14 Side Hustles for Couples Who Want to Make Extra Income

If you and your significant other are interested in making some extra cash without sacrificing time together, you might consider a joint business venture. Side hustles for couples allow you to meld forces and level up your earning power. It can also strengthen your relationship and help you achieve your shared financial goals.

Whether you’re looking to save for a special occasion or a major purchase, or just want to increase your cash flow, here’s a look at 14 of the best side hustles for couples.

Benefits of a Side Hustle

There are a number of advantages to starting a side hustle as a couple versus pursuing your own solo gigs. Working together allows you to:

•   Combine resources to cover the startup costs like equipment, materials, and supplies

•   Potentially earn twice (or more) than you could alone

•   Work nights and weekends without sacrificing time together

•   Tap into complementary skills and talents

•   Discover new things about your partner

•   Ease the stress of managing a business

•   Balance the workload

•   Increase your ability to communicate and work together

•   Test the waters on a passion that could potentially lead to a larger couple’s business venture

💡 Quick Tip: An online bank account with SoFi can help your money earn more — up to 4.60% APY, with no minimum balance required.

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!


14 Side Hustles for Couples

To get started with a couple’s side hustle, you’ll want to consider your combined interests, passions, skills, resources, and availability. To help you brainstorm ideas, here’s a look at sidelines that can work well for couples looking to combine forces.

1. Investing in Real Estate

If you and your mate are interested in real estate and understand the market, you might team up to invest in rental properties, which can generate passive income.

Partnering up to invest in real estate gives you more capital to work with. Plus, if you are co-borrowers on a mortgage, it could potentially help you get a loan with a better interest rate if it lowers your debt-to-income ratio. Once you invest in real estate together, you can divide up property management, maintenance, and repair tasks based on your skills and availability.

2. Reselling Items

A relatively simple way to earn extra income as a couple is by reselling items you already own and no longer need, or things you snag for low prices at estate sales, yard sales, or through online marketplaces. Working as a team can be useful with reselling, especially if you buy and sell larger items locally. To maximize your earning potential, you may want to zero in on a specific type of item you want to resell, such as clothing, furniture, or collectibles.

3. Pet-Sitting

Is one of you a people person and the other more of an animal lover? You might combine forces with an in-home pet-sitting business. One partner can focus on bringing in business, communicating with clients, and scheduling, while the other can take charge of providing personalized care, feeding, walking, and attention to your furry clients.

If having pets in your home doesn’t appeal, you might start a neighborhood dog-walking service. This will allow you to get some exercise and spend time together, while also bringing in some extra income.

Recommended: 19 Tips to Save Money on Pets

4. Rent Out Your Car

If you each have a car and one sits idle most of the time, you might consider monetizing it by listing it on a car sharing marketplace, such as Turo or HyreCar. These peer-to-peer car-sharing services make it easy to rent out your car when you’re not using it to make some extra income. Turo claims that the average annual income generated by renting out one car is $10,516.

Before signing up, however, you’ll want to make sure you understand all the legal details, such as protection plans, auto insurance coverage, liability insurance, and rental service agreements.

5. Cleaning and Home Improvement

If you and your mate enjoy maintaining and fixing up your home, you might consider offering your services to others. Perhaps you’re handy around the house while your partner excels at housekeeping tasks or interior painting. You might combine forces by offering a range of services. You can get clients by advertising in your local area or could list your services with a platform like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, or Care.com (though known for babysitting, the site now also includes housekeeping).

6. Babysitting

Babysitting can be another lucrative side hustle for couples, especially since there is currently a childcare shortage. If you and your partner enjoy children, you might offer to look after kids in the evenings or weekends to allow parents to catch up with chores or errands. If you’re considering the prospect of starting a family in the near future, babysitting can give you experience while earning some extra cash.

To get clients, you might post your services on a local parent group or sign up with a platform like Care.com or Sittercity. To charge a higher rate, consider getting certified in CPR or offering special activities for the kids.

7. Starting a Food Truck

Are you and your partner big foodies? Maybe one (or both) of you loves to cook and you’ve always dreamed of owning your own food business together. If so, a food truck might be a good place to start. It requires lower overhead costs than opening a restaurant and allows you to travel to where the crowds are, rather than waiting for them to come to you.

You’ll need a fair amount of capital to get going (for the truck, equipment, supplies, POS machine, etc.). And since you’re serving food and beverage, you’ll also need to get the necessary permits and adhere to regulations. But the time and money you invest could pay into a lucrative side business.

Recommended: How Much Does It Cost to Start a Business?

8. Blogging

If you and your mate enjoy writing and have expertise in a particular area (such as travel, food, interior design, or fashion), you might consider starting a blog together. You can tap your shared passions and knowledge to produce engaging content, collaborate on articles, and expand your audience together.

While it won’t provide a revenue stream overnight, blogging is a low-cost side hustle that may become lucrative if you can build up a large following. Bloggers generally earn money through ads (which pay per view or click) or affiliate sales (if you promote a product or service and a visitor clicks on the link and completes a purchase, you get paid a commission).

9. Becoming Virtual Assistants

If you both have strong organizational skills and are looking for a way to make extra money while working from home, you might look into becoming virtual assistants. This sideline involves providing administrative support to businesses remotely, such as email management, scheduling, data entry, and booking travel. If you each have different strengths, you might divide up the tasks based on skill/preference, or each pick different types of clients.

