The Best Personal Finance & Budget Calculators to Manage Your Spendings
Money management doesn’t have to be hard . Sure, there might be a lot of math involved, but the beauty of math — at least this kind of math — is that most of it can be computed and analyzed within seconds.
Want to take control of your finances? Tired of feeling lost and hopeless? Would you like to offload the stresses of financial math? Then bookmark these free calculators and let them handle everything. With a few keystrokes, you’ll know all you need to know.
Income is the most fundamental aspect of personal finance. It’s fundamental in determining a lot of important financial facts: what you can afford, what you owe in taxes, how much debt you can take on, how quickly you can get out of debt, and more.
Income can be deceptive — it’s easy to overestimate your actual take-home pay — so it’s in your best interest to start using these particular calculators right away. Having an incorrect perception of income can be ruinous to good personal finance.
Paycheck City has a number of useful financial calculators, all related to payroll in some way, but there are two important ones that I’d like to highlight: the Hourly Calculator and the Salary Calculator.
The Hourly Calculator lets you input up to six different hourly pay rates plus the number of hours worked at each rate, your U.S. state, and a handful of other details (mostly related to how you’ll file taxes). The end result is what your overall take-home pay should look like per pay period.
The Salary Calculator is pretty much the same tool except you manually input your annual salary rather than letting the app calculate it based on hourly wages. The end result is the same: your actual take-home pay for the year after taxes and deductions are considered.
Tax Withholding Calculator
For every W2 paycheck you get, a portion of it is withheld as payment to the IRS. At the end of the year, you file a tax return that indicates how much you actually owed for that year — and if too little was withheld, you have to pay the difference (or if too much was withheld, you get a refund).
What’s nice is that you can change how much gets withheld on every paycheck by filling out a W4 form. If you owed tax money last year, you should increase withholdings, but if you got a refund last year, you should decrease withholdings. The goal is to owe nothing and be owed nothing.
This can be somewhat complex, which is why you should use the IRS Withholding Calculator. Just enter the relevant numbers and it will tell you how to fill out the W4 form in a way that gets you as close to perfect as possible.
Income Tax Calculator
Right at this moment, do you know what your tax situation will look like come April of next year? Probably not. Few things are as exciting as receiving a big refund check, but there’s nothing worse than expecting a refund and finding out that you still owe more to the IRS.
The good news is you don’t have to be caught off guard. Using the TaxCaster Income Tax Calculator tool by Intuit, you can accurately forecast your tax situation at any time during the year. We recommend running it any time your income changes (if you get a new job, earn a promotion and a raise, etc).
All you have to do is answer a series of questions. When you’re done, you’ll get a surprisingly accurate estimate of how much you’ll owe (if it’s negative, that will be counted as a refund).
Self-Employment Tax Calculator
If you’re self-employed, you aren’t a W2 employee — you’re actually a 1099 contractor, which means that taxes aren’t withheld from the money that you make. This means you need to make quarterly estimated payments to the IRS instead.
And as a self-employed worker, you also have to pay a bit more in Social Security and Medicare taxes (for regular W2 jobs, this extra bit gets paid by the employer, but as a self-employed worker, you have to pay both the worker and employer portions.) This is known as self-employment tax.
Self-employment tax is on top of income tax, and most income tax calculators don’t include this, which is why you should use CalcXML’s Self-Employment Tax Calculator to find out how much you’ll owe in addition to your income tax.
Creating a budget is a simple but time-consuming process , especially if you want to be highly accurate. However, this Quick Budget Calculator lets you enter all the relevant information and shows you the situation of your budget.
By getting a quick overview of how much money you’re actually earning or losing every pay period, you can immediately spot and adjust the things that you’re spending too much on. This can be an effective way to start saving money today .
The sad reality is that most of us are drowning in debt — not the good kind of debt that leads to increased earning potential or appreciating assets, but the bad kind that comes from reckless spending and living beyond our means. If your credit score is tanked , this means you.
Debt calculators fulfill one of two purposes: to help you get out of debt quickly or to help you avoid debt altogether. And since most of us aren’t debt-free, these calculators are worth more than you might realize.
A lot of people think that buying a house is always better than renting (because “renting is just throwing money away”), but that’s not true at all. There are so many valid reasons to rent instead of buy, and the decision can actually be more complicated than you might expect.
That’s why the New York Times came out with this incredible Rent-or-Buy Calculator that lets you input dozens of important factors (home prices, length of stay in area, mortgage details, property taxes, maintenance costs, etc.) and calculates a “rent equivalent” to buying a house.
In other words, it tells you when renting is the more financially sound option in a given situation. Don’t assume that buying is better!
