<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/shutterstock_682532861.jpg”>Although credit cards make it easy for us to purchase the things we want, we all know they can make our purchases harder to pay off. So why not consider developing a savings plan rather than an interest debt for your next major purchase or long-term goal? Whether you’re saving for college, retirement, a new computer, or a vacation, having a savings plan could help you achieve your goal.
There are several online calculators that work similar to using formulas in Excel spreadsheets. These calculators help you see more clearly how much money you can save over time by cutting back on spending or making better choices about the purchases you make. A savings plan means you may still buy the things you want or need, but you do so by not incurring more expenses.
Budgeting & Saving Using Mint
First off, in order to make your goal(s) attainable, you will probably need to budget your spending in order to start saving or increase your savings. One online service you might try for this entire budgeting and savings process is Mint. Back in June I reviewed how to use this free service to develop a budgeting plan. Since then, Mint.com has added another feature, aptly called Goals.
Mint makes it super easy to set up a savings plan for nearly any type of goal, including paying off a debt, buying a car, taking a trip, buying a home, or saving for retirement. If none of their template plans fit your needs, you can customize your own.
Mint.com will keep you updated about the progress of your savings plan. Setting up a Mint.com account, a budget, and a savings account require a little time, but the site features work so well together that it’s worth the effort.
Another calculator which you can use without registering an account is found on Dinkytown. This calculator includes formulations for college savings, a savings plan for buying a home, and how much you could possibly save by not smoking, drinking, or over shopping.
It can even provide calculations for how much you might save each month by bagging your lunch instead of eating out. Want to make a cool million? It will show how to develop a savings plan for that too. When you actually see these numbers, it may very well make you realize how attainable your goals actually are. Matter of fact, the calculator will even show you how much it”˜s costing you to delay any type of savings plan.[NO LONGER WORKS]
College Savings Planner
If you’re looking to start a savings plan for your children”˜s college education, you might take a look at Vanguard’s College Savings Planner.
The calculator provides a rough estimate of how much you will need to set aside based on the tuition (in-state or out-of-state) and the type of college your child might attend.
Savings With Interests
If you’re looking to start a long-term savings plan, many online bank and credit unions includes savings calculators.
Mappingyourfuture.com provides a really simple savings calculator that computes anticipated future savings based on an initial deposit, monthly savings, interest rates, and number of years. The site also provides tips for saving for college and paying off student loans.
Savings Calculator For Your Website
If your savings plan involves the visitors to your website, Frograte provides a set of formula calculations, including loan, mortgage, and credit card debts.
Posting the calculations and code on your site may be useful for an organization involved in a collective savings plan. Frograte says that their “savings calculator is based on monthly compounding, check the details of your account for the compounding period. Accounts that are compounded daily, or yearly will vary slightly from the calculated results”.
Energy Savings Calculator
Developing a savings plan is just not limited to what you can set aside from your income. You might be able to save based on upgrading your refrigerator, or getting rid of your clunker and purchasing a new car.
Engerystar.com provides a calculator to help you determine how much you might save by buying an energy savings refrigerator.
New vs Used Car Calculator
Similarly, if you’re needing to purchase a car, AOL.com provides a handy calculator for determining how much you might save buying a new car as opposed to a used one.
By using one of the above or similar calculators, you can get a more factual estimate of your savings goals as opposed to just guessing off the top of your head.
Let us know of other calculators and money saving tips you know about.
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