Do you want to calculate how much your current savings might be worth in 10 years or in 30 years? It’s an easy calculation that doesn’t require any specific function in Excel. Some simple multiplication, addition and exponentiation is all you need.
Still, the answer you will most likely get if you search for “compound interest in Excel” on Google is the FV function. The FV function is difficult to use, and it actually calculates compound interest based on a monthly rate rather than a yearly rate, which gives a slightly different result.
Look at the diagrams below – they show the same numbers, but the vertical scales, the y-axis, are different. In this example we see how $1,000 grows to almost $300,000 in 50 years with a 12% yearly return.
The blue diagram has a linear scale on the y-axis, so the distance between 0 and 50,000 is the same as the distance between 200,000 and 250,000. The yellow diagram has a logarithmic scale with base 10, which means that each interval is increased by a factor of 10. Read more to find out how to do this in Excel, and why you may or may not want to use a logarithmic scale: