11 Tips for Buying a High-Mileage Car

Are you thinking about buying a car? Brace yourself: The average cost of a new vehicle in the United States is nearing $50,000. Couple that with increased wait times for new car orders since the onset of the pandemic, and buying a used car might be a more attractive option.

During your used car search, you may come upon several vehicles with 100,000 miles or more on them. Conventional wisdom used to preach that 100,000 miles was a critical turning point in a vehicle’s value and reliability. In other words, the advice was to proceed with extreme caution. But today, a well-cared-for high-mileage vehicle can still be a wise purchase — if you know what to look for when buying a high-mileage car.

If you’re ready to learn the new rules, read on. You’ll gain insight into:

•   Whether to buy a high-mileage car

•   The pros and cons of buying a high-mileage car

•   Smart tactics that can help you get the best deal possible.

Is It Wise to Buy a High-Mileage Car?

Buying a high-mileage car can be an easy way to save money. In fact, if the price is right, you may be able to buy a used car with cash, meaning you won’t have to worry about monthly car payments and high interest rates.

However, cars with higher mileage are understandably more prone to mechanical issues. When buying high-mileage cars, it’s important to consider models with a clear history of routine maintenance. It is also wise to consider automotive manufacturers that are well-known for building longer-lasting cars; Consumer Reports singles out Honda and Toyota specifically, though some people are loyal to other makes, too.

Recommended: Can I Get a Personal Loan for a Car?

Buying a High-Mileage Car: Pros and Cons

So what are the pros and cons of buying a high-mileage car? Let’s break it down:

Pros of High-Mileage Cars Cons of High-Mileage Cars
Affordability: Used cars are generally cheaper than new cars; the more miles on the odometer, the more affordable it typically is. And expect continued savings: For the most part, used cars are cheaper to insure than new ones. Maintenance costs: A high-mileage automobile is more likely to need repair work. Eventually, a necessary repair may cost more than the car’s value, at which point you may want to consider buying a different car.
Depreciation: A new car typically loses 20% of its value in the first year; then 60% by the 5-year mark. By buying an older, high-mileage car, you don’t have to worry about such large depreciation hits. Safety: A car with high mileage is likely at least a few years old, so it won’t have the industry’s latest safety technologies.
Ease of purchase: You can likely drive a high-mileage car off the lot as soon as you sign. Wait times for some new cars, however, have reached as long as four months in 2022. In addition, you may be able to purchase a high-mileage car with cash, meaning you can skip the credit check and financing discussions./td>

Financing challenges: While paying with cash is an option for a higher-mileage car, the price may still be too steep for your bank account. Because of the increased chances for mechanical issues, lenders might be hesitant to offer financing for cars with more than 100,000 miles on them.

Recommended: What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a Car?

11 Practical Tips for Buying a High-Mileage Car

If buying a high-mileage car is right for your budget, the following tips for buying a used car could be helpful:

1. Having a Budget

Before researching used cars, it’s smart to have an idea of what you are willing to spend. This might involve analyzing your savings or discussing your car loan options with a lender.

Once you have settled on a budget that you can afford, respect that limit. Even if you see a must-have car that’s slightly over your budget, remember that you set a max number for a reason: It’s what you are comfortable paying.

2. Researching Makes and Models with Good High-Mileage Ratings

While most cars can make it to 200,000 miles and beyond when taken care of, not all cars are created equal. Research makes and models that are well-known for lasting beyond 200,000 miles; Consumer Reports is one solid, objective resource for this.

You can also use resources like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Cars.com to understand fair prices for the specific make and model you have chosen, given its mileage and condition.

Recommended: Can You Get a Car With a Credit Card?

3. Researching Reviews on the Car Model

Next up when thinking about what to look for when buying a high-mileage car: What do the experts have to say?

Once you have selected your preferred car model, read independent reviews from popular car sites (like Edmunds, Consumer Reports, and Car and Driver) and actual drivers on car forums. Doing so may help you get a feel for how this model performs, particularly once it has 100,000 or more miles on it.

While it might not cover the specific year, make, and model of the car you are considering, J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study can give you a good idea of automakers that excel at designing long-lasting vehicles.

If it appears that the vehicle you have chosen may not be as dependable as you thought, you may want to start your research over, focusing on a different model.

4. Researching Risks and Costs

No matter which high-mileage car you are considering, there will be inherent risks as far as reliability goes. It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the potential problems associated with a higher-mileage car. This may provide you with a better understanding of what could go wrong.

Knowing the common issues that high-mileage cars encounter can help you calculate how much to save for car maintenance.

5. Researching Car Insurance

Before you drive home in your used car, it’s a good idea to have car insurance figured out. In fact, every state but Virginia and New Hampshire legally requires you to carry car insurance if you own a vehicle.

Check out minimum car insurance requirements for your state as you research. Often, the minimum level of coverage is an adequate amount for a high-mileage vehicle.

That said, determining the right amount of car insurance coverage is entirely up to your discretion. Think about what will make you feel safe and well protected.

6. Not Being Impatient

Patience is important when shopping for a used car (as it is for many big purchases, this is especially if there is a specific model you have in mind. It might be tempting to buy the first high-mileage car that meets your basic criteria, but it is a good idea to take your time, view multiple options, and compare them before making a decision.

If your current vehicle is nearing the end of its life, you might want to start car shopping before it is totally out of commission. That way, you are less likely to be rushed into a decision.

