Do The Math!

CalculatorHow much do I need to save to_____________? One of the most common questions that an advisor receives. So you can fill in the blank with ideas like Retire, purchase our first home etc. etc. It is great to know what the math is behind your goals, but as astute advisors will quickly point out that Math and Money are very different. They are different in a sense that math is factual based and is always true; It doesn’t have the same eroding factors like money. Always remember that money is a commodity. Commodities are impacted by inflation, market pressure, taxes, availability etc. However, with that said it is important to know the numbers; remember that those who keep score typically see the score increase. So in order to keep score as it relates to your personal finances it is important to have good technology. I recently came across this list of on-line calculators, provided by Sean Nisil, which will prove helpful in your planning.

About Sean Nisil

Sean is a Financial Planner with Wheeler Frost Associates Advanced Wealth Management in San Diego. Aside from his Financial Planning career he gives of his time as a Youth Pastor at his local church. Sean and his wife Amanda have three awesome kids and you learn more about them on Sean’s blog at Intentional Stewardship. Other ways to connect with Sean are through twitter and LinkedIn.



Top 5 Financial Calculators on the Web


This post is born out of my day job in finance. I am running calculations, strategies, and answering those “how much money do I need to…” questions all day long. I thought I would share the love and give a hat tip to some great online resources I have discovered through my mastermind group with Dr. Google and Professor Bing.

The Calculator with Options describes their calculator as “simple and convenient to use free online calculator at work, school or at home.” And that it is. It acts just like the old calculator you had in school, except this one doesn’t clutter your desk. It quickly transitions between three modes depending on your needs: Basic, Simple, and Scientific. It’s great as a bookmark in my PC’s browser; I typically use it for quick, simple calculations in the office.

HP-12C Emulator

If you don’t know what the HP-12C calculator is, chances are you don’t have a need for it. It is a Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) calculator. But if you work in the financial world you’re about to geek out.

The site describes is as “just a toy” and cautions you to use it at your own risk. So far as I can tell it works just like the HP-12C. Now, with that said, there’s no place like home…I always have my HP-12C at arm’s reach on my desk. But if you can’t find your 12C and need to run a calculation, check this out.

Credit Card Calculator

You can find literally millions of sites offering online calculators. If I had to pick only one site for their calculators, it would be Bankrate.

I love this credit card calculator because it points to “the true cost of paying the minimum.” It breaks down how long it will take and what you will REALLY be paying when you only hit the minimum payments on your credit card. If you have credit cards and are just paying the minimums, run through this calculator with your cards. It will be a wake-up call.

College Savings Calculator

Got kids? Sorry about that…

This calculator by FINRA will help you determine what you need to save each year to fund your children’s future education expenses.

Amortization Schedule Calculator

I like this calculator because the inputs are simple. You don’t have to be a loan specialist to find the answer you are looking for. It also provides the entire amortization schedule for the loan. It’s a great resource when you are analyzing the long term pros / cons of a large debt obligation.

Are these tools helpful for you? What other resources would you like to know about or see reviewed here?

*Disclaimer: Please use common sense when using these tools. Life is not on a fixed horizon and many of these calculators do not account for life’s curve balls. I do not receive any compensation for these reviews. I am in no way obligated to provide a positive or negative review of any of the above resources. I just want to help YOU simplify your life.

© SEAN NISIL, 2013

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