even during those lean months. Here’s a basic guide to budgeting with a variable income.

Tips for Budgeting With an Irregular Income

Just because you don’t get a regular paycheck doesn’t mean you can’t build wealth and achieve your financial goals. These tips can help you manage your up-and-down paychecks and feel more in control of your finances.

1. Determine Your Average Monthly Income

The first step in budgeting with an irregular income is to determine your average monthly take-home income. This can be tricky since your earnings vary, but you can get a reasonable estimate by looking at your income over the past six to 12 months.

Start by gathering your bank statements for the last six to 12 months, or if you get e-statements, log into your online checking account. Next, add up all of your income for the time period you choose, then divide by the number of months. This gives you an average monthly income, which will serve as a baseline for your budget.

Something to keep in mind: If you earn money from side gigs or freelancing, you’ll want to subtract anything that reduces it, such as taxes and business expenses.

2. Analyze Your Spending

Once you know how much money you have coming in, the next step is to figure out where it’s all going. You can do this by looking at your bank and credit card statements over the past six months, then listing and categorizing your expenses. This will show you what you are spending the most money on and where it might be easiest to save. Some tips that can help:

•   Begin by listing your fixed expenses. These are regular monthly bills such as rent or mortgage, utilities and car payments.

•   Next list your variable expenses. These are the expenses that may change from month to month, such as groceries, gas, and entertainment. This is an area where you might find opportunities to cut back.

•   Consider tracking your spending. To get a better sense of your spending, you may want to track it for a month. Simply record your daily spending with whatever is easiest — pen and paper, an app or your smartphone, or a budgeting spreadsheet found online.

3. Set Some Goals

Before you begin analyzing the data you’ve gathered, it’s a good idea to jot down your short- and long-term financial goals.

Short-term goals are things you want to accomplish within the next few years. This might include establishing an emergency fund (more on that below), reducing credit card debt, going on vacation, or putting a down payment on a home. Long-term goals, like saving for retirement or funding your child’s education, may take decades to accomplish.

Identifying these objectives can inspire you to stick to your budget. For instance, it might be easier to reduce expenses when you’re aware that you’re saving for a new car or a tropical vacation.

4. Consider Using the Zero Sum Budget

There are many different types of budgets but the zero sum budgeting approach can work particularly well for people with fluctuating income.

With this method, every dollar of your income is assigned a specific purpose, including saving and paying off debt. You’ll treat your short- and long-term financial goals as “expenses,” just like rent, utilities, and any other monthly expense. So if you make an average of $5,000 a month with your variable income, everything you spend or save during a month should add up to $5,000.

To make this budget work with a fluctuating income, you may want to take your average monthly income and use it as a salary for yourself. During months when your salary is higher than the average, you’ll put the surplus into a separate savings account. During months where your income is lower than the average, you’ll draw the additional funds from that account. In this fashion, you end up with the same salary every month.

Recommended: 7 Different Types of Budgeting Methods

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


5. Start Building An Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is important for everyone but particularly for people with inconsistent income. This is an account you can turn to should you get hit with an unexpected expense (like a big home or car repair) or to cover your essential expenses should your income take a hit. While the general rule of thumb is to keep three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a separate savings account for emergencies, those with fluctuating income may want to aim higher.

Once you come up with a goal amount for your emergency savings, consider these ways to fund it:

•   Open a separate account. To ensure you don’t actually spend the money on something else — and to allow your money to grow while it’s sitting around — consider opening a high-yield savings account specifically earmarked for your emergency fund. You can generally find the best rates at online banks.

•   Automate saving. Once you determine how much you can put toward your emergency fund each month and factor it into your budget, consider setting up an automatic monthly transfer into your emergency account. It’s fine to start small. Regular deposits will build over time.

•   Take advantage of windfalls. Consider allocating any windfalls that come your way, such as a tax refund, cash gift, or bonus, to your emergency fund to accelerate your progress.

Once you build your emergency fund, you can put your monthly transfer toward other savings goals.

The Takeaway

The foundation of any budget is your net (take-home) monthly income. To come up with that number on a fluctuating income, you’ll need to look at the last six to 12 months of income and come up with an average. You can then determine how you want to divvy up that money up so you’re able to cover your necessities, work toward your goals, and also enjoy your life.

