50 Charities to Support This Year

41 Charities to Support This Year

When the going gets tough, the tough get giving. Or that’s what the latest data on philanthropy reveals. Despite the recent pandemic and intense inflation, Americans are donating more to charities. In 2021, the amount ticked up a sizable 4% over the past year, to a hefty $484.85 billion in funds.

If you’re among the ranks of those who want to contribute funds to support a cause you believe in or help those less fortunate, it can be hard to know where to give. Is a charity legitimate? How much of your funds will really be put to work? This is an important question to answer when deciding where to allocate funds (and possibly get a nice tax deduction, too).

What constitutes a good organization to donate to may vary depending on how much you’re donating; if you want to give money, time or other donations; and which causes are close to your heart. As a rule of thumb, though, it’s smart to research any organization you plan to support.

In order to help you do that, here’s a guide to some of the top-rated charities according to CharityWatch, an independent watchdog organization founded in 1993. CharityWatch specializes in reviewing and ranking charities based on their financial reporting, including their:

•   Audited financial statements

•   Tax forms

•   Annual reports

•   State filings

Methodology: Ranking the Best Charities to Support

The list that follows is culled from CharityWatch’s list of top charities, selected from those charities with an A or A+ ranking.

CharityWatch ranks charities based on the following calculations:

•   Program Percentage: The percent of total expenses the charity spends on charitable programming (as opposed to expenses such as fundraising, management, and operations).

•   Cost to Raise $100: How much it costs a charity to bring in $100 in cash donations from the public. Ideally, this is a low figure to do the most good with the money received.

CharityWatch then assigns charities a letter grade, ranging from A+ to F. CharityWatch’s full methodology for ranking top charities to donate to can be found online.

Of the hundreds of charities the organization has ranked, typically only a few dozen are straight-A or higher. (Worth noting: CharityWatch updates rankings regularly, which is why we’ve linked to their rankings for each of the following organizations. Each charity’s website is then linked on each of CharityWatch’s rating pages. By clicking the links, you can get the latest intel on a given organization.)

If you’re looking for inspiration about where to give, read on.

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Which Charities to Support This Year

Whether you want your donations to help children, animals, educational causes, or almost anything else, here is a list to give you a headstart. It highlights (alphabetically) some of the top-rated charities according to CharityWatch.

1. Action Against Hunger-USA

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Action Against Hunger-USA ‘s mission statement is to prevent, detect, and treat under-nutrition. The organization aims to tackle the underlying causes of hunger, and they also help regions experiencing conflict or natural disasters meet their nutritional needs.

2. All Hands and Hearts

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Concerned about the “crazy weather” you see so often on the news these days? All Hands and Hearts aims to address short- and long-term needs of communities after natural disasters. This includes helping rebuild homes, schools, and infrastructure.

3. American Kidney Fund

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

American Kidney Fund helps those suffering from kidney disease during every step of the process. That includes prevention, early detection, disease management, and post-transplant. The organization provides those in need with financial support and other resources they need to manage their kidney disease.

4. Asia Foundation

Program Percentage: 86%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Asia Foundation focuses on improving lives throughout Asia, including improving environmental resilience and empowering women.

5. Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Program Percentage: 81%

Cost to Raise $100: $10

You may know the grim statistic that almost 13% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has earned an A for its efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer by funding promising research globally. It has raised $569.4 million to support clinical and translational research on the disease.

6. Catholic Relief Services

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $8

Catholic Relief Services assists the poor in the U.S. and across the globe. Its goal is to prevent and end poverty regardless of the races, religions, or nationalities of those in need.

7. Center for Community Change Action

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

By contributing to the Center for Community Change Action , you’ll help improve material conditions for people struggling to make ends meet in the United States. Through voter engagement and policy change, the Center works to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially those of color.

8. Child Find of America

Program Percentage: 89%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Child Find of America aims to both prevent child abductions and find abducted children. Part of that work involves responding to the family conflicts and crises that may lead to potential abduction or abuse.

9. Comic Relief

Program Percentage: 80%

Cost to Raise $100: $14

Who doesn’t love to laugh? And doing good via humor is doubly nice. Comic Relief uses entertainment to eliminate poverty, improve children’s lives, and help disadvantaged individuals around the world. The organization is well known for its Red Nose Day fundraiser, in which people can buy a red clown nose to raise money to help end child poverty.

10. Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $7

Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) helps families and coworkers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The organization provides them with resources to help rebuild their lives after enduring the loss, and it also provides training to law enforcement on how to help surviving co-workers and families.

11. Conservation Fund

Program Percentage: 95%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

If you consider yourself eco-minded, take a look at the Conservation Fund . It helps protect America’s land and water resources with the help of public, private, and nonprofit partner organizations. The fund also helps educate the public about sustainability, resource management, and creating environmental goals for individuals, communities, or organizations.

12. Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

Program Percentage: 89%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

If diabetes has touched your life, you might want to donate to the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation . Its mission is to prevent and treat diabetes, which impacts one out of every 10 (or 37+ million) Americans. It helps fund new research to help cure diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses and complications.

13. DonorsChoose.org

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

DonorsChoose.org aims to help raise awareness about accountability issues and educational inequality in public schools. It seeks to create a world in which all American children have equal access to high-quality education by engaging the public in educational issues and reform.

14. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation ’s mission is to prevent pediatric HIV infections. Through education, research, advocacy, and treatment, the organization aims to help end pediatric AIDS. The organization also stresses that progress against AIDS has been unequally distributed, with marginalized groups being hit hardest.

15. Environmental Defense Action Fund

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $15

If you care about the state of our planet and its future, consider The Environmental Defense Action Fund . It seeks to educate the public about the environment and conservation. The organization also advocates for legislation and policies it believes will protect the environment.

16. Fisher House Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

The Fisher House Foundation creates and furnishes “Fisher Houses” for military and veteran families to stay at while a loved one is in the hospital. The organization also provides further financial assistance and scholarships to military families.

17. Friends of Animals

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Are you a fan of furbabies? Perhaps Friends of Animals would be a good place for your donations. It aims to help animals experiencing cruelty or institutional exploitation. They put money towards funding and creating litigation for no-free shelters, protecting wild animals’ ability to roam freely, and more.

18. Government Accountability Project (GAP)

Program Percentage: 82%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Are you motivated to help ensure that whistleblowers can be heard and navigate the path ahead of them? Take a look at the Government Accountability Project . It’s a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to protecting government whistleblowers at every step of the way, at federal, state, and local levels, to ensure that justice is served.

19. Guide Dog for the Blind

Program Percentage: 80%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Here’s a charity that helps those with vision issues by giving them trusty companions. For 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation has trained and placed guide dogs and service dogs. These animals help provide increased independence and enhanced mobility to people who are blind, have low vision, or other disabilities.

20. Hearing Health Foundation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Here’s a shocking statistic: One out of eight Americans age 12 or older has hearing loss in both ears. If you’d like your charitable donation to go towards remedying that, consider Hearing Health Foundation . It works to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus. It also hopes to develop a cure for both by supporting research and hearing health education.

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21. Hispanic Federation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $5

Hispanic Federation is a Latino nonprofit organization aiming to advocate and advance Hispanic communities and families. It provides communities with a variety of services and resources for education, health, immigration, civil engagement, economic empowerment, and more.

22. Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Looking for another angle on uplifting the Hispanic community? The Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and student services to help Hispanic students prepare for and earn their college degree. The organization provides students with support services and other resources they need to not only make it into the college classroom, but also to succeed in college and after graduation.

23. Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $5

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund helps military members who have traumatic brain injuries or PTSD. The organization provides them access to treatment centers to assist them in continuing to serve or enjoying life post-service.

24. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Program Percentage: 85%

Cost to Raise $100: $15

Multiple myeloma is a kind of cancer that develops in the plasma cells, a kind of white blood cell. An estimated $34,000+ new cases are diagnosed annually, and more than 12,000 Americans die from the disease in a given year. Want to be part of the search for a cure? Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation seeks to invest in research and education to find a cure for multiple myeloma. The organization also helps fund innovative new ways to treat myeloma and extend the lives of those affected by it.

25. National Alliance to End Homelessness

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Many areas of America have seen an uptick in homelessness since the start of the pandemic. A donation to the National Alliance to End Homelessness could help. The organization aims to prevent and end U.S. homelessness, educating the public on the causes of homelessness and potential solutions.

26. National Council on Aging

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $18

If you want to put your dollars to work on behalf of our elders, The National Council on Aging could be a good recipient. The organization seeks to help older Americans who may be struggling financially, physically, mentally, or experiencing other issues. It also educates caregivers and advocates on how best to serve the elder community.

27. National Park Trust

Program Percentage: 87%

Cost to Raise $100: $11

Have you enjoyed the beauty of our national parks? Then perhaps you’d like to make a donation to (and get a tax deduction) via the National Park Trust . It protects and preserves park lands and trains the next generation of park stewards, aiming to increase both their numbers and diversity.

28. National Wildlife Federation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

Love creatures, great and small? Perhaps you’d like to contribute to the efforts of the National Wildlife Federation . It’s the United States’ largest private, nonprofit conservation education and advocacy organization, with over six million members and supporters. It works to protect our wildlife, including endangered species, and the land they live on.

29. Pathfinder International

Program Percentage: 86%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

If sexual and reproductive rights matter to you, take a closer look at Pathfinder International . It works to ensure that everyone around the world has the right to a healthy sexual and reproductive life. During COVID-19, the organization is also helping vulnerable communities survive the crisis.

30. PetSmart Charities

Program Percentage: 95%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Want to have your contribution help pets find their forever homes? PetSmart Charities helps pets find life-long homes. The organization hosts adoption events and centers, as well educational and training programs to help humans learn how to support pets in need.

