This free online Future Value of Money Calculator will calculate how much a lump sum of money invested today will be worth after a specified number of months or years, given a compounding interest rate and the compounding interval.
Plus, the future value of money calculator will also display an annual growth chart so you can see the growth on a year-to-year basis.
If you are interested in calculating the future value of a series of equal cash flows, please visit the Future Value of an Annuity Calculator.
When you place an amount of money in an account or an investment that earns compounding interest (earns interest on interest paid), future value is the amount to which the original deposit or investment will grow to based on the compounding rate and interval (daily compounding, monthly compounding, etc.), and on the number of months or years.
Because Future Value (FV) is the result of interest being earned on previously earned interest, future value is also referred to as compounding. Therefore, a compounding interest calculator is virtually the same thing as a future value of money calculator.
Suppose you have a lump sum of money and you have several choices of where to invest or deposit the lump sum. Further suppose that these choices come with different interest rates and compounding intervals. Future value calculations allow you to compare the growth of each option against the growth of all other options.
A second, and more important use of future value calculations, is for determining the financial opportunity costs of spending a lump sum of money on a depreciating asset (value diminishes with time and use) or on an expendable (value is expended upon use or purchase) instead of investing it.
Suppose you are considering spending $5,000 on a vacation. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know and give equal weight to the financial opportunity costs that will come with an expenditure of the $5,000 for an expendable.
If you have at least 30 years until you can retire, and could earn 6%, compounded monthly on the lump sum if you invested it, future value calculations will tell you that the financial opportunity cost of going on vacation will be $25,112.88 (future value of $30,112.88 less the original $5,000). That is how much interest earnings you will be giving up by going on vacation.
Going one step further, you could also determine how much time off from work you could take after 30 years of earning 6% interest. If you take home $15 per hour and work 40-hours per week, this means you could take roughly 50-weeks off from work 30 years from now ($30,112.88 ÷ $600 per week = 50.19 weeks).
Sure, the above opportunity cost calculation doesn't account for inflation (erosion of buying power) that may or may not occur (perhaps your wages or interest rate may rise to keep pace with inflation?). But the question you need to ask yourself is, in 30 years which would I rather have, faded memories of 1-week vacation, or $30,112.88 in savings? If you still choose to spend the lump sum on the vacation, then at least you made an informed decision.
With that, let's use the Future Value of Money Calculator for calculating future value of a lump sum.
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Lump sum: The dollar amount of the lump sum of money you wish to calculate future value for.
Number of months/years to calculate future value for: Select either Months or Years and enter the corresponding number of periods.
Compounding interest rate: Enter the compounding interest rate to be used for the future value calculations. Please enter as a percentage (for .06, enter 6%).
Frequency of interest compounding: Select the compounding frequency to use in the future value calculations (daily compounding, monthly compounding, etc.).
Future value of lump sum: Based on your entries, this is the future value of the lump sum you entered. Note that the lump sum is also the present or discounted value of this future amount.
Compound interest earned on lump sum: Based on your entries, this is how much compound interest you will earn on the lump sum over the course of the specified number of months or years. Keep in mind that this result also represents the financial opportunity costs of spending the lump sum on a depreciable asset or on an expendable instead of investing it.