How Do I Find The Rate For A Sinking Fund?

To find the rate for a sinking fund, you needed to use a graph or the TVM Solver on a TI graphing calculator to find the interest rate on a sinking fund. Let’s look at the most basic way of doing this by graphing.

Problem Find the interest rate needed for a sinking fund to accumulate $25,600 in five years with monthly payments (made at the end of the month) of $400.

Solution Since this problem indicates that payments are being made, we need to use the ordinary annuity formula. For a sinking fund, the future value is known, 25600. We also know the payment, 400, and the number of periods, 60:

This is incredibly difficult to solve for i algebraically. Instead, graph each side of the equation and look for a point of intersection. On a graphing calculator we would type y1 = 400*((1+x)^60-1)/x and y2 = 25600 in the window [0, 0.004] by [23500, 27500].

The toughest part is coming up with the window on the graph. Since the x on your calculator represents the interest rate per period, it needs to small like 0 to 0.01 initially. The vertical window is much easier to determine since the second equation is y = 25600, a horizontal line. Simply pick a horizontal window that spans this value.

The annual interest rate is 12 · 0.00217 ≈ 0.02604 or approximately 2.6%.