2013 Challenge Week 1: Discover the Power of Savings

Developing good savings habits early can help you create a financial cushion for emergencies and reach your long-term savings goals like buying a more reliable car or making a down payment for a house. In fact, even putting aside a small amount each month can quickly add up.

To help you visualize the benefits of saving, try out this handy calculator. Simply:

  1. Enter an amount you can afford to save each month
  2. Type in the estimated interest rate you expect to receive
  3. Plug in the number of years you plan to save
  4. Then just hit Calculate!

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Be sure to post a comment about what you discovered, what you are savings for; or your own saving tips for other students right here on $tartwithChange and get entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card*.

Keep in mind that most financial planners recommend setting aside at least 10 percent of your income to create an emergency fund equal to 3-6 months of your living expenses. This may be difficult for most college students, but here are some suggestions:

  • Plan to set aside a small amount from each paycheck, even if it’s just $10.
  • Try saving an amount equal to what you usually spend on things that you don’t really need such as coffee or fast food.
  • Track your expenses for 1-2 weeks to identify specific expenses you can cut back on.
  • Get started on a budget for next semester, including a plan for how you might not have to borrow as much for school.

So start saving now and pave the way to a bright financial future!

*Details and official rules here
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Showing 27 comments
  • docplove

    If I save $40 a month for the next 10 years at .01% interest, I would only have about $4802??? So I know not to put it in a savings account these days. But what I did find online was a 52 week challenge where we start the first week with $1 and each week it goes up. Week 2=$2 week 3=$3 and week 52=$52 and in the end, we have A LOT of money. I want to try that.

  • laceyskelton

    If I save $100 a month for 10 years at 1%, I will have accumulated $25,230. I would like to save more than that, but I am a single mother and live paycheck to paycheck, and saving just $100 is pushing it. This is a really good tool to use though.

  • ksabe

    i learned that if i was able to save 50 a month at a apr of 1 percent i would save a little over 6000

  • malrfrederick

    I learned that I need to up the amount I am saving. My husband and I are looking into buying a house in the next couple of years, and you have to have a down payment these days to buy one. Saving money and providing for a family of 6 is hard. Thank you for the calculator, it has really helped put things into perspective.

  • tavia8910

    I learned that if I save $100 a month (which is pushing it) at an interest rate of 1% for 18 years, I would save $23,655. That is excellent to me. I’d like to save even more, so it’d be great to learn where has the best interest rate.

  • cchaney2

    Last Mon. when I getting gas I stopped at the closet gas station from my house. After jumping back in the car I only had half of a quarter of a tank. Than I was like $4 a gallon; running late for College Math class I want oh forget it and pumped a second $10 of gas a total $20 for only a quarter of a tank. Believe it or not this was impulse buying. Actually I think I should start saving atm I am not saving at all but I am unsure where to start.

  • Janette Candia

    I’m planning on saving a good amount of money to go on vacations to mexico, i would love to go see my day i haven’t seen him for over 10 years:( , but thanks to docplove i found a good way to save money every week i will raise the amount of money :):)

  • clos213

    I think this a good tool to help visualize what can be accomplished when you save. My only issue though most banks don’t provide more than 1 % and have certain amounts needed to open an account.

  • mwilliams36

    My husband and I are both going to school and we want to buy a house in the next few years. We have two children and it is getting crowded in our two bedroom apartment. I learned that saving 40 a month with a .01 interest will give me a savings of about 1000 dollars to put down on a house in 2 years. I know that I will need to save a little more that 40 a month; I will have to decide what we need and don’t need. I have great credit and I hoping this will help us get a house.

  • lrpolley

    Presently I’m not savings enough, but hope to be able to start putting more away each week. Saving about $200 a month now, but need to increase it.

    What perplexes me is use as the savers only get a meager .01% interest, but our student loans are getting a whopping 6.85% from us. Where is the equality in that?

