The internet makes many of our daily tasks easier, from getting up-to-date news and weather information, to paying bills and even filing taxes online. The internet is also a great source of information for those looking to learn about managing their personal finances.
One of the biggest online aids comes in the form of calculators that can inform many of the most common personal finance questions, like whether you should save money or pay off debt and whether you'll have enough money to retire.
Everybody should know their financial status, and this easy-to-use calculator will figure out what you're worth by reconciling your debts and your assets to calculate your net worth. After all, If you don't know where you are financially, you can't make a plan to get where you want to go.
Not only will this calculator provide your current net worth figure, it will break it down for you in terms of pie charts and bar graphs by assets and liabilities.
To get a feel for what your contributions today will look like by the time you retire, check out this 401(k) savings calculator. The calculator is simple to use and accounts for any employer match for which you may be eligible. This calculator emphasizes the importance of starting early and how valuable an employer match can be.
With the costs of a college education rising, many parents are worried about being able to afford getting their children through higher education. This calculator is as simple as it can get and starts with your child's age. You can customize the data with more personal touches like how much you expect college tuition to be and how much of the total costs you're hoping to save. It's never too early to consider college savings if sending your child to college and helping them avoid the student loan squeeze is one of your financial goals.
This debt calculator essentially assists you in answering the question, "When will I be debt-free?" You simply enter the balance of the debt, the applicable interest rate, and the monthly payment to get the month and year by which you will be debt-free should you not incur any new debt.
This calculator is especially great for student loans and credit card debt. For instance, if you are currently carrying credit card debt, you would enter the balance on each of your credit cards, the interest rate(s), and the minimum payment(s). The calculator can tell you how long it would take to pay off each balance if you make just the minimum payment each month, how much interest you'll end up paying, and when you'll be debt-free.
The calculator is easy to use and rather self-explanatory. Though it won't solve any debt problems, it can provide you will the information you need to best manage your debt.
This loan payment calculator can quickly help you determine what your monthly payments will be on a loan. This calculator can be extremely helpful if you're planning to borrow money for a major purchase in the near future. The calculator is set up to be used for a fixed rate loan type, such as a car loan or a fixed-rate mortgage.
To get started you need a few pieces of information about the potential loan. You'll need to enter values for the total loan amount, loan term and the interest rate. If you're unsure of what interest rate to use in an estimate,
This tool compares fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages side-by-side to help you determine which is best for you. By taking you through a series of relevant questions about your plans for the future, the tools helps make a recommendation.
Enter some very basic information into this tool and it will estimate how well your current savings rate will prepare you for retirement — assuming that you want to maintain your current annual income in retirement. This tool is a great place to start in evaluating your current retirement savings plan, but its simplicity could also be its downfall from a true financial planning approach to retirement. The closer you are to retirement, the more factors you must consider. For a more robust retirement planning tool, check out financial planning calculator #8.
This retirement planning calculator offered by AARP digs quite a bit deeper into the factors that will impact your retirement. The tool takes into consideration your age, current income and savings rate, in addition to other commonly overlooked factors like Social Security and what your desired retirement lifestyle looks like. While it is no substitute for a professional financial planner, it's a great place to start.