How to Budget on a Fluctuating Income

How to Budget on a Fluctuating Income

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

Tips for Budgeting With an Irregular Income

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

1. Determine Your Average Monthly Income

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

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

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

2. Analyze Your Spending

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

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

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

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

3. Set Some Goals

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

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

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

4. Consider Using the Zero Sum Budget

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

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

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

Recommended: 7 Different Types of Budgeting Methods

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5. Start Building An Emergency Fund

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

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

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


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

FAQ

Will budgeting work if you have an irregular income?

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

What are examples of irregular income?

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

•   Freelance work

•   Seasonal jobs

•   Commission-based sales

•   Side gigs

•   Bonuses and tips

What is the difference between regular income and irregular income?

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

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


Photo credit: iStock/andresr

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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Retail vs Corporate Banking: What's the Difference?

Retail vs Corporate Banking: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between retail vs. corporate banking lies in what type of services they provide and to whom. Retail banking is consumer-focused while corporate banking, also referred to as business banking, is designed to meet the needs of businesses.

Banks can offer both retail and business banking services to attract both types of clients. Understanding how each one works makes it easier to distinguish between retail vs. corporate banking.

What Is Retail Banking?

Retail banking refers to banking services and products offered to retail customers, meaning individuals. Retail banking can also be referred to as consumer banking or personal banking. The kinds of products and services offered by retail banks are designed for personal money management — such as checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), debit cards, and more.

In the U.S., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is responsible for overseeing banks at the national level. Banks with assets in excess of $10 billion are also regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In addition to federal regulation, retail banks can also be subject to regulation and oversight at the state level. These organizations help ensure that services are being provided in keeping with the law and that charges are not excessive.

Recommended: How Do Retail Banks Make Money?

Services Offered Under Retail Banking

Retail banks typically offer products and services that are designed to help everyday people manage their finances. This is the key distinguishing factor between retail vs. business banking. For example, some of the services retail banks may offer include:

•   Deposit account services: Retail banks can allow consumers to open checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and other deposit accounts to hold their money safely and securely.

•   Mortgage lending: Homeowners often require a loan to purchase a home, and many retail banks provide mortgages to qualified borrowers.

•   Secured and unsecured loans: In addition to home loans, retail banks can issue other types of loans, including auto loans, personal loans, home equity loans, and lines of credit.

•   Credit cards: Credit cards offer convenience for making purchases; many of them also offer rewards to consumers for using them. Retail banks may issue credit cards to creditworthy customers.

•   Certificates of deposit: Certificates of deposit (or CD accounts) are special types of deposit accounts that allow you to earn interest on your money for a set term.

Banks may also offer insurance to their retail clients. Private banking may also be available for higher net-worth customers.

Retail banks usually make money by accruing interest on the money they lend via loans and other vehicles. They may also charge various fees for banking services, including overdraft fees, loan origination fees, and checking account fees. Some retail banks have physical branches, while others operate exclusively online.

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What Is Corporate Banking?

Corporate banking is the branch of banking that offers its services and products to business entities. That includes large corporations as well as small and medium-sized business operations. Corporate banks may also serve government agencies and entities. While services may include deposit accounts, these banks also may offer credit and asset management, lines of credit, payment processing, and tools that facilitate international trade.

Like retail banks, corporate banks can charge fees for the various services they provide. Banking services can be directed toward a corporate audience in general or be tailored to target the needs of specific industries, such as healthcare or companies that operate in the tech space.

Recommended: When Would I Need a Business Bank Account?

Services Offered Under Corporate Banking

The services offered by corporate banks are designed to suit the needs of businesses large and small. The kinds of services a corporate bank can offer include:

•   Deposit account: Business banking can include many of the same deposit options as retail banking, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts.

•   Debt financing: Corporate banks can offer debt financing options to startups and established businesses that need capital to fund expansion projects and growth.

•   Trade lines of credit: Trade financing can make it easier for businesses to cover day-to-day operating expenses. Examples of trade financing that corporate banks may offer include merchant cash advances, purchase order financing, and accounts receivable processing.