31. Population Services International

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Are you globally minded? Population Services International provides those in developing countries with products and services to plan families and lead healthier lives. The organization also creates programming to help address gender-related health issues, including violence against women and women’s access to health services.

32. Ronald McDonald House Charities (National Office)

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Ronald McDonald House Charities (National Office) has 380+ locations that provide a comfortable, caring place for families to stay near children who are undergoing medical treatment far from home.

33. Scholarship America

Program Percentage: 94%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

Give the next generation a leg up on their studies. Scholarship America helps American students make it into college classrooms through scholarships and educational support. The organization also provides mentorship to students and emergency grants for students at risk of dropping out for various reasons.

34. Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

If you want to make a donation to help those who’ve served our country, consider Semper Fi & America’s
. It helps combat-wounded, critically ill, or catastrophically injured veterans and their families with financial, family, and wellness support programs. The program also helps veterans transition back into their communities after a serious combat-related injury.

35. Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Does the phrase “Never forget” resonate for you regarding 9/11, as it does for many Americans? If so, look into contributing to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation , which seeks to honor fallen firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on duty on September 11, 2001. The organization helps the families of fallen firefighters and police officers pay off mortgages, among other programs.

36. Trevor Project

Program Percentage: 84%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

For those who want to support the LGBTQ+ community, a good recipient for charitable donations could be the Trevor Project . It is the world’s largest mental health and suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people. It’s goal is to create a more inclusive world.

37. Unbound

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Here’s a way your contribution can uplift those in need: Unbound partners with families living in poverty to help them become self-sufficient and reach their full potential. The organization works with those experiencing poverty in 19 countries using Catholic theology to foster family and community relationship-building and self-empowerment.

38. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Another faith-driven organization to note: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) aims to alleviate human suffering around the world caused by conflicts, war, natural disasters, and other causes of suffering. The organization has helped with refugee resettlement and other humanitarian missions.

39. Waterkeeper Alliance

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $7

Make a donation that protects our precious natural resources. Waterkeeper Alliance creates a network of global leaders to help protect peoples’ rights to clean water around the globe. The organization also has several campaigns to promote clean and safe energy, clean water, and to battle pollution caused by industrial meat farms, among other causes.

40. World Central Kitchen

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

If you care about fighting hunger, perhaps you want to think about donating to World Central Kitchen . Their mission is WCK to provide meals when climate, community, and humanitarian crises hit. They also work to build resilient food systems.

41. World Resources Institute

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $0

Looking for other environmentally focused charities? World Resources Institute aims to help people learn how to live in ways that better protect the environment for current and future generations. It educates the public on ways to make cities, energy, food, and businesses more environmentally friendly.

Making a Difference With Your Finances

Budgeting for charitable donations can be a good way to ensure your money helps the causes you care about. It can also benefit your finances if you receive a tax deduction for your donation. You could use that deduction to invest, reach your savings goals, contribute more to your retirement, or build up your emergency fund.

Recommended: How to Make End of Year Donations

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Call vs Put Option: The Differences

You know what it means to invest in a stock: you buy shares, thinking that they will go up in value at a later date, at which point you might choose to sell them. If there are shares you already own that you think are going to lose value, you might sell them.

But there are other ways to put money behind the movements of a stock price. Investors can also buy and sell options, which are a kind of contract that allows the investor to buy (or sell) a stock, or some other asset, at a certain price. The two basic types of options are “puts” and “calls.”

Unlike shares of stocks, put and call options have expiration dates, at which point you no longer have the right to buy or sell the shares. Options trading is a popular strategy for day traders, because you make profits not by owning the underlying shares and patiently waiting for them to go up, but acting quickly with options that expire quickly.

Much like buying and shorting stocks, an investor can use options to express their view on whether the price is likely to go up or down.

What Is a Call Option?

A call option is a contract that allows an investor to buy 100 shares of an underlying stock or other security at a prearranged price (known as the “strike price”). A call option can be appealing because it gives an investor a way of profiting from a stock’s increase in price without having to pay for the full price of 100 shares. What one pays is known as the “premium” on each share, which is typically much less than the current price of the stock.

The profit from a call option is determined by both the premium an investor pays and whether they’re able to exercise the option—this means actually buying the underlying stock and the price agreed to in the option contract.

An investor can also sell their call option: as the price of the underlying stock rises above the strike price, the value of the option to buy will rise. By selling the option itself, an investor doesn’t have to take delivery of the underlying shares and can profit from the increasing value of the option itself.

The Basics of Buying a Call Option

Consider this example: If an investor buys an option with a strike price of $50 for a stock that’s currently worth $40, the option will be “out-of-the-money” until the stock rises to $50. If the premium is $1/share—meaning they only pay $1 up front—then the investor will only be risking $100, not $4000.

If the stock is trading at $55 on or before the expiration date, it would make sense to “exercise” the option and buy the stock for $50, thus giving the investor shares with built-in profit thanks to the difference between the strike price of $50 and the value of $55. In this case the profit would be $4/ per share (or $400): a strike price of $50 gives the investor the right to buy 100 shares of a stock worth $55, with a premium of $1 per share.

