How Long Will it Take to Save?
When planning for a future purchase or devising a strategy for saving towards a goal, it can be tricky to work out how long it might take to achieve it.
Perhaps you're saving for a dream holiday and imagining laying on your sun lounger, sipping cocktails. Or maybe you have your mind set on a deposit for a house or a new car and want to understand when you might be able to lay your hands on the keys. Whatever the reason, help is at hand...
Calculating savings goals
To assist you with your future planning, we've created an easy-to-use savings goal calculator. This tool will help you work out:
- The date on which you will hit your savings target
- How many weeks, months and years it will take
- How much interest you will earn
How long to save...
Below is a table showing how long it might take you to save for a specific amount from a $0 principal figure with set monthly deposits and no interest.
How long will it take to save $10k?
If you save $200 per month it will take you 4 years and 2 months to reach $10,000. If you save $300 per month it will take you 2 years and 10 months. Saving $400 per month will mean that you reach your $10,000 target in just 2 years and 1 month. These figures assume no interest is being accumulated on your savings.
How long will it take to save $100k?
If you save $500 each month, it wil take you 16 years and 8 months to reach your $100,000 target. The length of time required increases to 33 years and 4 months if you only manage to put aside $250 each month. Note that these figures assume no interest is being earned on your savings.
Regular saving and compound interest
The following example shows regular deposits of $100 into a savings account (at the start of each month), with $0 initial principal, at 0%, 3% and 5% annual interest rates, compounded monthly. It demonstrates how much quicker you can save for a goal with regular investing and compound interest.
Effective strategies for saving
Now that you know how long you need to save to achieve your savings goal, your next step should be to figure out an effective strategy to make the most of the money you're putting away. Consider the following questions:
- Where should I put the savings in order to maximise interest?
- How can I make the strategy of saving as easy as possible?
Where should I put my savings?
Look around for a good savings account that offers a high-interest rate and allows you to pay in regular amounts. Be aware that some accounts can offer you a high rate at first, before reducing down to a lower rate after a fixed period. If you look at fixed-term deposit accounts, bear in mind that whilst they tend to offer higher rates of interest, your money may be inaccessible for a number of years, when you may need it sooner.
It is worth noting that you can get higher interest rates from other forms of investment, so it may be worth talking to an independent financial advisor for some tips on this. Whatever you choose, by moving your money into an investment with a good interest rate, you will be able to take advantage of compound interest, which can give a healthy boost to your total.
How can I make my saving strategy work?
To ensure that you keep making the regular monthly transfers required to achieve your savings goal without accidentally missing a payment, consider setting up an automatic monthly payment from your deposit account into your savings or investment account. You can then rest easy that everything is taken care of so that you're sipping drinks on your beach or taking possession of your car or house keys just when you expect to, without having to save any longer to achieve your goal.
If you would like some more tips on ways to increase your savings by making changes in your lifestyle, you could try reading about Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE). There's also a very comprehensive article on Jim Wang's Wallet Hacks website featuring 105 Easy Ways to Save Money.
Finally, we've written our own article with some saving tips for young people. Do take a look!
If you have any problems using our calculator tool, please contact us.