Short On Cash? Here’s One Simple and FREE Tool That Can Help

by FinancialTips4U

If you can’t get your financial head above water, there’s hope. A savings account calculator is useful tool to help you crunch the numbers.

If you hate always looking at an empty (or near empty) wallet and just can’t seem to get your financial head above water, there’s hope.  No, it isn’t some get rich quick scheme or hot new business idea.  It’s a simple, free financial tool that, if you only use it once, could change the way you look at saving money. That tool is a saving account calculator.

This easy to use, online program works right in your browser, so there’s nothing to buy and no software to download.  You just enter a few simple figures into the online calculator and let the computer crunch the numbers.  Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you want to save a certain amount, but you’re not sure how much to save every month to reach that goal.  A savings account calculator can give you the right number.  Plus, with many savings accounts (including online based accounts) you get the benefit of compound interest.  This is interest the bank pays you on top of the interest you get on your particular savings account.  Consider it like extra financial icing on the cake!

Getting Started with an Online Calculator

With a savings account calculator, your first step will be to input the amount of money you can reasonably save each month.  Then, input how long you want to save it.  It could be weeks, months, or even years.  The calculator can handle all of these things effortlessly.  Even if you want to make some extra contributions to your savings account (say you got a raise over the holidays or a summer bonus at work), you can add those in as well.

The next and perhaps the most important number, is the rate of return – also known as the interest rate.  This is often expressed as APY (annual percentage yield).  Why is it so important?  This number can tell you how quickly your money will grow as you continue to save.  The interest rate is how much you’re earning on the money that’s currently sitting in your savings account.

How Much Can You Earn?

Money Tree

Remember that with a savings account, you can schedule deposits to be made automatically from your checking account if you’d like to reach your savings goals even faster.  With these kinds of accounts, the more you save, the more you earn – but there are several other benefits as well.  For instance, many savings accounts can be managed directly online, so you can always log on and see your balance or transfer funds between accounts.

A savings account also allows you to write checks and make withdrawals, although remember that the objective is SAVING and not spending.  There are limits on how many withdrawals you can make in a given statement cycle.  Still, emergencies happen and things come up, which is why you can always count on the money in your savings account being there to help you in a pinch.  You shouldn’t consider this as a license to spend, though!  Many banks have minimum balance requirements in place on their savings accounts, which means that your account will only earn interest if you keep it at or above that minimum amount.  Here again, another incentive to save!

The best part about using a savings account calculator is that you can compare rates between different savings accounts to see which bank is willing to give you more for your money.  Taking the time to do a little comparison shopping now could help you reach your financial goals, and put an end to that embarrassing “short on cash” feeling!

Example of a Savings Calculator

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Updated: 11/11/2011, FinancialTips4U
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