How Much Would You Have If You Saved $1 a Day for Your Entire Life?

Depending on your strategy, saving $1 a day can add up to $18,000 — or $23,600.

A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to — or does it? It’s true that you can’t get much for $1 these days. But if you set aside $1 each day, you actually can get a lot of bang for your buck.

Yes, saving small amounts of money really can add up over time, as we found by calculating how much you would have if you saved $1 a day for your adult working life. We took two (2) approaches:

  • Saving in a non-interest bearing account
  • Putting the money in a savings or money market account with a 1.00 percent interest rate, which is on the high-end of rates you can get on interest-bearing accounts these days.

Then, we assumed that the money was set aside over a 50-year period, from age 18 to 68.

Save $1 a Day Chart: How Much You Can Save Over the Years

10 Years20 Years30 Years40 Years50 Years
Savings Account (no interest)$3,650$7,300.00$10,950.00$14,600.00$18,250.00
Money Market Account (1.00%)$3,837.82$8,076.94$12,759.96$17,932.35$23,646.19

Save $1 a Day With No Interest

The calculations are pretty straightforward. After 50 years of saving $1 a day for 365 days a year, you would have $18,250.

Certainly, $18,250 is not enough to fund your entire retirement. But for someone whose mortgage is paid off, has low healthcare costs and lives a frugal life, that amount could be enough to cover one year in retirement. Or, it could easily let you start retirement with the trip of a lifetime with your spouse — and maybe the kids, too.

Save $1 a Day in a Savings or Money Market Account

The average money market rate is a paltry 0.08 percent for account balances less than $100,000, and the average savings account rate is even lower at 0.06 percent, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

However, you can find rates closer to 1 percent on accounts. So, if you saved $1 a day in a savings or money market account earning 1.00 percent interest compounded daily, you would have $23,646 after 50 years.

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