woman on laptop with credit card

How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

Most businesses report information to the credit bureaus every 30 to 45 days. Each on-time payment you make may barely affect your score, while a missed payment can have a significant effect.

But how often does your credit score update? Let’s find that answer, and learn how to keep an eye on your credit history and credit score.

Recommended: How to Build Credit Over Time

When Do Credit Reports Update?

Whenever consumers take some sort of action relating to their credit, their score, usually a number between 300 and 850, will fluctuate.

For instance, if they apply for a loan or miss a credit card payment, their score could change.

There is no set date for a credit score update because a lender or creditor may send information to the three main credit bureaus at different times: Experian one day, Equifax five days after that, and TransUnion a week later.

An update, though, will occur at least every 45 days.

Rather than constantly checking for updates, you might want to focus on long-term goals like paying off debt, always sending payments on time, and ensuring that your scores are going in an upward direction.

Recommended: Which Credit Bureau Is Used Most?

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Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10 in reward points.*


What Is a Good Credit Score?

Lenders most often use FICO® Score, but the credit bureaus introduced the VantageScore® in 2006 to provide a score that was more consistent among the three credit agencies.

This is how the FICO Score 8 and the latest VantageScore models break down:

FICO

VantageScore

Exceptional
800-850
Excellent
781-850
Very Good
740-799
Good
661-780
Good
670-739
Fair
601-660
Fair
580-669
Poor
500-600
Poor
300-579
Very Poor
300-499

People with high scores typically have access to higher lines of credit and lower interest rates. Those with low credit scores may not be approved for certain credit cards and loans. And if approved for, say, a mortgage, they will usually pay a much higher mortgage interest rate.

(That said, a conventional mortgage lender is free to set its own requirements when it comes to credit scores. Government-backed loans still have credit score requirements, even if they’re lower.)

How to Check a Credit Report

Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the main credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized website for free credit reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers can also call 1-877-322-8228 and provide their name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth to verify their identity.

If you want to check your credit history more than once a year, you can ask one or all three credit reporting bureaus, for a small charge, for another copy.

Why check your credit report periodically? Mainly:

•   To make sure the information is accurate and up to date before you apply for a car or home loan, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
•   To help guard against identity theft.

Recommended: How To Read A Credit Report

How to Check a Credit Score

The free annual credit reports do not include your credit score — or more accurately, scores. Your credit score from each of the credit bureaus will vary based on the information each has. Lenders also use slightly different credit scores for different kinds of loans.

How to get your credit scores then? Here are a few ways:

•   Buy a score directly from the credit reporting companies or from myfico.com.
•   Look at a loan statement or a credit card statement. Some financial companies provide credit scores for customers as a perk.
•   Use a credit score checker. Some services give consumers access to their credit scores but charge for premium services like checking a score daily. Other sites may require that you sign up for a credit monitoring service with a monthly subscription fee in order to get your “free” score.
•   Sign up for an app like SoFi, which provides free weekly updates on your credit score and tracks all of your money in one place.

When signing up for credit score checking websites, it’s important for consumers to look at the terms of service and ensure they’re not being charged for premium services they do not want.

Also, it’s best to avoid an “educational” credit score vs. a score that a lender would use. For some, there will be a meaningful difference, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says.

What Makes Up a Credit Score?

Learning about what factors make up a credit score can help consumers raise their scores. Main factors that contribute to the score, in order:

•  Payment history (35-40%)
•  Credit utilization
•  Length of credit history
•  New credit
•  Credit mix

In terms of payment history, the most important factor when calculating a score, it’s critical to always repay debts on time.

The credit utilization ratio is the amount that is owed in relation to how much credit a person has overall. Keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30% is commonly recommended.

For the length of the credit history, consumers can increase their score by not closing cards. The longer someone’s credit history is, the better.

Applying for new credit cards and loans that require a hard inquiry into a credit report could bring down a score, even if the result is approval. However, if a score does go down, it shouldn’t take long for it to go back up. It’s multiple hard inquiries on a credit report in a short period that can cause damage. Then again, if someone is shopping for a mortgage or auto loan, both FICO and VantageScore account for multiple hard inquiries in a grace period of 14 to 45 days.

Credit mix refers to credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal loans, and mortgages. By having a mix, consumers show that they can manage all kinds of debt.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

Why Credit Scores Matter

Having a high score can help consumers in a number of scenarios.

They will save money, and potentially a great deal of money if they gain access to lower interest rates.

The higher a score is, the more credit someone will be able to access as well.

Consumers can reach their financial goals quicker and utilize better products. For example, they may get approved for a credit card that offers perks like bonus travel rewards or a high cash-back rewards rate. They might also be able to use a card with a 0% introductory APR or 0% balance transfer rate for a certain period.

People with a high score may be able to rent a better apartment or home since landlords will check prospective tenants’ credit.

They may gain access to better car insurance rates and be able to avoid paying deposits to utility companies and cellphone providers.

Improving a credit score could take time, but it’s worth it because in the long run, consumers will save money and potentially reach their financial goals that much faster.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait

The Takeaway

How often does your credit score update? All the time, really, but once a month is a good barometer. You can order a free credit report every year, or you can see updates in your credit score for free or for a fee.

SoFi’s money-tracking tool offers a host of benefits at no charge:

•  Get weekly updates on your credit score.
•  See changes to key factors contributing to your credit score.
•  Link your checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts as well as credit cards, student loans, and mortgages. Manually add an account or asset to see your entire net worth.

