38 Daily Money Affirmations for Financial Abundance

39 Daily Money Affirmations for Financial Abundance

If you’re finding it hard to be optimistic about increasing your riches, you may want to start adding financial affirmations to your everyday routine. Affirmations specifically targeting money have the power to change self-defeating or negative self-talk when it comes to your finances. And when you start replacing a pessimistic mindset about earning, spending, and getting out of debt with a positive one, you’re more likely to take the needed steps to attract the wealth you want — or so the thinking behind daily affirmations goes.

Reciting affirmations may seem awkward at first and the truth is, some people won’t find daily money mantras a game-changer. The good news is, daily money affirmations don’t cost anything and you control the story. Here’s the lowdown on financial affirmations so you can decide if they’re right for you.

What Are Money Affirmations?

Money affirmations are positive words, phrases, and sentences designed to turn discouraging thoughts about money into positive ones. The hope is by regularly speaking these uplifting statements to yourself, either in your head or out loud, you’ll reprogram your brain. When you swap out the old notions for the new thoughts and they become your new truth, you can get busy putting them into action.

The types of financial affirmations vary depending on what your money goals are. For example, you can create statements about increasing your income, getting out of debt, saving money, and expressing gratitude for the financial abundance you already have.

Creating your own personal affirmations are all about dealing with your specific money issues or blocks and how you can move forward.

While there’s no set rule on how many times a day you should verbalize your money affirmations, it helps to be consistent so it becomes a habit. A good start might be picking one powerful affirmation and repeating it throughout the day. Or you could choose three to five affirmations that you recite for five minutes or several times in a day.

Be forewarned that taking on too many at once may feel overwhelming and scatter your focus. Once you get the hang of it and it feels more doable, you can try adding more.

Optimizing Your Money Affirmations

Positive affirmations may work better if you put them in present tense, such as “I can,” “I am,” or “I have” instead of using language such as “I will,” “I should,” or “I could.” Why? Statements promising future outcomes suggest you could be a certain way instead of dealing with the reality of where you are now.

It can take a while to retool your thinking, so try not to get discouraged if in the beginning, progress seems slow or non-existent. Remember, it took years to shape your current beliefs, so it can take some time to adjust to new ones.

Pros and Cons of Money Affirmations

As mentioned earlier, affirmations don’t always appeal to or work for everyone. Depending on your current state of mind and life circumstances, financial affirmations may seem trivial, frivolous, or simply not a priority. If you’re experiencing some stressful times or financial hardships, you may not have the emotional or mental bandwidth to take them on.

On the flip side, many people find that daily practice empowers them, provides clarity, and motivates them to take more financial control and responsibility.

Before you take the plunge, here’s some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Using Money Affirmations

•   Give you a wider perspective on your core values surrounding your finances

•   Assist in setting personal boundaries

•   Help in creating a realistic budget

•   Cultivate a positive relationship with money

•   Keep you focused on your vision and financial goals

•   Home in on your strengths

•   Boost your self-image and confidence

•   Celebrate past financial successes and current achievements

•   Encourage problem-solving

•   Allow you to explore other possibilities to expand your wealth

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

Cons of Using Money Affirmations

•   Can feel inauthentic if they fail to align with your personal core beliefs or you don’t believe what you’re saying

•   Put too much self-applied pressure to transform your financial picture quickly

•   Can be time-consuming and easy to let slide if you’re busy

•   Require daily financial discipline, commitment, and persistence

•   May not cause any positive shifts in your thinking and lead you to feel you’ve wasted valuable time

•   May make you feel foolish, self-conscious, or uncomfortable reciting them

•   May bring up painful emotions about money you may not be ready to address, even with with financial therapy

•   Create self-doubt or self-defeating feelings if you’ve chosen affirmations that aren’t realistic or attainable

•   May overwhelm you and zap your emotional energy, especially if you’re going through difficult times

•   Probably won’t provide instant gratification if you want or need a quicker mental money fix

39 Ways to Think Your Way to Being a Millionaire

Want to give daily affirmations a try? Reciting any of these to yourself daily may help transform negative thoughts into positive ones:

