Using In-School Deferment as a Student

Undergraduate and graduate students in school at least half-time can put off making federal student loan payments, and possibly private student loan payments, with in-school deferment. The catch? Interest usually accrues.

Loans are a fact of life for many students. In fact, a majority of them — about 70% — graduate with student loan debt.

While some students choose to start paying off their loans while they’re still in college, many take advantage of in-school deferment.

What Is In-School Deferment?

In-school deferment allows an undergraduate or graduate student, or parent borrower, to postpone making payments on:

•   Direct Loans, which include PLUS loans for graduate and professional students, or parents of dependent undergrads; subsidized and unsubsidized loans; and consolidation loans.

•   Perkins Loans

•   Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans.

Parents with PLUS loans may qualify for deferment if their student is enrolled at least half-time at an eligible college or career school.

What about private student loans? Many lenders allow students to defer payments while they’re in school and for six months after graduation. Sallie Mae lets you defer payments for 48 months as long as you are enrolled at least half-time.

But each private lender has its own rules.

Recommended: How Does Student Loan Deferment in Grad School Work?

How In-School Deferment Works

Federal student loan borrowers in school at least half-time are to be automatically placed into in-school deferment. You should receive a notice from your loan servicer.

If your loans don’t go into automatic in-school deferment or you don’t receive a notice, get in touch with the financial aid office at your school. You may need to fill out an In-School Deferment Request .

If you have private student loans, it’s a good idea to reach out to your loan servicer to request in-school deferment. If you’re seeking a new private student loan, you can review the lender’s deferment rules.

Most federal student loans also have a six-month grace period after a student graduates, drops below half-time enrollment, or leaves school before payments must begin. This applies to graduate students with PLUS loans as well.

Parent borrowers who took out a PLUS loan can request a six-month deferment after their student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment.

Requirements for In-School Deferment

Students with federal student loans must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school, defined by the Federal Student Aid office as one that has been approved by the Department of Education to participate in federal student aid programs, even if the school does not participate in those programs.

That includes most accredited American colleges and universities and some institutions outside the United States.

In-school deferment is primarily for students with existing loans or those who are returning to school after time away.

The definition of “half-time” can be tricky. Make sure you understand the definition your school uses, as not all schools define half-time status the same way. It’s usually based on a certain number of hours and/or credits.

Do I Need to Pay Interest During In-School Deferment?

For federal student loans and many private student loans, no.

If you have a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, interest will accrue during the deferment and be added to the principal loan balance.

If you have a Direct Subsidized Loan or a Perkins Loan, the government pays the interest while you’re in school and during grace periods. That’s also true of the subsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Interest will almost always accrue on deferred private student loans.

Although postponement of payments takes the pressure off, the interest that you’re responsible for that accrues on any loan will be capitalized, or added to your balance, after deferments and grace periods. You’ll then be charged interest on the increased principal balance. Capitalization of the unpaid interest may also increase your monthly payment, depending on your repayment plan.

If you’re able to pay the interest before it capitalizes, that can help keep your total loan cost down.

Alternatives to In-School Deferment

There are different types of deferment aside from in-school deferment.

•   Economic Hardship Deferment. You may receive an economic hardship deferment for up to three years if you receive a means-tested benefit, such as welfare, you are serving in the Peace Corps, or you work full time but your earnings are below 150% of the poverty guideline for your state and family size.

•   Graduate Fellowship Deferment. If you are in an approved graduate fellowship program, you could be eligible for this deferment.

•   Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment. You could qualify for this deferment if you are on active duty military service in connection with a military operation, war, or a national emergency, or you have completed active duty service and any applicable grace period. The deferment will end once you are enrolled in school at least half-time, or 13 months after completion of active duty service and any grace period, whichever comes first.

•   Rehabilitation Training Deferment. This deferment is for students who are in an approved program that offers drug or alcohol, vocational, or mental health rehabilitation.

•   Unemployment Deferment. You can receive this deferment for up to three years if you receive unemployment benefits or you’re unable to find full-time employment.

For most deferments, you’ll need to provide your student loan servicer with documentation to show that you’re eligible.

Then there’s federal student loan forbearance, which temporarily suspends or reduces your principal monthly payments, but interest always continues to accrue.

Some private student loan lenders offer forbearance as well.

If your federal student loan type does not charge interest during deferment, that’s probably the way to go. If you’ve reached the maximum time for a deferment or your situation doesn’t fit the eligibility criteria, applying for forbearance is an option.

If your ability to afford your federal student loan payments is unlikely to change any time soon, you may want to consider an income-based repayment plan or student loan refinancing.

The goal of refinancing with a private lender is to change your rate or term. If you qualify, all loans can be refinanced into one new private loan. Playing with the numbers can be helpful.

Just know that if you refinance federal student loans, they will no longer be eligible for federal deferment or forbearance, loan forgiveness programs, or income-driven repayment.

Recommended: Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

The Takeaway

What is in-school deferment? It allows undergraduates and graduate students to buy time before student loan payments begin, but interest usually accrues and is added to the balance.

If trying to lower your student loan rates is something that’s of interest, look into refinancing with SoFi.

Students are eligible to refinance a parent’s PLUS loan along with their own student loans.

There are absolutely no fees.

It’s easy to check your rate.


We’ve Got You Covered


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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.
SLR18202

Source: sofi.com

9 Best Books to Read Before Buying a Home

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

For most people, buying a home is the biggest purchase decision of a lifetime. In fact, it’s one of the biggest decisions, period. 

Your mortgage is probably the largest debt you’ll ever take on, and taking care of a house is one of the largest responsibilities. Next to getting married or having children, it’s hard to think of anything that will have a greater impact on your life. 

With so much at stake, it makes sense to learn as much as possible about the process before you take the plunge. You can find lots of articles about home buying online, of course, just like any other subject. But for a really in-depth take on the topic, you can’t beat a good book.

Best Books to Read Before Buying a Home

There are literally hundreds of books on home buying, covering the subject from every possible angle. Some real estate books provide a walk-through of the whole process. Some focus on the legal details. And some are all about getting the best deal on a mortgage.

With so many books to choose from, how do you find one that’s useful for you? To get started, look at what books other people have found most helpful. The books on this list all get good reviews from finance professionals, as well as ordinary homeowners.


1. “Home Buying Kit for Dummies” by Eric Tyson & Ray Brown 

All the books in the “Dummies” series explain complex topics — from computer languages to sports — to people who know nothing about them. “Home Buying Kit for Dummies” takes the same approach. It covers all the basics of buying a home in an easy-to-digest form.

This comprehensive guide covers every step of the home-buying process, including:

The book is ideal for first-time home buyers because it assumes no prior knowledge. It’s all in plain English, with no fancy lingo. You can read it from cover to cover or dip into it as needed to learn about specific topics.

To aid reading, the pages are peppered with icons marking key points. These include a light bulb for tips, a warning sign for pitfalls to avoid, and a deerstalker cap for topics to research on your own. They make it easy to spot important info at a glance.


2. “Buying a Home: The Missing Manual” by Nancy Conner 

The “Missing Manuals” series deals mostly with computer software and hardware. But it’s branched out into finance, another subject that ought to come with instructions. In this volume, Conner, a real estate investor, walks you through the home-buying process from start to finish.

“Buying a Home: The Missing Manual” is a step-by step guide to all the ins and outs of home buying. Its includes chapters on:

  • Choosing a real estate agent, mortgage lender, and lawyer
  • Choosing the right neighborhood
  • Finding your dream home 
  • Figuring out how much to offer on a house 
  • Financing your down payment
  • Comparing mortgages
  • Inspections
  • Closing costs

And it does all this with simple language and handy, bite-size chunks of information. Fill-in forms throughout the book help you apply the author’s expert advice to your specific situation.


3. “NOLO’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home” by Ilona Bray J.D., Alayna Schroeder & Marcia Stewart 

The legal website NOLO is the top place to find legal advice online. Along with its free articles, the site offers an array of do-it-yourself forms, books, and software. This walk-through guide to homebuying is just one example.

“NOLO’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home” covers most of the same topics as the Dummies and Missing Manual books, but from a different angle. It focuses on all the legal ins and outs of the home-buying process.

Although three attorneys wrote this book, it doesn’t rely on their knowledge alone. It draws on the knowledge of 15 other real estate professionals, including Realtors, loan officers, investors, home inspectors, and landlords. It’s like having your own private team of experts. For example:

  • A real estate agent offers tips on how to dress for an open house. 
  • A mortgage broker explains the risks of oral loan preapprovals. 
  • A closing expert discusses the importance of title insurance. 

Along with the expert advice, the book provides real-world stories from over 20 first-time home-buyers. Their experiences let you preview the process before jumping in yourself.


4. “Home Buyer’s Checklist: Everything You Need to Know — But Forgot to Ask — Before You Buy a Home” by Robert Irwin 

Every home-buying guide talks about the need for a home inspection. However, there are many problems home inspectors don’t always look for. The only way to detect them is to ask the right questions. In “Home Buyer’s Checklist,” Robert Irwin tells you what those questions are.

Irwin is a real estate professional with over three decades of experience. He knows all about the hidden flaws in homes and how to track them down. Irwin walks you through a house room by room and points out possible problem areas, such as:

  • Doors and door frames
  • Windows and window screens
  • Fireplaces
  • Light fixtures
  • Floors
  • Woodwork
  • Attic insulation

For each area, he notes possible problems and how to spot them. He also explains what they cost to fix and what damage they can cause if you don’t fix them. And he helps you use that information to your advantage in negotiating the price of the house.

Armed with this information, you can avoid unpleasant surprises when you move into your new home. It won’t make your house’s problems go away, but it will prepare you to deal with them — and keep the money in your pocket to do it.