To take control of your credit score and financial future, sign up for SoFi today.



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

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

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

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.

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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Why Do I Have Different Credit Scores?

Every consumer has multiple credit scores. Why on earth is that? Because the major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — may have slightly different credit information on any one person, and credit scoring models vary.

Credit scores are an important financial metric to keep track of throughout the year. The three-digit number can help people qualify for everything from mortgages to student loans and apartment rentals.

Here’s why credit scores vary and how to keep track of each.

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a three-digit number assigned to each consumer that businesses use to measure the risk of lending to that person. It’s not the only thing lenders consider, but it is one of the most important metrics, if not the most important.

Your credit score is based on a bunch of factors, including if you typically pay your bills on time, what your debt is relative to your income, how long you’ve carried credit, how many loans or lines of credit you have at once, and if you have ever had a negative financial event, including bankruptcy.

Recommended: What Is Considered a Bad Credit Score?

Check your score with SoFi

Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10.*


Credit Scoring Models Vary

Though there are a number of credit scoring models out there, the majority of lenders use either FICO® or VantageScore.® Both determine a person’s credit score using the factors above, including history of borrowing, repayment history, and how much of the consumer’s credit they are currently using (known as a utilization rate).

Though both use the same factors, each one uses its own formula to weigh the worth of each factor. For example, a person’s credit history may be more important in one model than the other.

Based on the information gathered, the scoring models assign each consumer a three-digit number, which denotes that person’s lending risk compared to others.

To complicate matters, there are often multiple versions of each scoring model available from its developer at any given time. And adoption rates for updated versions can be low, meaning some lenders may be using older models that calculate a person’s score differently than an updated version. But for now, the FICO scoring model (known as FICO 8) breaks down as follows:

•   Payment history: 35%

•   Amounts owed: 30%

•   Length of credit history: 15%

•   Credit mix: 10%

•   New credit: 10%

Scoring Ranges Vary, Too

Both FICO and VantageScore calculate credit scores in a range between 300 to 850.

VantageScore 3.0 and FICO 8 are the most used scoring models and frequently mirror each other, so if your FICO number is high then your VantageScore will likely be high as well.

However, it’s important to note that the two pull the same data but weigh that individual data differently, putting greater importance on some aspects of a person’s credit history and usage than others.

While all creditors and lenders have their own standards, here are the FICO and VantageScore credit score categories:

FICO:

•   Exceptional: 800 to 850

•   Very good: 740 to 799

•   Good: 670 to 739

•   Fair: 580 to 669

•   Very poor: 300 to 579

VantageScore:

•   Excellent: 781 to 850

•   Good: 661 to 780

•   Fair: 601 to 660

•   Poor: 500 to 600

•   Very poor: 300 to 499

To put it all into perspective, in 2022, the average FICO credit score hit 714. Minnesotans reigned supreme for the 11th straight year with an average of 742.

Report Data Can Differ From Bureau to Bureau

Each of the credit bureaus collects its own data independently, and some lenders may only report data to one or two of the credit bureaus rather than all three.

To add to the complexity, the bureaus usually do not share information with one another, so none can really promise to show a consumer’s total financial picture.

Say Joanna goes into collection for her car loan, but the lender only reports this information to Experian. That means it will likely only appear on and affect her Experian credit report and may not affect her TransUnion or Equifax report. Thus her Experian report could be lower than her other two credit reports.

Scores Can Change Depending on the Lender

Lenders typically build their own relationships over time with at least one of the credit bureaus. This means they may only report information to the credit agencies they have relationships with.

Before applying for a line of credit, a car, home or student loan, or any other credit, it may be prudent to ask the lender which agencies they share information with and check in with those to see where you stand.

How Often Should You Check Your Credit?

Here’s the good news: Checking your credit won’t hurt your credit score, so go ahead and keep an eye on it. The bad news? The number a person sees when checking their score for free likely won’t match the one any lenders do.

The report a consumer has access to is a simple free report, lacking detail. But again, that’s OK, because it will show any errors or possible identity theft, which can be corrected if caught early enough.

Anyone can order a copy of their credit report from all three reporting agencies once a year for free at AnnualCreditReport.com . The report breaks down a person’s credit history but does not give a score.

However, again, this is the time to look for any mistakes and amend them ASAP. Consumers who do see an error can dispute it with the credit reporting agency and the company that holds the account.

It’s also a good idea for people to periodically check their credit to ensure it’s on the up and up.

Those interested in improving their credit scores to potentially get a better rate on loans should pay all their bills on time, limit their credit utilization ratio, and pay down existing debt.

The Takeaway

An individual’s credit scores differ for a variety of reasons. It might be a good idea to ask lenders which agencies they share information with. It’s always a good idea to periodically check your credit report to make sure everything’s kosher, to pay bills on time, and to keep credit utilization low.

Know what’s cooler than keeping track of your credit score? Keeping track of your credit score and finances at once. If you’re on the market for a money tracker tool that will let you do both, SoFi may be just the thing.

SoFi tracks all of your money in one app — at no cost. And SoFi members can work one-on-one with a financial advisor at no charge.

Ready to take control of your finances? SoFi is a great place to start.


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

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

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . The umbrella term “SoFi Invest” refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, LLC and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.

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

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

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.

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Are Robo-Advisors Safe and Worth It?

