# Which calculator should I use?

Often we are asked what calculator should be used to solve a particular problem. Below, we've arranged commonly asked questions into groups, and then we suggest the most appropriate calculator to solve the problem.

## The Most Commonly Asked Questions

**Q.** We are a lender. Do you have software for calculating a mortgage or loan payoff amount?

**Q.** I've lent some money and now the borrower is paying me back irregularly. Do you have a loan management program that will allow me to record the payments as I receive them and show the balance due?

**Q.** I've borrowed some money and now the lender says I owe them more than I think I owe them. Do you have a program that will calculate the loan balance?

A. __Yes, to all three questions__. The *C-Value! Program for Windows* will do what you want. You can also try the online Ultimate Financial Calculator. It too calculates loan payoff amounts, but you'll not be able to save your entries. However, you will be able to see if C-Value! will meet your needs as the two calculators have the same capabilities. I've prepared this detail loan payoff tutorial showing you how you can use the *Ultimate Financial Calculator* to __track any loan and calculate the balance__.

**Q.** How do I calculate my annualized rate of return (or the gross return for that matter) on my stock, option, bond and/or mutual fund investments?

A. Use the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Calculator. Click on the calculator's Help button for a specific discussion of how to setup this calculation.

**Q.** How do I plan financially for my retirement, a college education or any other large expense?

A. Three answers and they are all free calculators. Depending on your exact needs you should try the Online Ultimate Investment Calculator (optionally allows for taxes, inflation and fees), the Online Ultimate Financial Calculator (supports irregular investing) and the Online Retirement Calculator.

## General Financial Planning

**Q.** I just received a $100.00 a week raise. How much will it be worth if I save $60 of it each week after 10 years?

**Q.** My child will be going to college in 12 years. What will I need to save quarterly so that I have the money when I need it?

A. Payment Required Calculator. Also note that the Annuity Schedule has a goal planning feature.

**Q.** One investment is quoting me an 'Effective Annual Rate' and another is quoting me the 'Nominal Rate'. Which is the better deal?

A. Use the Equivalent Rate Calculator. in *SolveIT!*.

**Q.** I invested $10,000 in the stock market. I sold the stocks in one transaction for $23,687 after 27 months. What was my annual rate of return?

A. Either Return on Investment (ROI) or Internal Rate of Return (IRR).

**Q.** I lent my nephew $45,000 so that he can start a small business. After a year he will start paying me back $1,067.17 for 48 months. (I'll forgo any interest on the money during the first year.) What is my rate of return.

A. Internal Rate of Return Calculator.

Further explanation: The rate of return is not equal to the interest rate charged on the loan in this case. The Uncle calculated the monthly payment based upon a $45,000 loan at 6.5% paid in 48 periods. However, he was willing to wait one year for the first payment. Therefore there is a year where no interest is being earned on the money.

**Q.** I need to make a 9% return on my investments to meet my financial goals. I can buy a single family home for cash at $200,000. I plan to rent it for 10 years at $6,000 year (what a bargain!) and then sell it for $220,000. Will I be earning 9% on my investment?

A. *Net Present Value Calculator*.

Note that this investment does not meet the investor's requirements as the NPV is negative.

**Q.** A settlement has been offered in a civil court case. The plaintiff can receive either $150,000 as a lump sum or $20,000 for 8 years followed by $10,000 for another 5 years. Which offer should be accepted base on the total return?

A. *Present Value of a Series Schedule*

**Q.** I'm going to be retiring in 20 years. I believe that I can save $1,000 every other month now and in 5 years increase that to $1,200 every other month. Then finally in 10 years I will be able to save $2,000 every other month. What will this series of deposits be worth after 5 years, after 10 years and at the end of the 20 years? What happens to my savings if interest rates change during the 20 years?

**Q.** Once I retire, how long will the savings from the above last me if I want to withdrawal $2,500 a month and I think that I'll be earning 8% on the money? How much will I have after 10 years?

**Q.** I run a small retail business and I need to borrow $50,000 for 70 days to finance my extra inventory for the end of year shopping season. What will the interest charge be, assuming that I can borrow the money at 11.5%?

