Retirement 
40
comments

Roth IRA Contribution Limit Phaseout Calculator

If you’re confused about how much you can contribute to your Roth IRA this year, this calculator can help!

As you probably know, you have until tax due day, April 16th, to make a contribution to your Roth IRA for 2012. What you might not know is how much you are able to contribute, if your income (modified adjusted gross income) happens to be within the phaseout range for your filing status. There are a lot of websites that will give you the ranges, the rules for calculating your personal limit, but I couldn’t find a simple calculator that did the math for me… so I built one.

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 Personal Finance 
18
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What Tax Bracket Am I In? [Calculator]

A lot of people have been reaching Bargaineering because they asked: “What tax bracket am I in?”

So, to solve this problem and to redirect people from other pages to this one, I’ve decided to offer up this simple to use calculator.

Enter your pre-tax, post-deduction (after your 401k contributions and medical expenses) salary and click “What bracket am I in?”

The calculator will spit out the marginal tax bracket you are in.

Handy Dandy Marginal Tax Bracket Finder

This calculator is based on 2009 tax bracket data.

Marital Status: Single

Married Filing Jointly
Your Salary:
Your Bracket:



This page has the current IRS federal income tax brackets and remember, this is your marginal tax rate. Your actual marginal tax rate may be lower based on deductions, exemptions, credits, etc.


 Banking 
17
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CD Rate Interest Calculator

When you look at the best CD rates, you will see that many of them are for periods other than 12 months. Some have 6, some have 18, and the bottom line is that you want to figure out how much money you’ll get for the money you deposit. Enter in the CD rate interest calculator. Here’s the information you’ll need:

  • Interest rate APY (if you have APR, convert it with this APR APY Calculator)
  • CD term (number of months)
  • Amount deposited (no commas or dollar signs please)
  • Compounding frequency (times per year) – 1 for annually, 12 for monthly, etc.

If you don’t have compounding frequency, don’t worry about it because changing that will only affect the interest earned value by a small amount. When in doubt, pick monthly compounding frequency.

(If you have the APY and the term is 12 months, the interest you’ll earn is simply the APY times the amount deposited)

CD Rate Interest Calculator

Here’s a handy calculator to help you calculate the amount you’ll earn:

Enter your CD’s Interest rate (APY): %
Enter the CD term (months):
Enter the amount deposited ($): $
Enter in the compounding frequency:
The interest earned: $

For example, let’s say you wanted to know how much you’ll put in your pocket with a deposit of $10,000 into a 18-month 2.05% APY CD from Ally Bank. You would enter the following values into the calculator:

  • CD Interest rate: 2.05
  • CD term: 18
  • Amount deposited: 10000
  • Compounding frequency: 365

Click “Calculate CD Interest” and you’ll see that you’ll have earned $309.07 after 18 months. This is only a rough estimate (it’ll be off a little because of how the numbers are rounded) but should give you a good idea of what to expect. And don’t forget about taxes. :)

Enjoy!


 Banking 
15
comments

How To Calculate Blended Interest Rates

A blended interest rate is an interest rate over an amount where parts of that amount are charged, or earning, different interest rates. Blended interest rates are useful in making important comparisons between different offerings such as mortgages or high yield savings accounts.

With mortgages, the math is simple. You’re calculating the rate based on two separate sums. With a bank, it’s slightly more complicated because you are often accruing interest at one rate for part of the year and then accruing it at another rate for the rest of the year. We’ll explain both.

Mortgages

In the home mortgage example, let’s say you have the choice of getting one loan at $100,000 for 6.00% APY or two loans – one at $80,000 for 5.75% APY and one at $20,000 for 6.50% APY. Which is better? In order to make the comparison, you need to calculate the blended interest rate. Fortunately, it’s an easy calculation.

Take each amount and multiply it by the interest rate. Then add all those numbers together and divide by the total amount. In the above example, that would be:

($80,000 x 0.0575 + $20,000 x 0.065) / $100,000 = 0.0590

The blended rate is 5.9%. It is better to get the two loans.

Mortgages Blended Rate Calculator:
Of course I couldn’t leave you hanging without an easy way to calculate this (no commas or dollar signs please):

First Loan: Amount: , Interest Rate: %
Second Loan: Amount: , Interest Rate: %
Third Loan: Amount: , Interest Rate: %
The blended rate is: %

NOTE: You can also use the above calculator to figure out your blended rate of return on multiple investments with different interest rates, it’s the same equation whether you are earning or paying interest.

Bank Interest

Now we get to the example of one sum accruing interest at one rate for part of the year and at another rate for the rest of the year. This is common if your bank offers a promotional rate for new account holders. Everbank is good example – they offer 4.01% APY for the first three months, then 3.21% APY thereafter.

The first step is determining the APR of both rates. Assuming a monthly period, the APR – APY Calculator tells us that the rates are 3.93% APR and 3.16% APR. Dividing each by twelve, we learn that for the first three months your balance will increase by 0.3792% and then increase by 0.2942% thereafter. The blended rate is:

= ( (1+r1/tp)^r1p x (1+r2/tp)^r2p ) – 1
= ( (1.003275)^3 x (1.002633)^9 ) – 1
= ( 1.00985721200 x 1.0239481162 ) – 1
= ( 1.0340414 ) – 1
= 3.40% APY

Legend:

  • tp is the total number of periods, in our case it was 12,
  • r1 is the first period’s interest rate (APR),
  • r1p is the number of periods you get that promotional interest rate,
  • r2 is the second period’s interest rate (APR),
  • r2p is the number of periods you get that second interest rate (we limit it to 12 months to calculate APY).

To makes things simple, here’s a quick and dirty blended interest rate calculator.

First Period: Interest Rate: % Periods:
Second Period: Interest Rate: % Periods:
The blended rate is: %

 Investing 
6
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Series I Bond Rate Calculator

Treasury Direct Series I Savings BondsSeries I Bonds are inflation-pegged bonds offered by the Treasury. The interest rate you earn is a calculation that takes into account the fixed rate of your particular bond, a rate set every 6 months and follows your bond for the rest of its life, and an inflation rate that changes every six months to correspond with the CPI-U inflation rate. Here is a list of the Series I bond’s historic rates.

This post was updated to reflect the November 1st, 2009 interest rate changes.

The equation itself isn’t particularly complicated and is:
Composite rate = [Fixed rate + (2 x Semiannual inflation rate) + (Fixed rate x Semiannual inflation rate)]

Using it to calculate the latest inflation rate data (announced November 1st, 2009), we calculate bonds bought in this period to be earning an APY of 3.36%:

Fixed rate = 0.30% (this fixed portion remains the same until you redeem the bond)
Semiannual inflation rate = 1.53% (in May 2010, this number will change)

Composite rate = [Fixed rate + (2 x Semiannual inflation rate) + (Fixed rate x Semiannual inflation rate)]
Composite rate = [0.0030 + (2 x 0.0153) + (0.0030 x 0.0153)]
Composite rate = [0.0030 + 0.0306 + 0.0000459]
Composite rate = [0.0336459]
Composite rate = 0.0336
Composite rate = 3.36%

Series I Bond Rate Calculator

Here’s a handy calculator to help you calculate the yield:

Enter your bond’s fixed rate: %
Enter the current inflation rate: %
The current bond yield is: %

Remember, your fixed interest rate does not change, it is based on when you purchased your bond. You will need to look up your bond’s fixed interest rate to get an accurate calculation of your composite interest rate.

(photo by allyrose18)


 Banking 
13
comments

APR to APY (And Back!) Calculator

The difference between APR and APY is pretty important to understand (but not difficult to understand) but the math can be a pain. Enter: The APR to APY (and back!) Calculator!.

It’s fairly straight forward, enter in an APR or an APY, confirm the number of compounding periods, and click on the button you want to do. The only limitation in the calculator is that it won’t do continuous compounding. You can just put some large number and that’ll be good enough because its rounded to two decimal points anyway. Another point to confirm is whether “daily compounding” is 360 periods a year or 365 periods, banks may use either one (it won’t matter which one you use because of how the calculator is rounding, it’ll give you the same answer).

APR to APY Calculator (and back!)

Annual Percentage
Rate (APR)
Annual Percentage
Yield (APY)
APR: % APY: %
Periods:

 Investing 
7
comments

Tax Equivalent Yield Calculator

When I wrote about Vanguard’s Tax Exempt Money Market Fund VMSXX, I explained how you calculated tax equivalent yield. Rather than have you struggle through my poor explanation skills, I built this calculator to calculate the tax equivalent yield for you.

Tax Equivalent Yield Calculator

Enter your tax bracket rate? %
Enter the tax-exempt yield (interest rate): %
The tax-equivalent yield is: %

Anything I should add?


 Cars 
0
comments

AAA Online Fuel Cost Calculator

If you had the choice between flying and driving, what you chose depended on your situation. If you had time but little money, you chose to drive. If you had money but little time, you chose to fly. Now it’s trickier, driving is more expensive with higher gas prices (and increased tolls) than it used to be and so the decision wasn’t as clear cut as that. Check out AAA’s Online Fuel Cost Calculator and you will appreciate its simplicity and its usefulness.


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