When it comes to comprehending financial activities, the Internet can be an invaluable source of knowledge. No longer are brokers or lenders the only ones who can calculate your loan interest. With a brief web search, anyone can now get a free financial calculator to perform the grunt work. Even relatively complex computations like mortgage interest may be accomplished with a few keystrokes.
Here is a look at eight sorts of specialist online financial calculators that you may use for certain financial computations, as well as a description of how you can create your own calculator for your unique requirements. If you need simple assistance and are not seeking to create a full financial plan, the following calculators can help you get started:
- Mortgage Payment Calculator
- Loan Payment Calculator
- Retirement/401(k) Plan Savings Calculator
- Auto Loan Calculator
- College Savings Calculator
- Net Worth Calculator
- Debt Planning Calculator
- Tax Return Calculator
- How To Build Your Own Financial Calculator
Mortgage Payment Calculator
In addition to the price of the home and the interest rate, you must include a down payment, mortgage insurance, property taxes, and homeowners insurance when determining a mortgage payment. The Zillow mortgage calculator features an intuitive interface that allows you to input all of your mortgage loan’s variables to calculate a single monthly payment.
Pros: Possesses a vast array of reports and images to illustrate user inputs.
Cons: The calculator’s loan options are restricted to 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.
Loan Payment Calculator
A generic loan payment calculator is perhaps the simplest and broadest form of a financial calculator. A general loan calculator may be used for personal loans, credit cards, and any other basic loan. This example from Merrill Edge requests the loan amount, payment frequency, stated interest rate, and term duration in order to determine the monthly payment. If relevant, you can also include other expenses, such as origination fees.
Pros: Easy to apply for almost any form of loan
Cons: It does not permit extensive inputs.
Retirement/401(k) Plan Savings Calculator
A retirement/401(k) savings calculator can illustrate in plain and white how compound interest works. As a result, it might be among the most interesting tools accessible. You may estimate how much money you will have saved by the time you retire by entering a regular monthly contribution amount and an estimated rate of return.
The AARP retirement calculator allows you to input many factors for various retirement planning scenarios, including current and future savings, predicted future Social Security benefits, and potential supplementary income benefits.
Pros: Includes several retirement planning factors
Cons: Does not permit specific comments on lifestyle or investments.
Auto Loan Calculator
An auto loan calculator is vital when financing a vehicle, as it allows you to experiment with different terms and down payments to determine how they affect the monthly payment. A smart car loan calculator, such as the one on Cars.com, will compute your monthly payment based on the vehicle’s cost, down payment, trade-in value (if applicable), interest rate, sales tax rate, and your term.
Pros: User-friendly yet retaining all relevant characteristics
Cons: Doesn’t pre-fill sales tax rate
College Savings Calculator
Despite the fact that you may use a standard financial calculator to determine the growth of your college savings, a specialized one, such as the one provided by 529 plan aggregator Savingforcollege.com, allows for college-specific inputs. In this calculator, you may enter your child’s age, the sort of college he or she plans to attend, and your family’s annual income.
In addition to calculating how much you need to save for college, this calculator may also estimate the total amount of scholarships and grants that your family may be eligible for based on your income. You can adjust the amount of your possible monthly donation to determine its impact on your account’s ultimate balance.
Pros: Generates customized, color-coded reports based on user inputs and predicts the amount of financial aid your family may get.
Cons: You may encounter one or two advertisements upon arrival.
Net Worth Calculator
Your net worth is an essential sign of your financial stability. Net worth is calculated by subtracting assets from liabilities. However, a decent net worth calculator, such as the one provided by CalcXML, will describe your assets and liabilities.
Using a reliable calculator to track the growth of your net worth might motivate you to maintain or adopt solid financial practices. A decent calculator can help you determine what you need to do to improve your financial status if you have a negative net worth.
Pros: Provides a broad variety of generic categories for calculating the net value
Cons: Does not delve further into each category
Debt Planning Calculator
An excellent debt planning calculator, such as the Financial Mentor debt payback calculator, will assist you in determining the optimal strategy for eliminating current debt. Additionally, it can illustrate the harm caused by high-interest credit card debt.
With the Financial Mentor debt calculator, you may input your outstanding balance, interest rate, and target date of debt repayment. The calculator will then display the monthly payment required to pay off your debt, the number of payments required, and the total amount of interest you will pay.
Pros: A straightforward method for calculating debt and seeing a repayment schedule
Cons: Numerous invitations to apply for loans surround the calculator on the website.
Tax Return Calculator
Many Americans find tax returns to be rather mysterious. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the IRS stated that paid professionals prepared 53.5% of tax returns. There are several online tax return calculators that can estimate your taxes for you if you need assistance assessing your financial situation.
H&R Block’s online income tax calculator provides a rather comprehensive example, asking you to input your filing status, income from all sources, and deductions, among other inputs. After a few brief clicks, the calculator will estimate your tax due. This calculator is very useful for self-employed individuals since it computes self-employment tax.
Pros: Includes self-employment tax and offers a comprehensive summary of your tax position.
Cons: If you are unfamiliar with tax preparation, you may enter some of your variables improperly.
Creating Your Own Financial Calculator
If you can’t find a free online calculator that meets your specific needs, or if you want to utilize a specialized calculator, you can always create your own, and there are many choices available to assist you.
Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets facilitate the creation of any computation, from simple calculations to sophisticated algorithms. For instance, if you need to add many inputs in Excel, list them in a column, then choose a cell at the bottom and click the AutoSum button; the spreadsheet will automatically enter the formula for you.
7 Steps To Create a Budget Calculator
Simply list your inputs and write the required formulae to create a generic calculator in a spreadsheet. To develop a simple budget calculator, for instance, follow these steps:
- In the first column, include all of your spending categories, such as mortgage and food.
- In the second column, enter the monthly spending amount for each category—total these costs at the end of the column.
- In the third column, indicate your monthly earnings.
- In the fourth column, provide your typical tax rate. This rate can be derived from your preceding year’s tax return by dividing the total amount of taxes paid by your gross income.
- Multiply your gross income by your tax rate in column 5. This represents your overall tax liability.
- Subtract column five from column three in column six. This is your net income after taxes.
- In column seven, remove the number at the bottom of column two, which represents your total costs, from column six, which represents your net income after taxes. This will indicate if your expenditure exceeds your budget or whether you have surplus revenue.
Pros: It allows you to customize your calculator as you see appropriate.
Cons: You must comprehend the problem you are attempting to address.