A. *Compound/Simple Interest Calculator*

**Q.** In today's dollars, I project that I will need $2,000 a month to live on in 20 years once I retire. Assuming that there 3% inflation for the next 5 years and then it increases slightly to 4% for the next 15 years, what amount will I need to equal the purchasing power of the $2,000 in 20 years? (The answer may surprise you.)

**Q.** How much am I worth today?

## General Business Questions

**Q.** Our small business is considering launching a new product. How many of the items do we have to sell to recover our costs?

A. Use the *Break Even Point Adviser* in the *SolveIT!* program.

**Q.** Should we lease our office furniture or finance it? How will depreciation impact this analysis?

A. Use the *Lease vs Buy Adviser* in the *SolveIT!* program.

## Loan Planning

**Q.** One mortgage company is offering me a loan for $150,000 at 8.5% with 0 points. Another mortgage company is offering me a loan for the same amount at 8% but it has 3 points payable up front. Which is the most advantageous loan? Is the answer to this question impacted if I decide to only live in the home for 5 years (thus possibly not recouping the cost of the points)?

A. Use the *Loan Comparison Adviser* in *SolveIT!*.

**Q.** If I wanted to see how much interest I can save on a loan if I make an extra $100 a month principal payment, what calculator should I use?

A. *Accelerated Payment Calculator*.

**Q.** What if I want to make an occasional (random) extra payment toward a loan, how much will I save?

**Q.** I need to give my clients a Regulation Z APR Disclosure Statement. Can I do this?

A. Yes. Once again, use *C-Value!* or *SolveIT!*.

**Q.** How much money can I borrow if I can pay $1,250 a month and the rate is 6.5%?

A. *Loan Calculator* or if you want to have control over the starting date use the *amortization schedule*

**Q.** My husband and I have had our eyes on this home. The price has just been dropped to $375,000. Can we afford this?

A. *Affordable House Calculator* and *Budget Calculator*

**If we didn't answer your question, feel free to ask it below**.

## Henry says:

Is it possible to use other currency symbols instead of $ sign in your calculators? Are there fields where one can enter manually figures or percentages of transaction costs such as broker commissions, lender arrangements fees and taxes?

## Karl says:

Yes, all calculators allow the user to change the currency symbol. The online calculators, have this in the lower right corner:

$ : MM/DD/YYYY

Click on it and a window will open that allows you to pick the currency and select the date convention.

With SolveIT!, the selection is in “Setup”.

As to the second question about fees, the answer is yes in a few cases, but it depends on the particular calculator.

## Michael Ross says:

Looking to find a calculator for a fixed term, fixed payment and an optional balloon, but balloon needs option to pick or choose variable dates! In other words a balloon every 3 months or 6 months each year of contract!

## Karl says:

Thank you for posting your question here. The calculator you need is the time value of money calculator. You’ll have the ability to set the balloon payment due date to any date you need.

If you scroll down the page, there are also 2 tutorials about balloon payments:

Balloon Payment Calculation — Calculate the balloon amount

Balloon Loan Calculation Calculate the periodic payment required to result in a specified balloon

## Kirk M. Hale says:

How much to buy all the calculators & tools for my computer desktop? And if so can they be downloaded to my windows desktop computer?

## Karl says:

The program, SolveIT!, includes all calculators that are available to install and run on a Windows computer. The price is $24.95.

SolveIT!, online order form

Thank you for your interest.

## Amanda Barefoot says:

I am struggling!!! UGH…. I am in a finance course and of course, math is my handicap!!! My parents were English majors… we did not really focus on numbers in my house growing up. I am having such a hard time, but right now… I seem to just be stuck on MIRR rates??? Is there a calculator specifically for that? I have so many formulas and buttons and stuff in my head right now, I keep getting them all mixed up!! Any help that could possibly be offered would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you all!!!

## Karl says:

Hi Amanda, I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a MIRR calculator yet. I plan to add one, but I guess that doesn’t help you much. Sorry. Good luck with the class. And if you need other calculations and you’re not clear about them, I’ll try to lend a hand.

I assume you saw the Internal Rate of Return Calculator? Do you need specifically a MIRR calculator?

## Kathleen says:

I have an intercompany loan – treated like a line of credit basically. We add a line each time we borrow money and each time we make a payment. Loan amounts and payments are not regular. Interest is calculated on the principle. Accrued interest is included in the balance for future interest calculations. Is C-Value what I need or something else?