•   Payments processing: Corporate banks can act as payment processors to help businesses complete financial transactions when providing products or services to their customers.

•   Treasury management: Treasury management services can help businesses keep cash flowing steadily and smoothly.

•   Global banking: Businesses that are interested in expanding into foreign markets may rely on business banking services to reach their goal.

Key Differences Between Retail and Corporate Banking

Retail and corporate banking both have the same goal: serving the needs of their customers. But the way they achieve this goal differs. Here are some of the most noteworthy differences between retail banking vs. business banking.

Business Model

Retail banking’s business model is built around meeting the needs of retail banking clients. Banks that operate in the retail space are primarily concerned with three things: deposits, money management, and consumer credit.

Corporate banks, on the other hand, base their business models around products and services that are utilized by business entities. That includes offering business bank accounts, providing avenues for securing capital, and offering financial advice.

Customer Base

Retail banks are geared toward consumers who rely on financial products like personal checking accounts, savings accounts, or unsecured loans. A retail bank can offer accounts to different types of consumers, including specialized accounts for kids, teens, students, or seniors. But generally, they’re consumer-facing and work with everyday people to help them manage their money.

That’s a difference between retail vs. corporate banking: The latter is business-centric. For example, a corporate bank may offer services to companies with a valuation in the millions. Or it may cater to smaller businesses that need help with things like payment processing or cash flow management. Some business banks may serve companies both large and small.

Processing Costs

As mentioned, both retail and corporate banks can charge fees for the services they provide. These fees are designed to make up for the bank’s own handling costs for processing transactions. Both types of banks can also charge interest on loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. These are some of the ways that banks earn money.

In general, retail banks tend to have lower handling costs which means lower fees for consumers. Corporate banks, on the other hand, typically have higher processing costs which means their clients pay more for their products and services.

Value of Transactions

Since retail banks serve everyday consumers, the average value of transactions processed tends to be lower compared to that of corporate banks. A corporate bank, for example, might process a transaction valued at several million dollars for a single customer. Someone who’s adding money to their personal checking account vs. a business checking account, meanwhile, may be depositing a few hundred or few thousand dollars.

Profitability

Here’s another key difference between business banking vs. retail banking: Business banking tends to generate more profits. That’s because corporate banks typically deal in higher value transactions than retail banks.

The Takeaway

The difference between retail vs. business banking is quite straightforward: Retail banking serves individual customers’ needs, while corporate banking serves the needs of companies of all sizes, as well as other organizations.

For most people, retail banking is a good choice to manage and optimize their financial lives. For instance, you can use a retail bank account to pay bills, deposit your paychecks, transfer money to savings, and make purchases or withdrawals using your debit card.

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

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

FAQ

Is corporate banking better than retail?

Corporate banking is not necessarily better than retail banking; they’re designed to serve different audiences. Corporate banking is usually a wise choice for a business entity, while retail banking is designed to serve individuals with their personal banking needs.

Is a current account retail or corporate?

Current accounts can be offered by retail and corporate banks. Generally speaking, a current account is a bank account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals. A checking account, either personal or business, is an example of a current account.

Why do banks focus on retail banking?

Banks focus on retail banking because there’s a need for it among consumers; many adults might be interested in a checking account, a debit card, and a credit card, for example. The demand for retail banking also allows banks to generate revenue by charging fees for deposit accounts and interest on loans and lines of credit. That said, corporate banking also serves an important need and generates income for banks as well.


Photo credit: iStock/https://www.fotogestoeber.de

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Check Kiting: What It Is and How to Avoid Potential Scams

Check Kiting: What It Is and How to Avoid Potential Scams

Check kiting is the illegal act of writing bad checks using bank accounts with insufficient funds. Common variants include retail check kiting and securities-based kiting. Consumers and business owners should know about this fraudulent practice to protect themselves.

