Skip to content

Fun With Calculators (And Other Online Financial Resources)

Many of our financial decisions involve complicated math that can be tough to decode on our own.  Fortunately there are plenty of financial resources and tools available online that can help us make sense of even the most complex scenarios.

I went looking for the best online financial resources, calculators, and tools to help Canadians make smart decisions with their money.  Here’s what I found:

Related: How much of your income should you save?

Investing

Home Ownership

Tax planning

Insurance planning

Budgeting and Savings

Banking and Credit

  • Which chequing account is right for you?  (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
  • Which savings account is right for you?  (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
  • Which credit card is right for you? (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)

Paying for Education

Automotive

Free customizable spreadsheets

Vertex42.com has many free financial spreadsheets and calculators available for download, which you can then customize to your own unique situation.  This site is where I found the budget spreadsheet that I’ve used the past five years.

Related: How to make a better personal budget

Final thoughts

I hope you find some of these calculators and tools to be useful for your own finances.  This is not a definitive list by any means, so feel free to add to it by listing your favourite online financial resources in the comments section below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 Comments

  1. Potato on December 9, 2013 at 5:24 am

    The rent vs buy spreadsheet/calculator for Canadians, which can model rate increases in the future.

  2. Potato on December 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

    If you like the GetSmarterAboutMoney retirement cash flow planner, check out my sheet. Not quite as many colours, and I don’t have the step-by-step at the top, but builds in a few more features (like TFSAs and RRSPs). Similar iterative approach though.

  3. Potato on December 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

    CC’s rebalancing spreadsheet. [I have been asked by a reader to expand on something like this one and likely will over xmas, though I hear Squawkfox also has one and haven’t had a chance to check out hers yet]

  4. Shannon on December 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I LOVE this list! Thank you so much for putting all of these together in one place!

  5. Robert on December 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I have used some of these and similar in the past and it is a helpful list for certain questions.

    I would add two notes of caution of these items, and they pertain to the inherent weakness they have of being both isolated from each other on the list and from you as an individual.

    A. There is nothing that helps everyone equally (hence this blog’s title). To make this worse, there is no clear line between what is helpful and what is not. More than likely is that the calculators increase and decrease gradually in importance for you over time

    B. There is nothing that ties together everything on the list, even though it is clear that many items being calculated have reciprocal effects on other items being calculated.

    A few examples but there is no end to such examples:

    1. People often have to trim back on mortgage payments to contribute to savings plans, or one type of plan to enhance another, but the handy calculators for these things are frequently presented in isolation.

    2. If your retirement savings consist of personal company assets and an RRSP there are few things more critical during retirement than deciding how much to draw down from each and when over time. Calculators do not show this interplay.

    3. Changing needs over time/age. For example, I am 60 and retired but have not drawn CPP yet. Service Canada tells me what to expect if I apply in December 2014. What it does not tell me in the same calculator (or even mention on the same page) is that if I apply in January or February 2014 I will get a smaller pension from them thanks to the way the new CPP formula is being phased in for early applicants. (By March I will be back around December levels).

    4. Both the nature and size of your expenses will probably be hugely different during each retirement decade, but most calculators assume a steady cost of living adjusted by inflation. You may spend profusely on travel in your 60’s, but will likely spend nothing on it in your 90’s)

    Robb if this is too much response fee free to shoot it or me

  6. Money Saving on December 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Wow, this is a great list of financial calculators. Some of these are a little hard for me to make sense of (like the life insurance calculator), but most are pretty cool. Definitely bookmarking this!

    For those interested in looking for an awesome general purpose calculator, let me selfishly promote a calculator program that I’ve developed. It’s called FrugalCalc. You can use it for just about any type of simple or complex calculation.

    Check out the main features on the homepage here if interested: http://www.FrugalCalc.com

    -Thanks!

  7. Stephen @ HowToSaveMoney.ca on December 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Great idea Robb. I use some of the calculators from time to time and I bookmark some of them and then later forget I did so. I find Google searching for them to be a pain because I always have to figure out again how they work and if they meet my needs.

    I’ll definitely check back to this list when I need a calculator. I assume you put some effort into evaluating each one so they’ll probably be much better than just a random Google search. Unless this article comes back at the top of the list that is!

    • Echo on December 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      @Stephen – A Google search will likely bring up calculators and tools developed by the big banks and investment firms who want to sell you products. I tried to go with unbiased, third-party resources where possible.

Leave a Comment