5. “The 106 Common Mistakes Home Buyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)” by Gary Eldred

To first-time homebuyers, the real estate market is a big, confusing place. In “The 106 Common Mistakes Home Buyers Make (and How to Avoid Them),” Gary Eldred offers you a map to help you find your way around.

Eldred’s guide draws on the real-world experiences of homebuyers, home builders, real estate agents, and mortgage lenders. They shed light on the mistakes homebuyers make most often, such as:

  • Believing everything a real estate agent says
  • Underestimating the cost of owning a home
  • Buying in an upscale neighborhood that’s on the decline
  • Paying too much for a house
  • Letting your agent handle the price negotiations
  • Staying out of the housing market due to fear

With the help of Eldred’s examples, you can avoid these pitfalls and find a house that’s both a comfortable home and a sound investment.


6. “No Nonsense Real Estate: What Everyone Should Know Before Buying or Selling a Home” by Alex Goldstein 

As both a Realtor and a real estate investor, Alex Goldstein has been on both sides of a real estate transaction. This gives him a unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t in the home buying process.

In “No Nonsense Real Estate,” Goldstein puts that experience to work for you. He offers a step-by-step guide to the home buying process in language a first time home buyer can easily understand. This comprehensive guide covers:

  • The economics of the housing market in simple terms
  • The pros and cons of working with a real estate agent
  • What to look for in a home
  • Assembling a real estate team
  • Types of homes, such as single-family homes, condos, and co-ops
  • Traditional home loans and non-bank financing
  • Tips for sellers to get the best price on a home
  • The five elements of a successful real estate negotiation
  • Real estate contracts and closing costs
  • The eight steps of a real estate closing
  • The basics of real estate investing
  • A real-world case study of a home purchase
  • A list of frequently asked questions
  • A glossary of real estate terms

As a bonus, all buyers of the book gain access to a library of training videos and materials. They can help you find a real estate agent in your area, evaluate investment properties, and more.


7. “The Mortgage Encyclopedia” by Jack Guttentag

One of the most intimidating parts of buying your first home is getting your first mortgage. Not only is it likely the biggest loan you’ve ever taken out, there are dozens of options to consider. And the jargon loan officers use, from “escrow” to “points,” doesn’t make it any easier.

Jack Guttentag’s “The Mortgage Encyclopedia” offers a solution. The author, a former professor of finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, tells you everything you need to know about how mortgages work and what your options are. The book includes:

  • A glossary of mortgage terms, from “A-credit” to “Zillow mortgage”
  • Advice on nitty-gritty issues such as the risks of cosigning a loan and the pros and cons of paying points versus making a larger down payment 
  • The lowdown on common mortgage myths, traps, and hidden costs to avoid
  • At-a-glance tables on topics like affordability and interest costs for fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages

For first-time homebuyers grappling with the details of choosing and signing a mortgage, it’s a must-read.


8. “How to Get Approved for the Best Mortgage Without Sticking a Fork in Your Eye” by Elysia Stobbe 

Another book that focuses on mortgages is “How to Get Approved for the Best Mortgage Without Sticking a Fork in Your Eye.” As the whimsical title suggests, mortgage expert Elysia Stobbe understands how frustrating the mortgage approval process can be. 

To keep you sane, she helps break the process down into bite-sized chunks of info that are easy to manage. Her guide walks you through such details as types of mortgages, loan programs, interest rates, mortgage insurance, and fees. 

Stobbe explains how to find the right lender, choose the best real estate agent to handle negotiations, and find an appropriate type of loan. She also devotes a lot of space to mistakes you should avoid. And she supports it all with interviews with top real estate professionals.


Buying a home is such a huge, complicated process that it’s often hard to figure out where to start. In “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask,” Ilyce R. Glink addresses this problem by breaking the process down into a series of questions.

This approach makes it easy to find the information you want. Look through the table of contents to find the question that’s on your mind, then flip to the right page to see the answer. Glink tackles questions on all aspects of home buying, such as:

  • Should I buy a home or continue to rent?
  • How much can I afford to spend?
  • Is a new construction home better than an existing home?
  • What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?
  • Where should I start looking for my dream home?
  • What should I look for at a house showing?
  • How does my credit score affect my chance of getting a mortgage?
  • How do I make an offer on a home?
  • Do I need a home inspection?
  • What happens at the closing?

Glink combines advice from top brokers, real-world stories, and her own experience to provide solid answers to all these questions. And she wraps it up with three appendices covering mistakes to avoid and simple steps to make the home-buying process easier.


Final Word

All the books on this list offer a good grounding in the basics of home buying. But if you’re looking for more details on any part of the process, there’s sure to be a book for that too.

You can find books on just about every aspect of home buying. There are books on every stage of the process, from raising cash for a down payment to preparing for your closing. There are books about home buying just for single people and books on buying a home as an investment.

And once you move into your new home, there are more books to help you organize it, decorate it, and keep it in repair. Just search for the topic that interests you at Amazon, a local bookstore, or your local public library.

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Source: moneycrashers.com

Amazon Prime Review – Is it a Good Value for the Cost?

At a glance

Amazon Prime Logo

Our rating

Amazon Prime

  • Plans: One standard plan for $119 per year or $12.99 per month (about $156 per year); discounted Student Prime plan for eligible members
  • Features: Prime Delivery (multiple expedited and discounted delivery options); Prime Video; Prime Reading; exclusive Prime deals; unlimited music streaming; unlimited photo storage; eligibility for Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card subject to credit qualification
  • Advantages: Wide range of shipping options, though variable by customer location; potentially valuable media perks; higher cash-back earnings for qualified Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card users; Prime member discounts at Whole Foods; 30-day free trial period; household memberships; discounted student memberships
  • Disadvantages: Relatively high annual (and even higher monthly) fee; no refunds if you fail to use the service; additional fees for expedited food delivery; music library is weaker than some competitors’

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Additional Resources

Amazon Prime is one of the most popular retail loyalty programs in U.S. history. Although Amazon itself doesn’t regularly release membership figures, a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that more than 100 million people had access to Prime in 2019.

Why is Amazon Prime so popular? And is it really a good value for the cost? To decide for yourself, take a closer look at Amazon Prime’s core features and member perks. Then, weigh the facts to determine when and whether it’s worth the annual expense.

Key Features

What’s remarkable about Amazon Prime’s subscriber count is the fact that you must pay to join. Regular Prime members pay $119 per year when billed annually or $12.99 per month (about $156 per year) for the more flexible monthly plan. 

Prime Student members pay $59 per year when billed annually and $6.49 per month (about $78 per year) when billed monthly. To qualify, they must have valid dot-edu email addresses and be able to prove they’re actively enrolled in at least one college course in the United States (including Puerto Rico).

Tens of millions of consumers happily pay comparable annual fees for warehouse store memberships. But most other common retail loyalty programs, such as those run by supermarket and department store chains, cost nothing to join.

But when you look at Amazon Prime’s core features, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular despite the cost.

30-Day Free Trial

All new Prime members are eligible for a 30-day free trial to test-drive the service. During the free trial, you have access to all Prime-exclusive perks and benefits.

You must enter a valid credit card to secure your free trial. Your membership automatically rolls over to paid status at the end of the trial period unless you cancel.

Household Prime Membership

Amazon allows multi-person Prime memberships covering the same household. My wife and I pay a single annual fee for our joint Prime membership. Like merging finances in joint accounts, joint Prime memberships are common practice for spouses and committed domestic partners. 

Household Prime memberships also make sense for long-term roommates.

Prime Delivery

Amazon Prime’s most valuable benefit is Prime Delivery, a collection of Prime-exclusive free and discounted delivery options including:

Free 2-Day Delivery 

Prime’s signature benefit is available on more than 100 million Amazon products for customers in the continental U.S. Members don’t have to worry about a minimum order size or limits on delivery frequency to get free two-day shipping. 

By comparison, free shipping takes anywhere from five to eight business days for non-Prime members, depending on their location and what they order.

Free 1-Day Delivery

Free one-day delivery (next-day delivery) is available across the continental U.S. on more than 10 million Amazon products. Just look for the “Prime FREE One-Day” logo. 

One-day deliveries arrive by 9pm local time the day after you order them. And you’ll never run into minimum order sizes or delivery frequency limits.

Free Same-Day Delivery

Free same-day delivery is more like free 10-business-hour delivery. 

Eligible goods — several million in all — ordered before noon local time arrive by 9pm local time on the same day. Products ordered in the afternoon or evening arrive the following day. 

To qualify, orders must have at least $35 in eligible purchases. Same-day delivery is only available in select cities. Roughly speaking, you can get it in the largest 50 to 100 U.S. metro markets, though Amazon adds new cities regularly.

Free Ultrafast Grocery Delivery 

In select U.S. cities, Amazon offers free ultrafast grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. In some markets, participating third-party retailers may offer ultrafast grocery delivery through Amazon as well. 

These deliveries typically take no more than two hours during the business day, but they may take longer during off-hours. Look for the “Available Today” icon in the upper left corner of the shopping page.

Secure In-Home Delivery

In select U.S. cities, Amazon offers secure in-home delivery through the Key by Amazon app. 

You can use the app to watch deliveries in real time to ensure the delivery person minds their business inside your home. You must install a special lock and camera and register any frequent guests to limit Amazon’s liability for damage or theft before accepting your first in-home delivery.

Amazon Day Delivery

If you typically place multiple orders per week, you can set a standing Amazon Day to receive everything you ordered during the preceding week. 

It’s a nice perk for Prime members who are frequently absent during the week. For example, setting your Amazon Day for Friday or Saturday reduces the risk of package theft when you’re out of the house on weekdays.

Release-Date Delivery

Amazon Prime members are eligible to shop for preorder products at least two days before their scheduled release dates, then receive free guaranteed delivery the day they’re available to the general public.

Other Amazon Delivery Perks

Amazon’s regular shipping benefits get all the glory. But they’re not the only perks for Amazon Prime members.

