The Income Spending Simulator projects the course of your income, expenses, assets, and loans and graphs the resulting cash flow, debt, asset appreciation, and net worth. It allows for all kinds of adjustments and customization. It even supports a "comparison" mode where you can see the impact of a single change (or group of changes) compared to the initial conditions.
The Income Spending Simulator answers questions like:
Change one or more inputs and explore the result. Quickly asses the overall financial impact of trade offs like:
By default a line will apply to all years in the simulation. That can be changed by entering a custom range. Enter values based on the simulation year (1, 5, 10) as opposed to calendar year (2045). For example, you plan to attend a three year degree program two years from now. For the degree program line's custom range you would enter 2 as the start year and 5 as the end year. When the start box is left empty that line goes into effect in year 1. When the end box is left empty the simulation runs until the last year.
Income, Expense and Asset lines can be setup so the amount changes with time. For some items, like expenses, you may want to set it to ‘grows with inflation’. Assets by default grow at the simulation rate of return set at the top of the screen. Assets can also have their growth floored or capped. For example a car could be setup so it never drops below $500. The simulator applies the change in value value at the end of every year.
Income lines get additional fields for tax rate, and an option to defer income (which are taken as a pre-tax deduction).
As the simulation runs it keeps track of the running total of cash savings or cash shortfall. When that balance is positive it grows at the default rate of return and appears as an asset. When the balance is negative, it is reflected as total debt but it does not incur an interest charge. There is an implicit assumption that extra cash is invested and grows at the default rate of return.
Click on the table icon at the top to view a year by year summary of the entire simulation. Each line also has a table icon that shows a year by year summary of just that line’s contribution to the overall simulation.
Simulations can be saved to our database and associated with your account.
If you are not logged in, simulations are still owned by you, but only linked via a browser cookie. If you clear your cache they will be lost. After you register or login, your simulations will automatically be brought under your account.
Simulations may also be copied under Tools -> Save As...
At your choice, simulations can be shared by URL. Simulations that are shared also appear in our searchable database and in search engines. If you are going to share a simulation, but it contains personal information like your salary, debt, etc, we highly recommend you use a ‘handle’ as your username to identify yourself (like the name of your pet) instead of your own name. Same goes for your profile picture. You can update your username and profile picture under your profile.
Under Tools -> Compare Mode, a before and after comparison can be made. On the left it displays what you had in the simulator before opening compare mode. On the right, you can add/edit/remove lines to create the ‘after’ picture. The changes could be small like an adjustment in spending habits, or as big as changing jobs or traveling the world for a year. The compare mode screen computes the difference of every graph and stat available in the main mode.
In the simulator a car is a combination of several things:
In the simulator a house is a combination of several things:
In the future we plan to create new line types for cars and houses.
Keep in mind this is just a financial simulator! Unexpected events (good or bad) can have a major impact on how financial life plays out. The numbers you end up with could be very different from what the tool shows.
The million dollar question everybody would love to know is, what will the rate of return be on my investments?
We defaulted the rate of return to 5%. That is based on historical returns of a diversified portfolio allocated on the conservative side (stock and bonds about equal). You can adjust it however you like and you can even override it for certain assets.
The other million dollar question is what will inflation be? We selected 2% for inflation which also follows conservative estimates.
We would be happy to incorporate your feedback into an upcoming release.