Recommended: Leasing vs. Buying a Car

7. Test-Driving the Car

Test-driving a car is a good idea whether you’re buying new or used. When buying new, it allows you to determine if the vehicle is right for you. Are the seats comfy? Are the controls intuitive? Can you work around its blind spots?

Checking these things for a high-mileage car is also important. On top of that, a test drive in a used car allows you to monitor for potential problems. You can visually inspect the car, but you can also feel how it drives, listen for weird sounds, and even smell for things like water damage.

8. Getting a Vehicle Inspection

Though paying a mechanic to inspect a car you don’t own might sound like a waste of money, it can be a good idea when considering a used vehicle. Private sellers and dealerships might not disclose (or even know about) every small issue. An independent mechanic inspecting a high-mileage car, however, will be able to point out potential problems and estimate your costs for repairing them.

If a dealer or private seller is unwilling to let you take the vehicle to a mechanic during your test drive, consider insisting upon this — and even offer to follow the private seller to your mechanic. If the seller is still unwilling, it is probably wise to pass on the vehicle. There might be major issues lurking under the hood.

Assuming your mechanic does uncover problems and they are expensive to fix, you may want to skip the purchase and continue your search.

9. Getting a Vehicle History Report

Whenever you are purchasing a used car, whether it’s high- or low-mileage, it is a good idea to get a vehicle history report. Some dealerships and private sellers may have already ordered a vehicle history report for you to review. Even if they haven’t, consider proceeding. The cost is often negligible, typically between $25 and $100.

Why get a vehicle history report? These reports contain information about the number of previous owners, any major accidents, mileage accuracy, potential flood damage, and more helpful info for determining if the vehicle is worth the cost and what issues it may have faced in the past.

10. Paying Cash If You Can

When buying high-mileage cars, you may be able to use cash to negotiate a better car deal. Paying with cash also means you can set aside any money you would have used for a monthly car payment to use for car repairs, as needed.

Cash is also a good way to keep within your means — and the original budget you set for yourself.

11. Having an Emergency Fund for Your Car

A high-mileage car is more likely to encounter regular problems requiring potentially costly repairs. It can therefore be a good idea to have an emergency savings fund held as a savings account, ideally earmarked to include any car-related issues. Repair costs can rise significantly at the 100,000-mile mark.

Banking With SoFi

Saving up to buy a used car with cash and setting aside money for potential repairs mean you’ll need a high yield bank account with good savings features. When you open a Checking and Savings account with SoFi, you’ll have the convenience of spending and saving in one place, plus features that help you save automatically. What’s more, when you open an account with direct deposit, you’ll enjoy a super competitive up to 3.25% APY and pay no fees, both of which can help your money grow faster.

Start saving smarter today with a SoFi bank account.

FAQ

What is the most reliable high-mileage car?

In general, Honda and Toyota manufacture the most reliable high-mileage cars — a distinction that extends to other Japanese automakers when you read reviews from credible automotive sites. Some other high-mileage cars that rate well include the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, and Nissan Maxima.

What is the highest mileage you should buy for a used car?

While mileage limits can vary depending on the vehicle’s maintenance records and the brand, it can be wise to make 200,000 miles your max limit when shopping for a high-mileage car.

Is mileage more important than age?

It is important to consider both mileage and age when shopping for a used vehicle. In general, the more miles a car has, the more likely it is to need repairs. However, a newer car with the same high mileage as an older car is more likely to have newer safety systems, which can be reassuring to many drivers.


Photo credit: iStock/HABesen

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 3.25% 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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Learning Finance Without a Finance Background

An advanced financial degree isn’t a requirement for taking control of your finances. In fact, you can learn all you need to know about finance without a financial education background at all — if you’re willing to put in the work (and sometimes spend a little money).

Learning about how the realm of money works can boost your financial literacy and may improve how well you spend, save, and invest your hard-earned cash.

So let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to learn finance on your own time, including:

•   Reading books and blogs

•   Consuming video and audio content

•   Attending online and in-person classes and seminars

Why Being Sound in Finance Is Important

Even if you don’t want to become an accountant or manage clients’ investment portfolios, learning about finance is an important practice for everyone. Knowing financial basics like how to build a budget, how to pay off debt, how bank accounts work, and even how to do basic investing in stocks and bonds can be key to your financial stability. You’ll likely become a smarter consumer and savvier money manager, not turning a blind eye to your bank and IRA statements.

With more understanding of your finances, you’ll have more control over them. Financial literacy can help you avoid (or get out of) debt, save for important goals like a wedding or vacation, and increase your net worth through investments and home ownership. This can benefit the financial health and well-being of your family, too.

8 Ways to Learn About Finance

Wondering how to learn finance without enrolling in a four-year degree? Here are some of the easiest ways to teach yourself about finance. Dive in, and you may be rewarded with knowing how to manage your own money confidently and find your way to financial freedom:

1. Taking an Online Course

Taking an online course is one of the best ways to learn finance — and you can even do it in sweatpants. LinkedIn offers several finance and accounting courses that are ideal if you are working toward becoming a practicing financial professional, but you can also find free or affordable financial literacy classes for the average person.

Popular options for online financial courses include Coursera, edX, and Udemy. Just be sure to find courses aimed at non-finance pros. Many universities, including MIT and the University of Michigan, offer some courses for free; you’ll just have to pay if you want the certificate of completion.

2. Reading Books

There’s no way around it: If you want to learn about finance at a deeper level, you’ll probably benefit from cracking open a book. Your local library probably offers shelves of books on finance (maybe even digital versions for your e-reader), but you can also order books online or shop at second-hand bookstores.