How Much House Can I Afford Calculator
If you’re dead set on buying a house, you should really check out this House Affordability Calculator by Zillow. Many people go by rules of thumb, like “three times annual salary,” when deciding how expensive a house to buy, but those guidelines tend to be very rough and often inaccurate.
You do not want to end up with a mortgage that you can’t afford even though you followed a guideline that said you would be able to.
The calculator is simple. Enter your total income and debts, include mortgage details like term length and interest rate, and don’t forget other factors like property tax, insurance, and fees. Based on all of that, you’ll get an estimated house value that you should be able to comfortably afford.
If you don’t trust this, you can get a second or third opinion using these other affordability calculators . Remember, however, that just because you can afford a house of a certain value doesn’t mean you have to get one that’s that expensive! It’s okay to spend less than your approved mortgage.
What if you’re coming from the other direction? Instead of deciding how much house to buy based on your financial details, let’s say you want to buy a particular house with a given mortgage and you want to know how much it’s going to cost per month.
That’s when the Mortgage Calculator by Bankrate comes in handy.
It’s very simple. Enter the home price, your intended down payment, and the mortgage term length and interest rate. It will then present an estimated monthly payment, which should give you a rough idea of whether or not you can afford a given house. (Don’t forget to factor in property tax, maintenance, home owner’s association fees, and other extraneous costs.)
If you already have a mortgage and you’re interested in paying it down faster than the term length, check out Pay Down Calc, which lets you input extra payment details and shows you how quickly you can pay down your existing mortgage.
Loan Interest and Repayment Calculator
What if you want to calculate interest and repayment details for non-housing-related loans? Student loans, car loans, credit cards, peer-to-peer lending , or something else? The good news is that a loan is a loan — they all work in the same way with minor differences, so you can use a general purpose calculator.
This Loan Calculator is about as simple as it gets. Input the loan amount, term length, interest rate, how often the interest compounds, and how often you intend to make payments. It will show you your monthly payment, the total amount of interest you’ll pay by loan’s end, and an amortization schedule (i.e. where your money goes with each payment).
The amortization schedule is particularly useful for visualizing how much money you’re losing to interest — in most cases, it will act as a swift kick in the butt that encourages you to get out of debt as fast as you can .
There’s one more loan-related calculator that I want to highlight, and it has to do with refinancing or consolidating your existing loans . It’s not always the best option, but refinancing a high-interest loan into a low-interest loan can be a great way to save money in the long run.
Just hop over to the Refinance Calculator and input the details of your current loan and the terms of the new loan. It’ll show you the change in monthly payments, the difference in lifetime savings, and how much you’ll have to pay upfront to make the refinance a reality.
In short, this calculator will help you decide if a particular refinancing option is worth it.
Whether you’re young or old, retirement should always be on your radar. Maybe you want to retire early and travel the world . Or maybe you intend to work every day of your life until you can’t, but never want to be a burden on your children. In either scenario, you’ll need to aim for an adequate nest egg.
Net Worth Calculator
If you want to sum up your financial situation with a single number, net worth is the best one to use. But the thing to keep in mind is that net worth isn’t so useful as an isolated number — it’s only useful when you track your net worth over time and when you compare your net worth to others in the same boat as you.
It’s relatively easy to calculate (assets minus liabilities) but if you aren’t sure what counts as an asset and what counts as a liability, then you should use the Net Worth Calculator by Shnugi. Just plug in numbers and click Submit.
You can follow it up with the Net Worth Percentile Calculator if you’re curious how you stack up against others in your age group.
When Can I Retire Calculator
Early retirement is a simple concept: you figure out how much money you need per year to survive, then figure out how much money you need to amass that will allow you to indefinitely withdraw that amount without depleting your reserves.
This Early Retirement Calculator by Networthify takes your income, expenses, etc. and calculates how much you’ll need to save each month to retire by a certain age (or it can tell you how early you can retire based on your current savings and investment rate).
If you don’t like that one, this Retirement Calculator is easy and straightforward to use, or you can opt for the Retirement Savings Calculator by Kiplinger, which is a bit more complex, but also more accurate.
Any Other Calculators That You Need?
That about covers the calculators for 99% of all personal finance concerns. Once you’ve used these calculators, you may realize that you aren’t on the financial path that you want to be on — which is a great realization to make now rather than later.
At this point, we recommend that you seek out sound financial advice and start listening to helpful personal finance podcasts . If you’re more of an advice-by-email person, consider signing up to one of these personal finance newsletters instead.
How useful did you find these calculators? Are there any other calculations that you need to make but weren’t covered here? What’s your biggest financial goal right now? Share with us in a comment below!