Get Your Savings Sorted Out
Calculate compound interest savings to ensure you’re investing smart!
Use the free simple savings calculator below to determine how fast your savings investments can grow with compound interest. You can find more information on savings interest rates, yield and compounding below!
Step 1: See how fast your savings investments can grow!
Note: If your investment only includes an initial deposit, set that as the Starting Balance and enter “0” in the Monthly Deposit line.
Step 2: Compare accounts and investments to find the right fit
Never settle for looking at the yield and growth on just one savings account or investment tool. You should always shop around and explore at least several different account or investment options before you choose the one that’s the best fit for you.
This comparison should even (and especially) be run on your basic savings account! Most people just opt to open a savings account at the same bank or credit union where they maintain a checking account. There may be benefits to having both accounts at one financial institution, such as overdraft protection.
However, just because you have an account in place to take advantage of those benefits, it doesn’t mean that this should be the primary account where you save. If the rate isn’t good (and it’s probably not), shop around to see what kinds of other savings accounts are available. Money Market Accounts tend to have better growth and yield, but often require a higher minimum balance.
With that in mind, use the personal savings calculator above and run several tests to compare growth on your account, check account requirements, then open the best account for your needs.
Understanding Savings Interest
Many savings and investment tools have an interest rate that gets applied to the money you initially deposit and any additional contributions you make. Here’s a quick explanation of how interest rates work on savings account and what “compounding” means to saving interest calculations.
Interest and Annual Percentage Yield
- What it is: Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is the interest rate that gets applied to a savings account or investment tool.
- How it applies to savings: Most standard savings accounts have a rate below 1.00% and some may have rates as low as 0.05% or less. Money Market Accounts (MMAs) tend to have higher rates of return. Certificates of Deposit (CDs) also use APY.
- What it means for your money: Higher APY means greater yield on the same investment. So a $5,000 investment into an MMA at 1.03% APY will grow faster than that same investment in a standard savings account at 0.10%. However, yield is also affected by compounding explained below.
- How to improve yield: To improve the return on your investment you want to aim for higher APY, but you may have to meet certain standards to get the most for your money. For example, MMAs with the highest yield tend to have high minimum balance requirements, so you may have to keep more money in the account. For CDs higher APY is usually available if you extend the term, so a 1-year CD tends to have lower APY than a 5-year CD
- What it is: Compound interest is calculated using the principal (what you contribute) PLUS the interest accumulated during of previous rounds of growth. So the yield accumulated in each compound cycle is added into your balance.
- How it works: Interest compounds at set intervals, typically monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. So if you have a $1,000 investment at 5% APY that compounds quarterly:
- At the end of the first quarter the yield your $1,000 would be $50
- That $50 gets rolled into the principal, so the next quarter yield is calculated off of $1,050
- So yield at the end of the second quarter is $52.50
- What it means for your money: The faster interest compounds, the faster your money grows. That means compounding monthly is better than quarterly.
You have two options for $5,000 investment – Option 1 has 3.5% APY and compounds quarterly, while Option 2 has 5% APY but compounds annually.
Which option gives you better growth over a 5-year time period?
a. Option 1
b. Option 2
After 5 years the balance for Option 1 is $5,951.70, meaning you earned $951.70 on your investment. Meanwhile the return on Option 2 is $1,381.41 so your ending balance after five years is $6,381.41. That makes Option 2 the better option if all other factors are equal.