Top Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

Top Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

When you want to sell your house quickly, you need to get it right the first time around. Those with more time to leave their homes on the market can enjoy a period of trial and error, but if you’re looking for a quick payout, it’s smart to have a plan, and even a checklist in place. Here are 10 tips you may want to consider that can help increase the appeal of your home, impress buyers and help get your property sold in record time.

1. Clean and declutter

One of the first and most fundamental steps to complete if you want to sell your house fast is to clean and declutter your home. This sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference to prospective buyers. If necessary, you may want to rent a storage unit so you can set aside any belongings that you don’t absolutely need for a showing. A tidy home looks bigger and more appealing, so investing some time and money in a deep clean and even a home staging can help to ensure buyers get a great first impression.

2. Pick a selling strategy

Different buyers will have different needs. For instance, a first-time homebuyer might be ready to purchase, but may not know exactly what they want until they see it. That’s why it’s smart to make sure your selling strategy targets your ideal buyer so you can sell your home quickly. Here are three strategies to consider:

Sell FSBO

Selling your home yourself can be a great way to sell a house fast. The “For Sale By Owner” approach may require a little extra work on your part, but it also lets you avoid agent and broker fees, meaning you can sell the home at a lower price and keep the same profits.

Hire an agent

Of course, going it alone isn’t for everyone. If you don’t fully understand the ins and outs of the market, need a little assistance, or would just prefer for a professional to handle the heavy lifting, hiring an agent may be the better route for you. You may incur some additional fees but having a professional on board can help give you some piece of mind during what can be a very complex and stressful process.

Try the unconventional

There isn’t any one right way to sell a home. These days, some people harness the power of social media to try to sell a home quickly. Others allow potential buyers to spend a night to see if they fall in love with the home. Even virtual tours allowing buyers to “walk through” without ever setting foot in the home are becoming the norm.

3. Price to sell

A mortgage loan is a major expense so it’s often at the forefront of your potential buyers’ minds. That’s why you may want to think carefully when setting a price point for your home. Setting your sale price higher than other properties in your neighborhood could keep your home on the market longer than you’d like. Choosing to set your sale price lower than those in your neighborhood can help set you apart from the pack and may help speed up the selling process.

Set a timeline for a price reduction

It’s perfectly fine to dream big, but it’s smart to have a plan in place if no one bites at your initial price. Setting a date by which you’ll reduce the price can help to generate renewed interest in your property. Even a small price reduction can entice buyers to give your home a second look.

Consider sales incentives

You may also want to consider other sales incentives. Perhaps the buyer wants a new fence installed or an AC unit replaced. New carpentry and modern appliances can be highly appealing for buyers. Also, offering to partially or fully cover closing costs is another tactic that can entice potential buyers.

4. Handle any quick repairs

Speaking of incentives, it’s wise to make sure you do repairs before buyers see the home. Many of those small things we overlook while living in a house can be a big deal to buyers. Repair scratched floors and damaged walls, tighten up that leaky faucet and pull out the touch up paint. All of these quick repairs can make a huge difference in selling your home quickly.

💡 Recommended: What Are the Most Common Home Repair Costs?

5. Pack up and hire a stager

First thing’s first: Most buyers consider how their own belongings will fit in your home as they walk through, and getting some of your things out of the way can aid in that visualization. If you think your belongings are outdated or detract from the overall appeal of the home, you can even consider hiring a stager who will know exactly how to make your home look its absolute best. A well-staged home can sell more quickly.

💡 Recommended: 12 Home Staging Tips for Homeowners Trying to Sell

6. Create curb appeal

Thinking about what people see when they first arrive at your house is a smart move when it comes to selling your home quickly. The front lawn, the door, or even a driveway can influence a buyer’s overall impressions. Consider driving past your home and looking at it from a buyer’s perspective to see where your eyes land first. Whatever catches your eye is probably worth investing some time and money into. Also, mowing the lawn and power washing the front of your home can help make it look more inviting.

