37 Places to Sell Your Stuff

37 Places to Sell Your Stuff

Decluttering can benefit both your mind and soul. It can also benefit your wallet. And, these days, turning your discards into real cash has never been easier to do.

Whatever you’re looking to unload—clothes, shoes, bags, elecontronics, furniture, decor, housewares–you can likely find a marketplace (online or offline) that can help you make it happen.

The key is knowing where to look. Here are 37 ideas.

Where Can I Sell My Stuff?

If you have items you no longer want or need, and you’re looking to make some extra money, why not kill two birds with one stone?

The following resale apps, sites, and stores may be able to help. Some of these services are free to list and sell, some take a percentage of profits, some pay cash outright, and others consign (meaning they sell your stuff and pay you once it sells).

1. Craigslist

One of the original online marketplaces, Craigslist is where you can list all sorts of things, from tools to toys to DVDS to antiques (and much more) for free.

2. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to sell items in your local area. It’s free to create a listing that can be seen by anyone on and off Facebook. You can also choose to post your listings to any “Buy and Sell” Groups you’re a member of.

3. Amazon

While you may think that Amazon is where you can buy new things, there are also a lot of opportunities to list used items, especially books. With any type of item, you will pay 99 cents per unit sold (or if you sell a lot, you can opt to pay a flat fee of $39.99 per month). You’ll also pay a referral fee, typically between 8% and 15% of the sale price.

4. eBay

The original selling platform, eBay can still be a good way to sell your stuff, especially if you want to reach buyers from around the world, or you’re looking to unload an unusual item (there is almost nothing you can’t sell on eBay). But you may want to keep an eye out for selling fees, which may include a listing fee, a percentage of the sales prices, and possibly other fees.

5. OfferUp

OfferUp allows you to sell to someone local, or ship an item to a buyer who lives anywhere in the US. Most items are free to post. When you sell a shipped item on the site, you may be charged a fee that is a minimum of $1.99, or 12.9% of the sale price.

6. Poshmark

Primarily a site for selling used clothing, Poshmark also lets you list home decor and beauty products. For sales you make under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. If you make a sale that’s worth $15 or more, it takes 20%.

7. Etsy

Etsy isn’t just a platform for artists to sell their handmade goods–the site also allows you to list some used goods. However, you can only resell in the “Vintage” and “Craft Supplies” categories. There is a listing fee of 20 cents per item, and, when you sell an item, there’s a small commission and payment processing fee.

8. thredUP

An online consignment and thrift store, thredUP sells thousands of major brands. You can send your gently used clothing directly to the service. If they accept (and sell) your clothing, you can choose from cash or credit from either ThredUp or an associated retailer.

9. eBid

Like eBay, you can sell just about anything on eBid, either for auction or at a fixed price. However, you may end up paying lower fees than you would on eBay–eBid generally charges 2% to 4% of the selling price.

10. Bookoo

Another platform for selling stuff locally is Bookoo, which doesn’t charge any listing or selling fees. Bookoo may not be as well known as other sites, but it is available in nearly every state throughout the US.

11. Vinted

If you have a lot of gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories to sell, you may want to check out Vinted , a peer-to-peer online marketplace that focuses on vintage and second-hand fashion. You won’t pay any fees unless you sell something.

12. Vestiaire Collective

If you have luxury items you want to sell, you may want to try Vestiaire Collective, a resale website where you can buy and sell high-end clothing, handbags, and accessories. When you sell an item, you can keep up to 80% of your money from the sale.

13. LePrix

Another place for selling authentic, pre-owned designer fashion is LePrix. Listing an item is free, but the site does charge fees when you make a sale.

14. TheRealReal

TheRealReal is a luxury consignment site where you can drop off or ship designer clothing, accessories, and jewelry, as well as fine art and upscale home decor. They sell your items for you in exchange for a percentage of the profit.

15. Rebag

If you have a designer bag that you no longer want, you might consider selling it on Rebag, a site that’s focused on buying, selling, and trading luxury handbags. The site will let you know how much your bag is worth. If you like the offer, you can send them your bag for free. Once it’s received and approved, you’ll get your payment.

16. Bag Borrow or Steal

Another site for selling luxury handbags is Bag Borrow or Steal. You can sell directly to the site (and get paid right away), or you can consign and receive 70% of the sales price after it’s sold.

17. Once Wed

If you aren’t sentimental about keeping your wedding dress, bridal party gown, or accessories, then you can list it on Once Wed . The site will charge you a one-time listing fee of $19.95 for your wedding dress and $5 for flower girl’s, mother’s, or bridesmaids dresses, as well as wedding accessories.

18. PreOwnedWedding

You could also try to sell your wedding dress on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com , which will charge you a one-time listing fee of $25 per dress.

19. Garage Sales

If your goal is to unload a large amount of stuff all at once, hosting a garage sale can be a good way to go. You could even get some neighbors together and hold a community garage sale to attract more people.