1.    I choose to only have positive thoughts about money.

2.    I release my fears around money.

3.    I have the power to create and build the wealth that I desire.

4.    I am open to receiving financial abundance.

5.    I’m worthy and deserving of a wealthy life.

6.    If others can be wealthy, so can I.

7.    Prosperity is drawn to me.

8.    I trust I’m on a path to becoming more financially solvent.

9.    I believe I can achieve my financial goals.

10.    I am capable of handling money.

11.    I’m working to build a strong money foundation and achieve financial wellness.

12.    I find the positives in my current financial situation.

13.    My debt doesn’t control me, I can manage it, and I can become debt free.

14.    I overcome all obstacles that lie in my way of financial success.

15.    I want more money and that’s OK.

16.    Saving money is a positive challenge.

17.    I can make my dreams a reality by sticking to a budget.

18.    Starting an emergency fund to protect myself is something I can do.

19.    Every dollar saved puts me closer to financial freedom.

20.    Each day is an opportunity for me to change my money story.

21.    Money well-spent is a source of good and positive things.

22.    The more I give, the wealthier I become.

23.    I use money to improve my life.

24.    Wealth flows into my life consistently.

25.    There are countless ways I can bring more money into my life.

26.    Everything I need to build wealth is available to me right now.

27.    I choose to focus on money coming to me with ease.

28.    My income can exceed my expenses.

29.    I deserve to increase my income.

30.    There are no limits to the amount of money I can make.

31.    I can profit off of my skills.

32.    I’m happy to pay my bills for all they provide me.

33.    I’m grateful for the money I have now and the money that’s on its way to me.

34.    Money can expand my life opportunities and open me up to new experiences.

35.    The money I earn and spend makes me happy.

36.    My net worth is not my self-worth.

37.    I move from poverty thinking to financial abundance thinking.

38.    My life is full of riches beyond money and my happiness is surging.

39.    I have a millionaire mindset. I think like a millionaire, I act like a millionaire, I feel like a millionaire, I am a millionaire.

The Takeaway

Changing long-held, entrenched beliefs about money can be challenging. Incorporating a regular routine of financial affirmations offers the possibility of changing your mindset to a positive and hopefully productive one. While these affirmations may not appeal to everybody, if you feel stuck and want to take some baby steps toward improving your money picture, affirmations may be worth a try.

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

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

FAQ

How do you write affirmations for money manifestation?

A review of affirmations on the internet found that they generally have two things in common: they often start with “I” and they are in the present tense. Some people feel money mantras should be short (mo’ money!); others think they just need to resonate with the people who recite them.

How do you attract the abundance of money?

Of course, the idea of attracting something like the abundance of money is based more on belief than anything else. If you believe you can attract it, that belief may lead you to take action – perhaps, to start a business or at least to make a plan. So to attract the abundance of money, you may want to start by believing that you are capable of becoming rich.

How do I get a millionaire mindset?

The first step of getting a millionaire mindset is ridding your mind of self-defeating thoughts. But just being positive isn’t enough. You likely want to develop attitudes associated with successful people: being open to learning, not fearing failure, and being proactive.


Photo credit: iStock/atakan

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

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

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

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How to Calculate Gross Monthly Income From Biweekly Pay Stub

How to Calculate Gross Monthly Income From Biweekly Pay Stub

Gross income is the amount of money earned before any payroll deductions for taxes, insurance, retirement contributions, and such. To calculate gross monthly income from a biweekly paycheck, find the gross amount listed on the pay stub (usually the starting number). Multiply that figure by 26 (the number of paychecks received in a year), then divide by 12 (months in a year).

The calculation for gross monthly income can differ depending on paycheck frequency. Below we’ll show you how to calculate your gross pay for different payroll schedules.

Key Points

•   Gross monthly income is calculated by adding up all sources of income before deductions.

•   It includes wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and other forms of income.

•   To calculate gross monthly income, add up the amounts earned from each income source.

•   Gross monthly income is important for budgeting, loan applications, and determining affordability.

•   It is essential to accurately calculate gross monthly income to make informed financial decisions.