Additional perks include:

  • Shopping rewards when you select the no-rush delivery option (either points to use as a credit toward future purchases or instant discounts) 
  • Free delivery on special merchandise that doesn’t typically qualify for free delivery, such as bulky, heavy, or fragile goods
  • Discounted expedited delivery on products that don’t qualify for free one- or same-day shipping

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is Amazon’s Prime-exclusive library of free on-demand TV and movie content. 

Amazon Studios’ top original series and movies (known as Amazon Originals) are available through Prime Video at no additional charge. So are hundreds of popular non-Amazon shows, movies, and live out-of-market sporting events. 

Amazon doesn’t make its entire universe of video content available to Prime members for free. Premium TV series and films may carry one-time rental fees. 

You can stream Prime Video to your TV with a compatible smart TV or external device, such as an Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV. On the go, you can access content through the Amazon Prime Video app, which is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems.

Amazon Prime Video is the most popular Prime service available on an a la carte basis. If you only want access to Prime Video streaming and don’t care about other Amazon Prime perks like free, fast delivery, you can get it for $8.99 per month. That’s less than competitors like Hulu and Netflix.

Prime Reading

Prime Reading is Amazon’s Prime-exclusive collection of fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, and audio recordings. Prime Reading works are available for download on any compatible device, Amazon-made or otherwise.

Music Streaming

Prime subscribers can stream over 2 million songs, including new hits and old favorites, through Prime Music for free. But it’s worth noting that’s a fraction of what’s available from leading streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which have more like 40 million songs in their respective libraries.

Prime Deals & Prime Day Deals

Prime Deals are Prime-exclusive shopping discounts and promotions. They’re subject to change but generally include discounts of 10% to 40% on popular Amazon products, with a focus on home goods, electronics, and kids toys and accessories. Prime-exclusive deals are particularly plentiful on Prime Day.

Prime Add-On Subscriptions

Prime members are under no obligation to add anything to their Prime subscriptions. Before you subscribe to an add-on, check its availability. 

As add-ons, all these subscriptions carry an additional cost — anywhere from $2.99 per month for Amazon Kids+ to $29 per month for NBA League Pass. But they make valuable services for anyone who uses them regularly.

Premium Prime Video Channels

Prime members can watch high-quality video content not included in the regular Prime Video. 

Known as Prime Video Channels, this premium content lineup includes subscription movie and TV channels like HBO and Starz. It also includes a decent lineup of live sports channels and memberships, including NBA League Pass and MLB.TV. 

There are no big channel packages full of content you don’t really watch. You pay only for the channels you want, which helps control your total entertainment cost.

Amazon Kids+

For a small additional monthly fee after a one-month free trial, Prime members can add unlimited kid-friendly content — books, TV shows, movies, and apps — through Amazon Kids+. Kids+ includes built-in parental controls.

Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music Unlimited is an expanded song library with over 60 million songs, which is on par with top standalone subscription streaming services. There’s a decent additional monthly fee associated with this service.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a premium cash-back credit card that’s ideal for Prime members who spend heavily at Amazon and Whole Foods.

It’s a more powerful version of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. The Prime Visa earns 5% cash back on Amazon-universe purchases and an unlimited 2% cash back on purchases at eligible restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. 

Credit qualification applies. This card is designed for Prime members with good to excellent credit. Before you apply, check your credit score.


Advantages

There are many reasons to invest in an Amazon Prime subscription. 

1. Vast Array of Shipping Options

Amazon Prime’s most valuable benefit is a slew of free or discounted shipping options, from two-day free shipping on some 10 million products to ultrafast two-hour shipping in select metro markets. 

If you frequently place last-minute orders, the rush delivery fees could cost as much as or more than many of the products you buy. That makes Prime’s subscription fee seem like a bargain. 

Even if you’re not in a rush, it could still be worth it. Let’s optimistically say you average a delivery fee of $5 per order. Your month-to-month Prime subscription pays for itself if you place just three orders per month. On an annual subscription, it pays for itself with two orders per month.

2. Media Perks Have High Potential Value for Frequent Users

Amazon Prime Video in particular delivers tremendous value for frequent users when compared with competitors like Hulu. 

Unfortunately, it’s not a universal library. For example, Netflix has a trove of original shows and movies, and the newest, choicest flicks carry per-rental fees. But it’s more than enough to keep Prime members occupied on nights in.

3. Free Trial Period

You can cancel your Prime subscription without penalty during the 30-day free trial period. That’s a lifesaver for budget-conscious shoppers looking to dip their toes in without paying anything out of pocket.

4. Household Membership

Joint household memberships are ideal for couples, families, and long-term roommates looking to pool their shopping and media consumption dollars. 

You can only have two adults on a household membership, but its time-saving features give parents peace of mind without paying an extra dime. Teens can shop on their own, pending your approval via text, and you can customize parental controls to limit and monitor kids’ access to media.

5. Membership Discounts for Students

Verified students enjoy 50% off the monthly or annual cost of a Prime membership. That’s excellent news for penny-pinching scholars expecting to rely on Amazon for timely deliveries of textbooks, electronics, school supplies, and basic dorm necessities.

6. Special Discounts at Whole Foods

Prime members enjoy exclusive 10%-off deals on hundreds of products at Whole Foods, subject to change and availability. 

Were it not for this perk, I wouldn’t bother shopping at my local Whole Foods at all, but this discount is deep enough to make Whole Foods’ prices competitive with nearby downscale supermarket chains.

7. Higher Cash-Back Earnings on the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card

For frequent Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers with above-average credit, the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card’s 2% cash back bonus subsidizes or entirely offsets Prime’s annual membership fee. 

Earning 2% back on gas and restaurant purchases is nice too, though you don’t need to be a Prime member for that.


Disadvantages

As good as it is for so many, there are downsides to the Amazon Prime subscription.

1. Relatively High Annual Fee

Amazon Prime has a relatively high annual fee: $119 per year when billed annually and $12.99 per month (about $156 per year) when billed monthly. For reference, that’s roughly double the cost of a basic Costco membership. 

If you’re not a frequent Amazon or Whole Foods shopper, don’t regularly take advantage of Prime’s non-shipping perks and features, and don’t mind waiting a few extra days for delivery, Prime probably isn’t for you.

2. No Partial Refunds for Unused Benefits on Annual Subscriptions

If you use your Prime benefits at any point during your subscription period, you’re automatically ineligible for a refund of Prime fees paid during that period. 

For instance, say you opt for the two-day free shipping benefit on one order in January, the first month of your Prime membership year. Then, you don’t use your subscription for months, deciding to cancel your annual subscription in May. You’ll pay the full cost for the entire year, despite canceling five months in. 

That’s an incentive to pay for Prime on a month-to-month basis, despite the higher yearly cost. And it’s a disadvantage over warehouse stores like Costco, whose expansive satisfaction guarantees make it fairly easy to cancel for a retroactive refund.

3. Expedited Food Delivery Costs More

An Amazon Prime membership does not entitle you to expedited grocery deliveries. For most folks, the fastest, cheapest way to get edible essentials using your Amazon discount is to stop by the nearest Whole Foods Market, where Prime members enjoy 10% off select goods. 

Amazon Fresh is particularly expensive. Mercifully, shipping is free on Prime Pantry orders over $35.

4. Free Music Library Isn’t Particularly Impressive

To most people, 2 million songs sounds like a lot. But Prime’s free streaming music library isn’t very extensive compared with top-of-the-line streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. 

Those seeking deep cuts may want to look elsewhere or spring for a paid Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.


Final Word

Amazon Prime has a lot to offer, but it isn’t for everyone. 

My wife and I get our money’s worth and feel it’s a fair value. But we know plenty of occasional Amazon shoppers who can’t justify spending more than $100 per year for Prime benefits. Other shoppers take issue with Amazon’s growing retail dominance and prefer to support independently owned retailers instead.

Whether Amazon Prime makes sense for you depends on how much value you can extract from it. If you’re already selecting one- or two-day shipping on frequent Amazon purchases, shopping at Whole Foods, and regularly streaming Amazon content, it makes sense to join Prime. 

If you shop Amazon infrequently or not at all, don’t watch much TV, and don’t live near a Whole Foods, Prime likely isn’t worth it for you. If you’re living somewhere between those two poles, your choice might be tougher, but you now have what you need to make an informed decision.

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The Verdict

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Our rating

Amazon Prime

Verdict: Amazon Prime is a wildly successful retail loyalty subscription that more than justifies its high annual cost and even higher monthly cost (a premium for the freedom to cancel anytime).

The ideal Prime user is an individual or household willing to pay upfront for free, expedited shipping and able to take advantage of value-added perks like Prime Video and member-exclusive deals.

If you qualify for the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card, you’re much more likely to offset the annual Prime membership fee. And you may neutralize the cost through increased cash-back earnings alone if you spend enough at Amazon and Whole Foods.

Prime is not ideal for occasional Amazon shoppers or those willing to pay more to support local or non-Amazon retailers.

Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: moneycrashers.com

What Are College Tuition Payment Plans?

According to the 2021 Sallie Mae survey “How America Pays for College,” nearly 80% of students and their families eliminated a college based on cost when determining which school to attend.

If the cost of college tuition is one of the determining factors in your decision process, it could be worth looking into tuition payment plans. College tuition payment plans are offered by colleges and allow tuition to be paid over an extended period of time. Typically, it is not difficult to qualify for a school’s tuition payment plan, but there may be a fee in order to enroll.

These plans are offered by some colleges and could help make tuition payments more manageable for students and parents.

What Is a College Tuition Payment Plan?

Instead of paying for college tuition at the beginning of each year, semester, or quarter, college tuition payment plans — also known as tuition installment plans or deferred payment plans — allow students and their families to spread out the cost of tuition over a period of time.