💡 Recommended: 5 Curb Appeal Ideas for Your House

7. Hire a professional photographer

Pictures, virtual walk-throughs and social media are huge in real estate these days. And professional photographers make it all much more appealing. If you have stunning professional photographs to show prospective buyers, you’re likely to be more competitive when it comes to getting those buyers into your house.

8. Write a great listing description

A listing price and photographs are helpful, but you also need a listing description. Realtors are often great at this, but if you need to do it on your own, you may want to start by considering your home’s best features. Also it’s smart to consider keywords that might help your home rank higher. Since you’re trying to sell a house fast, it’s perfectly fine to convey that in the listing. It might also attract buyers who want to buy quickly.

Where to post your listing

Where to list your home for sale often depends on how you’re selling it. If you are selling on your own, you can use sites like Zillow to list the house yourself. If you are working with an agent, however, they will probably prefer to list the house for you on the local Multiple List Service (MLS). Of course you can always use your personal social accounts, email, or other means to advertise regardless of whether you have an agent or not.

9. Time your sale right

Timing can play a huge role in how quickly your home sells. However, this can vary widely depending on where you’re located. You may want to start by researching when homes sell best in your area and aim to hit that time frame if you can.

10. Be flexible with showings

Within your ideal time frame, you’ll probably want to be as flexible as possible. Homebuyers can be busy, and if you can accommodate them, they’ll be more likely to view your home. If you can’t, they may look elsewhere.

Hold an open house

An open house is an excellent way to let people see your house. The best part about open houses is that they’re very flexible. People can come and go as they please on their own schedules. Of course, things like cleaning, making repairs and staging will be extra important during an open house. If you have an interested buyer but have scheduled an open house, it’s OK to run the open house anyway. Even a home in contingency can still fall through; it doesn’t hurt to have backup offers or other interested buyers in waiting.

The Takeaway

Whether pricing your home below market rate or just adding a fresh coat of paint, when it comes to selling your home quickly there really are no guarantees. Doing your research and knowing your market are the best ways to position yourself for a sale, and incorporating these tips can help speed up that process.

And once you’ve successfully sold your house and you’re in the market to buy another property, consider SoFi for your next mortgage. With competitive rates and downpayments as low as 3%, SoFi can help get you into a new home in no time.

Find out what you could qualify for with SoFi.


Photo credit: iStock/OlekStock

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


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Adjusting Your Budget for Working From Home

Adjusting Your Budget for Working From Home

Working from home is more common than ever. What was once a fantastic work perk has become the norm for many occupations. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of workers who are able to work remotely continue to do so by choice in 2022, even as many others are returning to the office.

If you’re one of those fortunate enough to continue working from home (or have the option to), your budget probably looks a lot different than it used to. Commuting expenses turned into food delivery charges and wardrobe spending turned into exercise subscriptions. You might be trying to keep your home at a comfortable temperature in the middle of the day, which increases the cost of utilities. You may also have substantial costs maintaining a work-from-home office.

If you need to make some adjustments in your work-from-home (WFH) budget, check out these tips.

How Working From Home Affects Your Spending

Working from home changes what you spend money on — and possibly how much you spend every month. You probably expect to save on regular expenses that you no longer have like transportation and lunches out. But you’ll spend more in other areas such as electricity, heat, maybe decorating the space behind your desk chair for video meetings.

Here are some big expenses you may have already incurred:

Home Office Equipment

When you’re regularly working from home, the dining table may not be a great place to set up shop. Also, a chair that is meant for all-day sitting, aka an ergonomic chair, may lessen any stiffness or aching you feel in your back or neck.

If you’re a fantastic scavenger, you might have scored a desk and good chair for free, but most people spend anywhere between $240 to $2,500 on basic office furniture. If you needed to add an office to the existing space in your home via a remodel, you could have paid anywhere between $15,000 and $80,000.

