Tipster Tom told us about a website called The Money Orb. The site has two main tools, an advanced loan calculator and a more simple tax calculator. Lots of websites offer these kinds of tools, but here's what's cool about The Money Orb - it helps you factor in "what if" scenarios so you can think about forward planning for changes in your financial situation. The loan calculor helps you answer questions like "When am I going to pay off my home loan?" or "What if my husband/wife stops working or goes part-time?" For example, I created two loan scenarios, to compare how much more quickly a loan would be paid off if I paid in fortnight instead of monthly increments, and paid off an extra $500 a month. The calculator shows you several different graphs including this one to help you compare the scenarios:
The tax tool is a bit more rudimentary - it can calculate your tax for the 2005/2006 financial year onwards. It can include the effect if you have private health insurance, but doesn't allow you to take HECS/HELP repayments into account.
The site's still in development and it's planned that users will be able to store and update budget information onsite. They're also planning a property investment calculator which will give estimates on the amount of money people can borrow for a residential investment property based on their equity.
Thanks for the tip, Tom!