Need a savings calculator? Head over to Pigly where they have hundreds (for free)!
When we talk about mindful spending or living on a strict budget we are espousing one rule: Every Dime Counts Although I reject the idea that poverty or struggle is directly tied to the amount of money you spend on frivolous things- I do believe that small spending adds up and makes a big difference in your overall finances.
Sometimes, decisions are not made purely about money. They are made with many other factors in mind. Whether it’s convenience, mental health, religious convictions, or happiness- the decision of whether to buy something or whether to spend money on something is about a lot more than money.
However, to make good decisions you need to have all the information and factors available to you. You cannot make good financial decisions without knowing all the factors.
When it comes time to weigh whether to buy something or whether to spend money on something you cannot just go with your gut. You need to know the real numbers. You need to know the opportunity cost of what you are giving up.
Take buying lunch every day instead of bringing from home. Some people waste a lot of money buying lunch every day instead of bringing from home. Usually, buying lunch is more expensive than brown-bagging it (although you can make some really nice meals for yourself– no squishy sandwiches in a brown bag). However, you may decide for a variety of reasons that buying lunch is worth the money for you. The only way you can actually know this is by really looking at the numbers.
Pigly is a new site that I just discovered that has a wealth of savings calculators for you to really see how much money you are spending or saving. They have calculators for savings, mortgage, credit cards, vehicles, loans, debt, budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and business. A lot of calculators. But the calculators that I like the best are the ones that can help you figure out how much money you save by cutting out a single item in your budget.
Welcome to Pigly, your reliable source for all things related to personal finance. Our calculators make running the numbers fun and simple, aiding you in making smart financial decisions.
The Brown Bag Saving Calculator
Take our lunch at work example. Pigly has a calculator for that! The Brown Bag Savings Calculator estimates how much money you would save daily and yearly if you bring your own lunch rather than buying. They also calculate how much money you would save if you invest that money instead of spending it. It’s a really easy way to see how much money you will or won’t save!
Here I did a calculation on how much money you would save if bringing lunch from home costs you $4 and buying lunch would cost you $15. The numbers are staggering and certainly compelling.
However, most people aren’t spending $15 a day on lunch (I hope!) so I did the calculations again with a lunch price of $5.95.
Certainly, every dime counts but the numbers are not as staggering as before. Perhaps, it may be worth it for someone to spend that kind of money by cutting down lunch if the budget allows.
I am not encouraging anyone to be spending money they don’t have! I am naturally frugal and do believe that everyone should be working hard to ensure that they have a significant emergency fund and retirement savings to help them be prepared for life.
A very key part of being able to do that is by cutting down on unnecessary and extraneous spending, such as eating out. These calculators certainly help you see the financial implications of all your small decisions. Every decision has a consequence (good or bad). Every action has a reaction and a series of actions that turn into a habit have even more impact on your life.
When you are living on a tight budget it is very important to make sure that you are choosing where your money goes appropriately. when there is not a lot of money you need to be very targeted in your spending. spend where it is most necessary and where it brings you the most joy or reward. These calculators can help you figure out which cuts can help you the most.
Other Saving Calculators
Pigly has a few more calculators that are worth mentioning:
Generic Product Calculator- is buying a generic product worth it? This will help you make that decision.
Quit Smoking- I think we can all agree that smoking is bad for you but sometimes you need a bit of a financial incentive to make it easier to quit. Calculating how much money you can save if you quit smoking can help you visualize that.
Seeing how much money you are saving for sacrifices you are making can make the road a little easier. When you have concrete data and numbers it is easier to stay on track. You can use the phone calculator, electricity calculator, and opportunity cost calculator to help you with those choices.
Budgeting is not always so clear-cut. Not always do you know how much your paycheck is going to be and not always are your expenses the same every month. While you can certainly do all this on a piece of paper or excel, these free calculators make it just a bit easier. Pigly has a Paycheck Estimator Calculator and an Irregular Expenses Payment Calculator that can help you figure out your budget. I did not use these calculators but they seem like a great tool to help you quickly figure out where you are and where you need to go.
Pigly is a great tool to use when you need different money calculators. While many sites have different calculators for different things, Pigly is the only site that I have found that has over 100 (!) calculators in one spot! My only complaint is that there is no search feature which is annoying but they do have a page with all the calculators listed.
Go check it out and let me know what you think!