Technology

Your company likely provided a laptop. But connecting it to a larger screen makes work easier on the eyes. And if you have a lot of programs open, two monitors are even better. Likewise, a full-sized keyboard and mouse help reduce the strain on your back and shoulders. And if you video-conference a lot, a ring light, external mic, and wireless headphones can enhance the experience — all of which are likely not offered by your IT department.

Fitness Equipment

If you’re not going out to work out in the gym, you may have invested in some fitness equipment such as an indoor exercise bike or treadmill as well as subscriptions for your at-home workouts.

Steps for Adjusting Your Work From Home Budget

More than two years into working from home (if you started when the pandemic did), you’ve likely made any big office furniture and technology purchases already. So now you just need to figure out how much more or less you are regularly spending. These steps can help:

Track current and pre-pandemic home and home-office expenses

Combing through your bank account and credit card statements, calculate what you’re spending on electricity, gas, water, internet, cell phone, landline, printer cartridges, paper, and office supplies for at least one month — and the same month in 2019. To get a better picture of costs, you may want to compute costs for the past three months and corresponding three months in 2019 (or even better, the past 12 months and corresponding 12 months in 2018 and 2019) and get an average. Now subtract your pre-pandemic costs (probably the smaller number) from your current costs. This is roughly how much your monthly home expenses have increased.

Track current and pre-pandemic office or work expenses

Include work clothes, shoes, dry cleaning, gas or other commuting expenses, lunch, happy hour bills, coffee drinks, and anything else related to work. Again, you can do this for one month this year and the corresponding month in 2019. Or for three months this year and pre-pandemic or last 12 months and corresponding months pre-pandemic — and calculate the average. Next, subtract today’s costs (probably the smaller number) from your pre-pandemic costs. This is roughly how much your monthly office or work-related expenses have fallen.

Compare your home costs to your office expenses

Do your increased costs offset your decreased costs so that you’re basically spending the same amount now than you did pre-pandemic? That’s great! There are no adjustments to make.

If you’re spending more now than pre-pandemic, find ways to save

Part of the increase is likely related to inflation, but you’ll still want to lower your home expenses that have increased. Find areas to target for making cuts, below.

Or perhaps you want to rethink working from home if your company is offering flexibility. Read on for WFH pros and cons to help you make the decision.

Recommended: How Much Money Should I Save a Month?

If you’re spending less now than pre-pandemic, find ways to grow your savings — and celebrate!

It looks like you are keeping more of your paycheck working from home. It’s no surprise, actually: average commute costs exceed $4,500 each year, and that figure continues to climb with rising gas prices. Of course, you could spend some of the freed-up disposable income, but you may be best off putting the money somewhere it can grow. Check out some ideas, below.

Ways to Trim Costs in a Work-From-Home Budget

If your WFH budget needs some recalibrating, here’s where you may want to look for costs that can be cut.

Utilities

Working from home means you’ll most likely see a bump in utility costs to keep everyone comfortable throughout the day. California residents, for example, used 15-20% more energy through 2020 than the previous year. To shave costs, consider taking energy-conserving steps such as shutting down your computer at the end of the workday and closing AC and heat vents and doors of unused rooms during the day.

Food

You’re likely spending less on lunch if you are making it in your kitchen. But are you? Or are you ordering in dinner more than before? Food delivery apps saw tremendous growth during the pandemic — as did online grocery delivery services. When looking for ways to cut expenses, you may want to limit how many times you order in a week — and stop having your groceries delivered.

Potential Impulsive Spending

According to a study of 2,000 Americans in 2020, the pandemic brought on a slew of impulse purchases, especially in hard-hit areas with shortages and price increases. At the time of the poll, the price of the average impulse buy was more than $180. Be aware of this whether you’re shopping online or in person.