Automated portfolios have become a common option offered by financial companies, providing many people with a cost-efficient way to invest for retirement and other goals — while helping to manage certain market and behavioral risks via automated features.

Because robo-advisors typically rely on sophisticated computer algorithms to help investors set up and manage a diversified portfolio, some have questioned whether technology alone can address the range of needs that investors may have — beyond basic portfolio management.

Others note that the lower fees and lower minimum balance requirements typical of most robo-advisors, in addition to certain automated features, may provide a much-needed option for new investors.

Is a Robo-Advisor Right for You?

Robo-advisors typically use artificial intelligence to generate retirement and financial planning solutions that are tailored to people’s individual needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself, when deciding whether a robo-advisor is right for you.

How Does a Robo-Advisor Pick Investments?

While the term robo-advisor can mean different things depending on the company that offers the service, investors usually fill out an online questionnaire about their financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment time frames. On the back end, a computer algorithm then suggests a portfolio of different securities based on those parameters.

For example one person may be investing for retirement, another saving for the purchase of a home. Depending on each person’s preferences, the robo-advisor generates an asset allocation that aligns with the person’s goals in the form of a pre-set portfolio.

A portfolio for someone nearing retirement age would typically have a different allocation versus a portfolio for someone in their 20s, for example. Depending on these details, the service might automatically rebalance the portfolio over time, execute trades, and may even conduct tax-loss harvesting. SoFi’s automated portfolio does offer automatic rebalancing, but not automatic tax-loss harvesting.

Can I Choose My Own Investments?

A robo advisor typically has a range of investments they offer investors. Usually these are low-cost index exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but the offerings can vary from company to company. In most cases, though, your investment options are confined to those available through the robo-advisor, and typically you’re offered a selection of pre-set portfolios with limited or no ability to change the securities in that portfolio.

As the industry grows and becomes increasingly sophisticated, more companies are finding ways to offer investors new options like themed ETFs, stocks from different market sectors, socially responsible or ESG investing options, and more.

Who Manages the Portfolio?

Part of the appeal for some investors is that these portfolios are automated and thus require less hands-on involvement. This may be useful for people who are new to the process of setting up and managing a diversified portfolio, or who don’t feel comfortable doing so on their own.

In some cases, a robo-advisor service may also offer a consultation with a live human advisor. But again, in most cases the investor has limited control over the automated portfolio.

💡 Recommended: Robo Advisors vs. Financial Advisors

Are There Risks Involved in Using a Robo-Advisor?

Investment always involves some exposure to market risks. But robo-advisors may help manage behavioral risk. Many studies have shown that investors can be impulsive or emotional when making investment choices — often with less than optimal results.

By reducing the potential for human error through the use of automation, a robo-advisor may help limit potential losses.

What Do Robo-Advisors Cost?

While there are some robo-advisor services that have higher minimum balance requirements or investment fees, the majority of these services are cost efficient.

In some cases there are very low or no minimums required to set up a portfolio. And the management fees are typically lower than what you’d pay for a human advisor (although there are typically brokerage fees and expense ratios associated with the investments in the portfolio).

Pros and Cons of Robo Advisors

Hopefully, the questions above have clarified the way a robo-advisor works and shed some light on whether a robo service would be right for you. In addition, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind.

Pros of Robo Advisors

Saving for Retirement

It’s true that you can use a robo-advisor for almost any short- or long-term goal — you could use a robo advisor to save for an emergency or another savings goal, for example. But in many ways these services are well-suited to a long-term goal like retirement. Indeed, most robo services offer traditional retirement accounts like regular IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs.

The reason a robo-advisor service can be useful for retirement is that the costs might be lower than some other investment options, which can help you keep more of your returns over time. And the automated features, like portfolio rebalancing and tax optimization (if available), can offer additional benefits over the years.

Typically, many robo portfolios require you to set up automated deposits. This can also help your portfolio grow over time — and the effect of dollar-cost averaging may offer long-term benefits as well.

Diversification

Achieving a well-diversified portfolio can be challenging for some people, research has shown, particularly those who are new to investing. Robo-advisors take the mystery and hassle out of the picture because the algorithm is designed to create a diversified portfolio of assets from the outset; you don’t have to do anything.

In addition, the automatic rebalancing feature helps to maintain that diversification over time — which can be an important tool to help minimize risks. (That said, diversification itself is no guarantee that you can avoid potential risks completely.)

Automatic Rebalancing

Similarly, many investors (even those who are experienced) may find the task of rebalancing their portfolio somewhat challenging — or tedious. The automatic rebalancing feature of most robo-advisors takes that chore off your plate as well, so that your portfolio adheres to your desired allocation until you choose to change it.

Tax Optimization

Some robo-advisors offer tax-loss harvesting, where investment losses are applied to gains in order to minimize taxes. This is another investment task that can be difficult for even experienced investors, so having it taken care of automatically can be highly useful — especially when considering the potential cost of taxes over time.

That said, automatic tax-loss harvesting has its pros and cons as well, and it’s unclear whether the long-term benefits help make a portfolio more tax efficient.

Want to start investing?

Our robo-advisor service can offer a portfolio to suit
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Cons of Robo-Advisors

Limited Investment Options

Most automated portfolios are similar to a prix fixe menu at a restaurant: With option A, you can get X, Y, Z investment choices. With option B, you can get a different selection, and so on. Typically, the securities available are low-cost index ETFs. It’s difficult to customize a robo account; even when there are other investments available through the financial company that offers the robo service, you wouldn’t have access to those.

In some cases, investors with higher balances may have access to a greater range of securities and are able to make their portfolios more personalized.

Little or No Personal Advice

The term “robo-advisor” can be misleading, as many have noted: These services don’t involve advice-giving robots. And while some services may allow you to speak to a live professional, they aren’t there to help you make a detailed financial plan, or to answer complex personal questions or dilemmas.

Again, for investors with higher balances, more options may be available. But for the most part robo-advisors only cover the basics of portfolio management. It’s up to each individual to monitor their personal situation and make financial decisions accordingly.

Performance

Robo-advisors have become commonplace, and they are considered reliable methods of investing, but that doesn’t mean they guarantee higher returns — or any returns. We discuss robo advisor performance in the section below.

Robo-Advisor Industry

Robo-advisors have grown quickly since the first companies launched in 2008-09, during and after the financial crisis. Prior to that, financial advisors and investment firms made use of similar technology to generate investment options for private clients, but independent robo advisor platforms made these automated portfolios widely available to retail investors.

The idea was to democratize the wealth-management industry by creating a cost-efficient investing alternative to the accounts and products offered by traditional firms.

Assets under management in the U.S. robo-advisor market are projected to reach about $2.76 trillion in 2023, according to Statista (estimates vary). There are dozens of robo-advisors available — from independent companies like SoFi Invest®, Betterment, and Ally, as well as established brokerages like Charles Schwab, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, and more.

While this market is small compared to the $100 trillion in the global asset-management industry, robo-advisors are seen as potential game-changers that could revolutionize the world of financial advice.

Because they are direct-to-consumer and digital only, robo-advisors are available around the clock, making them more accessible. Their online presence has meant that the clientele of robo-advisors has tended to skew younger.

Also, traditional asset management firms often have large minimum balance requirements. At the high end, private wealth managers could require minimums of $5 million or more.

The cost of having a human financial advisor can also drive up fees north of 1% annually, versus the 0.25% of assets that robo-advisors typically charge (depending on assets on deposit). Note that this 0.25% is an annual management fee, and does not include the expense ratios of the underlying securities, which can add on another 5 or even 50 basis points, depending on the company and the portfolio.

How Have Robo-Advisors Performed in the Past?

Like any other type of investment — whether a mutual fund, ETF, stock, or bond — the performance of robo-advisors varies over time, and past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

Research from BackEnd Benchmarking, which publishes the Robo Report, a quarterly report on the robo-advisor industry, analyzed the performance of 30 U.S.-based robo-advisors. As of Dec. 31, 2022, the 5-year total portfolio returns, annualized and based on a 60-40 allocation, ranged from 2.84% to 5.12%. (Data not available for all 30 firms.)

💡 Recommended: How to Track Robo-Advisor Returns

The Takeaway

Despite being relative newcomers in finance, robo-advisors have become an established part of the asset management industry. These automated investment portfolios offer a reliable, cost-efficient investment option for investors who may not have access to accounts with traditional firms. They offer automated features that newer or less experienced investors may not have the skills to address.

Robo advisors don’t take the place of human financial advisors, but they can automate certain tasks that are challenging for ordinary or newbie investors: selecting a diversified group of investments that align with an individual’s goals; automatically rebalancing the portfolio over time; using tax-optimization strategies that may help reduce portfolio costs.

Curious to explore whether a robo-advisor is right for you? When you open an account with SoFi Invest®, it’s easy to use the automated investing feature. Even better, SoFi members have complimentary access to financial professionals who can answer any questions you might have.

Open an automated investing account and start investing for your future with as little as $1.


Advisory services provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.
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.

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.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Fund Fees
If you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through SoFi Invest (either by buying them yourself or via investing in SoFi Invest’s automated investments, formerly SoFi Wealth), these funds will have their own management fees. These fees are not paid directly by you, but rather by the fund itself. these fees do reduce the fund’s returns. Check out each fund’s prospectus for details. SoFi Invest does not receive sales commissions, 12b-1 fees, or other fees from ETFs for investing such funds on behalf of advisory clients, though if SoFi Invest creates its own funds, it could earn management fees there.
SoFi Invest may waive all, or part of any of these fees, permanently or for a period of time, at its sole discretion for any reason. Fees are subject to change at any time. The current fee schedule will always be available in your Account Documents section of SoFi Invest.


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Simple IRA vs. Traditional IRA

Is a SIMPLE IRA the Same as a Traditional IRA?

One of the most popular retirement accounts is an IRA, or Individual Retirement Account. IRAs allow individuals to put money aside over time to save up for retirement, with tax benefits similar to those of other retirement plans.

Two common IRAs are the SIMPLE IRA and the Traditional IRA, both of which have their own benefits, downsides, and rules around who can open an account. For investors trying to decide which IRA to open, it helps to know the differences between SIMPLE IRAs and Traditional IRAs.

SIMPLE IRA vs Traditional IRA: Side-by-Side Comparison

Although there are many similarities between the two accounts, there are some key differences. This chart details the key attributes of each plan:

SIMPLE IRA Traditional IRA
Offered by employers Yes No
Who it’s for Small-business owners and their employees Individuals
Eligibility Earn at least $5,000 per year Under 70 ½ years old and earned income in the past year
Tax deferred Yes Yes
Tax deductible contributions Yes, for employers and sole proprietors only Yes
Employer contribution Required No
Fee for early withdrawal 10% plus income tax, or 25% if money is withdrawn within two years of an employer making a deposit 10% plus income tax
Contribution limits $15,500 in 2023
$16,000 in 2024
$6,500 in 2023
$7,000 in 2024
Catch-up contribution $3,500 additional per year for people 50 and over $1,000 additional per year for people 50 and over

SIMPLE IRAs Explained

The SIMPLE IRA, which stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, is set up to help small-business owners help both themselves and their employees save for retirement. It’s a retirement plan that small businesses with fewer than 100 employees can offer employees who earn at least $5,000 per year.

