Excluding freeware, what would be the best reasonably priced software tools (i.e. compiler, database, erc.) to buy for a new Windows computer in order to develop financial apps that could easily be distributed to one's own Windows computers as .exe files? Programing language either C or something like VB.

It needs to support at least 10 digit math, and database capability like MS Access.

What you could consider is the Community version of Visual Studio. Once you get your apps done, then you can ponder if you want to buy that.

Why buy now?

Thanks. I'll look at that more carefully.
The programming I do now is a hobby, so there is no particular rush, and I hoped it might start a discussion. Maybe I put it in the wrong place? Are most people OK with the cost of development tools, and is there any freeware one can download without having to worry about downloading spyware or tons of advertising?

I've gotten some wonderful help from Daniweb in the past, but that was some years ago, and I am having a little difficulty navigating the website. Is there something you would suggest that I read?

You followed with more questions. I'll put them into a list.

  1. Wrong place?
    This is fine.
  2. Cost of dev tools.
    The Community version is free. Android Studio is free. What's not to like here?
  3. Freeware one can download without spyware or advertising.
    I have installed both the ones I noted and consider them free from spyware and advertising. I can't guess if you would get them from a torrent or other than the source so maybe you are trying to avoid the source (Microsoft and Google) and ended up with a bad experience. I can't guess why folk do that.

As to the last question about Daniweb and navigating, I have yet to find any reading material about that.

I've been developing software since the mid 70s (retired since 2008) and I recently switched from vb.Net to Python/wxPython. I know you wanted to develop to exe but there is a tool that will generate an exe from Python. While creating a GUI with wxPython is more challenging than with vb.Net and Visual Studio, writing and debugging the actual code is much easier with Python, although Visual Studio still kicks ass for interactive debugging (I'm using VS 2019 with Python). Also, with Python/wxPython you only have to install them once (easy) and ypu'll never have to set up a separate installer. I believe Python will handle integer math to your requirements. If it can handle math.factorial(1000) it should do.