Recommended: 33 Ways to Make Money From Home

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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


What to Do With Saved Money From Working From Home

During the pandemic, the personal savings rate skyrocketed to as much as 33% — almost five times what Americans were normally able to save prior to the shutdown (7%). Working from home turned out to be a boon for the bank accounts of many. If you’ve been able to save as a result of working from home, you may want to consider making one or more of these moves:

•   Pay off debt

•   Start an emergency fund if you don’t have one yet

•   Increase your contribution to your retirement account

•   Park the money in a high-yield savings account

•   Invest through a brokerage account

Rethinking Working From Home

If your employer is letting you choose where you work and you are spending more now than you did before, you may want to reconsider working from home. Consider which advantages and disadvantages apply to you, and how much they matter to you.

Advantages of Working From Home

•   Flexibility

•   Better work-life balance

•   No commuting

•   Fewer office politics

•   More independence

•   Save on expenses like wardrobe, coffee runs, lunches with coworkers

Disadvantages of Working From Home

•   Lack of separation between work and personal life

•   Increased childcare or housework load

•   Many, many distractions at home

•   Possible less productivity

•   Weaker connections to coworkers

•   Isolated work environment

Figuring out how to make working from home work is no small task. Beyond the increased amount of juggling you’ll have to do, many struggle with how to stay productive working from home. Some people prefer the environment of a formal office.

The Takeaway

Working from home has its pluses and minuses — and one plus is saving money on all the expenses that come with commuting to work, having to be presentable, and eating lunch outside the home. But if your work-from-home expenses exceed those savings, you may want to look for ways to lower your spending — and possibly reconsider working from home (if it’s optional).

But if you’re saving more by working from home, you’ll want to figure out where best to sock away the money. If you decide you want to keep it liquid but still have it earn interest, SoFi high-yield banking offers a competitive APY with direct deposit. You’ll also pay no minimum account fees, monthly account fees, or overdraft fees.

Get the most out of your money with SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

How much money do you save when working from home?

How much money you save working from home depends on your situation and personal habits. If you no longer have high transportation costs or pay less for childcare, you could be saving a substantial amount of money. If you’re spending more on utilities or food delivery while working from home, you may not save that much.

Does working from home cost more?

Working from home may increase costs in your utilities, groceries, and home office equipment. However, it may be cheaper if you had been paying a lot in transportation and wardrobe expenses that are no longer required.

Is it better or worse to work at home?

While some appreciate the found time from not commuting back and forth or freedom from not having someone breathing down their necks, others enjoy the structure and separate space that working from an office provides. The financial impact on your life will also vary according to your circumstances.


Photo credit: iStock/AsiaVision

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Guide to Saving Money During the Summer: 10 Tips

Guide to Saving Money During the Summer: 10 Tips

Summertime can lure us into spending more money simply because our usual habits and routines are disrupted. Kids are out of school and desperate for entertainment. Adults are eager to spend time outdoors after months of being stuck at home.

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget that summer fun comes at a cost. To make the most of the season without breaking the bank, keep reading for 10 tips on how to save money in the summer and how to stick to a summer budget.

Why Saving and Budgeting in the Summer Can Be Tough

Holidays aside, many of us are satisfied spending the colder months curled up on the couch enjoying a succession of movie marathons. So when summer rolls around, we’re eager to get outside — and that increases the temptations to spend exponentially. Because while sun and surf are technically free of charge, the food, drink, and transportation costs that inevitably follow can steadily chip away at your summer budget.

Another reason that saving money in summer can be tough is the spontaneous nature of summer fun. Consider that last-minute happy hour invite to a new rooftop bar ($$). Or those friends who have an empty bedroom in their rental house by the lake ($$$$). The last thing you want to think about is your bank account. And the less advance planning that’s involved, the more likely it is you’re living beyond your means.

10 Tips for Saving in the Summer

Sure, small indulgences add up over time. But so do honest attempts to curtail overspending. Let’s look at 10 ways to save money and get financially fit for the summer.

