TFSA vs RRSP: What’s the Difference?

TFSA vs RRSP: What’s the Difference?

Both TFSAs and RRSPs are accounts that provide Canadian consumers with a chance to save while enjoying investment earnings and unique tax benefits. While a TFSA acts as a more general savings account, an RRSP is used for retirement savings.

Saving is never a bad idea, so here we’ll help you understand the difference between these accounts and how they can play a role in securing your financial future.

Keep reading for a more detailed breakdown of a TFSA vs. RRSP. We’ll cover:

•   What is a TFSA?

•   What is an RRSP?

•   What are the similarities and differences between these two savings vehicles?

•   How can you choose the one that’s best for you?

What Is the TFSA?

A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a type of registered tax-advantaged savings account to help Canadians earn money on their savings — tax-free. TFSA accounts were created in 2009 by the Canadian government to encourage eligible citizens to contribute to this type of savings account.

Essentially, a TFSA holds qualified investments that can generate capital gains, interest, and dividends, and they’re tax-free. These accounts can be used to build an emergency fund, to save for a down payment on a home, or even to finance a dream vacation.

A TFSA can contain the following types of investments:

•   Cash

•   Stocks

•   Bonds

•   Mutual funds

It’s possible to withdraw the contributions and earnings generated from dividends, interest, and capital gains without having to pay any taxes. Accountholders don’t even have to report withdrawals as income when it’s time to file taxes.

There is a limit to how much someone can contribute to a TFSA on an annual basis. This limit is referred to as a contribution limit, and every year the Canadian government determines what the contribution limit for that year is. If someone doesn’t meet the contribution limit one year, their remaining allowed contributions can be made up for in following years.

To contribute to a TFSA, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and be a Canadian resident with a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

What Is the RRSP?

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is, as the name indicates, a type of savings plan specifically designed to help boost retirement savings. To obtain one, a Canadian citizen must register with the Canadian federal government for this financial product and can then start saving.

When someone contributes to an RRSP, their contributions are considered to be tax-advantaged. What this means: The funds they contribute to their RRSP are exempt from being taxed the year they make the contribution (which can reduce the total amount of taxes they need to pay for that year). On top of that, the investment income these contributions generate will grow tax-deferred. This means the account holder won’t pay any taxes on the earnings until they withdraw them.

Unlike a TFSA, there isn’t a minimum age requirement to open and contribute to an RRSP. That being said, certain financial institutions may require their customers to be the age of majority in order to contribute. It’s possible to contribute to an RRSP until the year the account holder turns 71 as long as they are a Canadian resident, earned an income, and filed a tax return.

Keep reading for a TFSA vs. RRSP comparison.

Similarities Between a TFSA and an RRSP

How does a TFSA vs. RRSP compare? There are a few similarities between TFSAs and RRSPs that are worth highlighting. Here are the main ways in which they are the same:

•   Only Canadians citizens can contribute

•   Contributions can help reach savings goals

•   Investments can be held in each account type

•   Both accounts offer tax advantages.

Differences Between a TFSA and RRSP

Next, let’s answer this question: What is the difference between an RRSP and a TFSA? Despite the fact that both an RRSP and a TFSA share similar goals (saving money and earning interest on it) and advantages (tax benefits), they have some key differences to be aware of.

•   Intended use. RRSPs are for retirement savings whereas TFSAs can be used to save for any purpose.

•   Age eligibility. To contribute to a TFSA one must be 18 years old, but there isn’t an age requirement to open an RRSP.

•   Contribution limit. The limits are usually set annually and are different for TFSAs and RRSPs. For 2022, the contribution limit for an RRSP is the lesser of either 18% of earned income reported on an individual’s 2020 tax return or the contribution limit, which was $27,830 in 2021. The limit for a TFSA, which also can vary annually, was most recently $6,000.

•   Taxation on withdrawals. While RRSP withdrawals are taxable (but subject to certain exceptions), TFSA withdrawals can be made at any time tax-free.

•   Taxation on contributions. Contributions made to a TFSA aren’t tax-deductible, but RRSP contributions are.

•   Plan maturity. An RRSP matures at the end of the calendar year that the account holder turns 71. TFSAs don’t have age limits for account maturity.

•   Spousal contributions. There is no form of spousal TFSA available, but someone can contribute to a spousal RRSP.

How Do I Choose Between a TFSA and RRSP?

Choosing between a TFSA and an RRSP depends on someone’s unique savings goals and tax preferences. That being said, if someone’s main goal is saving for retirement, they’ll likely find that an RRSP is the right fit for them. When someone contributes to an RRSP, they can defer paying taxes during their peak earning years. Once they retire and make withdrawals (which they will need to pay taxes on), they will ideally have a lower income (and be in a lower tax bracket) and smaller tax liabilities at that point in their life.

If someone wants to be able to use their savings for a variety of different purposes (perhaps including a medium-term goal like a down payment on a home), they may find that a TFSA offers them more flexibility. That said, there’s no reason TFSA savings can’t be used for retirement later on. Contributing to a TFSA is a great option for someone who has already maxed out their RRSP contributions for the year, but who wants to continue saving and enjoying tax benefits.