A SIMPLE IRA is similar to a Traditional IRA, in that a plan participant can make tax-deferred contributions to their account, so that it grows over time with compound interest. When the individual retires and begins withdrawing money, then they must pay income taxes on the funds.

With a SIMPLE IRA, both the employer and the employee contribute to the employee’s account. Employers are required to contribute in one of two ways: either by matching employee contributions up to 3% of their salary, or by contributing a flat rate of 2% of the employee’s salary, even if the employee doesn’t contribute. With the matching option, the employee must contribute money first.

There are yearly employee contribution limits to a SIMPLE IRA: in 2023, the annual limit is $15,500, with an additional $3,500 in catch-up contributions permitted for people over age 50. In 2024, the annual limit is $16,000, with an additional $3,500 in catch-up contributions permitted for people over age 50.

Benefits and Drawbacks of SIMPLE IRAs

It’s important to understand both the benefits and downsides of the SIMPLE IRA to make an informed decision about retirement plans.

SIMPLE IRA Benefits

There are several benefits — for both employers and employees — to choosing a SIMPLE IRA:

•   For employers, it’s easy to set up and manage, with online set-up available through most banks.

•   For employers, management costs are low compared to other retirement plans.

•   For employees, taxes on contributions are deferred until the money is withdrawn.

•   Employers can take tax deductions on contributions. Sole proprietors can deduct both salary and matching contributions.

•   For employees, there is an allowable catch-up contribution for those over 50.

•   For employers, the IRA plan providers send tax information to the IRS, so there is no need to do any reporting.

•   Employers and employees can choose how the money in the account gets invested based on what the plan offers. Options may include mutual funds aimed toward growth or income, international mutual funds, or other assets.

SIMPLE IRA Drawbacks

Although there are multiple benefits to a SIMPLE IRA, there are some downsides as well:

•   Employers must follow strict rules set by the IRS.

•   Other employer-sponsored retirement accounts have higher limits, such as the 401(k), which allows for $22,500 per year in 2023 and $23,000 in 2024. (Check out our IRA calculator to see what you can contribute to each type of IRA.)

•   If account holders withdraw money before they reach age 59 ½, they must pay a 10% fee and income taxes on the withdrawal. That penalty jumps to 25% if money is withdrawn within two years of an employer making a deposit.

•   There is no option for a Roth contribution to a SIMPLE IRA, which would allow account holders to contribute post-tax money and avoid paying taxes later.

Boost your retirement contributions with a 1% match.

SoFi IRAs now get a 1% match on every dollar you deposit, up to the annual contribution limits. Open an account today and get started.


Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

What Is a Traditional IRA?

The Traditional IRA is set up by an individual to contribute to their own retirement. Employers are not involved in Traditional IRAs in any way. The main requirements to open an IRA are that the account holder must have earned some income within the past year, and they must be younger than 70 ½ years old at the end of the year.

Pros and Cons of Traditional IRAs

When it comes to benefits and downsides, there’s not too much of a difference between Traditional vs. SIMPLE IRAs, given what an IRA is. That being said, there are a few that are unique to this type of plan.

Traditional IRA Pros

Some of the upsides of a Traditional IRA include:

•   It allows for catch-up contributions for those over age 50.

•   One can choose how the money in the account gets invested based on what the plan offers. Options may include mutual funds aimed toward growth or income, international mutual funds, or other assets.

•   Contributions are tax-deferred, so taxes aren’t paid until funds are withdrawn. If you’re hoping to pay taxes now instead of later, you might weigh a Traditional vs. Roth IRA.

Traditional IRA Cons

Meanwhile, downsides to a Traditional IRA include:

•   They have much lower contribution limits than a 401(k) or a SIMPLE IRA, at $6,500 in 2023 and $7,000 in 2024.

•   Penalties for early withdrawal are also the same: if you withdraw money before age 59 ½, you’ll pay a 10% fee plus income taxes on the withdrawal.

Is a SIMPLE IRA or Traditional IRA Right for You?

The SIMPLE IRA and Traditional IRA are both individual retirement accounts, but the SIMPLE is set up through one’s employer — typically a small business of 100 people or less. The Traditional IRA is set up by an individual. In other words, whether a SIMPLE IRA is an option for you will depend on if you have an employer that offers it.

There are many similarities in the attributes of the plans, if you’re choosing between a SIMPLE IRA vs. Traditional IRA. However, two major distinctions are that the SIMPLE IRA requires employer contributions (though not necessarily employee contributions) and allows for a higher amount of employee contributions per year.

Can I Have Both a SIMPLE IRA and a Traditional IRA?

Yes, it is possible for an individual to have both a SIMPLE IRA through their employer and also a Traditional IRA on their own — though they may not be able to deduct all of their Traditional IRA contributions. The IRS sets a cap on deductions per calendar year.

