15 Easy Ways to Save Money

Saving money is a common goal. Who doesn’t want more cash available to air out one’s budget, pay off debt, sock away for a future dream (whether that’s a month spent on the Amalfi Coast or an early retirement)?

Saving money is important for an array of reasons. It can allow you to pay for significant expenses without running up high-interest credit card debt.

It can offer peace of mind, since you know you can navigate rough times without hardship. And having more money in the bank can give you freedom of choice. You might leave a job you frankly hate without waiting until you land another one. You can also likely afford some luxuries for yourself and your family.

That said, you may fear that saving money means living so frugally that there’s never a fancy coffee or weekend getaway in your foreseeable future. But in truth, saving money can be fairly painless if you’re smart about it.
Here, learn some clever, simple strategies for how to save money each month.

1. Tracking Your Weekly Spending

Looking at your spending on a weekly basis can feel more manageable than trying to keep track of a month’s worth of spending at a time.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t budget on a monthly basis, but breaking your timeline into smaller segments can simplify the process.

You can track spending (including every cash/debit/credit card transaction and every bill you pay) by using an app, jotting down every purchase, or collecting all of your receipts and writing it all down later.

You might then set a certain day of the week to look over the week’s spending. This can be an enlightening exercise. Because spending can be so frictionless these days, many of us don’t have a real sense of how much we are actually spending on a day-to-day basis.

Just seeing it all laid out in black and white can immediately make you think twice before you buy something nonessential and inspire you to become more intentional with every dollar.

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2. Creating a Simple Budget

Once you’ve mastered tracking your cash flow, and have a good idea as to your spending habits, you may want to take it one step further and set up a simple budget.

A budget is nothing more than setting limits for spending in different categories. To get started, you’ll want to list all of your monthly expenses, grouping them into categories, such as groceries, rent, utilities, clothing, etc.

If your goal is to save some money every month, you’re going to want to set a budget for yourself that includes an allocation to saving.

Next, you may want to tally up all of the income you’re taking home each month (after taxes), and see how your monthly spending and monthly income compare.

If spending (including putting some money towards savings) exceeds income, the next step is to look at all your expenses, find places where you can cut back, and then give yourself some spending parameters to stick to each week.

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3. Automating Savings

If you do nothing else to get yourself on the savings path, consider doing this.

Automating savings is a great way to remove a huge barrier to saving — forgetting to put that money aside, then ultimately spending it.

The reality is, we all live busy lives and while we may have every intention of stashing away cash, there are many reasons why it’s hard to save money. It often doesn’t happen without a plan.

Automating is an easy way to save money without ever having to think about it.

The idea is to have money moved from a checking account and into a savings account on the same day each month, perhaps soon after your paycheck is deposited.

This way, the money is whisked from the checking account before it can be spent elsewhere.

If you are new to automating or have an irregular income, it’s okay to start with smaller dollar amounts. Likely, you won’t even notice that the money is gone from your account, and you’ll be able to increase that amount over time.

You can set up automatic transfers to your savings, retirement, and other investing accounts.

4. Planning Your Groceries

Here’s another easy way to save money: Spend less on groceries by making a meal plan and a shopping list before you go to the store.

Without a list, you may be tempted to buy things that look good but that you don’t need or can’t use. Plus, you may end up having to go back to the store later, where you may be tempted to buy more things.

You don’t have to be a pro at meal-planning. It can be as simple as picking a few recipes that you want to make throughout the week (making large enough portions to provide for leftovers is another way to save).

You can then write a list of the ingredients that you’ll need, making sure to check your cabinets and use what you have first. Doing so is a life skill that can save you money.

You may also want to list exactly what snacks and/or desserts you plan to buy, so you’re not overly tempted once you get to the chips or cookies aisle.

Another way to save money on groceries is to cut back on pricier items, such as meat and alcohol, and to go with store or generic brands whenever possible. With tactics like these, you could be saving money daily.

5. Negotiating Your Bills

Some of those recurring bills (such as cable, car insurance, and cell phone) aren’t carved in stone.

Sometimes you can get a lower rate just by calling up and asking, particularly if the provider is in a competitive market.

Before calling, you may want to do a little research and know exactly what you are getting, how much you are paying, and what the competition is charging. You may also want to get competing quotes.

Even a small reduction in a monthly bill can save significant cash by the end of the year.

If you are experiencing hardship, you may also be able to negotiate down your electric and/or other utility bills by calling and explaining your circumstances. It never hurts to ask. The same holds true with doctor’s charges: You may be able to negotiate medical bills as well.

6. Actively Paying Down Credit Cards

This might sound more like spending than saving, but if you’re currently only paying the minimum on your credit cards, a big chunk of your payment is likely going towards interest. Chipping away at the principal can feel like a tall mountain to climb.

If possible, consider putting more than the minimum payment towards your bill each month. The faster those credit cards are paid off, the faster you can reallocate money that was going out the window (and into interest) into savings.

Can’t seem to make a dent in your credit card debt? You might want to look into a zero-interest balance transfer offer, using a lower-interest personal loan to pay off the debt, or finding a debt management plan.

