19 Ways to Save Money on Buying Clothes

15 Ways to Save Money on Clothes

For many people, clothing is a favorite purchase, and shopping for new looks is practically a hobby. Fashion is a way to express your personal style; a new pair of jeans or boots can be a major mood-lifter.

But let’s face it, clothes can be expensive. If fashion is your weakness, it can take a big bite out of your budget. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $1,754 a year on apparel and related services. A survey by Credit Donkey found women spend an average of $571 per year on clothing, compared to men who spend an average of $323 per year.

But some people spend considerably more, ringing up bigger bills by buying the latest handbag or designer clothes that can add the equivalent of a student loan payment to your monthly bills.

These purchases can add up over time and feel like a waste of money of your hard-earned cash. So here, learn some ways to reduce the amount you spend on garments, including:

•   How to save money on clothes

•   How to know when to shop to get the best deals

•   How to trade what you own (but are tired of) for new gear

•   How to care for your clothing so it lasts longer.

Money-Saving Tips for Buying Clothes

There are ways you can cut down on your clothing expenses but still score some pieces you can’t wait to wear. Here’s 15 suggestions on how you can save money on clothes without feeling deprived or out of sync with the latest styles.

1. Shop the End-of-Season Sales

Ever notice how spring and summer clothing seems to go on sale in June or July? Or fall and winter clothes in January? The reason is because stores need to sell that merchandise so they can make room for next season’s items. Time it right, and you can scoop up current seasonal clothing at steep discounts. Just don’t go shopping the second that next season’s looks hit the racks.

2. Host a Clothing Swap

You know the saying, someone else’s trash might be your treasure. A cost-free way to get some new pieces is by arranging a clothing swap. The ground rules: Everyone brings clean, gently used clothes they’re looking to unload, and attendees get to sift through other’s clothing and add to their wardrobe for free.

A clothing swap is a great way to combine socializing and “shopping.” If you want to host one, heed this advice:
Make sure you’ve got a big enough space where everyone can comfortably peruse and try on items.

•   Invite people who are roughly the same clothing size.

•   Set a minimum number of pieces they need to bring.

•   Don’t feel like being the coordinator? Check out Meetup.com and Eventbrite.com to find swaps near you.

3. Ask for a Discount on Damaged Clothing

Here’s how to save money when shopping for clothes: If you find something you love but notice slight imperfections such as a small tear, loose thread, or a flaw in the fabric, bring it to the attention of a store employee. You might be able to get some dollars knocked off the retail price. If the salesperson doesn’t offer this, you can politely ask if the price can be lowered to reflect the garment’s condition.

Think it’s not worth the trouble? Remember why saving money is important. Every little bit of extra cash you sock away can be used to pay down debts or go towards a goal like funding a summer vacation.

4. Look for Coupon or Promo Codes

Before making a purchase, search the internet to see if the retailer offers a store coupon or promo code you can use when shopping online. You can find available coupon or discount codes at sites such as Retailmenot.com, Rakuten.com and BeFrugal.com, which all offer cash back for purchases made. Many times, if you are a first-time customer, you can snag a discount and/or free shipping by signing up for email announcements.

Quick Money Tip:Typically, checking accounts don’t earn interest. However, some accounts will pay you a bit and help your money grow. An online bank account is more likely than brick-and-mortar to offer you the best rates.

5. Mend Your Clothes

Are there things hanging in your closet you’re not wearing simply because a button is missing or the garment has a small hole? Instead of taking it to a tailor, buying something new, or avoiding it altogether because it needs repair, try fixing it on your own. Basic mending doesn’t require a lot of tools and is pretty easy.

As long as you’ve got the basics such as a needle, thread, scissors, or buttons if needed, you’re good to go. If you’re not sure about your hand sewing skills, you can find a slew of how-to videos on YouTube.com. Also check out Japanese mending, which elevates visible mending into an art form.

5. Buy Generic Brands for the Basics

When it comes to certain articles of clothing, purchasing a generic brand over a name or designer one can save you money without jeopardizing your style. Any item you wear under something, like a tank top or a tee shirt, doesn’t need a fancy label to serve the purpose. Why buy a white tee at a high-priced store for $50 or $90 when a similar one at a national chain retailer costs only $5?

Recommended: Tips for Overcoming Bad Financial Decisions

6. Create a Capsule Wardrobe

Having a capsule wardrobe means you’ve created a streamlined clothing collection that features well-made, non-trendy pieces that can all be mixed and matched. The idea is to spend a little more on the items initially. In the long run, however, you save money because these higher quality garments will last longer and not have to be replaced every few months.

A capsule wardrobe also offers timeless, versatile clothing choices instead of a closet full of flash-in-the-pan styles. Not having a large wardrobe may also benefit your overall wellness. One study found 37% of people said minimizing their wardrobe would reduce the stress of getting ready every day.

7. Wash Your Clothes Properly

Laundry mistakes can damage your clothes. For instance, washing certain fabrics in hot water can cause shrinkage, fading, and wrinkling, as well as can trigger dye to run. However, using cold water is much more clothing-friendly so you won’t be in danger of destroying a garment. You can also save on your gas or electric bill since an estimated 75% to 90% of all of the energy used in your washer goes to heating up the water.

Another way to extend the life of your clothes is by not washing every single item after one wear, with the exception of course, of underwear and socks. Why? Each time you wash your clothes, you’re putting stress on the fabric. By wearing your clothes a few times before washing, you can minimize any damage. Doing so will not only save your clothes, but you’ll also spend less on laundry detergent.

8. Borrow from a Friend

Going to a gala event or attending a wedding but can’t afford to buy anything? Consider asking that generous, stylish friend if you might be able to borrow from their closet. This can spare your bank account and allow you to get dressed up in something new and fresh to you. The only cost you might incur is taking the garment to the dry cleaners after.