  • monchelhollins

    I love saving money just to see how much I can save. I’ve save $500.00 in the last three months cause everytime I eat out or spend money on something to eat. I save the same amount cause I noticed that my husband and I spend so much money eating out. I’ve even lost weight cause now that I cant afford to eat out and save the same amount I choose to prepare a lunch or eat less. I plan to save $1000.00 in 6 months to start a savings account for my eldest car when she graduate in about 6 years. I probably will reach my goal cause I beleive in the power of savings.

  • Melody

    If I saved $5.00 a month at .02% I would save just over $600.00 in 10 years. If you open a savings account when a child is born and each year add money equal to the age (for instance $1 for the first year, $2 for the second, etc.) by the time they are ready to go to college you can just about pay for their education from that account.

  • Mr. Zell

    Using this tool, I find that if I save $134 dollars for a span of 3 years at 0.01% interest, I’ll save $4,825 dollars; I only earned a dollar on interest. However, this is a good tool I must say. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was attached on the website. It’ll give consumers a good idea on the rates of saving. I’ll stick to the plan of using CD’s, though.

  • tashamingo

    Wish I could save more, I also help support my disabled mother. $50 a month is pushing my limits, but hopefully when I graduate in a year with my Bachelors degree, that will change. I do load extra money on a prepaid credit card and put it up for emergencies. I limit eating out and use a strict monthly budget.

  • jimdrew93

    Learned long ago that simply putting my spare change(coins) aside at the end of each day will easily add up to $50 a month and you really never miss it if your just drop that $50 in an account or even in a piggy bank it will add up quickly.

  • Shakitia

    $80 a month will with 1% interest for 10yrs is over 10gs not bad I guess

  • brendaem

    Really who can afford to save more then $100.00 a month if that?

  • rpsdds

    Even just $10 per paycheck adds up, then when you have enough put it in a CD for higher interest

  • anapotroanchenu

    Very good idea…and it’s best to open an annuity, where you can earn the most interest…and have to set up something automatically where the money is deducted from your paycheck so you can’t even see it being taken out..

  • mjditonno

    I learned that I need a job that will pay me enough that I can save. I would like to put save a minimum of $100 a month to start. That will only give me $12,615 at 1% interest at the end of 10 years. To me that is way to long to save only $12,615. I want to improve my credit rating and buy a house, all within 12 months. I don’t know if it’s possible. But I sure hope it is.

  • quartzdawg

    This is an excellent tool to figure out what is necessary for the future. Now I just need to keep up with what I want to do and I’m good.

  • minh_boo90

    That is awesome. I have never thought that I can save a lot of money like this before. Just saving $100/ month, in 5 years as the interest of 1%, i can save up to $ 6,150. With $6.150, I can use that money to down on a new car, or even a house. Just cutting off unnecessary spending, you will have a “basic” for your future.

  • jeri

    $50/month @10% will allow me to pay my annual taxes w/o thinking!!! Cool!

  • GER3

    I don’t think anyone ever got rich by saving … mostly through investments or inheritance

  • webbyt

    I have ALWAYS been frivioulous with money. I am now in my 40’s. I am a shame to even admit that; but telling the truth has helped me put away $5 dollars away a week. Now ladies and gentlemen, that may not be a lot to some of you, but this is only my stepping stone to put another dollar in to make it $6 and it won’t even be a problem.

  • nicoletta0607

    I checked out local banks current savings percentages. Its been 0.02% across the board. Which is not a lot. If I were to save $100.00 for 1 year, I’d save $1200.00. That’s it. Makes me sad. However, this tool is helpful and makes you more aware of what the percentage rates really mean for you. Maybe the rates are negotiable, I’m not sure, but maybe worth a shot to help get some more pennies in your pocket.

  • Cloud

    I was calculating many a numbers and cant afford to save more than a hundred a month but with the interest rate.01%, there’s not much to be gained. So, I am hoping to learn about stocks, bonds, and other things in that areas as I am so confused when my husband comes home with his work information about savings plans, and investing in the company, and 401k that we tend to find ourselves not doing nothing since we know nothing. By doing this we both figure we are missing out on opportunities but what to do? Hope some information on these topics will be covered! Right now we will just try the 100 a month savings and will have a hard time just doing that much but I thank you for the information and look forward to continuing follow this site weekly if not more