Goodreads is a great place to research personal finance books. Some of the best core books for learning about finance, especially for beginners, include:

•   Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner

•   I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

•   Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

•   The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.

Recommended: 10 Personal Finance Basics

3. Listening to Podcasts

If reading isn’t your thing, you can instead try learning finance via podcasts (or audiobooks). Listening to the top money podcasts means you can use your time efficiently: Stream the podcast during your commute to and from work, while exercising or walking the dog, or even while cooking dinner.

Some podcasts are aimed at beginners while others have more targeted audiences, usually those interested in investing.

If you’re a beginner, check out:

•   So Money

•   Financial Grownup

•   Freakonomics

Students may benefit from The College Investor; The Dave Ramsey Show is popular with people working to get out of debt; and investors who want to learn more about the market should queue up What’s News, Jill on Money, or Planet Money.

4. Utilizing YouTube and Other Visual Media

Podcasts are great for on-the-go learning, but if you want to sit and watch financial content so you can take notes, YouTube is a great place to start. Here are some of our top recommendations for financial literacy video content:

•   The Financial Diet or Two Cents for general personal finance content

•   Wealth Hacker for investing and passive income advice

•   Bigger Pockets for real estate investing.

5. Hiring a Financial Professional

While learning about how to use a checking and savings account is important, more complex topics like debt consolidation or investing in the stock market may be too intimidating for some.

If you find yourself too busy to learn or just struggling with the concepts, consider hiring a financial professional. Some financial professionals offer specific services like tax preparation and wealth management; you can also hire a financial consultant who can offer advice on all areas of your finances, from paying down student loan debt to building an emergency savings to refinancing a mortgage. This process, beyond providing guidance, can also help you build knowledge about the areas of finance about which you are most curious.

Recommended: What Is Financial Therapy?

6. Taking an In-Person Class or Seminar

How to learn about finance if you find yourself easily distracted during online courses? In-person classes at a local college or even seminars and workshops in your area could be a good option.

You can check out nearby universities and community colleges to see what classes they offer. If you have hired a financial advisor, they might be able to recommend upcoming seminars in your area. Finally, your local library may also host workshops.

7. Subscribing to Business and Investing Publications

Beginners can likely get by on podcasts and YouTube content, but once you advance to more complex investing concepts, it’s a good idea to subscribe to business and investing publications, whether in print or digitally. Popular financial magazines include Barron’s, The Economist, Kiplinger’s, Forbes, and Money. The Wall Street Journal is a popular resource for monitoring investments.

Many investment apps now offer access to news about the market. If you are using an app rather than a traditional investment firm, see what information they offer access to before signing up for any subscriptions.

Recommended: 5 Ways to Achieve Financial Security

8. Follow a Finance Blog

If a newspaper delivered on your doorstep feels too archaic, you can instead use finance blogs to learn basic topics and stay on top of changing news. One good place to start: See what your bank or investment management firm offers. Many have top-notch blogs covering an array of topics.

You may also find blogs that suit your particular needs, whether that’s understanding annuities, managing finances for a single-paycheck family, or estate planning. If you read a book on money that you like or listen to a podcast that you find valuable in one of your key areas of interest, search for more intel on the expert involved. They may well have a finance blog that can deepen your knowledge.

Managing Finances With SoFi

A key player in your financial knowledge and well-being is the bank you choose as your partner. SoFi can be a smart choice when you’re shopping for a new bank account. Our Checking and Savings lets you conveniently spend and save in one place, while sharing a suite of tools to help you monitor and manage your money. What’s more, when you open an account with direct deposit, you’ll earn a hyper competitive up to 3.25% APY and pay no account fees, which can help your money grow faster. Qualifying accounts can also access their paychecks up to two days early.

Start on your path to financial freedom with SoFi.

FAQ

Is finance easy to learn?

Finance can be easy to learn if you are willing to seek out informative content from books, podcasts, videos, blogs, and even professionals and then invest some time soaking up knowledge. Learning about finance requires dedication and sometimes a little investment — but knowing how to manage your money can pay off in the long run.

What should I learn first about finance?

Some of the most fundamental personal finance concepts include building a budget, opening a bank account, and understanding your credit score. Once you have mastered those more basic concepts, you can then focus on things like retirement planning, debt consolidation, and real-estate and stock-market investing.

Can I make finance a career without a degree?

Having a degree of some kind (ideally in finance but even in mathematics or other allied areas) is very helpful for building a career in finance. Completing internships and/or industry courses outside of a college setting can put you on the right path, though you may still need a certification for a specific job in finance. For example, Certified Public Accountants and Certified Financial Advisors have completed specific programs to earn their credentials. That said, self-taught individuals might be able to build careers in creating personal-finance educational content, like podcasts and blogs.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
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 3.25% 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.
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Tips for Financially Recovering From Money Addiction?

When you think of addiction, you might automatically think of people who are dependent on drugs, alcohol, food, or sex as a coping mechanism. But it’s also possible to be addicted to money. This issue can manifest itself through unhealthy behaviors such as gambling, frequent overspending, or extreme saving (yes, it’s possible to overdo a good thing).

Having an addiction to money can be harmful financially and emotionally; it can also put a strain on your personal relationships. Recognizing the signs of a money addiction can be the first step in making a recovery.

Read on to learn more, including:

•   Can you be addicted to money?

•   What are the signs of being addicted to money?

•   What impact does it have if you are addicted to money?

•   How can you recover from a money addiction?