While mistakenly writing a bad check is often not a serious issue, there can be harsh penalties, including prison time, for intentionally engaging in check kiting. Knowing how to avoid this scam can save people time and money. As the financial world grows more digital and mobile, this age-old illegal practice still remains a risk.

What Is Check Kiting?

Check kiting is the illegal practice of writing bad checks on accounts with insufficient funds. While credit cards and mobile payment methods grow more and more common, checks are still used today, so kiting remains an issue.

This fraudulent activity seeks to take advantage of what’s known as the bank’s float period, which is the time it takes a financial institution to determine if an account has funds to clear the check. If the funds are there, then the amount is cleared and made available for the payee to use. Nefarious individuals engage in check kiting to essentially take money from a bank by pulling cash from accounts that do not have enough funds to cover the checks.

Kiting is not only done through banks and checking accounts, but also with retailers and even individual companies. Retail kiting is performed by cashing a check on an account with insufficient funds to purchase goods and services. There are other variations that financial con artists attempt to pull off, too; more details on these are below.

How Does Check Kiting Work?

Banks and credit unions likely know about check kiting, but business owners and retailers might wonder about this practice. Kiting is the illegal practice of obtaining credit and cash from accounts and other financial instruments. Examples of kiting are when a scammer writes a bad check or uses securities to gain leverage while skirting regulations.

💡 Quick Tip: Want to save more, spend smarter? Let your bank manage the basics. It’s surprisingly easy, and secure, when you open an online bank account.

Real-Life Examples of Kiting

Perhaps the most common kiting example is within the banking world. With a checking account, for instance, a scammer might write a check for $100 on an account that only has a $20 available balance, then deposit that check in a separate account. The $100 is then quickly withdrawn from the second account, leaving the first account overdrawn. In this case, the individual took advantage of the bank’s clearing window to steal money.

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


Variants of Check Kiting

There are other examples of this malicious practice in the business world. Scammers are often highly creative in their practices to swindle cash. Below are a few variants of check kiting to watch out for; also protect yourself by making sure that the financial institution where you hold your bank account has top-notch fraud protection to help keep your cash safe from scammers’ activities.

Circular Check Kiting

Circular check kiting is among the most common forms of kiting. A financial con artist will use multiple bank accounts, maybe even at different banks, to illegally take advantage of the bank account float period. As described above, the scammer will pull real cash from non-existent money. While cashing checks without a bank account is a legal practice, doing so with no funds backing it up is kiting.

Circular kiting works by writing fraudulent checks on real accounts to gain unauthorized credit. The fraudster makes a deposit with a check they know will bounce, but quickly withdraws the cash, leaving the banks with overdrawn accounts. With circular check kiting, the individual might get extra creative and use different names or even several identities to hide their actions.

Retail-Based Check Kiting

Retail-based check kiting happens when an unscrupulous person swindles cash from other types of businesses. It may involve the illegal act of writing bad checks around town. A financial huckster might seek to purchase goods and services by writing a check on an account with insufficient funds. The con artist takes or receives the products, but then the check bounces and the money never makes it back to the retailer.

Another method involves requesting cash back on a bad check at the register. A second check may be used to cover the first check to stay ahead of the bank float period. This can facilitate a series of illegal retail acts. If a retailer becomes aware of this scam, they can try to issue a stop payment on the check. This might help prevent illegal activity, but it’s no guarantee.

Kiting With Securities

Kiting is also a problem in the investing world. Some firms may illegally use the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) settlement window to keep a short position in the market without actually purchasing the securities. (Selling short means an investor anticipates that a stock’s price will drop and they can buy low and make a profit.) The SEC’s three-day settlement period requires timely delivery of transactions and securities. If an individual exploits settlement delays in order to transfer unavailable funds, they are engaging in kiting. A trading company that does not receive securities within the three-day period is required to buy shares in the market.

Corporate Check Kiting

Corporate check kiting typically happens when a company doesn’t have the usual limits on deposits. Large sums can be put in an account. Deceitful managers or owners of a firm might take advantage of this; they might deposit bad checks and then immediately spend the cash, before it’s apparent that the check won’t clear.