20. Flea Markets

Community flea markets can be a great way to showcase your items for sale. The owner and operator of the flea market will likely charge you a fee for a booth. If you live in a big city, you may have to register early to get a spot.

21. Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange is vintage and used clothing store with locations throughout the US. If one of their stores is convenient to you, you can make an appointment to meet with a buyer. If they like your stuff, they will pay 25% of their selling price in cash or PayPal, or 50% in a Digital Trade Card.

22. Crossroads Trading

Crossroads Trading is a second-hand clothing store with brick-and-mortar locations throughout the US. If you visit a store, you may be able to receive cash for your clothing on the spot. For higher-end pieces, you can opt to consign. Crossroads also offers mail-in service.

23. Plato’s Closet

You can bring your gently used brand-name clothing and accessories to a Plato’s Closet near you. They’ll review your items and, if accepted, you’ll get paid on the spot.

24. Style Encore

A women’s resale store, you can bring in stylish, gently used clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories to one of Style Encore ’s retail locations. If they like your items, you will get paid right away in cash.

25. Once Upon a Child

If you have gently used children’s clothing and shoes, toys, and/or baby gear lying around, you may want to cart it over to Once Upon a Child, which has locations throughout the US. An employee will check out your goods and, if they think they sell them, will give you cash in return.

26. Play It Again Sports

If you live near Play it Again Sports, you may want to consider bringing in all the no-longer-used sports equipment in your garage. You’ll clear out the space, and may get a nice amount of cash in return.

27. Music Go Round

Live in a musical household? Music Go Round is a resale music shop where you can bring in used instruments and sound equipment (like amps, MIDI equipment, and mixers) and get paid cash in return.

28. Local Thrift Stores

Unlike Goodwill or Salvation Army, thrift stores — specifically ones that sell high-end or vintage clothing — might be willing to buy your clothes and other items. Look up local stores on Google and ask them what they buy and how much they typically pay.

29. Used Book Stores

Your local used book stores may be looking to purchase your books from you. You can call ahead, let them know what you have, and see if they are interested.

30. BookScouter

If you’re looking to sell textbooks, you may want to check out BookScouter . The platform simplifies the process by searching sites that buy used textbooks, then displaying the prices from those sites, so you can compare and decide where to sell your books.

31. GoTextbooks

GoTextbooks also allows you to sell your college textbooks and, hopefully, recoup some of the money you spent on them. When you let the site know about what you have for sale, they will give you an instant quote. You can then ship your books for free and receive your money.

32. DeCluttr

If you mainly have electronics to sell, you may want to check out DeCluttr , which buys used tech, cell phones, DVDs, and video games. The site will give you an instant valuation. If you like the price, you can ship your item for free. If it meets expectations, you receive payment a few days later.

33. Gazelle

You may be able to turn your old cell phone intos some quick cash at Gazelle . The site will give you an instant quote. If you like the numbers, you can ship the phone to them for free, and get paid via Amazon Gift Card, PayPal, or check.

34. Pawn Shop

You may be able to make some quick money selling your old stuff to a local pawn shop. Typically, pawn shops are only interested in things of value, such as jewelry, collectible coins, and electronics. It can be a good idea to bring in proof of purchase so that the owner knows you aren’t trying to sell stolen goods.

35. Facebook Groups

If you’re in any local or niche Facebook groups, you may want to post items that might appeal to members of the group. You simply need to snap a picture, describe your item, and name your asking price. Then, hopefully, the offers will start rolling in.

36. Instagram

If you have a fair number of followers on Instagram, you might consider listing items you’re looking to sell there. As with Facebook groups, you simply need to snap a photo, write a brief description, and name your price.

37. Try a “Raid My Closet” Event

Do you have friends who might be interested in checking out what you have for sale? You may want to consider inviting them over for a “raid my closet” event, or a “raid my garage” party. You can offer food and drinks, and make it a fun celebration to declutter your home.

The Takeaway

If you’re holding on to clothes, furniture, books, or other items you no longer want or need, you could be sitting on a way to make some extra money–and de-clutter your space at the same time.

With all the online and offline resale channels now available, turning your unwanted possessions into cash has never been simpler. You don’t even have to have a garage sale (though, if you have a large number of items to unload, that might not be a bad idea).

What to do with all the profits that start rolling in? Consider putting your money into a cash management account, such as SoFi Money®.

With SoFi Money, you can earn a competitive interest rate on your money, and you’ll be able to spend and save all in one account (and pay zero account fees to do it).

Put your extra earnings to work with SoFi Money.

Photo credit: iStock/Zinkevych

SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
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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31 Ways to Save Money on Car Maintenance

31 Ways to Save Money on Car Maintenance

Car ownership can be expensive–not only do you have to pay for the vehicle itself, there’s also maintenance to think about.

Between oil changes, brake pads, new tires, and dealing with the inevitable “check engine” light, car upkeep doesn’t come cheap. If you ignore car maintenance, however, you may be asking for trouble–and end up paying for major car repairs down the line.

The good news is that you can save on parts, labor, and servicing simply by being smart about how you maintain your vehicle. Read on, for simple ways to save.