What Is Money Addiction?

Broadly speaking, addiction is defined as a chronic disease that leads people to engage in compulsive behaviors, even when the consequences of those behaviors may be negative. The precise cause of addiction isn’t known, but it is believed to be a combination of a person’s genetics, brain circuitry, environment, and life experience.

When someone has a money addiction, their compulsive behaviors are centered around money, and they may approach their finances in a way that’s outside the norm of what people typically do.

For example, having a lack of savings or too much debt are common financial challenges that many people face. If you’re an average person, you might try to remedy those issues by working on building a small emergency fund or creating a workable debt payoff plan. While the person’s finances might not be in great shape, there isn’t any indication of compulsive behavior.

Someone with a money addiction, on the other hand, will typically have a different relationship with their finances. They might commit to an aggressive savings plan, for example, because they believe they have to save even if it means sacrificing basic needs. Or they may compulsively shop for emotional fulfillment while turning a blind eye to their debt.

Can You Be Addicted to Money?

Money addiction can be a real thing and is for many people. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the official manual of the American Psychiatric Association, specifically recognizes certain financial behaviors as addictive. For example, the DSM-V classifies gambling disorder as an addictive disorder.

Whether you end up addicted to money can depend in part on your experiences and the money values you developed in childhood. If you frequently ask yourself, “Why am I bad with money?” the answer could be that you learned negative financial behaviors from your parents and the people you grew up around. Genetics and biology also play roles.

What money addiction looks like for one person might be very different for another. And it can sometimes be difficult to recognize those behaviors as addictive. For example, someone who spends $20 a day on lottery tickets in the hope of someday winning the jackpot might not see that as compulsive or having a money addiction. They could fail to realize how that behavior might be harming them financially because they’re so focused on the idea that they’ll win eventually.

Signs You May Be Addicted to Money

How do you know if you have an addiction to money or are just bad at managing it? As mentioned, experiencing common money issues such as debt or a lack of savings can indicate that you might need to work on learning personal finance basics like budgeting. But there are other signs that could point to a full-fledged money addiction. Here are some signals:

Life Revolving Around Obtaining Money

The first clue that you might be addicted to money is feeling obsessed with the idea of getting it. It’s one thing to wonder how you’re going to stretch your finances until your next paycheck; it’s another to spend most of your waking hours thinking about how to get money. If you often think of how you can obtain money instead of considering how to make the most of the money you do have, that could be a sign of a money addiction.

You don’t have to be broke to have this mindset either. You might be making $250,000 a year at your job, for example, but still not think it’s enough and constantly consider ways you could make more money.

Engaging in Dangerous or Risky Behavior

Certain behaviors could signal a money addiction if they involve your taking big risks that you’re not necessarily comfortable with. For example, when a money addict gets paid, they might take that money to the casino instead of using it to pay bills. Their addictive mindset doesn’t allow them to factor in the risk that instead of winning big, they might lose it all.

Money addiction can play out in other ways that might not seem risky at first glance. Trading stock options or futures, for example, is something plenty of people do every day. If your guess about which way a stock will move pays off, you could net some decent profits.

Where that kind of behavior becomes problematic is if you’re constantly losing money, but you continue investing anyway. It’s similar to the person with a lottery ticket addiction. You keep telling yourself that your winning number is sure to come up eventually, but in the meantime, you’re steadily losing money.

Not Wanting Others to Know Your Money Struggle

Covering up your money behaviors can be another strong hint that you have a financial addiction. That includes things like hiding receipts, credit card bills, or bank statements, or hiding the things you’re purchasing from a spouse, significant other, or another family member. You may act defensive or defiant when someone tries to ask you about your money situation.

Here’s another simple test to determine if you’re addicted to money. If you have to ask yourself, “Why do I feel guilty spending money?“, that could suggest that you know there’s a problem with what you’re doing.

Living in Denial About Spending

Your spending patterns can be one of the best gauges of whether you have a money addiction, provided you own up to them. Avoiding your financial life can be a symptom: If you shy away from checking your bank statements or adding up how much credit card debt you have, those could be red flags for money addiction.

Understanding why you spend the way you do can be a first step toward recovery. For instance, there’s a difference between compulsive vs. impulsive spending. Knowing which one you engage in more often can help you identify the triggers that are leading to bad money habits.

Unwilling and Unable to Change Money Habits

Another sign of money addiction is a sense of resignation, or knowing that you have a problem with money but not doing anything about it. You might feel ashamed to let someone else know that you need help with money, for instance. Or you might take the attitude that things have been the way they are for so long already that there’s no point in trying to change the situation.

Fearing the Loss of Money

No one wants to lose money but having an unnatural fear of doing so could be a clue to a money addiction. Being afraid of losses can keep you from making smart decisions with your money that could actually improve your financial situation. For example, you might be so afraid of losing money in the stock market that you never invest at all. In the meantime, you could potentially miss out on thousands of dollars in compound interest growth. Or it might have you working 24/7 and never enjoying downtime because you are so focused on making as much as possible to avoid feeling poor.

Another expression of money addiction could be saving so much that you have very little spending money. If you feel compelled to save a certain possibly excessive amount, it could keep you from paying bills on time and enjoying the occasional dinner out or movie because you feel every penny must go into your bank account. This behavior can be akin to hoarding and can likewise interfere with daily life.

