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Time Value of Money Calculator to Calculate Opportunity Costs of Consumables

Calculator Preferences
Consumables Time Value of Money Calculator Sign
Consumables Time Value of Money Calculator

This calculator will calculate the opportunity costs of regularly spending an amount of money on a consumable product or service (perishable, expendable, etc.). Plus, this calculator will also calculate the reduction in opportunity costs that will occur if you switch from a higher priced consumable (name brand) to a lower priced substitute (generic or store brand). The Learn tab includes:

  • What is Time Value of Money (TVM)?
  • Why is understanding TVM so important?
  • The money value of your time.
Learn More

Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Annual ROI:Annual ROI:Expected annual return on investments:Expected annual return on investments:

Expected annual return on investments:

Enter the annual interest rate you expect to earn on your investments. Please enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .06 or 6%, enter 6).

Hourly wage:Hourly wage:Hourly wage:Hourly wage:
Annual salary:
Hourly wage:

Hourly wage:

Enter your current hourly wage (the money value of your time), but without the dollar sign or any commas. If you earn an annual salary you can expand the description in this row to display a calculator that will help you to estimate your hourly wage.

# of years:Number of years:Years to calculate opportunity costs:Number of years to calculate opportunity costs:

Number of years to calculate opportunity costs:

Enter the number of years to calculate time value of money for. This could either be an arbitrary number of years or it could be the number of years till a significant date is reached (child reaches college age, your retirement age, etc.).

Consumable:Consumable name:Name of consumable product or service:Name of consumable product or service:

Name of consumable product or service:

Enter the name of the consumable good or service you are calculating opportunity costs for. For our purposes, a consumable (expendable) is considered to be a product or service that loses all of its value in a short period of time (1 year or less) and does not come with any ongoing costs of ownership (energy, insurance, storage, maintenance, repairs, etc.).

Purchase frequency:

Purchase frequency:

Enter the number of times you purchase this consumable per the selected time period. For example, if you purchase the consumable each workday and you work 5 days per week, you would enter a 5 and select week as the time period.

Buy cost:Purchase cost:Cost per purchase:Cost per purchase:

Cost per purchase:

Enter the total amount of money you spend each time you purchase the expendable. Be sure to include any other costs that are directly related to the purchase (sales tax, travel expenses, time taken off from work, etc.). Note you can also use this and the above line to calculate the opportunity cost of doing nothing, versus using that time to earn and invest an hourly wage (watching TV versus working a part-time business or job and investing the proceeds).

Sub cost:Substitute cost:Cost of lower priced substitute:Cost of lower priced substitute:

Cost of lower priced substitute:

If this consumable is considered to be an essential, and therefore cannot be eliminated from your spending habits, see if you can find a less expensive substitute and enter the price here. The time value of money calculator will calculate the reduced opportunity costs of switching from the higher priced consumable (name brand) to the lower priced substitute (generic or store brand).

Opportunity Cost
Tap the text for a description of each row result.
Ann cost:Annual cost:Annual cost:Annual cost:

Annual cost:

Based on your entries, this is how much you are spending on purchasing this consumable on an annual basis, along with the annual cost of the substitute and its savings if a substitute purchase cost was entered.

Tot cost:Total cost:Total cost:Total cost:

Total cost:

Based on your entries, this is how much you will spend on purchasing this consumable for the number of years you entered, along with the total cost of the substitute and its savings if a substitute purchase cost was entered.

Lost int:Lost int:Lost interest:Lost interest earnings:

Lost interest earnings:

Based on your entries, this is the interest earnings you will forgo for the entered number of years if you continue to make this purchase instead of investing the purchase costs, along with the lost interest of the substitute and its lost interest savings if a substitute purchase cost was entered.

Opp cost:Fin opp cost:Financial opp cost:Financial opportunity cost:

Financial opportunity cost:

Based on your entries, this is the minimum financial opportunity cost of choosing to spend money on this expendable instead of investing the money, along with the total opportunity cost of the substitute and its opportunity cost savings if a substitute purchase cost was entered.

Please note that if you have high interest debt that could be reduced or paid off with money saved by eliminating this expendable from your spending (or switching to a lower priced substitute), the financial opportunity cost of continuing to purchase this expendable is actually much greater than the minimum displayed.

Lost hrs:Lost hours:Time opp cost:Time opportunity cost:

Time opportunity cost:

Based on your entries, this is the total number of hours you could take off from work if you invested the cost of the consumable rather than purchasing it -- after the entered number of years have passed. If there is something you would rather do with the time you spend at work, then the financial opportunity costs would further lead to personal opportunity costs (good times lost).

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

Feedback AppreciatedFeedback Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Would Be Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Is Greatly Appreciated


Help and Tools

Help and Tools:

This section, which you can Unstick or Hide in the Calculator Preferences (just above the top of the calculator), contains the following tabs (content too long to fit within bordered frame can be scrolled up and down):

About: Click this tab for an introduction to the calculator.

Instructions: Click this tab for step-by-step instructions for using the calculator.

Terms: Click this tab for a list of the descriptions that are located within each popup help button (info icons).

PCalc: Click this tab for a handy "pocket" calculator you can use when you need to calculate an entry needed for the calculator.

Data: Click this tab to save a set of entries or a note in between visits. Entries and notes will be stored to your web browser's local storage (if supported by your browser of choice), meaning they can only be recalled with the same device and web browser you were using when you saved them. If you'd like to save entries and notes between devices you can do so by subscribing to the Ad-Free Member Version.



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Adjust Calculator Width:

Move the slider to left and right to adjust the calculator width. Note that the Help and Tools panel will be hidden when the calculator is too wide to fit both on the screen. Moving the slider to the left will bring the instructions and tools panel back into view.

Also note that some calculators will reformat to accommodate the screen size as you make the calculator wider or narrower. If the calculator is narrow, columns of entry rows will be converted to a vertical entry form, whereas a wider calculator will display columns of entry rows, and the entry fields will be smaller in size ... since they will not need to be "thumb friendly".

Show/Hide Popup Keypads:

Select Show or Hide to show or hide the popup keypad icons located next to numeric entry fields. These are generally only needed for mobile devices that don't have decimal points in their numeric keypads. So if you are on a desktop, you may find the calculator to be more user-friendly and less cluttered without them.

Stick/Unstick Tools:

Select Stick or Unstick to stick or unstick the help and tools panel. Selecting "Stick" will keep the panel in view while scrolling the calculator vertically. If you find that annoying, select "Unstick" to keep the panel in a stationary position.

If the tools panel becomes "Unstuck" on its own, try clicking "Unstick" and then "Stick" to re-stick the panel.