Everyone is expected to grow up and be a responsible adult who makes good decisions. Part of doing this is staying on top of your finances. A big part of keeping track of your finances involves balancing your checkbook and paying bills on time, but when you are looking to make some changes in your life, it will require you to do a bit more work.
At some point, it is likely that you will buy a car, start looking at houses and invest in other things you want and need. With these things requiring money, before you move forward and purchase anything, you'll want to sit down and take a better look at your financial situation. Luckily, there are a variety of personal finance calculators you can use to help you with almost every situation you may find yourself in.
1. Rent vs. Buy Calculator
There may come a point where you start to consider buying a house instead of renting. Paying rent can get old and you could start to long to live in a place that you can really call home and make your own. Using a Rent vs. Buy calculator, like the one available on Trulia, is helpful in this situation because you can compare the price of renting and owning and decide which is the cheaper, more reasonable option. In many cases, people have found that owning is cheaper than renting.
2. Home Affordability Calculator
Should you decide that buying a home is the better option, you will want to look at how much big of a mortgage you can afford to pay. Ideally, you'll be able to afford close to what you pay in rent, but will likely be looking to have a mortgage payment that is a bit cheaper. A Home Affordability calculator that you can find on Realtor.com will allow you to figure out what you can afford because you will be looking at your income, debt and current expenses.
3. Auto Lease vs. Buy Calculator
Similar to owning a home, leasing a car can start to seem pointless, especially since the car isn't technically your car. Leasing may be a bit cheaper than what it would cost to own the car, but knowing that you are the owner of the car is incentive enough to stop leasing and just purchase the car you love. Of course, an Auto Lease vs. Buy calculator can help you determine which option makes the most sense and matches up with what you are willing to spend.
4. Drive vs. Fly Calculator
Going on vacation is something everyone enjoys, but if it is possible to cut corners and save money, then that is even better. When you go to plan your next vacation, consider using a Drive vs. Fly calculator, like the one from TravelMath, to help you see how much you would save if you drove to your destination. Don't forget to factor in things like the cost of food and hotel stays for the total cost of driving. No matter what the cheaper option is, you can save money and put it towards another getaway.
5. Student Loan Payment Calculator
Trying to decide how much money you need to make in order to pay back your student loans in a short amount of time? Most people are scheduled to pay their loans for at least 10 years after they graduate college, but this length of time is something that can easily be shortened if your job pays you enough. You probably don't want to be paying student loans for the rest of your life, so it would be wise to look at a Student Loan Payment calculator to help you determine if you can afford larger payments. Federal Student Aid offers a comprehensive calculator.
6. Cost of Living Calculator
The cost of living varies from city to city, so you're considering relocating in hopes of spending less. Depending on where you move, you could actually spend less, but that won't be the case everywhere. A Cost of Living calculator, which you can find at Bankrate, is perfect for helping you compare expenses and make a more informed decision before you start the moving process. Even if you plan to move no matter what the cost of living is, it is still a good idea to look at the information so you won't be surprised.