How to Calculate Monthly Pay From Biweekly Pay

There are two different monthly pay figures to understand, gross and net. Each is useful in different situations. When you’re applying for a loan, most lenders use gross monthly income to determine your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). However, many people find it easier to budget based on net or take-home pay. A budget planner app can help you decide the best approach for your situation.

As we spelled out above, if you’re paid biweekly (every two weeks), the formula for gross monthly income is:

(Gross pay amount × 26) ÷ 12

Hourly workers can also use this next formula if they work a consistent number of hours per week:

(Hourly salary × weekly hours worked × 52) ÷ 12

To find net monthly pay, substitute the actual amount of your paycheck for the gross amount in the first formula.

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Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

How Many Bi-Weeks in a Year

There are 26 biweekly pay periods in a year. Employees who get paid biweekly will receive 26 paychecks from January to December.

It’s important to note that receiving pay biweekly differs from receiving pay twice a month on the same dates. Workers who receive biweekly checks can’t just multiply one paycheck by two to find their monthly salary.

Employees who get paid twice a month — for instance, on the 15th and 30th — can find their monthly gross income simply by adding together the gross figures on their two monthly paychecks.

Recommended: 52 Week Savings Challenge (2024 Edition)

The Different Types of Payment Periods

The most common pay periods for employees are:

•   Biweekly: Paid every other week, or 26 paychecks per year.

•   Semimonthly: Paid twice a month on the same dates, or 24 checks per year.

•   Weekly: Paid once a week, or 52 checks per year.

•   Monthly: Paid once a month, or 12 checks per year.

Employees who receive biweekly pay get two checks or direct deposits each month, except for two months of the year when they receive three paychecks. Employees who are paid biweekly might get a paycheck every other Wednesday or Friday, or whatever day their employer chooses.

With semimonthly pay, an employee might get paid on the 15th and 30th of every month. There are always two paydays, for a total of 24 per year instead of 26.

An employee who gets paid twice a week is on a semiweekly schedule. This would entail eight paychecks each month.

Pros and Cons of Biweekly vs Semimonthly Pay

For employees, there are pros and cons to biweekly pay. Depending on their expenses and savings strategy, someone might prefer a biweekly or semimonthly schedule.

For most workers, the main pro to biweekly pay is the third “bonus” check they receive two months out of the year. By budgeting for two paychecks every month, workers can designate the occasional third check for special line items like vacations, holiday gifts, paying off debt, or boosting savings.

For others, biweekly checks just make budgeting and managing expenses more challenging. Semimonthly pay is preferable because it offers an accurate reflection of real monthly income.

Also, each semimonthly check can be dedicated to particular expenses. For example, the second check of the month can go to rent, utilities, and other housing costs, which are often due the first of the month.

Compared to weekly paychecks, both biweekly and semiweekly checks require better cash management on a weekly basis. For someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, biweekly pay periods might mean they run out of money before the next check arrives.

The Takeaway

To calculate gross monthly income from a biweekly paycheck, find the gross amount listed on the pay stub, multiply by 26, then divide by 12. (Do not use this formula if you’re paid twice a month on the same dates, rather than the same days of the week.) For your monthly net pay, substitute your net or take-home pay for the gross amount in the same calculation.

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

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

FAQ

How do you convert biweekly pay to monthly income?

To calculate gross monthly income from a biweekly paycheck, find the gross amount listed on the pay stub (usually the starting number). Multiply that figure by 26 (the number of paychecks received in a year), then divide by 12 (months in a year).

How do I calculate my gross monthly income?

Gross monthly income is the total of all paychecks and income received in a month, including any side hustles, rental income, etc., but before taxes and other deductions.

How do you calculate gross income from a W-2 form?

Gross wages cannot always be found on a W-2 form due to various pre-tax deductions. Instead, look at the gross amount listed on the employee’s final paycheck for the year.


Photo credit: iStock/Eva-Katalin

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

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

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

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

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

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Why Did My Credit Score Drop After a Dispute?

Why Did My Credit Score Drop After a Dispute?

Under federal law, you are allowed to dispute information that shows up on your credit report both with the company that reported the information and with the reporting bureau that recorded it. There’s no fee for filing a dispute, and the credit reporting bureaus may make changes based on the information that you provide.

