Review: T-Money | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: T-Money 22

by Derek Kessler Thu, 11 Mar 2010 7:45 pm EST

T-Money

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose financial calculator, then you should look no further than T-Money. The $9.99 app by Sound Expressions features calculators for loans, savings and withdrawals, and profits and loss. Not can T-Money compute things like payments or principles, it can also show you multiple graphs of the calculations over time: a powerful tool for determining how your investment can be expected to perform in the months and years ahead.

Loan Calculator For this review we’ll take an in-depth look at the Loan Calculator. This tool helps you to compute any number of variables in for a loan. Across all the calculators you are presented with a “calculator” pane populated by the various values you’ll encounter in this number crunching session. In the case of the Loan Calculator, they are Loan Amount, Payment ($ per period), Number of Payments, and Interest Rate. The Number of Payments option has three values, each codependent: number of payments, years, and months. Each value has a checkbox to the left - checking it sets that as the value you wish to calculate. Tapping on any checked value copies that solved number to the clipboard.

Below the Calculator pane is a second box of advanced options, including Frequency (ranging from Weekly to Annually), Balloon payments, and Percent Down. There’s even a “house” button in the bottom left corner that lets you check how much your monthly costs will be with insurance and property taxes added in.

Principle-Interest Graph Just punching out raw final numbers doesn’t begin to explore the power of T-Money. The Loan Calculator page has four buttons along the bottom right: Calculator, Graphs, Amortization Table, and Ingo. The Calculator page is the one discussed above. Graphs gives you two graphs. The first is Principle-Interest graph, which displays how much principle is left with each payment. A yellow line is draw to mark the halfway point in principle remaining. Tapping on the graph will show you both the payment number and principle remaining for that point - taps are registered horizontally, so hitting the graph close to the line will select the point on the graph along that horizontal line.

Payment-Principle graph The second graph is a Payment-Interest graph, this displays how much of each payment is principle, and how much is interest, again over the life of the loan. Just as with the Principle-Interest graph, the Payment-Interest graph has a yellow 50% principle line and tapping on either the principle or interest line will give you the payment number and how much of that payment is principle or interest.

The Amortization Table is, as you might expect, an amortization table. For those not completely in the know, this is a table that breaks down per payment (360 payments in your typical 30-year home mortgage) what you’re paying in principle, interest, and how much of the principle remains. Essentially, this is the data used to plot the graphs in the previous screen. It also makes for an exercise in curiosity: it’s almost frightening how much of the first hundred or so payments go toward interest alone.

Loan Info Speaking of frightening interest, there’s also the Info page. This provides a summation of everything in the previous three screens. It’s here that the true money making potential (for banks) of home loans shines: the first box shows how much is paid in total, paid in principle, and in interest, and how much of the total pie each accounts for. In the typical home mortgage, more than half of the money paid over the 30 years goes towards paying the interest. Below is a box labeled Information that gives beginning and end values for the loan (with the future value being $0.00), number of payments, payment amounts, frequency, the nominal interest rate, the effective interest rate, and the actual interest rate. Tapping on any of these values will copy the figure to the clipboard. In all, a lot of information is generated from the simple values plugged in back in the Calculator screen.

The Savings Calculator provides similar options, though it allows you to set a savings goal, deposit values, interest, and more to figure out how you can expect your investment to perform. The Withdrawal Calculator does the exact opposite: it figures out how long your account can last if you pull out money at a set rate. Profit and Loss diverges from the previously mentioned banking-oriented calculators, with this one you can enter various figures from unit cost and commissions to markups and fixed costs to determine your profit or loss and margins. Or you can set a profit goal and determine what kind of sales and costs you’ll need to manage to reach it.

In all four calculators you can save a “snapshot” from the menu and save all the data in that calculation for later review or manipulation. This can prove incredibly useful for comparing multiple scenarios with different variables. All calculators and the Snapshots screen can be accessed from the initial launch screen, which features a vertical carousel of the various tools. Every screen also features a selection menu in the top right corner so that you can jump to any tool from any point in the app.

All told, T-Money is a very powerful set of calculators that proves very easy to use and understand. A lot of options and useful tools are located throughout the well-organized app. For anybody who needs on-the-go access to calculations on loans, investments, or profits, T-Money is a one-stop shop. It helps that the app is also easy-on-the eyes and easy for even someone who doesn’t completely understand the calculations to use. Is T-Money worth the $9.99 that it’ll cost you from the App Catalog? If you’re working with hundreds of thousands of dollars (which you are, if a home loan is in play or you’re hoping to put away a lot for retirement), then yes, it is. If you’re not, then you probably don’t need T-Money anyway.

And if you're not sure, there's a free trial of T-Money available and some sample exercises if you want to check it out yourself.

Pros

Options-filled calculators

Cons

Expensive - but worth it - at $9.99
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