Recommended: What Tax Bracket Do I Fall Under?

Can I Have Both a TFSA and RRSP?

It is indeed possible to have both an RRSP and TFSA and to contribute to them at the same time. Putting money into both of these financial vehicles can be a great way to save. There are no downsides associated with contributing to both an RRSP and TFSA at the same time if a person can afford to do so.

Can I Have Multiple RRSP and TFSA Accounts?

Yes, it’s possible to have more than one TFSA and RRSP open at the same time, but there’s no real benefit here. The same contribution limits apply. That means that opening more than one version of the same account or plan only leads to having more accounts to manage and incurring more administration and management fees. Just as you don’t want to pay fees on your checking account and other bank accounts, you probably don’t want to burn through cash on fees here.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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Should I Prioritize One Over the Other?

Which type of account someone should prioritize depends on their savings goals. Their preferences regarding the unique tax advantages of each account may also come into play. That being said, if someone is focused on saving for retirement, they’ll likely want to make sure they max out their RRSP contributions first.

The Takeaway

Both RRSP and TFSA accounts are great ways for Canadian citizens to save for financial goals like retiring or financing a wedding. Each account has unique advantages and contribution limits. While an RRSP account is designed to help with stashing away cash for retirement, a TFSA account can be used to save for any type of financial need. Whether you choose one or both of these products, you’ll be on a path towards saving and helping to secure your financial future.

Looking to increase your savings efforts? SoFi can help! Open our linked high yield bank account with direct deposit, and you’ll enjoy our no-fee policy and excellent APY.

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

FAQ

Is it better to invest in TFSA or RRSP?

When it comes to TFSA vs. RRSP, there’s no right answer to whether investing in one is better than the other. Someone focused on saving for retirement may want to prioritize an RRSP, while someone who wants to save for other expenses (like a home or wedding) may find a TFSA more appealing.

Should I max out RRSP or TFSA first?

If someone is focused on saving for retirement, they may want to max out their RRSP first. That being said, this is a personal decision that depends on unique financial goals and tax preferences.

When should you contribute to RRSP vs TFSA?

Typically, the contribution deadline for RRSPs is around March 1st. A Canadian citizen can put funds in a TFSA at any point in a calendar year, and if they don’t max out their account, they will usually be able to contribute the remaining amount in the future.


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Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic?

How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic?

The longer you live in your house, the more obvious it may become that you need more living space — perhaps for a guest bedroom when your family expands or as a home office where you can work remotely in a telecommuting society. Your first thought might be to build an addition, but the sticker shock may cause you to shelve that idea and instead consider an attic conversion.

Fortunately, an attic conversion is an idea that may be more economical than a complete home addition. Read on for a full breakdown of the cost to finish an attic.

Should You Convert Your Attic Space?

There are many benefits of converting an attic into usable space, including:

•   The space already exists in your home, making this choice both cost- and time-effective.

•   You don’t need to pour a foundation, again making it a more viable and economical option.

•   Wiring is likely already in place and can be modified to suit your needs.

An attic conversion also allows you to use the entire envelope of your home, rather than wasting potential living space.

Before you fully commit to your attic remodel, though, it’s crucial to make sure your attic has the potential to become a usable living space. Better Homes & Gardens provides a litmus test to determine whether your attic is worth remodeling .

Recommended: Renovation vs. Remodel

Tips on Converting an Attic, Plus Associated Costs

One of the first things you might do before converting your attic is to see if your roof is being supported by W-shaped trusses in your attic. If so, it’s likely that building an addition is a better choice. If your attic contains A-shaped rafters, though, that’s a plus; if there’s enough open space beneath the rafters, then you can potentially convert your attic into usable space.

Other considerations that Better Homes & Gardens recommend include to:

•   Check your local building codes to make sure your remodel will fit. As just one example, a typical requirement is that the attic space must be at least 7.5 feet high and over 50 percent of the floor area. The thickness of the material will also factor into the final headroom and ceiling height. The quickest way to add significant costs to your attic remodel is to be forced to change course mid-project because of a code violation (though this is an example of personal loan use that could come in handy).

•   Determine how you’ll get into the space. Will you need to add a staircase or expand the current one? Stairs that go straight up will need more floor space than, say, spiral staircases. Or perhaps your only option is a pull-down access point; this will limit what furniture and materials you can fit into your attic conversion and how utilitarian the new living space might be.

•   Consider whether you’ll need to add windows. If you’re creating an additional bedroom, codes may require an egress window in case of fires. But even if they aren’t required, you might consider adding windows or punching skylights that open to brighten the space with natural light.

•   Decide how much flooring needs to be reinforced, along with any electrical or plumbing issues. If you ultimately decide that your attic has what’s needed for a successful conversion, it’s time to think both practically and creatively to shape what may well become the most interesting — and potentially challenging — room in your house.