This can be great news if your credit report changes in your favor and your credit score gets a boost. However, it is possible that when information on your reports gets changed, your credit score actually takes a hit.

Here’s a closer look at why your credit score may have dropped after a dispute, plus other common reasons your score might drop.

Can a Dispute Hurt Your Credit Score?

When you dispute your credit report, it’s important to understand that the dispute itself does not cause your credit score to drop. In other words, you aren’t punished for questioning the information on your credit report. That said, the information in the dispute could have a negative impact on your score. For example, if the information in your dispute demonstrates that you have a lower credit limit than previously reported, your credit score could take a hit.

Common Reasons for Credit Scores to Drop

As you manage your credit score and work to build credit, there are a number of reasons your credit score may drop. Here’s what to look out for.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

Late or Missed Payment

Your payment history — whether you have a track record of paying off your debts on time — is a big part of how your credit score is calculated. In fact, it makes up 35% of your FICO score, which is calculated by the Fair Isaacs Corporation. Your score will likely fall if you make late payments or if you miss payments entirely.

Derogatory Remark on Your Credit Report

A derogatory mark on your credit report is a negative item that indicates you didn’t pay back a debt according to agreed upon terms with your lender. These marks tend to remain on your report for seven to 10 years. Examples include bankruptcies, missed payments, debts in collection, foreclosures, and repossessions.

Change in Credit Utilization Rate

Your credit utilization rate indicates how much of your available credit you are currently using. You can find it by dividing your available credit by your current debt. The higher your utilization rate, the more debt you are carrying in comparison to the amount of credit you have, which may suggest that you’re overextended. Banks might get worried about your ability to pay off your loans. That’s why the amount you owe makes up 30% of your FICO score, and why a higher utilization rate can hurt your score.

Reduced Credit Limit

Your credit limit has an impact on your credit utilization rate. If your limit is reduced, your utilization rate could increase, hurting your credit score. You can lower your utilization rate by paying off some of your debts.

You can also ask one of your credit card companies to raise your credit limit. They’re usually happy to do it as long as your account is in good standing.

Closed Credit Card

The length of your credit history comprises 15% of your FICO score. When you cancel credit cards — when consolidating credit card debt, for example — you may be reducing your credit history. You could also be reducing your credit mix, which makes up 10% of your FICO score.

Recommended: 10 Credit Card Rules You Should Know

Paid Off Loan

Similarly, paying off a loan might have a slight negative effect on your credit score because it can reduce your credit history and credit mix. That said, it could also have a positive effect on your record if it reduced your credit utilization rate.

Multiple Lines of Credit Opened or Applied for

New credit accounts make up 10% of your FICO score. Banks worry that when a person opens several lines of credit in a short period of time, they are at greater risk of defaulting on their loans. As a result, new lines of credit can ding your credit score.

Not only that, but simply applying for new credit can hurt your score. When you apply for a credit card or loan, your lender will make what is known as a “hard inquiry” to view your credit report. Lenders may see those seeking new credit as more risky, so hard inquiries can also have a negative effect.

Checking your own credit doesn’t lower your score. A credit check that doesn’t hurt your record is considered a “soft inquiry.”

Mistake on Your Credit Report

Mistakes on your credit report can lead to a lower score. That’s why it’s important that you monitor your credit report regularly and report errors to the credit reporting bureaus as soon as possible. You can request a free credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — once a year.

Identity Theft

Monitoring your credit report is also a good way to catch fraudulent behavior. If you’ve been subject to identity theft, bad actors may have used your personal information to open fraudulent accounts, which could have a negative effect on your credit score. Report these accounts immediately.

Types of Credit Report Errors to Look Out for

When reviewing your credit report, look out for the following errors:

•   Personal information errors. Check your name, phone number, address, etc.

•   Accounts that belong to another person with the same name.

•   Fraudulent accounts that you didn’t open.

•   Account status errors. Check for closed accounts that are reported as still open, accounts incorrectly reported as late or delinquent, incorrect payment information, and the same debt listed more than once.

•   Balance and credit limit information that is inaccurate or out of date.

Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

If you spot a mistake on your credit report, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau. The mistake may be on your credit report with each bureau, so you may need to file a separate dispute with each.