7. Canceling Subscriptions

It can be all-too easy for money to leak out of your account due to sneaky subscriptions.

From unused gym memberships to shopping subscription programs, subscription bills (even small ones) can rack up quickly because they come every single month without fail.

The first step is to cancel any of which no longer serve you. Try to be honest with yourself: Are you likely to start going to the gym? Could you work out at home instead?

If you’re looking to save money faster, you might consider making a sacrifice on a subscription that you do enjoy. For example, maybe you pay for Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. Is it possible to use just one or two, instead of three? That could be a good way to save on streaming services.

8. Renewing Your Library Card

If you’re a reader and love books, one creative way to save money is to dig out your library card, or if you don’t have one, stop in to apply for a card.

The library can be a great resource for more than books. For example, you can often access magazines, newspapers, DVDs, music, as well as free passes to local museums.

These days, you can typically get many of the benefits of being a card-holder without ever actually going to a branch. You can often get audio books and e-books, as well as access to online publications and online entertainment (via services like Hoopla and Kanopy), all from your computer or phone. Cost: Zero.

9. Shopping for Quality

Buying well-made, durable items instead of cheap, trendy, or single-use items may mean spending a little more up front.

But this can be a shrewd money move that can save you a bundle over the long run because you won’t have to repeatedly make the same purchases.

Buying a few classic, well-made pieces of clothing you will wear for a few years, for example, can end up costing less than picking up eight or ten cheaper, trendier items that you’ll end up replacing next year.

It may also pay off to spend a little more for appliances that are known for being reliable and lasting a long time and have great customer reviews, than buying the cheapest option.

Shopping for quality takes some education and practice, but it can be a worthwhile skill that your wallet will appreciate.

10. Pressing Pause on Big Purchases

Making impulse purchases can wreck a budget. That’s why if you’re tempted to buy an expensive item that is more of a “want” than a “need,” you may want to give yourself some breathing room, and allow the initial rush to wear off.

For example, you might tell yourself that you’ll wait 30 days and if, after the waiting period is over, you still want the item, you can get it then.

During that time you may lose interest in the item. If, however, you still want it in a month, that’s a good sign that this purchase will add substantial value to your life, and isn’t just a fleeting desire. If you can make room for purchase in your budget, then go for it.

This helps you make spending decisions from a slower, more thoughtful place, and can be a huge help in learning to budget and save money.

11. Round up Purchases

A painless and fun way to save money can be by rounding up purchases. You can do this in one of two ways.

•   The old-fashioned way is to pay for things with cash and keep the change in a jar. Then, at the end of a week or a month, deposit that change into your savings account.

•   Today, there are a variety of apps that allow you to round up purchases. That extra money can then be put into savings or invested. Check with your bank; they may offer a program like this making for a seamless experience.

12. Look into Refinancing Your Loans

Interest rates go up and down, and there may be an advantage to refinancing your loans if you can find a lower rate and/or a shorter term. Doing so could save you considerable money in interest over the life of the loan, whether that’s a mortgage, car payment, or student loan.

13. Bundle Your Insurance Policies

You may be able to whittle down your bills by combining your insurance policies (typically home and auto) with one company. Typically, when you do so, you can reap a solid amount of savings.

14. Gamify Savings

Many people find it helpful to give themselves monthly challenges to save money. It can make the pursuit of spending less more fun and can get your competitive spirit going.

For example, one month, you could vow not to get any takeout coffee and put the savings in the bank. The next month, you could vow to not take any rideshares and instead walk or take public transportation. Again, you’d put the cash saved in the bank.

15. Go Fee-Free

It can be wise to take a look at your financial institution and see how much you are paying in fees. There can be everything from overdraft charges to out-of-network fees to foreign transaction costs. In addition, your account might be hit with monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees. All of that can add up.

You might want to shop around for a new banking partner if you’re getting assessed a number of these charges.

Why Saving Money Is Important

Why go to the trouble of pinching pennies like this? Saving money is important for several reasons.

•   It can help you build wealth.

•   It can give you security.

•   It can reduce money stress.

•   It can help you achieve short- and long-term financial goals.

•   It can allow you to navigate bumpy times (such as job loss).

•   It can give you breathing room to splurge at times on the fun stuff of life.

Finding a Good Place to Grow Your Savings

Even if you’re only putting a small amount of money into savings each month, over time, that account will grow.
One way to help it grow faster is to park the money in a place where you won’t accidentally spend it and where it can earn more interest than a typical savings account.

You might consider opening up a high-interest savings account, money market account, online savings account, or a cash management account.

You may find that separating your savings, and watching it grow, keeps you motivated to save.
In some cases, you may be able to create “buckets” within your account, and even give them fun names, such as “Sushi Tour in Japan” or “My Dream House” that can help keep you motivated.

The Takeaway

Saving may not seem nearly as fun as spending, but it can give you the things you ultimately want, whether that’s a posh vacation, a downpayment on a new home, or a comfortable retirement.