How to Lower the Cost of Owning a Car

What follows are 31 ways to make vehicle maintenance less expensive. Some of these strategies help you save money right away, while others can lead to serious savings down the road.

1. Buying the Right Car

One of the best opportunities you have to lower your maintenance costs comes before you actually buy the car.

If you’re looking to buy a new car–or for a good deal on a used car–it can be wise to not only consider the purchase price, but also the long-term costs. With a little bit of research, you can likely find out the model’s repair record, and the average annual cost of upkeep.

Recommended: How to Save Up for a Car

2. Keeping Up With Oil Changes

It’s inconvenient and, with synthetic oil changes running around $70 a pop, the money you may not feel like spending. But this regular expense will almost certainly save you money in the long run. Oil lubricates your engine and keeps it from overheating. And, replacing the whole engine will definitely cost a whole lot more.

3. Reading Your Owner’s Manual

Unless you’re a serious car geek, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time perusing your owner’s manual. But this guide contains key information about what maintenance services need to be done and when making it essential reading. (If you’ve misplaced yours, you can probably find it online — just search for your car’s make, model, year, and the words “owner’s manual.”)

4. Timing Your Maintenance Properly

The maintenance schedule set out in the owner’s manual was created by your car’s designers to help you keep ahead of major repairs that would pop up if you didn’t intervene. Skipping preventative maintenance can be penny-wise, but pound foolish.

5. Knowing Fair Maintenance Prices

Charges for car maintenance services, like tune-ups and tire rotations, can vary widely depending on the shop. One way to find out if you’re being charged fairly is to research rates before you bring the car in. Websites like RepairPal can tell you what you should expect to pay for a particular maintenance task — and can even connect you with certified shops.

6. Patronizing a Mom-and-Pop Mechanic

Independent mechanics can sometimes offer lower pricing (and potentially better customer service) than auto repair chains, which have to cover the cost of being part of a franchise. So it can be worth shopping around. Exception: if your car is still under warranty at the dealership, you might void the agreement by taking it anywhere else, so it may be best to stick with them.

7. Sticking With the Same Shop

Although it might not matter for minor maintenance issues like oil changes, bigger services can be costly — and if you continually take your car to new mechanics, they won’t know your vehicle’s service history, which could lead you to pay for the same service twice.

8. Getting Your Transmission Fluid Changed

Transmission fluid is as vital to your transmission as oil is to your engine. This fluid is a lubricant that helps keep all of the moving parts inside of your transmission functioning properly. Transmission repairs are some of the priciest you can face, running anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.

9. Getting Your Coolant Fluid Flushed

Yet another important fluid to keep an eye on, your coolant protects your engine from overheating, as well as offering more lubrication for certain engine parts. It usually needs to be changed out every 10,000 to 50,000 miles (you can find out in your manual), and failing to do so can lead to rust and dirt clogging up the system.

10. Cleaning Your Battery

You may not think about your battery very much…until the morning your car doesn’t start. To keep your battery in good working order, and avoid surprises, it can be good to occasionally clean the corrosion off the terminals using a small brush, some water, and baking soda.

11. Keeping Up With Your Transfer Case Fluid

This one only applies to those with four-wheel drive vehicles — but if you have one of those, you’ll likely need to familiarize yourself with the transfer case. That’s the part that shifts power from the transmission to the axles so the wheels can turn. And, like other parts, it has its own special lubricating fluid which needs to be regularly checked and changed.

12. Getting your Tires Rotated Regularly

You’ve probably already noticed how expensive tires are to replace — so chances are, you want to replace them as seldom as possible. Getting your tires regularly rotated and balanced can help ensure they wear evenly, which extends their overall longevity.

13. Carrying an Air Pressure Gauge

Maintaining optimum air pressure in your tires can improve your mileage (and save you money in gas) and also extend the life of those expensive tires. It also keeps your vehicle safe to drive. The good news? You can check your tires free of charge by keeping a tire gauge (typically less than $10) in your glove box.

14. Refilling Your Tires as Needed

As you roll around on them, your tires will gradually seep air over time — but you usually don’t need to schedule a special maintenance trip to refill them. Most gas stations offer coin-operated air pumps, and many even allow you to pre-set the proper PSI. (Otherwise, you can grab your pressure gauge.)

15. Regularly Checking Your Alignment

Alignment controls the angle at which your tires meet the road, and is important for making sure your tires wear evenly. Proper alignment also helps increase your vehicle’s gas efficiency, so it’s worth getting it checked at least once yearly, or sooner if you notice a pull as you’re driving.

16. Inspecting Your Shocks and Struts

Your shocks and struts, which keep your car from bouncing, also impact how quickly your tires wear, as well as your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Depending on your driving habits, these generally need to be replaced roughly every 75,000.

17. Shopping Around for Tires

No matter how assiduous you are maintaining your tires, you’re eventually going to have to replace them. But unlike other car parts that may be proprietary to your car’s make and model, tires are pretty easy to shop for yourself — and doing so can lead to major savings. Warehouse discount clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club sell tires, as do online retailers like Discount Tire Direct .