•   Prioritize what’s most important to you. Maybe it’s crucial that the attic is fully plumbed for a bathroom because you want this space to serve as a guest suite. To make that happen, perhaps you’d be willing to give up your specialty flooring idea if your budget doesn’t accommodate both or if it could make it harder to get your personal loan approved for the project.

•   Consult with a professional unless you’re already an experienced builder. Ask friends, family members, and building associations for recommendations and referrals, then request quotes from at least three contractors to understand both possibilities and associated costs. When you contact contractors, ask them for credentials. Compare bids and, tempting as it may be, don’t automatically choose the lowest one. Make sure the contractor describes what will be provided as well as the estimated time frame.

Want to know how much value your attic conversion will bring to the table? Check out SoFi’s Home Project Value Estimator.

Recommended: How to Find a Contractor for Home Renovations & Remodeling

How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic per Square Foot?

On average, you can expect to pay between $4,600 to $16,000 — or $30 to $60 per square foot — to refinish your attic. Most high-end attic conversions can cost as much as $200 per square foot.

Overall, costs vary depending on the overall square footage and the materials you use.

How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic per Task?

If you hire individual contractors for each aspect of your attic remodel, then it’s easy to see what each portion of the remodel is costing you. However, if you hire a contractor to manage the entire project, you likely won’t receive the project broken down into great detail.

Here are some estimates you might expect to pay for various components of your attic renovation:

Cost of Walls and Ceilings

New walls and ceilings can effectively transform an unfinished attic into a space that’s both comfortable and livable. Although prices vary by where you live, attic drywall can cost an average of $1,000 to $2,600 to install, with ceilings costing $120 to $25,000.

Other aspects to consider: Will you paint the walls and ceilings? Add wallpaper? Do you need trim and crown molding? All of these features will be additional costs and can quickly cause your project budget to skyrocket.

Cost of Flooring

Flooring is another important consideration, so first think about what’s located directly below the attic space. Do you need soundproofing? If a bedroom is located below the attic space, you’ll likely want some sound control. Insulation provides that to some degree, and carpeting adds even more dampening.

The cost of attic flooring will depend on the current state of the attic and what materials you choose. Replacing floor joists to beef up the strength will cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000, while installing subfloor will run between $500 and $800. Installing the flooring itself averages between $200 and $6,400, depending on material and square footage.

Cost of Windows and Skylights

If there currently are no windows in your attic, you may want to add an egress window, which will run you between around $2,500 and $5,300, as a safety precaution. You also might want windows or skylights to brighten the space with natural light. Expect to pay an average of $200 to $10,000 to install an attic window, and $1,000 to $2,400 to add a skylight.

Cost of Heating and Cooling

Your attic conversion might require additional heating and cooling. The price to install an attic fan is around $400 to $900, and a window air conditioner averages $298. A skillful contractor could also potentially tie in your current climate control system.

For heat, baseboard heaters run $780 on average. Electricians charge $75 to $200 per hour in labor, and installing duct plumbing might cost you between $454 and $2,051 on average.

If your attic is difficult to access during the renovation period, contractors may tack on a surcharge. To get an idea of how much your attic renovation will cost, use our Home Improvement Cost Calculator.

How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic Yourself?

It’s generally cheaper to go the DIY route than to hire a professional — though you will need some know-how. If you’re making minor improvements to your attic space, you may be looking at an attic remodel cost as low as $300. However, if you’re looking to make a total transformation, your costs for materials could run as high as $50,000.

Though you’ll certainly save on labor costs, make sure to take into account the time involved if you decide to do it yourself as opposed to bringing in a professional.

How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic by Type?

How much it costs to finish an attic will also vary depending on the type of attic space you’re creating. Here’s a look at how much an attic remodel costs by attic type.

Cost of Finishing a Walk-Up Attic

The cost of finishing a walk-up attic generally ranges anywhere from $8,100 and $26,000. Large portions of the costs are typically adding a staircase and installing flooring.

Finishing an Attic as a Storage Space

If you’re finishing an attic to serve as a storage space, your costs are generally a little lower as there isn’t as much polishing involved. Generally, the attic remodel cost for a storage space runs from $4,600 for a simpler setup to $18,900 if the space is larger and you opt for more elaborate storage systems.

Cost to Finish an Attic With a Dormer

Installing a dormer — a window that juts out vertically on a sloped roof — can add in some ceiling height and natural sunlight into an attic. However, it will set you back. On average, the cost to add in a dormer ranges anywhere from $2,500-$20,000, plus the additional costs of other attic remodeling work.

Cost to Finish an Attic Above a Garage

The cost to finish an attic above a garage can vary widely depending on what’s involved, such as the installation of heating, insulation, or ventilation. You can typically expect to pay anywhere from $4,600 up to $24,000.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Finishing an Attic?

