How did you become interested in financial planning, and how do you think it’s helped shape your own life?
Growing up, the only time money was discussed in my household was in the context of an argument, so naturally I avoided the topic until taking a mandatory finance class in college. After being exposed to the basics, I realized that I wanted to get a handle on my personal finances and provide my children with a different experience. Once I found out that financial planning was a career option I was sold. Everyone thinks that financial planning is all about contribution limits, investment options, or other technical details. At the end of the day, the most important part of financial planning is understanding basic human behavior and biases in order to help people establish little habits that make big differences in the long run. I love being able to help our members get their money right so they can go on to achieve their financial goals of starting a family, buying their first house, getting invested for the first time, and paying off debt.
What’s the one piece of advice you find yourself giving people most these days?
Save, Save, Save
- Find a way to save, save, and save. It’s safe to say that the ongoing pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty – both personally and professionally. In fact, according to a recent SoFi survey, 73% of people say that saving more cash is a change they’re contemplating as a result of the current economic environment. No matter what stage you’re at in your financial life, an emergency fund is critical. It serves as the buffer between unexpected expenses and a financial disaster. Emotionally, an emergency fund has the biggest impact on financial satisfaction and anxiety.
- In order to decide how much you need for emergencies, you need to figure out your approximate monthly expenses. To do this, look back at your spending/money intake over the last six months to calculate how much extra cash you’re pocketing each month. In general, three to six months’ worth of expenses is a good base for determining how much you would need for an emergency fund. These funds should be in a separate account that can be accessed easily, not subject to the volatility of the stock market, and available without penalties. Samsung Money by SoFi users can even create individual financial vaults within a single cash management account, so you can have a specific vault for emergency savings. You can set up automatic payments to your vault accounts and funds will also earn some interest, allowing you to save even more.
Samsung Money by SoFi
Can you share an unexpected way people might be able to save more?
- The 50-30-20 method of budgeting is always your friend. This means delegating 50 percent of your take home pay for needs such as housing, utilities, and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for your goals such as paying off debt or saving for the future. Building a budget is not only looking at what you’re spending but really asking yourself if it’s essential, discretionary, or just flat out waste. Think about what you really need and work to reduce the rest. You may not need to continue with your cable service if you have various streaming services, or maybe you don’t need all of those streaming services. There are ways you can eliminate spending if you take a look at what is actually needed.
- Another way to eliminate unnecessary spending is to stop paying fees! Fees can come from anywhere at any time if you don’t read the fine print. Samsung Money by SoFi users are able to enjoy no account fees, no overdraft fees, and no transfer fees.2 Plus, when you withdraw cash from your Samsung Money by SoFi account from one of more than 55,000 in-network ATMs, you won’t even be charged a fee.3
What are some proven (and secure) ways to simplify financial management?
Take Advantage of Mobile Tech
- Let’s face it, we are all busy and there are plenty of distractions. Technology enables individuals to understand and automate their finances in seconds. Anytime you can leverage technology to reduce time or effort, you remove the barriers and excuses that stand in between where you are and where you want to be. We’re all always on the go, and Samsung Money by SoFi is built right into your mobile wallet, so you can manage spending and saving all in the same place no matter where you are.
Securing Your Future
- It seems like the pandemic accelerated the transition from brick and mortar to digital, and one of the biggest concerns among individuals as they make this transition is security. It is important to follow general best practices such as establishing strong passwords, logging in from private/secure networks, and monitoring your accounts for suspicious activity. You should also research the security practices of institutions, an area in which the Samsung Knox mobile-security platform might serve as a differentiator compared to other offerings.
It turns out that many of the best ways to strengthen your financial situation are just as effective in tough times as they are in the best of times. Whenever you’re ready to take your financial management to the next level, mobile financial tools like Samsung Money by SoFi are here to make it easier to do more with your money.
Samsung Money by SoFi® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Neither Samsung, SoFi nor its affiliates are a bank.
 Third Party Trademarks: Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design), and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
 Samsung Money by SoFi has no account fees. Fees charged will be subject to change at any time as described in the account terms and conditions.
 SoFi partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers free ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at SoFi’s discretion at any time.