Do you have a savings goal in mind for the future, and you’d like to know how much you’d need to put into investments today to meet that goal? The present value calculator can tell you how much money you would need to invest right now in order to meet a future savings goal that you have.

You’re probably aware that putting $1,000 into investments today and letting it earn interest for five years is more valuable to you than simply saving $1,000 over five years in an account that earns no interest, but are you aware how much you can lose by failing to invest? The present value calculator can show you how interest impacts your investments.

Let’s say that you’re planning on taking an expensive trip abroad in five years, and that the trip will cost you $5,000. You could potentially put money into investments now and earn interest over the five years, but you also have the option to earn the money at the end of the five years and pay the $5,000 all at once. Let’s utilize the present value calculator to see how much money you could essentially “save” by investing money today to reach your $5,000 savings goal.

Input $5,000 into the “Future value ($)” line; this is the amount you’ll need in five years. We’ll assume a 5% discount rate, which will be the amount earned on the investment. Investments often compound annually. You’ll discover that it will require you to put $3,917.63 into investments earning 5% today to have $5,000 in five years. In other words, planning now for your future will end up saving you $1,082.37!

The present value calculator can also help you see that saving a lot now will mean you can save less aggressively in the future. While you may not be able to save a large amount of money immediately, using the present value calculator will help visualize the fact that saving more now will add up over time. For example, an investment of $376,889.48 will nearly triple to a million dollars in 20 years when invested in accounts that yield an interest rate of 5%. Clearly, you’ll not be able to save that amount now, but every extra dollar invested will add up over time. One dollar invested at 5% for 20 years will grow to $2.65, so every dollar saved today would earn you $1.65 over time.

For more information on how much your money will be worth in the future when invested now, use the present value of an annuity calculator. This calculator will also let you know just how much you need to have invested at a specified rate of return in order to withdrawal an equal amount of money over certain intervals of time in the future. The calculator is particularly useful for knowing how much money that will be necessary for retirement so that you can withdrawal a specific amount every year.

When using the provided calculators to plan for your retirement, college, or other savings goals, it’s advisable to always follow up by consulting with a financial advisor. A financial advisor has the knowledge of current market trends and investment options necessary to help you meet your savings goals. While using the calculators available will help you get a general idea about how much money you will need to put aside to reach your financial goals, a financial professional will be able to advise you as to how to invest your money wisely.