You’ll need to file your dispute in writing and use the credit reporting bureau’s dispute form if they have one. Include documents that support your dispute, and be sure to keep a record of what you send.

Recommended: What Is The Difference Between Transunion and Equifax

The Takeaway

Disputing information on your credit report can be an important part of ensuring that your credit score is as accurate as possible. You won’t be penalized for filing a dispute, though in certain circumstances, it is possible that your credit score will drop if information in your dispute has a negative impact on your credit.

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

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

FAQ

Why did my credit score go down for no reason?

Your credit score likely didn’t go down for no reason at all. It’s possible that a creditor reported new information to the credit reporting bureaus that had a negative impact on your credit report. Or there could be a mistake on your credit report. Regularly monitoring your credit report can help you catch errors.

Why did my credit score drop after filing a dispute?

Your credit score may have dropped after you filed a dispute if information in that dispute had a negative impact on your score. You are not penalized for filing the dispute itself.

Does losing a dispute hurt your credit?

Losing a dispute does not necessarily hurt your credit, but it may leave it unchanged if the information you were hoping would boost your score is rejected.


Photo credit: iStock/pepifoto

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

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

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

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

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What is the Average Grocery Bill for 1 Person Per Month?

What Is the Average Monthly Grocery Bill for One Person?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average single person can spend between $238.46 and $434.33 per month on groceries. Many factors will impact a given individual’s expenses, such as location and eating style.

Nevertheless, looking at averages across the country can help one figure out if they are within the range of other people in their region, age bracket, and household size. Learn more here, including advice on trimming your grocery budget.

Grocery Bills and Inflation

Inflation can have a big effect on the price of groceries, making it harder to stay within your budget and reduce one’s bill. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, food prices rose 3.4% between April of 2023 and 2024.

That’s not a negligible number, but compared to the 10.8% increase in food prices between April of 2021 and 2022, it’s somewhat less challenging. That staggering increase was partly due to inflation and partly due to food shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Average Monthly Grocery Budget Bill for One Person or More

There are several factors that determine how much a person might spend on groceries each month. These include age, gender, how many people live in the household, and monthly budget. Another major factor is the region one lives in. Some areas have much more expensive food than others.

The most expensive city for groceries is Honolulu, Hawaii, where the monthly average grocery bill was $556.76 in one recent year. The least expensive city is Manchester, New Hampshire with an average of $183.00, according to Zippia. As you see, cost of living can really make a difference. Other expensive states include Florida, Nevada, and Washington, while less expensive states include Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

In addition to groceries, one’s overall monthly bill for food can include any snacks and meals eaten out. The averages below are based on an individual or family cooking all their meals and snacks at home, they don’t include meals eaten out. Averages look at foods many people commonly purchase, such as eggs, dairy, meat, bread, and produce items.

Here are some numbers from a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report:

Family Size

Average Grocery Bill

1 For a single person, the average grocery bill can range, depending on age and gender, between $238.46 to $434.33.
2 For a household with two people, the average grocery bill is $5,635 per year, or $469.58 per month.
3 For a household of three people, the average grocery bill is $6,862 a year, or 571.83 per month.
4 For a household of four people, the average grocery bill is $8,012, or $667.67 per month.

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Buying Groceries vs Dining Out

It’s up to each individual and family to decide how often to eat out or get takeout food and how much of their money to spend on dining at restaurants. In general, eating out tends to cost more than cooking at home, and it’s a good idea to keep track of and budget for or it can add up quickly.

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests the average American spends as much as $300 a month on food outside the home, which is a significant number when budgeting. That doesn’t mean it’s the right number; just an average.

Another suggestion by many financial experts is that food costs (meaning groceries and food outside the home) account for no more than 10% to 15% of one’s take-home pay, regardless of which type of budget method you use.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity?

9 Tips for Reducing Your Grocery Bill

In looking at the average grocery bills above, one might start to think that they are spending too much on groceries, if they didn’t already feel that way before. Here are a few tips for lowering one’s monthly grocery bill.

1. Make a Budget and Plan Ahead

Allocating funds for groceries in a monthly budget planner then making a plan for what to buy can help reduce one’s grocery bill. Meal planning and shopping lists can help you stick with your budget.