As you may have guessed from the wide-ranging estimates above, the cost of finishing an attic can vary a lot depending on what’s involved and what materials you use. Here are some major factors that can affect how much it costs to finish an attic:

•   Square footage: How large your attic is will play a big role in the total costs involved in remodeling. The bigger an attic is, the more materials required and the more time it will take to finish it, which translates to additional labor costs.

•   Need for structural changes: You’ll also pay extra if your attic is an odd shape or difficult to access. These challenges could call for structural updates, such as the addition of height, the expansion of space, or the creation of a staircase.

•   Intended use: Your planned purpose for your attic will also influence cost. If you just want to add in some additional storage space, you’ll pay a lot less than if you plan to install a full suite complete with a bedroom, bathroom, and closet.

•   Extra features desired: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more features you want in your newly remodeled attic, the more it will cost you. Big-ticket items include windows, electricity, plumbing, and heating and cooling.

Of course, another factor that influences your cost is whether you need to get financing for the project and, if so, what terms you’re able to secure. Keep in mind that you can always use our personal loan calculator to see how your current loan stacks up.

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The Takeaway

An attic conversion can be one way to create a unique room through adding more usable space to your home. It’s also a more economical home renovation project than an addition to your house. There are a lot of technical aspects to consider, and before getting started, it’s best to check with your local codes office so you know any building or permit requirements upfront, then come up with a project wishlist before soliciting bids from at least three contractors.

Figuring out how to finance your attic conversion is the last step of the project before getting started. If you’re looking for help with some or even the whole cost of your attic conversion, a home improvement loan is one way to finance virtually any home project. These are essentially one of the types of personal loans used to pay for renovations, additions, or updates to your home or property.

SoFi offers personal loans online for home improvement with a fast approval process, so you can get started sooner than later. Because of SoFi’s low rates and flexible terms, it can be a better choice than paying for your remodel with high-interest credit cards. And because this is an unsecured loan, you aren’t using your home as collateral like you would with a home equity line of credit.

Ready to start renovating your attic? Learn more about how SoFi personal loans can help.


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.

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


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7 Tips to Help You Use Your Credit Cards Wisely

7 Tips to Help You Use Your Credit Cards Wisely

If you’re saddled with credit card debt, you’re not alone. A recent study based on Federal Reserve and Census data found that over 45% of households in America carry a credit card balance, and that their average balance is $6,270. Considering the average credit card interest rate is just under 17%, that average balance could end up costing Americans quite a bit in interest.

Not only can reducing your credit card debt allow you to stop making hefty interest payments, but because 30% of your FICO Score® is determined by your debts owed, reducing your debt could potentially help improve your credit. If you’re working on getting out of — and staying out of — credit card debt, here are some tips on being a savvy credit card user.

How to Use a Credit Card Wisely: 7 Tips

If you have a credit card, it’s crucial that you use your credit card responsibly. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your credit card usage stays in check.

1. Always Try to Pay Off Your Statement Balance in Full

Again, with average interest rates around 17%, credit cards can be a very expensive way to borrow. It’s extremely important to pay off your statement balance in full after each billing cycle if you want to avoid dealing with high-interest charges.

If you’re already in the habit of paying your balance in full when it comes due, you could consider leveraging your credit card spending to earn favorable reward points, such as points toward travel or cash back rewards.

2. Cut Your Interest Rate if You Have Credit Card Debt

If you have a large balance or multiple cards, paying off your credit card debt is likely top of mind. It could help to consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan, as consolidating your credit card balance(s) might help you pay off your debt at a lower interest rate.

When you pay off a credit card, you’re still able to spend using that card, which would increase your balance even as you’re trying to deplete it. That’s because credit card debt is revolving debt, which is the debt you can continue to grow even while paying some of it off.

However, if you consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan, you’d be paying off your debt in monthly installments without adding to that debt and, hopefully, at a lower interest rate. A personal loan is considered installment debt, which is debt that has a set, regular payment schedule until the balance reaches $0.

3. Make Sure to Pay on Time

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s still worth discussing. Paying your statement balance after the due date may mean that you’re incurring late fees or other interest charges. And because payment history is 35% of your FICO Score , paying late can also potentially hurt your credit.

4. Build an Emergency Fund to Avoid Turning to Credit Cards in a Bind

Emergencies happen, and ideally, you’d be able to turn to your savings instead of leaning on a credit card to take care of an unexpected expense. If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, it might be a good goal to prioritize once your credit card debt is under control. In general, an emergency fund makes for a much better safety net for these situations.

Recommended: Why Having Emergency Savings Should Be a Financial Priority

5. Use the Snowball Method to Help Pay Off Debt More Quickly

Haven’t heard of the snowball method? Here’s how the popular debt payoff method works:

•   Target the account with the smallest balance to pay off first. You’ll want to pay as much as possible on this target account to pay off the debt as soon as possible. Meanwhile, you’ll continue making minimum payments on all other accounts on time to avoid late fees.

•   Once the target account is paid off, add the amount that you were allocating to the old target account to the account with the next lowest balance. Make that account the new payoff target.

•   Repeat this process until all debt balances are paid off.

