There are two ways to look at savings accounts. One school of thought is that savings accounts are just somewhere where your salary gets transferred; a place where you park your money without giving it much thought. The second school of thought, though, is that savings accounts are tools that you actively manage as you pursue a specific financial goal.
Chances are, somebody who is focused and disciplined is going to be a more successful saver than somebody who takes a set-and-forget approach.
If you’re the sort of person who pays close attention to their money, or you’ve decided that you want to get more serious about your saving, you’ll want to play around with a savings account calculator.
What is a savings account calculator?
A savings account calculator is an online tool that will tell you how fast your savings will grow.
To use RateCity’s savings account calculator (see above), all you have to do is input the following information:
- How much you plan to deposit
- How long you plan to keep the money in the account
- The interest rate you expect to earn
Based on those numbers, the calculator will then tell you:
- How much you will earn in interest
- Your final balance
The calculator will also create a graph that will illustrate the growth in your savings over time.
The great thing about a savings account calculator is that you can research different scenarios, so you can see how your savings will be affected with different deposit sizes, savings periods and interest rates.
How to find a savings account
Your next step should be to research savings accounts. Ordinarily, this would be a difficult and time-consuming task, because there are dozens of lenders offering hundreds of different products. Fortunately, though, RateCity has made the process quick and easy with its online comparison tool.
This tool will not only tell you how much interest each savings account will pay, but also other relevant information such as whether it charges an account-keeping fee or requires a minimum opening deposit.
Make sure pay close attention to both the ‘base rate’ and the ‘maximum rate’. Ideally, these numbers should be one and the same. If they’re different, that tells you that you will have to meet certain conditions if you want to earn the maximum rate; otherwise, you’ll only receive the lower base rate.
Sometimes, the difference between the base rate and maximum rate can be as high as two percentage points. Don’t sign up for an account that has two different rates unless you’re satisfied that you understand exactly what you need to do to qualify for the maximum rate.
Tips to boost your savings
If you have a regular income, having this automatically deposited into your savings account can help to grow your interest. Most accounts have this as a standard feature and there are generally no additional fees involved.
If you’re struggling to save, making small irregular deposits into your account can be a great way to start. Although it can be hard, you should then see what you can do to increase the frequency of your deposits so you can earn extra interest.