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Do One Thing Differently Calculator

When you make even a small change in how you're spending money, it can really add up. You can save the difference or donate the money to your favorite charity. What one thing can you change? This calculator will help you run the numbers.

Do One Thing Differently Calculator Definitions

Expected rate of return
This is the annually compounded rate of return you expect from your investments. If you pay taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains from these investments you may wish to enter your after-tax rate of return.

The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending December 31st 2018, had an annual compounded rate of return of 12.1%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1970 to December 31st 2018, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.2% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Change one thing
Choose one thing that you might be able to change to reduce your spending. Your choices are shopping, eating out, bringing lunch from home, take the bus, do it your self (car wash, yard maintenance, etc), coffees/lattes, cancel something (magazine, cable, texting, etc), smoking or other.
Current spending per week
Average amount you spend on your selection each week.
Reduce spending by
Percentage you wish to reduce your spending on the selected item. You can choose a 1% to 100% reduction.
Goal to save
A Do One Thing Differently goal. We will calculate the length of time it will take to save this amount.
Monthly savings
Total you should be able to save each month by reducing your spending.