On the other hand, if the stock has not risen in price enough, the investor can just let the option expire, having only lost the price of the premium, rather than being saddled with shares they can’t profit from.

Many brokerages, including discount brokerages who offer their services to day traders and individuals, offer put and call options.

What Is a Put Option?

There’s a key difference in call vs put options: If call options are a way to profit from a stock going up in price without having to own the stock itself, than put options are a way to profit from the fall of a stock’s price without having to short the stock (i.e. borrow the shares and then buy them back at a lower price). Of course, in cases where an investor sells their option, the opposite is true: they would benefit from the opposite movement of the stocks.

A put option is a contract that allows someone to sell shares at a certain price at a specified time in the future. The seller of the put option has the obligation to buy the shares from the put buyer if they choose to exercise it.

The Basics of Buying a Put Option

As an example, let’s say a stock is worth $50 today. If an investor thought the stock’s value could go down, they might buy a put option with a strike price of $40. Let’s say the premium for the option is $1, and they buy a contract that gives them the right to sell 100 shares at $40. The premium, then, is $100.

At the time the investor buys the put option, it’s “out-of-the-money.” If the price remains above $40 until it expires, the investor will not be able to exercise the option and they will lose the premium. But if the stock has dropped from, say, $50 to $35, the option is “in-the-money” and they could sell it for an increased premium to someone else. If an investor were to exercise the option, they’d profit from being able to sell shares for $40 that are worth $35, pocketing $5 per share or $500, minus the $100 premium, leaving them with $400.

Risks of Options Trading

Option trading can be a useful way to manage risks or profit from movements in stocks one doesn’t own. They can also lead to large losses, especially if an investor doesn’t understand the potential downside to the trades they’re executing.

This is especially true if an investor starts selling call options or put options, putting them in the position of collecting premiums but obligating them to either buy or sell the shares in question at the options expiration date. Investing in options on margin — i.e. with borrowed money—can also be high risk. Some brokerages have tools to screen traders from making certain types of option trades in order to maintain the risk.

The Takeaway

Option trades—call and put options—can be popular with individual or amateur traders because they offer a way to make profits from large movements in a stock without having to own the underlying shares. But by this same token, buying and selling options can also lead to paying premiums over and over with little or no actual payoff.

If you’re ready to keep learning about options and try your hand at options trading, you may consider checking out SoFi’s options trading platform. The platform’s user-friendly design allows investors to trade through the mobile app or web platform. Plus, there are a number of educational resources available to support you as you continue to learn about options trading.

Pay low fees when you start options trading with SoFi.

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Options involve risks, including substantial risk of loss and the possibility an investor may lose the entire amount invested in a short period of time. Before an investor begins trading options they should familiarize themselves with the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options . Tax considerations with options transactions are unique, investors should consult with their tax advisor to understand the impact to their taxes.
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 Midterm Elections Can Influence the Stock Market

How Midterm Elections Can Influence the Stock Market

As the country gears up for midterm elections, many investors are wondering how the results could affect the stock market. Midterm elections can introduce uncertainty and turmoil to the stock market. A change in power in Congress could lead to policy and regulatory changes that could impact the economy and corporate profits. As such, investors will be watching to see which party wins control of Congress and the implications for the stock market.

Historically, the stock market has underperformed leading up to midterm elections and bounced back in the year following the elections. Many investors use this historical precedent to predict how midterms will affect the stock market in the future. However, past performance is not indicative of future results. The midterm elections may be less important on the stock market than other economic factors, like high interest rates, inflation, and rising energy costs.

What are the Midterm Elections?

As the name suggests, midterm elections occur in the middle of a presidential term. Midterm elections are when voters elect every member of the House of Representatives and about one-third of the members of the Senate. The results of the midterm elections determine which political party controls the House and Senate, which could determine the future of economic policy that may affect the stock market.

History of Midterm Elections Results

Historically, the president’s party loses ground in Congress during the midterm elections. Of the 22 midterm elections since 1934, the president’s party has lost an average of 28 seats in the House of Representatives and four in the Senate. The president’s party gained seats in both the House and the Senate only twice over this period.

The flip in power during the midterm elections occurs, in part, because the president’s approval rating usually declines during the first two years in office, which can influence voters to vote against the party in power or not show up to the polls. Additionally, voters of the party not in control are often more motivated to vote during these elections, boosting voter turnout that can help the opposition party outperform the president’s party.

Stock Market Performance During Year of Midterm Elections

Leading up to the midterm elections, the stock market tends to underperform. According to U.S. Bank, since 1962, the average annual return of the S&P 500 Index in the 12 months before midterm elections is 0.3%. In contrast, the historical average return of the S&P 500 is an 8.1% gain.

This underperformance during the midterm year follows the Presidential Election Cycle Theory, which implies that the first two years of a president’s term tend to be the weakest for the stocks.

However, it’s unclear whether this downbeat performance and stock volatility in the year preceding the midterms is a function of investors’ views of potential election outcomes and subsequent policy changes.

Some analysts say that the underperformance occurs due to uncertainty about the election’s outcome and impact, and investors don’t like uncertainty. But others say that the more critical impact on the stock market is the state of the economy; factors like the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, energy prices, inflation, and the state of the labor market are more important to the stock market.

💡 Recommended: How Do Interest Rates Impact Stocks?

Stock Market Performance Following Midterm Elections

Even though the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, has historically underperformed leading up to the midterm elections, stocks have tended to overperform in the post-election environment. Since 1962, the 12 months after midterm elections, the S&P 500 has had an average return of 16.3%.

The gains in stocks following the midterm elections have occurred due to no single factor. One reason may be that investors prefer the certainty of knowing the makeup of the federal government and potential policy changes.

Moreover, some believe that because the president’s party typically loses ground in the midterm elections, it reduces the likelihood of policy changes that could have a negative impact on the economy. This, in turn, can provide a tailwind for stocks. The potential for gridlock, rather than sweeping policy and regulatory changes, is usually welcomed by investors.

How Could the 2022 Midterm Elections Affect the Stock Market?

It is difficult to say how the 2022 midterm elections might affect the stock market, as many factors can affect the market, and it is hard to predict the future. However, the most obvious way the midterm elections could impact the markets is that if one party or the other gains control of Congress, that could influence economic policy and the country’s direction. This could lead to tax policy, regulation, and spending changes that could impact businesses and the stock market.

Another potential impact of the midterm elections is that if there is a change in control of Congress, that could lead to more investigations and subpoenas of businesses and individuals, which could create uncertainty that investors and the markets may not like.

However, the impact of the 2022 midterm elections on the stock market may be muted, regardless of the outcome. Going into 2023, investors may be more concerned with the potential of a recession and declining corporate profits in the face of high inflation, rising energy prices, the Russia-Ukraine war, and a global economic slowdown. These factors may affect the stock market more than any political and policy outcome following the midterm elections.

💡 Recommended: SoFi’s Recession Guide and Help Center

The Takeaway

The history of midterm elections is one of cycles: the party in power typically loses ground during midterm elections, and the opposition party typically gains ground. And these cycles are also evident in the performance of the stock market, with muted stock gains in the year of a midterm election and substantial gains the year following the elections. But despite these historical trends, no one can say for sure how the midterm elections will impact the stock market. And investors shouldn’t necessarily rely on these trends when making investing decisions. Instead, investors should maintain a long-term view to reach financial goals, avoiding the short-term noise and uncertainty of elections and politics. Investors should continue to focus on asset allocation, risk tolerance, and the time horizon of a diversified portfolio to achieve financial goals.

And if you want to build your own diversified portfolio, SoFi Invest® can help. With a SoFi online brokerage account, you can trade stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and IPOs with no commissions for as little as $5.

Take a step toward reaching your financial goals with SoFi Invest.

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In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more. Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.


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How To Make Money Even With No Job

How To Make Money Even With No Job

If you currently don’t have a job, finding ways to make money may be at the top of your to-do list. The good news is that there are numerous ways to earn income when you aren’t working a steady gig. Some opportunities require Wifi and a laptop or smartphone, while others require little more than your physical presence.

Starting a side hustle can be a great option for making money from home. Or if you’re interested in how to “make money with money,” you might lean toward passive income ideas. Keep reading to learn some of the most popular ways to make money with no job.

How To Make Money With Money With No Job

What does it mean to make money with money? In simple terms, it means finding ways to make the money that you already have work for you, without necessarily getting a traditional first or second job.

Learning how to make money with money often involves various ways to earn passive income. Passive income is money that you earn with little to no work involved. That doesn’t mean you don’t do any work at all: Some degree of work is required in the beginning to create passive income streams before you can start making money on autopilot.

If that sounds good to you, then you might consider these passive income ideas.

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1. Sell Your Plasma

Selling plasma can be an easy way to make extra money without a job or without doing any real work. Plasma donation centers pay healthy people real cash to donate their plasma. Depending on where you donate, you can make $1,000 your first month as a new donor.

Keep in mind that there may be a limit on the number of times you can donate plasma each month. You may also want to read up on potential side effects of donating plasma and how the process works.

2. Sell Your Clutter

If you have things around the house you no longer need or use, you could sell them to make some quick cash. Some of the places you can sell items you don’t need include:

•   Craigslist

•   Facebook Marketplace

•   Facebook bargain groups

•   eBay

•   Etsy (for vintage items)

•   Consignment stores

You can also try selling items through an app like Mercari or Decluttr. Selling items for cash could generate a steady income if you’re interested in flipping.

Flipping simply means taking things you get for one price, then selling them for a higher price. For example, you might be able to find bargains on clothing or accessories at thrift stores and flea markets, then turn around and flip them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. You might need to spend a little money to purchase your first items to flip, but this can be a great option for how to make money with money.