Effects of Money Addiction

How money addiction affects you personally can depend on what form your addictive behaviors take. Generally, there are a number of negative side effects you might deal with as a result of money addiction, including:

•   Constantly feeling worried or stressed over money

•   Failing to set or reach financial goals

•   Carrying large amounts of debt

•   Having little to no money in savings

•   Missing out on legitimate opportunities to grow your money

•   Getting no enjoyment from the money that you do have

•   Living with a scarcity mindset

•   Having strained personal relationships because of money.

In short, money addiction can keep you from having the kind of financial life and daily life that you want. The longer you’re addicted to money without addressing the causes, the more significant the financial and emotional damage might be. The sooner you learn to manage money better, the less you will pay (literally and figuratively) for it.

Tips to Recover From Money Addiction

If you have a money addiction, you don’t have to stay stuck with it. There are things you can do to cope with and manage an addiction to money, similar to how you’d deal with any other type of addiction.

Improving your money mindset can lead to positive actions and break the addictive cycle. Here are some key steps on your path to recovery.

Being Honest

Before you can break your addiction to money, you first need to be honest with yourself that you have a problem. It can be difficult to acknowledge that you have an issue with money, but it’s necessary to identify what’s behind your compulsive behaviors.

You may also need to come clean with others around you if your financial behaviors have affected them directly or indirectly. For example, if you’re hiding $50,000 in credit card debt from your spouse, that’s a conversation you need to have. They probably won’t be thrilled to hear that you’ve run up so much debt, but they can’t help you address the problem if they don’t know about it.

Seeking Help

Fixing a money addiction might not be something you can do on your own. You might need professional help, which can include talking to a qualified therapist to understand your money behaviors and improve them. Or it could mean working with a nonprofit credit counseling company to hammer out a budget and a financial plan for getting back on track. Or it might mean taking both of these steps.

Even having an accountability partner can be helpful if you’re struggling with overspending. Any time you’re tempted to make an impulse buy, you can call up your accountability buddy and ask them to talk you through it until the urge to spend passes.

Recommended: Maxed-Out Credit Card: Consequences and Steps to Bounce Back

Using Money for Good

Money isn’t an inherently bad thing, and it can do a lot of good if you know how to use it. If you have negative associations with money, you can help turn that around by using it for positive purposes.

For example, you might start making a regular donation to a charitable cause you believe in. Or if you’ve neglected saving in favor of spending, you might try paying yourself first by putting part of every paycheck into a high-interest savings account. Prioritizing savings and focusing on your needs vs. wants can be a form of financial self-care that can help with breaking a money addiction.

Recommended: 34 Charities to Support This Year

Understanding Why Basing Your Self-Worth on Money Is Unhealthy

When you’re addicted to money, you might have a mindset that the amount of money you have determines your value. That’s an easy trap to fall into if you spend a lot of time on social media, where you’re likely to see a steady stream of influencers living dream lives. You can end up in a cycle of FOMO (or fear of missing out) spending in an effort to live a lifestyle that you can’t really afford.

That’s not a healthy place to be financially or mentally because you can find yourself constantly chasing “things” in order to feel whole. Recognizing that your self-worth goes beyond how much money you have in your bank account or which designer brands you wear can be a key step in recovering from a money addiction.

The Takeaway

Money addiction can strain or even wreck your finances, but it doesn’t have to. If you identify the issue and then are willing to take steps to manage it, you may well be able to thrive. Consider taking some first steps, whether that means opening a new bank account for savings and automating deposits into it or contacting a credit counselor. Moves like these can help you develop a positive relationship with money.

When you open a bank account online with SoFi, you can get convenient money management with no fees. You can manage your money online or through the SoFi app, which is helpful for keeping track of expenses when you’re trying to curb overspending. And if you sign up with direct deposit, you’ll earn a great up to 3.25% APY (62x the national average), which can help your money grow faster.

Are you ready to bank better? See the difference SoFi can make.

FAQ

What is it called when you are addicted to money?

It’s called a money addiction when you have an unhealthy relationship with money that leads to compulsive or dangerous behaviors. Being addicted to money means that you have an emotional or mental dependence on it that can have potentially harmful side effects.

Can saving money be an addiction?

Saving money can be an addiction if you’re so focused on saving that you neglect meeting your basic needs or you’re blind to your ability to use money for good. If you’re only interested in seeing your savings account balance go up, you might miss out on opportunities to put your money to work in other ways or enjoy life.

Does money create dopamine?

The release of dopamine in the body is associated with pleasurable or novel experiences. If you get a rush from certain money behaviors, like saving excessively or impulse shopping, then that’s a sign that those behaviors might be triggering a dopamine release.


Photo credit: iStock/Povozniuk

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 3.25% 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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Extra Income Sources for Retirees

11 Ways Retirees Can Make Extra Income

If your work days are in the rearview mirror now, you may be enjoying your retirement but also wondering how you might bring in a bit more cash. The average Social Security retirement benefit as of September 2022 is $1,628.17, which simply isn’t enough income to support a comfortable life for most people in the United States, especially older people who can often require more healthcare.

Fortunately, many retirees have options for bringing in extra income to make ends meet that might include working online, getting seasonal jobs, or starting a business. In addition, retirees can make use of resources to reexamine and potentially reallocate investments and savings. These moves can maximize their retirement experience.

For example, they might be able to shift invested money to a more liquid position. Or trade a big house that costs a lot to maintain for a smaller place that frees up extra cash for travel. Read on for some ideas for discovering extra income sources for retirees.

