Simple Finance Questions

In: Business and Management

Submitted By miked001
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We have to work with money every day. While balancing your checkbook or calculating your monthly expenditures on espresso requires only arithmetic, when we start saving, planning for retirement, or need a loan, we need more mathematics.

Simple Interest

Discussing interest starts with the principal, or amount your account starts with. This could be a starting investment, or the starting amount of a loan. Interest, in its most simple form, is calculated as a percent of the principal. For example, if you borrowed $100 from a friend and agree to repay it with 5% interest, then the amount of interest you would pay would just be 5% of 100: $100(0.05) = $5. The total amount you would repay would be $105, the original principal plus the interest.


Example: A friend asks to borrow $300 and agrees to repay it in 30 days with 3% interest. How much interest will you earn?

P0 = $300 (the principal) r = 0.03 (3% rate)
I = $300(0.03) = $9. You will earn $9 interest.

One-time simple interest is only common for extremely short-term loans. For longer term loans, it is common for interest to be paid on a daily, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. In that case, interest would be earned regularly. For example, bonds are essentially a loan made to the bond issuer (a company or government) by you, the bond holder. In return for the loan, the issuer agrees to pay interest, often annually. Bonds have a maturity date, at which time the issuer pays back the original bond value.

Example: Suppose your city is building a new park, and issues bonds to raise the money to build it. You obtain a $1,000 bond that pays 5% interest annually that matures in 5 years. Each year, you would earn 5% interest: $1000(0.05) = $50 in interest. So over the course of five years, you would earn a total of $250 in interest. When the bond matures, you…...

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