## Karl says:

Yes, C-Value! will do what you need.

I suggest that you try this loan payoff calculator first. It works the same way C-Value! does except you can’t save your entries. But it will give you a very good understanding of C-Value! operation before buying it. Scroll down the page and see tutorials #1 and #25.

## springerk says:

I have now purchased C-Value Software and have entered a loan I needed to track but I’ve run across a problem. I would like to send you the file along with the download to Excel so you can see what I’m experiencing.

On line 25 I have scheduled a loan payment. When I look at the amortization schedule in C-Value, it is correct. HOWEVER, when I tell it to download this to an Excel file, in the Excel file it shows as a “Loan” event and moves from the payment column to the loan column and changes the totals at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

I completed this spreadsheet through May 2017 (a different copy) – in the Excel spreadsheet, all other payment events are showing correctly in the payment column.

What’s up?

## Karl says:

I sent you a private email. I’ll take a look. Please email the files as you suggested.

## Menard Solve says:

Hello Karl,

I love how your calculators work. However, I can’t get the buttons to work in WP 4.9 :

http://www.millionairebefore50.com/savings-calculator/

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Menard

## Karl says:

Thanks, Menard.

The JavaScript code has not completely loaded on the page. If you go to the developer’s tools console, which most browsers have, you’ll see errors about ‘cookies.js’ missing.

In the plugin’s folder on your website, in the "js" folder, do you have this file:

supporting.WIDGETS.min.jsOr did you modify any files?

## Andrew says:

I need a calculator to determine the annualized ROR for an investment account where I make deposits and withdrawals on random dates (not periodic).

## Karl says:

No problem. In fact, there are two calculators you could use.

The internal rate of return calculator calculates an annualized ROR and supports irregular cash flows.

Ultimate Financial Calculator will also calculate an ROR from an irregular cash flow. This calculator also does many other financial calculations such as solving for PV, FV, rate should you ever need those.

If you try the UFC, then scroll down the page to the tutorials. Take a look at #1, and then this one:

## Kristi Wilson says:

I and my 2 sisters have POA over our parents. They are quite old and require full time care. They have several investment accounts with plenty of funds to last them for the rest of their lives, however, both sisters have taken out funds from the investments for personal use. The estate will be left to all 3 of us equally, but since I have not “borrowed” any funds I would like to calculate the time value of the funds my sisters have taken. The funds have been taken at random intervals. If the funds were left in the account in tact they would be earning approximately 8% in interest. Which calculator will help me figure this out?

## Karl says:

Because they have been taken out at irregular intervals, you’ll want to use the Ultimate Financial Calculator. It was designed exactly for scenarios such as yours.

Once on the page, scroll down to the tutorials. There’s 25 of them! You’ll want to read the first one for an overview. Then read the one about future value.

Naturally, if you have any questions, just ask.

## D. Wilson says:

We do personal loans and I am having difficulties finding a program that will allow me to add on additional loan to a current one that is existing and enter a payment when ever a payment is made. It is an investment loan so there is not a monthly payment schedule or anything and funds are advanced if needed. If any funds are paid towards the loan I need to be able to enter it and continue with the existing loan. Any suggestions?

## Karl says:

Any suggestions? Of course!

Check out the Ultimate Financial Calculator. It will let you enter payments 1 at a time, or in a group as of any date in any amount. You can also change interest rates on any date.

Scroll down the page to the tutorials. Read #1 for an overview and then #25 is specifically amount tracking loan payments

If you like this calculator and you run Windows and you have a need to save your work, you might want to consider C-Value! for Windows. Try the free calculator first though.

## Tima Ebell Anderson says:

Greetings,

We like your web site and the ease of using the calculator and its completeness in the output it produces, especially for your loan amoritization calculator. My question is if I began my payment schedule in 2019 and run it for say 60 months does the calculations for payments take into account that 2020 is a leap year with 29 days in February rather than 28?

## Karl says:

Thank you. The answer to your question is, it depends. It depends on the compounding method selected. If you select a compounding frequency based on either weeks or months, then the answer is now. That’s because all months are assumed to be the same length. However, if you select either daily or exact date / simple compound (or continuous) then the answer is yes. These frequencies use exact day counts.