A dollar might not change your life. But a dollar a day might. And if that dollar grows bigger every day, it could make or break your finances.

Compound interest makes the numbers grow more quickly than simple interest. If those numbers represent your savings, great. Compounding is what you want. If we’re talking about debt, not so great. Compound interest will cost you more.

This stuff can make our brains hurt, so we asked finance expert and published author Mitchell Weiss to help us break it down. Mitchell helps non-finance people understand finance.

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Mitchell D. Weiss