For many, this method works by providing incremental victories from knocking out smaller debts, which can offer momentum toward tackling larger balances.

6. Keep Your Card Open Even After You Pay Off the Balance

Having access to available credit that you don’t use can help to improve your FICO Score. This is because you’ll be using a smaller percentage of your available credit. Remember, “amounts owed” accounts for 30% of a FICO Score.

To keep your available credit as high as possible, even if you make the occasional purchase or automate a bill payment on the card, you’d probably want to pay off the balance either on or before the due date.

7. Try Sticking to Cash to Reduce Credit Card Spending

Paying in cash instead can, paradoxically, be easier to track than swiping a credit card for purchases. If you only withdraw a certain amount of cash to spend for the week, it could potentially help reduce unnecessary spending.

To try this method, you’d want to decide how much you need to spend each day and put that amount of cash in your pocket. When it’s gone, you’re done spending for the day. It may take a lot of discipline, but if it helps you successfully pay off your credit card debt, it could be worthwhile.

The Takeaway

Using your credit card responsibly is key to avoid racking up interest charges and potentially harming your credit score. You’ll want to ensure you make at least the minimum payment on time each month and, if you can, pay off your balance in full. Other tips for using credit wisely include ensuring you have an emergency fund and considering sticking to cash for more strict budgeting guide rails.

And if you do find yourself in credit card debt, consider exploring solutions like the snowball method or securing a lower interest rate through a personal loan. With a SoFi personal loan, for instance, you could get funding as soon as the same day to start paying off your high-interest debt.

Got credit card debt? Learn more about how a SoFi personal loan can help you pay that debt off at a potentially lower interest rate.


Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

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

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

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What Are the Consequences of Not Saving Money?

What Are the Consequences of Not Saving Money?

Many Americans struggle to save money but it’s worth the effort since there are serious downsides to not stashing away cash. These can range from going into debt, facing financial hardship after losing your job, and not being able to achieve your aspirations, like homeownership.

To help you get motivated to put money in the bank, here are twelve dangers of not saving money. They may help you understand why it’s best to put away cash and motivate you to tuck some into a savings account. Not only will you be better prepared for the twists and turns of life, you’ll be better equipped to reach your financial and lifestyle goals.

The Importance of Saving Money

1. Going Into Debt

Without a savings cushion, any expense—from an unexpected car repair to paying for your child’s college education—can put you in debt. In addition, while credit cards and loans are convenient ways to afford more than your bank account, you pay more in the long run because of interest and loan fees.

Since debt often costs more than the actual expense, you can essentially save a considerable amount of money by plumping up your piggy bank.You can try easy ways to save, such as creating a simple budget or automating savings, to put aside a few dollars a month before you can spend it. These moves can ensure that you’ll be using savings instead of debt to pay for your upcoming expenses.

2. Having a Social Life Can Be Nonexistent

Your friends and family are likely on the list of things you enjoy most in life. Being able to afford a dinner out with loved ones can really boost your mood. Heading to a concert with friends can create memories that last a lifetime. But a full social calendar may put you in a sticky financial situation if you haven’t saved anything. From movie dates to happy hours to ball games, these expenses can add up.

No matter your income level, how much money you save each paycheck can make the difference between having a nonexistent social life and a happening one.

3. Life Being More Stressful

According to the Stress in America survey , 65% of respondents say money is a big stressor in their lives, which is the highest percentage since 2015. When you think about it, failing to save can make you feel stuck or overwhelmed. Your personal, financial, and professional life can suffer because a lack of savings has cut off your options.

Achieving your goals, financial and otherwise, may be a struggle without savings to propel you forward. The importance of saving money goes beyond paying an unexpected bill; it can affect your daily quality of life.

4. Not Having the Money for an Emergency

You’ll find many articles, resources, and financial professionals advising you to set aside an emergency fund. Life is expensive and doesn’t always go as planned. So, saving in advance helps you manage life’s unexpected costs.

For example, building an emergency fund might be a better choice than splurging if you get a raise. You’ll thank yourself later when, say, your furnace goes out or you wind up with a major medical bill. Typically, money experts recommend having at least three to six months’ worth of basic expenses salted away in an emergency or rainy day fund.

5. Not Being Able to Celebrate Events

Life is full of amazing milestones like getting married, having a baby, or graduating from college. Unfortunately, celebrating these life events with your family often takes substantial cash. Not being able to recognize these events the way you’d like to is another one of the many dangers of not saving money. The lack of a financial cushion could also lead you to skip, say, a friend’s destination wedding.

Although you could put your celebration on your credit card, you run the risk of going into debt. This will likely cost more over the long run since you have to pay for interest. In other words, you might still be paying it off for years to come.

6. Not Having a Viable Option if You Are Fired

No one plans on getting fired; however, it’s always possible to lose your job unexpectedly. Financial emergencies like this are an important reason to save. Saving can give you security during this kind of a crisis. If you don’t have some cash available, you might have to look into financially downsizing.

