As more and more people look to balance their checkbooks in an uncertain financial climate, the use of online financial calculators has become increasingly popular. A mathematical tool that does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to working out affordability and interest rates with mortgages, investments and loans, this article will help point you in the direction of the best use of financial calculators for a whole range of financial affairs.
What is an Online Financial Calculator, and why should I use one?
Why not ask the man who invented them, Karl Ebert? This interview will tell you all you need to know about why so many people have found online financial calculators to be an invaluable tool in their everyday lives. They have become so omnipresent that even the Department of Social Security has got in on the action.
Below are just some of the financial fields that Mr. Ebert’s invention has revolutionized.
Anybody looking to make investments can use a financial calculator to discover just how realistic this plan is. A quality source will crunch the numbers relating to your target earnings and the timeframe you have in mind, and inform you of just how many dollars you can be expected to invest each month.
- Calculator.net, for example, suggests that anybody seeking to make $50,000 over five years from a principal investment of $1,000 would need to contribute $700 on a monthly basis. This would result in almost $7,000 of interest by the end of the investment.
- Investopedia go into significantly more detail, with suggestions for differing types of investment for anybody with a little more experience in playing the financial market.
- investor.gov, however, is an official government-sponsored site that offers invaluable insight into the most judicious investments available on the market today.
Taking out a mortgage is the biggest decisions many Americans will ever make, and the financial burden can be significant. To avoid future hardship and the risk of repossession, anybody looking to become a homeowner should utilize one of the many online mortgage calculators available to assess the affordability of their dream home.
- Mortgage Calculator will give you a very top-line idea of how much you can expect your monthly repayments to be. If you are looking to purchase a home at $350,000, and you have a deposit of 10% in place in the shape of $35,000 and are offered an interest rate of 5% by a mortgage broker, you should be expect a monthly charge in excess of $2,000.
- BankRate offer a similar service, in addition to making suggestions of potential lenders that fit your circumstances.
- US Mortgage Calculator also breaks the information down into understandable chunks.
- CNN look beyond the mortgage alone and provide a general home affordability calculator.
- The New York Times, meanwhile, uses a financial calculator to advise as to whether buying a home or renting is more financially prudent.
So, you’re expecting the arrival of a child? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a remarkable and magical journey – and a very costly one. The use of a financial calculator will help you prepare for the new raft of expenses that are destined to come your way.
- BabyCenter can offer you guidelines on the cost of living while raising a child.
- Saving for College will inform you as to how much your child’s further education will cost, and when to start saving for it ahead of time.
A car is largely essential for life in modern America, but you may be unable to afford the vehicle that you need outright. If you are looking to take out a loan in order to experience that new car smell rather than run the gauntlet of a used car dealership, be sure to use an online financial calculator to find the deal that is best for you and your family.
- cars.com offers a calculator similar to the mortgage repayment model above, which will calculate the cost of a new car, minus any down payment that you may be able to provide and a valuation of your existing vehicle should you choose to part-exchange, and recommend a dealership in your local area.
- The Bank of America also offers unbiased advice on this subject, though their figures are based more on estimates and, of course, may vary from an offer made by an authorized dealership or financial institution.
- The United States Automobile Association will also be able to offer some guidance on financial matters, using their own calculator model.
There will come a time in every American’s life when they need to start thinking about retirement, and how they will make ends meet financially when no longer in full-time employment. A number of financial calculators are available online to make this transition a little easier, and to help you can in advance as to when it is best to enjoy your new life of leisure.
- Kiplinger offers an invaluable retirement planning calculator that everybody should look into using. Utilizing information based on your current salary, how many more years you wish to work, how much of that salary you’d like to replace with a pension scheme and any savings you may currently have, the calculator will offer advice on just how much money you should be setting aside each month.
- FireCalc, meanwhile, take a slightly different tack. This online calculator is perfect for anybody considering an early retirement, especially anybody looking to use investments for their golden years income.
As one of only two certainties in life, taxes should always be factored into financial planning. Thankfully, there are a number of online calculators to assist with this.
- The IRS is the first site you should investigate; the state has its own calculator that with inform you how much of your salary you should expect to be withheld.
- Intuit, meanwhile, offer a service named TurboTax which will give all kinds of insight into what impact different life events and circumstances may have on your taxpayer status, in addition to a calculator that will help you estimate your tax due if self-employed.
- The Tax Calculator also offers a user-friendly but in-depth estimated breakdown of your tax expenses for the year, based on the information that you enter, while iCalculator provides a simpler alternative.
An average of eight in ten Americans are now in some kind of debt, which is a slightly frightening statistic. However, if you are not one of the fortunate two, there is no need to worry. Online financial calculators are a great way of finding a way to manage your monthly debt repayments while still balancing the books.
- MyFico is a worthy first port of call, as this calculator will advise you as to whether you should pay your debt in full now, or invest with a view to pay it off in the future with funds left over.
- Sallie Mae Bank will show you what you can expect to owe should you decide to take out the most common debt of all; a student loan for a college education.
- The Simple Dollar provides a calculator that will guide you through the process of clearing your debt faster and more effectively.
- CNN again provide a helpful insight as to when you expect to be debt-free, and how to bring that tomorrow forward to today.
Summary of Useful Links
There has been plenty of background reading in this article; below, you’ll find a list of the many links and external sites that we have drawn knowledge from. Any number of these links and sites will provide invaluable insight into the important financial decisions that will impact upon you and your family.
BabyCenter – www.babycenter.com
Bank of America – www.bankofamerica.com
BankRate – www.bankrate.com
Cars.com – www.cars.com
CNN – money.cnn.com
Financial Mentor – www.financialmentor.com
FireCalc – www.firecalc.com
iCalculator – www.us.icalculator.info
Investopedia – www.investopedia.com
Investor.gov – www.investor.gov
Intuit – www.turbotax.intuit.com
IRS – www.irs.gov
Kiplinger – www.kiplinger.com
Mortgage Calculator – www.mortgagecalculator.org
MyFico – www.myfico.com
The New York Times – www.nytimes.com
Online Financial Calculator – www.calculator.net
Saving for College – www.savingforcollege.com
The Simple Dollar – www.thesimpledollar.com
Social Security Administration – www.ssa.gov
The Tax Calculator – www.us.thetaxcalculator.net
United States Automobile Association – www.usaa.com
US Mortgage Calculator – www.usmortgagecalculator.org