This article was originally published on March 16, 2017.
As you will have noticed, I’m always whacking calculators and various spreadsheet things into my articles. They’re ridiculously useful, and I love making them (I’m probably the world’s biggest Excel nerd if you didn’t already guess).
However, they can be kind of confusing for anyone who doesn’t spend 80% of their day hanging out on Excel.
I thought I’d just do a bit of quick explaining on how they work, as well as chucking them all in one place.
How do I use them?
I build all my calculators in Google Sheets, which is basically MS Excel online. It’s simpler, easy to use and it’s easy to share documents. If you want to use one of my calculators, just sign up to my email newsletter, and you’ll get an email containing links to all of them.
As you probably know, you can do some incredibly exciting stuff on Sheets – if you know the right mysterious formula. Luckily, I’ve already done all the technical behind the scenes stuff.
Each Sheet has the option for you to put your own numbers in there, and it’ll automatically calculate the answers. So much easier than trying to do it all on your phone calculator.
Investment Value Calculator
I’m really into this one. It’s a kind of fun thing but also really practical.
It shows you know how much money you could have in the future if you started investing today. It’ll make you wish you started investing years ago!
You can tweak the initial amount, your monthly contribution, and your rate of return. It might be the motivation you need to start investing today or to invest more! For more check out this article.
Student Loan Payback Calculator
Worried you’ll be 73 before your student debt is paid off? This calculator tells you how long until you’re debt free (wahoo!). Just enter how much you owe and how much you earn, and it’ll tell you when you’ll be done! For more about student loan debt, check out this article.
Net Wealth Tracker
Tracking your net wealth (things you own minus things you owe) is a great way of keeping track of your finances. You just need to enter in your assets (things you own e.g. your car) and liabilities (things you owe e.g. overdrafts) at a specific date, and you’ll find out how much you’re worth financially. Pretty cool even if you’re not worth 1.5 million yet.
It also provides a handy summary page and graph to show how your wealth has been tracking over time (hopefully it’s going up!) For more on net wealth, check out this article.
Spending Plan Template
I don’t typically keep a rigorous budget. Like I’m always moaning about, they’re lame and boring and also I can never stick to them. What I do instead is create a spending plan.
A couple of times a year, I enter in all my expenses from the previous month and see if there’s anywhere I want to cut down. I always find at least one thing that I’m spending too much on that I don’t really need. It’s is a great way to check up on your spending every once in a while, even though it can be alarming to see how off track you might’ve got.
For more on how to save without budgeting, check out this article.
Mortgage Value Calculator
I recently sat down with some friends who were looking for a better way to keep track of their mortgage payments.
The calculator (actually pretty intense to make, so I enlisted the help of a fellow Excel nerd) allows them to easily keep track of their mortgage and shows how much they can save if they up their payments. It breaks down every future payment into principal (the actual amount owed) and interest.
This should be really handy for you if:
- You’re thinking of getting a mortgage/ debt and want to see what the payments would look like
- Or, you’ve got a mortgage you want to keep track of and would like to see if you could be saving money whilst paying it back faster.
What do you think, is there anything else you’d like to see made into a calculator? Just sign up in the box below to get access to all these calculators.
If you’re interested in learning more about passive investment providers in NZ, check out some of my articles below:
- My thoughts on the Sharesies Beta
- Dean from Smartshares answers your questions!
- I chat with Anthony from InvestNow
- Breaking news: Simplicity releases new Investment funds
- I compare the fees of Smartshares and Simplicity
- Smartshares compared to Simplicity: Part two
Or, If you want to learn more about general investment strategy, check out one of the articles below: