Chapter Two


This chapter introduces you to Microsoft Excel, and teaches you key things you are going to need to know in order to run a successful budget. I do not want to waste any more of your time, because your time is money, so lets get right into it. When I refer to a function that I want you to place in a cell, it will be everything contained within the quotes (“ ”) symbols. Follow these steps to learn about Excel.


  1. open Microsoft Excel, regardless of the version you have (I have an ancient one – 97-2003 version. Later versions have more advantages).
  2. in cell A1, type in “=sum(“… this is now waiting for a mathematical problem.
  3. type in “5*5”… then hit “enter”
  4. you should get 25


Now you have successfully wrote a mathematical multiplication problem. Five times five is twenty-five. Good job!


Let’s try another one.


  1. type into cell b1 “=sum(34-4)”… then hit “enter”
  2. you should get 30
  3. you just successfully subtracted 4 from 34 to get 30.
  4. now in cell c1 type “=sum(a1+b1)”… then hit “enter”
  5. You should get 51. You successfully added whatever is in cell a1 with whatever is in cell b1.


Now let’s really make it challenging.

  1. change the asterisk (*) symbol in cell a1 to a minus symbol (-)
  2. you should get a zero in cell a1 now
  3. by doing so, it simultaneously changed cell c1 too, didn’t it? You should see 30 in cell c1 now.
  4. Now I want you to hit “ctrl+z” on your keyboard. That is the control button “ctrl” at the same time depressing the letter “z”. What happened? This should have undone what you just did prior to this new function. Now you know how to undo something! This is cool! Your spreadsheet should now say 25 in cell a1, 30 in cell b1, and 55 in cell c1.


All this time you have been working in the first of three worksheets, notice the tab at the bottom of your spreadsheet which should say (Sheet1). Go into Sheet 2.


  1. type in cell a1 478 and hit enter.
  2. now you are in cell a2.
  3. type in cell a2 “=sum(“… then lift your cursor and navigate to and hover over cell a1… left click cell a1.
  4. the function you are building in cell a2 is a mathematical problem beginning with cell a1…
  5. now hit the plus symbol (+)
  6. you function is now awaiting you to finish the problem up…
  7. now navigate back down to the worksheets and left click on Sheet1 and go back into the one you were working on previously.
  8. then left click on cell c2, and hit “enter”
  9. What do you get? After you hit enter it should have jumped back to Sheet2, which is the one where you started your function, and turned cell a2 into 533. This is really cool, huh? Now go up to cell a2 and examine it in your Excel browser… it says =sum(a1+Sheet1!c1)… it is referring to the cell from the previous worksheet as a part of your problem. You are controlling Excel!
  10. Now highlight both cells a1 and a2 together by left clicking and holding it over both cells. Notice how there is an addition of the two cells together at the bottom of your spreadsheet – it says 1011! That’s another cool feature of Excel, you can quickly read additions of figures in your sheet simply by highlighting groups of cells. You can make Excel do anything for you!


Now I want you to learn copying and pasting.

  1. highlight cell a1 and hit “ctrl” and “c” at the same time. This copies cell a1 in the computer memory, and stores it until you copy something again as long as you use your computer that day.
  2. Now in cell e1 hit “ctrl” and “v” at the same time.
  3. This should have pasted the amount of 478 into cell e1 now.
  4. If you hit enter, it will get rid of the rotating grid around cell a1, which is the copying feature telling you that you are currently in the process of copying something still until you hit enter to finish the request.
  5. now highlight the three columns b,c, and d by left-clicking on the letter “B” (while holding“ctrl”), “C” and “D”. Now you should see the three empty columns in between the numbers you entered all highlighted. Right-click anywhere in the highlighted section and select “delete”. This process should have moved the 478 from cell e1 over to cell b1. You are learning!
  6. Now highlight all the numbers and check the sum again at the bottom, it should be 1489.


Now I want you to go into the third worksheet, Sheet3.

  1. in cell a1 type in “=sum(“… now go into the first worksheet (Sheet1) and left-click on all three figures by holding down the left click button to select them all, then hit the “+” symbol.
  2. now go into the second worksheet (Sheet2) and select the figures again, which will include the empty cell b2, using the same method, then hit “enter”.
  3. What happened? It should have jumped back to the third worksheet (Sheet3) to show you 503 in cell a1.
  4. Now move up to that cell (a1) and examine the contents “=sum(Sheet1!a1:c1+Sheet2!a1:b2”.
  5. Now you understand what the basics are that your Excel needs in order to operate. The functions that you provide to this wonderful computation device will help you manage and control your budget using simple math.