18. Using Winter Tires Only in the Winter

Using winter tires can make driving in snowy conditions much safer. But these tires wear considerably faster than all-season tires, especially in non-winter conditions. So it can be a good idea to change your tires back to all-weathers as soon as the last frost has thawed.

19. Skipping the Winterization Package

Many mechanics will offer you a “winterization” service that involves flushing and replacing your coolant (also called antifreeze). However, you only need to have that done every 10,000 miles. If it hasn’t been that long since your coolant has been replaced, you don’t need this service.

20. Having Your Spark Plugs Inspected

Spark plugs literally spark the fuel that runs your engine. When the spark plugs start to fail, your engine won’t run as efficiently, and eventually, their misfiring could put stress on your catalytic converter, which is costly to repair. Fortunately, you can usually get up to 80,000 miles without needing to replace your spark plugs. When the time comes, however, it can be wise not to hesitate.

21. Changing Your Own Engine Air Filter

In most cases, paying a professional to do your maintenance and repair work is worthwhile in the long run (and less costly than making a mistake and hiring someone to repair it). But changing your engine air filter is actually easy. Since that filter keeps dirt and debris out of your engine, keeping it clean is key to your car’s longevity. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials you can check out to learn how.

22. Keeping Jumper Cables in the Trunk

This might not seem entirely necessary, but if your battery dies and you’re not near home, you’ll likely be glad you didn’t have to rely on a tow truck for such a simple problem.

23. Making Sure You Have Roadside Assistance

…That said, every once in a while, you might need a tow. If you do, having access to a roadside assistance program can be major cost savings. And, it can pay to shop around for this service. AAA might offer perks, like travel discounts, but the roadside assistance package offered by your car insurance company might cost less.

24. Heading to the Car Wash

It may seem like a minor detail, but keeping your car’s exterior clean can help the paint job last longer by removing road grime and residues that can eat through the finish. A $10 drive-through wash is way better than paying up to $900 for a new paint job.

25. Detailing the Interior

Your car’s interior is also vulnerable to staining and residue build-up that can lower your car’s overall value. At many car washes, you can access a powerful vacuum that can get rid of loose debris, but giving your car’s interior more thorough attention every few months may help you resell it for a higher price later.

26. Waxing Your Vehicle Every Six Months

Waxing your vehicle twice a year is another important way to help keep the paint job looking fresh and new. It can also help to avoid rust build-up that can cause structural damage to the body of your car.

27. Changing Your Own Light Bulbs

For most bulbs on your car, changing them isn’t difficult. They typically have a twist-and-pull bayonet base or simply pull out and push in. You can find usually replacement bulbs in any auto parts store, and sometimes even hardware stores. In some cases, accessing a bulb can be tricky, so you may want to check the manual or look online if getting the bulb out isn’t obvious.

28. Paying Attention to Recalls

If your car’s manufacturer sends out a notice about a recall, it’s likely worth making an appointment at your local dealership — no matter how insignificant the problem may seem. The recall repair will be free at the dealership, and it could save you from more extensive damage that would not be covered.

29. Buying Some Touch-Up Paint

Just like washing and waxing, using touch-up paint can be a smart maintenance measure. With a little bit of touch-up paint, you can seal chips and cracks early on before they have a chance to become a real (and real expensive) problem like rust or paint decay.

30. Heeding the Check Engine Light

It may be annoying, but your check engine light is trying to tell you that something needs your attention. And, typically, it’s better to pay attention sooner rather than later. A small repair cost now is better than a large one later on if you let that light go for a few months.

31. Driving Less

The less you drive, the less wear-and-tear you put on your vehicle– and the lower your maintenance and repair costs are likely to be. When it’s possible, you may want to consider walking, biking, or carpooling, which are not only wallet-friendly,

Recommended: 7 Ways to Save Money on Commuting to Work

The Takeaway

Generally speaking, the best way to keep your car maintenance costs low is to keep up with maintenance in the first place. That means referring to your manual and following the recommended service schedule.

You can also save money on car ownership by doing some basic vehicle care yourself, such as keeping your car clean and inflating your tires properly, as well as shopping around for a mechanic who charges fair prices.

To make sure you have enough money to cover all the expenses of car ownership, it can be a good idea to set up a dedicated “car fund,” which is easy to do with a SoFi Money® cash management account.

With SoFi Money’s special “vaults” feature, you can separate your savings from your spending (and even create different vaults for different goals), while earning competitive interest on all your money.

Start saving for car maintenance costs with SoFi Money.

Photo credit: iStock/MrJub

SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
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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31 Ways to Save for a Home

31 Ways to Save for a Home

You may want to become a homeowner but aren’t sure how you’re going to save up for your down payment. Typically, you’re going to need at least 3% to 5% for a down payment for a conventional mortgage, or 20% on a loan that doesn’t require private mortgage insurance.