Don’t have a friend with a fab wardrobe? Consider renting an outfit for your big night out.

Recommended: 18 Common Misconceptions About Money

9. Figure Out Cost Per Wear

Looking for more ideas for how to save money on clothes? Maybe it’s time for a bit of easy math. Since you likely want to feel as if you’re getting your money’s worth when you buy an article of clothing, pay attention to how often things get worn. If a piece is costly and you’ve only worn it once, you’re not reaping its full value.

You can figure out if your money was well spent by calculating the cost-per-wear ratio. Just divide the item’s cost by how many times you wear it. For example, if you buy a coat for $100 and wear it 100 times, your cost per wear is $1. On the flip side, if you’ve only worn it five times, each wear is equivalent to $20 which probably hasn’t given you the most bang for your buck. Before you buy the clothing, take time to do the math to assess how many times you realistically expect to wear it.

10. Upcycle Your Clothes

Upcycling clothing is taking something old, recycling it, and making it into something new to wear. Repurposing clothing is one of the many interesting ways you can save money.

Upcycling clothes can include sewing, cutting, dyeing, or even updating a cardigan with new buttons. Fun examples of upcycling include hand-painting a jean jacket, cutting a pair of jeans into shorts, creating a tote bag from a sweatshirt, or transforming a wool blanket into an autumn coat or cape.

Upcycling is also eco-friendly. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year. Not only does upcycling help you buy less and keep excess fabric out of landfills, it’s a way to save money and live sustainably.

11. Retool Your Clothing Budget

One way to stop overspending on clothing is to figure out how much you’re actually shelling out each month and then set a limit. There are several different budgeting techniques, such as the 50-30-20 rule. This divides your take home money into three categories: needs (50%), wants (30%) and savings and debt repayment (20%). ****

The needs category encompasses expenses you can’t avoid like groceries, housing, and utilities. Generally clothes fall into the discretionary wants group along with entertainment, dining out, monthly subscription expenses. Some financial experts suggest limiting clothing spending to 2 to 2.5% of your take-home pay which equals between 6 to 8% of the 30% of non-essential purchases. If you make $4,000 a month, 30% of that amount equals $1,200. 6 to 8% of that figure equals an allotment of $72 to $96 a month for apparel. If that doesn’t sound like enough, you’ll want to see what other non-essentials in the wants category you can scale back.

Recommended: Guide to Practicing Financial Self-Care

12. Go Shopping in Your Own Closet

Do you really know what’s in your closet or tucked into all your dresser drawers? Go through your entire wardrobe, and you might find things you forgot you had or thought you got rid of years ago. Unearthing items you haven’t seen or worn in awhile can spark creativity with clothing combinations and stretch your wardrobe.

On the other hand, you may realize some pieces lingering in the corners of your closet hold no interest. If that’s the case, keep reading for details on how you might get some money for it.

13. Buy and Sell Used Clothing

There’s no question you can save money by shopping for second-hand clothing. You can find bargains at a variety of places including thrift stores, consignment shops, garage, yard, or stoop sales, and even for free through community groups such as Buy Nothing. Two sites, among others, where you can sell your old stuff are Poshmark.com and Depop.com. Both are great for finding brand-name and designer garb for cheap.

And, the pickings are plentiful since secondhand shopping is at an all time-high with 82% of Americans buying or selling used goods, according to OfferUp’s Recommerce Report.

What’s more, some vintage and used clothing shops also buy from people like you. Check out Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading; you might get cash for your gear or be able to swap it for pieces you love.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

14. Don’t Give into Temptation

One way to curb clothes spending is to put a temporary kibosh on shopping for these items. Try not to put yourself in situations where you may feel the urge to buy clothing. For instance, many people spend money when bored. Instead of going shopping when you have an unplanned afternoon, perhaps you could explore new hobbies.

Also, when you find yourself with the urge to shop, stop and ask yourself, “Do I truly need this or do I simply want it?”

You can also commit to a 30-day no-spending challenge on shopping for anything to wear. You may notice you have more money, less credit card debt, and don’t feel the need to buy unnecessary clothing items after you see the rewards of this month of not buying.

Recommended: Questions You Should Ask Before Making an Impulse Buy

15. Learn When Retailers Have Their Biggest Sales

Start paying attention and you’ll see a pattern as to when major retailers host their big sales. Holiday weekends such as Martin Luther King Jr.’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July are popular times for stores to feature great buys along with Black Friday. For online shopping, check out deals on Cyber Monday (the Monday right after Thanksgiving) and Amazon Prime Day.

You can also ask a salesperson at your favorite stores to give you the inside scoop on when certain items might be going on sale.

The Takeaway

Clothes shopping can be fun and an ego boost, but if you’re not mindful, it’s easy to rack up the bills and possibly find yourself mired in unnecessary debt. Many times, there are ways to cut back on buying clothes, make the pieces you have last longer, and breathe new life into your wardrobe without going broke. With creativity, knowledge, and some smart moves, you can still feel good about what you wear without spending as much.

Better banking is here with up to 3.00% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

How can I stop spending money on clothes?

One of the best ways is to simply remove the temptation, especially if you’re prone to impulse spending. If you like to shop online, unsubscribe from retailer emails so you won’t be alerted to new items and sales. Feel the itch while scrolling your phone? Put it down; pick up a book, or watch a movie instead. When you’re out and about, resist going into your favorite stores. Vow to commit to a 30-day shopping sabbatical and see how much money you’re able to save as a result.

Are there ways I can take better care of my clothing so they’ll last longer?

Yes. Follow the washing instructions carefully, let items air-dry when possible (instead of exposing them to a hot dryer), and store them in a cool, clean, and dry environment out of the sunlight, which can cause fading. Also fold heavy sweaters instead of hanging them to prevent the fabric from stretching.

Should I only buy cheaper clothes?

