Spreadsheet Finances

Monitor Your Finances on Spreadsheet Day

By: Amy Woods, October 17, 2016

Spreadsheet Day has arrived. The Oct. 17 nod to the form in which one fills out fields is sure to stoke the spirits of some more than others. Cells. Columns. Rows. Values. The software is indispensable to many yet incomprehensible to many more.

To commemorate the national holiday, consider the ways spreadsheets have helped keep business owners, project managers, retail outlets and transportation companies organized. Executives from those industries rely on the electronic documents to keep track of clients, jobs, inventory and mileage. So, for those who have shied away from Microsoft Excel and the like, here is a financial tip: Spreadsheets can spare you from monetary mayhem.

“Every business uses them to manage their books and data for everything including names and numbers of members and much more,” the Days of the Year Web site states. “Following on the heels of that, you could take the time to learn how to use spreadsheets and design them for your own lifestyle.”

Common consumer applications include balancing your checkbook so it does not bounce, keeping track of your bills so you know how much you spend and logging your income so you can determine whether your budget is bustling in the black or running in the red.

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 “They’re surprisingly easy to use and can help you balance your budget, prepare shopping lists, keep track of important dates and people and just about anything else your imagination can come up with,” according to the Web site.

On this day in 1979, VisiCalc, a pioneer in spreadsheet software, launched its first program for home computers. The technology has advanced light years since then and now is more user-friendly than ever. Many modern spreadsheets are free, such as Google Sheets and LibreOffice. The advantages finally outweigh the aggravations, and that is something everyone can celebrate.