The zero sum budget is one option you can try, but there are many other types of budgets. The goal is to get to a place where you won’t overspend during the high times or worry during the low times because it’s all factored into your budget.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Will budgeting work if you have an irregular income?

Yes, budgeting can work with an irregular income. Most budgeting approaches start with your net (after tax) monthly income. To come up with that figure with a fluctuating income, you’ll want to look at the past six to 12 months of your income and come up with an average monthly income. You can then determine what your average monthly spending is, see how it compares, and make any necessary adjustments to your spending.

What are examples of irregular income?

Irregular income refers to earnings that vary in amount and frequency. Examples include:

•   Freelance work

•   Seasonal jobs

•   Commission-based sales

•   Side gigs

•   Bonuses and tips

What is the difference between regular income and irregular income?

Regular income is a set amount of money received at regular intervals, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Examples include earnings from a salaried job or a passive income source like rental income.

Irregular income, on the other hand, varies in amount and frequency. It includes freelance payments, seasonal work, commissions, and gig economy earnings. The key difference lies in the stability and predictability of the income stream.


Photo credit: iStock/andresr

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


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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38 Daily Money Affirmations for Financial Abundance

39 Daily Money Affirmations for Financial Abundance

If you’re finding it hard to be optimistic about increasing your riches, you may want to start adding financial affirmations to your everyday routine. Affirmations specifically targeting money have the power to change self-defeating or negative self-talk when it comes to your finances. And when you start replacing a pessimistic mindset about earning, spending, and getting out of debt with a positive one, you’re more likely to take the needed steps to attract the wealth you want — or so the thinking behind daily affirmations goes.

Reciting affirmations may seem awkward at first and the truth is, some people won’t find daily money mantras a game-changer. The good news is, daily money affirmations don’t cost anything and you control the story. Here’s the lowdown on financial affirmations so you can decide if they’re right for you.

What Are Money Affirmations?

Money affirmations are positive words, phrases, and sentences designed to turn discouraging thoughts about money into positive ones. The hope is by regularly speaking these uplifting statements to yourself, either in your head or out loud, you’ll reprogram your brain. When you swap out the old notions for the new thoughts and they become your new truth, you can get busy putting them into action.

The types of financial affirmations vary depending on what your money goals are. For example, you can create statements about increasing your income, getting out of debt, saving money, and expressing gratitude for the financial abundance you already have.

Creating your own personal affirmations are all about dealing with your specific money issues or blocks and how you can move forward.

While there’s no set rule on how many times a day you should verbalize your money affirmations, it helps to be consistent so it becomes a habit. A good start might be picking one powerful affirmation and repeating it throughout the day. Or you could choose three to five affirmations that you recite for five minutes or several times in a day.

Be forewarned that taking on too many at once may feel overwhelming and scatter your focus. Once you get the hang of it and it feels more doable, you can try adding more.

Optimizing Your Money Affirmations

Positive affirmations may work better if you put them in present tense, such as “I can,” “I am,” or “I have” instead of using language such as “I will,” “I should,” or “I could.” Why? Statements promising future outcomes suggest you could be a certain way instead of dealing with the reality of where you are now.

It can take a while to retool your thinking, so try not to get discouraged if in the beginning, progress seems slow or non-existent. Remember, it took years to shape your current beliefs, so it can take some time to adjust to new ones.

Pros and Cons of Money Affirmations

As mentioned earlier, affirmations don’t always appeal to or work for everyone. Depending on your current state of mind and life circumstances, financial affirmations may seem trivial, frivolous, or simply not a priority. If you’re experiencing some stressful times or financial hardships, you may not have the emotional or mental bandwidth to take them on.

On the flip side, many people find that daily practice empowers them, provides clarity, and motivates them to take more financial control and responsibility.