And, there are plenty of ways to save money that don’t require sacrifice. You can use a mix of short-term strategies (like spending less every time you go to the supermarket) and long-term moves (like paying down debt and buying higher quality goods) to achieve your goals.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.

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

FAQ

What is the 50/30/20 rule?

The 50/30/20 budget rule says that, of your take-home pay, 50% should be allocated to needs, or basic living expenses and minimum debt payment; 30% should be for wants, or discretionary spending; and 20% should go into savings.

What is the 30 day rule?

The 30 day rule is a way of avoiding impulse purchases and helping you take control of your money. If you find yourself about to make a significant impulse purchase, agree to wait 30 days. Right down the item, its cost, and where you saw it in your calendar for 30 days in the future. If that date rolls around and you still feel you must have it, you can see about buying it, but there is a good chance the sense of “gotta have it” will have passed.

How much should you save a month?

Many financial experts advise saving 20% of your take-home pay, but of course the exact amount will vary depending on such factors as your income, your debt, your household (how many dependents, for instance), and your cost of living.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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Ways to Build Wealth at Any Age

Whether you want a worry-free retirement or a custom-built home, your financial goals are worthy investments. And building wealth is likely a foundational goal for most people, as it can help them achieve most, if not all of their financial goals.

There are some tried and true ways to save money and build wealth at any age — whether you use those funds for immediate purchases, long-term goals such as retirement, or estate planning for after you’re gone. The key is to start as soon as possible, rather than wait until “the right time.”

Set Short- and Long-Term Goals

The first step in building wealth is to set short and long-term goals you can revisit throughout your journey.

Short-term goals focus on achieving more immediate results, such as funding next summer’s trip or buying a new car. In contrast, long-term goals might require several years or more of preparation. For example, you may want to collect enough to pay off your mortgage or send your kid to college expenses. Creating realistic goals at the start gives you direction, so make them as specific as possible.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that opening a brokerage account typically doesn’t come with any setup costs? Often, the only requirement to open a brokerage account — aside from providing personal details — is making an initial deposit.

Create a Budget

Once you know your goals, drafting a monthly budget becomes more manageable. Document up to three months’ worth of expenses and then break the list down into fixed costs, variable costs, necessary costs and discretionary costs. You probably can’t stop paying your utilities, but you will likely find places to save in your discretionary category (think restaurant meals, or entertainment expenses). Dedicate a portion of that discretionary spending to your goal’s fund regularly.

Taking stock of your financial situation gives you a clearer understanding of where you are, where you’re going to go, and how you’re going to get there.

Pay Off Debt

To dedicate more money toward building wealth and saving for your goals, you’ll likely need to pay off some debt first. You can use your discretionary income as a tool for minimizing your debt load. If you have multiple debts, consider using a debt repayment method, such as the avalanche method or the snowball method, to accelerate the process.

Debt Repayment: The Avalanche Method

The avalanche method prioritizes high-interest debts by ranking the interest rates from greatest to least. Then, regularly pay the minimum on each of your debts, and put any leftover funds towards the one with the highest interest rate. Once you pay that off, continue on to the second-highest debt. Follow that pattern to minimize the interest you’re paying as you become debt-free.

Debt Repayment: Snowball Method

Alternatively, the snowball method is another debt repayment strategy. It’s essentially the opposite of the avalanche approach. List your debts from smallest principal to largest, ignoring the interest rates. Then, regularly dedicate enough funds to each to avoid penalties, and put any extra money toward the smallest debt.

After the smallest debt is paid, redirect your attention to the next largest debt, and so on. As the number of individual debts shrink, you’ll have more money to apply towards the larger debts. You may still have interests to worry about but picking off the debts one by one can impart a sense of forward movement and accomplishment.

Start Investing

If you haven’t already, find out what if any employer-sponsored retirement savings plans are available to you, such as a 401(k). These qualified retirement plans offer tax advantages and typically allow you to direct a portion of your paycheck to your account, putting your savings on autopilot. If your workplace does not offer any retirement accounts, consider opening an IRA or a brokerage account to build an investment portfolio.

Generally, investing for retirement when you’re young means you can take on more risks. While a diversified portfolio is a standard strategy, younger investors might have a portfolio that’s heavier on equities early, since they may help you capitalize on long-term growth. As you get older and closer to retirement, your risk profile may change and your portfolio will need a rebalancing to incorporate more fixed-income investments.

💡 Quick Tip: Distributing your money across a range of assets — also known as diversification — can be beneficial for long-term investors. When you put your eggs in many baskets, it may be beneficial if a single asset class goes down.

How to Increase Your Income and Save More

You might be getting by on your current income, but if you had the chance to boost it, wouldn’t you? With an extra-positive cash flow, you could tackle debt, save more, and achieve your goals sooner. Here are a few ways to make that happen.

Ask for a Raise

Asking for a salary increase is one solution for improving your cash flow. All it takes is one good conversation, a positive work record — and a bit of courage and confidence. Speak to your peers and read up on how to conduct yourself when asking. Going in with a plan will save you anxiety and help you get your points across clearly.