Recommended: Where to Keep Your Travel Fund

1. Not Feeling Obligated to Plan a Vacation

From airfares to gas prices, travel costs soar during the summer. Planning your big trip for the fall, when prices drop, can make it easier to stretch a travel budget. The benefits aren’t just financial: You’ll enjoy fewer crowds and less sweltering temperatures. And you can still arrange a few fun yet inexpensive staycations for summer.

2. Finding Local Events in Your Community

Many communities host special summer events like outdoor movie nights and concerts, street festivals, and sports tournaments — most of which are free to attend. Make a point of checking out free events in your area. You may discover your neighborhood has more to offer than you ever imagined.

Recommended: Visiting National Parks on a Budget

3. Suspending Your Gym Membership

When the skies are clear, who needs an indoor treadmill? Pause your gym membership during the summer months, and go for a run in the park instead. You may save enough cash to book an affordable vacation in summer.

4. Using the Outside to Cool Your House and Car

Open windows before bed and early in the morning, and use fans to keep indoor air moving. You’ll cool your home without having to rely on air conditioning. You may even find you prefer the feel of no AC.

Did you know using your car’s air conditioning can reduce your gas mileage? On hot days, park your car in the shade and place a sunshade over your windshield to reduce the need to crank the AC during your next quick trip.

5. Planning Ahead Before Going to the Store

No matter the season, a shopping list can help prevent overspending at the market. After all, groceries take a major chunk of your monthly budget. In the summer, it’s natural to enjoy wandering around air conditioned grocers and big-box stores. But that strategy (or lack thereof) may lead to a cart filled with impulse purchases. Create a shopping list before heading to the store, and try not to stray from it.

6. Tracking Your Spending

Another seasonless tip for sticking to a budget is to track your spending, especially for unplanned events. Generally, when consumers track how they spend their money, they become more mindful of their purchases and actually find it easier to stick to a budget. (Bonus: They’re also more likely to catch fraudulent charges on their credit cards.)

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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


7. Setting Budget Limits

Setting summer budget limits, on things like dining out and airfare, can help you squirrel away extra cash for next year’s big trip. That’s because budgeting is the leading strategy to help you reach financial goals. By seeing how much money is left over at the end of each week or month, you can earmark that amount for more long-term costs.

8. Utilizing Cash Over Credit Cards

Paying cash for summer activities can protect your budget in more ways than one. First, cash is more concrete: Forking over multiple Jacksons will slow your spending better than throwing down a card.

Second, if you can’t afford to pay off your entire credit card bill each month, relying on cash will help you avoid paying interest on the balance.

9. Suspending Unused Monthly Subscriptions

From streaming services to meal kit delivery, monthly subscriptions can really add up. It’s important to review subscription charges on a monthly basis to see which no longer make the cut. And because our habits change so drastically in the summer, you may find you can cancel or pause some subs until you need them again.

10. Planning Accordingly if You Are Vacationing

For families with school-age children, summer may be the only time they can take a real vacation. If you hope to take a summer trip, you’ll benefit from creating a special vacation budget that outlines how much you plan to spend for things like dining out, activities, hotels, and souvenirs. Going overboard now and then is only human, but setting a detailed budget makes it less likely you’ll overdo it.

Managing Your Finances With SoFi

To get the benefits of both worlds, you may want to open an online bank account with SoFi. You’ll be able to easily access your money with mobile banking and our network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs, and with direct deposit, you’ll earn a competitive APY. Plus, you won’t pay any monthly fees or other account fees.

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

FAQ

How can I save money on summer vacation?

Choosing less trendy destinations and creating a detailed vacation budget can make it easier to save money on a summer vacation. Avoiding travel around holiday weekends can also save you a bundle, as can postponing your big trip until after Labor Day.

Why is it hard to save money in the summer?

In a nutshell, our habits and routines change significantly with the seasons. Keeping kids entertained during the long school break, spending less time at home, and going on vacation can all tempt folks to hand over more cash than they should.

Where do budgets change the most during summer?