Before you take the plunge, here’s some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Using Money Affirmations

•   Give you a wider perspective on your core values surrounding your finances

•   Assist in setting personal boundaries

•   Help in creating a realistic budget

•   Cultivate a positive relationship with money

•   Keep you focused on your vision and financial goals

•   Home in on your strengths

•   Boost your self-image and confidence

•   Celebrate past financial successes and current achievements

•   Encourage problem-solving

•   Allow you to explore other possibilities to expand your wealth

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

Cons of Using Money Affirmations

•   Can feel inauthentic if they fail to align with your personal core beliefs or you don’t believe what you’re saying

•   Put too much self-applied pressure to transform your financial picture quickly

•   Can be time-consuming and easy to let slide if you’re busy

•   Require daily financial discipline, commitment, and persistence

•   May not cause any positive shifts in your thinking and lead you to feel you’ve wasted valuable time

•   May make you feel foolish, self-conscious, or uncomfortable reciting them

•   May bring up painful emotions about money you may not be ready to address, even with with financial therapy

•   Create self-doubt or self-defeating feelings if you’ve chosen affirmations that aren’t realistic or attainable

•   May overwhelm you and zap your emotional energy, especially if you’re going through difficult times

•   Probably won’t provide instant gratification if you want or need a quicker mental money fix

39 Ways to Think Your Way to Being a Millionaire

Want to give daily affirmations a try? Reciting any of these to yourself daily may help transform negative thoughts into positive ones:

1.    I choose to only have positive thoughts about money.

2.    I release my fears around money.

3.    I have the power to create and build the wealth that I desire.

4.    I am open to receiving financial abundance.

5.    I’m worthy and deserving of a wealthy life.

6.    If others can be wealthy, so can I.

7.    Prosperity is drawn to me.

8.    I trust I’m on a path to becoming more financially solvent.

9.    I believe I can achieve my financial goals.

10.    I am capable of handling money.

11.    I’m working to build a strong money foundation and achieve financial wellness.

12.    I find the positives in my current financial situation.

13.    My debt doesn’t control me, I can manage it, and I can become debt free.

14.    I overcome all obstacles that lie in my way of financial success.

15.    I want more money and that’s OK.

16.    Saving money is a positive challenge.

17.    I can make my dreams a reality by sticking to a budget.

18.    Starting an emergency fund to protect myself is something I can do.

19.    Every dollar saved puts me closer to financial freedom.

20.    Each day is an opportunity for me to change my money story.

21.    Money well-spent is a source of good and positive things.

22.    The more I give, the wealthier I become.

23.    I use money to improve my life.

24.    Wealth flows into my life consistently.

25.    There are countless ways I can bring more money into my life.

26.    Everything I need to build wealth is available to me right now.

27.    I choose to focus on money coming to me with ease.

28.    My income can exceed my expenses.

29.    I deserve to increase my income.

30.    There are no limits to the amount of money I can make.

31.    I can profit off of my skills.

32.    I’m happy to pay my bills for all they provide me.

33.    I’m grateful for the money I have now and the money that’s on its way to me.

34.    Money can expand my life opportunities and open me up to new experiences.

35.    The money I earn and spend makes me happy.

36.    My net worth is not my self-worth.

37.    I move from poverty thinking to financial abundance thinking.

38.    My life is full of riches beyond money and my happiness is surging.

39.    I have a millionaire mindset. I think like a millionaire, I act like a millionaire, I feel like a millionaire, I am a millionaire.

The Takeaway

Changing long-held, entrenched beliefs about money can be challenging. Incorporating a regular routine of financial affirmations offers the possibility of changing your mindset to a positive and hopefully productive one. While these affirmations may not appeal to everybody, if you feel stuck and want to take some baby steps toward improving your money picture, affirmations may be worth a try.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

How do you write affirmations for money manifestation?

A review of affirmations on the internet found that they generally have two things in common: they often start with “I” and they are in the present tense. Some people feel money mantras should be short (mo’ money!); others think they just need to resonate with the people who recite them.

How do you attract the abundance of money?

Of course, the idea of attracting something like the abundance of money is based more on belief than anything else. If you believe you can attract it, that belief may lead you to take action – perhaps, to start a business or at least to make a plan. So to attract the abundance of money, you may want to start by believing that you are capable of becoming rich.

How do I get a millionaire mindset?

The first step of getting a millionaire mindset is ridding your mind of self-defeating thoughts. But just being positive isn’t enough. You likely want to develop attitudes associated with successful people: being open to learning, not fearing failure, and being proactive.


Photo credit: iStock/atakan

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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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