How do I Choose the Best Budget Calculator?

Keith Koons

There are literally thousands of different types of calculators available on the market, and picking the best budget calculator is a fairly simple process. If a standard, everyday calculator is needed, then almost any model would serve the purpose nicely, as long as it has a reliable power supply. For those seeking a more specific model like a scientific calculator that can complete geometry or calculus, then the largest decision would be comparing the available features to determine the best overall value. Size, independent lighting, and hundreds of other factors could also play a part in locating the best budget calculator, so it helps for consumers to determine the most important features beforehand.

Numerous budgeting calculators, spreadsheets and other resources can be downloaded for free.
Numerous budgeting calculators, spreadsheets and other resources can be downloaded for free.

When looking for a simple budget calculator that allows users to solve common formulas like addition or division, price and convenience are normally the two most common factors. In these types of models, there are budget calculators available in millions of shapes and sizes, and since each of them normally complete the exact same tasks, it is important to choose the one that is the easiest to use. For one person, that may mean that the budget calculator fits within his pocket, while another consumer may seek one that has an over-sized keypad or text display. Another factor to consider is how much the item will be moved and handled while it is in useā€”some budget calculators are constructed with very thin plastic and are simply not made to last.

A portable calculator is best for people who are traveling.
A portable calculator is best for people who are traveling.

Power is also a large factor when it comes to budget calculators because any cost savings are lost if batteries need to be constantly replaced. Solar-powered calculators are a popular alternative for calculating simple equations, where professionals may prefer a budget calculator that plugs into an electrical outlet. There are also budget calculators available that can function off of all three types of power, making them very versatile for consumers who travel.

For industry specific calculators, it is often much more difficult to find a budget model. Since the demand for these types of instruments is not as large, there are far less generic models produced, which means that consumers often have to turn to resale stores and websites in order to find a true value within their purchase. This is especially popular around colleges and campus bookstores since students will be required to purchase scientific calculators for some of the higher math classes, and often these instruments can be found in conditions very close to new for a fraction of the retail price.

The most important thing to remember when buying industry specific budget calculators is to choose models that are able to handle the required tasks and anything else that may be needed and avoid the ones that are programmed to do everything imaginable. Each additional function not only takes up additional keyboard space and programming, but it also makes the device unnecessarily complex. If the budget calculator is needed to determine geometrical shapes, for example, then purchase a basic geometry calculator that was designed for that task in mind.

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Discussion Comments


@ysmina-- I still use a large electronic calculator for my budget calculations. The calculators on computers and cell phones are an annoyance at best since it takes forever to punch in the numbers. A desktop calculator is still the easiest to use and the fastest as well.

I'm actually planning to get a desktop calculator with paper that prints the calculations. It will be even easier to keep track of my budget that way.


@literally45-- Yes, if you know to use a spreadsheet, you can set it up so that your income and expenses are calculated (added together) automatically. There are also templates that will do the adding and subtracting for you if you put the amounts in. In fact, some templates will also tell you what is left of your budget. These templates are free as well, so they are a great option.

My personal budget is very simple, so I jot it down on paper. For the calculations, I just use the calculator on my computer or cell phone. The days when people carried calculators with them are long gone. Now every computer, cell phone and tablet is also a calculator.


Is there a budget software or template that will do calculations for me? I'm not very good with math and calculations are time consuming.

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