To get started, you may want to use a virtual assistant app, such as Fiverr and Upwork; these platforms can help you market your services and manage gigs and payments. But because apps often take a considerable cut, you may want to eventually break out on your own and create a website that markets your virtual admin services.

10. Delivering Items to People

Side hustling by way of delivering food and groceries allows you and your significant other to work your own hours and make money just by driving. Working as a delivery duo also enables you to pick up and deliver items more efficiently than working solo (no parking necessary for quick pick-ups and drop-offs).

You might deliver groceries using a platform like Instacart or Shipt or deliver food via DoorDash or UberEats. Generally all you need to get started is to have a driver’s license and a car, download the app, and set up an account. Once you’re approved, the apps will alert you to new delivery jobs and you can and your partner can choose to work when you want to.

11. Renting Your Home Out to Others

If you have a spare room, basement, or guest house, or you travel often, you might consider renting part or all of your home to travelers as a couple. You can easily make extra monthly income this way by booking through Airbnb. How much will depend on your location, size of your home, and amenities.

To start your side hustle as an Airbnb host, you’ll need to create a profile and listing on the site and have it verified. You and your partner can then collaborate on guest communication, cleaning, and ensuring a comfortable, and welcoming experience for your guests.

12. Charging Public Scooters

If you live in an area that has public scooters, you might be able to earn extra cash as a couple by charging them. Many companies (such as Lime, Bird, and Spin) hire independent contractors to collect, charge, and distribute their electric scooters in different areas around the city. If you and your honey are game, you’ll need to sign up on the app and complete a short training session. Once approved, you will receive a charger kit with all the necessary tools and equipment to get started.

Recommended: How to Earn Residual Income

13. Social Media Monetizing

Similar to blogging, monetizing your social media can be a lucrative couple side hustle, depending on the number of followers you have and their level of engagement. If you and your partner have managed to establish yourself as social media influencers, you may be able to earn money running ads before and after your video content and/or through brand partnerships and affiliate links.

Popular couple accounts include couples working on a major home renovation project, building a business together, sharing their journey to reach a certain goal or overcome a struggle, or spreading positive messaging. You can also offer information and useful tips around a particular topic.

Recommended: How To Make Money Even With No Job

14. Offering Lessons

If you and your mate have a particular skill or talent, such as academic, musical, sports, gardening, or fine arts expertise, you might consider starting a tutoring or personal instruction business together. This is a flexible side hustle since you can offer in-person or virtual lessons, market your services to children and/or adults, and choose to work daytime or evenings. Plus, the start-up costs are typically minimal. Apps like Wyzant, Skooli, and TakeLessons.com can help you market your services and manage gigs and payments.

The Takeaway

By brainstorming side hustle ideas with your significant other, you may be able to find synergies that can take your freelance business to the next level. Combining forces also allows you to work together toward your shared financial 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

Is it beneficial to have a side hustle with your significant other?

Starting a side hustle with your significant other offers multiple benefits. These include combining your resources to cover the startup costs, sharing responsibilities, increasing your potential profits, and allowing you to spend time together while also working nights and weekends.

Are there any drawbacks to starting a side hustle as a couple?

A potential drawback to starting a side hustle as a couple is that it can put added stress on your relationship. It can also lead to arguments over how to run the business and divvy up responsibilities.

How can I choose the right side hustle?

The right side hustle for you depends on your interests, goals, and availability. You also want to factor in what you’re qualified to do, and if you have any skills, experience, tools or equipment that could give you a competitive advantage.

Once you’ve narrowed down the side hustles that match your interests, skills, and resources, you can examine the costs and profit potential to find the best fit for you.


Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages

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.


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.


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.

SOBK0124060

Read more

The Most Important Components of a Successful Budget

Financial gurus, your money-savvy friend, and personal finance books and articles all say the same thing: You need a budget. Why? Because without any guardrails to guide your spending decisions, you can end up overspending (and, in turn, running up debt). You may also find it difficult to reach important financial goals, such as building an emergency fund, going on vacation, or buying a home.

The main characteristics of any budget are estimates of how much money you’ll make and how much you’ll spend over a certain period of time, typically a month. Trouble is, it can be hard to predict every expense that may come up in a given month. That can make it hard to know what to include in your budget. But don’t give up — read on. What follows are eight key components of a successful and realistic budget.

The Importance of Budgeting

While a budget may sound restrictive, it’s really nothing more than a plan for how you will spend your money. Why bother making one? Here’s a look at some of the benefits of putting together a basic budget:

•   Lets you know if you’re spending more than, less than, or about the same as you’re earning each month.

•   Gives you a birds-eye view at where exactly your money is going each month.

•   Helps you avoid spending more than you have or want to spend.

•   Alerts you to subscriptions or services you’re paying for but may no longer need.

•   Ensures you stay on top of debt payments.

•   Allows you to make adjustments in your spending and saving so you can align your financial habits to reach your goals.

