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Ways to Pay for Unexpected Vet Bills

When you adopted your furry friend, you may have underestimated just how much you could love them. Another thing you may not have been ready for: their vet bills.

If you’ve ever worried, What happens if I can’t pay the vet bill, know that you have options. So you never have to choose between your emergency fund and your doggo, kitten, iguana, or fish.

Pets as Family Members

American households increasingly include one or more pets. Currently, 70% of U.S. households have pets. And the majority of American pet owners consider them to be members of the family.

So it’s no surprise to learn that Americans are willing to shell out big bucks for their fur babies. Dog owners spend, on average, $912 per year on them, and cat owners spend, on average, $653.

Caring for the physical health of our pets is as important as making sure they’re happy in our homes. Among dog owners, 36% would pay $4,000 dollars or more out of pocket for life-saving care.

Be Prepared With Pet Insurance

The best defense is a good offense, and when it comes to healthcare, that often means having insurance. Like humans, pets, too, can have their own health insurance that can help with vet bills in case things go awry with their health.

A number of companies offer pet insurance plans at different price points. Just like human insurance, the plans offer coverage in exchange for paying premiums each month along with copays and deductibles. Checking out sites like PetInsuranceReview.com may be helpful when comparing plans and pricing to find the offering that fits you and your pet’s needs.

Negotiate an Installment Plan With Your Vet

You may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your veterinarian, so long as you’re a client in good standing at the practice. This payment plan could work out to weekly or monthly installments, depending on what you and your provider agree upon.

However, it should be noted that this is not a standard practice and your veterinarian has every right to refuse to offer a plan. But it’s always worth asking, especially if it’s the veterinarian who has cared for your pet over its lifetime and knows you well.

Seek Out a Second Opinion or a Nearby Veterinary School

It can be important to get a second opinion before your pet undergoes major surgery or procedures (just as you would for yourself or a human loved one).

If a second veterinarian gives you the same diagnosis and you’re still unable to pay for the treatment, you may want to consider reaching out to a local veterinary college. Some offer low-cost clinics run by veterinary students supervised by experienced veterinarians and vet techs. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.org) provides a list of accredited schools on its website.

Recommended: Dog-Friendly Vacation Ideas

Seek Help From a Charitable Organization

Charities like Paws4aCure.org provide financial assistance for pet owners who cannot afford non-routine veterinary care for cats and dogs of any breed or age, or for any diagnosis.

If your pet has a non-basic, non-urgent care situation, such as a chronic illness or cancer, organizations like ThePetFund.com may be able to help.

The Takeaway

According to AmericanPetProducts.org, pet owners spent more than $36 billion on veterinary care in 2022. While a typical routine visit costs between $50 and $250, emergency surgery for a dog can run up to $5,000.

One option to cover the cost of expensive medical care for your pet is an unsecured personal loan, which could allow you to pay for your pet’s care upfront, then pay the loanoff over time.

You can’t prevent unexpected vet bills, but you can prepare for other unplanned expenses by making sure you, your loved ones, and your belongings are properly insured. That’s where insurance options with SoFi Protect can help. SoFi Protect offers insurance plans for your home and car, plus life insurance plans to help you protect your loved ones in the future.

Learn more about reliable insurance options with SoFi Protect.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi offers customers the opportunity to reach the following Insurance Agents:
Home & Renters: Lemonade Insurance Agency (LIA) is acting as the agent of Lemonade Insurance Company in selling this insurance policy, in which it receives compensation based on the premiums for the insurance policies it sells.


Coverage and pricing is subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria.
Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # OK22568; AR license # 3000140372) distributes term life insurance products issued by multiple insurers- for further details see ladderlife.com. All insurance products are governed by the terms set forth in the applicable insurance policy. Each insurer has financial responsibility for its own products.
Ladder, SoFi and SoFi Agency are separate, independent entities and are not responsible for the financial condition, business, or legal obligations of the other, Social Finance. Inc. (SoFi) and Social Finance Life Insurance Agency, LLC (SoFi Agency) do not issue, underwrite insurance or pay claims under Ladder Life™ policies. SoFi is compensated by Ladder for each issued term life policy.
SoFi Agency and its affiliates do not guarantee the services of any insurance company.
All services from Ladder Insurance Services, LLC are their own. Once you reach Ladder, SoFi is not involved and has no control over the products or services involved. The Ladder service is limited to documents and does not provide legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique and using documents provided is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice.


