Are you looking for free tools to help you save more money? I’ll share with you some of my favorites as a Financial Planner!
One of the most alarming statistics I see as I wrap up my Personal Financial Planning degree is how many people don’t have any savings at all! In a 2016 study shared by CNBC, more than one-third of Americans didn’t have money set aside.
Saving money is essential! These free tools will help you simplify the process of knowing how and where to save money and how to increase your savings.
Tools for Calculating Savings
Are you trying to figure out the value of your investment or how fast you can reach a current savings goal? Personal finance involves a lot of formulas and a lot of math.
Pigly Savings Calculators
Pigly.com is a great tool to help simplify these problems. The designers of the website are all for financial literacy, even for children! They are nonprofit, free, and require no sign-up.
They have dozens of financial calculators, all broken down under 9 categories: Savings, CD, education, home, vehicle, retirement, loans, debt, and credit cards. As someone in the field of personal finance, I have never seen such a variety of calculators available for free, rather than in a for-purchase software.
My favorite page on their website is the savings page! They make it simple for people who need a quick calculation, and offer multiple-variable formulas for those looking for a more accurate estimate. It is helpful to have a lot of information right on their website, so you are not clicking between tabs and websites.
It is great to show the variables in each formula, and know what affects the outcome of the value. Each formula has its own page and boxes to put in the variables. You simply type in the information you have, like interest rates, and it will calculate the future value for you.
Multiple Checking/Savings Accounts
A few of the This Blue Dress sisters use multiple savings or checking accounts to divide our separate savings goals. This article from Forbes.com goes into great detail on the pros and cons of this system and the best accounts for this savings method.
The Busy Budgeter has a detailed post about how this strategy applies to her family that could be helpful too.
Age-Based Savings Milestones
Not sure how much you need to save? Along with the Pigly calculators, this list from CNBC for liquid savings goals by age could be a great starting place!
Are you on track with their recommendations? If not, these other ideas and tools may help!
Tools and Ideas for Increasing Your Savings
Increase Your Income
If you can increase your income, you’ll be able to meet your savings goals faster! The bottom of Pigly’s basic savings calculator has incredibly helpful steps in actively managing your finances so that you can save more money. Check that page out here. You’ll find a list of freelance work and part-time jobs on this page to help increase your income.
Our sister’s favorite “side-hustle” helped her retire in her twenties from her stressful corporate job! And of course, blogging can be a great way to earn part-time to full-time income if you’re willing to put in the work!
You can also read about some of our favorite money-making and saving apps (that we actually use!) here.
Reduce Your Spending
One of the primary goals of This Blue Dress is to help you find the best family-friendly products and services for your budget.
Eliminate Your Debt
Debt reduction is also so important for financial well being! I also love Pigly’s debt calculators. This page has a list of questions that guide you to fill in the variables.
I think the questions are a good use of financial terminology, like APR, while letting you know what you are looking for (annual percentage rate). After they give you your results, they offer practical ways to manage your debt. This page is found here.
I hope these tools will help you meet your savings goals and give you financial peace! Do you have any questions about these resources or have a favorite free financial tool? Please share in the comments!