•   Can prevent you from going into debt should there be an unexpected, emergency expense or if you get laid off

•   Helps you feel more secures and less stressed about money

💡 Quick Tip: Want to save more, spend smarter? Let your bank manage the basics. It’s surprisingly easy, and secure, when you open an online bank account.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

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


Key Characteristics That Make a Budget Successful

While there are many ways you can approach managing your money, all budgeting styles share some of the same key elements. Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of a budget that can help you stay on track and boost your overall financial wellbeing.

Emergency Funds

The bedrock of any type of budget is an emergency fund. Without a cash reserve set aside specifically for unplanned expenses or financial emergencies, any bump in the road — say a car repair, trip to the ER, or a loss of income — can force you to run up credit card debt. This can lead to a debt spiral that can take months, potentially years, to recover from.

A general rule of thumb is to keep three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses in a separate savings account earmarked for emergencies. If you’re self-employed or work seasonally, however, you might want to aim for six or 12 months of expenses to feel secure and protected.

Recommended: Where to Keep Emergency Funds

Irregular Expenses

When creating a budget, you likely won’t overlook your recurring monthly expenses, such as rent, utility bills, and food. What’s easy to forget about are your one-off and irregular expenses.

To set up an accurate budget, you’ll want to be sure to jot down any annual or seasonal expenses you anticipate, such as membership dues, holiday gifts, insurance payments, car and registration fees, or kid’s camp expenses. Scanning through your monthly checking account statements for a year should help you suss out your irregular expenses.

To adequately account for these expenses, determine the annual cost, divide by 12, and build that amount into your monthly budget. You may want to transfer that money into a separate account so you can pay those expenses when they’re due.

Recommended: What Are the Average Monthly Expenses for One Person?

Repaying Debt

For a budget to be successful, you want to make sure you’re accounting for debt repayment, including minimum monthly payments and (if you’re carrying high-interest debt) additional payments. The 50/30/20 budgeting rule, for example, recommends putting 50% of your money take-home income toward needs (including minimum debt payments), 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings and debt repayment beyond the minimum.

Once you’ve paid off your balances, the money you were spending on debt/interest each month can now go towards other goals, such as a vacation, large-ticket purchase, or down payment on a house.

Monthly Savings

Even if you tend to live paycheck to paycheck, a key element of a budget is putting at least something into savings each month. For example, with the “pay yourself first” approach to budgeting, you set up a recurring transfer from your checking account into your savings account on the same day each month, ideally right after you get paid.

Once you’ve fully funded your emergency saving account, you can funnel this extra money into a high-yield savings account to work towards your short-term savings goals.

And it’s fine to start small. If you save $20 a week, in a year you’ll have accumulated $1,040. If you commit to the 52-week savings challenge, where you save $1 the first week, $2 the second week, and so forth for an entire year, you’ll have stashed away $1,378 by week 52.

💡 Quick Tip: Most savings accounts only earn a fraction of a percentage in interest. Not at SoFi. Our high-yield savings account can help you make meaningful progress towards your financial goals.

Accurate Monthly Income

Without knowing exactly how much money hits your bank account each month, you won’t be able to allocate your funds accordingly and create an accurate budget. Besides your paycheck, you’ll want to factor in any other income streams, such as freelance work, government benefits, alimony, or child support.

If you’re self-employed and your income varies from month to month, determining your monthly income can be a bit trickier. One solution is to use your lowest monthly income over the past year as your baseline income (minus any taxes you will owe). This gives you a margin of safety, since you will likely make more than that.

Money for Vacations and Free Time

While it’s important to save for an emergency fund and pay off your debt, a key component of budgeting is money for fun and leisure. Without it, you likely won’t stick to your budget at all.

Think about what activities bring you the most joy and offer the most value in your life. What hobbies would you like to invest more time, energy, and resources in? Where would you like to vacation next? From there, you can set some “fun” savings goals. Consider how much you will need and when you want to reach your goal to determine how much to set aside for fun each month.

Recommended: 15 Creative Ways to Save Money

Retirement

Retirement might seem far off but failing to start saving early can put you in a tough predicament later on. Thanks to compound interest — the interest earned on your initial savings and the reinvested earnings — it’s much easier to amass a comfortable nest egg when you start early. Even if you’re still paying off your student loans, retirement is an important element of a budget that can make a huge difference in your future.

If you work for a traditional employer, you likely have a company 401(k) you are eligible to participate in. If your employer offers a company match, it’s wise to contribute at least up to match — otherwise you’re leaving free money on the table.

Realistic Goals

While many people don’t write down specific goals when creating a budget, this is actually an important element of budgeting. By setting realistic goals, such as building an emergency fund, saving for a downpayment on a car or a home, getting out of debt, or saving for retirement, you can begin to find ways to save for those goals and track your progress towards achieving them.

Having specific and realistic money goals can give you the motivation to take control of your spending. It also gives all the money that comes into your account a purpose.

Keep in mind, though, that goals and budgets are ever-evolving. When changes arise in your situation, you can tweak your goals accordingly. For instance, maybe you suffered a financial setback. In that case, you might want to put your foot off the pedal on aggressively paying off debt, and focus on replenishing your emergency fund.

Tips on Starting a Budget

If the idea of creating a budget feels overwhelming, here are some stimple steps that help jump start the process.

•   Determine your after-tax income. If you get a regular paycheck, the amount you receive is probably just that, but if you have automatic deductions, such as 401(k) contributions or health and life insurance, you’ll want to add those back in to give yourself an accurate picture of your earnings.

•   Tally your monthly expenses. You can scan your bank and credit card statements for the past three to six months to get an idea of what you typically spend each month and on what. You can then make a list of spending categories, how much (on average) you spend on each per month, and then break down those expenses into two main categories: “needs” and “wants.”

•   Make adjustments. If your average monthly income is less than your average monthly spending (meaning you are going backwards) or is about the same (meaning you aren’t saving anything), you’ll want to look for places to cut back. You likely find it easier to cut back spending in your “wants” categories, such as cooking a few more times a week (and getting take-out less often) or cutting the cord on cable and opting for cheaper streaming services.

•   Choose a budgeting plan. Once you’ve done the basics, you can take it a step further by selecting a budgeting plan. Any budget must cover all of your needs, some of your wants and — this is key — savings for emergencies and the future. The 50/30/20 budget (mentioned above) often works well for beginners. But there are many different types of budget — including the envelope system and zero-based budget. You might choose a budgeting app, such as YNAB or Goodbudget, to automate the process.

Banking With SoFi

Knowing exactly what elements go into a successful budget can help you create a spending plan that’s in step with your goals and help you do a lot more with the money you have.

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

How do I stick to a budget?

The best way to stick to a budget is to never spend more than you have. Running up high-interest debt can be a vicious cycle that is tough to get out of. You also end up spending a lot more on your purchases than if you have held off and saved up.

If you can’t afford something you want right now, it’s generally a good idea to put it off until you can. If you want to go on vacation or buy new furniture, for example, plan for it and save regularly so it doesn’t throw off your budget.

What is the best budgeting method?

The best budgeting method is the one you’re most likely to stick with. If you prefer to not worry so much about where you’re spending each dollar, you might prefer the 50/30/20 budget. If you like to get granular with your spending, then a zero-sum budget might be a good choice.

What are the benefits of budgeting?

Budgeting is a tool that helps ensure you’re spending your money in a way that aligns with your priorities. If you simply spend here and there without any type of plan, you can end up spending on things you don’t care all that much about, and never saving up enough for the things that you do — such as buying a car, going on vacation, or putting a downpayment on home.

Budgeting also helps ensure you can pay all your bills, have a cushion for the unexpected, and avoid running up expensive debt.


Photo credit: iStock/AndreyPopov

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.


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.


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.

SOBK0124056

Read more
Throwing a Gender Reveal Party on a Budget

6 Cheap Gender Reveal Ideas for Those on a Tight Budget

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it probably means you or someone you care about is starting a family (or adding to one). One popular way to celebrate is with a gender reveal party: It’s a fun way to get all the expectant parents’ loved ones involved before the new addition arrives.

But gender reveal parties, like any kind of get-together, can quickly get expensive. Renting a space, ordering flowers and decorations, and wrangling the menu can add up. Which can be an issue, especially if the couple that is expecting or the person hosting is trying to also save for, say, the baby’s nursery or a baby shower.

So read on for six gender reveal party ideas that will be a fun way to share the news without breaking the bank.

Cheap Gender Reveal Ideas

When ​​saving for a baby, it’s vital to protect your finances, even during celebrations. Sure, you want to share the excitement in a stylish way, but there are cribs, strollers, and lots of diapers to be bought! To help you pull off a gender reveal on a budget, read on.

💡 Quick Tip: Make money easy. Enjoy the convenience of managing bills, deposits, and transfers from one online bank account with SoFi.

1. Keep It Small

You can save money by downsizing your event. Instead of inviting anyone and everyone, try including just friends and family. Not only will a smaller party keep costs low, but it will make the event more personal and a whole lot less frantic. An intimate gathering with those closest to you can be a lovely way to celebrate learning a baby’s gender. Plus, it allows the host or guest of honor to get more quality time with each invitee.

However, you may want to run this by the expectant mother if you are organizing the party on her behalf. She should have the last say about the invite list so that no one significant gets missed.

2. Choose a Cheap or Free Venue

You can hold a gender reveal party anywhere. When you think about it, it’s a very accommodating event without a lot of rules about the dress code, timing, or the activities involved. So, you can likely make any location work, whether it’s at home, a local restaurant, or elsewhere.

•   Be creative with the location. Instead of a full (pricey) restaurant meal, could you host a party at a local coffee bar (some host events)? Or could you do an afternoon tea at a favorite eatery, before they open for dinner? These kinds of options can help you save a considerable amount of money.

•   When picking where to have the party, you may need to factor in the size of your guest list and the type of gender reveal you want. For example, if you plan to use a gender-reveal powder cannon, you probably need a venue outdoors.

•   Rented venues can be expensive, so for a gender reveal on a budget, consider hosting at home.

•   Look at other cheap locations like a nearby green space. Many gender reveal parties are happily hosted in a local park. You bring cushions, a picnic blanket, and all the trimmings, and you’re set, without the cost of renting.

3. Send Digital Invites

Invitations are where many people let their creativity shine. But physically mailing them out may not be the most cost-effective option; you’ll have to buy the cards and spend money on postage, too. If you are looking for a way to send fun invites but for a fraction of the price and time, consider digital versions.