Depending on the school, the plan may allow payments to be made over the course of the semester or over the full year.

While you’ll generally have to start making payments right away, programs frequently offer the option to spread payments into monthly installments. Some schools also offer programs that break the payment into a few equal payments throughout the semester.

How Do Payment Plans Work?

Some colleges run their own tuition payment plans. Others use an outside service to administer the plan.

Typically these payment plans only cover the direct costs charged by and paid to the college, such as tuition and fees. Sometimes the cost of housing and meal plans will also be included under a tuition fee payment plan. The cost of things like textbooks and school supplies are not usually included in these payment plans.

Many tuition payment plans require an enrollment fee, which may fall around $50 or $100, although it may be lower. These plans don’t usually charge interest, which can potentially make them less expensive than taking out a student loan, as long as you are able to make the monthly payments.

What Types of Colleges Offer Payment Plans?

Many schools offer some sort of tuition payment plan. Qualifying for the plan isn’t generally very difficult. However, some schools do have specific enrollment periods. Check with the school you plan to attend to determine when you need to enroll and what is required to do so.

What if My School Doesn’t Offer a Payment Plan?

For many students and their parents, paying for school upfront isn’t possible. Sometimes even with a payment plan, the burden of tuition is still too high for students and their families.

Consider some of the following options when planning to pay for college tuition. While these ideas might not be enough to help you cover the full cost of tuition on their own, a combination of a few could do the trick.

Federal Aid

Federal aid for college encompasses grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study. To apply, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® ) each year.

The schools you apply to will use this information to determine how much aid you receive. You’ll typically receive an award letter detailing what types of federal aid you’ve qualified for and the amounts.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans can be either subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are awarded based on need. The Department of Education covers the interest that accrues on these loans while you are in school at least part-time, during the grace period after leaving school, and during periods of deferment or forbearance.

Unsubsidized federal loans are awarded independent of need. Borrowers are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on these loans while they are in school and during periods of deferment, like the grace period.

Payments are not required on either unsubsidized or subsidized loans while you are actively enrolled more than part-time in school.

There are also PLUS loans available to parents who are interested in borrowing a loan to help their child pay for college.

Work-Study

The federal work-study program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need. The amount of work-study you receive will depend on factors like when you applied, your level of determined financial need, and the amount of funding available at your school.

The money earned for work-study won’t count against you when you fill out the FAFSA, so it shouldn’t jeopardize future financial aid awards. Each time you fill out the FAFSA, it’s worth indicating that you’re still interested in receiving work-study as part of your financial aid award (that is, if you are still interested).

And it’s important to remember that your financial aid award may change from year to year, depending on you and your family’s circumstances.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants don’t typically have to be repaid, which makes them one of the best options for students trying to pay for school. Some scholarships and grants are awarded by schools based on the information you provided in the FAFSA, but there are scholarships and grants available that aren’t based on financial need.

Taking some time to comb through online databases that catalog available scholarships, like FastWeb or Scholarships.com , could prove helpful. Each scholarship will have different application requirements.

Some might require an essay or additional supplementary materials, but the effort could be worth it if you’re able to fund a portion of your tuition costs.

Private Student Loans

Sometimes federal aid, scholarships, and your savings aren’t enough to cover the full cost of tuition. In those cases, private student loans could be an option. Unlike federal student loans, which are offered by the government, private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions, or other private lenders.

The private student loan application process will vary slightly based on lender policies, but will almost always require a credit check.

Lenders will review your credit score and financial history as they determine how much money they are willing to lend to you.

In some cases, students might need the help of a cosigner to take out a private student loan. This could be the case if they have little to no credit history.

Some parents may also be interested in taking out a loan to help their child pay for their education.

The Takeaway

Tuition payment plans, which extend the payment for college tuition over a fixed period of time, can be helpful for parents and students as they navigate how they’ll pay for the cost of education. Spreading tuition payments over the semester or year can help make them more manageable.

Private student loans could be worth considering after you’ve exhausted your federal aid options, and if things like tuition payment plans aren’t financially feasible. If you decide a private student loan is a good option for you, consider SoFi as your lender.

SoFi offers student loans for undergraduate students and their parents. If you qualify to borrow a private student loan with SoFi, there are no fees. The application process can be completed entirely online. You can also choose one of four flexible repayment plans for undergraduate student loans.

Want to learn more about the private student loans offered by SoFi? See your rates and find out if you pre-qualify right now.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
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.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products 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.
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Source: sofi.com

25 Ideas on How to Lower Electric Bill

Lastly, poor insulation can be a huge drain on energy efficiency. If you have major cracks in your window frames, walls, baseboards, and more, you are basically watching your hard-earned dollars fall through those gaps. Likewise, if doors are left open (especially the garage door or patio door) haphazardly you are bleeding cold or warm air (depending on the season) through those areas, causing your home heating or cooling to work harder, thus costing you more money on your electric bill.
Most electric bills are tabulated by multiplying the rate you pay per kilowatt of energy by the total hours of device and electricity usage that month. This gives you your total electric usage in kWh — kilowatts per hour. From this formula, we can see that electric bills are based on how many hours of electricity you use each month.
Colorado-based writer Kristin Jenny focuses on lifestyle and wellness. She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
According to the DOE, lowering the temp to 120 degrees is perfectly fine for the majority of the population. If you or a member of your household has a chronic respiratory disease or a suppressed immune system, though, it may be best to keep your water heater set to the default temp.
To reduce your electric bill, take stock of how many hours of electricity you use a day (some things like water heaters and refrigerators will always be running, and that’s ok) for things like the dishwasher, washer and dryer, floor lamps, and accessories such as stereo equipment.

25 Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill

This dreary news is coupled with the prediction that it may be a colder winter in many parts of the country, too.

1. Get a Free Home Energy Assessment

When the heat is high, don’t let any precious warm or cool air escape due to drafty doors and leaky windows. Seal these money-draining spaces with inexpensive draft tape, often ranging from to on popular sites like Amazon.

2. Seal Cracks and Leaks Is How to Lower Electric Bill

When you leave for work or go to sleep, turn down the thermostat. At night you can add a few more blankets to the bed or even turn up the eclectic blanket, and if you’re at work, you won’t know the difference. Turning down the thermostat by 10 degrees can save you 10% on your bill over a year.

3. Upgrade to Efficient Equipment With a Rebate

Layering your clothes is the original way to save money on your winter electric bill and lower your thermostat a few degrees. If your clothes budget is already stretched, websites like ThredUp or heading over to your local Goodwill are excellent ways to get gently used but extremely warm clothing for just a few bucks a piece.

4. If You Have a Smart Thermostat, Use It

Some electric companies charge higher rates during the day (aka peak hours) and lower rates in the evening (aka off-peak hours). It can help save a few bucks here and there to run larger appliances like dishwashers, clothing dryers, and washing means while you’re getting some shut-eye.

5. Take a Timeout on Energy Consumption

Many power providers offer free home energy assessments or home energy optimization kits. Xcel Energy, which serves much of the northern midwest and mountain regions of the U.S., provides a free virtual visit with a Home Energy Squad member, followed by a free kit to optimize your residential electrical usage.

A toddler watches his sibling play out in the snow from the window.
Getty Images

6. Let Mother Nature Do the Work

Then, begin to see where you can limit the amount of time those home furnishings are in use. This will slowly but surely start to reduce your home electric bill.

7. Invest in One-Time Duct Cleaning

How much more? The federal government is saying we could see spikes of 54% in our heating bills compared to last year.

8. Change Your Air Filter

Any item in your house that has pipes behind it (toilets, sinks, etc.) likely is simply sitting in an open hole in the wall with no insulation. This means that in the winter warm air could be leaking out or cold air could be seeping in. Consulting with a professional to learn more about how adding insulation behind toilets and sinks can help make your home more energy efficient by eliminating these air leaks across your house.

9. Run Appliances at Night

Using the aptly named draft stopper on your doors can further prevent air leaks throughout your home. For only , you can keep prized warm air better circulating in your space without losing it to wasteful door leaks. Another painless way to save money.

10. Make the Move to LED

No, not that kind of timeout. To cheaply lower your electric bill, consider adding an outlet timer to window unit heaters. These helpful gadgets cost to and will make your home more energy efficient and limit the amount of “phantom power” (the power your devices leech from outlets even when not turned on) contributing to monthly energy bills. Or, turn down the thermostat and head to the mall or library for a few hours.

11. Replace Window Screens for Home Efficiency

Exhaust fans are those that are generally already built into your home, like the kind above a stove or shower. These fans do an exceptionally good job at circulating air and removing moisture and humidity from that air. Running these fans even when not cooking or in the shower can improve air circulation and decrease the need to crank up the heat and your power usage.

12. Insulate Hidden Areas

Speaking of fans, turn ceiling fan blades so that they rotate clockwise in the winter so that warm air is pulled upward and distributed throughout the room. If you’ve done the rotation change correctly, you should not feel any air if you stand underneath them.

13. Close the Door

While we all want a toasty home to return to after a long day, spending money heating rooms like a basement, garage, attic, or closed-in porch is a major drain on your winter electric bill. Rooms such as those tend to not be insulated with walls instead made from concrete or wood slats. With no insulation to hold in the heat, you’re essentially wasting your money trying to warm them up. Best to bundle up when in those rooms or close them off entirely during colder months.

14. Reduce Phantom Power

Air filters do just that — filter out tiny particles and debris generally undetectable to the human eye. This provides us with clean air circulating in our homes. However, these filters need to be changed about every six months in order to work properly. Clogged filters inhibit effective air flow and can lead to higher energy costs due to forcing your air systems to work harder to pump out air.

15. Add an Energy Efficient Power Strip

Some sneakier money-eaters on your electric bill are incandescent bulbs, hair dryers, and space heaters. A hair dryer consumes about 1,200 watts per hour of usage and costs 12 cents an hour to operate while a fridge generally only consumes 1,000 watts and costs 10 cents an hour to run. While you may not be using a hair dryer for an hour, you can see how daily use of such an accessory could add up.