No. Sometimes spending more means you’ll get a well-made, high-quality garment that will last for years. Look for these pieces on sale at major department stores and at discount retailers such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.


Photo credit: iStock/Phiwath Jittamas

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® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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12 Real Ways to Save Money on Electronics

Having the newest iPhone and a 60-inch TV in every room of your house might sound like a dream worth aspiring to, but hold that thought. If you are trying to grow your savings, start investing, or get out of debt, it’s important to scale back all kinds of spending, including on electronics.

In today’s digital world, having access to a smartphone and laptop — not to mention things like Bluetooth headphones, a smart TV, and maybe even a smartwatch — can be crucial for our remote jobs, connecting with friends and family, and staying informed about the world around us.

So how can you buy the electronics you need for daily life without going broke? In this article, we’ll explore, among other topics, the following:

•   How to save money on electronics

•   How to shop at the right time

•   How to sell old electronics

•   How to get the best discounts.

1. Buying Older Models Instead of the Newest Models

The joke goes that you could buy the newest smartphone today, and it’ll probably be replaced by a newer model within a week. While technology cycles aren’t quite that fast, companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft do release “newer, better” phones, tablets, computers, and other tech regularly.

Just remember: You don’t always need the newest tablet. You don’t always have to upgrade your phone. If your technology still operates efficiently — allowing you to take decent photos, reply to work emails, and stay connected via social media or phone calls, all without issue — hold onto it longer. With a little money discipline, you could instead use those funds to build your emergency savings, pay down your debt, or start investing.

And when it does come time to buy a new device, consider buying the second-newest generation. Features are likely similar to the newer device, but prices will be lower. This is particularly true right around the launch of the new generation.

2. Avoiding Consumerism

An easy way to save on electronics is to reject the idea of consumerism. Consumerism is the belief that your well-being, happiness, and even sense of self-worth will increase the more that you spend money on goods and services.

But according to the American Psychological Association, the reverse seems to be true. While it’s not fair to generalize, studies typically show that the least materialistic people report the greatest life satisfaction.

Thus, what might feel like an irresistible craving for the latest technology could actually be detrimental to one’s mental health. Consume your technology in moderation — treat yourself to nice things, but remember that spending won’t always lead to fulfillment. In fact, you may find that committing to how much money to save each month brings greater satisfaction.

3. Trading In and Selling Unwanted Electronics

If you have a junk drawer with old smartphones or a storage container with old laptops, you might be leaving money on the table (or in the junk drawer, as it were).

For example, many second-hand stores buy electronics like video game consoles — and they’ll pay you for the controllers and games too. Some smartphone vendors will allow you to trade in an older-model phone when you purchase a new one.

And there’s always the internet. Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and other online retailers allow you to easily sell old electronics, including phones, TVs, and even appliances. You can then use that money when it’s time to upgrade to a new electronic device or add it to your emergency fund.

The resale market is soaring; it’s expected to grow to $53 billion a year in 2023. Now is a great time to start selling your old tech.

4. Considering Needs Over Wants

If you are struggling to decide whether you should buy a new phone or computer, assess your needs. Beyond determining if your current phone or computer works well enough for you to do your job and live conveniently, take some time to look at your budget.

Do you have enough money to cover actual needs like housing, food, and utilities? Are you able to pay off your credit card each month and make student loan payments? Can you cover an unexpected hospital bill or emergency car repair and meet other money-saving goals?

If you’re confident that you can successfully meet your needs without too much of a struggle, it can be easier to justify splurging on a want.

5. Unplugging Devices That Are Not in Use

Have you heard of phantom or vampire energy use? That’s when you leave something plugged in when not in use and it continues to draw electrical power, which you wind up paying for.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends unplugging certain appliances when not in use to decrease your standby power loads and thus reduce your monthly electric bill.

The daily savings are hardly noticeable, but over time, unplugging certain devices when not in use, like a toaster oven or a laptop in sleep mode, can lead to significant savings — about $100 a year for the average household.

Recommended: Learn the Difference Between Impulsive and Compulsive Shopping

6. Researching and Buying Refurbished Electronics

Refurbished electronics are a great way to get a like-new electronic without digging deep into your pocket. Such electronics don’t always have the luxury of an extended warranty, but many are available with some type of warranty (and maybe even a money-back guarantee).

And you can get a deal on more than just refurbished smartphones. According to Consumer Reports, you can find great deals on speakers, tablets, headphones, and smartwatches.

Just make sure you’re buying a refurbished electronic directly from the manufacturer or from an organization that complies with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or R2 (Responsible Recycling).

7. Buying at the Right Time

Here’s another way to save on electronics: Sync up with sales. You might find better deals if you are strategic about when you purchase TVs, laptops, and video game consoles. Typically, you can find Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and the week after Christmas can also be an excellent time of the year to buy electronics.

You can also watch for deals around Tax Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. And if you’re buying an older-generation model, try timing it with the release of the newer version for greater discounts.

Recommended: Why You Should Save Money

8. Utilizing Price Matching

It might be challenging to get cell phone providers to match prices of competitors, but when shopping for other electronics, like computers, video game consoles, TVs, and appliances, you might have luck getting big-box retailers to price match.

In fact, some popular stores have official price-matching programs — and may even price-match the deals you find on Amazon. Try price matching when shopping for electronics at stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.

9. Shopping Around and Being Patient

Shopping is usually not a good time to be lazy. While it can be tempting to buy your coveted electronic at the first place you see it, it can be important to do some research. Comparison-shop online, research upcoming sales, and utilize coupons and store discounts to get the best deal at the right time.

10. Taking Advantage of Savings Codes

You won’t always be successful, but it’s worth browsing online for savings codes before any major purchase. Sites like GroupOn, RetailMeNot, and Savings.com all offer discount codes that you may be able to apply to your purchase.

You can also look for promotional codes in circulars that arrive in the mail, during podcasts, or from influencers on social media.