•   There are apps and websites that offer digital invite services. You can find a wide range of gender-reveal invitation templates on them. Spend a few minutes scrolling; you may find some totally free options, or you might spend anywhere from $10 to $20 on them. You can also find fun graphics and animations to make them unique.

•   These resources make planning a party more straightforward for the host. That’s because they usually come with a function that lets guests RSVP digitally, so you can keep track of who is coming. You can also usually automate updates and reminders.

•   Where to start? Try exploring Punchbowl, Evite, and Paperless Post for some great evite options.

4. Make Your Own Decorations

Similar to birthday parties, a gender reveal party isn’t complete without a few decorations. Here are some ways to keep costs down:

•   Easy DIY décor can include banners, streamers, candles, and table centerpieces. Often, you only need cardstock, ribbon, and paper to get creative. You might also be able to find printable images online. Sayings like “Whether pink or blue, we love you” and the like can be a fun way to underscore the reason everyone has gathered.

•   Use what you already have — outside. Anyone with a green thumb can take advantage of their garden to liven up their party. You can set the whole event up outdoors if the weather is nice or use flowers to decorate your home. For example, fresh flowers in mason jars or dollar-store vases are a simple but effective centerpiece.

•   A quick reminder: Even if the parents know the gender already, decorations shouldn’t give it away. Instead, aim for a gender-neutral look or a mix of pinks and blues so that nothing spoils the surprise.

5. Do a Potluck

Hosting a gender reveal party that includes a meal can get very pricey, very fast. No matter the size of your guest’s appetite, you have to purchase food per head. Some recommend around a half-pound of meat and half a bottle of wine for each person at an event. That alone could rack up a bill equal to a few months’ worth of baby supplies.

Instead, consider a potluck.

•   A potluck can save you significant costs in the food department.

•   It’s a great way to bond as a community or family. Everyone plays a role. You may find that having a number of people contributing makes the endeavor more creative.

•   Hosting a potluck does take a bit of organization to make sure, say, that not everyone brings a dessert, but the savings and sense of teamwork may be well worth it.

6. Opt for These Ways to Do the Reveal

The most important part of a gender reveal party is the reveal itself. But, you don’t have to pay for expensive fireworks, a band, or an entire room of balloons to make a statement. Some budget-friendly ideas include:

•   Gender reveal confetti or powder cannons

•   A giant balloon filled with colored confetti; pop it to reveal the gender

•   Cupcakes or cake with the gender color inside

•   A pinata filled with either pink or blue ribbons and glitter

You can also set the stage with color-themed food and drink. Some hosts like to have pitchers of fun fruit drinks, one tinted pink and the other blue with berries.

Recommended: A Guide to Using Savings Clubs

Setting Your Gender Reveal Party Budget

Your budget will obviously vary with the type of party you are planning. If you have a backyard potluck for 10 close friends it will, of course, be much more affordable than a meal for a few dozen guests at a rented space.

For example, let’s say you choose a large venue; that alone may cost you upwards of $200 to rent. In addition, decorating the location may be expensive, anywhere from $50 to $100 and up. That’s because there is more space to cover than your garden or living room. Plus you’ll need to factor in the food as well. Ka-ching! And double ka-ching if you live in a major city; your costs are likely to be higher.

That said, only you and your loved ones know what will be the right way to celebrate the upcoming birth. Just like putting together a budget for a baby, be methodical.

Budget Beforehand

Sit down early in the planning process and create a budget for your party. If there is more than one host, pool your resources and determine the total you can spend. It’s essential to do this before you start party planning.

•   Go line by line, item by item. Write down what you need and estimate the cost. That way, you know exactly what you need to buy and how much it will cost. Otherwise, there’s every chance that you’ll discover your cheap gender reveal party wound up being a high-cost celebration.

•   Understand where the funds are coming from. Is the expectant couple or individual footing the bill? If you are organizing, who else might contribute? Sometimes family members of the parents-to-be are also willing to help. They may contribute some cash or offer to bring items to the event.

Stick to Your Budget

It sounds self-explanatory: Stick to the budget you make. However, any party planner knows that it’s easier said than done, whether you have a baby shower, birthday, or anniversary on your hands.

•   Hold yourself and the team that’s organizing the event accountable. It’s very easy to dip a little further into your funds for extra decorations, more flowers, or a beautifully decorated dessert. While those gestures are nice, they come at a financial cost. You may need to separate your “party fund” from your savings account. Or, if you have a co-host, report your spending to each other. You’ll be less inclined to go overboard that way.

•   Play around with your distribution of funds. For instance, maybe you have a baker in the family who can bake a fab gender reveal cake. In that case, you can put more money toward a venue. Or, perhaps you are hosting a potluck version of a gender reveal party. That frees up some cash for decorations or how you handle the big reveal.

It’s a balancing act, for sure, but with a little planning and a strong commitment to your budget, you can host a gender reveal party that won’t leave you with debt to pay off.

Recommended: Budgeting for Beginners

The Takeaway

Hosting a gender reveal on a budget may take a bit of extra planning. But spending less won’t make the event any less memorable. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to test your creative muscles and come together as loved ones. Play around with your budget to find the best party plan. Maybe you host it at a restaurant but it’s a tea party instead of a full meal. Or perhaps you gather in someone’s yard or a local park and then have enough to splurge on an amazing cake. It’s all about balance.