16. Lower Hot Water Heater Temperature

For those who already have a Nest or other programmable thermostat in your home, take the time to program it. Smart thermostats offer zonal and timed heating and cooling, which on average will save most homeowners 10-12% on their heating bills and up to 15% on their cooling bills.
It’s going to cost more to heat your home this winter, thanks to global price hikes for natural gas, heating oil and other fuels.

17. Decrease Door Drafts With a Draft Stopper

If you live in a multiroom home, closing the doors to unused rooms will consolidate your heating usage to fewer rooms, and it will keep that room much warmer. Pick a room or two to hang out in for the majority of the day, and shut the doors to the others to naturally create zonal heating. A painless way to lower your electric bill.

18. Use Exhaust Fans

A major cause of ineffective or inefficient home cooling may be from clogged ductwork. Over the years, debris like dust, pet hair, and dander can accumulate in vents and make it difficult for air to flow smoothly throughout your space. Cleaner ducts = less need to turn up the heat. Fortunately, HVAC system maintenance is pretty affordable, and a one-time vent cleaning will only take 0-0 out of your home maintenance budget.
When the sun is shining, make sure that you have your blinds and curtains open to let the warmth in. Close them at night as an extra layer of insulation against the cold.

19. Go Through a Checklist

Owning or renting a home comes with all sorts of maintenance. It can be hard to keep track of what to do at what time of year in order to keep your space clean and efficient. Referring to a home checklist like this one can ensure you are ticking off the correct boxes to prepare your home for warmer months, potentially saving you some dough on electric bills throughout the winter and then next summer.

20. Rearrange Your Furniture

As we already mentioned, leveraging Mother Nature when possible to decrease your bill and your energy consumption is a great idea. In this case, replacing snared, ripped window screens with relatively inexpensive new ones can help to better insulate your windows, preventing any unwanted major cracks or gashes from emitting cold air into your home.

A woman wears multiple layers of clothes in her home.
Getty Images

21. Bundle Up

There can be many reasons as to why your electric bill is so high. One major reason could be that you leave all your appliances and furnishings plugged in all the time. This is called “phantom energy costs” or “vampire energy costs,” meaning that even when a device is not directly in use, if it is plugged in it is still using a bit of energy. There may be things that can be unplugged like computers or entertainment systems.

22. Don’t Heat Uninsulated Rooms

Incandescent bulbs release about 90% of their energy as heat. Couple that with the fact that they generally are not energy efficient and it’s enough to make the case to switch to LED bulbs. LED bulbs can save consumers as much as per month and they give off little-to-no heat.

23. Insulate Your Water Heater

We answer some of the most asked questions about electric bills and what makes them so high.

24. Use Your Kitchen

But there are some ways to keep your energy bill in check this winter (and in the summer, too), and much of that has to do with maintenance.

25. Turn Down the Thermostat

Cooking and baking at home naturally warms up the kitchen and then adjacent rooms. You can save money, too, by cooking at home rather than getting take out or going out. After you’re done using the oven and it’s turned off, you can leave the door ajar just a bit to let that dwindling heat escape. Make sure to keep children out of the area if you do this and never use an operating oven as a heat source by leaving the door wide open.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Electric Bills

Go through the house and check to make sure that you don’t have beds, dressers, bookcases or other furniture blocking heating vents. If the vents are blocked and heat isn’t evenly distributed, this may cause you to turn up the thermostat.

How Do I Reduce My Electric Bill?

The most costly items on an electric bill are the culprits you probably already guessed: air conditioning, heating, and large home appliances come in at the top of the list. This is why it makes it all the more important that your home is energy efficient with updated models of each home appliance.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
Although upgrading heating systems and thermostats can be pricey, many electrical companies offer rebate programs. ConEd, which serves New York City, offers rebates on smart thermostats. So does California. Check with your energy provider to see if rebates are offered in your area. This could mean more than 0 back in your pocket

Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Another reason could be that your home is not energy efficient. If appliances such as dishwashers are decades old, it’s likely that those models are no longer the most energy or water-efficient on the market. Although no one wants to purchase a brand-new major appliance, this can save you money in the long run.
This is where a free home inspection by your local utility company may come in handy, if such a service is offered. Energy experts can let you know if your appliances are up-to-date from an energy standpoint as well as what other surprising items in your home may be contributing to an overly high electric bill.
The default temperature for water heaters is 140 degrees, which wastes between and a year, according to the Department of Energy.

What Costs the Most on My Electric Bill?

Even if something like a lamp or TV are not turned on, the fact that they remain plugged in means those items could be leeching “phantom power” from your home, and jacking up your electric bill. Phantom power refers to the electricity consumed by objects when they are off or in standby mode. This allows them to quickly turn on, but means your electric bill pays the price. Consider unplugging lamps, appliances, and more when not in use to save on your next energy payment.
Insulating your water heater can save you about 7-16% in water heating costs and eliminate standby heat losses by 25-45%. It’s pretty easy to DIY — order a water heater jacket like this one for from Amazon, or check with your local utility company to see if they offer jackets for free or with a rebate.
That’s a big jump and something that many of us will struggle to afford. For people lucky enough to use electricity for their heating systems, it’s predicted that their bills will only go up about 6%. Still, that’s money that you could use elsewhere.
While you’re unplugging unused objects, think about adding in an energy efficient power strip to cut down on your bill. Some estimate that installing energy efficient power strips (which are only to each) can decrease home power use from 20 to 48%, which translates to more than just a few dollars back in your pocket.
From bundling up to not heating uninsulated rooms to simple maintenance checks and fixes, these two dozen plus one ways to avoid sticker shock from your electric bill are worth your efforts.

15 Tips for Young Entrepreneurs Who Want to Start a Successful Business

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson famously said that the best way to encourage our children to become scientists is to get out of their way. He notes that the messes toddlers make are their way of experimenting with the world and exploring it, and only interference by adults starts to turn them away from that curious explorer mindset. 

Much the same can be said of encouraging our children to develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Whether mowing lawns, opening a lemonade stand, or selling creative projects, our kids are consistently looking for ways to earn money, and with it increase their independence. 

Unlike encouraging a spirit of scientific exploration, raising successful aspiring entrepreneurs requires a slightly more hands-on approach. This is more complicated ground with steeper penalties for failure. While your child, tween, or teen flexes their small-business muscles, keep in mind some important ways you can help them in their journey. 

Tips for Young Entrepreneurs Who Want to Start a Successful Business

1. Check the Local Small Business Laws

No local authorities will take issue with a second grader’s lemonade stand, or a fifth grader mowing neighborhood loans. That can’t always be said of a teen earning a few thousand dollars with a small business. Although many business licensing requirements have relaxed in this age of online commerce, you don’t want your teen to lose their earnings to fines and fees. 

Look into the laws surrounding small businesses in your area, and get an expert opinion from somebody in the City Planning Office or local Chamber of Commerce. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s here, and have your teen do most of the work. The necessities of law are part of being an entrepreneur.

If your child’s successful business venture approaches five figures of income, consider looking into formally structuring it as a corporation. This can provide various legal protections, help with compliance with any licensing or permit requirements, and be an important learning experience as you navigate the associated expenses and observances side by side. 

2. Don’t Let the Business Eclipse Academics

Running a small business can be exciting and time-consuming to the point that it tempts your teen away from their schoolwork. If this happens, it’s important to view school as their full-time, regular job and their business venture as a side hustle. This is true even if the small business is making enough money to represent a real opportunity for post-graduation financial success. 

Keep in mind, and remind your teen, that if the business fails they’ll have little to fall back on without at least a high school diploma. Yes, there are examples of famous entrepreneurs who didn’t graduate like Richard Branson and Quentin Tarantino, but there are far more dropouts working low-skill, low-wage jobs to make ends meet.

It can help to set formal goals for academics and the business, and to set those goals on timelines that allow for success in both. If academics falls behind, adjust the goals to prioritize the school work. For kids who are excited about their business, you can write up a business plan and an academics plan, using similar formatting to emphasize the similarities.

As a bonus, balancing academics with having their own company can teach time management skills at a level deeper and more meaningful than any other experience available to teens. 

3. Encourage Them To Take on Employees

Being their own boss teaches young entrepreneurs a lot, but managing other people — especially peers — can teach lessons that no other experience in life can teach. 

If your teen’s business is making money, encourage them to hire a friend, classmate, or younger family member to help with some of the work. This helps them learn about the skills and challenges of leadership while also teaching an important lesson about the value of having help. 

By outsourcing tasks they don’t like or aren’t good at early, your teen starts to learn how to value their time and expertise. It fundamentally changes their relationship with work, and their potential for success. This is a skill many adults still struggle with, and can unlock many doors to success.

Start with younger siblings and cousins as options for your child’s initial labor pool. This not only fosters a stronger relationship between family members, but many states offer exemptions to worker’s compensation and some employment laws when hiring a family member. Check with the laws for your area first, but this can save a surprising amount of money over the run of a business. 

4. Become a Managing Partner

The smartest teen in the world will fall down on some of the basic tasks of business management because they lack the perspective, contextual knowledge, and physical brain development to succeed in those areas. For that reason, it’s smart for you to fill a role as a managing partner when your child decides to start their own business.

Depending on your teen’s skill level and business experience, your role might just be to check in once every other week to make sure certain tasks are getting done. It might be to handle the books and business metrics. You might even take on the duties of the sales department or bookkeeping. Your mileage will vary, but getting involved helps them succeed while simultaneously demonstrating that you care about their success.

Partnering with your child in a business carries a second benefit beyond improving their potential business success. By working together on a business, you build a relationship that lasts long after they leave the house. Whether the enterprise fails catastrophically or makes the whole family rich, the shared experience is irreplaceable.

