I have always been the person who enjoys taking those silly little quizzes–“Does He Like You?”, “What Kind of Mother are You?”, and the like. Interacting on the internet AND getting answers to my questions? What a concept!
So, when I stumbled upon these interesting interactives, I knew I’d be sharing them with you. Each one involves money in some way, and most impart valuable insight or tips for how to be better stewards of the gift of wealth. Plus, since math is not my forte, I like being able to just plug in numbers and get answers, as opposed to using an actual calculator–or, heaven forbid, a pencil and paper!
Marketplace.org is one of my regular websites, and this interactive has been really informative. The premise is more entertainment that anything else: type in your zip code and your annual income to see how you compare to others in your zip code. It was enlightening to learn where we fall on the spectrum, as well as discovering such random tidbits as what kind of car those in our income bracket purchase (23% choose small cars like ours).
It is way too easy for me to want to scream, “Let me fix your finances for you!” to someone who indicates they are struggling financially. While I maintain that there is always something that can be cut from your budget, all too often I forget that, for some, the only things left that can be cut are necessities like food and shelter. This interactive (also at marketplace.org) has you try to make do with budgets based on geography, family size, and national averages. It’s a lot tougher than you think, and is a sobering reminder to consider all the facts before passing judgement.
Nothing like considering the staggering costs of sending our kids to college in a couple of decades to knock me off my high horse! We started saving for our kids’ education from the get-go…but calculators like this not only help to figure out a rough idea of what we should prepare to spend, but also serve as an important reminder that saving for big stuff is essential.
This retirement calculator is another great reminder of the importance of saving. Retirement may seem like a long way off, but it’s never too soon to save!
Regardless of your views on tithing to a religious institution or giving in general, I think most of us can agree that it is important to use our gifts to be a blessing to others. This handy little calculator lets you not only see what tithing (or giving 10% of your income) would look like, but also what percentage of your income you are currently giving.
What handy (or amusing) financial interactives have you come across?