Making Money With Excel: An Easy $5,000 a Month

  • Time to read: 10 min.

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If you want to earn money, making money with Excel is a great place to start. Microsoft Excel is the world’s most popular spreadsheet application. It’s used by businesses and individuals all over the world to manage data and crunch numbers. And because it’s so widely used, there are always opportunities for people with Excel skills.

Excel skills can be used in a variety of ways to earn money. You can use them to work from home as a freelance Excel consultant, or you can use them to get a job in an office setting. No matter what your career goals are, knowing MS Excel will give you an edge in the job market.

making money with excel

What are Excel Spreadsheets?

Before we look at specific jobs that require MS Excel skills, let’s take a step back and talk about what an Excel spreadsheet is.

Spreadsheets are used to store data in grids (rows and columns). They can also perform calculations on the data.  The most common type of spreadsheet is the worksheet which holds one single table of information. Some workbooks hold multiple worksheets.

Excel spreadsheets can also contain charts and graphs called “charts” that summarize the data in the spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel has extensive formatting options including color, fonts, borders, shading, cell protection, and more to make your spreadsheet look professional.

microsoft excel and apple numbers

Difference Between Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers

Apple recently introduced a spreadsheet application called Apple Numbers. This program is similar to Microsoft Excel in many ways, but some key differences will be important for people who want to use spreadsheets professionally.

Microsoft Excel is used more widely than Apple Numbers and thanks to the Windows PC environment, it probably has broader compatibility with your office’s computing infrastructure and business software.

Microsoft also offers unlimited training and support which is great for newbie users or advanced users looking to learn advanced concepts.  You can find help on any Excel topic by searching the web or visiting a local bookstore.

make money with excel

Different Ways to Make Money with Excel

There are several ways to earn money with Excel. You can use this powerful tool as part of your job, you can offer Excel services as a freelancer, or you can create and sell your spreadsheets for fun and profit.

Using Excel as Part of Your Job

One way to make money with Excel is by using it as part of your current full-time job. Many office environments are becoming increasingly automated thanks to the increasing power of computers and programs like Microsoft Excel.

Almost every major company uses them in some capacity for tasks like payroll calculations, inventory management, or production planning. There are often opportunities to work with spreadsheets even if you’re not officially doing it as part of your job description.

Many companies have well-established methods that employees can use to become more efficient and offer suggestions for process improvements.

Freelance Consulting as a Way to Make Money with Excel

Another way to make money with Microsoft Excel is by offering it as a service as a freelancer. Spreadsheet skills are in high demand so if you learn how to do them well, there’s plenty of work available online. Many websites offer freelance jobs including:

It takes some time to build up your reputation though so don’t expect immediate results when you first start on these sites. You can find work on the job sites or simply by posting an ad describing your services on a service website.

Finding a Job that Uses Excel

Jobs that involve using Microsoft Excel are often found in office settings and they come in many different forms. Here you’ll find some common examples of ways to make money with Excel:

Accounting –  Preparing spreadsheets for accounting purposes is one way to make money with Excel. The primary task here is to report on financial transactions accurately and concisely. In addition, the accountant will need to produce reports from time to time so knowledge about creating charts and graphs can be helpful as well.

Data Entry –  Data entry workers use software like Microsoft Excel to enter data into databases or other computerized systems which saves companies significant amounts of money compared with manual methods of data entry. The ability to quickly and accurately enter data is important here, as well as the ability to understand and follow instructions (technical support may provide little help if you make a mistake).

Financial Reporting –  If you enjoy accounting or business-related work involving spreadsheets, this job category might appeal to you. You’ll be responsible for creating reports that summarize financial information like revenue and expenses for different areas of a company (e.g., divisions, departments). If you want to make money with Excel in finance, then learning basic accounting principles will help tremendously.

Medical –  Many medical offices use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for tasks like tracking patients’ information such as symptoms and treatment plans electronically rather than by using paper forms. Also, some medical offices will provide billing services for other companies that don’t have their billing department. The ability to use spreadsheets helps track patients and prepare statements for payers.

Producing Spreadsheets as a Freelancer or Business Owner

If you want to make money with Excel but rather do it on your terms as passive income, then producing spreadsheets as a freelancer is one way to go about it. Many people today are entrepreneurs at heart and prefer the freedom of setting their hours and making their own decisions without having to answer to others.

Some advantages of being self-employed include: The ability to choose which jobs you take on is one of them. If there are no suitable projects available online, then you can always start your own and market the spreadsheet to companies that may need it. The ability to pick and choose which jobs you take makes this an attractive way to make money with Excel.

You won’t have anyone looking over your shoulder or giving directions on what needs to be done so it will be up to you to decide how long projects should take. Of course, there are other advantages such as being your boss, having no commuting time because you work from home and more.

Create a YouTube Channel

Another way to make money with Excel is to start a YouTube channel dedicated to tutorials, tips, and tricks on using Microsoft Excel. If you have a passion for teaching others how to use Excel, then this is a great side job idea.