3. Get Paid To Do Market Research

Companies are always interested in figuring out how to gain a competitive edge. One way they do that is by paying everyday consumers to participate in market research.

For example, there are numerous apps and websites that pay you cash to complete surveys, share your opinions, or participate in focus groups. The amount you can make largely depends on which apps or sites you’re signing up for. But this can be an easy way to make money from home using your cellphone or laptop.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

4. Earn Cash Back

Cash-back apps are another option for making money without a job. When you download cash-back apps, you can link your debit card or credit cards, then earn back a percentage of what you spend at partner retailers.

There are several different cash-back apps to choose from, and they all pay different cash-back reward rates. Some of the apps you might consider for online shopping, grocery shopping, or travel include:

•   Rakuten

•   Ibotta

•   Dosh

•   Mr. Rebates

You can sign up for one or multiple apps to maximize your cash-back earnings potential.

5. Start a Blog

Blogging can help you to generate passive income in a variety of ways. For example, you might earn passive income from advertisements on your site, affiliate marketing, or product sales. You can also make a more active income by writing sponsored posts or offering some type of service, like coaching or consulting.

There is a certain amount of work that goes into setting up a blog and growing various income streams. But it’s entirely possible to make a full-time income from home as a blogger, even if you’re starting with no experience and very little money. For more on blogging, check out this story on the costs of running a blog.

6. Invest in Real Estate

Real estate can be a great investment, especially when there’s uncertainty in the stock market and inflation is on the rise. But how can you afford to invest in real estate and buy a rental property if you don’t have a job?

The simple answer is that you figure out how to make money with money in real estate a different way. Investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT), for example, offers the benefits of real estate ownership without the hassles of operating a rental property. You can also invest in real estate mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to gain exposure to a variety of properties in a single investment.

These investment options might be offered through your online brokerage. You may also consider real estate crowdfunding platforms, which allow you to pool your money along with other investors in a variety of property types. You make money through any of these investments in the form of dividends, which is another type of passive income.

7. Childcare, Senior Care, and Pet Care

If you want to make money offline, consider babysitting, pet sitting, or dog walking within your social circle or local area. You might also branch out to offer help to seniors who need it. For example, if you don’t mind leaving the house, you can hire yourself out to run errands for elderly people who may not have transportation. Or you may earn extra money by sitting with a senior for a few hours a day while their regular caretaker does the grocery shopping or cleaning.

8. Invest in Dividend Stocks

A dividend represents a share of a company’s profits. Some companies pay out dividends to investors who own shares of their stock as a reward for their loyalty. Dividend investing is something that might appeal to you if you’re specifically interested in passive income or residual income, since you can make a one-time investment, then collect dividends as they’re paid out.

When comparing dividend stocks, it helps to familiarize yourself with how the stock has paid out historically. You’ll also want to consider how often dividends are paid out and what kind of tax liability you’ll incur by receiving dividend payments.

9. Rent Out a Room on Airbnb

If you’ve got a spare room, you might have an easy solution for how to make money without a job. You can rent out a spare room or part of your home on Airbnb to create passive income. Or you might take on a regular roommate, which can help to reduce your share of monthly expenses.

You’ll need to register for an account on Airbnb to start hosting guests in your home. Before you do that, however, it’s important to check the zoning laws where you live to determine whether you need any special permits to act as an Airbnb host.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait

10. Rent Out Your Car

Have a car that you rarely drive? You can rent it out to people who need a vehicle short-term through a site like Turo. Renting your car for cash is similar to renting out a room on Airbnb, in that you’re effectively sharing your vehicle with someone else. This can be a easy option for making money with your car passively versus driving for Uber or Lyft.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

11. Become a Tutor

Tutoring is something you might consider if you’re comfortable helping students learn and you want to be able to make money from home. You might offer tutoring services virtually through a site like Tutor.com or from the comfort of your home if you’re helping students locally. Keep in mind that with tutoring websites, you may be required to pass a skills test or show proof of a college degree in order to get approved.

12. Freelance Online

You might try freelancing to make money without a job if you have some marketable skills. Some of the ways you can make money as a freelancer include:

•   Proofreading

•   Virtual assistant services

•   Graphic design services

•   Website design

•   Freelance writing or editing

If you’re not sure where to get started with making money as a freelancer, you might try a site like Fiverr. With Fiverr, you can list your freelance skills and services, along with your preferred rate. Potential clients can browse freelancer profiles and if yours is a good fit, hire you for their project.

13. Sell Photography

Selling photography online is another way to make money from home. You’ll need a good camera (or smartphone camera) to take pictures, and it’s helpful to have good editing software on hand. Once you have some pictures to sell, you can upload them to a site like Shutterstock or Foap.

These sites allow you to license the rights to your photography. When someone purchases a license, you earn royalty income. Once again, this is another good way to make money passively without leaving home.

14. Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer loans are funded by money pooled from different investors. Those investors make passive income from the loans by collecting interest from borrowers.

You might consider P2P lending as an investor if you’re looking for another idea on how to make money with no job passively. Keep in mind that with peer-to-peer lending, a higher potential rate of return usually equates to higher risk. If the borrower defaults on the loan you’ve helped fund, you won’t be able to collect any remaining interest.

For that reason, you might want to diversify the types of loans you invest in. You can also balance risk by investing in other things, such as real estate, dividend stocks, or even fine art.

15. Sell eBooks or Low Content Books

Ebooks and low-content books like blank journals or lined notebooks can be an excellent way to create steady income without a lot of ongoing work. You can create an ebook or low-content book, upload to a self-publishing website like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and collect income each time you sell a copy.

You typically don’t need much to get started with self-publishing, other than a great idea for a book and some graphic design software to create your covers and interiors. When deciding where to sell your finished books, take time to research the fees each platform charges, since they can eat into your earnings.

How To Make the Most of Extra Income

Figuring out how to make money with money can increase your cash flow, sometimes significantly. But it’s important to think about what to do with extra money that you’re earning from side hustles or passive income ideas.

Some of the best ways to put extra income to work include:

•   Paying down high-interest debt

•   Increasing your savings

•   Investing money in the market, where it can grow through compounding

•   Reinvesting it into new passive income ideas

Those are just a few ways to make the most of supplemental income, versus simply spending all of the extra cash you’re bringing in.

If you’re struggling to manage the extra money you’re making, using a free budget app can help. Budgeting apps help you keep track of your expenses and budget categories each month so that you know where your money is going. Seeing how you’re spending money can make it easier to pinpoint areas to cut back.

The Takeaway

Extra income is one of the main benefits of a side hustle, along with flexibility and the ability to earn money on your own schedule. If you’re testing out different ideas for how to make money with money, there are plenty of passive income ideas you can try. You can also research ideas for how to make money with no job that might require a little more work, such as low-content ebooks. Others require little more than your physical presence.

Having a money tracker to record income and expenses can help you stay on top of your financial situation. SoFi, for instance, lets you see your expenses at a glance, monitor your credit, and get a snapshot of your financial situation right from your mobile device. The best part is that it’s free to use.

Begin tracking your financial life with SoFi.


How can I make money with no job?

Starting a side hustle or online business, or doing gig work, are great ways to make money without a job. It’s possible to make money online or from home doing things like market research, shopping with cash back apps, mystery shopping, or offering freelance services. The more side hustles you have, the more money you can make even without a job.

How can I make $100 without a job?

The fastest way to make $100 without a job is to sell something. For example, you might sell items around the house that you no longer need, or resell bargain items that you find on Facebook or at flea markets. If you’d like to make $100 a day or $100 a week consistently, then you might consider different side hustle options like pet sitting, dog walking, freelancing, or blogging.

How do I live without a job?

Living well without a job starts with creating a realistic budget and understanding how you spend your money. Having savings to rely on can make it easier to live without a job if you expect to be out of work temporarily. You can also work on finding ways to make money without a job, including passive income ideas, side hustles, or gig work.

Photo credit: iStock/Natalia Bodrova

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Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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


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Guide to Credit Card Outstanding Balance

Guide to Credit Card Outstanding Balance

Your credit card statement can feel like information overload with all of its numbers and terminology. Understanding the definition of terms like outstanding balance, statement balance, and billing cycle can help you to navigate this monthly statement a little more easily.

So what is an outstanding balance, how is it different from a statement balance, and can it affect your credit score? Put simply, the outstanding balance on a credit card is what the amount of money you still owe to the credit card company is called. Knowing this figure is important to avoiding interest and potential effects on your credit.

What Is an Outstanding Balance on a Credit Card?

Outstanding balance is another way to express current balance. In fact, depending on your credit card issuer, your monthly statement and mobile app may use the term “current balance” instead of “outstanding balance.”

But what is an outstanding balance in credit card terminology? A credit card outstanding balance is simply the amount of money you have not paid to the credit card issuer — i.e., it’s what you still owe.

Your outstanding balance includes any purchases you have made on your credit card but have not yet paid off (from the current and previous billing cycles), but it also includes:

•   Interest earned on previous balances

•   Balance transfers (and any balance transfer fees)

•   Cash advances

•   Any other fees you may owe, like late fees or foreign transaction fees

Recommended: Closing a Credit Card with a Balance

Where to Find Your Outstanding Balance on a Credit Card

You can check your outstanding balance by calling your credit card issuer or accessing your account online or through the mobile app. Depending on the terminology the company uses, you may see the outstanding balance listed as your current balance or simply your credit card balance.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

Current Balance vs Outstanding Balance

Current balance is simply another term for outstanding balance. Depending on your credit card issuer, you might see one term or the other used. In some cases, it may simply be labeled “account balance” or “credit card balance.”

