Projects for Learning Excel

by Bonnie Conrad

Excel is one of the most powerful parts of the Microsoft Office suite of products. This powerful and widely used spreadsheet program can be used for everything from adding two numbers together to compiling a detailed budget for a Fortune 500 business. No matter what you want to get out of Microsoft Excel, it is important to learn how to use the program properly, and there are a number of projects that will help you learn what you need to know to make the most of this spreadsheet creator.

Balance Your Checkbook

When all we did with our checking account was write checks and pay bills, balancing the checkbook was a relatively straightforward affair, but in these days of debit cards and ATMs, keeping that checking account balance accurate and up to date has become a great deal more complicated. Fortunately, Excel is here to help, and balancing your own checkbook can be a great way to learn the ins and outs of this powerful program. Creating a simple spreadsheet with your starting balance is a great way to start using Excel. Then continue the learning process by adding your deposits and subtracting your checks, debit purchases and ATM withdrawals. You can learn how to use the powerful mathematical formulas built into Excel while keeping an accurate balance on your checking account.

Create a Family Budget

Everyone should have a realistic budget in place, and Microsoft Excel can be a great tool in your budgeting process. With Microsoft Excel, you can create a row for each of your household expenses, including rent or mortgage, groceries and more. You can then create a column for each month of the year and easily track your household expenses over time. You can even use your spreadsheet to create graphs that show the ebbs and flows of your living expenses over time, helping you get a handle on how your budget changes over time. This graphical representation can help you get a handle on spikes in your expenses and fine ways to reduce your monthly outlays.

Track Your Investments

Microsoft Excel also provides a great way for you to track your investments over time. You may have a vague idea of how the stock market is doing, but do you really know how your investments stack up? When you create a spreadsheet to track your investments, you will know how your own stocks and bonds are doing, and you will learn a great deal about Microsoft Excel in the process.

Photo Credits

  • Wikimedia Commons | D235