In 2023, single people with an AGI (adjusted gross income) of more than $73,000 are restricted to a partial deduction; those with AGI above $83,000 may not take a deduction at all. Married couples filing jointly with an AGI of $116,000 to $136,000 may take a partial deduction; those with AGI above $136,000 may not take a deduction at all.

In 2024, single people with an AGI (adjusted gross income) of more than $77,000 are restricted to a partial deduction; those with AGI above $87,000 may not take a deduction at all. Married couples filing jointly with an AGI of $123,000 to $143,000 may take a partial deduction; those with AGI above $143,000 may not take a deduction at all.

Can You Convert a SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA?

If you’re hoping to convert a SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA, you’re in luck — you can roll over a SIMPLE IRA into a Traditional IRA. However, you can’t roll over the funds from a SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA within the first two years of opening a SIMPLE IRA. Otherwise, you’ll get hit with a 25% penalty in addition to the regular income tax you must pay on your withdrawal.

Once that two-year period is up, however, you can roll over the money from your SIMPLE IRA — even if you’re still working for that employer. Just note that you can only roll over money from a SIMPLE IRA one time within a 12-month period.

Can You Max Out a Traditional and SIMPLE IRA the Same Year?

While you cannot max out a SIMPLE IRA and another employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), you can max out both a Traditional IRA and a SIMPLE IRA.

The maximum contribution for a SIMPLE IRA in 2023 is $15,500 (plus $3,500 in catch-up contributions), while the maximum for a Traditional IRA is $6,500 (plus $1,000 in catch-up contributions). This means that you could contribute a total of $22,000 across both plans in a year — or $26,500 if you’re 50 or older.

The maximum contribution for a SIMPLE IRA in 2024 is $16,000 (plus $3,500 in catch-up contributions), while the maximum for a Traditional IRA is $7,000 (plus $1,000 in catch-up contributions). This means that you could contribute a total of $23,000 across both plans in a year — or $27,500 if you’re 50 or older.

Are SIMPLE IRAs Most Similar to 401(k) Plans?

There are a lot of similarities between SIMPLE IRAs and 401(k) plans given that they are both employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, while any employer with one or more employees can offer a 401(k), SIMPLE IRAs are reserved for employers with 100 or fewer employees. Additionally, contribution limits are lower with SIMPLE IRAs than with 401(k) plans.

Another key difference between the two is that while employers can opt whether or not to make contributions to employee 401(k), employer contributions are mandatory with SIMPLE IRAs. On the employer side, SIMPLE IRAs generally have fewer account fees and annual tax filing requirements.

Opening an IRA With SoFi

Understanding the differences between retirement accounts like the SIMPLE and Traditional IRA is one more step in creating a personalized retirement plan that works for you and your goals. While a SIMPLE IRA is only an option if your employer offers it, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of a SIMPLE IRA vs. Traditional IRA if both are on the table for you. As we’ve covered, the two types of IRAs share many similarities, but a SIMPLE IRA is not the same as a Traditional IRA.

If you’re looking to start saving for retirement now, or add to your investments for the future, SoFi Invest® online retirement accounts offer both Traditional and Roth IRAs that are simple to set up and manage. By opening an IRA with SoFi, you’ll gain access to a broad range of investment options, member services, and a robust suite of planning and investment tools.

Find out how to further your retirement savings goals with SoFi Invest.

FAQ

Do you pay taxes on SIMPLE IRA?

Yes, you will pay taxes on a SIMPLE IRA, but not until you withdraw your funds in retirement. You’ll generally have to pay income tax on any amount you withdraw from your SIMPLE IRA in retirement. However, if you make a withdrawal prior to age 59 ½, or if money is withdrawn within two years of an employer making a deposit, you’ll have to pay income taxes then, alongside an additional tax penalty.

Is a SIMPLE IRA better than a Traditional IRA?

When comparing a SIMPLE IRA vs. traditional IRA, it’s important to understand that each has its pros and cons. If your employer offers a SIMPLE IRA, they require employer contributions, and they have higher contributions. At the end of the day, though, both allow you to save for retirement through tax-deferred contributions.


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.

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.

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23 Ways to Cut Back on Spending and Expenses

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered how you can cut back on spending. Maybe you tend to drop a lot of dollars on impulse purchases as you go through a typical week, or perhaps you are just feeling the pain of living during times of high inflation. Or maybe it’s a combination of both.

If you are looking for some relatively painless ways to spend less, read on. There are all kinds of ways to slash expenses that don’t require much, or any, sacrifice. These can include trimming back some of your recurring bills to tweaking your typical shopping habits. You’ll even learn smart ways to avoid the temptations that can lead to overspending.

Ready to improve your cash flow? Here are 23 simple ideas for how to cut back on spending.

23 Ways to Cut Down Your Spending

Ready to start saving money? Pick and choose among these ideas to find the tips that suit you best.

1. Canceling Subscriptions

There’s a decent chance that you are leaking money on a subscription service that you are not getting much value from.

Scan your checking account and credit card statements for things you’re paying for on a recurring basis and consider canceling anything you don’t really need.

That might mean magazines or newspapers you rarely read, online software you aren’t using, and/or shopping services and other memberships that aren’t worth it anymore.

If you’re looking to save money faster, you might cut down on multiples. For instance, do you really need membership at two different yoga studios? Just one might be fine.

2. Cutting the Cord

If you’re paying a high price for cable each month, you may want to think about switching to a streaming TV service. This budget-cutting move could save $40 to nearly $100 per month.

