is Math for Financial Matters

The money math of everyday life is based on standard financial formulas and financial equations. You may purchase a home, buy a CD, invest in bonds, or plan your retirement. While all of these different financial transactions involve numbers that may seem complicated, they are all based on standard financial formulas.

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The finance guy at the car dealer has fingers that fly clickety-click over his calculator's keypad as he finds a number that will make him a profit and make you happy (or at least willing to sign the purchase agreement). He's doing no magic. His calculator is fully programmed with the formulas he needs for his work. He simply enters the numbers for the length of your loan, plays with an interest rate that allows him to make a profit, and tweaks the purchase price. His calculator uses standard formulas and kicks out your monthly payment before you can think of the square root of 9. He did no magic.

When you purchase a home, you will face a stack of bewildering papers. Some are related to regulations that protect you, others are agreements to do certain things and explain the consequences if you do not do certain things. They will explain what happens if you do not repay the mortgage loan. You will probably notice an amortization schedule which will show how your payments will reduce the principal much more slowly than it they will pay down the interest. If you look closely, you will probably be amazed that your loan will typically cost more than the amount you borrowed! Why? It's all about the math.

A computer will have generated your amortization schedule. No one likes creating amortization schedules by hand.

However, you can do the same thing the finance guy at the car dealership does and what the bank's computer does with a pencil and pad, a financial spreadsheet, a handheld calculator or with software on your own computer.

In fact, if you will do your own math before you arrive at a dealership, your prior knowledge of financial math and possible loans will give you a unique advantage over the finance guy. offers a simple library of formulas and economic equations you can use in your everyday life to get a handle on the business transactions which occur around you.

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