We make hundreds of financial decisions every day, ranging from simple choices like adding fries to our meal orders to more complex decisions like purchasing a home or saving for retirement. Unfortunately, making the wrong choices can have long-term consequences, negatively affecting our financial wellbeing.
Luckily, we now live in an age where we can access a wide range of online financial calculators to help guide us in our decision-making. Many of these tools are free and easy to use, making it easier than ever to be proactive about our financial futures. In this article, we will review ten of the best online financial calculators that can help you make informed financial decisions and keep your finances on track.
1. Should I Buy or Lease?
The average cost of a new car today exceeds $34,000, making it one of the most expensive purchases the average person will ever make. Additionally, car financing and leasing options can be complex, making it difficult to determine the best course of action. This online calculator by cars.com can help you determine whether buying or leasing a car is the best financial decision for you.
2. How Much House Can I Afford?
Buying a home is another major financial decision that requires careful consideration. Determining how much you can afford to spend on a new home can be especially complicated, as a variety of factors can impact your home-buying budget. Use this calculator from Bankrate.com to get a better sense of your homebuying budget and avoid overextending yourself financially.
3. When Will My Credit Card Be Paid Off?
Credit card debt is a growing problem in the United States, with the average American household carrying over $15,000 in credit card debt. Credit card companies can charge high-interest rates, making the process of paying off debt a real challenge. Fortunately, this online calculator from CNN Money can help you develop a debt payoff plan, allowing you to manage your credit card balances effectively.
4. How Close Am I to My Savings Goal?
Setting and achieving financial goals is an essential part of effective financial planning. Whether you are saving for a vacation, a downpayment on a home, or retirement, it is critical to know how far along you are towards reaching your savings goals. This calculator from Bankrate.com can help you monitor your progress and stay on track.
5. What Happens If I Become Disabled?
Disability insurance is a critical component of protecting your financial future, as it provides income in the event that you become unable to work due to a disability. This calculator from Life Happens can help you determine how much disability insurance you may need, based on your income, expenses, and other factors.
6. Am I Saving Enough for Retirement?
Retirement saving is one of the most important financial goals that many people will have in their lifetimes. Saving enough for a comfortable retirement requires careful planning and consistent contributions to retirement accounts. This calculator from Bloomberg can help you determine how much you need to save to achieve your retirement goals.
7. Will I Be Able to Afford College for the Kids?
Higher education is an increasingly expensive undertaking, and many parents worry about whether they will be able to afford to send their children to college. This calculator from the College Board can help you estimate the costs of college and develop a savings plan that will allow you to save enough to pay for your children’s education.
8. How Soon Until I Pay Off the Mortgage?
Paying off your mortgage can be a major financial goal that provides significant peace of mind. This calculator from AARP can help you develop a plan to pay off your mortgage early, allowing you to save money on interest payments and achieve debt-free living.
9. What Will It Cost to Care for My Elders?
The cost of long-term care is a significant concern for many families, as medical care costs continue to rise. This calculator from John Hancock Insurance can help you estimate the costs of long-term care, allowing you to make informed decisions about insurance and financial planning for your elderly loved ones.
10. How Long Will I Live?
Amidst all the other financial planning tools available, it is easy to forget that life expectancy is another critical factor in financial planning. This calculator from the Wharton School can help you estimate your life expectancy, providing you with the information you need to plan for retirement, life insurance needs, and other critical financial decisions that are impacted by life expectancy.
In conclusion, making informed financial decisions requires knowledge and understanding. By utilizing online financial calculators like these, you can identify and evaluate the impact of significant life events on your financial future. By being proactive in your financial planning, you can take control of your finances and live the life of your dreams.