We all tend to spend a lot more on things like travel, entertainment, and dining out in the summer. Some less exciting costs can also run higher, like electric and water bills thanks to increased air conditioning and garden maintenance.


Photo credit: iStock/Hispanolistic

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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Differences Between Time Deposits and Demand Deposits

Differences Between Time Deposits and Demand Deposits

A demand deposit account is a type of bank account that allows you to withdraw money “on demand,” without having to provide advance notice beforehand. Time deposit accounts only allow you to withdraw funds once the account reaches maturity.

Banks and credit unions typically offer both demand deposit and time deposit accounts, though you might know them better as checking and savings accounts (demand deposit accounts) and certificates of deposit, or CDs (a time deposit account).

These two types of accounts are designed to meet different financial goals. Understanding the difference between demand deposits vs. time deposits can help you decide where to put your money.

What Are Time Deposits?

Time deposit accounts are savings accounts that require you to keep your money in the account for a set time frame. They can also be called term deposit accounts or term deposits since the bank can specify the term that the money must stay in place.

If you’d like to withdraw money before the term ends, the bank may allow that. However, they will likely charge you a penalty fee. They may also require you to give them a certain amount of advance, either in writing, in-person, or over the phone. Once you open a time deposit account, you typically can’t add any additional funds at a later date.

How a Time Deposit Works

A time deposit works by effectively “locking in” your money for a set time period or term. During this term, your money can earn interest at a rate specified by the bank.

A certificate of deposit account is the most common type of a time deposit or term deposit account. Banks often offer CDs with varying maturity terms, which can range anywhere from one month to five years or more.

While your money is in the CD, it earns interest. Once the CD matures, you can do one of two things:

•   Roll the principal and interest earned into a new CD with different terms

•   Withdraw the principal and interest earned

If you take money out of the CD before it matures, the bank will likely impose an early withdrawal penalty. This penalty usually involves forfeiting some of the interest earned. The size of the penalty can vary depending on how early you withdraw the money and the length of the CD.

What Are Demand Deposits?

With a demand deposit account, you are allowed to put money into the account or take money out of the account when you want and without giving any advance notice. Demand deposit accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts.

The money in a demand deposit account is generally considered to be liquid, or ready cash, and you can withdraw any amount (including the entire balance) at any time without paying a penalty. However, some banks may charge a fee if you exceed a certain number of withdrawals from a savings account within one month.

How a Demand Deposit Works

Demand deposit accounts work by allowing you convenient, flexible access to your money. The most common example of a demand deposit account is a checking account. With a checking account, you can deposit money, then access it by:

•   Using a debit card to make purchases online or in stores

•   Withdrawing cash at ATMs or through a teller

•   Scheduling online bill payments

•   Linking it to mobile payment apps

A trade off for this easy access to your money is that demand deposit accounts typically don’t pay high rates of interest, and checking accounts generally don’t pay any interest at all. While you can sometimes find an interest-bearing checking account, checking account interest rates tend to be on the lower side.

There are other types of interest-bearing accounts that fall under the demand deposit umbrella. They include: traditional savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and kids’ savings accounts.

Recommended: How Do Calculate Interest on a Savings Account?

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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


Federal Insurance for Demand and Time Deposits

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides insurance coverage for member banks, which is passed on to account holders. The FDIC insures both demand and time deposit accounts, including:

•   Checking accounts

•   Savings accounts

•   Money market accounts

•   CD accounts

The standard FDIC coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) offers similar coverage for time and demand deposit accounts held at member credit unions.

Demand Deposit Pros

When comparing demand deposit vs. time deposit accounts, it helps to understand the pros and cons of each type of account.

Here are some of main benefits of demand deposit accounts:

•   They give you access to your money without being required to give the bank advance notice.

•   They offer multiple ways to manage and access money, including online and mobile banking, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, direct deposit, ATM banking, and branch banking.

•   There is the potential to earn interest on balances and, in some cases, rewards on purchases.

