5 Online Financial Calculators to Power Your Personal Finances
Are you wondering how much money you can save if you refinance student loans? How many years you have to keep saving to retire comfortably? Should you rent or buy?
Sure, you could take pen to paper or punch some numbers into a calculator in order to figure out how long it would take you to do these things. But for most of us, time is a precious commodity that we’d rather not waste on such manual tasks.
Thankfully, there are a lot of great online financial calculators available to help with these important financial decisions. Here is a quick summary of five tools that can power your personal finance prowess.
Student Loan Calculator
There are plenty of student loan calculators out there that will estimate your monthly payment and total interest cost, but if you want to take it a step further, use SoFi’s Student Loan Repayment Calculator to see how refinancing student loans could affect your bottom line. Simply enter your current student debt information (loan amount, APR and term), then adjust the rate to see how your monthly payment and total savings amount would be impacted by refinancing at a lower rate.
It’s almost impossible for one online retirement calculator to take into account all the variables that retirement planning requires. One single calculator can’t possibly factor all of them in. But a calculator can still be useful to give you a general idea of how much money you should be saving and how big your retirement nest egg could grow.
AARP’s online Retirement Calculator asks for information about your age, income, current savings and lifestyle expectations in retirement (will you need more, less or the same amount of money as you now spend). The calculator shows you how much you’re likely to accumulate and changes you can make, like working longer or saving more, that can improve the outcome.
Making a budget – and sticking to it – is one of the most important steps on the road to financial success. The Home Budget Calculator from Bankrate allows you to enter a comprehensive list of your monthly expenditures, giving you a more complete picture of where you’re money is going.
Loan Pay-off Calculator
Use this Loan Pay-off Calculator from Money magazine to figure out how long it will take you to completely pay off debt. This is a great tool to see the impact of increasing your monthly payments or lowering your interest rate, which can keep you motivated in your debt pay-off goals.
Also, use the loan pay-off calculator to see how long it would take you to pay off your credit card if you just make minimum payments. Spoiler alert: a long time.
Rent or Buy Calculator
Use this handy Rent or Buy Calculator from the New York Times to decide when to, you guessed it, rent or buy a home. The calculator allows you to enter the price of the home you’re considering, interest rates, property taxes and other factors. After inputting all the variables, it will tell you at what monthly cost renting actually makes more sense.
The calculator also asks you to estimate maintenance costs of homeownership, something many fail to factor in when deciding whether to rent or buy.
Did I miss any great online financial calculators out there? I’d love to know about them – please leave a comment below with your favorite tool.