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How to use our investment calculator:
Step 1: Input your recurring expenses.
This calculator allows you to visualize how reducing or eliminating recurring services or subscriptions can free up money you can then use to invest. Even minor changes to your budget can yield incredible results when you invest the money instead of spending it.
Many consumers sign up for subscriptions and services, stop using them and then forget about it. Using this calculator can show the benefits of regularly culling your subscription list – while also reminding you of services you might want to cancel.
In this section, you’ll input how much you spend every month on various non-essential items. The categories include:
- Dining out
- Cable tv
- Gym membership
- Newspaper subscription
- Magazine subscription
- Online streaming services
- Online subscription services
To select a particular service, click on the box until it’s highlighted. You can click on as few or as many boxes as you want. After you click on the box, input the monthly expense amount for that category.
If you’re not sure how much you spend in each category, examine your credit card and bank account transactions from the past year. Open a spreadsheet or use a pen and paper to write down all the recurring services and subscriptions. Sometimes you might pay for a whole year of service upfront. Make sure to include these yearly memberships in your calculation.
When you’ve gone through the whole year, sort each expense into categories.
Add up these expenses to find the yearly total for each group and divide it by 12 to calculate the monthly average. Use that monthly figure when you’re inputting numbers into the calculator.
It’s important to go through a full year of credit card and bank transactions because some services, like magazines, only bill once a year. You should also scan your transactions from apps, which may include recurring expenses that you split with a friend or partner.