Demand Deposit Cons

While demand deposit accounts can make managing money and growing savings convenient, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind. These include:

•   There may be monthly fees or other fees.

•   Since interest rates can vary, you may need to shop around to find the best rate.

•   Banks may limit the number of withdrawals you’re allowed each month.

Time Deposit Pros

Time deposit accounts can be a great place to keep your savings — if you understand how they work. Here are some of the advantages of opening a time deposit account:

•   They offer a guaranteed rate of interest, so there’s very little risk of losing money.

•   They typically offer a higher interest rate than you can get on a demand deposit account.

•   There are generally no fees if you leave the money in the account until maturity.

Time Deposit Cons

Opening a time deposit account could make sense if you want a place to park your money for several months to years and earn a higher rate of interest. But it’s important to keep these cons in mind:

•   You may pay an early withdrawal penalty if you need to take any or all of the money out prior to maturity.

•   There is often a minimum deposit required.

•   Most time deposit accounts do not allow you to make additional deposits once the account is open.

How to Choose Between a Demand and Time Deposit Account

Demand deposit vs. time deposit: which one should you pick? The answer will depend on your financial needs and goals.

You might choose a demand deposit account if you:

•   Want convenient access to your money via a debit or ATM card, online banking, mobile banking, or at a branch

•   Want to be able to earn some interest on your savings while still having easy access to the money

•   Don’t mind the possibility of paying checking or savings account fees

A time deposit account, on the other hand, may be more appropriate if you:

•   Want to earn a higher interest rate than you can get on a standard checking or savings account at a bank

•   Have a sum of money you don’t need to touch for the immediate future

One good solution is to have a mix of demand deposit accounts and time deposits. This might include a checking account (for paying bills and everyday spending), a savings account (to hold your emergency fund), and one or more CD accounts to fund your longer-term goals. Just be sure to pay attention to minimum balance requirements and fees for each account you open.

When choosing between different types of savings accounts and CDs, you’ll also want to consider the interest rate and the annual percentage yield (APY). The difference between the interest rate vs. APY is that the APY tells you the total amount of interest you earn on the account over one year. While it’s based on the interest rate, the APY also takes into account the compounding interest (when interest accrues on previously accrued interest) to give you the most accurate idea of what you’ll earn in a year.

APY, however, is not to be confused with annual percentage yield, or APR, which refers to what you can owe in interest charges on a loan.

Recommended: Fixed vs. Variable Rate Loans

The Takeaway

There are two key differences between demand deposit and time deposit accounts: how easily you can access the money in the account and how much interest the account earns.

Demand deposit accounts (which include checking accounts, savings accounts and money market accounts) allow you to withdraw money from the account at any time, whereas time deposit accounts (such as CDs) require you to deposit your money for a specific length of time. While demand deposit accounts offer more flexibility, they typically offer lower interest rates than time deposit accounts.

To get the benefits of both worlds, you may want to open an online bank account with SoFi. You’ll be able to easily access your money with mobile banking and our network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs, and with direct deposit also earning competitive interest. Plus, you won’t pay any monthly fees or other account fees.

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

FAQ

What is the difference between demand deposit and time deposit?

The key difference between demand deposit vs. time deposit is access. With demand deposit accounts, you generally access your money at any time without paying a penalty or giving the bank any advance notice. With time deposit accounts, you generally can’t withdraw money until the account reaches maturity.

Which type of deposits with the banks are called demand deposits?

Demand deposit accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts. Checking accounts can allow you to use a debit card, pay bills online, and manage money through online and mobile banking. Savings accounts are used to hold money you don’t plan to spend right away and may offer interest. Money market accounts combine features of both checking and savings accounts.

Why are demand deposits considered money?

Demand deposit accounts hold money that you can withdraw whenever you want. You can use this account to get cash, pay bills, make purchases, or complete other financial transactions.