Thankfully, there are a number of methods you can use to stash away money for your future home. Here are some of the best ways to save for a house and get you one step closer to your dream.

1. Creating a Budget

Living on a budget may not be easy, but in the long run it can help you save money to put toward a home purchase. Creating a budget so you know where your money is going is a good first step in a house savings plan. Some good ways to do this are recording expenses in a spreadsheet or using a budgeting app to determine your spending practices and see where changes can be made to meet your savings goal.

2. Using Cash Envelopes

It might be harder to part with cash than it is to swipe a debit or credit card. The cash envelope budgeting method is simply distributing cash each month (or pay period) into envelopes based on your budget categories. When you’re out of cash, you stop spending.

3. Deleting Your Stored Cards

Do you store your payment information on Amazon or other e-commerce stores? Then it’s time to consider deleting them from each store or from your browser settings. If you have to manually put in your card each time you want to make a purchase, you may just stop spending so much money online.

4. Downsizing Your Life

Another one of the tips for saving for a house involves downsizing your life. This could mean moving to a smaller rental or moving to a more affordable area of town. Just keep in mind that there is always a flip side to downsizing. For instance, your smaller apartment may not include parking, so you might be taking on an expense you didn’t have before. Moving to a different part of town might mean spending more on transportation costs getting to work each day. It’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before making any big decisions.

Recommended: 25 Ways to Find Affordable Housing

5. Setting Up Automatic Transfers

Reaching your savings goals might happen faster by setting up automatic transfers from checking account to savings account each time you’re paid. If your paycheck is direct-deposited, you may also be able to split the deposit into more than one account, on a percentage or dollar-amount basis.

Recommended: Four Savings Goals You Can Reach in 2021

6. Postponing Vacation

This method can reap plenty of savings if your usual vacation is a costly one. Instead of taking a big trip, a staycation may be entertaining and less expensive. Check out your local newspaper’s website to find free activities and events. Art museums sometimes offer free admission days, and area nature trails are generally free and can be a good way to have fun and get exercise in one fell swoop. Now is the time to be creative since you’re working on your house savings plan.

7. Tackling Your Debt

If you get.50% APY in your high-yield savings account, but you carry a credit card balance with an interest rate of 15.99%, it may make more sense to put your money towards your debt right now rather than savings.

8. Eating at Home

Dining out is expensive. The average American household spends more than $3,000 per year on eating out. Skipping the takeout and restaurants and cooking your meals at home can see that money added to your house savings plan.

9. Making Your Own Coffee

It’s a cliche, but it’s true: If you skip the lattes, you could boost your savings. The average American spends $92 per month on coffee, which adds up to about $1,100 per year. Purchasing a coffee maker and brewing your own cup of joe as opposed to hitting up a coffee shop every day will likely improve your home savings plan.

10. Using Coupons at the Grocery Store

Looking for coupons in your local newspaper for items you normally buy anyway can trim your grocery bill. Coupons can also be found on coupon websites and on brands’ websites.

Recommended: Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

11. Buying Things on Sale

Just because you want something doesn’t mean you need to have it right away. Waiting to buy things when they go on sale is another of the best tips for saving for a house. Along with looking at stores’ mailers, you could always create a Google alert to find out when things go on sale by typing in your favorite stores’ names + sales on Google Alerts.

12. Using Promo Codes

Similar to presenting a paper coupon to an in-store cashier, promo codes are like coupons for online purchases. Browser extensions that search the web for deals can bring those promo codes to you and save you precious search time and effort.

13. Cutting Out Cable

Cable television can be a major monthly expense for some households, sometimes hundreds of dollars every month. One of the best ways to save is to cut the cord, switch to streaming services, and potentially pay much less per month on your favorite entertainment.

14. Canceling Your Subscriptions

You may be spending money on monthly subscriptions without realizing how much. Canceling subscriptions to things like lifestyle boxes you aren’t using anymore or magazines you don’t read can add up to significant savings.

15. Making the Most of the Library

The local library is a fantastic resource. You can borrow books, magazines, and movies instead of buying them, and some libraries even offer access to free audiobooks. Libraries are funded by taxes, so you’re probably already contributing to this resource—there’s little reason to pay twice for items it provides as a public service.

16. Canceling Your Gym Membership

Gym memberships can be pricey, but exercise is not. Using free, online workout videos and things in your home as exercise equipment (e.g., stepping on your stairs, doing wall or table pushups, or using a chair for barre exercises), or walking around your neighborhood can save money over a gym membership.

17. Shopping Around for Insurance

You may be overpaying for insurance. Comparing rates and getting different quotes for your car, renter’s, pet, health, and other types of insurance can ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

18. Steering Clear of Checking Account Fees

Is your bank charging you a monthly maintenance fee just to keep your account open? If so, it might be worth looking into switching banks or asking your bank how you can avoid these fees. For example, if you have a direct deposit into the account or maintain a minimum daily account balance, you may be eligible for a fee-free account.