Consequences of Check Kiting

Obviously, check kiting, like other forms of bank fraud, can cause financial loss and a considerable amount of stress, anger, and frustration. There are a range of consequences to the illegal activity of check kiting. Penalties for this type of financial fraud vary depending on how severe the case is:

•   Banks might restrict someone’s account features or close their account.

•   Certain scams can result in misdemeanor or even felony charges.

•   Fines and prison sentences can happen after a severe crime.

Avoid Check Kiting Scams

While there is no sure way to avoid becoming a victim of malicious illegal financial activity, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances. These include:

•   Know how to identify a fraudulent check and a check’s expiration date

•   Be aware of customers and individuals with whom you do business. Before you accept a check or deposit it into your bank account, take steps to verify that checks are good.

•   Avoid wiring funds to people you do not know.

•   Use a voided check’s information to verify the account is real.

Also, be cautious about scam scenarios in which someone sends you a check that overpays you and then requests that you quickly return the difference to them. You could wind up the victim of fraud.

Banking With SoFi

Choosing a bank account with the services and features you need is important. Be sure to explore your options to find an account that can help you manage your financial life.

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

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

FAQ

Why is check kiting illegal?

Check kiting is illegal because it fraudulently uses financial products to gain unauthorized money or credit. It typically employs checks for which there are insufficient funds (that is, checks that will bounce rather than clear).

Why is it called kiting?

The term “kiting” is thought to come from the nineteenth-century practice of bond issuance that had no real financial backing. It was said that the only thing keeping the bonds afloat was “air” and nothing else. “Check kiting” grew in prevalence during the 1920s, perhaps as retail banking became more common.

What is cash kiting?

Cash kiting takes advantage of banks through the use of two separate accounts. A fraudster might write a check on one account for more than its available balance and deposit it in the other account. The individual takes advantage of the bank float period, which is the processing time for funds to clear. During cash kiting, both accounts appear to have more funds than they truly do. The fraudster can profit from drawing cash from the accounts when it’s not really available.


Photo credit: iStock/MicroStockHub

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


This article is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice.

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

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How to Pay for College Without Federal Loans

How to Pay for College Without Federal Loans

It’s not a secret that the cost of attending college is more expensive than most people can afford to pay for in cash. Many students turn to federal student loans to help pay for college. But what can someone do if they’ve already tapped out their federal student loan resources or don’t want to take on any federal loans?

Thankfully, there are a variety of resources available to help students pay for their education. From scholarships to savings, continue reading for 14 ways to make college tuition more affordable. It may even be possible to figure out how to pay for college without loans.

14 Ways to Make College Tuition More Affordable

The key to figuring out how to pay for college without loans or financial aid is to make the overall cost of college a lot less expensive. Here are a few ways someone can make the cost of college more affordable.

1. Apply for FAFSA

It’s always a good idea to apply for federal financial aid — even if you don’t think you’ll qualify. That’s because the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), is absolutely free to fill out. This form helps determine the type and amount of aid a student qualifies for. While it’s not a guarantee that students will get financial aid granted to them, it’s worth applying to try to lower the overall cost of pursuing higher education.

Federal financial aid includes both need-based aid, like Direct Subsidized Loans or Pell Grants and non-need based aid, like Direct Unsubsidized Loans. After submitting the FAFSA, schools will use the information to determine your financial aid package. This will detail the aid you qualify to receive for the school year. The FAFSA must be completed annually.

Sometimes, federal financial aid isn’t enough to allow a student to pay for the full cost of college. Keep reading for ways to lower the costs of attending college in the event you don’t receive enough financial aid to make it easy to pay for school.

2. Qualify for Merit Scholarships

Because scholarship funds don’t need to be paid back, they can be a valuable tool to help pay for school. While there are need-based scholarship opportunities, there are also merit-based scholarships that focus on giving money to students that meet or exceed certain standards set by the person or organization issuing the scholarship. These can include such factors as academic excellence, musical talent, or athletic ability.