2. Look for Discounts and Sales

There are many discount apps and coupons available for those who are grocery shopping on a budget. They are free and can help with reducing one’s grocery bill. However, some coupons can be tricky and actually cause additional spending, if they ask one to purchase two or more of an item to get the discount or they result in buying an item that wouldn’t have been purchased otherwise. Some stores also have sale days, especially after a big holiday, so those can be good days to go shopping.

3. Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach

Avoiding impulse buying is another way to reduce one’s grocery bill. Studies have shown that shopping on an empty stomach leads shoppers to spend more and to buy high calorie foods that may be less healthy.

4. Consider Meal Kits

Although meal kit services may appear expensive, and some are, if they reduce the amount that one eats out at restaurants or the amount spent on groceries, that is a plus. Meal kits provide pre-portioned meals, so they prevent buying extra ingredients that go to waste.

5. Pay Attention to Delivery Fees

Having groceries delivered can be a great way to save time, and since it can help with sticking to a plan and grocery list, it can also help prevent impulse buys. However, delivery fees and tips can add up, so it’s important to factor those into monthly budgeting.

6. Shop at a Different Store

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of shopping at a certain grocery store due to convenience or their offering of foods one likes. But if that store has higher prices, it may be worth considering going to a different store for some or all of one’s groceries.

7. Create a Routine

Another way to stay on top of grocery budgeting is to create routines. This can help with sticking to a shopping list and making sure extra food doesn’t get purchased. Habits like these can help you avoid impulse buying or purchasing food that winds up going to waste.

8. Buy Generic Brands instead of Name Brands

Many stores carry their own brands of food that are cheaper than big name brands. These items are very similar in taste and quality but have a lower price point. This can hold true at wholesale clubs, too, further increasing how much you can save.

9. Shop More Often

It may seem surprising, but going to the grocery store more often can help people spend less money than if they go on mega runs. The reason is that it avoids food waste because it’s easier to think about what will be eaten within the next few days than the next couple weeks.

Recommended: Building a Line Item Budget

The Takeaway

Since there is more flexibility in buying groceries than other expenses such as rent and other bills, cutting back on grocery spending can be a great way to save. If you’re looking to start making a budget, setting savings goals, or paying off debts, you might benefit from a money tracker tool.

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

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

FAQ

How much should you be spending on groceries a week?

According to the USDA’s food plans, a couple could spend between $92 to $183 per month, depending on which food plan they follow, ranging from Thrifty to Liberal.

What is the average cost of groceries per month?

One recent study put the average cost of groceries per month at $475.25, put of course much will depend on household size, age of household members, location, and eating style.

What are examples of popular discount grocery stores?

Popular discount grocery stores include Walmart, Aldi, Sam’s Club, and Trader Joe’s.


Photo credit: iStock/andresr

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

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

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

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

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What’s a Good Monthly Retirement Income for a Couple in 2022?

What’s a Good Monthly Retirement Income for a Couple in 2024?

The amount of money a couple needs for retirement can depend on several factors, including age, health, life expectancy, location, and desired lifestyle. There’s no exact number that represents what is a good monthly retirement income for a couple, as every couple’s financial needs are different.

Creating a retirement budget and considering what might affect your cost of living can help you narrow down how much monthly income you’ll need. You can use that as a guide to decide how much you’ll need to save and invest for retirement.

How Being a Couple Affects Your Income Needs

Being the main breadwinner in a couple usually increases the amount of income you’ll need for retirement, since you’re saving for two people instead of one. The money you save has to be enough to last for your lifetime and your spouse or partner’s, so that neither of you is left without income if you outlive the other.

Aside from differences in life expectancy, there are other factors that affect a couple’ income needs, including:

•   Lifestyle preferences

•   Estimated Social Security benefits

•   Target retirement dates for each partner

•   Part-time work status of each partner in retirement

•   Expected long-term care needs

•   Location

All of those things must be considered when pinpointing what is a good monthly retirement income for a couple. The sooner you start thinking about your needs ahead of retirement, the easier it is to prepare financially.