This underscores the importance of saving money from your salary when you are employed. You might consider having a small amount automatically transferred from your checking account into savings on payday.

As mentioned above, you should save at least three months of your expenses in an emergency fund. This way, you can have a solid safety net if you get laid off or are temporarily disabled and can’t work for an extended period.

7. Not Having an Inheritance for Your Children

If you’re a parent or plan to be one, you likely want to give your kids a leg up in life. An inheritance can help your children or heirs to build their nest eggs and meet life’s expenses without stress. Having both savings and an estate plan can be a lasting, life-changing gift to those who matter to you most. These assets can serve to eliminate the possibility of financial legal challenges for your family. That said, being unable to leave a legacy is a consequence of not saving money.

8.Not Being Able to Buy a Home

About three-quarters of Americans believe that homeownership is still a core component of the American Dream, according to one recent study . If you don’t save, the dream of homeownership may never become your relativity.

You traditionally need a 20% down payment to qualify for most conventional mortgages. Buying a home also usually involves other expenses, such as closing costs, repairs, moving costs, and more. Not having savings can make it almost impossible to afford the home of your dreams.

9. Not Being Able to Go on Vacation

Without savings, it’s challenging or even sometimes impossible to take time off for some rest. When you don’t set money aside, you can get sucked into the never-ending cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Since you need to work to support yourself, vacations may become less frequent or disappear altogether.

While you may think you can put a vacation on credit, that can perpetuate the “can’t save” situation, because you’ll have debt to wrangle. You could wind up coming home from your getaway to face more bills…ones you may struggle to afford.

10. Not Having Much Financial Freedom

One of the most potent limiting factors in life can be a lack of savings. With a robust bank account to fall back on, you increase your options and flexibility. Moving to a city or state with more opportunity, taking a professional course or college classes, and starting a business can all be possibilities if you’ve saved money.

Of course money can’t solve every problem life throws at you. However, it is a powerful tool that allows you to access opportunities. Remembering this can help you get serious about saving money.

11. Not Being Able to Invest

Investing your money is a superpowered version of saving. For example, if you begin saving $100 at age 25, you will save $12,000 more by age 65 than someone who starts putting $100 away at age 35.

If you save or invest, you can capitalize on compound interest and/or compounding returns. This means your gains are reinvested, so your money can grow faster over time. Consider that an incentive to start saving as early as possible. For example, if you receive a 7% annual rate of return and begin contributing $100 toward saving at age 25, you will amass $120,000 more by age 65 than someone who began contributing at age 35.

If you are Investing your savings vs. keeping them in an insured bank or credit union, you may get higher returns, but this can also mean taking on risk. To balance those forces, educate yourself with an investing guide or seek professional advice.

12. Not Being Able to Help Others

When someone is in financial need, lending money can help them get back on their feet. Whether it’s through providing a micro-loan, donating to a charity, or contributing to a scholarship, you can make a difference in the lives of others no matter how much you give.

But, if you don’t have savings, you may not be able to afford a helping hand.

Why Saving Money Is Very Important

Since money touches almost every area of your life, saving it for what matters most can be essential. Reining in your spending habits can be hard, no doubt, but the payoff quite literally is being able to afford your needs and your goals.

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Affording an enjoyable, stress-free life doesn’t just happen; it requires saving. While this can be difficult in the moment (saying no to splurges, for instance), it can set you up for years of financial wellness. Whether you want to be able to celebrate big moments with friends, start your own business, own a home, or take a major vacation, saving money can help put you on the right path.

Here’s one way to save smarter: with a SoFi bank account. When you use our mobile banking app with direct deposit, you’ll earn a stellar APY and pay zero account fees. Those two moves can help your money grow faster.

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

FAQ

Can I get by without saving money?

While it’s possible to get by without savings, there may come a day when you run into an unexpected expense that causes financial hardship. If you live paycheck to paycheck without an emergency fund, an unforeseen cost could set you back and make it challenging to recover.

Is debt inevitable if you do not save?

Without savings to fall back on, it’s quite possible to go into debt when unforeseen expenses arise. Contributing to a savings account, even a small amount monthly, can make unexpected costs more manageable so you can sidestep debt.

When is the best time to start saving?

It’s best to start saving now to give yourself time to build a cushion. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you can only save $20 per month, your future self will likely thank you.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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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.

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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How to Negotiate Your Signing Bonus

Although many people believe that the negotiation process ends once they have accepted a job offer, this is not the case. One of the most critical aspects of the negotiation process is negotiating your signing bonus. A signing bonus is a monetary incentive that an employer agrees to pay you. This bonus is meant to entice you to accept the job offer and is typically negotiable.

Everyone should know the nuances of negotiating a signing bonus to get the most out of your job hunt. If you are offered a signing bonus, be sure to negotiate it to get the most money possible. And even if your initial job offer doesn’t include a signing bonus, it might be worth asking for one.