Merit scholarships may be available from your college or university. Contact your school’s financial aid office for information on scholarships available at your academic institution.

3. Apply for Private Scholarships

While colleges often offer scholarship opportunities, so do private companies, nonprofits, and other organizations such as religious groups. Both school-based and private scholarship opportunities are worth looking into. You can find information on private scholarships from both your school’s financial aid office and by searching online databases, like Scholarships.com, that aggregate information on available scholarships.


💡 Quick Tip: When you have questions about what you can and can’t afford, a spending tracker app can show you the answer. With no guilt trip or hourly fee.

4. Apply for ROTC Scholarships

If someone is considering joining the military, they may be able to receive up to 100% in tuition assistance if they do so. College’s may have ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) programs that make it possible to qualify for scholarships before joining the military — unlike the GI Bill which gives education money to those already enrolled in the military.

5. Attend a Community College

Attending a community college before transferring to a four-year university is another option to cut tuition costs. Some community colleges even offer tuition-free programs. Not to mention, when attending a local community college, it may be easier to remain living at home with mom and dad which can cut down living expenses massively.

6. Earn College Credit in High School for Free

Some community colleges partner with local school districts to give high school students the opportunity to take college classes for free which allows them to earn college credits in high school. Taking advantage of free college classes while in high school can make the cost of attending college later cheaper — especially if the student can graduate early as a result. Advanced placement (AP) classes in high school can have a similar benefit.

7. Ask for Family Donations

While there’s no guarantee that a family will be able or willing to help pay for someone to go to college, it can be worth asking grandparents and other close family members for assistance (in addition to parents, as you might assume). Together, their contributions may help lighten the overall load of attending college.

8. Consider Private Student Loans

If someone wants to take out loans but didn’t receive enough federal student loans to fully cover their education and living expenses while in college, they can apply for private student loans to help make up the difference. Unlike federal student loans which are awarded based on the FAFSA, private student loans are awarded from individual lenders and require their own application.

Because private student loans can be more expensive than federal loans, it may be a good idea to exhaust any potential federal options before applying for private student loans. In addition, it’s important to recognize that private student loans don’t offer the benefits that federal student loans can, such as forgiveness. In addition, with loans, a longer term loan can mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

9. Choose an Affordable School

Usually, attending an in-state public school is more affordable than attending an out-of-state public school. Additionally, private universities tend to cost more to attend than public universities. If a student can go to an in-state public university, that is likely the most affordable route they can pursue. Especially if they attend community college first to get some general education classes out of the way.

While public schools are generally more affordable than private institutions, financial aid packages can potentially even the playing field. When evaluating colleges, be sure to factor in the actual costs after any scholarships or grants and other aid.

10. Work During School

It can be challenging, but if a student can work part-time while enrolled in college, they can pay some if not all of their way as they go. If they took out loans, they may be able to use their earnings to start paying them down early so they can avoid paying interest after they graduate.

11. Budget for College With Parent’s 529 Plan

If a student’s parents set up a 529 plan (which is a tax-advantaged investment account that can be used to pay for qualifying educational costs), they can budget out those savings to see how much of their education they can pay for; a budgeting app could help with this.

Some students may not have the benefit of parents who can support their education in this way. Students figuring out how to pay for college without their parents’ help may want to focus on finding an affordable school, filling out the FAFSA, applying for private scholarships, working while in college, and using student loans wisely.

12. Complete College Earlier Than Four Years

If a student hustles, even shaving off one semester of college can save them a decent chunk of change in tuition, fees, and room and board. If they can take an extra class each semester, they may be able to graduate early and save a lot of money. Another path is to try to complete college credit-worthy classes in high school, as noted above.

13. Live Off Campus and Commute

As convenient as living on a college campus is, it can also be expensive. The cheapest living option is to live at home with parents if that’s possible and commute to school. If a student does need to live on their own, renting an apartment or a room in a house off campus may still be more affordable than living on campus. Price the different options to see which is most affordable and in line with your budget.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

14. Opt for a Payment Plan

Some colleges offer tuition payment plans that distribute costs over several months. These don’t necessarily reduce expenses but can make it easier to pay for tuition by spreading payments out instead of expecting one upfront lump sum payment. This can be an especially good option for students working to pay for school.