Recommended: How Bill Pay Works

11. Utilizing Student Discounts

If you are a student, it can be a good idea before any purchase to ask if the company offers a student discount. The worst they can say is no. Just keep your student ID in your wallet for verification.

You can also ask about other common discounts you might qualify for, like a military discount or senior discount.

12. Not Always Going for Brand-Name or High-End Products

A brand-new iPhone and Samsung TV may sound like the height of luxury, but if you’re trying to be smart about how you spend your money on electronics, consider skipping the most popular brand name or top-of-the-line product options.

A lesser-known brand may perform well and save you money. Before purchasing an unfamiliar brand, however, it is a good idea to read product reviews on third-party websites.

Recommended: How to Force Yourself to Save Money

Saving Money With SoFi

A savings account with a high APY is a good way to save toward all of life’s goals, including electronics. And having a no-fee checking account makes it easier to spend when you’re ready. SoFi’s online bank account delivers the best of both worlds. Sign up for our Checking and Savings with direct deposit to earn a hyper competitive APY, get up to 15% cash back on local purchases, and pay no fees.

With no account fees and up to up to 3.00% APY, you’ll earn more interest in one week than you would in one year in a big bank’s checking or savings account—so you can get the most out of your money.

FAQ

Can you live without electronics?

Technically speaking, it is possible to live without electronics, just as our ancestors did before us. However, technology is now often essential to how we work, how we communicate, how we find information, how we shop, how we find entertainment, and even how we bank and access healthcare. Staying connected and spending money on electronics is fine — everything in moderation.

Can you live while being an electronics minimalist?

Living as an electronics minimalist is possible. You may still need access to a computer for work or online bill pay and a phone to communicate with your family, but you can take specific, impactful steps to otherwise reduce your electronics. For instance, you can sell your TV, downgrade to a basic phone, delete your social media, etc. Then, seek out other experiences, like hiking, attending live theater, and reading.

How much technology should I use per day?

Experts recommend limiting screen time to two hours a day max (outside of work). This includes time spent on your phone or tablet, watching TV, and playing video games. That said, estimates of how much total screen time most Americans invest has been estimated at almost eight hours a day.


Photo credit: iStock/LightFieldStudios

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.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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15 Ways to Stay Motivated When Paying Down Debt

Staying Motivated When Paying Off Debt

Debt: It’s something many of us live with, but it can really bog down our finances and prevent us from meeting our money goals.

Paying off debt is a long-term commitment that requires discipline, and staying motivated until your debts are paid off can be a major challenge. Consider these examples:

•   If you have a student loan of around $43,000, it can take almost eight years to pay off with monthly payments of around $450, according to the Education Data Initiative.

•   If you have $10,000 of credit card debt at an 18% interest rate and want to pay it off in three years, you’ll have to pay $362 every month.

It may sound daunting, but here’s a pep talk: The advantages of paying off debt are well worth the effort. You will have a higher credit rating and qualify for better loans in the future. And with more money to spend each month, you can invest and build a nest egg toward retirement or simply save for luxuries like vacations.

To help you buckle down and say goodbye to your debt, read on to learn how to stay motivated while paying off your debt.

Why It’s Hard to Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt

How to stay motivated while paying off debt can be tough. It can seem like an uphill, almost endless battle. Depending on how much you have to pay off, the process may seem as if it requires some uncomfortable (and even unfair) sacrifices you’d rather not make.

However, with some smart strategies to change your money mindset, you’ll find that paying down debt becomes easier as you learn better money management.

If you are ready to get rid of debt, read on to learn 15 ways to stay motivated.

15 Ways to Help You Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt

Here are 15 tips to help setting yourself up for success. They’ll give you a boost as you consider how to stay motivated while paying off debt.

1. Remember the “Why”

Why have you decided to pay off your debt? Are you tired of never having as much spending money as you’d like and watching the debt pile up? Do you hate the idea of dollars flying out of your bank account to pay for interest?
Do you have financial goals that are falling ever further out of reach?

Whatever your reasons, remind yourself regularly why you are working so hard and monitor your progress so that you can see the results.

2. Get Organized

Achieving a goal is easier if you have a plan. Your strategies to become debt free might include consolidating your debt with a lower-interest loan, or you might decide to get a roommate and save on rent.

Whatever your method, plan a budget that you can live with and set up automatic payments each month so that you don’t have to think about your bills daily. (This will also help you avoid late fees.) Then, be disciplined, stick to your budget, and watch your debt diminish.

Quick Money Tip:Typically, checking accounts don’t earn interest. However, some accounts will pay you a bit and help your money grow. An online bank account is more likely than brick-and-mortar to offer you the best rates.

3. Have an Accountability Partner

Telling someone you are working on paying down debt can help motivate you. Called an accountability partner, this person could be your spouse, a friend, or a financial advisor. If you worry about telling your accountability partner that you fell off the proverbial wagon, remember that nobody’s perfect. Don’t beat yourself up. Just get right back on track with some encouraging words from your partner.

4. Put Yourself in an Uncomfortable Situation

Achieving a goal often takes acknowledging the difficulty saving money can present and then pushing through it. Paying down debt will require making changes to your lifestyle so that you can live more economically.

That might mean going out less with friends, not spending so much on clothes, or moving in with parents temporarily. Feeling uncomfortable is not a bad thing; it can be a powerful motivator. You will power through any feelings of deprivation to get on better financial footing going forward.

5. Track Your Progress

When you initially decide to tackle accumulated debt, it can seem overwhelming. By tracking your payments and your diminishing debt, you will see progress. This in turn can give you confidence and enhance your saving motivation as you stick with your plan.

6. Have a Vision Board

How to stay motivated while paying off debt can involve having a vision of what you will do once you are debt free. Use that as a motivator, not just in your mind but in your home. Perhaps you want to take a vacation to London once you better understand your credit score and then boost it by cutting down your debt. (As you lower your debt ratio versus your credit limit, for instance, your score will likely rise.)

