For most people, a calculator is an app on their phone capable of basic arithmetic. But for some financially minded people, calculators can help them complete specialty financial chores. 

1. Personal Loan Calculators

Knowing how much a personal loan will cost you in the long run is one of the most important details of borrowing money. 

Banks, online direct lenders, and credit unions expect you to ask them the big question: how much does it cost to borrow? They have their answers ready, but you won’t know exactly the cost until you apply and are approved. That’s when financial institutions figure the loan amount, interest rate, and term into your price. Until then, they can only give you informed estimates of what a personal loan may cost. 

A calculator can help you play around with these figures to see if their estimates work with your budget. Most calculators can accommodate different loan payment options, such as bi-monthly vs weekly or interest-only vs principal and interest. You can calculate your payment to see how much you can afford to borrow and pay back. 

2. Debt Calculators

The time it takes you to repay personal loans and lines of credit can have a big impact on your overall payments. It all depends on how interest applies to your balance. 

Most lines of credit and credit cards fold compounding interest into your outstanding balance, adding these costs to the draws you make on these accounts. If you only ever make a minimum payment, you carry over the majority of your balance to the next billing period where it will be subject to interest and fees again. 

You can use a minimum payment calculator to help you visualize how paying the minimum costs you more money. When you input larger payments, you’ll not only pay off your balance faster, but you’ll also save money in interest. 

3. Salary Calculators

Are you thinking of switching fields? Plenty of people around the world have chosen 2024 as the year they get a new job. About half of all workers say they plan to apply for new positions, if they haven’t already started. 

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially if it comes with a change of salary. You don’t have the luxury of past paychecks to see how much your posted salary will look after you take off taxes and other common deductions. Without knowing your net income, it can be challenging to determine whether that new job is practical. 

A salary calculator can crunch these numbers for you; just input your expected annual gross income, and it can show you what you get hourly, weekly, and monthly after deductions.

4. Tax Calculators

All it takes is for one notice of reassessment one year for you to worry about tax season for the rest of your life, apprehensive you might owe Uncle Sam again. To spare yourself this surprise, plug your earnings info into a tax calculator. It can help you get a good idea of your tax situation for the past year. 

Special calculators exist for freelancers and people who work unconventional jobs. These services can tell you how much to withhold for taxes with each invoice. 

5. Budget Calculators

Last but not least, you can plug your income and expenses into a budget calculator to see how balanced your spending is. This calculator visualizes your spending in common categories and lets you know whether you are living within your means. If not, it flags any bloated categories that need to be pared down.

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Lisa Freire is a versatile writer with a passion for exploring a wide range of topics. From the latest tech trends and digital marketing insights to business strategies, lifestyle tips, SEO hacks, travel adventures, and gaming reviews, Lisa's diverse expertise shines through in her articles. With a knack for simplifying complex concepts and a commitment to delivering valuable content, she aims to keep readers informed, inspired, and entertained across various subjects.

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