The Takeaway

Paying for college is a big endeavor, but one that can be made easier if a student takes certain steps to reduce the overall costs of college. Figuring out how to pay for college without loans is challenging, but starting by applying for scholarships and financial aid can help.

To make it easier to reach major financial goals, including paying for college, SoFi can help you budget well.

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

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

FAQ

What can I do if my parents won’t pay for college?

Students can apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), look for scholarships, take out federal or private student loans, or work their way through school. It may be challenging, but students do have options outside of their parents for financing higher education.

How can I pay for college by myself?

If someone needs to pay for college on their own, they’ll want to fill out the FAFSA each year to see how much financial aid they qualify for and how much federal student loan coverage they can get. If they need more money to pay for school, they may consider applying for private student loans and/or scholarships, as well as working part-time during college.

Is Sallie Mae a federal loan?

Sallie Mae student loans are no longer federal student loans. They are a kind of private student loan.


Photo credit: iStock/AntonioSolano

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

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

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

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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30 Low-Stress Jobs for Introverts Without a Degree

30 Best Jobs for Introverts

People who are introverts can succeed in almost any job that interests them. Contrary to what many people might think, introverts aren’t necessarily shy, but they do like working independently or in small groups. They typically are drawn to inner thoughts and ideas versus focusing on external matters. In addition, they may prefer having some quiet time to reflect and recharge instead of a job that requires nonstop meetings.

Thankfully, there are plenty of jobs that can suit this personality type and offer a challenging and fulfilling career path. Read on to learn more about this topic.

What Makes the Ideal Job for an Introvert?

According to conventional psychology, introverts prefer to spend time with just one or two people, rather than larger groups or crowds. They’re not necessarily loners; in fact, many introverts have highly developed social skills. However, introverts tend to gravitate toward situations and environments where they feel less pressure to react or respond quickly or to engage with multiple people (say, constantly leading major team meetings).

An ideal job for an introvert may allow them to:

•   Work independently

•   Work alone or in quiet spaces that allow them to think and deploy their analytical and decision-making skills

•   Focus on one task at a time

•   Engage one-on-one (or “one on a few”) instead of in large groups

•   Leverage their empathy and creativity

What Kind of Work Does Not Fit an Introvert

As noted above, jobs that require a lot of collaboration with or presentations to large groups of people may not be a great fit for introverted people. Introverts are likely to be less comfortable with jobs that involve loads of group brainstorm sessions or that require them to regularly verbalize their thoughts and feelings to multiple people at once.


💡 Quick Tip: We love a good spreadsheet, but not everyone feels the same. An online budget planner can give you the same insight into your budgeting and spending at a glance, without the extra effort.

30 Jobs for Introverts Without a Degree

Finding a rewarding job as an introvert means finding a career that suits your interests and caters to your inner-directed personality type, as described above.

Here are 30 jobs that can be a great match for introverts, with salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1. Web Developer or Digital Designer

•   2023 Median Salary: $92,750

•   Primary Duties: This career is all about the design, coding, and development of websites for optimal performance and user experience. This could be a job where an introvert works solo all day, or it might involve small team collaborations. With its union of creativity and analytical insights, web development can be a great option for introverts.

2. Farmer or Rancher

•   2023 Median Salary: $83,770

•   Primary Duties: The image of farmers and ranchers working solo in wide open spaces is iconic. While that can be true, this career may involve some interaction with others on a work team. Primary duties are overseeing the production of crops, livestock, and dairy products.

3. Psychologist

•   2023 Median Salary: $92,740

•   Primary Duties: Psychologists can work in a variety of settings, from a medical center to private practice, but the field involves assessing and supporting cognitive and emotional wellness. This can be a very rewarding career for introverts who want to channel their empathy and social skills.