Understanding Why Companies Offer a Hiring Bonus

Employers aren’t obligated to offer job candidates a hiring bonus, sometimes called a signing bonus or sign-on bonus. However, companies may choose to extend this one-time financial benefit to attract new talent, especially in a competitive hiring landscape.

This one-time signing bonus can help an employer close the gap between a candidate’s desired pay and what the company can offer. Additionally, the hiring bonus may compensate a new hire for any benefits the candidate might otherwise miss out on by changing jobs or forgoing other job offers.

Companies may also use a sign-on bonus to incentivize an employee to stay with a company for a certain period of time. If an employee quits within an agreed-upon time after accepting the position, they may be required to pay back the bonus.

💡 Recommended: What Is a Good Entry Level Salary?

How Signing Bonuses Work

If you’re being considered for a job, the hiring company can include a signing bonus as part of the job offer. You can then decide whether to accept the bonus and the position, attempt to negotiate for a larger sign-on bonus, or walk away from the offer altogether.

Should you accept the offer, the hiring bonus can be paid out to you as a lump sum or as employee stock options. If the company pays the bonus as a lump cash sum, they may pay it out with a first paycheck or after a period like 90 days.

Like any other bonuses, salary, or wages you receive, a signing bonus is taxable. So you’ll have to report that money on your tax return when you file. If the signing bonus is paid with regular pay, it’s taxed as ordinary income. If it isn’t, then the sign-on bonus is taxed as supplemental wages. For 2022, the supplemental wage tax rate is 22%, which increases to 37% if your bonus exceeds $1 million.

Additionally, bonuses, whether they’re paid when starting a new job or as a year-end bonus, may also be subject to Social Security and Medicare tax as well as state income tax. Employers withhold these taxes and pay them to the IRS for you. So when you get your bonus, you’re getting the net amount, less taxes withheld.

Average Signing Bonus

The average signing bonus can vary greatly depending on the company, position, and location. In general, signing bonuses may range from $10,000 to more than $50,000 for management and executive positions, while entry and mid-level position hiring bonuses are usually less than $10,000.

What Industries Offer the Highest Hiring Bonuses?

The industries that offer the highest hiring bonuses tend to be in the financial and technology sectors.

However, during competitive labor markets, signing bonuses may be offered in various industries that usually don’t offer a bonus. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, industries like healthcare, warehousing, and food and beverage offered substantial hiring bonuses to attract potential employees.

💡 Recommended: The Highest-Paying Jobs in Every State

Pros & Cons of Signing Bonuses

Receiving a sign-on bonus could make a job offer more attractive. But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s helpful to consider the advantages and potential disadvantages of accepting a bonus.

Signing Bonus Pros

A signing bonus could help make up a salary shortfall. If you went into salary negotiations with one number in mind, but the company offered something different, a sign-on bonus could make the compensation package more attractive. While the bonus won’t carry on past your first year of employment, it could give you a nice initial bump in pay that might persuade you to accept the position.

You may be able to use a signing bonus as leverage in job negotiations. When multiple companies make job offers, you could use a signing bonus as a bargaining chip. For instance, if Company A represents your dream employer but Company B is offering a larger bonus, you might be able to use that to persuade Company A to match or beat their offer.

A sign-on bonus could make up for benefits package gaps. Things like sick pay, vacation pay, holiday pay, insurance, and a retirement plan can all enhance an employee benefits package. But if the company you’re interviewing with doesn’t offer as many benefits as you’re hoping to get, a large sign-on bonus could make those shortcomings easier to bear.

Signing Bonus Cons

You could see a bigger tax bill in the short term if you receive a signing bonus. Since sign bonuses are taxable as supplemental wages, you might see a temporary bump in your tax liability for the year. You may want to talk to a tax professional about how you could balance that out with 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contributions, deductions for student loan interest payments, and other tax breaks.

Additionally, changing jobs might mean having to repay the bonus. Employers can include a clause in your job offer that states if you leave the company within a specific time frame after hiring, you’d have to pay back your sign-on bonus. If you have to pay back a bonus and don’t have cash on hand to do so, that could lead to debt if you have to get a loan to cover the amount owed.

This might cause you to get stuck in a job you don’t love. If your employer requires you to pay back a signing bonus and six months into the job, you realize you hate it, you could be caught in a tough spot financially. Unless you have money to repay the bonus, you might have to tough it out with your employer a little longer until you can change jobs without any repayment obligation.

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Reasons to Negotiate a Signing Bonus

There are several reasons it can be beneficial to negotiate a signing bonus rather than just accept whatever the employer offers. For one, a signing bonus can help offset the costs of relocating for a new job. Additionally, a signing bonus can help you maintain your current standard of living while you transition to a new city or state. Finally, a signing bonus can allow you to negotiate for other perks and benefits, such as a higher salary, stock options, or a more generous vacation policy.

When Is a Hiring Bonus Negotiated?

A hiring bonus is typically negotiated during the job offer stage after the employer has extended a job offer to the candidate. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and ask for a hiring bonus immediately because that could hurt your chances of getting one. You generally want to wait for the hiring manager to start the conversation.