If you want to reward yourself with travel, post your goal where you can see it so you are reminded each day of your intention. You might want to create a vision board with photos of your goal to help spur you on. Whether it’s photos of the West End theaters or teatime at a posh hotel, those photos can be motivating.

7. Celebrate the Small Wins

Find ways to reward yourself as you gradually pay down your debt. These special treats should be inexpensive (so as not to blow your budget) but meaningful. It could be reading the latest book by your favorite author, a meal out with friends, or buying yourself new running shoes. Build room into your budget for rewards.

8. Have Like-Minded Friends

Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to spend less rather than overspend. Friends who like going out to expensive restaurants or shopping at expensive stores are not going to help your cause. There are lots of ways to socialize that do not require spending a boatload of cash. For example, grab a coffee with a friend, or go for a hike. Don’t let keeping up with the Joneses (when the Joneses are big spenders) foil your efforts.

9. Reach out to Others

Knowing that you are not the only one fighting debt is comforting, and hearing success stories will encourage you to continue. Seek support by listening to others.

Podcasts on personal finances and online discussion platforms can provide community and give you ideas on how to manage your debt.

10. Focus on the End Date or End Goal

Have an end date or a final goal, and mark it on your calendar. Plan to reward yourself for your hard work when you reach it. It might be a weekend away or finding a new apartment now that you have freed up some cash in your budget. Looking forward to something will keep you motivated.

11. Listen to Sound Financial Advice

How to stay motivated to pay off debt comes down to making informed decisions that hasten the process. It’s important to make sure the financial advice you listen to comes from reliable sources. Many finance “gurus’ on YouTube and social media platforms may not give out the best advice. Find a financial advisor via recommendations if you are unsure of the steps to take to pay down your debt or need additional guidance.

12. Choose a Repayment Method that Makes Sense

There is more than one way to pay off what you owe, and the debt repayment strategies you choose should suit your particular situation and financial goals. You might choose the debt snowball method, where you pay off your smallest debts first, or you might pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first.

Feel as if you are in too deep of a debt hole? Consulting with a financial advisor or a credit counselor at a nonprofit can help you find the best ways to pay off debt faster.

13. Break Repayment Down to Smaller Goals

It helps to break down your task into smaller goals. For example, the first step might be to meet with a financial advisor for advice on debt consolidation or do your own research on the topic. This can help you lower the interest rate on the money you owe, making it easier to pay off.

The next step might be to arrange a loan with the bank and set up payments. Then, set goals to achieve after six months, 12 months, 18 months, and so on. It can help motivate you to pay off debt to see the individual steps that will get you there.

14. Earn Extra Money

You’ll pay off debt quicker if you can earn extra money. Think of ways to increase your income. Can you do overtime, gig work, or part-time work? You might meet new people and expose yourself to a whole new industry that interests you. Who knows? It could be the start of an entirely new career.

Recommended: 11 Benefits of Having a Side Hustle

15. Gamify Your Debt Repayment

Setting yourself a challenge can add a sense of fun to paying off debt, and it can boost your confidence. For example, set a goal of making an additional $1,000 this month from a side hustle. Or each month vow to briefly give up a typical bit of discretionary spending, such as no take-out coffee for one month. The money saved goes towards debt. Gamifying can help you reach your goals quicker, just make sure your challenge is achievable.

The Takeaway

Paying down debt is a long process, and it is not easy to stay motivated. Some of the ways to stay motivated when paying off debt are to acknowledge exactly how much you owe and then develop a plan, with clear benchmarks, to whittle it down. Reach out to others to learn their experiences, set achievable milestones, and reward yourself when you reach them. These steps will keep you going till you reach that debt free finish line.

Better banking is here with up to 3.00% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Does paying off debt make you happier?

Paying off debt may be difficult to start with as you adjust to changes in your lifestyle and budget. However, ultimately, being debt free is a huge relief. It can reduce your financial stress, and it frees you to do so much more with your money.

What are the benefits of paying off debt?

When you are debt free, a weight may well be lifted from your shoulders. Paying off debt can teach you to live within your means and not overspend. The money you were paying in interest on your debt can now be invested in a nest egg toward retirement or used for discretionary spending, like vacations. Lastly, taking control of your finances and paying off debt are huge accomplishments that can boost your confidence to tackle other challenges.

Is it worth it to pay off your debt?

Paying down debt avoids paying unnecessary interest over the long term. There are short-term benefits too. If you are actively reducing your debt, your credit score will likely improve. That can improve your ability to qualify for loans with lower interest and fewer fees in the future. You can also free yourself of the mental burden of debt.


Photo credit: iStock/BartekSzewczyk

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
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Guide to New Money vs. Old Money

Maybe you’ve heard people mention new money vs. old money in conversation, perhaps in a whisper. Old money and new money both refer to wealthy groups of people. The key difference between old money and new money is how a person obtained their wealth.

In short, old money represents generational wealth — money that has been passed on from generation to generation in the form of cash, investments, and property. New money refers to self-made millionaires and billionaires, those who earned their money (or lucked into it, like in the lottery).

Pop culture and literary references to new vs. old money abound. For instance, James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) includes a depiction of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” as new money, shunned by some snooty old money types. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby puts new money (Jay Gatsby in West Egg) and old money (Tom and Daisy Buchanan in East Egg) at odds throughout the course of the novel.

Why should it matter when and how someone built their wealth? Let’s take a closer look at this topic, including:

•   What is considered new money vs. old money

•   The difference between old money and new money

•   Tips for building wealth.

What Is Old Money?

Old money refers to people who have inherited significant generational wealth; their families have been wealthy for several generations.