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.

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How to Plan a Wedding

You’ve popped the champagne, called your relatives with the big news, and posted pictures of the engagement ring to Instagram. Now it’s time to make your special day a reality.

A wedding to-do list may seem never-ending, but when you have a clear idea of what steps to take, you can organize the process and make planning the biggest event of your life much easier. Here’s how.

Talking about Your Budget

The median cost of a wedding is $10,000, according to a recent SoFi survey. Because of the expense involved, it’s helpful to decide on the budget before proceeding with anything else. What you can spend will guide the rest of your wedding plans.

Perhaps the most important part of this step is communication. Discuss how much you want to spend with your fiancé. Will the two of you be able to save up money for your dream wedding?

If someone else is paying for or contributing to your wedding costs, talk to them as well. You don’t want to plan a $15,000 wedding that you expect your parents to pay for, only to have them hand you a $5,000 check. Perhaps your parents might even consider the money a family loan that they expect you to pay back.

Maybe your dad is willing to cover the catering, but he expects you to invite 25 members of your extended family in return. Or your parents may assume you’ll be getting married in a church, and when they give you money, there’ll be some major resentment if you end up having the ceremony in a barn.

After pinpointing the budget, decide as a couple how you want to divvy up the funds for each aspect of the wedding. For instance, you might want to choose one or two things you’re willing to spend a lot of money on, then set lower limits for everything else.

What do you and your fiancé consider the most important parts of the wedding? Do you want the perfect dress? Maybe the photographer, venue, or floral arrangements matter most.

Some couples just don’t have enough money to have the wedding they really want. If that’s the case, you may consider taking out a wedding loan.

Deciding Who Will Be in Your Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party can be stressful. Which family members and friends will walk down the aisle in front of you?

Keep in mind that as your wedding party gets larger, you may end up spending more money. However, it can depend on your approach.

For example, let’s say you want to mail a gift bag to each person you’re asking to be a bridesmaid. The more bridesmaids you have, of course, the more expensive that will be.

Many couples also like to give their wedding party thank you gifts, pay for hair and makeup for the group, and even cover additional expenses, like plane tickets or dresses. It’s a way of acknowledging that the cost of being in someone else’s wedding can add up. If you choose to do some or all of that, you’ll need to factor it into your budget.

Picking a Date and Time

A lot of considerations could go into this decision, such as whether you want a daytime or nighttime wedding, when your wedding party and family are available, and even the weather at your honeymoon location.

The date and time of your wedding day could affect your budget. Some venues offer discounts if you book during the off-season, for instance. Choosing a less busy time of year could be one way to tackle financial stress, or at least some of it, that comes with wedding planning.

When it comes to the time of day, think about how the celebration will play out. If your wedding is at 5 pm, the reception will take place during dinner time, so guests will likely be expecting appetizers, dinner, and alcohol.

You should also ask yourself, “How long does it take to plan a wedding?” You don’t want to book a venue date five months from now if the scale of your wedding will require at least eight months to plan.

Making Your Guest List

The easiest way to make a guest list is usually to decide as a couple on the number of guests, and then stick to it.

There are several ways you could go about making the actual guest list. For instance, each of you could draw up a list of your family, friends, and coworkers. Then you can count them all up to find out where you stand. Or you could divide the list into must-have guests and maybes, and see how close you are to your target number.

Remember that the number of guests will significantly impact how much money you spend. It will determine how many save-the-dates and invitations you have to print and mail, along with the cost of food you order from your caterer, how many chairs to order, the size of your cake, and maybe even which venue you can fit into.