After receiving your official job offer with your projected salary and benefits, you will be able to gauge your potential bonus opportunity; one rule of thumb is that a hiring bonus is about 10% of your salary. And if the hiring manager offers you a bonus initially, you might have an advantage in negotiating for a better one.

Tips on How to Ask for a Signing Bonus

If an employer doesn’t offer a sign-on bonus, you don’t have to assume it’s off the table. It’s at least worth it to make the request since the worst that can happen is they say no.

Here are some tips on how to ask for a signing bonus:

1. Know Your Value to the Company

Before asking for more money, either with a bonus or your regular salary, get clear on what value you can bring to the company. In other words, be prepared to sell the company on why you deserve a signing bonus.

2. Choose a Specific Amount

Having a set number in mind when asking for a bonus can make negotiating easier. Do some research to learn what competitor companies are offering new hires with your skill set and experience. Then use those numbers to determine what size bonus it makes sense to ask for.

3. Make Your Case

Signing bonuses are gaining steam in industries such as technology, engineering, and nursing, where there is more competition for the best job candidates. You are also sometimes in a better position to ask for a signing bonus if the company did not meet the salary you requested when interviewing — a signing bonus is an opportunity to recoup some of that difference. Regardless, it never hurts to consider asking for more money.

Just be sure to do your research first. For instance, perhaps discreetly ask your contacts whether the company might be open to offering a signing bonus, and be sure to look at comparable salaries on Glassdoor, Indeed, and Salary.com to see how your job offer stacks up.

4. Split the Difference With Your Salary

One way to potentially have your cake and eat it, too, when it comes to signing bonuses is to use your salary to offset it. Specifically, instead of asking for a large bonus, you could ask for a smaller one while also asking for a bump in pay.

An employer may be more open to paying you an additional $2,000 a year to keep you on the payroll, for instance, versus handing out a $20,000 bonus upfront when there’s no guarantee you might stick around after the first year.

5. Get it in Writing

If a signing bonus wasn’t part of your original job offer, and you’ve negotiated for one, ensure you receive an updated contract with the bonus included.

The agreement should spell out the amount of the bonus, how it will be paid (separate check or part of your regular paycheck), and the terms of the bonus. The contract should note how long you must stay employed at the company to retain your bonus (typically one year).

How to Maximize Your Signing Bonus

After receiving a signing bonus, the next question should be: What do I do with the extra money?

There are several ways you can put a signing bonus to work. For example, if you have credit card debt, your best move might be to pay that off. This could be especially helpful if you have credit cards with high-interest rates.

You could also use a sign-on bonus to eliminate some or all of your remaining student loan debt. But if you’d rather save your bonus, you might refinance your loans and use the bonus money to grow your emergency fund. Having three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved up could be helpful in case you lose your job or get hit with an unexpected bill.

You might also consider longer-term savings goals, such as buying a car or putting money down on a home. Keeping your money in a savings account that earns a high-interest rate can help you grow your money until you’re ready to use it.

Using Your Bonus for Retirement

If you are caught up with your credit card payments and already have an emergency fund, you might consider investing your bonus.

This could be a wise financial move considering that a $5,000 signing bonus isn’t as lucrative as negotiating a $2,000 increase in your annual salary. If you can’t negotiate the higher salary, you can at least use your bonus to invest. Investing can be an excellent way to build wealth over time.

For example, you might use part of the money to open a traditional or Roth IRA. This can help you get a head start on saving for retirement and supplement any money you’re already saving in your employer’s 401(k). And you can also enjoy tax advantages by saving your bonus money in these accounts.

💡 Recommended: Should I Put My Bonus Into My 401k?

The Takeaway

There’s a lot to think about when you’re looking for a new job. You want to make sure you find a position you love that will compensate you fairly. So adding another step in the job search process may seem overwhelming. However, asking for and negotiating a signing bonus using the tips above is critical to help you get hired with the bonus you deserve.

Investing a portion of your signing bonus can allow you to take advantage of compounded interest over time. But it’s okay to start investing without much money. With a SoFi Invest® online investing account, you can trade stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with no commissions for as little as $5.

Consider asking for a signing bonus when you’re offered a new job. You can use a portion of that money to open a SoFi Invest account.

FAQ

What is a signing bonus?

A signing bonus, also known as a hiring bonus or a sign-on bonus, is a bonus given to employees when they are hired. A company will pay a signing bonus to help entice the employee to accept the job offer.

How can you negotiate your signing bonus?

To negotiate a signing bonus, you should be clear about what you are asking for, be reasonable in your request, and have a backup plan if your initial request is not met. It is also important to remember that the company you are negotiating with likely has a budget for signing bonuses, so be mindful of that when making your request.

What is the average signing bonus?

The average signing bonus depends on several factors, including the company, position, and location. In general, the average hiring bonus for managers and executives may range from $10,000 to more than $50,000. For lower-level employees, a signing bonus may be less than $10,000.


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