In the past, old money would have referred to an elite class: the aristocracy or landed gentry. In the U.S., families like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers represented early examples of old money. Today, old money families include the Waltons (Walmart), the Disneys (The Walt Disney Company), and the Kochs (Koch Industries). Should families like the Kardashians continue to generate and pass down wealth, they could one day be considered old money as well.

Recommended: How to Build Wealth at Any Age

What Is New Money?

New money then refers to people who have recently come into wealth, typically by their own labor or ingenuity.
Common examples of new money include tech moguls and self-made billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates. Someone who wins millions of dollars in the lottery or becomes famous from a reality TV series (like the cast of Jersey Shore) would also qualify as new money.

You may sometimes hear the French term “nouveau riche,” which means “newly rich.” This tends to describe people who recently became wealthy and spend their money in a flashy, ostentatious manner.

Recommended: Building Wealth in Your 30s

Differences Between Old and New Money

So what is the difference between old money and new money? There are quite a few distinctions, but remember that these are all generalizations. Each person who obtains wealth is unique.

Source of Wealth

The most obvious difference between new money and old money is the source of wealth. Old money has been passed down from generation to generation. Each member of old money typically feels a fierce responsibility to protect — and increase — that wealth.

Members of new money have earned that money in their lifetime, whether for building a tech empire, becoming a famous actor, making it to the big leagues as a sports player, or even making money on social media as an influencer. Some new money members might come into money through a financial windfall like winning the lottery or a major lawsuit.

Long-Standing Traditions

Inheriting generational wealth comes with a responsibility: Old money recipients usually must protect the family’s wealth to pass on to future generations. For that reason, those who come from old money may stick to their traditional investments and ways of life. Many inherit their parents’ business and then pass it on to their own children.

Those who are self-made or come into money quickly do not have long-standing traditions to fall back on. They are often the first in their community to make multimillion dollar spending decisions. This can mean a steep learning curve and the need for guidance, which could make them vulnerable to poor advice and unscrupulous hangers-on.

Spending and Investing

How old and new money generally approach wealth management is one of their starkest contrasts.

Though they do live lavishly, members of old money can be more frugal (or calculated) with purchases than you might expect. For members of old money, spending is often more about investing than shopping for pleasure.

People who are a part of new money may feel more entitled to and excited by their funds. They may spend it more lavishly (and publicly). Some might feel that they worked hard to earn their money — and they’d like to enjoy it.
They might want to show off their newly achieved status with designer watches or mega mansions.

That’s not to say that members of new money don’t invest. Famous celebrities, athletes, and businesspeople often invest in real estate or buy companies to increase their wealth. Generally speaking, new money might make riskier investment decisions for faster yields. They’re not thinking about generational wealth to protect with tried and true investment methods.

Taken to its extreme, this can have disastrous results. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people who make a lot of money for the first time and spend it all, leading to bankruptcy and even mental health issues.

Recommended: What Is Asset Management?

Leisure

The stereotypes might be a little tired, but in general, people associate old money with traditional activities like golf, skiing, horseback riding, and polo. On the flip side, members of new money might buy courtside seats to a basketball game, a garage full of shiny new luxury cars, or even a rocketship for a joyride into outer space.

Recommended: Knowing the Difference Between ‘Rich’ and ‘Wealthy’

Social Perception

Interestingly, some of the richest people in the world come from new money. They’re today’s self-made tech giants. Yet some members of old money may consider themselves to be a higher class than the likes of Gates and Bezos.

We’re speaking in generalizations here, but old money often perceive themselves — and are perceived by outsiders — to be more educated and refined.

On the other hand, the public may view members of new money as harder workers and more innovative — clear examples of the American dream.

Old and New Money Lessons

What lessons can we learn from old and new money? Even if you are not wealthy, you can learn some valuable life and financial lessons from considering the difference.

•   It’s hard to protect generational wealth. Old money is very privileged; there’s no denying it. But most families lose their wealth in just a few generations. Old money families do work hard to maintain and grow their wealth for their future generations. They are able to avoid seeing their fortune dwindle.

•   It’s important to analyze your spending. Many people who come into wealth quickly don’t take adequate steps to protect their funds and invest it wisely. Horror stories of lottery winners losing everything should be enough to remind us that — if we come into a large amount of money suddenly — we should take the time with a finance professional to build out our money management goals. Doing so may ensure your wealth grows, rather than runs out.

•   Stereotypes aren’t everything. Reflecting on the differences between old and new money, it’s important to note that these are merely stereotypes, and not everyone fits the bill. Just as one hopes that others don’t judge us before they know us, the discussion of old vs. new money is a reminder not to form assumptions about someone until you get to know them.

Recommended: How to Achieve Financial Discipline

The Takeaway

Old money refers to families who have maintained wealth across several generations. New money, on the other hand, refers to someone who earned their wealth in their lifetime. Key traits typically differentiate old vs. new money, but at the end of the day, both refer to members of a wealthy class that most people will not ever be a part of.

No matter how much wealth you have — and whether you inherited or earned it — it’s a good idea to protect it in an FDIC-insured bank account that actively earns interest. Check out SoFi’s online bank account, which earns a super competitive interest rate and has no monthly fees, which can help your money grow faster.

With no account fees and up to up to 3.00% APY, you’ll earn more interest in one week than you would in one year in a big bank’s checking or savings account—so you can get the most out of your money.

FAQ

Is it preferable to be from new or old money?

It depends on whom you ask. Old money members often regard themselves as a higher class, but they also have less agency to spend their money on “fun” things, as they have to guard their wealth for future generations. While members of new money might feel freer to spend on things they want, they can be more likely to run out of money if they don’t follow good financial planning.

Does new vs. old money matter?

If you are a member of the wealthy class, the distinction might matter to you. Those with old money might feel it’s superior to new, but those with newly minted wealth may well be proud of their success in building their fortune. However, most people are not considered to be new or old money, and so this shouldn’t affect their daily lives.