It’s also important to keep in mind that numbers to be used for the sake of comparison can vary widely. Consider this:

•   According to the Pension Rights Center, the median income for fully retired people aged 65 and older in 2023 was $24,190.

•   The average income after taxes for older households in 2022 was $63,187 per year for those aged 65–74 and $47,928 per year for those aged 75 and older, according to U.S. News Money.

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

What to Consider When Calculating Your Monthly Income

One couple’s budget for retirement may be very different from another’s. A budget is simply a plan for spending the money that you have coming in.

If you’re wondering how much to save each month, it’s helpful to start with the basics:

•   What do you expect your retirement expenses to be each month?

•   How much income will you have for retirement?

•   Where will this income come from?

It’s also important to consider how your retirement income needs may change over time and what circumstances might impact your financial plan.

Spending May Not Be as Low as You Think

Figuring out your monthly expenses is central to determining what is a good monthly retirement income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical household age 65 and older has annual expenditures of $72,967. That breaks down to monthly spending of about $6,080 per month. The largest monthly expense is typically housing, followed by transportation and food. If you’re planning to live frugally in retirement, spending, say, under $50,000 a year may sound achievable, but it’s not a realistic target for every couple.

For one thing, it’s all too easy to underestimate what you’ll spend in retirement if you’re not making a detailed budget. For another, inflation during retirement can cause your costs to rise even if your spending habits don’t change. That fact needs to be recognized and budgeted for.

Spending Doesn’t Stay Steady the Whole Time

It’s a common retirement mistake to assume spending will be fixed. In fact, the budget you start out with in retirement may not be sustainable years from now. As you get older and your needs or lifestyle change, your spending habits will follow suit. And spending tends not to be static from month to month even without events to throw things off.

You may need less monthly income over time as your costs decrease. Spending among older Americans has been found to be highest between ages 55 and 64 and then dip, according to Social Security reports.

It’s very possible, however, that your monthly income needs may increase instead. That could happen if one of you develops a serious illness or requires long-term care. According to Genworth Financial’s 2023 Cost of Care survey, the monthly median cost of long-term care in a nursing facility ranged from $8,669 for a semi-private room to $9,733 for a private room.

Expenses May Change When One of You Dies

The loss of a partner can affect your spending and how much income you’ll need each month. If you decide to downsize your home or move in with one of your adult children, for example, that could reduce the percentage of your budget that goes to housing. Or if your joint retirement goals included seeing the world, you may decide to spend more money on travel to fulfill that dream.

Creating a contingency retirement budget for each of you, along with your joint retirement budget, is an opportunity to anticipate how your spending needs might change.

Taxes and Medicare May Change in Your Lifetime

Taxes can take a bite out of your retirement income. Planning for taxes during your working years by saving in tax-advantaged accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, can help. But there’s no way to predict exactly what changes might take place in the tax code or how that might affect your income needs.

Changes to Medicare could also change what you’ll need for monthly income. Medicare is government-funded health insurance for seniors age 65 and older. This coverage is not free, however, as there are premiums and deductibles associated with different types of Medicare plans. These premiums and deductibles are adjusted each year, meaning your out-of-pocket costs could also increase.

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Common Sources of Income in Retirement

Having more income streams in retirement means you and your spouse or partner are less reliant on any single one to pay the bills and cover your expenses. When projecting your retirement income pie-chart, it helps to know which income sources you’re able to include.

Social Security

Social Security benefits may be a central part of your income plans. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a retired worker received $1,845 in benefits and the average spouse of a retired worker netted $886 during the most recent year reviewed.

You can expect Social Security to cover some, but not all, of your retirement expenses. It’s also wise to consider the timing for taking Social Security benefits. Taking benefits before your full retirement age, 65 or 67 for most people, can reduce the amount you’re able to collect.

Retirement Savings

Retirement savings refers to money saved in tax-advantaged accounts, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plan, or Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Whether you and your partner have access to these plans can depend on where you’re employed. You can also save for retirement using an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Tax-advantaged accounts can work in your favor for retirement planning, since they yield tax breaks. In the case of a 401(k) plan, you can also benefit from employer matching contributions that can help you grow your savings faster.