Of course, not everyone will say yes. By some estimates, 60% to 85% of guests respond “yes” to a wedding invitation. If you can only fit 200 people into your venue, don’t stress too hard if you find yourself sending 230 invitations.

Recommended: Wedding Cost Calculator With Examples

Hiring a Wedding Planner (or Not)

You don’t have to hire a wedding planner, but carefully consider the reality of making every decision and arrangement yourself. If you’re willing to do that, then go for it!

Some people enjoy organizing all details of a wedding. Or you may choose to hire a partial wedding planner, an expert who typically joins you about a month before the big day to handle last-minute details. This could help you maximize your time and money.

You might skip a wedding planner completely but opt for a day-of coordinator. You can hire one or see if anyone you know would be willing to do it for free. You could ask a good friend of your family, for instance. This person could take care of details like sending everyone down the aisle at the right time and helping with logistics throughout the day. Then you can relax and enjoy yourself without worrying so much.

The average cost for a wedding planner is $1,900, according to The Knot’s 2022 Real Weddings Study. Of course, whether you choose a full wedding planner, partial planner, or day-of coordinator will greatly affect how much you pay.

Sending Save-the-Dates and Invitations

Not everyone chooses to send save-the-dates, but if you do, it’s a good idea to send them around six months before your wedding, followed up by invitations about two months before the big day. If you’re throwing a destination wedding, you may want to give guests even more time to plan and save for the event.

You can hire someone to design these for you, or you could design and print them yourself.

Recommended: How to Manage Your Money: 11 Tips To Do It Right

Creating a Gift Registry

There are several ways to handle a registry: You might register at stores, ask for money to help pay for the honeymoon or put a down payment on a house, or even request donations to your favorite charity. No two couples’ registries are the same.

You could mention your registry specifics on the save-the-dates you send out, or direct guests to a registry on your wedding website, if you’ve created one.

Choosing a Venue

When picking a wedding venue, it’s a good idea to tour a few places before deciding. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like if you want to reserve the church where your parents got married.

To decide what kind of venue you want, think about what’s important to you. Do you want a place that lets you serve alcohol? A venue that will let you set up the night before? A space that can hold 300 guests? You might not know exactly what you want until you’ve toured a few venues, and that’s okay.

The wedding venue can often take the biggest bite out of your wedding budget. You may be able to save money, and potentially avoid some common money fights with your partner-to-be, by choosing a place that can double as a ceremony and reception venue. On the other hand, a place like this might not allow you to have everything you want. For example, if you get married in a public park, you may not be allowed to serve alcohol if you have the reception there as well.

Buying the Wedding Attire

In addition to the wedding gown and tuxedo or suit for the bride and groom, you’ll also need to decide what clothes everyone will wear for the ceremony. If you aren’t picking out dresses and suits for the wedding party, be sure to communicate clearly to them what you expect, including the color, the length of the dress, suit vs. tux, and so on.

And remember your parents and grandparents as well. Give them any guidance they might need. It may be important to you that the mothers of the bride and/or groom not wear the same color as the bridesmaids, for instance. Having everyone on the same page can help prevent headaches down the road.

Contacting an Officiant

Choosing an officiant may be one of the simpler tasks on your to-do list. You could choose someone who knows you well, like a clergy member, friend, or relative.

Most officiants who know the couple personally will conduct the wedding for free, but it’s generally considered polite to pay for their hotel room and airfare if they’re traveling to the venue. You’ll also likely want to give them a small gift, such as a gift card to a favorite restaurant, as a thank you present.

Hiring a Photographer

Hiring a photographer is probably one of the most important wedding decisions you’ll make. Couples cherish wedding photos for the rest of their lives, and you want someone who will capture the day the way you envision.

Answering the following questions may help you find a photographer who’s right for you: How many hours do you want them taking photos? Do you want them to supply you with a book of pictures of your big day? Do you also want a wedding video? (You may have to hire a separate videographer for this.)

The average couple spent $2,600 on a wedding photographer in 2022, according to The Knot. If that’s out of your price range, you may be able to negotiate a wedding photo package for a lower fee. And if some services mean more to you than others, see if a photographer is willing to work with you. For example, if you skip the book of photos, might they work extra hours on your wedding day instead?