If your child needs some start-up cash, you can use a managing partnership as a condition of giving them an informal business loan. Like real investors in the business world, you grant them starting funds but require a hand on the business’s operations to protect your investment. 

5. Start With Scalability

Before taking on their first client for any business idea, your teen should think about and develop a plan for how to build up to a second client, and a third. They should also have an idea of the maximum number of clients they can serve given the realities of their schedule and access to transportation, and a plan for going beyond that number if they’re experiencing rapid success. 

A plan to scale up is important even at the beginning stages to start a business. Even if your teen never implements any of it, and only makes some pocket change off a valuable experiment, the exercise will introduce them to a success concept many adults never learn about.

It bears repeating that you must make certain any plans for scalability take academic, athletic, and social needs into account. This might mean artificially slowing the company’s growth during homecoming or baseball season, but that’s all right. Entrepreneurially-minded kids need early and repeated lessons in work-life balance, which can start right here. 

6. Be Ready for Taxes

Like with your local business regulations, the IRS and your state Department of Revenue won’t much care about a kid making a few bucks, but if your teen has self-employment income of at least $400 from their own business, they’re responsible to report it and potentially pay taxes. If they earn enough money, it can even interfere with their status as a claimable dependent. 

Talk to your accountant about this, and set up a plan for dealing with that part of your teen’s entrepreneurial journey. If they become small-business owners for life, taxes will be their constant companion over the course of their career. 

Although companies like H&R Block and TurboTax offer online corporate, small-business, and self-employment filing options, it’s often worth it to hire a CPA to do business taxes. If you keep your books organized, the amount they charge for the service is reliably lower than the deductions they help you find. 

7. Remember Community Resources

Almost every city, county, state, and special interest organization has some sort of resources for small-business owners. These may include in-person education, online classes, grants and loans, mentorship access, or work spaces filled with expensive, specialized tools. They’re out there, often paid for with your tax dollars, waiting to be used.

Not all such opportunities are open to teens, but in many cases the staff will be excited about somebody getting involved so young and become even more enthusiastic about contributing success tips. LinkedIn and local meetups can be good sources for mentoring and success tips, as long as you monitor and curate the adults your child meets. Encourage your teen to check into these opportunities in the community.

When seeking resources and help, don’t forget your child is still in school. Many schools have business classes, workshops, technical equipment, social media advice, and experts on hand any student can access for help with projects. Many teachers and counselors will be eager to help, especially those with business knowledge or experience they rarely access on the average school day. 

8. Begin With the Goal In Mind

This advice from business management legend Steven Covey is a classic for a reason. Whatever business model your teen decides to pursue, they should begin the journey thinking about how they want it to end, with clearly defined goals set from the beginning. 

Starting a new business to earn money for a car requires one set of circumstances, warrants a certain amount of time and financial investment, and has a lifespan of a set number of weeks or months. Starting the same new business as something your teen might want to make into a career changes every one of those aspects. 

There is no right or wrong goal here, but starting without one in mind is almost always a mistake. Even the best business in the world can falter and fail without a strong guiding goal.

Sit with your budding entrepreneur early in the process and ask what they hope to accomplish. “Making a few bucks” is a fine goal, but nail down specifics. That top-level goal can help them assign priorities, make wise purchases, and set up timelines for tasks in ways they would not otherwise. 

9. Teach Them How to Set Goals — Then Apply Them

Knowing how to set goals isn’t just important for small-business success. It will help your child succeed in whatever endeavors they take on at school, in college, and beyond. 

It’s easy to start with a smaller goal — something that will take multiple days of effort but which will absolutely happen if the child does their part. 

For example, saving enough money for a $20 video game is a good initial goal. They set a goal of earning $1 per day for a month, with up to 11 days off. As long as they achieve their daily targets, they’ll be able to get the game. Winning the lottery is a bad initial goal because even if they succeed at buying a ticket every week, there’s no guarantee of winning. 

Tying cash flow to realistic goal setting introduces them to the concept of setting goals and attaining them. Whether or not this small business works out, the experience of working toward a concrete goal and its inherent lesson will serve your young entrepreneur well for the rest of their life.

Teach your young entrepreneur to write down their goals and commit to a timeline for completion. When they reach the end of their timeline, assess with them how they did. If they didn’t reach their goal, what might they do differently next time? If they did, what might they do to succeed even more or faster? As they establish a track record of success and understanding, move to loftier, more complex, and less guaranteed goals. 

10. Model Smart Risk-Taking

A business is only successful if its key decision-makers are willing to take risks, and if most of those risks work out. Taking risks may seem like a natural part of childhood, but when you add money and parental approval, suddenly those risks feel much more intimidating. 

The best way to help your child overcome this challenge is to live by example. Demonstrate taking small and large risks in everyday life. Better yet, talk with your child about those risks. Discuss what made them risky, how you analyzed the dangers and benefits, what you gained from the gamble, and especially what you did to minimize the impact if the risk didn’t work out. 

Once you’ve made a habit of having that talk with your child, you can use it as a framework for assessing the risks associated with their business. This doesn’t just help their business succeed, but helps them practice and master a vital life skill.

11. Foster Creativity

Creativity is a skill. Like all other skills, it gets better with practice and fades if not used. 

Creativity is also essential to small-business success, and success in the business world overall. It’s how your child will come up with a working business model, how they will expand on their idea to help the business grow, and how they will devise solutions to the problems and challenges they encounter. 

Some ways to help build that creativity in your child include:

  • Make up stories together instead of reading them at some bedtimes
  • Play pretend games with your child, ranging from make-believe to more structured activities like Dungeons & Dragons or theater sports
  • Set aside art time and craft time, where your child plays creatively
  • Get out of the habit of simply answering questions or solving problems, but instead create the habit of exploring answers together
  • Play “what if” games, where your child explores the possibilities of simple changes to life or the world around them
  • Set up time for your child to get bored, then let them find new ways to fill that time

Most importantly, resist the temptation to come swiftly to the rescue when your child encounters a challenge. As long as it’s safe, let them find their own creative solutions. If you always swoop in to save the day, they never learn to develop their own creative problem-solving. Instead, they look to others for help — a habit that is absolutely lethal to entrepreneurial success.

12. Show Them How to Ask For Help

One of the ways schools often hurt our children is by how often they insist kids work on their own. Asking a classmate for clarification is punished as being disruptive in class. Looking up a tutorial to help with your homework can be considered cheating. Although this is sometimes necessary within the context of school, a small-business owner can always ask for help. 

Model finding help so your kids can see you asking your parents or partner, polling social media groups, calling an expert with applicable know-how, or looking for an instructional video on YouTube. Make this normal and encouraged — a tool you use to succeed at your goals just like any other resource. Knowing who to ask for help and how is a key success factor in any form of entrepreneurship.

When your kid is comfortable asking for help, show them some of the best ways to do it. Explore online tutorials and free trainings, and look for resources at the library, Chamber of Commerce, and local small-business authorities. Share audiobooks and podcasts together while running errands or on road trips. 

Teach your kids early and often how much help is out there, where to find it, and how to tell the good advice from the bad. 

13. Reward Failure Whenever You Can

World-famous Brazilian jiujitsu competitor Rickson Gracie writes in his memoir that at his first jiujitsu match, his father said to him, “Win and I will give you a present. Lose and I will give you two presents.”

It’s a little transactional to be appropriate for most kids, but the spirit is solid. 

Children — and adults — who are afraid of failure often can’t make the decisions necessary to succeed in business. So embrace failure when your children lose a game, make a mistake, or fall short of a goal. 

Your children will probably fail the first time they try something, because most people do. Nobody is born with everything you need to succeed on the first attempt. 

Congratulate them for having tried, and share honestly the ways they made you proud. Talk about what variables they controlled they could change the next time they try, and what they might do to minimize what they can’t control or change. 

Most importantly, share that it’s okay to be disappointed in the outcome, but that you will never be disappointed in them as a person. The short-term pain of trying and failing leads to the long-term gain of succeeding at something hard. 

14. Make Them Find a Way

Rob Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” tells a story about how he was given a job as a child that paid nothing. His friend’s father, who gave him that job, instead challenged him to find a way to make money with what he learned from that work. 

The work in question was cleaning up in a convenience store. Young Rob found a loophole in how comic books were distributed, and used it to create a comic book rental operation in his parents’ basement. 

That’s not to say you should be that extreme in your approach to training your child to solve problems and find business opportunities. But you can foster more independence and creativity by backing off a little more than you’re comfortable with when they ask for help. Make them identify the problem decisively and find their own solutions, then reward them for the effort even if the solution they try doesn’t work. 

Necessity is the mother of invention, so help your child experience necessity more often and see what they invent. Whether the finished product becomes a full-time adult income or just some after school pocket money, the lessons they learn will last. 

15. Don’t Let Them Cut Corners

Attention to detail and a willingness to work hard are two of the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur. Without micromanaging, watch how they approach the work of their business and help them see the value in doing it right from the beginning. 

This can sometimes lead to friction. Kids and teens are not always known for either of those characteristics. That’s okay. If you work through it well, you’ve accomplished two goals. The first is helping your child succeed with their business by pushing them to deliver quality for themselves and their customers. 

The second is even more important. Once they see the results of the extra effort, they begin to internalize its importance. That lesson will carry past the business into their academics, athletics, and relationships. It will set them up for success no matter where they go in their adult lives. 


Final Word

Whether your child is destined to make $1 million by age 18 or to fondly remember a summer they spent working for themselves, they can benefit from what starting a small-business teaches. 

Your role in this isn’t to do it for them, or to stand in their way, but to balance between the two. Lend enough support to allow them to flourish, but keep your hands off enough that they can truly say they accomplished the most important parts by themselves. That’s not just how you set up young entrepreneurs to succeed — it’s how you raise happy, empowered children.

