The value of money will change over time. Meaning, what a dollar will buy today is not what a dollar will buy in the future. What the dollar buys in the future is called its future value. A future value calculator is the tool one uses to calculate a dollar's future value.
Two factors impact the dollar's FV (or any currency's FV):
- inflation (or deflation)
- investment return
The greater the rate of inflation the less the dollar will buy. The greater the investment's rate-of-return (or interest rate) or the greater the rate of deflation, the more the dollar will buy.
This future value calculator will calculate the FV of an amount or asset after an exact number of days assuming any rate-of-return (tested to 99% per annum) for 12 compounding frequencies plus simple interest.
Because this calculator is date sensitive, and because it supports many compounding options, it is a suitable tool for calculating the balance of a debt when the debtor has not made any payments. More details below the calculator
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More About Future Value
The future value calculator normally calculates a nominal future value. This means the calculated future value is the result of an investment gain or from interest earned on the money. A nominal future value does not account for inflation.
If you want to know the real future value, you can do one of two things.
If you want to to know the purchasing power of the original amount after inflation, then deduct an estimated inflation rate from the Annual Interest Rate. Example: If your Annual Interest Rate is 4.5%, and you estimate that inflation will average 2% per year, then rather than enter 4% for your rate-of-return, enter 2.5% instead. The calculated FV will now be the real future value.
This is a bit of an oxymoron more though. Economists call this the real future value, but it's actually an estimated real future value because we can only estimate the future rate of inflation.
Nonetheless, the real future value is closer to an accurate calculation than the nominal future value which as you can see, doesn't even consider inflation.
If on the other hand, you want to be compensated for inflation, then you add the inflation rate to the annual interest rate. If for example, someone had owed you $2,000 for five and a half years and they agreed to compensate you for 2% inflation on top of a 4% interest rate, then you would add the inflation rate to the rate of return.
The result thus includes the effect of inflation. Or you can think of the calculation this way. If I want to make a real 4.5% gain on my investment, how much will I need to also compensate for the loss of value due to inflation?
FV Calculator Help
Calculates the future value of a single amount. Use the "future value schedule" if you want to calculate the future value of a series of investments or deposits.
Enter the present value (amount invested) and a nominal annual interest rate.
Date Math: If you change either date, the number of days will be calculated. If you enter a positive number of days, the end date will be updated. If you enter a negative number of days the start date will be updated.
The above means you can calculate the FV for a specific number of days and not worry about what the dates are. If you need to know the FV after 31 days, then enter 31 for the number of days and don't worry about the dates.
Set the compounding and the days per year. Click "Calc". The future value is calculated (initial amount plus the gain).
The gain may be calculated based on a unit of time, say a month. In that case, a month's gain is always the same for the same annual rate and same principal balance regardless of the length of the month. Given $10,000 principal and an annual rate of 6.75% the gain will be the same for February as it will be March.
Tips when entering dates
Pick the date format you want to use by clicking on the "$ : MM/DD/YYYY" in the lower right corner of any calculator. You'll have 3 formatting options.
You may set a date by clicking on the calendar button  or by typing 8 digits per the selected date format.
If you are using the calendar, to quickly change to a new date, you may click on the current month's name at the top to see a list of months and then you may click on the year to see a list of years. Pick the year. Pick the month. Finally pick the date. Or click on the word "Today" to set to the current date.
If you are using the keyboard. Type only the 8 required digits. Do not type the date part separators ("/" or "-"). When you either tab to a date input or single click on a date, it will be selected. You can just start typing to clear. No need to delete the date. Or you can type the right arrow key to clear the selection and backspace to edit. Depending on the date format selected, you can backspace to clear the last 2 digits of a year and reenter them to change dates by multiple years very quickly.