To help find the perfect photographer, figure out the style of wedding photos you’d like, look at the portfolios of photographers whose work matches the vibe you’re going for, and ask recently-married friends for recommendations.

Also, keep this in mind: If you hire a photographer who lives far away, you’re usually expected to pay for their transportation costs in addition to the original price.

Thinking about Food and Caterers

Your decisions regarding catering will likely be based on how many guests you have, as well as the season and time of day.

For example, if your wedding is in winter, you might want to serve some hot food. If your reception starts at 6 pm, it may be a good idea to serve dinner. On the other hand, if it runs from 2 pm to 5 pm, you could possibly get away with providing appetizers and snacks.

The average cost of wedding catering runs about $75 per person. This typically covers food, beverages, and servers.

Of course, you don’t have to hire a professional caterer. However, if you’re serving a sit-down meal of elaborate food to a large group of people, using professionals might be your best — and easiest — option.

Deciding What to Do About Alcohol

First things first: What are your venue’s regulations, if any, concerning alcohol? Some venues don’t allow it, while others do as long as you have designated bartenders. Still others require you to use bartenders approved by the venue owners.

Liquor in large quantities is often significantly more expensive than beer and wine, so just serving those last two could be a nice compromise for your budget.

If you do serve alcohol, you’ll likely want to include a selection of non-alcoholic beverages as well.

Figuring Out Flowers and Florists

The average couple spends about $2,400 on flowers, The Knot found, but the cost can vary. Think about what types of flowers you’d like. Roses, carnations, and tulips might be a little more cost effective, while gardenias and orchids could take a hefty toll on your wallet. Generally, using flowers that are in season can help cut down on costs.

Then, consider making a list of where you want flowers at the ceremony and reception — this could help determine how many to buy. Besides wedding bouquets, do you also want floral decorations? Would you like them woven into a wedding arch, on guests’ tables at the reception, or lining the aisle? And are you envisioning corsages and boutonnieres for a number of family members? Think through the various scenarios to decide what makes the most sense for your day and your budget.

Choosing a Band or DJ

It’s the great debate: band or DJ? If you’re having trouble deciding, a few factors could help you make your decision.

How big is your venue? If it’s on the smaller side, a DJ may fit just fine, while a four-member band may make things a little crowded.

What kind of music do you want? If you’d like something people can dance to, a band might be the right choice, while if you crave the variety of Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis, a DJ could be a safer bet.

Cost may be the determining factor. A DJ is typically less expensive than a band, so if you’re on a strict budget, this is something to keep in mind. If you’re on a super tight budget, you may want to think about creating a playlist beforehand and having a member of the wedding party hook up their phone to a speaker.

Considering Where People Will Stay

It’s typically the responsibility of the couple to set aside blocks of rooms for guests at local hotels. First of all, you do this to ensure people will have places to stay. Second, if you block off a number of rooms, many places will give guests a group rate discount.

It’s helpful to make a rough estimate of how many people will be coming in from out of town before you set aside rooms. You should also think about guests’ budgets. You could set aside blocks of rooms at two or three hotels to help make sure that there’s a range of accommodations and price points.

Discussing Additional Events

A wedding isn’t just about the wedding. It’s about all the other events, too. Weddings come with a lot of optional supplementary get-togethers, so think about which ones you want and who should be in charge of planning each.

Here are some common wedding events and who (traditionally) plans each:

•   Engagement party for the couple (parents)

•   Bridal showers (close friends, wedding party, or parents)

•   Bachelor and bachelorette parties (maid/man of honor and best man/woman)

•   Bridal luncheon (sometimes the bride puts this on for the bridesmaids/bridesmen, sometimes they put it on for the bride)

•   Rehearsal dinner (parents)

•   Post-wedding brunch (parents)

You may choose to have all or none of these events. And of course, the person or people planning each can vary.

