How to Create an Excel Financial Calculator

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School is expensive enough with the cost of tuition and books, but some courses require students to have a financial calculator, which are also expensive. Outside of finance majors, most students and adults have no use for this calculator after school. An alternative to purchasing a financial calculator is to create one in Excel.

  • Open a new workbook or blank sheet in Excel.

  • Label cells with Rate, Number of Periods, Payment, Present Value and Type. Finally choose a cell and label it Future Value. This financial calculator solves for Future Value.

  • Insert sample values under the cells directly below the labeled cells for all cells except Future Value. The values entered should have a solution already known. This ensures the calculator solves correctly for Future Value. Select the cell to solve Future Value.

  • Click on "Insert" from the toolbar on the top of the worksheet and select "Function." Under the drop down menu for categories in the Insert Function window, choose "Financial." Scroll down, select "FV" and click "OK."

  • Select the box to the right of the fields in the new "Function Arguments" window. These allow you to choose the cells previously labeled. Make sure to choose the cells with sample data in them, not the cells with the labels themselves. Click "OK" when finished selecting all cells.

  • Check the answer calculated in the Future Value cell against the known answer. As long as the answer is the same, save the Excel workbook and start using your new financial calculator.

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