19. Selling Your Stuff

Do you have things you never use anymore? Could they fetch some cash? Holding a garage sale or selling your stuff online might net a few dollars to add to your house savings plan. You’ll probably want to buy new things for your new home anyway, and selling your old things will allow you to save up.

20. Asking Your Boss for a Raise

During your annual performance review, consider asking for a raise, highlighting your accomplishments and why you deserve more money. Be specific about improvements you’ve made to the company by backing up your accomplishments with data.

21. Switching to a Better Job

If you aren’t making enough money in your current position, then consider switching to a higher-paying job. It’s a good idea to keep your current job until you find a new one, though.

22. Taking on a Side Hustle

If you have the time and energy, earning extra money on nights and weekends might be an option. For instance, you could start a dropshipping business, freelancing, or doing affiliate marketing.

23. Signing Up for a Travel Rewards Credit Card

If you need to travel or you are still planning a vacation, using a travel rewards credit card may be a good idea. These cards offer certain rewards for different categories such as travel, gas, and dining out, and allow you to put your rewards towards flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. Plus, many of them offer other ways to save, such as providing you with rental car and baggage delay insurance or no foreign transaction fees.

Recommended: Credit Card Rewards 101: Getting the Most Out of Your Credit Card

24. Getting a Cash Back Credit Card

With a cash-back credit card, you can earn cash rewards every time you spend. Putting that cashback toward a statement credit or bank transfer will help accelerate your savings.

25. Renting Your Spare Room

If you have an extra room in your apartment that you aren’t using, you could get a roommate or list it on a rental site to reduce your overall living expenses. Just make sure that you get permission from your landlord before inviting anyone else to move in.

26. Renting Out Your Storage Space

Another one of the best ways to save for a house is to rent out your unused storage space on a peer-to-peer site. You could generate income without having to do much work at all, and you won’t have to live with someone else—just their stuff.

27. Making Your House Savings Plan Known

Your Aunt Mildred may always get you boxes of chocolates for your birthday, and your dad might give you gift cards for Amazon. But letting your family and friends know you’re trying to save for a home might plant the seed for them to give you cash instead. If you’re getting married, this is a time to tell people about your plans so that instead of registry gifts, they might give you cash for your future home.

28. Opening a High-Yield Savings Account

Putting your money into a regular savings account may not result in much of a return. However, putting money in a high-yield savings account may net more interest and get you closer to reaching your savings goals. A high-yield savings account typically offers 20 to 25 times the national average of a typical savings account.

29. Hiring an Accountant at Tax Time

If you’ve been doing your taxes on your own every year, you may have missed potential tax savings you might be eligible for. A tax professional may be able to maximize your savings, possibly resulting in a larger refund, or minimize taxes you owe.

30. Saving Your Tax Refund

If you get a tax refund, consider saving it instead of spending it. The money can be a nice addition to your down payment, possibly even earning interest in high-yield savings account until you need it.

31. Changing Your Tax Withholding

Among the best ways to save for a house is by keeping more money from your paycheck. If your withholding is too high, the IRS is essentially holding your money for you all year round. Instead of getting a large tax refund, keeping your money now and investing it in an interest-bearing account will help you save up for your home.

The Takeaway

With SoFi Money®, you may be able to save even more money for your home and reach your savings goals that much quicker. SoFi’s cash management account earns competitive interest rates without charging account fees. And with fee-free in-network ATM access, you can save, spend, and earn all in one account.

Why wait? Learn how SoFi Money can help you save for your dream home.

Photo credit: iStock/Talaj

SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
The SoFi Money® Annual Percentage Yield as of 03/15/2020 is 0.20% (0.20% interest rate). Interest rates are variable subject to change at our discretion, at any time. No minimum balance required. SoFi doesn’t charge any ATM fees and will reimburse ATM fees charged by other institutions when a SoFi Money™ Mastercard® Debit Card is used at any ATM displaying the Mastercard®, Plus®, or NYCE® logo. SoFi reserves the right to limit or revoke ATM reimbursements at any time without notice.
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.
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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31+ Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

31 Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial goals there is—but it isn’t always easy. Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to discipline yourself to put money away for a nebulous “someday,” especially when you’re busy trying to make ends meet now.

But there are plenty of ways to save for retirement more efficiently, making every dollar go a little bit further toward a well-deserved rest in your golden years.

Getting Started

A lot of the “getting started” part is becoming educated on how different retirement plans work and what your options might be depending on your financial situation.

1. Contributing to Your 401(k)

If your company offers a 401(k), it’s usually a good idea to contribute to it, at least a little bit. The contributions will be automatically deducted from your paycheck and may also be made from pre-tax money, which will lower your taxable income.

Recommended: What Is a 401k?

2. Taking Advantage of Your 401(k) Match

If your employer offers a 401(k) match, there is even more incentive to contribute. A match is about as close as it comes to free money and is considered part of an employee benefits package. Your company may have a vesting schedule, meaning you don’t obtain full ownership of its contributions until you’ve been working at the company for a certain amount of time. You’ll always maintain full ownership over the money your contributions, however.