Photo credit: iStock/FG Trade

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Guide to Postdated Checks

Guide to Postdated Checks

If a check writer doesn’t want the payee to be able to cash it immediately, they may choose to “postdate” it: On the date line they will simply write in a future date. This can be helpful if someone needs to deliver a check before they have the funds necessary for the check to clear in their account.

What is a postdated check? Keep reading to learn more about how this payment process works.

What Is a Postdated Check?

What does it mean to postdate a check? When someone writes a postdated check, they write a future date on the check instead of the date the check was actually written. A payer might do this so a check can’t be deposited until that later date (when they’ll have the funds available in their bank account). This can come in handy when someone wants to mail a check to pay a bill before the due date, but knows their paycheck won’t be deposited into their account until a later date.

Writing a postdated check involves the same process as writing a normal check, except the current date isn’t used.

Are Postdated Checks Legal?

Usually, postdated checks are legal in the U.S., but it’s worth verifying the rules in the state where the check writer lives. Note that these guidelines may not cover cashier’s checks or traveler’s checks, which have their own rules and limitations.

Word to the wise: Postdating is sometimes used for fraudulent purposes, so think twice before agreeing to accept a postdated check, especially from someone you don’t know well.

Recommended: How to Verify a Check Before Depositing

Can You Cash a Postdated Check?

Generally, the payee has to wait to cash a postdated check until the date specified on the check arrives. That being said, some financial institutions may cash a check prior to that date.

If a payer wants to guarantee that a check won’t be cashed until a certain date, they can make a formal post-dating request with their bank. The bank may charge a fee to do this.

Even if a bank or credit union is willing to cash a postdated check before the date written on the check, the payee may be better off waiting to cash it. The odds are that the payer added a postdate because at the time they didn’t have the funds available in their account to cover the check.

If the payee cashes it too soon, the check may bounce and cause problems for both parties. If the payee is eager to cash the check earlier, they may want to consult the payer on whether or not it’s safe to do so.

Recommended: How to Sign Over a Check to Someone Else

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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


Alternatives to Postdated Checks

Check writers who want to buy some time until a deposit to their account clears have other options besides postdated checks.

Online and Automatic Bill Payments

One option for making future payments without having to postdate a check is to go digital: The payer can go online to schedule a bill to be paid on the exact date of their choosing. As a bonus, there’s no need to order checks or manage a checkbook with this payment method.

At your request, some businesses — including mortgage, utility, and credit card companies — can change the due date of your monthly bill to one of your choosing. For instance, if you get paid on the first of the month, you can request that the due date of your rent or mortgage payment always be 3 days later. That way, you can set up automated bill pay without worrying about your transaction clearing.

Payment Plans

Before you consider postdating a check to avoid overdrawing your checking account, ask if the business will offer you a payment plan. Some companies will allow individuals to make smaller, incremental payments over time rather than one big payment. Make sure to find out first if the payment plan involves a fee or interest.

Banking With SoFi

SoFi Checking and Savings makes banking online super convenient. There are no overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or other monthly fees. And members have fee-free access to more than 55,000 ATMs within the Allpoint® Network.

Learn more about the perks of a SoFi Checking and Savings account

FAQ

Is postdating a check illegal?

No, it’s generally not illegal to postdate a check. That said, it’s a good idea to learn about the laws governing postdating checks in your area. Postdating a check can be considered a crime if the payer’s account does not have the required funds to process the check and if they intended to defraud the payee when they issued the postdated check.

Can you deposit a postdated check?

Some banks accept postdated checks if they are dated and signed. However, since postdated checks are often used when the payer is waiting for funds to clear in their account, you may be better off just waiting for the date on the check.

What is postdating a payment?

Postdating a payment refers to postdating a check. When someone postdates a check, that signals that they don’t want the payee to cash the check until that date. Some banks or credit unions still allow payees to cash postdated checks if they are signed by the payer. So if someone really doesn’t want a check to cash before a certain date, they should ask their bank about issuing a formal post-dating notice (which may incur a fee).


Photo credit: iStock/AndreyPopov

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


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