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Using Everyday Math in Everyday Life

Part of the Everyday Math For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Whether you’re dealing with your everyday finances, or getting together for a neighborhood card game, you need to know basic math to help you simplify and stay on top of your money matters.

Playing poker

Here are a few crucial rules that you can memorize easily. Spend your time in a real game watching people tap their feet or blink a lot.

  • In a four-person game, you need to have a hand with at least a pair of tens to have a 50 percent chance of winning.

  • If you really like to have things nailed down, you should have at least two pair, kings high to have a 90 percent chance of winning.

Using credit cards

Warning: If you make a purchase on a credit card with an interest rate near 20 percent and then make payments at twice the monthly minimum, the purchase will cost 50 percent more than the price in the store.

Dealing with mortgages

Here’s a simple mortgage table for a $100,000 loan. To calculate a different loan amount, multiply the payment by the new amount and divide by 100,000. For fractional interest rates, take the fraction of the step up to the next whole-number rate.

Interest Rate Monthly Payment, 30 years Monthly Payment, 15 years
4% $477.42 $739.69
5% $536.82 $790.79
6% $599.55 $843.86
7% $665.30 $898.83
8% $733.76 $955.65
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