Keeping money in a savings account is one of many safe ways to save money. It’s also a means to earn money—as interest—with little effort. Ultimately, regularly contributing a set amount to a savings account can help you reach your financial goals sooner.
Use this savings calculator to assess how quickly your money can grow over time and pore over some additional tangible ways to save money.
Start saving for your financial future.
How to Use the Savings Calculator
Note: This calculator compounds interest monthly and assumes monthly contributions will be made at the end of each month.
Use the simple savings calculator by entering your estimated monthly contributions and interest rate into the appropriate fields. Experiment with different starting balances and contribution amounts to see the difference it makes years down the road. Terms to know include:
- Starting balance: Input the amount of money currently in your savings account or the initial amount you intend to deposit.
- Monthly contributions: Input the amount you intend to deposit every month.
- How Long You’re Saving: Input how long you intend to save, not withdrawing money from your account.
- APY: Input the annual percentage yield (APY) of interest on the account.*
- Total contributions: View the total amount you’ll have deposited throughout your savings span.
- Total interest: View the total amount you will have earned from interest on your savings.
- Total savings: Viewthe sum of your contributions and the interest earned on them over your designating savings span.
*APY applies compounding interest to your savings, meaning the interest you’ve earned is included in the next interest period. Banks using an annual percentage rate (APR) use simple interest and only apply it to the amount you have contributed. APY is more common in savings accounts and the national average is 0.06%.
How to Save Money: 15 Simple Ways
The amount you save every month doesn’t entirely need to come from your steady income. Putting some spending habits in check may reveal areas you can find more money each month. Consider these simple ways for how to save money—and potentially put that cash in your savings account and watch it grow. Check out 15 simple ways to save money to discover where you can find more money each month.
1. Track Spending
Many people underestimate the amount of money they spend month to month. Tracking your spending can make you aware of just how much you spend and help you identify areas to cut back. Budgeting apps like Mint can simplify the process and reduce the work required on your end.
2. Cancel Subscriptions
Subscriptions that cost $10 or $15 a month may not seem like a lot of money individually, but they add up to hundreds of dollars a year going toward entertainment. Most people don’t even use all of their subscription services regularly. Canceling subscriptions that you do not use regularly will end recurring payments that add up to hundreds of dollars a year.
3. Make a Grocery List
If you’re wondering how to save money on groceries, make a list before every trip to the store and stick to buying only those items. Impulse buying leads to spending more money than you budgeted for on unplanned products. Research the products that are on sale so you know the prices ahead of time and use coupons for added discounts. This will help you stick to the grocery budget you’ve calculated for yourself.
4. Change Your Cell Phone Plan
Cell service providers regularly offer introductory rates to new members. If you’ve been with your carrier for a while, look into switching to a new provider that will save you money. Some providers give new members a deal on a phone when they switch, making it a sweeter opportunity to save money. If your phone plan has you paying for more data than you usually use in a month, reduce it to a level that is more suitable for your needs.
5. Automate Your Savings
Many payroll systems and banking services offer free ways to automate contributions to your savings accounts. Take advantage of these services if you have a hard time remembering to budget for your future. Saving the money before you have a chance to spend it can help keep you on track.
6. Buy Generic Items
Many brand-name and generic products are indiscernible in quality from each other. In fact, many of them originate from the same factories. Sticking to generic food can reduce your grocery bill by a staggering amount. Generic medicine can also lead to major savings, but it is recommended you consult your doctor before changing any medications.
7. Reduce Your Utilities
Looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption can help you to save money each month. Program your thermostat to kick in only when you are there to enjoy it. Insulate windows and door frames that have poor seals. Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use.
8. Pack Your Lunch
Prepping for all of your meals means you can feed yourself for a fraction of what you can at a restaurant while saving that amount of money every day. Bringing your lunch with you to work also means you avoid costly delivery fees. You stand to save even more by packing your lunch if you’re already applying the other ways to save money on your grocery shopping.
9. Pay in Cash
If you’ve wondered how to save money but always overspend your monthly budget, an all-cash allowance is a great way to hold yourself accountable. It works by avoiding credit and debit cards entirely. Withdraw your monthly spending in cash at the beginning of the month and use it to pay for expenses. When the cash is gone, you’re done spending.
10. Learn DIY Skills
The internet makes it easy to share knowledge on simple maintenance and repair tasks around your home. Learning to do these skills yourself will cut out costly upcharges that a hired hand might add on. It’s best to start out small, or have an experienced friend help you until you are proficient enough to do it on your own.
11. Make Coffee at Home
If you have high expectations for your coffee, invest in coffee equipment for your home. Eventually, making your own coffee will pay for itself in the money you saved from bypassing the cafe. A manual coffee grinder and french press are rather frugal options when compared to the daily cost of a $4 cuppa.
12. Get a Library Card
After you cut back on monthly subscriptions, look to the library for entertainment. Libraries are tax-funded resources that you automatically have access to by being a local resident. Aside from renting books for free, you can also rent movies and audiobooks. If you have no interest in rewatching certain movies or re-reading certain books, forgo paying to buy or rent them in favor of getting them from your library for free.
13. Get Cash-Back Apps
Cash-back apps give you rebates or coupons for things you already needed to buy. The best ones are free to use, making them great ways to save more money. The rewards vary based on the app, with many specializing in certain industries. There’s no limit to how many you can use if more than one appeals to your shopping habits.
14. Sell Unused Possessions
You don’t need to be a packrat to find your home filled with items you have no use for. Decluttering your house can bring you peace of mind while helping save you money. Instead of throwing out old possessions, sell them online or at a garage sale. Even small sales can add up over time.
15. Start Carpooling
Gas prices are unpredictable and regular wear and tear on your vehicle can lead to expensive repairs. If you have friends or family that are also concerned with how to save money, carpooling can be a mutually beneficial option. Make a schedule to take turns driving to work or going out together so that everyone is contributing.
A simple savings calculator is a great tool when planning for your future. Knowing how to save money is invaluable in helping you achieve your financial goals. To boot: Using a money management app like Mint can help you set achievable goals and track your progress along the way.