8 Personal Finance Calculators You Can Truly Rely on

personal finance calculators

Managing money is one of those “adult” tasks that seems easy when you’re a child. At that age, it is. You know you’ll get a certain amount of money from an allowance or doing chores, and you can spend it however you wish.

By the time you’re managing your own household, though, you could have dozens of payments to balance. Considering that most kids receive little or no financial education in school, it’s no wonder young adults tend to struggle to manage their finances. Plenty of adults in their 50s and 60s are still trying to figure it out.

Fortunately, modern technology can help. Personal finance calculators are a great way to design your budget and understand the complex workings of loans, investments, and more.

Best Personal Finance Calculators

There’s no shortage of personal finance calculators online, but not all of them are reliable. We’ve done some digging and found the most helpful and reliable calculators to help anyone manage their finances.

1. Home Budget Calculator

One of the most important ways to manage your finances is to lay out a monthly budget. If you just take it day by day without calculating how to stay on track, it’s easy to run out of money.

A home budget calculator can fit a household of any size. It helps you lay out how much you need to put toward every expense. The line items can also remind you about expenses that are easy to forget. When you put all your income and expenses into this calculator, you can find out how much you have to spare.

2. Compound Interest Calculator

There are plenty of reasons you may want to save or invest money: buying a home, going on vacation, or building a rainy day fund. Unfortunately, many people expect their accounts to accrue interest faster than it does.

For an accurate calculation of your interest-bearing accounts, try this compound interest calculator. For many of your accounts, the interest you earn one month is added to the principal so it accrues more interest the next month. If this is the case for your account, this calculator can help you gauge your savings.

3. Rent vs. Buy Calculator

One decision everyone needs to make at some point is whether to rent or buy a home. Financially, they each have pros and cons, so it can be difficult to find out which choice is the least expensive long-term.

If you’re considering buying a home, try a rent vs. buy calculator first. It will lay out the short term and long term costs of your home. This advanced calculator even factors in your area of residence, as this can affect your decision.

4. Debt Ratio Calculator

If you decide to buy a home, the process of getting a mortgage can be confusing and stressful. A lender will use several calculations to determine whether you qualify and how much they want to lend you. On top of your credit score, they will calculate your debt to income ratio.

As its name suggests, your debt to income ratio compares how much debt you have to your income. It’s a way to calculate your ability to pay for your mortgage. Instead of going in blind, find out your debt to income ratio with this debt ratio calculator.

5. Retirement Calculator

One of the largest financial challenges for every adult is saving for retirement. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement might sound like a long way away. However, think of it this way: you may need to save up enough money to live on for 20-30 years. That’s a time in your life with high health care costs as well, so you may need more than you expect.

A retirement calculator can help you determine how much you need to save so you can start early and make it a more manageable process.

6. Latte Factor Calculator

The latte factor is a concept in personal finance that has caused problems for countless people. There are small expenses (like a daily latte) that people tend to buy often because they seem like small amounts. However, these expenses add up without you realizing and they could have a larger impact on your finances than you expect.

A latte factor calculator goes beyond adding up those small expenses. It also shows you how much money you could make if you put that money into an investment account instead.

7. APY Calculator

Another common pitfall for millions of American households is credit card debt. People use credit cards to make purchases without thinking about how much interest they’ll pay. In many cases, people don’t even understand how their interest will compound.

When you want to see how much a credit card purchase will cost you in the long run, you want to calculate the APY. As your debt accrues interest, you end up paying interest on the interest charges. This trips up many people.

To help you get a handle on your spending, this APY calculator can show you the true cost of buying something you can’t yet afford.

8. Home Affordability Calculator

If you’re ready to buy a home, determining your budget is harder than it sounds. When you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars, how do you translate that into a monthly payment?

A home affordability calculator can help you determine what purchase price you can afford based on the monthly payment you’re comfortable with. As a word of caution, never base your budget on the amount of money you can get from a lender. Just because someone is willing to lend you a certain amount doesn’t mean you can comfortably afford the payments.

Keeping Track of Your Personal Finances with Online Calculators

Personal finance calculators can be a great way to get a firm grasp on your finances and make wise financial choices. Here’s a bonus budget tip: don’t pay for something when there’s a good free alternative. That’s why all the calculators you’ll see on this list are free to use.

For more calculators that will help you manage your finances, check out our other business and finance calculators.

8 Personal Finance Calculators You Can Truly Rely on

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