Online Jobs

For people who want to earn money from the comfort of home, there are many online jobs that require varying degrees of experience. Often you can work when you like, in your pajamas if you prefer. This is, after all, supposed to be your time. Here, some work-from-home jobs for retirees:

1. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants tackle jobs that companies don’t have the money or inclination to hire full-time employees for. This might include anything from handling social media to managing customer emails or handling the CEO’s schedule. Often, they work for small companies, but they may be called in to help large ones as well. Some virtual assistants make very good money; six figures even. The key is to create a niche, an area where you already have expertise to set you apart from the competition.

2. Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping can be a fairly easy skill to learn; it isn’t accounting, and bookkeepers don’t handle all the tasks of an accountant. A bookkeeper might create new accounts, handle payroll, and pay and issue invoices, usually with the help of bookkeeping software. They probably won’t be responsible for closing out the books, reporting taxes, or other tasks that have the legal liabilities of an accountant. One bookkeeper might be able to handle several clients.

3. Teacher

Even if you haven’t taught before, if you have knowledge to share and have always been good at explaining things to others, online teaching might be for you. You could teach English to non-English speakers, or tutor in any subject in which you have depth of knowledge. Earnings can range from a few dollars an hour to more than $25 depending on your expertise. An online search can lead you to many options.

4. Customer Service

You’d be surprised how many jobs there are for customer service representatives who want to work from home. You might be hired to help customers via phone, social media, or even chat. You could be working with products or services, from selling kitchenware to answering questions about healthcare services. Or if you have management experience, you might manage a team of home-based customer service representatives. This is a job that requires patience and a love of working with people.

Seasonal Jobs

5. Retail, Tax Season, Tourism

You may not want to work all year round. Perhaps just bringing in a little extra money now and again would suit you fine. If so, holidays, tourist season, and tax season may provide all the work you want. For example, U.S. retailers expect to hire many 100,000s of workers for the 2022 Christmas season, mostly working as sales associates in brick-and-mortar stores. For instance, Walmart alone is hiring 40,000 employees.

While Christmas retail may provide the most seasonal jobs, tax season isn’t too far behind and also provides hundreds of thousands of jobs for tax preparers. Many of them must first take a short course and work from the first of the year through April 16. But there are other opportunities, too. All summer and fall people need yard work and gardening help. If you live in a tourist town, attractions need staff, too. Picking up seasonal work means enjoying the leisure of retirement in between picking up extra cash.

Start Your Own Business

The skills you gained during your working years could provide the foundation for your own pursuit, or you could try something different. How many hours you devote to it is your call; flexibility can be a benefit of side hustles or entrepreneurial business. Some ideas:

6. Consulting

More and more companies are turning to contract work rather than hiring full-time employees. If you have a solid skill set, want to set your own hours, and choose your clients, you can use your connections to begin a consulting company. You may need a website or LinkedIn to promote your services, or you may have a strong enough network you can just reach out to connections and let them know you’re in business!

7. Service Work

Maybe you love cooking and can create a business providing meals for a handful of families every week. Perhaps you love kids and want to work as a nanny. Perhaps you are good at simple carpentry and can do odd jobs. Many families find they lack the time to take care of jobs, kids, homes, and hobbies and would love a reliable person to take on some of their tasks.

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Downsize

Many people know how life gets more full and complicated as the years pass — buying stuff, accumulating debt, gaining complexity. Retirement can be the right time to figure out what brings you joy and start shedding that extra stuff which may have become a burden to manage.

8. Sell Stuff

By retirement age, many people have collected a lot of possessions. Instead of just unloading it for free, you might offer it on a site like Ebay or Etsy, or one of the dozens of other possible places to sell your things. Or, if you donate it, make sure to track what you gave away and keep receipts for a possible deduction. Then use a software or app to ensure you get the write-off at tax time.

9. Unload Debt

Debt is expensive. Whether it’s a credit card, a personal loan, or even a mortgage, it’s wise to find ways to reduce the cost of that debt. That might mean it’s time to refinance your mortgage and perhaps roll other debts into it to cut the interest rate and boost your tax deductions.

It might mean making extra payments on principal or using the extra income you bring in to whittle away at high-interest loans. It might mean seeing if you can get a better rate by using a personal loan for your car. Talk to a financial advisor to find the best ways to reduce the burden of debt.

10. Reduce Fixed Costs

Use a spending tracker or budget tracker to find ways to reduce your fixed monthly expenses like food, housing, transportation, and healthcare. Could you get by with only one car instead of two? Or maybe it’s time to sell that home and tuck into a smaller one that gives you more money at the end of the month.

Various tools let you check home values to see how much you could get for your current home. You could also eliminate a couple of streaming services or follow store sales to stock up on favorite items.

11. Ask for Discounts

Take advantage of seniors’ discounts everywhere you go. Many mobile phone services have senior discounts; grocery stores have senior discount days; movie theaters, hotels, airlines, all offer discounts to seniors.

Beyond age-related savings, know that you can also sometimes renegotiate bills for things like insurance and internet service. Many companies expect it and build it into their customer retention plans so you’re not asking for “special favors.” You might also try negotiating medical bills as well.

Revisit Your Financial Plan

Financial planning has to evolve as the markets evolve. You should ensure you have a retirement plan and that you regularly evaluate your financial portfolio. You may be able to move money around in a way that provides you extra cash each month.

The Takeaway

Many retirees are looking for ways to bring in more cash, and there are plenty of ways to do so, from starting a side hustle to selling unwanted items to taking on seasonal work. You might also benefit from taking a fresh look at your budget and reallocating some funds.

