Financial Calculator Buying Guide

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Financial Calculator Buying Guide

The financial calculator is a finance-specific electronic calculator designed to carry out financial functions at the touch of a button. It can be a time saver, and if bought wisely, a worthwhile investment. When buying high-tech advanced electronic calculators, it is important to understand the functions that are available, so to make a smart investment. This guide will serve as an introduction into financial calculators, the main functions and formulas that can be performed on one, and how to buy them on eBay.

What Are Financial Calculators?

Financial calculators are similar to advanced electronic calculators, but are specifically programmed with financial functions and formulas. They are frequently used in the accounting, banking, business, commerce, economics, finance, property, and real estate industries, as well as by students of the aforementioned industries, such as statistics, mathematics, and other finance-related courses. As they are used by individuals in the business fields, financial calculators may also be referred to as business calculators.

Financial calculators are distinct from other electronic calculators due to their finance-specific standalone keys, which are designed to make making financial calculations faster and more direct. Having complex calculations programmed into a device like a financial calculator can also denote that fewer mistakes are made during calculation, which means the usage of such calculators yields more dependable results.

Like many electronic calculators, some financial calculators may be user programmable – the user can add functions themselves, which haven’t been provided as default by the manufacturer. Once the formulas and functions are inputted, financial calculators provide easy to read and intuitive results. Calculations that can be performed with a financial calculator include accounting, loan calculations, mortgage calculations, net future values, analysing business transactions, cost/sell margin issues, and generally maintain a personal budget.

History of the Financial Calculator

As interest and investment in electronics research gained momentum between the 1960s and the 1970s, the calculator also evolved from huge, expensive machines to small but powerful hand-held devices. The development of microelectronics also increased the functionality of the calculator, allowing for far more calculations and functions to be programmed into the calculator than ever before.

Whilst the definition of ‘financial calculators’ now extending to web and software-based applications (with the most common being Microsoft Excel), the most popular and effective financial calculators are still the handheld variety, and can be purchased from brick-and-mortar stores, such as home office stores, school supplies stores and stationery stores, and from internet retailers like eBay. Popular manufacturers of financial calculators include Casio, Sharp, Canon, Victor, Hewlett Packer (HP), and Texas Instruments (TI), with other manufacturers serving specific niche areas in the financial calculator industry. HP and TI are both considered on the leading edge of financial calculators, with the brands being well known for the quality of performance delivered by every calculator they make. The HP12c is a particularly popular hand-held financial calculator. Despite being introduced in 1981, it remains a firm favourite within the marketplace.

Benefits of Financial Calculators

Financial calculators can carry out basic mathematical calculations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as complicated ones, such as inflow and outflow measurement, Present Value (PV) and Future Value (PV) keys can be programmed with any desired value and the programmable P/Y key (which stands for ‘number of payments per year’). As the financial calculator can reduce hours of complex equating into a few minutes, there are many benefits of owning and actively using a financial calculator. A few are listed below:

· Specific Financial Function: A calculator targeted towards financial calculations means it is the best product for the job at hand. However, its financial application and basic four-function applications does mean that some general mathematics classroom formulas cannot be performed using this calculator.

· Programmable Function Keys: Program specific formulas, functions, and numbers to reduce calculating time and to personalise the financial calculator. Its specialised function keys therefore requires some training to use correctly This can be self-taught using a manual or taught in finance-related classes.

· Memory Capacity: Store complex calculations, numbers, and formulas for later use. However, this can mean that programmable value keys will need to be cleared or have their values replaced before each new calculation to avoid incorrect results.

Functions and Features of Financial Calculators

A financial calculator has specific and unique functions and features. As such, it is worthwhile to become familiar with some of these functions and features that may be available on a financial calculator:


Before buying a financial calculator, ensure that the specific functions of the calculator will be required on a daily or regular basis to avoid making an investment on a product that will not yield continuous results. Ensuring the calculator meets the needs of the buyer and does not have too many unneeded functions makes for an efficient, useful tool. Below are some of the available functions on a financial calculator:

· Inflow and outflow management

· Present Value (PV) and Future Value (FV) keys

· P/Y key (payment per year)

· Set retirement and savings goals

· Manage mortgage payments

· Calculate loan repayments

· Calculate interest rates

· Calculate depreciation rates

· Calculate taxes

· Calculate insurance costs

· Calculate commuting costs

· Plan college and training costs

· Reduce credit card debt

· Determine return-on-investment (ROI)

· Calculate the time value of money

· Calculate cash flows

· Calculate bond yields

Features of Financial Calculators

Identifying the available features of financial calculators can help the buyer choose the one that’s of the greatest use and with the best ease of use, so to help them get the most out of their device. A few of the most common features are listed below:

· Multiple Line Display: Two or three lines of numbers are visible on the screen.

· 10-Digit Display: Some complex calculations require a minimum of 10-digits displayed on the screen.

· Instruction Manual: The complexity and variety of functions of financial calculators make instruction manuals essential for the user to gain the full use out of the calculator. Read the manual to learn how to program the calculator correctly, and to check the settings to ensure they suit individual needs.

· Protective Case: Protective plastic or silicone cases help keep the calculator and its inner mechanisms safe, which is important when transporting the device.

How to Buy Financial Calculators on eBay

With eBay’s large range of new and used financial calculators, it takes only a few steps to buy financial calculators on eBay:

· Use the ‘Shop By Category’ drop-down menu to find the main listings page for financial calculators. Go to Electronics, then Calculators, and browse the listings.

· Type in the word ‘financial’ into the search bar at the top to narrow down search results.

· Refine the search further if desired using the options on the left hand side. They include ‘Format’, ‘Brand’, ‘Condition’, ‘Price’, and ‘Item Location’.

· Alternatively, type in ‘financial calculators’ into the search bar from the home page for uncategorised results. If browsing for or buying a specific brand, type in the brand, model number, and any other details into the search bar as well.

· Financial calculators may also be found in the Electronics section of eBay’s recommended deals. Find the eBay deals option at the top of the screen near the logo, and go to Electronics. However, as deals vary according to available listings, financial calculators may not always be available.

· Keep in mind that used financial calculators can be cheaper, and can be as good as buying new, as long as it is in good condition. In both cases, ensure the seller is reputable and reliable by checking their feedback ratings.


A financial calculator can help students and professionals in the finance fields to accurately perform their calculations in a quick, efficient and easy way. They are also great for the everyday user to manage their personal finances, because the initial expense of buying a financial calculator is soon exceeded by the benefits of using it. With eBay’s extensive range of electronic calculators, it is easy to find the best financial calculator for the buyer’s individual needs.

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