Taking Care of Miscellaneous Details

There are many other details to take care of, such as choosing a color scheme, buying decorations, purchasing wedding bands, and organizing transportation. And, of course, you’ll need to plan the honeymoon along with booking airline tickets and choosing the best hotel you can afford. Keep a list on your phone for miscellaneous tasks so you can add them to the list as soon as they pop into your brain.

Paying For Your Wedding

The longer your wedding to-do list gets, the more money you could potentially spend. The reality is that not everyone has enough money to throw the wedding they’ve been dreaming of, nor does every couple have family members who can contribute financially.

In these cases, you may consider taking out a wedding loan, which is a type of personal loan, for your big day. Personal loans can have lower interest rates than credit cards, so taking out a personal loan could save you money versus using your card.

SoFi can help you find the best loan for your wedding. You can apply quickly online, and find out within minutes how much you could be prequalified for. You can choose a fixed rate, and the funding is fast. You may even get your money the day you’re approved.

A SoFi personal loan can help you finance your venue, photographer, flowers, or any other part of your wedding.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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What Is Renters Insurance and Do I Need It?

Renters insurance protects your possessions if they’re stolen or damaged while you’re renting. In addition to burglaries and vandalism, renters insurance protects you against unfortunate events, such as electrical surges, floods, and fires.

While many tenants assume they have ample coverage under their landlord’s property insurance, this is actually not typically true. Without renters insurance, you could take a major financial hit in the event of a burglary or fire by having to pay out of pocket for everything you own that is lost or ruined.

Renters insurance also offers other financial protections, such as covering personal injuries to others and temporary accommodation if you ever need to move out due to home damage.

Whether you rent an apartment, condo, or house, here’s what you need to know about renters insurance.

What Is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance provides a number of protections, which typically include:

Personal Possessions

Renters insurance protects against losses to your personal property (think furniture, clothing, luggage, jewelry, electronics), or items that aren’t built into the property unit.

Even if you don’t own much, it may add up to more than you realize.

Liability

In the event that someone other than you is injured on your rental property, renters insurance can cover expenses related to personal injuries, such as medical bills and legal expenses should that person sue you.

Most policies provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage, along with a smaller amount to cover medical payments. You can purchase higher coverage limits for a fee.

Temporary Living Expense

If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of one of the covered perils, your renters insurance policy may reimburse you for the cost of any extra living expenses that occur while you’re unable to reside in the rental property, such as hotels or meals out.

Your Belongings When You Travel

Your personal belongings are not only covered when you’re at home, but also when you are away from home. Your possessions are typically covered from loss due to theft and other covered losses wherever you may travel.

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!


What Catastrophes Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters policies protect against a long list of unfortunate events. While each policy’s level of coverage will vary, a standard rental policy may cover losses to property from perils including:

•   Fire

•   Smoke

•   Theft

•   Vandalism or malicious mischief

•   Lightning

•   Windstorms

•   Explosions

•   Water from internal sources (such as plumbing leaks)

•   Windstorm or hail

•   Falling objects

Typically, renters insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by earthquakes or floods from external sources. You may need to purchase a separate policy or rider to get coverage for these events. A separate rider might also be necessary to cover wind damage in areas that are prone to hurricanes.

Rental policies also do not typically cover losses due to your own negligence or intentional acts.

Recommended: Choosing a Renters Insurance Deductible

Why Is Renters Insurance Important?

One of the main benefits of renting versus owning is that there is less responsibility involved. If there is a leak in the kitchen or a noisy neighbor causing problems, in theory, the landlord should handle those issues.

When renting, it’s easy to fall under the impression that your landlord will handle everything that goes wrong. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Your landlord’s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself, whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a duplex.

Renters insurance provides financial protection for many of the things that landlords aren’t insured for, or would likely be willing to cover out of their own pocket.

Is Renters Insurance Mandatory?

In some cases, yes. While renters insurance isn’t a requirement by law, landlords are legally allowed to require it in their rental agreements. Basically, if a landlord says a tenant needs it, they have to get it. If the landlord doesn’t require it in the lease agreement, the choice is up to the renter.