Another important facet of thriving during retirement can be to find the right banking partner. SoFi can be that ally. When you open a Checking and Savings online bank account with us, you’ll spend and save in one convenient place. Sign up with direct deposit, and you’ll earn a top-notch up to 3.25% APY and pay no fees, which can help your money grow faster.

Bank smarter with SoFi, and see how your money can work harder for you.


Photo credit: iStock/fstop123

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 3.25% 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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Ideas for Doing Thanksgiving Inexpensively

37 Ideas for Doing Thanksgiving Inexpensively

Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with loved ones, but it can certainly come with a steep price tag. Maybe you’re flying home for the holiday. Or perhaps you’re staying behind on campus and cooking with friends, or hosting at your first-ever apartment. No matter where the turkey is roasting, it will involve considerable time, effort, and cash.

Especially this year, with inflation still going strong and turkey prices forecast to hit new heights. But that doesn’t mean you have to go into debt putting out a delicious spread and making some awesome memories.

To avoid overspending just a few weeks before gift-giving season, read on. We’ve got 37 ways to keep your Thanksgiving costs under control and still have an incredible meal with your favorite people.

Thanksgiving on a Budget: How to Save

Here are some simple strategies for doing Thanksgiving inexpensively this year, whether you’re heading to your parents’ place (hello, peak-season plane tickets!) or doing Friendsgiving at your place. Bonus: These tips can also help you save time — and stress.

1. Stocking Up as Stuff Goes on Sale

Throughout November, stores typically have different Thanksgiving dinner items on sale. Grabbing nonperishables whenever you see them on discount can save a bundle, and also help spread out the cost of the meal.

2. Keeping the Stuffing Simple

Think twice before you shell out for roasted chestnuts or special sage sausage to add to your stuffing. That will send the cost skyward. (A single jar of ready-to-use chestnuts can easily cost $15.) The plain old bag or boxed variety from the supermarket is pretty darn good, and once there’s cranberry sauce and gravy on top, no one will be complaining. If you feel the urge to dress it up, add a chopped apple and/or fresh herbs.

3. Making It a Potluck

Whether you’re celebrating with family or friends, you can make Thanksgiving inexpensive by asking your guests to each contribute a dish. You can coordinate who is bringing what in advance to make sure there are no overlaps or gaps.

4. Going Big for Dessert

If your budget is tight but you want to invite a crowd, consider having a simple feast for your nearest and dearest, and then invite a larger crew for coffee and pie later in the day. Apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies from the supermarket are usually affordable and delicious. This tactic can let you welcome dozens without going broke.

5. Checking Coupon Sites

Before heading out to the grocery store, you may want to check out coupon websites like Coupons.com , LOZO , and CouponMom to find deals on the items on your shopping list.

6. Going to Manufacturers’ Websites

A few major brands likely produce many of the items on your Thanksgiving shopping list. It can be worth checking websites like Butterball and General Mills for coupons and seasonal promos.

7. Stretching What’s Left

This tip isn’t about saving money on what you buy; it’s about putting your leftovers to work. Sometimes, you may feel so exhausted and stuffed after your holiday feast that you just want the leftovers to go away, whether that means sending everything packing with guests or trashing it. But don’t: Save some food and use it over the holiday weekend so you don’t spend any more money grabbing takeout when you get hungry.

8. Getting Your Grocery Store’s App

Many supermarkets have apps that offer coupons and deals. Sometimes you can get a reward just for signing up. Download one or two, and see how much you can save.

9. Hitting More Than One Store

Going to just one supermarket is obviously more convenient. But if you check the circulars, you may see different items on sale at different stores. Going to a couple of different grocery stores could lead to significant savings.

10. Skipping Appetizers

When hosting, you may be tempted to splash out on a fancy cheese plate or other hors d’oeuvres to start with. In a word: Don’t. It’s expensive, and it’ll just dampen appetites for the main event.

11. Buying a Store-Brand Frozen Turkey

Typically, a turkey makes up a big part of your budget for the Thanksgiving meal, and this year, turkeys will perhaps be at their most expensive ever due to inflation’s impact and other factors. Opting for a store-brand frozen bird, rather than a fresh one, can significantly lower your total outlay for the meal.

12. Splitting the Costs

You may want to consider teaming up with your bff, a sibling, or another family member to co-host this year’s gathering. That way you can split all of the costs, rather than foot the entire bill.

13. Buying Basics in Bulk

Buying staples like flour, potatoes, eggs, cream, and butter from a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club can help you spend a lot less on food, as long as you’re not buying more than you need or will use up after Thanksgiving.

Recommended: How to Buy in Bulk: Beginners Guide

14. Going Generic

Many times, generic or store-brand products are just as good as the brand-name version, and the only real difference is price. It’s cheaper for the generic products, since they spend less on package design, marketing, and other costs.

15. Watching Where You Shop

Sometimes, it’s better to shop at your local chain supermarket or warehouse club vs. the cute gourmet store in your neighborhood. The latter probably has all kinds of beautiful herb-covered cheeses and foil-wrapped chocolate turkeys that can trigger impulsive or compulsive spending. Avoid the temptation, and you may well save some cash.

16. Asking Guests to BYOB

Wine, beer, and other alcohol can add up quickly. One easy way to save money is to ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage. That way, everyone will get to sip something they love, and you won’t have to shell out all that extra money.

17. Sticking With Seasonal Produce

Vegetables that are in season in November, such as sweet potatoes, squash, Brussels sprouts, and white potatoes, will typically cost a lot less than out-of-season picks, such as corn, asparagus, and green beans.