Seek Other Investment Opportunities

When investment opportunities pop up, take advantage of the ones that speak to you whenever possible. Some may be easier to break into, like real estate, one of the world’s largest asset classes. Other options include gold and silver, which you can invest in physically or through ETFs. For investors willing to take on a higher-risk opportunity, investing in startups may be appealing. It all comes down to what investment will best serve your personal short- and long-term goals.

Start a Side Gig

Additional work is also great to bulk up your resume and create new connections. It seems like everyone is starting up a side hustle these days. From online shops to freelancing, the opportunities are endless. All you have to do is determine your marketable skills and how to advertise them. There might be local opportunities, or you can create a profile online on side hustle-oriented websites.

Cut Expenses

Sometimes it’s not about finding new currents of money, but about creating a larger pool with the money already coming in. Take a second pass at your list of discretionary expenses to pinpoint a few more areas you could cut back on without feeling the impact in your day-to-day life.

One good example: Automatically renewed subscriptions for streaming services and local businesses, like gyms, are convenient. But think about how frequently you use the service. If the answer is “not often,” you’re not getting your money’s worth — and you may want to negotiate a lower fee, or cut the subscription altogether.

How to Build Wealth at Every Stage of Life

While it’s good to have a general strategy in place for building wealth and increasing cash flow, different stages in your life may require you to focus on different things. Taking advantage of the opportunities each decade brings you will help you financially adjust and build a stable lifestyle.

In Your 20s

You may be right out of school and trying to navigate the job market, but don’t wait to start working towards your long-term financial goals. The sooner you start, the sooner you’re likely to reach your goals.

Create an Emergency Fund

Generally, an emergency fund should include about three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Although that sounds like a lot, you’ll be grateful for the cushion if you should lose your job, or crash your car, or have a medical emergency. Unexpected things happen all the time, and an emergency fund will protect you while you get things back up and running. It will also keep you from having to touch other savings accounts, like a retirement account.

Eliminate High-Interest Debt

Your student loans aren’t going anywhere, so pay them off as soon as possible. The same goes for any other high-interest debt you might have incurred, such as with a credit card. Paying off growing interest rates will bog down your ability to save.

However, don’t be afraid to use your credit cards. Your 20s are the perfect time to build credit, which will be vital to certain goals, like purchasing a house. Use them strategically and pay them off immediately to build an upstanding credit history.

In Your 30s

Your 30s may bring some stability into your life, whether it’s regular work, a partner, and/or kids. However, the costs you’re facing are likely growing with you. Focus on money moves that will benefit you long-term.

Plan for College Expenses

If you have children, saving for their education is a big step. Use opportunities like a 529 account to help provide the funding. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan you can use to pay for future tuition and related costs. That said, many people who’ve been there, and done that, may advise against prioritizing your kids’ education over your retirement.

Pad the Nest Egg

By some popular estimates, by age 30 you should have at least one year’s worth of your annual salary saved for your retirement — and twice that by 35. Incrementally increasing the amount you put towards your savings will help boost that number as well.

In Your 40s and Beyond

By 40, conventional wisdom holds that you should be well on your way to a growing nest egg with three times your annual salary saved up. At this stage, you may also have other assets to your name, such as property. If you have kids, they might be nearing college age, and retirement might not seem quite as far away as it once did.

Protect Your Wealth

It’s always smart to protect your assets and yourself. Make sure you have insurance covering both your estate and yourself (through health and life insurance). Insurance can take a burden off of your family’s shoulders in case anything happens to you.

Capitalize on Make-Up Contributions

A make-up, or catch-up, contribution, is an additional payment that anyone over age 50 can make to their 401(k) or IRAs retirement savings account. If you’re in a financial position to contribute these extra funds, it can help bulk up those savings to help prepare for retirement.

For 2023, the maximum allowable catch-up contribution to 401(k) plans is $7,500. The IRA annual contribution limit for 2023 is $6,500, with those 50 and above allowed to contribute another $1,000 a year. In total, anyone over 50 can put $7,500 into their IRA annually.

Wait to Take Social Security

Did you know you could receive a higher Social Security benefit if you wait to claim your benefits? Those who hold off collecting Social Security until age 67 get 108% of their benefits, and those who wait until the age of 70 can receive 132% of their monthly benefit. On the other hand, if you begin taking benefits early, at age 62, you’ll receive 25% less in monthly benefits.

Shift Your Asset Allocation

Investors should periodically revisit their portfolio and reassess their investments and risk level. As you get closer to retirement, you may decide to allocate a larger part of your portfolio to safer choices like bonds and other fixed-income.

The Takeaway

Building wealth at any age starts with a frank look at your current income and expenditures, a detailed list of short-term and long-range goals — and a little follow-through based on where you are in life.

Some ways to start building wealth are to take on a side gig or side hustle, find ways to cut expenses and increase savings rates, and to start investing. There are numerous ways to do any of these, and it may take some experimenting to see what works for you.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

For a limited time, opening and funding an Active Invest account gives you the opportunity to get up to $1,000 in the stock of your choice.


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

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Using the 30 Day Rule to Control Spending

Shopping can be necessary (how else are you going to get what you need?), and a lot of the time, it can be fun. But it also leads to impulse purchases, which can mean overspending and winding up with high-interest credit card debt.

That’s where the 30 day rule can help. It’s a technique that can help you slow down shopping and save money. It gives you a way to pump the brakes on a purchase and wait before buying.

This, in turn, can help you determine if you really need or want an item vs. getting caught up in the moment. If you’re able to take time and decide not to make a purchase, it can help your overall financial outlook (that credit card bill, for instance, may be more manageable).

Here, you’ll learn more about the 30 day rule and how it can help you save money.

What Is the 30 Day Rule?

The 30 day rule is a simple strategy that has the power to help you control your spending and make solid financial choices. Here’s how it works:

•   If you feel the urge to make a significant purchase of something that’s non-essential, whether it’s in a store or online, the rule says: Stop. Leave the store, or click away from the site.

•   Write down what you wanted to buy, along with where it can be found, and its price. Date the document and then mark on your calendar when 30 days will have passed.

•   Some people find this additional step helpful: Rather than just write down the amount of the discretionary purchase, you could put that amount of money into your savings account. Seeing your pumped-up savings account balance can potentially help you decide not to purchase something that’s an impulse buy.

•   During the 30 days, you can think about whether you really need the item or, if it’s a “want” rather than a “need,” whether you want to spend discretionary funds on it.

•   After 30 days have passed, if you still wish to purchase the item, then you can potentially do so, knowing that it’s no longer an impulse buy. Rather, it’s likely to be a well thought-out and planned financial choice. It can also help your budget to compare prices with different vendors after you’ve made your decision to buy.

Pros and Cons of the 30 Day Savings Rule

Now that you understand the principle behind the 30 days savings rule, consider the upside:

•   It helps you avoid impulse buys.

•   It gives you time to assess a major purchase, comparison-shop, and budget.

•   It helps you avoid shopping due to boredom.

However, the 30 day savings rule can also have downsides:

•   It can lead to feelings of frustration or deprivation not to be able to buy in the moment.

•   If you wait 30 days and then decide to buy, the item you want could be more expensive or sold out.

Needs vs Wants

The 30 day rule can be an excellent way to manage the causes of overspending and help you differentiate needs from wants.

Examples of Needs

Needs are your basic living expenses; the items that are vital for daily life. For example, if you’re out of toilet paper, that clearly goes into the needs category, and doesn’t fit the rule. You could shop for a better price, sure, but it’s a pretty necessary purchase.

If your car is almost out of gas and you’ve got to drive to work in the morning, the same concept applies. Yes, if you need to eat dinner and the cupboards are bare and the fridge is empty, you’ll need food (but not necessarily steak and lobster).

Examples of Wants

On the other hand, wants are things that are not part of daily survival. Groceries to cook dinner are an example of needs, but a pricey sushi dinner or even that vanilla latte to go in the morning are clearly wants.

When it comes to shopping, you may find yourself giving into wants when you pick up some new shoes just because they’re on sale or decide to upgrade your phone even though your current one works fine.

There’s a middle ground, of course, where it may be tougher to decide if something is a need or want, and whether the rule applies. For example, you may have a big work conference coming up, and there’s a really sweet suit on sale.

On the one hand, you may have an outfit that will work just fine, but on the other, this one may be more appropriate, giving you the confidence to shine at the conference. In that case, it may make sense to think about the purchase for a day or two, rather than for a full 30.

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!


The Role of FOMO Spending

FOMO (which stands for Fear of Missing Out) spending is the kind in which you feel that if you don’t buy a particular item, you might miss out on something important. This could happen if you see social media posts where friends (and perhaps even people you don’t know!) are buying something you don’t have.

This anxiety can significantly influence how people spend their money, serving as motivation to spend funds that they can’t really afford. Some points to consider:

•   The reality is that not everyone’s financial situation is the same. Your friends may earn a higher income, have a different debt situation, and manage lesser expenses than you do.

•   If you find yourself feeling peer pressure to spend in ways that aren’t healthy for your budget, it may make sense to come up with alternative, less expensive activities to do together.

   For instance, instead of going out to an expensive new restaurant with a friend, you could cook together. And just because everyone else may seem to be spending their summer vacation at a far-flung destination doesn’t mean you can’t have a great getaway at a nearby cabin on a lake or travel somewhere exotic during the off-season.

•   If you’re more tempted to buy when you use your credit or debit card, it may be wise to bring a set amount of cash instead when going to spending-trigger locations. If you love to shop, shop, “window-shop” online to your heart’s content, and then maybe consider visiting a brick-and-mortar store when it’s time to make a purchase. This can help ensure that the item lives up to your expectations.

Each of these strategies is a way of practicing delayed gratification — and there are plenty of benefits to engaging in this healthy behavior (besides from possibly fattening your wallet).