Annuities

An annuity is a contract in which you agree to pay money to an annuity company in exchange for payments at a later date. An immediate annuity typically pays out money within a year of the contract’s purchase while deferred annuities may not begin making payments for several years.

Either way, an annuity can create guaranteed income for retirement. And you can set up an annuity to continue making payments to your spouse for the duration of their lifetime after you pass away.

Other Savings

The other savings category includes money you save in high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificate of deposit accounts (CDs). You could also include money held in a taxable brokerage account in this category. All of these accounts can help to supplement your retirement income, though they don’t offer the same tax advantages as a 401(k) or an IRA.

Pensions

A pension is an employer-based plan that pays out money to you based on your earnings and years of service. Employers can set up pension plans for employees and make contributions on their behalf. Once you retire, you can take money from your pension, typically either as a lump sum or a series of installment payments. Compared to 401(k) plans, pensions are less commonly offered, though you or your partner may have access to one, depending on where you’re employed.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage can allow eligible homeowners to tap their home equity. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a special type of reverse mortgage that’s backed by the federal government.

If you qualify for a HECM, you can turn your equity into an income stream. No payment is due against the balance as long as you live in your home. If your spouse is listed as a co-borrower or an eligible non-borrower, they’d be able to stay in the home without having to pay the reverse mortgage balance after you die or permanently move to nursing care.

Reverse mortgages can be used to supplement retirement income, but it’s important to understand the downsides as well. Chief among those are:

•   Interest will accrue: As interest is applied to the loan balance, it can decrease the amount of equity in the home.

•   Upfront expenses: Funds obtained from the loan may be reduced by upfront costs, such as origination, closing, and servicing fees, as well as mortgage insurance premiums.

•   Impact on inheritance: An HECM can cause the borrower’s estate to lose value. That in turn can impact on the inheritance that heirs get.

How to Plan for Retirement as a Couple

Planning for retirement as a couple is an ongoing process that ideally begins decades before you’ll actually retire. Some of the most important steps in the planning process are:

•   Figuring out your target retirement savings number

•   Investing in tax-advantaged retirement accounts

•   Paying down debt (a debt payoff planner can help you track your progress)

•   Developing an estate plan

•   Deciding when you’ll retire

•   Planning for long-term care

You’ll also have to decide when to take Social Security benefits. Working with a financial advisor can help you to create a plan that’s tailored to your needs and goals.

Maximizing Social Security Benefits

Technically, you’re eligible to begin taking Social Security benefits at age 62. But doing so reduces the benefits you’ll receive. Meanwhile, delaying benefits past normal retirement age could increase your benefit amount.

For couples, it’s important to consider timing in order to maximize benefits. The Social Security Administration changed rules regarding spousal benefits in 2015. You can no longer file for spousal benefits and delay your own benefits, so it’s important to consider how that might affect your decision of when to take Social Security.

To get the highest benefit possible, you and your spouse would want to delay benefits until age 70. At this point, you’d be eligible to receive an amount that’s equal to 132% of your regular benefit. Whether this is feasible or not can depend on how much retirement income you’re able to draw from other sources.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity?

The Takeaway

To enjoy a secure retirement as a couple, you’ll need to create a detailed financial plan with room for various contingencies. First, determine your retirement expenses by projecting costs for housing, transportation, food, health care, and nonessentials like travel. Then consider all sources of retirement income, such as Social Security, retirement accounts, and pensions, and budget well.

If you want a simple way to track your progress, SoFi can help.

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

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

FAQ

What is the average retired couple income?

Figures vary. According to the Pension Rights Center, the median income for fully retired people aged 65 and older in 2023 was $24,190. The average income after taxes for older households in 2022 was $63,187 per year for those aged 65–74 and $47,928 per year for those aged 75 and older, according to US News Money.

What is a good retirement income for a married couple?

A good retirement income for a married couple is an amount that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire. Your retirement income should also be enough to last for your lifetime and your spouse’s.

How much does the average retired person live on per month?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical household age 65 and older has annual expenditures of $72,967. That breaks down to monthly spending of about $6,080 per month. Many factors, however, can impact a particular household’s spending and the amount of money they need to feel secure.


Photo credit: iStock/yongyuan

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

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

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

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

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