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Statement Balance vs Outstanding Balance

So what’s the difference between a credit card statement balance and outstanding balance? Your credit card statement balance is the total amount owed after a billing cycle. It can include any purchases made during the billing cycle, plus any balance, interest, and fees carried over from the previous billing cycle.

Once issued, the statement balance amount does not change, even if you continue to swipe your card for more purchases during the grace period (this is the period between statement closing date and due date, during which you won’t earn interest on your unpaid statement balance). As long as you pay off the statement balance in full by the due date, you should not accrue any interest.

Your outstanding balance encompasses everything you owe at a specific moment in time. Sometimes your outstanding balance can be higher than your statement balance; sometimes it may be lower. Consider this example:

Your billing cycle ends, and you now have a statement balance of $1,000. In the next week, you spend $500 more with your credit card. Your statement balance remains $1,000, while your outstanding balance grows to $1,500. But as long as you pay that $1,000 statement balance by the due date, you will not incur any interest — and your statement balance will drop to $0 until the end of the next billing cycle.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Remaining Balance vs Outstanding Balance

Remaining balance refers to whatever amount is still due after you’ve made your monthly credit card payment. For example, if your statement balance is $500 but you only pay $300, your remaining balance is $200. This, along with the interest it accrues, becomes a part of your outstanding balance.

You can avoid accruing interest on a remaining balance by paying off your statement balance in full each month rather than only the credit card minimum payment.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

What Is an Average Outstanding Balance?

The typical amount of an outstanding balance can vary widely from person to person — it all depends on how much you use your credit card, what your credit limit is, and whether you carry a balance. That being said, your average outstanding balance is simply the amount you owe on a credit card, averaged over a certain period of time.

The average outstanding balance formula for a statement period would be the total of your balance for each day of the statement period, divided by the number of days in the cycle. This can be helpful to know given most credit card issuers calculate interest on a daily basis, based on your average daily account balance.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

Paying Your Credit Card Outstanding Balance: What to Know

The nuances of credit card balances can be tough to nail down, but understanding how they work — particularly outstanding balances — may help you avoid interest and impacts to your credit score.

Here’s the short version:

•   Paying the minimum balance due each month will help you avoid late fees and negative marks for late payments on your credit report.

•   Paying the statement balance in full by the due date will keep you from accruing interest.

•   Paying down the outstanding balance, or current balance, even outside of your normal payment cycle, can reduce your overall credit utilization, which influences your credit score.

How Interest Contributes to Outstanding Balances

When you make purchases with your credit card throughout a billing cycle, the card issuer has lent you money to cover the expenses. And if you don’t pay the lender the statement balance in full by the specified due date, any remaining balance will become part of your outstanding balance — and it will start accruing interest.

The best way to avoid paying credit card interest is to pay your statement balance in full by each due date.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

How an Outstanding Balance Affects Your Credit Score

When you carry over unpaid balances, you’ll do more than earn interest that you have to pay. You’ll also increase your overall credit utilization, which is the amount of your total available credit you’re using. That’s because your outstanding balance counts toward your credit limit.

For example, if your credit limit is $5,000 and your outstanding balance is $2,500, you’ve utilized 50% of your credit limit. In general, creditors prefer to see a credit utilization of 30% or lower. This signals to them that you can responsibly pay back your debts.

In fact, credit utilization is the second most important factor affecting your FICO credit score. It accounts for 30% of your overall credit score. Thus, carrying a high outstanding balance regularly can adversely affect your credit score.

For this reason, experts typically recommend paying off your full statement balance every month if you’re able. And if you make a large payment on your credit card during a billing cycle that increases your outstanding balance tremendously, you may want to pay it off early to reduce your credit utilization — or else you chance a drop in your credit score.

Recommended: What Happens If You Overpay Your Credit Card?

The Takeaway

Credit cards can be confusing, especially when you’re new to the terminology. But once you understand how your statement and outstanding balances work and can responsibly make payments in full and on time, credit cards can be a great tool for boosting your credit score.


Does outstanding balance mean past due?

Having an outstanding balance does not necessarily mean it’s past due. Your credit card requires a minimum monthly payment; if you have satisfied that payment, you do not need to immediately pay your outstanding balance. But keep in mind that you generally need to pay the full statement balance each month to avoid accruing interest.

How do I clear the outstanding balance on my credit card?

To clear the outstanding balance on a credit card, you can make a payment equal to the amount. This should bring the balance down to zero. However, you do not always have to pay your outstanding, or current, balance to avoid interest. Paying your monthly statement balance in full should keep you from accruing interest, even if your outstanding balance is higher.

Why is my outstanding balance negative?

Your credit card outstanding balance can go negative if you pay off the card and then receive a credit for a returned item or claim cash-back rewards from your purchases. If you want, you can request a check from the credit card issuer in the amount of the negative balance. Or, you can apply the negative balance on a credit card toward future purchases on the credit card.

Photo credit: iStock/SARINYAPINNGAM

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.

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 .


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