You can even post videos in between other jobs online so it won’t interfere with your income. Here are some advantages of being on YouTube and creating video Excel online courses.

It will provide you with another stream of passive income that doesn’t require much time once the videos are created. It can be fun if you enjoy teaching others about Excel or related topics.

It only takes one video to go viral to get thousands of views from around the world which could lead to more opportunities later on such as being an author and speaker at events and conferences (make sure your content will appeal to people of different levels).

other tips for making money with excel

Other Tips for Making Money with Excel

Here are some final tips for making money with Microsoft Excel.

If possible, attend a seminar to learn more. These seminars can be extremely beneficial so it’s a good idea to take advantage of them when you can.

Consider picking up some extra work as a temporary employee at companies that use Excel. Your hard work and dedication will give employers an incentive to keep you coming back.

Find ways to improve your experience working with Excel such as practicing new skills and mastering the features available in Microsoft Excel 2010 or 2013 by taking tutorials and training courses online.

You can create spreadsheets yourself too but make sure they are fully tested before you start using them because errors may cause problems down the road which could affect your reputation as someone who makes money with Excel.

top 10 excel skills to learn to make money

Top 10 Excel Skills to Learn to Make Money

Check out some of the top 10 Excel skills that can help you make money (with or without an employer).


Knowing how to use this function properly will allow you to look up specific data in your spreadsheet more quickly.

Pivot Tables

If your company uses Excel, then they may data analysts who can create pivot tables that summarize large amounts of data based on categories like region and product line.


Another useful Excel skill is the ability to do lookups which allows you to combine multiple columns into one cell. This saves space and makes it easier for other people, such as financial analysts, to look at the spreadsheet to find what they are looking for quickly.


Charting helps visualize trends in information. For example, you may need to create a chart that shows the number of products sold each month or quarter for several years.

Financial Formulas

If you know how to use all the basic Excel financial formulas (like NPV, FV, IRR, and more) and Excel add ins, then companies who work in finance will be interested in hiring you as someone who can make money with Excel.

Data EntryFormulas

The ability to type formulas using cell addresses is key when it comes to doing data entry on your company’s spreadsheet. This allows employees to quickly fill out forms easily because they just have to type the formula once and Excel fills it out for them automatically into each cell with that particular same reference.

Lookup/Reference Functions

Another useful Excel skill is the knowledge of any or all of the following reference functions in making spreadsheets for data analysis:


For example, you can use a combination of these references to create a dynamic list in Excel 2010 or later which gives you the ability to add new products or change prices without changing the formulas that calculate shipping costs for customers.

SQL Queries

A SQL query is a special formula that allows you to extract data from one table and put it into another one based on values from both tables. This provides employees with an easy way to update information from your spreadsheet by just letting them edit one area instead of having to go through and make changes manually.


Data validation helps to improve the accuracy of data in a spreadsheet by limiting what a user can enter into a cell. This reduces mistakes and speeds up workflows.

Using Excel Functions

It’s important for companies who use spreadsheets regularly to know how to use functions properly so they get accurate results which is why some employers will be more interested in hiring someone who knows Excel than just being able to look up data quickly.

excel templates to sell

Why You Should Sell Excel Templates

Excel templates provide a great way to save time while working on spreadsheets by giving you pre-made layouts with standard formulas and formatting already in place.

Excel can be used for many different purposes so it’s important to know what the more popular functions are before you create Excel spreadsheet templates or before an employer asks you to develop excel templates for them.

FAQ – Making Money with Excel

How much money can I make using MS Excel?

The amount of money you can make using Excel will depend on what your salary is at the company. However, if you use some of these top 10 functions and create an excellent spreadsheet, then you may be able to get a raise or bonus at your next review or make money as an Excel freelancer with Microsoft programs.

What are some common mistakes that people make when trying to learn how to use Excel?

One of the most common mistakes that people make when they try to learn how to use Excel is that they focus too much on complicated formulas which often leads to errors in their spreadsheets. Some other common mistakes include using formats inappropriately or creating spreadsheets with multiple inconsistent which makes them harder for other people to understand.

Do I need to know how to do math?

You don’t necessarily need to know how to do math or mathematical calculations to use Excel spreadsheets or charge money but knowing some simple mathematical functions will help you create better spreadsheets more quickly. You can then focus on learning how your company uses Excel spreadsheets and becoming more familiar with the types of formulas that are used most often for your job role.

What kind of skills do I need?

Some of the most important skills when it comes to using Excel spreadsheets include being able to read data correctly, knowing what reference functions are available, having good problem-solving skills, being detail-oriented, understanding advanced formulas/functions, and having strong attention to detail. You should also know how to use computer software, computer systems, and technical knowledge. If you don’t have any of these skills, you can always take private lessons.

How long does it take to learn how to use Excel?

To start using Excel, you must first take the time to learn what it is and why people may need it. You can then choose a tutorial that works for you based on your specific needs. After that, it takes an average of six months to be able to use Excel spreadsheets competently. Then you’ll have clients rushing to you.