Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Chapter 5: Creating a basic holiday budget in Excel
Creating a basic
holiday budget
in Excel
5
Equipment needed: Computer (desktop or laptop) running
Microsoft Excel 2010 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (see Introduction).
Skills needed: Ability to use a computer keyboard and mouse (or
trackball). Basic familiarity with navigating Excel documents,
selecting and copying cells, and entering text into cells (see Chapter 4).
In the previous project, you learned how you can use Excel to organise information.
In this chapter, we’ll unlock the real power of Excel: its ability to do calculations on
numbers in the cells. If that’s sent you cowering behind the sofa, you can come out –
the beauty of doing your maths with Excel is that you don’t have to get involved with
any of the adding up, multiplication, subtraction or division. Excel takes care of it all.
You might be thinking that you’ve managed fi ne until now with a pen, paper and
a beaten-up old calculator, so why bother changing? But if you use Excel right,
you can do all sorts of things that are impractical or diffi cult on paper because
Excel makes it easy to answer ‘What if’? questions. What if the value of sterling
crashes before we go abroad? What if we add another couple of nights to our trip?
Can we afford to do that once we’ve factored in the price of extra petrol for the
hire car and a few more lunches? What if we move to a different hotel for a few
nights? How will that affect our total costings? On paper, you would have to run
all your sums again from the start, or at least pick apart the details to insert the
new costs. On the computer, you can just type in the new information and Excel
will recalculate everything instantly. That enables you to make better informed
decisions, and to plan more accurately.
 
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