Always remember: keep it light and fun. The goal here is not to raise the next Steve Jobs or see your kid on the cover of Forbes before they’re old enough to drive. It’s to teach them valuable life lessons they can apply to a new business, online business, or simply going to work. 

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Source: moneycrashers.com

What Is a Merit Scholarship & How to Get One

There are many avenues to fund higher education that one could take. Grants offer money to help college students cover the cost of their education, usually based on financial need.

Money received by grants does not typically need to be repaid. Student loans, on the other hand, refer to a lump sum of money that is loaned out for the purpose of covering educational costs upfront. Student loans require repayment on a specific schedule and with added interest.

In addition to grants and student loans, another possible way to fund your college education is to receive a merit-based scholarship. Merit scholarships are generally awarded based on some type of merit such as academic performance or achievement and usually do not need to be repaid. Unlike grants, merit scholarships are typically awarded independent of financial need.

What is a Merit Scholarship?

A merit based scholarship is awarded to an individual on the basis of academic excellence, or other non-academic criteria such as talent, and/or certain achievements. As mentioned, while some scholarships may review the financial needs of the student, it’s not typically the primary focus of the application.

Merit scholarships for college exist to acknowledge things like academic, athletic, or artistic promise and success.

They could also apply to specialty and niche interests, such as a specific degree program. The money could either come from the academic institution itself or an outside individual or organization.

Getting a Merit Scholarship

So what are merit based scholarships able to do for the total cost of your college education? These scholarships could help cover a portion of (and in certain cases, the full amount of) tuition, room, and board, therefore helping decrease the overall cost of college. Like grants, the money from scholarships does not need to be repaid.

Recommended: A Guide to Unclaimed Scholarships and Grants

Here are a few common types of merit scholarships:

Colleges and Universities

Many colleges and universities have merit aid awards that are offered to students. Programs may vary from school to school. Some schools may consider all students for a merit award without any further applications. In some cases there may be an additional application required. Select merit aid awards may be designed to cover the full cost of tuition, while others will only cover a portion.

Academic Merit Scholarships

Academic merit scholarships award money to students who demonstrate significant academic achievement in high school. Often, academic merit scholarships may consider a student’s GPA, standardized test scores, class rank or other factors.

Depending on the school, you may not need to submit or do anything extra to be awarded a merit-based scholarship. Instead, the school may decide based on your application alone. Note that the exact criteria considered can vary based on the school.

Athletic Merit Scholarships

NCAA Division I and II schools may offer athletic scholarships to select student athletes. If you’re interested in an athletic scholarship keep in mind that getting recruited can be a time intensive process. Depending on the sport you play you may need a highlight reel or video that shows off your skills. Coaches may also review your stats.

Most schools will also want to see your academic records and SAT or ACT scores as well. You might also consider reaching out to coaches at the schools you are interested in attending.

Merit Scholarship Options from Member Organizations

Member organizations are special interest groups, typically requiring some sort of membership fee. Some examples include the National Association of Flavors and Food-Ingredient Systems (NAFFS), Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and The Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Oftentimes, these organizations provide scholarships to students. In some cases, they are awarded to members of the organization. One example of this is the Boy Scouts of America. In order to qualify for their Eagle Scout World Explorer, applicants must be an Eagle Scout.

Other times, awards are available to students who are pursuing a specific course of study. For example, the NAFFS offers an annual scholarship to “outstanding food science students .” While the DAR Richard and Elizabeth Dean Scholarship is awarded to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in American Studies. Scholarships from the SWE are available to applicants who are studying at an accredited university and pursuing a career path in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science.

Private Companies

Another source of merit scholarships is private companies. Companies like Coca-Cola, Burger King, Google, and more have annual scholarships. Like many other scholarship opportunities the application requirements and eligibility criteria will vary based on the company and/or scholarship. Here are a few examples:

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

This program awards 150 scholarships annually worth $20,000 each . This scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors who plan to enroll in an accredited U.S. college or university.

Burger King Scholars Program

The Burger King Scholars program offers scholarships to high school seniors who have a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate community involvement, and plan to enroll in an accredited college in the U.S. Since it was established in 2005, the program has awarded over $50 million to 43,000 students.

Generation Google Scholarship

The Generation Google Scholarship program is targeted for students pursuing degrees in computer science. For the 2022-2023 school year, recipients will get a $10,000 scholarship. This scholarship is open to students enrolled in an accredited Bachelors, Masters or PhD program who are studying computer science or computer engineering, or another “closely related technical field.”

National Merit Scholarship Corporation

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), has run the National Merit Scholarship Program since 1955. This award is open to high school students who meet the NMSC’s eligibility requirements, which are published online here . Students interested in pursuing the National Merit Scholarship program must also take the PSAT/NMSQT®, generally during their junior year. This is the qualifying test to apply for the scholarship program.

How to Apply

The process for applying to a merit scholarship can vary quite dramatically from scholarship to scholarship. Some merit scholarships, such as those offered by colleges and universities, don’t require students to fill out any additional paperwork beyond their application to the school.

Applying for merit aid from a source other than your school can be more time consuming and will likely vary depending on the organization offering the award. In addition to an application detailing basic personal information, students may be required to write an essay or personal statement, gather letters of recommendation, or go through an interview process.

If you’re interested in applying for a private merit scholarship, check in with the organization directly so you can be sure that you understand exactly what the application requirements are.

What Can Merit Scholarships Pay For?

Frequently, if the merit scholarship is offered by the school, the award will go directly to pay your tuition bills. If there is any money left over after tuition is paid for, it can be used to pay for other educational expenses including room and board, books, or other fees. Each school will have their own procedures for how merit aid is awarded to students, so confirm any questions directly with the financial aid office.

Merit Scholarships and Income Taxes

Generally speaking, merit scholarships are not taxed by the IRS. According to the IRS, scholarships and grants are considered tax-free so long as the following conditions are met:

•   The student is pursuing a degree at an educational institution; and

•   The award money is used to pay for tuition and fees or other expenses related requirements at the educational institution, such as, fees, books, and supplies.

There are some situations in which a merit scholarship may be taxed. If a grant or scholarship meets the following criteria, it may be taxable, according to the IRS:

•   The scholarship is used to pay for incidental expenses such as room and board, travel, or optional equipment.

•   The scholarship is awarded as payment for teaching, research, or other services. This excludes money received for services required as a part of the:

◦   National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

◦   Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program

◦   or a comprehensive student work-learning-service program at a work-college , as defined in section 448(e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

If you have any questions about whether or not a scholarship you’ve received is considered taxable income, consider consulting with a tax professional who can provide advice specific to your personal circumstances.

Finding Merit Scholarships

Check in with your college or university to find out if there are any school-specific awards available and determine how to file an application (if an additional application is required). Online resources and databases abound to help you identify merit based scholarships across the United States. For students who are pursuing graduate degrees, there are also some scholarships and grants for graduate students.

It could be a good idea to make a running list or spreadsheet of all of the merit based scholarships that you are interested in, so you can keep the specific due dates and application requirements organized. This could potentially help relieve some stress as you go through the application process.

Consider Starting Early

Many merit-based scholarships look for demonstrated excellence over the course of an applicant’s entire four years of high school. Therefore, it could be a good idea to start thinking about what types of merit scholarships you’re interested in applying for as early as possible.

Maintaining Your Scholarship

It is important to note that some merit based scholarships could require the scholarship recipient to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) and/or require specific campus or community involvement to continue receiving consistent scholarship funding.

If you do decide to apply for a merit based scholarship, it’s a good idea to be prepared to not only do the hard work to secure the scholarship but also maintain it once you get to campus.

Other Ways to Help Finance College Tuition

If you do not meet the requirements for any merit scholarships for college, there are still many financing options available to you. Often the first step for students looking to secure aid is by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® ). Students must fill this out in order to receive any federal aid, including federal grants and scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans.

The federal work-study program sets students up with part-time jobs where they can earn money to put towards their educational costs.

Recommended: Am I Eligible for Work-Study?

New federal student loans boast consistent fixed interest rates, expectations for repayment, income-driven repayment plans, and possible forgiveness programs. Depending on your level of need you may qualify for either subsidized or unsubsidized student loans. With a subsidized loan (for undergrads only), the federal government pays for any accruing interest on your loans while you’re in school; with an unsubsidized loan, you have to pay for the interest yourself.

If federal aid and merit based scholarships aren’t enough to cover the cost of a college education, private student loans could be an option to consider. These loans are offered by banks and private institutions. Students and their co-signers (if applicable) apply for private student loans as if they were applying to other types of loans, such as auto and home loans.

Since they are not beholden to the same criteria as federal loan terms, private student lenders are able to determine their own unique term lengths, interest rates, and repayment plans; thus, private loans could fill in any gaps between the cost of attendance and the amount of federal aid and scholarships they receive. However, because they don’t offer the same borrower protections as federal student loans, private student loans are generally considered only after all other sources of funding have been exhausted.

The Takeaway

Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on some sort of merit, such as academic or athletic. This money does not typically need to be repaid by student recipients. Some sources for merit scholarships include your college or university, member organizations, private companies, or the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

If merit awards and federal aid aren’t enough to pay for college, private student loans may be an option to consider. If you think that private student loans could be a good option for you, you could consider SoFi’s private student loans. With no fees, flexible repayment plans, and a convenient online application, financing your education has never been easier. Keep in mind that, as mentioned, private student loans are usually considered as a last resort option because they don’t always have the borrower protections (like deferment) that federal loans do.

Ready to make a plan to finance college? Learn more about the options SoFi offers for private student loans.


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25 Best Jobs for Introverts To Feel the Most Fulfilled

When navigating which career is right for you, finding something that aligns with your personality is no doubt a fine place to start. But if you fancy yourself as an introvert, you might want to avoid careers involving a lot of social interactions. Thankfully, there are many careers introverted people can excel at while still feeling comfortable.