How has old vs. new money changed since the terms were first coined?

Old money once referred to the landed gentry in Europe, but in today’s world, it might refer to a few families who struck it big a century or more ago in the U.S. New money is more common nowadays, with the advent of television, sports, and social media as the source of riches.


Photo credit: iStock/South_agency

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.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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11 Tips for Surviving on $1,000 a Month

11 Tips for Surviving on $1,000 a Month

Living frugally can be a smart way to save money. While adopting a frugal lifestyle is a choice for some people, it may be a necessity for others. For example, you might be trying to figure out how to live on $1,000 a month if you’re in school or you lost your job and are trying to find a new one.

Getting by on $1,000 a month may not be easy, especially when inflation seems to make everything more expensive. But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money.

Read on to learn the full story including:

•   Learning what does living on $1,000 a month look like

•   Separating needs from wants

•   Lowering your housing costs

•   Negotiating bills

•   Growing your income.

What Does Living on $1,000 a Month Look Like?

If your income is limited to $1,000 a month, you might be wondering exactly how far it will go. Breaking it down hourly, weekly, and by paycheck can give you some perspective on how much money you’ll actually have to work with.

An income of $1,000 a month is….

•   $230.77 as a weekly salary

•   $46.15 daily

•   $6.15 an hour, assuming you work 37.5 hours a week full-time

•   $11.54 an hour, assuming you work 20 hours a week part-time.

The numbers above assume that you’re talking about net income, which means the money you bring in after taxes and other deductions.

By comparison, the median household income in the United States is $67,521, according to Census Bureau data. That works out to $5,626.75 in monthly income.

Is It Possible to Live Off of $1,000 a Month?

Living off $1,000 a month is possible, and it’s a reality for many individuals and families. Again, you might be living on a low income because you’re in school. So your monthly budget might look something like this:

•   Food: $250

•   Gas: $100

•   School supplies/equipment: $50

•   Rent: $400 (assuming you’re sharing with roommates)

•   Utilities: $100

•   Miscellaneous: $100

As you may notice, there isn’t room in this budget for debt repayment or savings.

In addition to students living on a frugal budget, this kind of scenario may apply to older people on a fixed income. Retirees may choose to cut their expenses to the bone once they stop working. And in some cases, money may be tight because you’re getting through a financial hardship and income is lower than normal.

Can you live well on just $1,000 a month? That’s subjective, as the answer can depend on how responsibly you use the money that you have as well as what the cost of living is in your area. Being frugal and flexible are essential to making life on a smaller income work.

How to Live on $1,000 a Month

Figuring out how to live on $1,000 a month, either by choice or when money is tight, requires some creativity and planning. Whether your low-income lifestyle is temporary or you’re making a more permanent shift to financial minimalism, these tips can help you stretch your dollars farther.

1. Assess Your Situation

You can’t really learn how to manage your money better if you don’t know where you’re starting from. So the first step is creating your personal financial inventory to understand:

•   Exactly how much income you have

•   Where that money is coming from

•   What you’re spending each month

•   How much you have in savings

•   How much debt you have.

It also helps to consider why you might need to know how to live on $1,000 a month. For example, if you’re knee-deep in debt because you’ve been living beyond your means, that can be a strong incentive to curb spending and live on less.

2. Separate Needs From Wants

Needs are things you spend money on because you need them to maintain a basic standard of living. For example, needs include:

•   Housing

•   Utilities

•   Food

•   Health care

Wants are all the extras that you might spend money on. So that may include dining out, hobbies, or entertainment. If you’re trying to live on $1,000 a month, needs should likely take priority over wants. One good budget plan can be the 50/30/20 rule, which allocates 50% of one’s take-home pay to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings.

Here’s a hard truth, however: When working with $1,000 per month, you may have to get rid of most (or all) of the wants to make your spending plan work. As you make your budget, focus on the needs first and if you have money left over, then you can add one or two small extras back in.

3. Lower Your Housing Costs

Housing might be your biggest expense, and, if you want to make a $1,000 a month budget work, getting that cost down can help. Some of the ways you might be able to reduce housing costs include:

•   Taking on one or more roommates

•   Moving back in with your parents

•   Renting out a room

•   Refinancing into a new mortgage

•   Selling your home and moving into something smaller or less expensive.

Are these options ideal? Not necessarily. Living with parents, roommates, or strangers who are renting out part of your home can mean sacrificing some of your privacy. Refinancing a mortgage or downsizing can be time-consuming and stressful.

But if you’re trying to get your budget to $1,000 or less, these are all legitimate ways to slash your housing expenses.

4. Get Rid of Your Car

Cars can be expensive to own and maintain. A car payment could easily run several hundred dollars per month. Even if you own your car outright, putting gas in it, buying tires, and paying for regular maintenance could still make a sizable dent in your income.

If you have the means to do so, selling your car could free up money in your budget. And you could use the money you collect from the sale to pad your savings account, pay down some debt, or simply get ahead on monthly bills.
If you do sell your vehicle, use an online resource like Kelley Blue Book to check your car’s potential resale value before setting a price.

5. Eat at Home

After housing, food can easily be a budget-buster, especially if you’re eating out rather than preparing meals at home. The good news is that there’s a simple way to cut your food costs: Ditch the takeout and restaurant meals.

Planning meals around low-cost, healthy ingredients can help you to spend less on food and still eat well. You can also save on food costs by:

•   Using coupons

•   Shopping sales and clearance sections

•   Downloading cash back apps that reward you with cash for grocery purchases

•   Relying on pantry staples that you can make into multiple meals

•   Trying Meatless Mondays (which means eating vegetarian on Mondays; meat tends to be a pricey buy)

•   Repurposing leftovers as much as possible.

