Would you rather have $100 today or tomorrow? The obvious answer is today — but perhaps not for the reasons you may think when you consider the importance of time as it relates to your money's value.

Of course, instantly gaining $100 means you have more now. But what if you were to save, invest, or collect interest on that amount of money instead?

A concept of importance for both investors and individuals, the time value of money is the idea that money available today is more valuable than money acquired in the future. Money that you earn today can be put toward future financial goals, like buying a house or saving for retirement.

Here’s a breakdown of how time plus money could equal future opportunity — and the steps you can take with your cash today to help create a better tomorrow.

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