When it comes to your personal finances, it’s easy to let things tick over day to day, month to month, without too much thought. However, getting your head around your financial situation is the best way to rectify issues, get on top of any debt, and set you up for a happy, more comfortable future.
Two important financial figures to understand are your income and your super. But we appreciate that not everyone has a maths brain or the know-how to crunch the numbers and work out what they really mean. Enter your helpful financial friends: income calculators and superannuation calculators.
What are income calculators and how can they help?
An income calculator is an interactive online tool that helps you understand your current financial position. It does this by taking into account your weekly, fortnightly or monthly income, pre and post-tax.
For example, if you’re going for a new job, you can input the salary offered to see if the paycheck will meet your needs and cover your commitments.
It’s important to understand that just because a job offers a salary of $60,000, this doesn’t mean you’ll receive 12 payments of $5,000. The $60,000 is the gross figure and doesn’t consider taxes. The government will collect taxes from this amount before it hits your nominated bank account.
Other factors income calculators take into account are things like Medicare levies, education debts and super. So, for example, your $60,000 salary may end being closer to $4,000 a month or $48,000 a year. This is called the net amount.
If the government tax brackets are changing, net income calculators also allow you to look into the future and see how your weekly income will be affected.
Go one step further with a budgeting calculator
Alongside an income calculator, you can also use our budgeting calculator. A budgeting calculator can help you work out exactly what you spend over a year, from household expenses to super, education and insurance, and balance it against the net amount generated from an income calculator.
What are superannuation calculators and how can they help?
While understanding and using income calculators can assist you with planning your finances for the next 1-2 years, when it comes to long-term planning for retirement, you should take advantage of a superannuation calculator.
Superannuation is money that’s automatically put away as part of your paycheck into a nominated super fund. It’s part of the government’s way to ensure everyone has some money available when they’re past working age.
The current retirement age in Australia is 66 years. In most cases, you can’t access these forced savings until you reach retirement age. However, they can be assessed at 60 if retired. To comfortably live in Australia post-retirement, it’s suggested that a single person needs $545,000 in savings and a couple needs $640,000.
A superannuation calculator enables you to look ahead to see roughly how much your super will be worth at your estimated retirement age. A superannuation calculator can also help you plan for further savings if it doesn’t look like you’ll meet the suggested minimum savings.
To do this, a superannuation calculator takes into account things like your current super balance, your age, current income, employee contributions (standard 9.5 per cent), and additional contributions and fund fees.
Your planning and peace of mind tools
While income calculators and super calculators enable you to work out the figures, the true benefit of them is that they allow you to plan for the future and put yourself, your family and your household in the best financial position moving forward.