Whether you’re expecting a baby or simply planning a party for one of your besties, life is expensive. That’s why finding a banking partner that offers competitive interest rates and low (or no fees) can be important.

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 a good budget for a gender reveal party?

Budgets will vary depending on the host’s means and goals and the expectant parents’ desires. However, you can stretch a fund further with a more relaxed event. For example, a small barbecue in your backyard with a few friends won’t cost as much as a luxe rented location but may make up for that with the warm, intimate vibe.

Who usually throws a gender reveal party?

There is no norm; anyone can throw a gender reveal party, from a close family member to the parents to a best friend. It’s all good! In some cases, there are even multiple hosts. This allows everyone to take on a smaller financial burden than a singular host. The only rule is to keep the gender a secret during planning.

How much should a gender reveal cake cost?

The cost of gender reveal cake can vary in price depending on where you buy it, how big it is, and how ornate it is. Prices often land in the range of $25 to $50. However, features like surprise candy inside will likely run you more money. And if you purchase a cake from a highly rated patisserie in a big city it will probably be considerably more expensive than one at a local bakery in the suburbs.


Photo credit: iStock/Ievgeniia Shugaliia

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.

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.

SOBK0124020

Read more

Tax Credits vs Tax Deductions: What’s the Difference?

Tax credits and tax deductions work differently, with deductions lowering your taxable income and credits actually reducing the taxes you owe.

To be a little more specific, deductions can decrease the amount of income you have to pay taxes on, which can lower your final bill. Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what you owe — and might even get you a bigger tax refund.

It’s possible you may be able to claim both deductions and credits. Read on to understand more about how both options work.

What Are Tax Credits?

Tax credits represent a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your overall tax burden. They directly lower the tax amount you owe to Uncle Sam.

For example, if you owe $1,500 in taxes but qualify for a $500 tax credit, your total tax bill will decrease by $500, meaning you’ll only have to pay $1,000.

💡 Quick Tip: Help your money earn more money! Opening a bank account online often gets you higher-than-average rates.

How Do Tax Credits Work?

When filing your taxes, you can use IRS resources, tax software, or a certified accountant to research tax credits for which you may be eligible. If it’s your first time filing taxes, these resources can be especially helpful.

Even if you don’t owe anything in taxes, it’s worth looking into tax credits. Why? Because some tax credits are refundable, meaning the government might owe you money:

•   Refundable tax credits allow your tax liability to go below zero. For example, if you owe $100 in taxes but receive a $500 refundable tax credit, the government will actually owe you $400.

•   Nonrefundable tax credits do not work that way, unfortunately. If you qualify for a nonrefundable tax credit, the best it can do is eliminate your tax liability (meaning you owe nothing). But even if the credit is large enough to wipe out what you owe and there’s still money left over, you don’t get to pocket that extra money.

Tax credits are not for everyone. Each credit has specific requirements to qualify.

And if you’re wondering what happens if you miss the tax deadline, tax credits would still apply for the year that you’re filing your taxes.

Common Tax Credits

Your tax software or accountant should know the full list of tax credits to look out for, and the IRS website features the whole list. (You can also learn important information from an online tax help center.)

Before diving into your taxes, however, it’s a good idea to note some of the most common tax credits for which you may qualify:

•   Earned Income Tax Credit: Commonly called by its initials (EITC), this refundable tax credit is for low- to moderate-income workers. The amount you might qualify for and your eligibility can vary depending on whether you have dependents and/or have a disability.

•   American Opportunity Tax Credit: This education tax credit is partially refundable. Students (or parents claiming a student as a dependent) can claim this tax credit for the first four years of higher education. It’s $2,500 per eligible student, but once your tax bill hits zero, you can earn 40% of whatever remains (up to $1,000) as a tax refund.

•   Child Tax Credit: Even if a child isn’t enrolled in higher education, parents have access to a handy tax credit. The Child Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for parents (with dependent children) who meet income requirements.

•   Child and Dependent Care Credit: Parents have access to yet another potential tax credit, this time for those who pay for babysitters or daycare. The credit amount depends on such factors as your income, child care costs, and number of children requiring care.

You can use tools on the IRS website to discover if you qualify for these and other tax credits.

What Are Tax Deductions?

Tax deductions are another way to reduce your tax burden, but they work differently. While a tax credit discounts your final tax bill after all the calculations, a tax deduction reduces the amount of income eligible for taxes.

The more deductions you have, the less money you have to pay taxes on. This can result in a lower overall tax bill, but it cannot result in a tax refund.

Recommended: What Triggers an IRS Audit?

How Do Tax Deductions Work?

Let’s look at an example to understand how tax deductions reduce what you owe:

If you made $100,000 in a given year, you would owe 24% in federal taxes based on your marginal tax bracket. But if you have $10,000 in tax deductions, you would lower your taxable income to $90,000, which puts you at both a lower base to calculate taxes ($90K vs. $100K), and you would be in the 22% tax bracket, which this year is capped at $95,375 for single filers.

As you can see, when calculating how much a tax deduction will save you, it’s important to know which tax bracket you’re in — your tax bracket represents the percentage at which your income could be taxed. In general, the more money you make, the higher the tax rate.

Common Tax Deductions

Nearly every tax filer is eligible for the standard deduction. Without inputting any information accounting for business expenses, medical costs, charitable contributions, student loan interest payments, and other eligible deductions, you can simply subtract the standard deduction amount from your taxable income.

For the 2023 tax year (which will be filed in April of 2024), the standard deduction is:

•   $13,850 for single taxpayers (and married, filing separately)

•   $27,700 for married taxpayers filing jointly

•   $20,800 for heads of household.

Many people choose to take the standard deduction, but if you qualify for various deductions that would amount to more than the standard deduction, it’s worth itemizing your deductions.

Working with a personal accountant or tax preparation software may be your best bet for determining which deductions you qualify for. Here are some of the most common types of deductions:

•   State and local taxes

•   Business expenses (if you are self-employed)

•   Mortgage interest

•   Property taxes

•   Qualifying medical expenses

•   Charitable contributions

•   Student loan interest.

You can explore even more tax deductions on the IRS website.

If you run your own business, it’s wise to look into common tax deductions for freelancers.

Pros and Cons of Tax Credits

Tax credits are largely a good thing, as they reduce your overall tax burden. But they also have some drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons:

Pros

First, consider these upsides of tax credits:

•   Reduces your tax bill

•   May result in a refund

•   Often designed for moderate- to low-income families.

Cons

Next, the potential downsides of tax credits:

•   Strict eligibility requirements

•   Can delay your refund when you claim them.

Recommended: How to File for a Tax Extension

Pros and Cons of Tax Deductions

Similarly, tax deductions serve a useful purpose in filing taxes, but they also have their own set of pros and cons.

Pros

Here are the potential advantages of tax deductions:

•   Reduces your tax bill

•   The standard deduction is easy to claim

•   Useful for self-employed individuals with business expenses.

Cons

Also be aware of the possible downsides:

•   Lots of paperwork (itemized deductions)

•   Weighing the standard vs. itemized deduction can be complicated

•   Won’t generate a refund.

Tax Credits vs Deductions: What’s the Difference?

Let’s break down the differences between tax credits and tax deductions in chart form:

Tax Credits Tax Deductions
Dollar-for-dollar reduction in your total tax bill Reduction in how much income you have to pay taxes on
Can result in a tax refund Can only reduce taxable income; cannot result in tax refund
Must claim specific credits for which you qualify Can take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions
Only available to filers who meet specific criteria Available to most filers as standard deduction

While nearly everyone can qualify for the standard deduction, tax credits can actually be the more effective way to lower your tax bill. But the best part? You can utilize both tax strategies when you file.

Tips for Using Tax Credits and Deductions

Preparing to file your taxes? Here are some tips for using tax credits and deductions:

•   Research eligibility requirements online: The IRS website has useful tools to help determine if you qualify for specific tax credits and deductions.

•   Gather all your paperwork: Taxes require a lot of forms, documents, and receipts. When claiming credits and deductions, it’s important to have the paperwork (whether printed or digital) to prove your eligibility.

•   Consider using tax software or an accountant: Taxes can be overwhelming. If your situation is complex (maybe you are confused by, say, your payroll deductions), you may benefit from tax software (TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer are popular brands) or a tax professional.

The Takeaway

Tax credits and tax deductions can both lower your overall tax burden. Tax credits reduce what you owe dollar-for-dollar, while tax deductions reduce the amount of income you owe taxes on. If you’re eligible, you can take advantage of both tax strategies when you file.

While you are getting your taxes organized, don’t overlook the value of a banking partner that makes it easy to manage your finances.

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

Between a tax deduction and tax credit, which lowers your bill more?

A tax credit lowers your tax bill dollar-for-dollar and may even result in a refund. A tax deduction only reduces the amount of money you owe taxes on. For example, a $1,000 tax credit takes $1,000 off your tax bill. A $1,000 tax deduction reduces your taxable income by $1,000; the actual reduction in tax depends on your tax bracket.

Do more people utilize tax credits or tax deductions?

Most tax filers can claim the standard deduction, but not everyone qualifies for tax credits. So it is more likely that you’ll use a tax deduction on your tax return than a tax credit. That said, it is possible to use both credits and deductions to lower your tax bill.

Can I claim both deductions and tax credits?

Yes, you can claim both tax deductions and tax credits on your tax return, as long as you qualify for the deductions and credits you claim.


Photo credit: iStock/Jinli Guo

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.

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

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

SOBK0224009

Read more
What Is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

What Is the IRS? What Do They Do?

One adulting rite of passage is getting familiar with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the government organization that manages the American tax system. When doing so, you learn to file your taxes, figure out what you might owe, or see whether a refund could be heading your way. Perhaps you need to pay estimated taxes quarterly.

The IRS doesn’t just collect money, though. It also helps enforce tax laws and provides resources for taxpayers so they can meet their tax responsibilities.

Read on to learn more detail about this, including:

•   What is the IRS? What is the IRS responsible for?

•   When do you need to interact with the IRS?

•   What are some ways to contact the IRS?

•   What are some tax-filing tips?

What Is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

Who is the IRS? As briefly noted earlier, the IRS is the government organization that manages the American tax system and enforces internal revenue laws.

The IRS also provides American taxpayers with the resources and services they need to understand their tax responsibilities. It also works with taxpayers to make sure they are complying with tax laws and meet their tax obligations. It can be hard to understand your taxes, but the IRS does provide many online resources that can help educate consumers.

