Financial planning can seem like a long and cumbersome process that includes seeing numerous accountants, making appointments, and probably spending some money in the end. Before making long appointments that involve various documents, you can always get an understanding on your own by using calculators available on the internet. While these do not replace a financial advisor, nor advocate what to do, they are invaluable tools that can help you see the future more clearly for your financial investments and planning.
Calculators that help you see how much money you need to save are the most common financial calculators on the internet, and you do not usually need an advisor to help you determine this. All you need to know is your goal, how much you are making, how much goes towards necessities, and in what amount of time you want to reach your goal. You will also need to know your bank’s interest rate for your savings account to get an accurate prediction.
To learn more about savings calculators, visit any of the following websites:
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority: Savings Calculator
- The Mint: Savings Calculator
- Mapping Your Future: Savings Calculator
Credit Cards and Debt
Having a credit card is an easy way to make payments. However, it can easily put you into debt. While there are many ways to go into debt, credit cards are one of the most common reasons that people find themselves in financial trouble. The American Association of Retired People has a great credit card payoff calculator to help determine how long it would take to pay off a credit card. Make sure to check what the interest rate on your card is, as this will affect the payments projection.
If you are a newly graduated student or homeowner, you may have a large amount of debt to pay off. While large sums can feel overwhelming, it is important to plan how quickly you can chip away at it. The Feed the Ping website has an accelerated debt payment calculator. You can make a payment plan that will show you how much you need to pay to quickly rid yourself of debt, or a good chunk of it.
To learn more, visit the Navy Federal Credit Union: Credit Card Debt Calculator.
Investments are a great way to make some extra money for the future, but you might wonder which ones would be best for you and your financial goals. College in Colorado has a calculator to determine how far an investment will go before and after taxes, including inflation periods. If you are interested in investing in certificates, ESL Federal Credit Union has a calculator specifically for that.
Investments can also come in the form of real estate. You can use the real estate investment calculator at CalcXML.
Purchasing your first car can be exciting, or it may be one of your savings goals. There are calculators to help you compare cars and car loans. Scott Credit Union shows you how long it will take to pay off a car loan, and will help you determine how much you will want to put down as a first payment.
Would you like to compare the fuel economy of your car? You can use a calculator for that too. Fuel Economy‘s calculator shows how much money you will need to keep the tank full on a road trip. The US Department of Energy also has a calculator to determine the cost of owning a certain car during its lifetime. This can help you when purchasing a new car so that you get the best possible vehicle for your money.
Home / Real Estate
Using calculators to determine how much you can afford for a home is immensely helpful. This can help you to avoid the stress of going into unnecessary debt. The Virginia Housing Development Authority has a calculator to determine your mortgage and payments towards paying it off. Determine how much you will be able to put down as a first payment to get an accurate prediction of the loan’s life.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has several real estate calculators, such as their House Price Calculator. This calculator allows you to see the appreciated price of a home you want to buy or already own.
Taxes are due every April. If you are wondering how much you owe, or how much of a refund you will be receiving, you can use a calculator to make an estimate. The IRS has a calculator to help you determine how much withholding tax will come out of your income. It will assist you in making sure you don’t have too much or too little tax withheld during the financial year.
If you have children or are married, this will affect your taxes and any possible refunds. You can use the marriage bonus and penalty tax calculator at Tax Policy Center. Remember to use these as a way to estimate your taxes, and be sure to follow up with a tax advisor.
To learn more, go to Tax Rates: Property Tax Calculator.
Saving up for retirement is another important financial plan we need to make for the future. There are many types of retirement plans, so take some time to find the one that is right for you and start saving today.
Security Service Federal Credit Union has a calculator to determine if a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA is the best choice for you. Traditional IRAs offer tax-deferred earnings and tax-deductible contributions, while Roth IRAs offer tax-free earnings, but non-tax-deductible contributions.
The Social Security Administration has a calculator to help you see how much social security you will receive once you retire and apply for social security payments. This will help you see if you need to build retirement savings through other means, and help you prepare your lifestyle for the monthly payments you will receive.
For more information, visit Thrift Savings Plan: Retirement Income Calculator.
Cost of Raising a Child
While having children is a fulfilling experience, it is important to include how much they will cost until they are old enough to support themselves. The USDA has a calculator to determine the annual cost of raising a child.
The Economic Policy Institute has a calculator to determine the monthly costs for not only children, but for your whole family. This includes housing, groceries, childcare, and healthcare. This is a great way to determine a budget for family expenses.
There are many financial decisions to make when concerning college. Saving for college, determining how much financial aid you can receive, monthly expenses, and books are a few. However, there are numerous online calculators to help you make a projection and be prepared for the expenses.
Many high school students will have part-time jobs to save for paying for college. To determine how much you will need for tuition and other expenses, find out the estimated cost of tuition at your college of choice. You can then use a calculator like the one at Big Future to determine how much you will need to save to pay for college with your own money. Simmons College also has a calculator to help students and families see how much they need for college payments.
Once you know how much you can save to pay with your own money, you can calculate any financial aid you may need by using the calculator at Federal Student Aid.