Recommended: Why Do We Feel Guilty Spending Money?

Benefits of Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification, according to studies, is often a trait found in successful people. When someone can delay satisfaction until the appropriate time, they are more likely to thrive financially, as well as in their relationships, careers, and health than those who haven’t yet mastered the skill.

It isn’t always easy to wait when doing something might make you feel good right now, but waiting can lead to bigger rewards in the future. As this becomes a practice, it can help to boost your overall self-control and achieve long-term goals.

One of the more well-known studies on delayed gratification involves, of all things, marshmallows. This study was conducted at Stanford University in the 1960s, and went like this:

•   Participating children were taken into a room where they each found one marshmallow on their plates.

•   The children could choose to eat their marshmallow now, or wait 15 minutes and then get a second one.

The children who chose to wait, the researchers discovered, had higher standardized test scores. They also were found to have fewer behavioral issues and health problems.

You might use this study to think about your own ability to wait for greater rewards. Focusing on finances, you might consider times when a quick impulse purchase didn’t turn out to be the best move, as well as times when saving for something better was ultimately more rewarding. These moves can help you cut back on spending.

Recommended: How to Achieve Financial Discipline

Tracking Your Spending and Saving

The above strategies all have one thing in common. They involve tracking your spending and saving so that you can make choices that fit your budget, lifestyle, goals, and dreams.

As part of that process, it may make sense to identify where you’re overspending. The reality is that it’s gotten super easy to spend — and, therefore, overspend — in today’s frictionless financial world.

You may find that you’re spending literally hundreds of dollars a month in ways you didn’t realize, whether that’s by picking up a quick coffee at the drive-thru window, a subscription you rarely use, or something else entirely.

When you know where your money is going, down to the last penny, it can help you adjust your budget in a way that prioritizes your financial needs and money goals. That could involve paying down debt, saving up for a vacation next summer, or banking some cash for the down payment on a house in the future.

4 Other Tips and Strategies to Save Money

Here are some additional savings strategies to consider:

Pay Yourself First

Want to pay yourself first? You can do this by having money automatically deducted from your paycheck and transferred into your savings account. By automating your savings, you can make sure that you don’t spend money that can be helping to fund your future dreams.

Try Out Different Budget Methods

It can take a little trial and error to find a budget that works for you and your unique situation. Some people like the 50/30/20 rule, others use the envelope system, and there are many other options. Do a little online searching and experimenting to find one that works for you.

Use an App

Technology can help you track your spending and save more. Your financial institution may have tools that make this a snap. Or you might decide to take advantage of a roundup app that puts a little money into savings with every purchase you make. Again, an online search can reveal alternatives, or see what your bank offers.

Start a Side Hustle

Another way to save more is to earn more. Starting a low-cost side hustle can be one way to do just that. Whether that means walking dogs, selling your nature photos, or providing social media services for local businesses, there could be a simple and satisfying way to tap your talents and bring in more cash.

Opening a Savings Account with SoFi

With a SoFi Checking and Savings Account, you can spend and save in one convenient place while earning a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and paying no account fees. You can track your weekly spending within the dashboard in the SoFi app. Tracking your spending can help you stay on target with your financial goals. If you’ve got multiple goals, then you can use our Vaults feature to save towards each of them.

Check out SoFi Checking and Savings to track your spending and saving.

FAQ

What is the 30 day rule for saving money?

With the 30 day rule, you wait 30 days before making a major purchase to be sure you really want or need it. This technique of waiting can help you delay gratification, feel more in control of your finances, and potentially avoid overspending on impulse buys.

Does the 30 days rule work?

The 30 day rule can work if you stick with it. By waiting 30 days before making a major purchase, you have time to consider whether you really need it, shop around for the best price, or decide that it was an impulse buy and you don’t really want it anymore.

What is the golden rule of saving money?

The golden rule of saving money is to save money before you spend. Some people refer to this as “paying yourself first.” By prioritizing saving, you can potentially minimize debt and reach your financial goals.


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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The Importance of Saving Money

Whether from parents, friends, or financial advisors, you have probably heard plenty of people say that you should be saving money. But did you ever stop and consider why exactly saving money is so important?

Saving money is truly a smart move: It can help you achieve your financial aspirations, prepare for the future, and weather unexpected events. It can even help you earn money without doing anything at all. When you look at it in a big-picture way, saving can relieve a lot of money stress from your life.

Granted, there are vacations to be taken, loans to be paid off, and all kinds of other uses for cash that could leave you without any to stash in savings. But by making saving a priority, you can really enhance your financial standing.

Here, you’ll learn more about this topic, including:

•   The reasons why saving money is important

•   How to start saving (as painlessly as possible)

•   Where to store the cash you save.

Reasons Why Saving Money is Important

It can be hard to get motivated to save money just because it’s the “responsible” thing to do. But you may see the appeal once you understand the huge advantages that saving offers. Here are a few.

Peace of Mind

If money is tight, you may find yourself worrying how you will pay the rent or other critical bills if an extra unexpected expense were to suddenly come up, as they often do. After all, cars break down, and dental work can crop up. Or what if your kid discovers a passion for soccer and wants to go to a pricey summer camp.

