Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Back To School Time: Let's Calculate $$$

Money Matters Monday KNOWSY Readers, how is everyone this fine day? Have many of you been enjoying this summer? Possibly been on vacation or staycation? Whatever activities you and your families have been doing during the summer break, as we know is coming to an end as Back To School preparations are are in full steam ahead. With that said, today's post falls directly in line with this topic and offers up tools you can use to figure the cost of the supplies needed for the coming schoolyear, as well as ways to calculate the cost for higher education. As the saying goes, "Every Little Bit Helps", in this case it is the information ("calculators") that can give you insight to budgeting this particular expense. This article comes from one of my favorite sites, and was written by Kate Simon.

6 Money-Saving Back-to-School Calculators

Katie Simon
Remember that old Texas Instruments calculator that you used to drag to calculus? The giant one that didn’t even fit in your pocket?
We do, too, and we don’t miss those exam-filled days. But it was still fun to know that you could punch a bunch of complicated numbers into a machine and it would spit out results for you.
Now that back-to-school season is in full swing, we could all use a little help crunching some numbers, whether it’s for something as simple as spending on school supplies or as complicated as comparing college aid packages.
We’ve rounded up six cool calculators that will not only help you stay on top of your money goals, but also teach you something new about how far your dollars can go—after all, it’s not only those of us in school who could stand to learn a lesson or two.

Calculators for Spending and Saving

Budget for Back to School This tool from the folks at can be useful for parents who want to show their children that those school supplies don’t pay for themselves. It itemizes costs for everything from binders to backpacks to sporting gear, and can help parents and their kids come up with a suitable back-to-school budget together.
Before entering specific data, you’ll be asked to estimate your total expenses so you can see if your (or your child’s) expectations are realistic. Plus, you can personalize your budget by adding as many extra categories as you’d like.
Save for College Some parents start contributing to their kids’ college accounts starting from their first birthday, but no matter how old your child is, it’s never too early to start (or keep!) saving.
LearnVest’s How Much Should You Sock Away for College? calculator helps you figure out what might work within your budget. You plug in the current tuition at your child’s future school (at least, the one you hope they’ll attend); your child’s age; and how much you want to contribute to his or her college expenses. Based on this information, it can help you shape a custom savings plan with targeted goals and estimated monthly contributions.

Calculators to Estimate College Costs

Compare Financial Aid Packages The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Compare College Costs and Financial Aid Offers calculator compares up to three schools you’re choosing between to help you figure out which might make the most sense for your financial situation.
It takes into consideration factors like the cost of attendance, how much financial aid you were offered, how much debt you might be left with post-graduation, as well as bigger-picture considerations like the graduation rate for each institution, how much the typical family borrows for the school and its loan default rate.
Go Back to Grad School? Thinking about heading back to school for a graduate degree, but not sure if it’ll pay off? After considering your specific career goals, useLearnVest’s Grad School Calculator to estimate the cost—and lifetime pay-off—of adding a second degree to your resume. You can take into account factors like your anticipated age of retirement, current salary and loan repayment details to help you determine if going back to school will be worth it.

Calculators to Teach You The Value of a Dollar

Feed the Hungry The average American family will spend nearly $700 on back-to-school shopping this year. Meanwhile, it costs only 25 cents to provide nourishing food to a child in Tanzania.
The comparison puts the impact of your back-to-school spending in perspective, which is the goal of the World Food Program USA’s Food Calculator. It drives home just how far your spending on, say, school supplies at Staples can go when it comes to feeding hungry students in developing nations.
Learn How Your Paycheck Compares When it comes to salary, it’s all relative—to your colleagues, peers in your field and even global counterparts. The CNN Davos Global Wage Calculator helps you see how your annual income stacks up against the national average, as well as against various professions around the world—whether it’s a health professional in Greece, an administrative manager in Finland or the queen of England! (Hint: We’re pretty sure she makes more than you do.)
Now than my KNOWSY Readers, let's get "calculating", check out which of the above mentioned "calculators" is best for your particular financial situation, go ahead and plug in the numbers and see what figures are given to hopefully save you both time and money.  

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