Just don’t let that get out of hand. You likely won’t save on streaming services if you sign up for Netflix, HBOMax, Hulu, and a couple of others.

If you are not quite ready to cut the cord, you may still be able to shrink this monthly line item just by calling your cable service provider and asking for a better deal. Research better deals available elsewhere and cite those when talking to a customer service representative.

3. Revisiting Your Cell Phone Plan

Another way to significantly cut monthly spending is to take a closer look at what you’re paying for your cell phone service and exactly what you are getting.

You can then compare this with the competition and, if you see a better deal, call your provider and see if they will match it.

If you don’t see much wiggle room, you might consider going with one of the smaller MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) that lease coverage from the major carriers, such as Cricket Wireless, Metro, and Visible.

Or, if you just need a basic plan, you can look into Consumer Cellular or H2O Wireless, which often offer affordable cell phone plans for individuals.

Before switching carriers, however, it’s a good idea to make sure that the carrier has strong coverage in your area. Saving money is great, but may not be worth it if you don’t get quality service.

4. Getting Into the Meal-Planning Habit

An easy way to cut back on food spending is to make a meal plan and a firm shopping list before you go to the grocery store. To cut spending even more, you can check your store’s weekly ads and plan meals around what’s on sale that week.

This can be as simple as picking a few basic recipes that you want to make throughout the week. You may want to try a meal planning app, such as Mealime and Yummly, among others.

Not only will this help you avoid impulse buys at the supermarket and ordering takeout, but you will likely be able to buy in bulk, cook once and enjoy the leftovers, and otherwise streamline your budget and your life.

5. Actively Paying Down Credit Cards

If you’re currently only paying the minimum on your credit cards, a big chunk of your payment is likely going toward interest and you may be doing little to chip away at the principal.

Doing this every month can increase the amount of time you’re in debt, and increase the total amount of interest you’ll end up paying.

If you can swing it, consider putting more than the minimum payment towards your bill each month. This can help you pay off credit cards faster, so you’re not spending so much money on interest.

6. Renewing Your Library Card

How else to cut back on spending? If you’re a reader and love books, a fun and easy way to cut your spending is to fish out that old library card, or if you don’t have one, stop into your local branch and 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. There are also services on your computer and phone that let you stream digital media; check out Kanopy and Hoopla, for instance.

7. Carrying Cash

There’s something about using plastic that can make it feel like you are not really spending money.

That’s why an effective way to cut back on spending is to take out enough cash at the beginning of the week to cover your daily expenses for that week and then leaving your credit and debit cards at home.

Or, you might try the envelope system, where you designate an envelope for each expense category, then put enough cash inside to get you through the week. When you run out, you can’t spend anymore.

Using cash can also help you become more aware of and intentional with your purchases. You see exactly what you are spending as you go through your day.

8. Eliminating Bank Fees

How to cut back on expenses can involve taking a look at just what fees your bank may be charging for your checking and savings accounts.

They might include service fees, maintenance fees, ATM fees (if you don’t use their in-network machines), minimum balance fees, overdraft or insufficient funds fees, and/or transaction fees. And all those charges can eat away at your funds.

You may be able to cut your monthly spending by switching to a less expensive bank, or going with an online-only financial institution. When it comes to online vs. traditional banks, the former tend to offer low or no fees.

9. Clicking Unsubscribe

Do your favorite retailers fill your inbox with tempting sales alerts, whether that’s 75% off, buy-one-get-one offers, or free shipping? One effective way to cut back on spending is to get off their e-mailing lists.

Sales and great deals are happening all the time, but generally the best time to purchase something is when you really need it.

If the enticement to spend doesn’t constantly land in your inbox, you’ll be less likely to click through and buy.

10. Consider a 30-Day Spending Freeze

One quick way to change your spending habits is to put yourself on a 30-day nonessential spending freeze.

Or, if that seems too tall an order, you might pick a category (such as clothing or wine) to stop spending on for a month.

A spending freeze can immediately pay off, by leaving more money in the bank (or fewer bills) at the end of the month. And, once you start seeing the payoff of not giving in to impulse buying, you may find yourself spending less even after the freeze is over.

Recommended: Impulsive or Compulsive Shopping: How to Combat It

11. Keeping Your Tires Properly Inflated

A simple way to cut weekly spending on gas is to stop into a local station that offers free air once a month, and do a quick air pressure check on your car tires. If they aren’t inflated to the optimal PSI, you’ll want to fill each one to the maximum recommended amount (as stated on the tire or in your manual).

Here’s why: You can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by an average of 0.6% and up to 3% with proper tire pressure.

Recommended: How to Save Money on Gas

12. Working Out at Home

Instead of paying for a monthly gym membership, consider free exercise options, such as going for a walk, run, or bike ride around your neighborhood.

You can also find at-home cardio routines, resistance workouts, yoga classes and more for free online (YouTube is a great source). If you’re missing the social aspect of the gym, you always invite friends or neighbors over to work out with you.

There are also a number of free workout apps that can help keep you motivated, such as 7 Minute Workout, Freeletics, and Nike Training Club, among others.

13. Saving Before You Spend

One of the best ways to cut monthly spending is to siphon off some savings before you even have a chance to spend it. Many experts suggest 20% of your take-home pay, as is outlined in the 50/30/20 budget rule.

You can do this by automating your savings. This can mean you set up an automatic transfer from checking to put money in a high-yield savings account on the same day each month, possibly right after your paycheck gets deposited.

And it’s fine to start small. Whatever the amount, since it’s happening every month, it will build up before you know it.

14. Turning Clutter Into Cash

If you’re thinking of hiring a company to haul away stuff you no longer want or need, think twice. It can be easy to sell your unwanted items. There are dozens of places to sell your stuff, thanks to sites such as ThredUp, Poshmark, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. Or you could host a yard or stoop sale (just make sure to check if you need a permit).

15. Reviewing Home and Auto Insurance

Here’s another way to cut back on spending: Review your insurance payments. You may be able to considerably cut your costs by taking some time to shop around and compare prices.

Many insurance companies also offer a discount if you bundle your homeowners and auto policies together. If you currently use two separate insurers, it can be worth asking what kind of discount each would offer if you bundled the policies together.

And you don’t have to wait until your current policy is up for renewal to change insurance providers. With most companies, you can leave at any time without having to pay for the remainder of the policy. If you find a better deal, you can also give your current insurer a chance to match their quote.

16. Drinking More Water

Getting plenty of water can not only help you stay healthy, but it can also help you cut back on spending.

When you’re food shopping, for instance, you can skip over sodas and even bottled water in exchange for free tap water at home. (If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, consider getting a pitcher with a water filter.) Dining out? You can save by ordering water instead of pricey beverages.

17. Using Apps to Earn Cash Back

You can cut your spending even after you’ve made your purchases by keeping track of your receipts and using a cash back app, such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, or Shopkick.

While each app works a little differently, you can generally use cash back apps to download digital coupons, purchase specific items, and then scan receipts to claim your cash back.

You may also be able to add your store loyalty card number and avoid the need to submit a receipt.

18. Shutting off the Lights

A super easy way to cut monthly spending is to simply turn off the lights whenever you leave a room or leave your home. You may not notice the impact immediately, but the savings on energy costs can add up over time.

It can also be helpful to unplug any unused electronics and chargers that aren’t in use.

19. Cutting Back on Bigger Expenses

If you’re looking to have more money after paying bills, you may want to address the biggest expenses in your overall budget. For instance, in terms of housing, you might consider downsizing, moving to a more affordable area, or getting a roommate. This could significantly reduce your monthly expenses.

Also take a look at car payments, if you have them. If they account for more than 10% of your take-home pay, consider trading in your car for one with a lower monthly payment. Or, you might want to think about buying a less expensive vehicle with cash.

20. Unfollowing Social Media Influencers Pushing Products

If you, like many people, shop from social media because you see new products being promoted, you may want to unfollow those accounts. That FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling can be powerful when you see an influencer pushing new kitchen gadgets, comfy socks, or other products. By eliminating that temptation, you can cut back on spending.

21. Uninstalling Shopping Apps on Your Phone

Shopping apps can be hugely convenient; maybe too convenient. If you find that apps encourage you to one-click your way to too many products and credit card charges, delete them. You can always reinstall them later if you have more wiggle room in your budget.

22. Buying Used and Second-Hand

A fun and frugal way to shop can be buying used and second-hand. You might hit a local thrift store for clothes, cookware, and other items. Check out a local library’s book sale for new reading material, and if you need a new kitchen appliance, see what major retailers have in their “open box” section (items that were returned with minimal or no use or perhaps floor models).

23. Do Some Bulk Buying

Check out the deals to be had by buying in bulk. That can mean joining a wholesale club, like Costco, or shopping at a local grocery store that has grains, nuts, and pasta sold from large containers to help you save at the cash register.

If you don’t have room to store, say, a pack of 12 cereal boxes or 24 rolls of paper towel, split purchases with a friend or two. You can all cut back on expenses that way.

The Takeaway

Cutting back on spending doesn’t have to involve a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. You can focus on lowering your recurring expenses (housing, insurance, utilities) and also cut back on unnecessary spending, especially impulse buys. If you pay with cash, delete shopping apps, and unsubscribe to marketing emails, you may find there’s a lot more breathing room in your budget.

To make it easier to stay on top of your spending, consider opening an online bank account with SoFi. With SoFi Checking and Savings, you can easily see your weekly spending in our app, plus you’ll earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and pay no account fees, both of which can help your money grow faster!

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

FAQ

How do I cut back on unnecessary spending?

Often, a mix of two tactics can help you cut back on unnecessary spending. First, look at how to reduce recurring basic bills, such as dropping a streaming channel or two, lowering your car insurance, and avoiding excessive banking fees. Next, tackle daily spending. You might reduce your daily latte habit, and look for free concerts and museum nights in your area vs. pricey entertainment. Also: Don’t let yourself give in to marketing ploys, like “buy one, get one” and free shipping, which can encourage you to overspend.

How can I drastically cut my spending?

To drastically cut your spending, try creating and sticking to a budget and using cash instead of credit so you are less likely to ring up debt. Also consider deleting shopping apps, emails, and influencer accounts that encourage you to shop, and putting yourself on a one-month shopping freeze, meaning no purchases except true necessities.

How do I mentally stop spending money?

If you are overspending, think about your triggers. Do you shop when bored or as a weekend activity? Find other ways to fill your time, whether that means reading or taking up a sport. You might also try the 30-day rule, which means that if there’s something you feel you must have, you might make a note of it in your calendar for 30 days in the future. Don’t buy it unless 30 days later you still feel it’s vital. Such feelings often dissipate over time.


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.

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 recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit 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, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, 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.


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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