3. Starting Early

Thanks to the power of compound interest, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the more you’ll likely make over time. It’s never too early to start—so get cracking!

Recommended: When to Start Saving for Retirement

4. Contributing Often

Making regular contributions is one of the best ways to grow your retirement funds. With a company-sponsored retirement fund like a 401(k), the money comes out of your paycheck each period. But if you’re DIYing your retirement with an IRA, for instance, you’re in charge of making sure money’s going in.

5. Considering an IRA

Even if you are actively investing in a 401(k), you may be able to boost your retirement savings even more by also opening an IRA. If you’re self-employed or working at a job that doesn’t offer retirement benefits, an IRA might be the very best choice available for you. IRAs are easy to open and available to almost anyone, so long as you earn an income.

6. Maxing Out Your IRA

The contribution maximum for IRAs is relatively low, compared to 401(k): For 2021, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year to your IRA, or $7,000 if you’re aged 50 or over and eligible for catch-up contributions. Maxing out your IRA each year can help set the foundation for a successful retirement and also help you save money on taxes during the year the funds are contributed if you’re eligible.

Recommended: How Much Can You Put in an IRA This Year?

7. Ruminating on a Roth

A Roth IRA works a little differently than traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. Rather than getting a tax break now, you’ll get it later when you take the funds out during your retirement years. If you’re eligible for a Roth account, you may be able to have some tax-free income in retirement.

8. Using a Roth Indirectly

If you earn more than $125,000 as a single person or $198,000 as a couple (for 2021), your eligibility to contribute to a Roth is reduced—and if you earn much more than that, you may be ineligible entirely. However, you can still transfer the funds in a traditional IRA into a Roth account, provided you pay income taxes when you do so. This can help you score those tax-free earnings, even if you earn too much to directly contribute.

9. Paying Attention to Your Allocation

Contributing to your 401(k)—or any retirement account—is just the start. In order to get that money growing, you need to make sure it’s allocated into investment categories like stocks, bonds, and cash. How your investments are allocated is likely to change over time, depending on your risk tolerance and the length of time before you plan to retire.

(If you have specific investment questions, we always recommend chatting with a qualified financial planner or other investing professional.)

10. Diversifying Your Investments

Allocation and diversification go together like peanut butter and jelly. Maintaining a diverse portfolio helps you avoid having all of your investment eggs in one basket. If one company—or even one segment of the market—starts to falter, you have other investments to fall back on.

Recommended: Why Portfolio Diversification Matters

11. Keeping an Eye on Account Fees

Even if you’re diligent in looking at how to maximize your retirement savings, maintenance and trading fees can quickly eat into your funds—and these fees do vary depending on what financial institution manages your account. It’s worth shopping around for an account that has reasonable 401(k) fees.

12. Taking Advantage of an HSA

An HSA, or Health Savings Account, isn’t a retirement vehicle in its own right, but it can help you boost your retirement savings if it is treated as a retirement account. To qualify for an HSA, you must have a High Deductible Health Plan, among other requirements. HSAs are portable, so you can take them with you if you change employers or retire. Distributions taken for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, but non-medical distributions are taxable and may be subject to an additional 20% penalty.

13. Taking It With You

These days, few people stay at the same job for their whole careers. If you’ve been accruing retirement savings in a 401(k), it could be tempting to cash it out and treat it as a windfall when you change employers. But early withdrawal comes with a 10% penalty tax from the IRS, not to mention the regular income taxes you’ll have to pay on the money. It’s probably a way better idea to roll it into a new 401(k) or IRA and keep it growing.

Keeping Track of Everyday Finances

After you’ve taken the steps to start saving for retirement and have a solid plan in place, it’s a good idea to make sure you are contributing as much as you can during your prime working years.

15. Asking For a Raise

This one might cause a little stress, but it can pay off with an income increase just with a single conversation. Gather the specifics about why you’re an awesome employee and put on your negotiating hat. If you’re feeling bold, you might also ask for a retirement-specific benefit as part of the deliberations, like an increased 401(k) match!

15. Making Friends With Your Budget

Budgeting is the key to so many personal finance matters, and saving for retirement is no different. By seeing where the money is coming in and going out, you might find some places to cut back and find more money to stash away for the future. If you haven’t spent some time with your budget in a while, sit down and get to know it.

16. Setting and Adjusting a Monthly Savings Goal

The amount you’re able to set aside for retirement will depend on your current earnings, cost of living, and many other factors. While an oft-cited rule of thumb suggests saving 15% of your income, that may not be feasible for you. However, it’s still worthwhile to sit down and set a specific monthly retirement savings goal and commit to putting that much away. Focusing on how to increase your savings rate when your income or other life factors change will likely keep your retirement goals in sight.

Recommended: How to Make a Monthly Budget

17. Saving First

When you’re budgeting your income and expenses, it can be easy to leave savings as the last line item. By committing to saving first (setting money aside as soon as you get it), you’ll ensure you’re actually contributing to your retirement fund on a regular basis, helping it continue to grow as effectively as possible over time.

18. Automating Your Savings

One easy way to ensure you don’t fall behind: Automate your retirement savings. Most brokerages and platforms have an option to allow you to automatically invest a certain amount on a regular basis. Again, just be sure you’re actually allocating the funds once they hit your account.

19. Spending Wisely on Food

We’ve all got to eat—which means we all spend money on food. But how much money we spend is another matter entirely. According to the latest data from the USDA , a household of two might spend as little as $410.60 on a month’s worth of groceries or as much as $815.60—a wide range. There are plenty of suggestions online for saving money on a grocery budget, so paying attention to expenditures here and getting creative with meals will probably net some savings to add to a retirement account.

Finding a Little Extra to Contribute

20. Starting a Side Gig

You can only make so many budget cuts, but you can almost always find ways to make extra money. Whether it’s freelance writing or selling your crafts on Etsy, a side-hustle might be a great way to increase the amount of cash you have on hand to put toward retirement.

21. Looking For Interest-Bearing Accounts

Regular interest-bearing checking and savings accounts are still out there. Even though the interest earned might be minimal compared to investment accounts, it’s still better than not earning interest on those accounts at all.

22. Stashing Your Tax Return

If you’re getting a tax return, it may be tempting to spend the money on fun things, but when calculating how to maximize your retirement savings, it’s worth considering funneling some or all of it into your investment account. Saving instead of spending this money could add up to major nest egg increases.

23. Ditching Your Car

Aside from housing, car ownership can be one of the most expensive parts of day-to-day living for many people. It’s not just the cost of the vehicle itself, but also insurance, maintenance, and fuel. If you live in the kind of city where you could rely on public transit or take your bike to work, doing so might be a great way to make some substantial monthly savings.

24. Lowering Your Housing Cost

Assessing your true housing needs is likely a major decision within a household, but if you live in a house that’s bigger than you need or in a pricey part of town, for example, it could be worth it to look at alternatives. Paying less monthly rent, lower taxes, or even saving on transportation costs by moving closer to work could lead to substantial savings each month and help maximize your retirement savings.

25. Considering Home Ownership

Renting can be a good option for certain needs, lifestyles, or periods of your life. But homeowners do tend to accrue more wealth over time. Buying and selling often tends to cost money in closing and moving costs, so if owning a home is something you want to do, buying a home and staying there for a number of years is typically a better way to handle an investment like this.

26. Knocking Out Credit Card Debt

While any kind of debt can put an anchor on your retirement goals (and other financial goals, for that matter), credit card debt can be particularly egregious thanks to high-interest rates and compounding, which means you can end up paying interest on the interest you’ve already been charged. By tackling credit card debt, and other high-interest debts, you’ll have the opportunity to save more money to put toward retirement.

Planning for Your Golden Years

27. Starting a 529 Plan

This relates indirectly to boosting your retirement savings, but since paying for a child’s college costs can quickly derail a parent’s retirement plan, thinking about this major expense ahead of time can be a wise financial move. Many experts suggest making sure you’ve funded your own retirement accounts before you fund education accounts for your children. Each state operates its own 529 plan and the terms vary from state to state. The plans are not tax-deductible on a federal tax return, but a 529 plan can offer some tax advantages on the state level depending on the state.

28. Making a Detailed Retirement Spending Plan

Any amount you save for retirement will still be a finite amount—which means it’s important to plan ahead of time how you’ll budget for it. Consider the costs of everything, including food, medical care, housing, transportation, and entertainment. Try to envision ways to keep your cost of living low so each dollar goes further once you get there.

29. Planning To Retire Somewhere Affordable

No matter how much you’re able to save for retirement, the money will go a lot further if you retire somewhere with a lower cost of living. If you have decades before your retirement date, it may be difficult to predict what the cost of living will look like in different places, but start to think about which locations might offer all the lifestyle factors you want while also being affordable.

30. Taking Advantage of Catch-up Contributions

Once you reach age 50, the contribution caps on your IRA and 401(k) go up substantially—by $1,000 for IRAs and $6,500 for 401(k)s, in 2021. Maxing out these larger retirement caps can help you increase retirement savings you’ve fallen behind on or rebuild retirement savings you cashed out for something else.

Recommended: Important Retirement Contribution Limits

31. Delaying Social Security Retirement Benefits

For many of us, this step might not be coming up anytime soon—but once you’re eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, delaying it might give you a larger monthly benefit during retirement.

The Takeaway

Saving for retirement might be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Stretching every dollar as far as you can will make it a lot more doable.

Like so many other financial goals, it all starts with your budget—and budgeting is a lot easier to do when you have a bird’s-eye view of your finances.

SoFi Money® is a cash management account that makes it easy to see where your money is going (and can help you figure out where you might like to send it instead). With no account fees and fee-free in-network ATM access, you can save, spend, and earn all in one account.

Learn more about SoFi Money.

Photo credit: iStock/undrey

SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
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.
SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.
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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