WhatsTheCost.com Shows True Expense of Things


By Jason Fitzpatrick, Lifehacker

WhatsTheCost is a financial calculator designed to show you how much something really costs over time, whether it's your mortgage, credit card debt or even your pack-a-day cigarette habit.

Looking at the short term picture when it comes to debt and expensive habits can be a real money sink. WhatsTheCost is a financial calculator that lays out the long-term cost. There are calculators for loans, mortgages, rate changes, savings, credit cards, debt snowballing and even smoking and drinking. Curious about costs?

  • A pack a day at $5 a pack costs you $1,825 a year. If you're unlucky enough to be a smoker in New York City, the taxes there mean you'll spend $4,015 per year to keep the habit up.
  • A car loan for $10,000 at 7.5% over 48 months actually costs you $11,605.
  • A mortgage for $150,000 at 5% over a standard 30-year repayment plan will cost you $289,883.

The calculator just gives you the raw data; it's up to you to decide what that data means to you. Taking the amount you would save by not smoking and plugging it into the savings calculator might be a sobering moment and tinkering with the repayment window on your mortgage might convince you to change the length of the mortgage you select — a 15-year mortgage in the above loan scenario yields a savings of more than $70,000.

The default currency for WhatsTheCost is the pound. You can change this from pounds to Euros or dollars using the small currency box on the right side of the screen. In the number-crunching mood? Check out other personal finance calculators like the debt snowball calculator, the rent or buy calculator, and the credit card repayment calculator.

Lifehacker is a daily productivity blog featuring tips and tricks to help make your days more efficient, whether at work or at home. For more ideas, please visit Lifehacker.com.

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