If a landlord requires renters insurance, it’s probably because they are looking after their own best interests. If a tenant has renters insurance, the landlord will be less likely to get hit with a lawsuit regarding injury or theft.

Even in cases where a landlord doesn’t require renters insurance, they may still favor applicants who have it over those who don’t. So if you’re looking to rent a home in a competitive area, having renters insurance may help you stand out amongst a sea of applicants.

Renters Insurance Policy Options

Exactly what renters insurance covers depends on the policy type. There are two main types of renters insurance policies that renters will likely come across:

•   Actual Cash Value. This type of policy pays to replace possessions minus an amount for depreciation up to the limit of the policy. In other words, they reduce the value of the possession based on its age and use.

•   Replacement Cost. This policy pays for the actual cost of replacing the possessions, and doesn’t deduct for depreciation, up to the limit of the policy. Generally, a Replacement Cost policy costs around 10% more than an Actual Cash Value coverage policy, but this higher cost may be worthwhile.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

The price will depend on what type of policy you choose, how much coverage you need, and what state you live in. The average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is $179 per year, or roughly $15 per month.

To determine how much coverage is necessary, it helps to know the value of all your personal possessions.

Let’s say the worst happens and the rental property burns down to the ground. How much would all of the furniture, electronics, art, jewelry, clothing, appliances, and everyday items like towels cost to replace? Ideally, the policy will be enough to replace all possessions.

Creating a home inventory of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value can help determine this number. Keeping this inventory up-to-date can make it easier and faster to file an insurance claim down the road.

How to Buy Renters Insurance

If you decide you want to purchase renters insurance, here are some ways to get started.

Comparison Shopping

Renters insurance policy prices can vary greatly depending on the provider, so it can be worthwhile to shop around. It’s a good idea to get at least three price quotes, but the more the merrier.

You can call the company directly or submit an online form if available to get a quote, and then compare the different offers to see which one provides the best coverage for the best price.

Recommended: Most Affordable Renters Insurance for Apartments

Varying the Search

You may want to get quotes from different types of insurance companies, including those that sell policies through their own agents, and those that sell directly to the consumer without using agents.

You can also consult independent agents who offer policies from multiple insurance companies.

Looking Past Price

While getting the best deal possible sounds great, price shouldn’t be a renter’s only concern. An insurance provider’s customer service, claim process, and customer reviews are all important factors to take into account.

Asking for Referrals

Alongside looking at customer reviews, you may also want to ask friends or relatives for their recommendations. This is especially helpful if they have dealt with processing a renters insurance claim before.

The Takeaway

Renters insurance can provide coverage for your personal belongings, whether they are in your home, your car, or while you are on vacation. In addition, renters insurance can provide liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home or if you accidentally cause injury to someone.

To determine if buying renters insurance is worth it for you, you may want to consider whether it would be financially devastating for you to have to replace all, or even some, of your personal possessions if they were stolen or damaged. If the answer is yes, then a renters insurance policy may be a wise investment.

Renters insurance can also provide peace of mind, which some renters may feel is worth the cost.

If you decide to purchase a policy, you’ll want to understand what the policy covers, and also ask the company or agent about available discounts, deductibles, and coverage limits.

Thinking about renters insurance but worried about how to fit it into your budget? You may want to consider signing up for a Checking and Savings account with SoFi. With SoFi Checking and Savings, you can easily see your weekly spending on your dashboard in the app. This can help you stay on top of your spending, and make sure you are staying on track with your budget. With SoFi, you’ll also earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and won’t pay any account fees.

Better banking is here with up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


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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 deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government 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, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

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.

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How to Save Money From Your Salary

When times are tight, it can feel as though putting even a few dollars away every month is next to impossible. How can you save money when you have a low salary and so many expenses?

There are ways to get that needle moving in the right direction — even for those who are new to working full time and living on their own. Here’s a look at three simple strategies that can help you save a little more from every paycheck.

Taking Advantage of the Employer Match

Concerning but true: A full 27% of people who are 59 or older have no retirement savings, according to a recent survey from Credit Karma. Thankfully, it’s never too late — or too early — to start putting money aside for retirement. Enrolling in your company’s 401(k) plan can be a great place to start, and they may even offer matching contributions.

Not every employer offers a match — or a 401(k), for that matter — but if it’s a perk that you can take advantage of, getting more information about how your plan works could open up an avenue for saving more from your salary.

Employers differ in their matching contributions. Some employers might contribute a dollar for every dollar or a percentage of every dollar an employee puts into their 401(k) plan, up to a designated percentage of the employee’s salary.

Plans are frequently set up so that employee contributions are taken directly from their paycheck, so the decision to contribute is automated instead of being something to think about each month.

Preparing a Budget and Following It

If the idea of a budget seems daunting — or past attempts have been less than successful — it might be because your approach to budgeting is too complicated. It’s not necessary to create a complex set of spreadsheets. In fact, when you’re new to budgeting, a simple approach often works better.

One easy budgeting framework you might consider is the 50/30/20 rule. This approach streamlines expenses into three categories so you don’t have to monitor every single expenditure to make it work. Instead, you divide your take-home pay (what you make after taxes are taken out) into three main categories: needs, wants, and savings. Here’s how it works.

•   Put 50% of your money toward needs: This includes housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurance, prescription medications, minimum payments on credit cards and other debt, and any other expense you have to cover. If you require a cell phone or other equipment for work, that might be a need, but if it’s the newest, most expensive model, you may be slipping into the wants category.

•   Put 30% toward wants: Here’s where everything from vacations to vending machine snacks can come in. If it isn’t essential, it goes into this chunk of your budget, so you’ll want to look at what you are currently spending on wants and see if you can find places to cut. Are you paying for streaming services you rarely watch? Are you a member of a gym you never go to? Could you cook one or two more nights per week and spend less on takeout? It’s all your call — but these costs all must fit into the allotted amount of money.

•   Put 20% toward savings or paying extra on your debt: This category allows you to siphon off some of each paycheck to build your emergency fund, save for other short-term goals (like buying a car or going on vacation), and fund your retirement account. If you’re carrying high-interest debt, you’ll want to use some of this money to pay it down by making payments beyond the minimum.

•   Feel free to tweak: The 50/30/20 guideline is just that — a guideline. You may want to adjust the breakdown if the cost of living is particularly high in your area, and you need to spend more than 50% of your take-home pay on needs. On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry to pay down debt, you might want to cut back on your wants spending to make it work. The key to budget success, however, is to stick with it. So you don’t want to come up with a spending plan that is so austere you can’t maintain it.

Automating Your Savings and Payments

Once you come up with a framework for how much you will spend and save each month, it’s a good idea to put as much of the plan on autopilot as possible.

Setting up autopay for your regular monthly bills, for example, eliminates the risk of missing payments and racking up late fees. In addition, you may want to consider automating your savings — this way, you won’t have to remember (and, quite possibly, forget) to transfer some money from your salary to savings each month, or be tempted to spend that money.

There are two different ways to automate savings. One is to split your direct deposit into two accounts. For example, you might have the majority of your paycheck go into your checking account and a smaller percentage into a high-yield savings account. If a payroll split isn’t an option, you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings on the day your paycheck clears. This way, the money gets whisked away before you have a chance to spend it.

The Takeaway

A savings plan doesn’t have to be complicated — or painful. In fact, you can start saving more from your salary by making just a few simple changes. These include: making sure you are putting some of your paycheck into your retirement plan at work (at least up to any employer match), coming up with a basic spending plan (such as the 50/30/20 breakdown), and putting your savings on autopilot. Before long, budgeting and saving will likely become a habit you don’t even have to think about.

If you’re looking for more ways to simplify your finances, you might consider opening a checking and savings account where you can spend, save, and earn all-in-one product. With a SoFi Checking and Savings account, you’ll earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and pay no account fees, both of which can help your money grow faster.

Better banking is here with up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


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 deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government 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, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

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.

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