18. Opting For Frozen Veggies

If you want to use veggies that aren’t in season, you may want to choose the frozen versions, which are generally much cheaper than fresh but are still likely to work well in your holiday recipes.

Recommended: 18 Common Misconceptions About Money

19. Baking Your Own Bread

Baking bread can be fun, and it typically involves spending a lot less than buying rolls or loaves at a bakery. After all, many recipes require just flour, yeast, water, and maybe a dash of salt and/or sugar. You can also make bread ahead of time and stick it in the freezer until the big day.

20. Going Simple with Sides

It can be tempting to try a new gourmet recipe you saw online or in your favorite food magazine, but fancy recipes often require specialty ingredients — and can end up costing a lot to make.

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21. Not Going Overboard

You may love the idea of giving your guests a cornucopia of options, especially when it comes to appetizers and sides. But making a lot of different dishes can lead to a much longer and costlier grocery bill. And, much of that food may end up going to waste. Seriously, you don’t need three different kinds of potatoes on the table.

22. Getting a Bigger Turkey Than You Need

Yes, this sounds like a way to increase costs. Going with a larger bird, however, can pay off by giving you several additional meals, like turkey sandwiches and turkey pot pies, you can make later without going back to the store or spending another dime.

23. Considering Pre-Made Dishes

Sometimes store-made dishes and desserts can actually be cheaper than buying all of the ingredients and making these things yourself. It can be worth doing some quick math at the store. This move can also save you time as well as stress.

24. Shopping Your Pantry

You may already have quite a few shelf-stable items in your pantry (maybe even from last Thanksgiving) that you need this year. It can be well worth the time and effort to give your cabinets a once-over before you head to the market. Cornmeal? Check. Cranberry sauce? All set.

25. Watching a Movie at Home

Though many people have a tradition of going out to the movies on Thanksgiving, theater tickets and concessions can be pricey. Instead, you may want to consider renting a movie from a streaming service (or finding a free one) that everyone can watch together on Thanksgiving night.

26. Not Going to the Mall

Nearly 155 million Americans went shopping on last year’s Black Friday. Yes, there are deals to be had, and this can be a good time to buy if you’ve done your research and have a budget for it. But if not, cruising around a mall full of sale signs could lead to debt. How about a hike instead?

Recommended: How to Cut Back on Spending

27. Using Up Airline Points

If you need to travel by plane over Thanksgiving, you may want to consider using any points you’ve racked up with the airlines or on your credit card to score a free or discounted ticket.

Recommended: Ways to Be a Frugal Traveler

28. Going on a Staycation

While taking a vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday can be fun, it could add up to thousands of dollars between the flights, hotels, and rental car, depending on where you go. You may want to consider staying home and planning a series of local adventures instead.

29. Staying in an Airbnb

If you normally stay in a hotel when you visit family or friends over Thanksgiving, you may be able to save by going with an Airbnb instead, especially if you can share it with other people who are coming in from out of town.

30. Checking Warehouse Clubs for Travel Deals

Before you book any Thanksgiving travel, you may want to check for deals offered by your local warehouse club. If you are a member, you may be able to access discounts on hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, and more.

Recommended: 23 Tips on Saving Money Daily

31. Asking for Travel Discounts

Whether you’re renting a car or staying in a hotel over Thanksgiving, it can be a good idea to ask if you are eligible for any discounts when you book. You may be able to score a lower price if you’re a AAA member, a student, a resident of the state, a member of the military, or over age 55.

Recommended: 27 Tips For Finding The Top Travel Deals

32. Making a Budget

Whether you’re hosting or heading out of town, it can be a wise idea to make a simple budget. Come up with a total amount you can afford to spend on Thanksgiving. You can then make a list of expected expenses, and determine how much you can realistically spend on each item.

Recommended: Building a Line Item Budget

33. Going DIY with Decor

A fun way to save money on Thanksgiving is to recruit the kids in the family to create your decorations. They could collect and paint pine cones, create cut-out turkeys (tracing their hands as a template), or make a craft paper tablecloth where everyone can write or draw what they are thankful for.

34. Handing the Reins to Someone Else

Hosting can be fun and rewarding, but if you need a reprieve from the work — and expense — you may want to see if someone else wants to step up this year. You can offer to bring your famous balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts and smashed potatoes to make the host’s job easier.

35. Forgoing Flowers

Yes, stores are filled with pretty arrangements of flowers in shades of red, orange, and yellow. And yes, they make a table extra festive. But you’ll save a chunk of change if you don’t purchase them. After all, your table is likely to be packed with dishes to dig into; you don’t really need a bouquet to fill any empty space.

36. Going Out to Eat

Local restaurants may be offering Thanksgiving specials to bring in customers. You could save big if you go out to eat (and split the tab) rather than host everyone at your home.

37. Volunteering for the Holiday

Helping out at a local soup kitchen can be a great way to get into the holiday spirit and have a chance to focus on giving back, rather than spending.

TheTakeaway

You can enjoy Thanksgiving (and the upcoming December holidays) without running up expensive credit card debt that you may struggle to pay back.

One great way to keep your holiday costs under control is to set up a simple budget and then make sure you stick to it by keeping track of your expenses as you go.

With a SoFi Checking and Savings® account, you can easily track and categorize your weekly spending right in the dashboard of the SoFi Checking and Savings app.

Better banking is here with up to 3.25% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


Photo credit: iStock/GMVozd

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 3.25% 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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