The math teachers of the world may not want to hear it, but having to manually compute anything is a thing of the past, especially when it involves money and finance. Thanks to the internet, there is a financial calculator for nearly every financial decision you have to make. Here are a few that fall outside of the normal loan calculators.
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Should My Spouse Work?
If both you and your spouse are working, more money is coming in. That's the wisdom behind the decision to join the workforce, but once you factor in expenses like child care, transportation and work clothing, how much net income is really finding its way to your bank account? Bankrate has a calculator that helps you decide if having a working spouse is substantially increasing your income. (For related reading, see Does A Second Family Income Make Financial Sense?)
Pay Your Debt or Invest?
Never live in debt! That's what the financial experts believe to be the best advice for consumers, but do the numbers add up? It may not always be in your best interest to pay down debt especially if you can make more money by investing the funds. Yahoo! Finance wants to help you figure that out with its calculator. (To learn more, read To Invest Or To Reduce Debt, That's The Question.)
What's Your Risk Tolerance?
Investing in products that allow you to sleep soundly at night is a definite plus, but too little risk may leave you short of your financial goals. Kiplinger wants to help you gauge your risk tolerance. (To find out more, see What Is Your Risk Tolerance?)
How Should You Fund Your IRA?
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are confusing for those without a lot of financial knowledge. Not only do you have to make the right decisions or listen to the right people in order to make it work in your favor, you also have to make sure that when it comes time to receive money from the account, that it has grown enough to sustain you once you retire. Wells Fargo Advisors has an IRA calculator that helps you make some of those decisions.
Which Online Broker?
You want to start an investing account so you can be in charge of the how your money grows. Much like going to the grocery store to purchase a bag of potato chips, there are plenty of choices and all of them look good. If you're confused about which online broker to pick, Kiplinger can help you figure out what is most important to you. (For related reading, see 10 Tips For Choosing An Online Broker.)
How Much Did That TV Cost?
Last year's Super Bowl just wasn't going to cut it on that tiny 42" TV in your living room. Armed with your credit card, you headed out and bought the TV that made you the envy of all of your guy friends. It's one of many purchases making up your credit card balance but once you pay it off, how much will that TV end up costing you? BankRate has a calculator to help you figure it out … that is, if you really want to know.
The Bottom Line
Gone are the days when calculating loan payments, dividends and inflation took the skilled hand of a financial professional. This is the 21st century and thanks to the internet, financial calculators for nearly every situation you encounter are only a click away.