The zaFin suite of tools have only been available online (PAYE and Mortgage Calculator) *until now* that is. The easy-to-use set of tools are now available for your mobile phone with the first release for BlackBerry.
BlackBerry was a logical choice for providing the first version of the african army knife since most BlackBerry users are perceived to be predominantly "business" type folk. And technically, it's also a decent platform to develop on with a tool chain that makes life pretty easy for a developer.
Requirements: BlackBerry OS Version 4.5.0+ or later
about zaFin and disclaimer
This application is being provided free of charge to the general public. I hope you find it useful in that it helps you make some informed, rational decisions regarding your financial future based on numbers, and not just marketing or emotions.
What you cannot do with this application is sell it on, in any form or shape whatsoever or try pass it off as your own. That would just be rude.
So if you so want a version (or something similar) that you would like to package, brand and sell or use and deploy on your own BlackBerry Enterprise Server (or even on a different mobile platform), contact me and let's chat about it.
After all, coding is what i do and love.
Disclaimer: always use a registered financial or tax consultant before making final decisions regarding your finances. This application provides rounded calculations based on data and estimates which may or may not be erroneous. It's being provided in good faith, at no cost to you, and as such you use zaFin entirely at your own risk.
The army knife of everyday financial utilities comes equipped with the following features/functions:
- Historic CPI tables, with the base year of 2008
- Time value of money calculator
- Historic prime lending rate tables
- Amortisation/Mortgage calculator
- SARS tax tables (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
- PAYE Calculator
- Statistics Calculator
These tables are a copy of the tables as they have been published by Stats SA. Note, the table is using 2008 as the base year.
Useful as a reference tool, this table, as with the other information in this application, can be updated at any time.
Time Value of Money
The CPI information on its own useful and when applied becomes even more valuable. For example, in the South African context, wouldn't it be nice to know just how much R20 in 1999 is worth today?
There are many other practical applications of this function, from law to business, finance and even personal. How you use the information provided is entirely up to you.
As a starting example, find out if your starting salary has indeed kept up to date with inflation.
Prime Lending Rate Tables
The Reserve Bank maintain and publish the history of prime lending rate changes. This information is now also made available for your reference.
And if you look back to the past, you can see just how bad (and good) things can get when it comes to borrowing money.
Prime lending rate history is useful information especially when you can more accurately apply it to relevant finance scenarios.
This calculator has the option of either been used to calculate your monthly repayments based on the principal loan, or work out your principal based on an affordable monthly repayment.
Note the last field which calculates just how much actual money you would have paid over by the end of the term and compare that to your principal loan amount.
SARS tax tables
SARS also publish their income tax formula each year which helps you determine in advance just how much tax you should be paying (as an individual).
Tax tables from previous years are also made available for reference purposes.
Applying the tax table information, you can calculate the PAYE for individuals ahead of submitting a tax return so as to avoid any nasty surprises. Having an idea of how much tax you should be paying (versus what you are actually paying) is always a good thing.
Is your employer paying over the right amount of tax for you? Remember, it is your responsibility and liability to make sure it's correct.
The Statistics Calculator will work on a dataset of numbers captured to give the following descriptive statistics:
Length, Median, Mean, Sum, Sum of Squares, Minimum, Maximum, Range, Variance, Standard Deviation, Co-variance, Mean Absolute Variation, and then the 3 quartile positions and values.
When you return to the data entry screen after viewing the descriptive statistics, the dataset will have been ordered.
All the tables used in the various calculators are maintained on the server and can be freely accessed. Whenever new information becomes available, either from the Reserve Bank, Stats SA or SARS, every effort is made to update the information.
And over time, the tables will change as additions or alterations are made, for example when the CPI is rebased or the Governor promotes another rate cut. Simply update the relevant tables and continue using your army knife.
Can't wait to start using zaFin? Use the browser on your BlackBerry and navigate to this link:
Download zaFin for BlackBerry.