Savings Calculator: Learn How to Track Your Growth

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Saving for life’s big expenses or unexpected emergencies feels overwhelming, and you might struggle because you don’t know where to start. Whether you plan to put money aside for an upcoming wedding, vacation, unexpected medical bills or to make a down payment on your dream home, figuring out how much you need to set aside can leave you scratching your head. What if you could break down your savings goal into bite-sized moves you can make monthly? With a savings calculator, you can learn how to track your growth and save for your future. 

Projections are hypothetical and do not represent tax, investment or other financial advice.

What is a savings calculator?

A savings calculator helps create an action plan to achieve your financial goals. A savings calculator is an online tool that estimates how much savings you can accumulate through regular contributions and earned interest.

Are savings calculators accurate?

Savings calculators estimate how much your money grows over time based on assumptions you make. A savings calculator projects your savings account balance over time based on your initial deposit, the annual percentage rate (APR) earned, how much you expect to contribute each month, and how long you plan to save.  The result changes when you change the variables, such as the initial deposit, monthly contributions, APR, or how many years you plan to save. 

How does a savings calculator work?

With an online savings calculator, you enter your initial deposit, interest rate, monthly savings contributions, and the length of your savings goal. With these inputs, you can see how much money you can save over time. 

Initial deposit

The available money you have saved is your initial deposit. When using a savings account, pay attention to balance requirements. Some savings accounts require a minimum deposit to open. Some banks charge a penalty or lower your interest rate if you don’t keep a minimum balance in your savings account. 

Monthly deposit

Saving money may seem challenging. Even if you can only put aside $5 each month, any amount saved moves you closer to financial goals. The more money you set aside, the easier it is to build up your savings account over time.  You can use a savings calculator to estimate how much you save over time based on your monthly contributions.  

Suppose you want to save money for a down payment on a home. You currently have $10,000 saved in a bank earning 4% per year and plan to save $250 each month for three years. When you drop in your initial deposit, the APR, your estimated monthly contributions, and how many years you plan, the savings calculator estimates you’ll have $20,200 after three years.

Annual interest rate

Most banks, lenders and credit unions pay interest on deposits in certain accounts. Interest rates can vary based on the type of account. You may find online banks that pay higher interest rates than traditional banks. You will likely earn a higher rate with a high-yield savings account, but you may be required to carry a minimum balance in your bank account. 

A simple interest account calculates interest earned only on what you have deposited. Assume you open a savings account with a 4% annual interest rate. If your savings balance is $10,000, you earn $33.33 monthly in interest for a total of $400 for the year. 

A compound interest account computes interest on the entire balance in your account. So, the interest earned in one month generates its return the next month. You will make $33.33 interest in your first month using the same example. However, you’ll earn $33.44 the following month as the compound interest model calculates interest on the balance of $10,033.33.

The interest earned in one year is called the annual percentage yield, or APY. The APY includes the effect of interest gains in a compound interest account. 

MoneyLion offers a convenient marketplace to compare high-yield savings accounts from our trusted partners that could help grow your money.

Years to save

The years to save is the number of years your investment has to grow. This portion of the calculation refers to how much time you have before reaching your goal. To illustrate, if you are 30 years old and want to save for retirement, you have 35 years to save if you plan to retire when you reach 65. 

Uses of a savings calculator for any type of savings goal

You can save money for many things. You could put money aside to build up an emergency, pay off debt or for a large purchase. A savings calculator helps you align your habits with your goals. 

Down payment for a house

If you plan to buy a house, a savings calculator can help you save money for a down payment. You can change such variables as years to save or the monthly deposit to see when you will have enough money to put down on a home. 


To help reach your retirement savings goals, you should know how much money you need to retire. A savings calculator bridges the gap between your financial goals and how much money you must invest now.

Using the example above, let’s say a 30-year-old professional has $10,000 earning a 4% annual interest rate set aside for retirement. To reach $500,000 in retirement savings by age 65, the savings calculator reveals that monthly contributions of $502.93 are necessary. 

How much should you save each month?

How much you should save every month depends on your financial situation. While saving 20% of your household income is recommended, this goal may seem out of reach based on your financial circumstances.

A household budget can help you decide how much you should save each month. A budget details your monthly spending plan. To help reach your financial goals, set up automatic savings withdrawals as part of your expenses. Even if saving 20% seems out of reach, a budget can help you save for emergencies and big purchases. 

Plan your financial future with a savings calculator

Knowing how much money you need to save for life’s significant investments can be challenging. A savings calculator is an easy tool to plan your financial future. Whether you plan to save for a new home or retirement, a savings calculator can put you on a clear path to saving for your future. 


Are savings calculators only for individuals, or can businesses also use them?

Individuals or businesses may use savings calculators. 

Can you use a savings calculator for debt repayment planning?

If you plan to pay off your debt in a lump sum, a savings calculator can show how much you can save toward this goal.  

Can you use a savings calculator to identify areas where you can increase your savings?

With a savings calculator, you can identify areas to increase savings. You may find creative ways to cut unnecessary expenses from your household budget to help you meet your monthly savings commitment. Or you could seek savings or other investment accounts with higher interest rates to help increase your savings. 

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