Recommended: Could a Small Business Loan Be Right for You?

4. Plumber, Pipefitter, or Steamfitter

•   2023 Median Salary: $61,550

•   Primary Duties: This career is all about installing and repairing pipe fixtures. There aren’t many meetings, nor lots of large-group interactions. Introverts can enjoy the focus and problem-solving this job demands.

5. Postal Service Worker

•   2023 Median Salary: $56,510

•   Primary Duties: Typically, this work involves collecting, sorting, and delivering mail to businesses and private residences or else helping post office customers. It can give introverts the opportunity to work alone or have small-scale interactions.

6. Social Worker

•   2023 Median Salary: $58,380

•   Primary Duties: Social workers help people resolve problems in their lives. Introverts who are empathetic listeners, enjoy helping others, and find lots of one-on-one interaction satisfying will likely enjoy social work.

7. HVAC Technician

•   2023 Median Salary: $57,300

•   Primary Duties: This job requires workers to assemble and repair heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. It can suit the mechanically inclined and those who like to be immersed in hands-on problem solving.

8. Environmental Scientist

•   2023 Median Salary: $78,980

•   Primary Duties: In this job, a person uses their knowledge of nature to improve the environment and human health. It can involve time in the outdoors and the lab, with opportunities to focus on and interpret research data.

9. Delivery Truck Driver

•   2023 Median Salary: $39,950

•   Primary Duties: For those who like lots of solo time and the feeling of being on the open road, being a delivery truck driver can be a dream job. Duties involve the pickup, transport, and delivery of packages or goods from one location to another.

10. Writer or Author

•   2023 Median Salary: $73,690

•   Primary Duties: Writing is a diverse career, ranging from writing fiction books to completing technical writing for manufacturers. It can allow an introvert to explore a particular passion of theirs in print and often involves a good amount of independent work.

11. Librarian

•   2023 Median Salary: $64,370

•   Primary Duties: This can be a fulfilling career for introverts; most interactions involve collaborating with individuals seeking help with research. Plus, it taps both creativity and problem-solving skills and usually has a not too frenetic pace. Bonus: Librarians tend to work in very quiet environments.

12. Physician

•   2023 Median Salary: $236,000

•   Primary Duties: This demanding career requires a high level of training. With a salary well into the six figures, this is one of the highest paying jobs on our list. It offers the rewarding work of interacting one-on-one with patients and other members of a medical team to help people achieve optimal health and to treat illnesses.

13. Roofer

•   2023 Median Salary: $50,030

•   Primary Duties: For introverts who value independence and enjoy problem solving, being a roofer can be a good fit. Most of the workday is spent replacing, repairing, and installing roofs on buildings and houses. Working remotely is not an option.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait

14. Surveying and Mapping Technician

•   2023 Median Salary: $48,940

•   Primary Duties: Collecting data and taking land measurements in order to create maps of the Earth’s surface is a unique job, melding creative and analytical pursuits. It’s unlikely to involve many large meetings and can give introverts the “think time” they love.

15. Mechanic

•   2023 Median Salary: $51,940

•   Primary Duties: This job can be a good fit for those who like to work with their hands and problem-solve with a small team as they troubleshoot and repair automobiles and other forms of transportation.

16. Bookkeeper

•   2023 Median Salary: $47,440

•   Primary Duties: Love a good spreadsheet and balancing finances? Being a bookkeeper can provide satisfying work for those who enjoy working with numbers. The role also has potential as a work-at-home job for retirees.

17. Interpreter or Translator

•   2023 Median Salary: $57,090

•   Primary Duties: Provided one has deep knowledge of a foreign language, this can be a solid job for introverts, collaborating one-on-one or in small groups to convert one language into another. Some jobs may strictly involve texts versus in-person interaction.

18. Software Quality Assurance Analyst or Tester

•   2023 Median Salary: $101,800

•   Primary Duties: Techies, this one is for you: This path typically involves testing software to identify and debug problems or to learn how the software works. This can offer plenty of focused work time.