Studies show that your personality has important effects on early career outcomes. Therefore, success does not depend on your extroversion, but on your ability to put your skills, experiences, and personality to work in your favor. So if you’re an introvert, knowing the best jobs for introverts is the first step to discovering what career suits you best. Keep reading to find out what are some of these jobs or jump to our infographic for some interview tips.

What Is an Introvert?

Introversion and extroversion are popular terms you might’ve seen if you’ve taken a personality test, and most people have some degree of both. Introverted people tend to be more reserved, usually prefer less stimulating environments, and enjoy time alone to recharge. Although not all introverts fit one standard definition, here are some common characteristics of introverts:

  • Quiet and reserved
  • Introspective
  • Feel tired from social interactions
  • Enjoy being alone
  • Self-aware
  • Have a small group of friends
  • Independent
  • May experience shyness and social anxiety

qualities of introverted people

Best Jobs for Introverts

What jobs are introverts good at and what are the highest paying jobs for introverts? We gathered data from Mint’s salary tool to discern just that, and to help these quiet but ambitious people find true job satisfaction. Get your resumes ready, introverts!

1. Accountant

If you like working with numbers and having the opportunity to work in almost any industry, becoming an accountant can be the career for you. As a stable and growing job field, accountants prepare and examine financial records and analyze any opportunities or risks. This is a job more often done on your own and with some one-on-one client meetings.

  • Average Salary: $66,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Certified Public Accountant license

2. Actuary

Do you love working with statistics, math, and financial theories? Becoming an actuary can be a great introverted job option. Actuaries determine the financial risks for certain outcomes and help businesses develop policies to minimize those risks. Since most of the work is done from a computer, this is a good career for introverts who like to spend time working on their own.

  • Average Salary: $113,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Casualty Actuarial Society certification
    • Society of Actuaries certification

3. Application Developer

Application developers design, create, and update programs and apps for devices. In this job you’re able to work for different industries and companies, full time or self-employed, and with the possibility of working remotely. If you want to bring ideas to life and help develop applications, this can be the job for you.

  • Average Salary: $79,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Google Developers Certification (recommended)
    • Apple Developers Certification (recommended)
    • Industry experience

4. Architect

Spending most of their time working independently, architects plan and design houses, office buildings, and other structures. If you are a creative that loves problem-solving, architecture might be just right for you. This job also won’t require much social interaction, other than meeting with clients and going to construction sites.

  • Average Salary: $76,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree (recommended)
    • Paid internship (three years, generally)
    • State license

5. Archivist

People who are especially introverted could find working as an archivist a great opportunity to work mostly on their own. Archivists can work at universities, libraries, and research institutions overseeing and maintaining collections of historical items and artwork.

  • Average Salary: $49,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree
    • Industry experience

6. Artist

With endless mediums to choose from, becoming an artist is a job for all personality types. Whether you want to become a textile artist, a painter, or a sculptor, this is a great career for creative-minded people who want to work at home or in a studio independently.

  • Average Salary: $32,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Industry experience

7. Content Manager

If working with clients to develop content, such as blog posts, videos, and interactives, and building a strategy for them to perform better sounds interesting, becoming a content manager might be the right career for you. Many content managers are able to work remotely as they oversee a company’s content creation and strategy, as well as manage writers.

  • Average Salary: $54,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Content management systems course (recommended)
    • SEO course (recommended)
    • Industry experience

8. Data Architect

Data architects manage and design data systems, as well as research new opportunities for data acquisition. If you enjoy working with data and technology, this is a challenging and rewarding job that won’t require a lot of social interactions and could be done from home.

  • Average Salary: $115,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience and certifications

9. Digital Marketer

One of the many jobs with work from home capability is digital marketing. If you love problem-solving and promoting products and services, becoming a digital marketer might be what you’re looking for. Digital marketers utilize technology to promote content, reach customers, and increase brand awareness.

  • Average Salary: $57,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Digital marketing course (recommended)
    • Google Analytics certification (recommended)
    • Industry experience

10. Editor

If you’re a language fanatic and like reading, you might find it fulfilling to become an editor. They work mostly alone with the option to work from home, reading and revising content to be published. Editors can span many media industries, including magazines, book publishing, and even company communications.

  • Average Salary: $57,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

11. Executive Chef

If you’re a foodie at heart and love to please people with your cooking, you might have to look into becoming an executive chef. They manage the kitchen to ensure everything is prepared to the right standards, as well as train the staff and create menus.

  • Average Salary: $55,000
  • Requirements:
    • Culinary school (recommended)
    • Industry experience

12. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use digital tools to create visuals that communicate ideas. From creating logos to app designs, this is the perfect job for those creative-minded introverts that love technology. Since many graphic design jobs are done from home, this is a very rewarding and flexible profession that’s great for introverted people.

  • Average Salary: $40,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Adobe Creative Suite courses (recommended)
    • Industry experience

13. Information Technology Manager

Information technology managers don’t need to be outgoing as long as they have a passion for technology and problem-solving. This is a fast-growing job, where you would fix software and hardware issues and provide upgrades, as well as work with the security of the company’s information systems.

  • Average Salary: $85,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • IT management certifications (recommended)
    • Industry experience

14. Landscape Designer

If you love the outdoors and want to flex your creativity, a career as a landscape designer combines both. They develop landscaping plans for parks and other outdoor spaces with features such as water fountains, ponds, walkways, and gardens.

  • Average Salary: $50,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

15. Librarian

If your preferred workplace is a quiet one, becoming a librarian could be just what you’re looking for. Librarians help visitors find and check out books, prepare catalog books and periodicals, and possibly manage the library budget and oversee events.

  • Average Salary: $48,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree
    • Teaching credential (for public school librarians)
    • Praxis II Library Media Specialist test (requirement varies by state)

16. Mechanic

If you enjoy working with your hands and fixing things, becoming a mechanic is a job that won’t require much social interaction since a big part of it is spent working on vehicles. Mechanics repair, inspect, and perform maintenance, as well as use tools and technologies to maintain and modify vehicles.

  • Average Salary: $45,500
  • Requirements:
    • Complete an automotive education program
    • Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification

17. Photographer

If you see the world in a creative way and like to capture moments, becoming a photographer is a great flexible job for introverts. With many genres to pick from, such as wedding, portrait, travel, and landscape photography, this job can lead to many different experiences and is a good way to put your creativity to work.

  • Average Salary: $30,000
  • Requirements:
    • Photography courses
    • Industry experience

18. Psychiatrist

If you’re interested in how the mind works and understanding the importance of mental health, becoming a psychiatrist might be right for an introvert. Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders, as well as prescribe medication and recommend hospitalization in some cases.

  • Average Salary: $190,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Medical school
    • State license
    • Certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
    • Residency (four years)

19. Research Scientist

If you’re fascinated by science and performing experiments, look into becoming a research scientist. Working in laboratories for the government, environmental organizations, and educational institutions, research scientists perform trials and experiments and can work in many different fields.

  • Average Salary: $66,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree
    • Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) certification (recommended)
    • Industry experience

20. Social Media Manager

If you enjoy creating content for Instagram, Facebook, and other social media but don’t necessarily want to post about yourself, consider becoming a social media manager. They plan and create social media posts and marketing campaigns for clients, as well as analyze social media performance and engage with followers and customers.

  • Average Salary: $41,500
  • Requirements:
    • Social media experience
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Internship experience

21. Software Test Engineer

Another great career for techies is to become a software test engineer. They analyze software programs by creating and implementing methods of testing, and recommend improvements. There’s a variety of opportunities for this job since you can work for different companies and even as a contractor.

  • Average Salary: $70,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • ISTQB Foundation Level Certification (recommended)
    • Industry experience

22. Therapist

If you love helping people, becoming a therapist may be the path to take. Some common qualities of introverted people include empathy and the ability to listen, which are also characteristics of a good therapist. They listen to their patients’ challenges and help with strategies to improve their lives.

  • Average Salary: $82,030
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree (recommended)

23. Translator

If you are fluent in more than one language and want to find a job that lets you work from home, a translator might be right for you. This is a flexible job since you would work translating and converting information into another language.

  • Average Salary: $40,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree (recommended)
    • Industry experience and training

24. Veterinarian

Although you might have to interact with pet owners often, as a veterinarian you will spend most of your time caring for animals. So if you have a passion for animals and love to see them grow healthy, becoming a veterinarian might be a career that will make you happy and fulfilled.

  • Average Salary: $91,500
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Experience working with animals
    • Certification from an accredited veterinary program
    • North American Veterinary Licensing Examination
    • State license

25. Writer

Introverts can be great at expressing themselves in writing rather than verbally, which makes becoming a writer a great option. If you have a passion for creating stories, writers have a wide possibility of jobs, such as content writing, copywriting, technical writing, and creative writing, which can be done from the comfort of your home.

  • Average Salary: $51,000
  • Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Industry experience

What To Look for in a Job as an Introvert

When looking for jobs as an introvert, it’s important to find something that will energize instead of drain you. Although some introverts might enjoy jobs that require a lot of social interaction like sales or customer service, they can often be mentally and even physically draining.

Instead, focus on jobs in which you can be independent and have limited social interactions, such as a graphic designer or a translator. Opting for a remote job can also be a great way to limit draining interactions, since meetings tend to be less frequent and are done virtually. You can also look for freelance job opportunities that let you work independently and at your own pace.

Bottom line: Don’t let your introversion hold you back. An inherent desire to work independently doesn’t mean you can’t become a CEO or take on traditionally extroverted roles. It’s all about finding ways to leverage your introverted qualities in your favor. Once more, that begins with learning about the best jobs for introverts.

best jobs for introverts infographic

Sources: Time | Mind.org

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