You could also save money on food if you’re able to make things like bread, pizza dough, or pasta yourself using basic ingredients. When shopping at your local grocery stores, take time to compare prices online before heading out. And consider whether you can get in-season vegetables and fruits for less at a local farmer’s market.

6. Negotiate Your Bills

Some of your bills might be more or less unchanging from month to month. But others may give you some wiggle room to negotiate and bring costs down.

For example, if you’re keeping your car, you don’t have to keep the same car insurance if it’s costing you a lot of money. You can shop around and compare rates with different companies, or ask your current provider about discounts. You could also raise your deductible, which can lower your monthly premium, but keep in mind that you’ll need to have cash on hand to pay it if you need to file a claim.

Other bills you might be able to negotiate or reduce include:

•   Internet

•   Cable TV (bonus points if you can get rid of it altogether)

•   Cell phone

•   Subscription services (or better yet, cancel them for extra savings)

•   Credit card interest.

Also, if you are hit with a major doctor’s bill, know that it can be possible to negotiate medical bills. It’s definitely worth talking with your provider’s office about this.

There are also services that will handle bill negotiation for you. While those can save you time, you might pay a fee to use them so consider how much that’s worth to you.

7. Learn to Barter and Trade

Bartering is something of a lost art, but reviving it could be a great idea if you’re trying to live on $1,000 a month. For example, say you need to cut the grass, but there’s no room in your budget to buy a new lawn mower to replace your broken one. You could barter the use of your neighbor’s mower in exchange for a few hours of raking leaves at their place.

Or, say that you have kids who have outgrown their clothes. Instead of resigning yourself to using a credit card to buy new outfits for school, you could set up a clothes swap with other parents in your neighborhood. You can clean out clutter and get things you need, without having to spend any money.

8. Get Rid of Debt

Debt can be one of the biggest obstacles to making a $1,000 a month income work. If you have debt, whether it’s credit cards, student loans, or a car loan, it’s important to have a plan for paying it down.

When you only have $1,000 a month to work with, you may only be able to pay a little to your debts at a time. But you might be able to make each penny count more by making debts less expensive.

For instance, you might try a 0% APR credit-card balance transfer to save on interest charges. Or if you have loans from getting your diploma that have a high interest rate, you may consider the benefits of refinancing your student loans to reduce your rate and lower your monthly payment.

If you’re really struggling with how to pay off debt on a low income, you may want to talk to a nonprofit credit counselor. A credit counselor can review your situation and help you come up with a budget and plan for paying off debt that fits your situation. One option is the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC.

9. Adopt a No-Spend Attitude

When you want or need to know how to live on $1,000 a month, the fastest way to get overspending in check is to do a no-spend challenge. How this works: You commit yourself to not spending any money on nonessentials for a set time period.

A no-spend challenge can last a day, a weekend, a week, a month, or even a year. The time frame doesn’t matter as much as being all-in with the idea of not spending money on things you don’t need. And you might be surprised at how much money you’re able to save by avoiding wasteful spending.

10. Find Free or Low-Cost Ways to Have Fun

Living on $1,000 a month might mean you don’t have much room in your budget for fun. But you can still enjoy life without having to spend money.

Some of the ways you can do that include:

•   Checking out free events in your community, like festivals or fairs

•   Adopting hobbies that are low or no-cost, like walking or bike-riding

•   Checking out books, DVDs, and CDs from your local library

•   Volunteering

•   Visiting local spots that offer free admission days, like museums or aquariums.

Those are all ways to spend an enjoyable afternoon without costing yourself any money. And if you do want to do something that requires a little spending, you can use a site like Groupon to check for coupons or special deals to save some cash. Or try Meetup to see if any free or low-cost events of interest are brewing in your area.

11. Grow Your Income

If you try living on $1,000 a month and find that it just isn’t enough, the next thing you can do is figure out how to bring in more money. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do that.

Here are some ideas for making more money to supplement your income:

•   Increase your hours if you’re working an hourly job

•   Take on a part-time job in addition to your full-time job

•   Start an online low-cost side hustle, like freelancing or Pinterest management

•   Consider an offline side hustle, like walking dogs or shopping with Instacart

•   Sell things around the house you don’t need for cash

•   Check for unclaimed money online

•   Sell unwanted gift cards for cash.

The great thing about making more money is that you can try multiple things to see what works and what doesn’t. And you can also use found money, like bonuses, rebates, or refunds to help cover bills or shore up your savings.

The Takeaway

Making your budget work when you have $1,000 in monthly income is possible, though it might take some serious work. Drastically reducing expenses can be a great place to start, and bringing in more income can of course help too.

Changing banks is one more money-saving tip to know. When you open an online bank account with SoFi, for example, you can get checking and savings in one place. Plus, if you sign up with direct deposit, you’ll avoid the usual steep banking fees and earn a highly competitive up to 3.00% APY. Qualifying accounts can get paid up to two days early. If you’ve never considered an online bank before, those are great incentives to make a change.

Bank smarter with SoFi today.

FAQ

Where can you live on $1,000 a month?

The best places to live on $1,000 a month are ones that have an exceptionally low cost of living. In the United States, that may mean living in a rural area or a smaller city. When searching for the cheapest places to live, consider what you’ll pay for housing, utilities, transportation, and food – the non-negotiable “musts” in your budget.

How can I live on very little income?

The secret to living on a very little income is being careful with how you spend your money and minimizing or avoiding debt as much as possible. Keeping a budget, cutting out unnecessary expenses, and using cash only to pay can make it easier to live on a smaller income.

What is the lowest amount of money you can live on?

The lowest amount of money you can live on is the amount that allows you to cover all of your basic needs, including housing, utilities, and food. For some people, that might be 25% of their income; for others, it might be 75%; it really depends on your specific situation (household size, debt, etc.) and the cost of living. Residing in a less expensive area can make it easier to live on less of the money you make.

Photo credit: iStock/David Commins


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.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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.
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