19. Marketing Manager

•   2023 Median Salary: $156,580

•   Primary Duties: This potentially high-earning career focuses on managing outreach to build a business or a brand. This can tap an introvert’s creativity and analytical skills. Small team meetings and travel to meet with clients may be part of the job.

20. Photographer

•   2023 Median Salary: $40,760

•   Primary Duties: Photographers produce, shoot, and potentially edit (hello, Photoshop!) images for personal or professional use. It’s a highly creative pursuit that may suit an introvert’s personality type.

21. Proofreader

•   2023 Median Salary: $48,790

•   Primary Duties: This can be a satisfying job, tapping an introvert’s analytical abilities and giving them space to think as they read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Proofreading is usually a quiet, somewhat solitary profession.

Recommended: 7 Different Types of Budgeting Methods

22. Landscaper

•   2023 Median Salary: $37,360

•   Primary Duties: There’s not too much large group interaction if you’re a landscaper. Workdays are spent maintaining outdoor grounds by mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, raking, and other methods.

23. Physician Assistant (PA)

•   2023 Median Salary: $130,020

•   Primary Duties: Assisting both physicians and patients can put an introvert’s empathy and technical know-how to good use. It does require specialized training: A PA is one step below doctor and a step above nurse — similar to a nurse practitioner.

24. Animal Trainer

•   2023 Median Salary: $44,910

•   Primary Duties: Dog, horse, and other animal lovers may find this to be an ideal career, with time spent teaching animals obedience and staying calm, and assisting people.

25. Medical Transcriptionist

•   2023 Median Salary: $37,060

•   Primary Duties: Medical transcriptionists, as the name indicates, transcribe voice recordings from physicians and nurses and convert them into written reports. This can provide a career with plenty of “quiet time” for detail-oriented introverts.

26. Floral Designer

•   2023 Median Salary: $34,690

•   Primary Duties: A floral designer can spend their days arranging decorative displays using live, dried, or silk flowers, which can be a creative endeavor without too many big meetings.

27. Data Scientist

•   2023 Median Salary: $108,020

•   Primary Duties: Data scientists deploy analytical tools and techniques to pull valuable insights from data. This is a growing field in today’s digitized world.

Recommended: How to Make a Personal Budget

28. Teacher

•   2023 Median Salary: $64,390

•   Primary Duties: Teachers and instructors are responsible for helping students of different ages learn various topics and skills. The job may tap an introvert’s empathy, and it may involve small meetings with students or their parents. Bonus: Teaching can be one of those jobs that pay off student loans through the Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

29. Hand Sewer

•   2023 Media Salary: $32,240

•   Primary Duties: Technically speaking, this job is about sewing and finishing items with needle and thread. It can suit craft-oriented, creative, and independent workers who like the mental space it provides.

30. Accountant

•   2023 Mean Salary: $79,880

•   Primary Duties: An accountant prepares or reviews financial records, tapping their analytical skills. This career can incorporate interactions with individual clients or businesses, which may suit introverts well.

Recommended: 25 Best Jobs for Extroverts That Pay Well

The Takeaway

There are many challenging and satisfying jobs that can suit introverts, from writer to data scientist to physician. In fact, many high-paying and rewarding jobs are well-suited to the personality traits of an introverted person.
Introvert or not, everyone can benefit from better budget planning and tools that give you back control of your finances.

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

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

FAQ

What are good jobs for introverts?

There are many jobs that suit introverts well and leverage their empathy, creativity, and analytical skills. These can include being a research librarian, physician, or landscaper, among other careers.

Is self-employment good for introverts with anxiety?

Self-employment can be a good fit for introverts who experience anxiety working with large teams or with multiple people. However, self-employment can also create stress if it requires you to find your own clients or manage a large workload on your own.

What is a good job for someone with introverted qualities?

Jobs that allow you to work independently and in quiet environments at least some of the time are generally better for introverts, as are those that involve one-on-one interaction versus large group meetings.


Photo credit: iStock/Wiphop Sathawirawong

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

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

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

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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