The \’F\’ Word (No, Not That One)


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Finances (that’s today’s ‘F’ word, kids — get your mind out of the gutter!) are no joke. Sadly, more people run from the reality of their financial situation than those who embrace its challenges. Here we are, many of us at home or out doing our best each day to provide service to others in the midst of a global pandemic; likely, many have also been relying on home delivery or may even be eating take-out more than before, or have had their piggy banks otherwise impacted. Many others are trying to keep a roof over their heads as income decreases influence their ability to pay rent, utilities, and cover basic necessities.

The Bureau of U.S. Economic Analysis (BEA) predicts that in the second quarter of the year, the Gross Domestic Product of the country will have decreased at a rate of 32.9 percent. Further, individuals saw decreases in income for March, May, and June, with various increases in spending across that time.

This isn’t truly new information. The U.S. Census keeps track of income and poverty levels and reported that 2018 was the first real dip in poverty level since 2007, the identified date of the most recent recession. It took 11 years for that to happen.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University provided its 2018 report and identified that a majority of U.S. states have unfunded pension liabilities. While most states have found an uneasy revenue-to-expense equilibrium, there are still low points in their budgets; many states have not gotten back to the balance between income and out-go that they had before 2007.

And who helps support those state and national budgets? You do.

The need to understand and take hold of individual and household finances is higher than ever before.

That’s where Pigly comes in. The homepage has tiles that, once clicked, go to pertinent and easy-to-understand information about each topic. Want to know about car or home buying, credit cards, or how to save for education expenses? Pigly’s site has calculators to help. The site doesn’t save information or ask for personal details — it’s easy to estimate a plan that suits each need.


Sad piggy with debt. Image courtesy

The site includes a bunch of debt calculators on their About Us page. There are two types of calculators: debt repayment and debt investment:

Debt repayment calculators help with things like consolidation and payment breakdown. Say for example you want to know more about the components of a personal loan; visit the Debt Payment Breakdown page, input the amounts for total amount, interest rate, monthly payment amount, and number of payments. The calculation breaks out how much of what you pay is going to principal and interest each month, as well as when you’re likely to pay off the loan. There’s also educational information, written in plain language, to help you learn more about loan processes like amortization.

Debt investment calculators may not seem that different, but these are the ones that help with getting to the finish line in very practical ways. Now that you know how much you pay per month on that loan, visit the Payment Goal Calculator page. Pop in the total you still owe and the current interest rate, then fill in your desired date to finish paying it off. The Goal Calculator will provide you with how much your total monthly payment would need to be to meet that goal, how many months there are between now and then, and how much interest you’ll pay. You’ll also find more educational information about things like strategies to pay off debt.

Pigly isn’t just for the student or homeowner, or person looking for insight on home or car buying. There are also calculators and information for business owners for things like commercial loans, meeting costs, and more.

Sure, all this is pretty heady stuff, but those piggies sure look happy (except for debt piggy, but we can understand why, right?) … that’s because the team at Pigly also designed some fun and interactive online games featuring a whole farm-full of happy pigs.

Sure, there are plenty of sites out there where you can calculate debt, but as you explore these links and compare, you’ll likely not find one that brings so much information together in one place. That’s important for two reasons:

  1. In a world that’s changing fast, it’s good to have access to what you need to maintain (or improve!) your financial situation. If the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is to be believed, everyone needs to pay attention to their finances: they predict our debt will exceed the economy.

  2. Such changes aren’t short-lived. An economic downturn takes time — a long time — to recover (see earlier info: 11 years and counting, and states still haven’t recovered from the last recession). If it wasn’t serious, the Congressional Budget Office likely wouldn’t already have a 10-year economic outlook report out (that’s right — estimates out to the year 2030).

If the government is predicting and planning, shouldn’t you?

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