💡 Quick Tip: An online bank account with SoFi can help your money earn more — up to 4.60% APY, with no minimum balance required.

What Is the IRS Responsible For?

So, what does the IRS do? These are some responsibilities they help American citizens with:

•   Applying for Employee Identification Numbers (EINs)

•   Understanding and executing tax preparation

•   Providing tax forms

•   Making tax payments

•   Requesting tax refunds.

Recommended: 41 Things to Do With a Tax Refund

History of the IRS

The IRS dates back to 1862 when, during the Civil War, President Lincoln and Congress worked together to create the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue. This was done to introduce income tax that could help pay for war expenses. That particular income tax was repealed just 10 years later, revived in 1894, and was then ruled unconstitutional just a year later.

Over the years, changes were made to the tax system. In the 1950s, the IRS was reorganized (formerly known as the Bureau of Internal Revenue). Almost five decades later, the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 modernized the IRS, and, to a large extent, it became what we know today.

Recommended: Are Overdraft Fees Tax-Deductible?

When Might You Need to Interact With the IRS?

Interacting with the IRS is a regular occurrence for American taxpayers. These are some examples of times when people need to engage with the IRS.

Filing Taxes

One of the main functions of the IRS is providing a system for Americans to file their taxes. This can now be done online and is free to do. (It’s wise to avoid missing the tax-filing deadline so you won’t be liable for any penalties.)

Making Tax Payments

It’s also possible to make a variety of payments through the IRS, depending on the different types of taxes you may owe. This can be done in full, or the taxpayer can make partial payments as a part of an approved payment plan. The IRS can charge interest and penalties until the full balance is paid.

Making Tax Corrections

If someone needs to make corrections on a return they already filed, they can do so with the help of the IRS. They can do this by filing an amended return. They can use Form 1040-X, which is an amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Tips for Contacting the IRS

If someone needs help with their taxes, they have a few options for how they can contact the IRS for support.

By Phone

Monday through Friday, it’s possible to contact the IRS by phone. (Any residents of Hawaii or Alaska will want to follow Pacific time when planning their calls. Puerto Rico phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.)

Need help preparing for tax season? The type of tax support someone needs can impact which phone number is best to call:

•   Individuals

   800-829-1040

   7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time
 

•   Businesses

   800-829-4933

   7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time
 

•   Non-profit taxes

   877-829-5500

   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time
 

•   Estate and gift taxes (Form 706/709)

   866-699-4083

   10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time
 

•   Excise taxes

   866-699-4096

   8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time
 

•   Callers who are hearing impaired

   TTY/TDD 800-829-4059

In Person

It’s also possible to receive assistance in person if the taxpayer is able to visit one of the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center Offices. The IRS has a Taxpayer Assistance Center Office Locator that makes it easy to find the closest office.

Tax-Filing Tips

Need to file taxes? These are some tax-filing tips that can make the process easier:

•   Get a head start. Whenever possible, it’s best to start preparing your taxes early. That way, if an issue arises, there is time to resolve it. Filing earlier can give the filer more time to find any missing information they realize they need during the filing process.

   Also, the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get any refund you may be due, so you won’t waste time wondering, “Where is my tax refund?”

•   Keep things accurate. While mistakes do happen, whenever possible, it’s best to file an entirely accurate tax return to help avoid the risk of launching an IRS audit trigger. You may want to work with a professional tax preparer or use tax software to help with this.

•   Plan ahead for extensions. It’s possible to request a tax-filing extension to send in your materials the following October instead of April. However, it’s still necessary to make a good faith estimate about what is owed and pay it. Otherwise, there is a risk of penalties and interest.

   If someone is worried they will need to ask for an extension, it’s best to make that plan sooner rather than later so they can make their estimated payment on time.


💡 Quick Tip: Want a new checking account that offers more access to your money? With 55,000+ ATMs in the Allpoint network, you can get cash when and where you choose.

The Takeaway

Taxes are an unavoidable part of life. While few people like paying taxes and most people would rather not interact with the IRS, the IRS does provide a variety of resources. These tools can help make the process of paying taxes and receiving refunds as simple as possible.

Getting ready for tax season is an important way for consumers to stay on top of their financial life. Opening a new bank account is a great way to get ready to receive a tax refund if you’re expecting one.

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

How can I pay my taxes to the IRS?

The IRS gives taxpayers a variety of options for how they can pay their taxes. You can do this via a transfer from your bank account, by using a debit card or credit card, or through a digital wallet such as PayPal. You can also pay by check, money order, or cashier’s check through the mail. You may pay by cash at certain retail partners and IRS locations.

Am I able to contact the IRS?

It is possible to contact the IRS by phone (there are different support lines designed for different types of tax issues). If someone lives near one of the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center Offices, they also have the option to receive support in person.

What are some myths about the IRS?

Most myths surrounding the IRS are about how to learn what the date of a refund will be. For example, some people believe they can call the IRS to get their refund date or can order a tax transcript to achieve this, but neither is true. Other myths include that paying taxes is voluntary and that pets qualify as dependents; those are not true either.


Photo credit: iStock/Pgiam

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.


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.


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.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

SOBK0224015

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender