Simple examples with formulas
In the video above you will find two simple examples of using excel formulas with everyday life samples:
In the first one we will be calculating trip distance, based on speed and duration.
In the second we will be calculating the phone bill, in the way it used to be calculated in the past, based on the total call duration and cost per minute (plus the recurring bills).
Download the worksheet used in this video and you can practice it by yourself.
Example 1 - Calculating Trip Distance
In cell C4 is given the vehicle speed.
In cell C5 is given the trip duration.
Insert the correct formula into cell C8 that will calculate the trip distance, based upon the speed and the duration.
The correct answer:
Because distance is the multiplication of speed and duration, the correct formula will be:
Example 2 - Calculating the Phone Bill
In cell C37 is given the recurring charges (the fixed charges that you get every month).
In cell C39 is given the call time duration (in minutes) for the whole month.
In cell C40 is given the cost per minute.
(This is how the phone bill was calculated in the past. Fortunately, nowadays you usually don't have to consider the call duration anymore...)
Insert the correct formula in cell C43 that will calculate the phone bill.
The correct answer:
The phone bill equals the recurring charges plus the number of minutes multiplied by the cost per minute, thus:
Common mistakes when using formulas:
Forgetting to write the Equal sign
Don’t forget to start it always with the “=” sign, otherwise it will be just written to the cell as text.
Mixing texts with numbers
Formulas can’t be based on cells that have mixed numbers and texts. For example, if a cell contains one of the following:
Then formulas can’t use these cells. They need to have the numbers separated, written in their own cells.
You have 2 options:
A. Write the text (signs or letters) in adjacent cells next to the numbers.
B. Write only the number in the cell, and afterwards add the special signs or letters by formatting that cell. This is an advanced usage of formatting. A simple example of it would be giving it a "currency" format.