Having savings in the bank can provide the sense of security that comes with knowing you can get through these kinds of moments without hardship. You’ll be able to have that back-up money to afford many of life’s expenses that crop up. By saving, you may also worry less about tomorrow, knowing that you have stashed away some cash. That means you can breathe a little easier.

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!


Avoiding Debt

When you have money in the bank, you can make purchases, planned or not, with your money that’s in the bank. That means you can avoid using high-interest credit cards or potentially taking out a personal loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for things.

That can help you side-step debt, which can help save a significant amount of cash in the long run.

Expanding Your Options

Generally, the more money you have saved, the more control you can have over your life and your financial security.

If you’re unhappy with where you live, for instance, having some savings can open up the possibility of moving to a more desirable location or putting a downpayment on a new home.

If you dislike your job, having a cushion of savings might afford you the option of leaving that job even before you have another one lined up.

Money certainly does not solve all problems, but having savings can give you a little bit of breathing room and allow you to take positive steps in your life.

Having Financial Freedom

Another benefit of savings is that you are on a program that can give you financial freedom. If you stick to a plan of stashing 10% or 20% into savings, as many financial experts recommend, you can avoid always living paycheck to paycheck and have more financial freedom.

For example, with adequate savings, you might be able to take a sabbatical from work and pursue a passion project. You might have enough cash to start your own business or retire early. Or you might plan a luxe anniversary celebration somewhere tropical. Savings can enable your dreams.

Recommended: Guide to Improving Your Money Mindset

Saving for Big Purchases

Having a savings account is a great way to afford big purchases without racking up credit card debt and the high interest that goes along with it or turning to other expensive financing options.

Let’s say you want to take your kids on a Disney vacation or you really need that second car. Or maybe there’s a designer bag that you’re totally in love with. By putting money aside in a savings account and earning interest on those funds, you can be in a position to buy your wish-list item outright, rather than borrowing funds to do so.

Saving Money for Emergencies

Here’s another reason why it is important to save money: Life has its twists and turns. One minute, everything is humming along nicely, the next, your car needs $2,000 worth of repairs. Or the hot water heater conks out or you lose your job. These situations and others can put a real strain on your finances.

That’s why financial experts generally recommend building up an emergency fund of at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses to prepare for any financial surprises.

It can be hard to prioritize this, but saving for an emergency fund is important. To help make it happen, you might set up an automatic transfer from your checking into savings the day after payday. This can painlessly, seamlessly whisk money to your emergency fund so it doesn’t sit in savings, tempting you to spend it. Whether the amount is $15 or $150, just do it. Every bit helps.

Earning Interest

Savings accounts come with interest, which is the bank’s way of thanking you for keeping your money with them, where they can use it until you withdraw it.

Granted, the average savings accounts aren’t currently paying that much interest. In March of 2023, the average rate was 0.23%. However, if you look into an online savings account, you will likely find a much higher rate. Online banks, which don’t have to fund bricks-and-mortar branches, typically pass those savings along to their clients. They were paying in the 3.00% to 4.00% or even higher range as of March 2023.

That can help your savings along. If you have $5,000 in a savings account with a 4.00% annual percentage yield (APY) earning compound interest monthly, that would give you an extra $204 at the end of the year. Add $20 per month to the account and let it sit for five years, and you’ll have $7,431. Nice! That’s cash in your account for doing absolutely nothing.

Reducing Your Taxes

Here’s the part about how saving money makes you money, beyond interest you’ll earn. If you save money into certain tax-advantaged retirement vehicles, not only do you have that nest egg for later in life, but you can lower your tax liability.

By putting money into your employer’s 401(k), if available, you can lower the income on which taxes are assessed. If you are self-employed, there are various IRA (individual retirement accounts) that may allow you to put pre-tax dollars away for the future.

When you save money this way, you could even challenge yourself to put the tax savings back into a savings account. That’s a way to increase your money in the bank another notch or two.

Giving Back

Another reason why saving money is important is it can enable you to give back to others. When you have a cash cushion and aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, you have the opportunity to help those around you.

That might involve sending a few hundred dollars to a relative who has a big dental bill and is struggling to pay it. Or you might donate to a medical research cause, a disaster fund, or a local after-school program that you love. The choice is yours, but having a healthy savings account can make it possible.

Benefiting from Compound Interest

Another big incentive to save, as mentioned above, is the power of compound interest.

Compound interest means you earn a return not just on the amount you originally put away, but also on the interest that accumulates.

Over time, that means you can end up with much more than you started with. And the earlier you start saving, the more your money grows, since compound interest is able to work its magic over a longer time horizon.

You saw an example above that involved putting money into a savings account at a bank. Now, consider investing: A person who starts putting $100 per month towards retirement at age 25 will wind up putting $12,000 more of their money into their retirement fund by age 65 than the person who started saving $100 per month at age 35.

