If you have a fear of the standard graphing calculator, tremble at the sight of a scientific calculator, or cower at the thought of an abacus, then financial calculators are probably not for you. If your legs do not go weak at the thought of any of the above, then the only difference between your solar powered pocket calculator and a financial calculator is just how you use them.
What Are They?
Financial calculators use the same math, but have pre-loaded formulas to figure complex ideas such as annual percentage yields and how much a monthly payment would be on a loan. These types of calculations are extremely important to people who may be trying to qualify for a loan or mortgage.
You don’t see many people carrying around financial calculators because they are typically only useful to those in the financial sector. Due to the extra functions that are pre-programmed, they cost a little more than a standard basic calculator, but coming in around $35, they are substantially less than the typical graphing calculators.
Many specific financial calculators can be found online depending on what you would like to calculate. Banks often host mortgage loan calculators while car dealerships many times have auto loan payment calculators. A physical calculator is not always necessary, especially if you do not work in the financial sector, but they do come in handy from time to time.
Why Do They Matter?
I’m glad you asked. While financial calculators do numerous tasks in the hands of loan officers and are a complete necessity in the banking field, what good would these calculators be in your hands, especially when it comes to retirement?
Financial calculators, believe it or not, can help predict the future. Not the future of what stocks will be good to invest in or even how well your 401(k) will turn out, but it can tell you how much you would have if you put $1,000 in to savings every month for the next 30 years at a certain interest rate. Okay, so not exactly predicting the future, but it can help you plan.
Knowing how much you will have saved up at retirement age can help you get adjusted to a certain style of life. If you are just starting out in your career, it will let you play around with different numbers for savings and give you the chance to see how much you can afford to put away every month.
While it is not imperative that you go out and immediately buy a financial calculator, they are helpful to use sometimes. Most of your financial numbers can be run on a free online calculator, the trick is finding the one that is set up right for your needs. If you have some free time and want to know what types of payments to expect for certain loans or how to make your bank account grow until retirement, hop online and play around with a financial calculator for a while. You might be surprised at how well into the future you can see, and plan.