But because of compound interest (and assuming a 7.00% annual rate of return), the person who started at 25 will wind up with over $120,000 more at age 65 (way more than the extra $12,000 they invested). Please note that this is a hypothetical scenario and does not represent an actual investment. All investing involves risk.

How to Get Started with Saving

If you’re convinced that saving is the right move, how do you actually do it? The key is to make a budget and make sticking to it easy.

This doesn’t have to be intimidating. The key is to get familiar with what you spend, what you earn, and what your goals are.

Here are some steps you could take to help get started.

Figuring Out What You’re Saving For

Is it a long-term goal, like retirement or your kids’ college tuition? A short-term goal, like an emergency fund? Or a medium-term goal, like a wedding or home renovation? It can help to get a sense of how much you need to stash away and by when.

The point of this is twofold:

•   First, you can divide the amount you need by the months left until your deadline to get a clear picture of how much you’ll need to save each month.

•   Second, you will know where to put your money. If your goal is less than a couple of years away, you may want to keep your savings in an online savings account, a certificate of deposit (CD), or money market account.

These options can help you earn more interest than a standard savings account but still allow you to access your money when you need it.

If your goal is in the distant future, you might want to invest the money in a retirement account, 529 college savings plan, or brokerage account so that it has the chance to grow over time.

Sticking to a Budget

You don’t really know where your money is going unless you track it. That’s why for a month or two, you may want to take note of all your daily and monthly expenses.

Next, you’ll want to tally up your net monthly income, meaning what goes into your account after the different types of taxes and deductions are taken out.

The difference between your monthly income and your expenses (everything from rent to student loan payments to food and dining out) is what you have left over to save. If there’s not enough left over, you can work on finding ways to cut spending or increase your income. You might try following the 50/30/20 budget rule to help guide your spending and saving.

Putting Savings on Autopilot

If you’re manually putting cash away every month, it can be easy to fall behind.

For one thing, you may forget to move money into savings regularly amid your busy schedule. And, unless you protect the money in advance by transferring it to a different account, you may accidentally spend it.

One way to avoid this is to set up automated savings through your bank account or retirement plan.

If you’re putting away the amount you identified you need for your goal, you may get there without even thinking about it.

Recommended: The Different Types of Savings Accounts

Common Places to Save Your Money

Where to put your money as you save? Consider these options:

•   Savings account: You could put your money in a savings account at a financial institution, like your local bank branch. However, as outlined above, you may not earn the highest possible interest.

•   Online savings account or high-yield savings account: These accounts are likely to pay a much higher interest rate than a conventional savings account while offering the same convenience and security as a traditional savings account.

•   CD: A CD gives you a specific rate of interest but you must agree to keep your money in the account (that is, not withdrawing any of it) for a specific term, whether months or years. Withdrawing earlier could trigger penalties.

•   Investments: There are many options here, such as Treasury bills and bonds. These can earn healthy returns and are typically considered safe places to keep money.

The Takeaway

Why is it important to save money? For a variety of reasons. It can provide peace of mind, open up options that improve your quality of life, increase your wealth due to compound interest and possibly lower your tax liability, and may even allow you to retire early. Many people earn wealth through a combination of working and savvy saving.

Looking for a smart way to save? Consider opening an online bank account with SoFi. Our FDIC-insured Checking and Savings account earns a competitive APY, and charges no account fees, both of which can help your money grow faster. And with Vaults and Roundups, you can track and grow your savings, assisting you as you aim for your personal financial goals.

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

3 Great Benefits of Direct Deposit

1. It’s Faster
As opposed to a physical check that can take time to clear, you don’t have to wait days to access a direct deposit. Usually, you can use the money the day it is sent. What’s more, you don’t have to remember to go to the bank or use your app to deposit your check.

2. It’s Like Clockwork
Whether your check comes the first Wednesday of the month or every other Friday, if you sign up for direct deposit, you know when the money will hit your account. This is especially helpful for scheduling the payment of regular bills. No more guessing when you’ll have sufficient funds.

3. It’s Secure
While checks can get lost in the mail – or even stolen, there is no chance of that happening with a direct deposit. Also, if it’s your paycheck, you won’t have to worry about your or your employer’s info ending up in the wrong hands.

FAQ

What are the benefits of saving money?

There are many benefits of saving money: It helps you save for your future, cover unexpected expenses, make major purchases, and have financial freedom. What’s more, the money you save can help make you more money, thanks to compounding interest and lowering your tax bill.

What are common things to save money for?

Common things to save money for are an emergency fund, retirement, a big purchase (like a car, a vacation, or the down payment on a home), and educational expenses, among others.

What happens if you don’t save money?

If you don’t save, you may lack financial security and the ability to meet certain aspirations. For instance, you won’t have a retirement fund and would therefore have to keep working indefinitely. You wouldn’t have money for a big purchase like a car or a home or your child’s education. Plus you wouldn’t be able to handle some expenses, whether planned or unexpected, and might have to take out a loan or use credit cards, which means you are paying for the privilege to borrow funds. That takes away from your earnings.


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.

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

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
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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