Happy Spreadsheet Day 2017!

Happy Spreadsheet Day from the Team at Tiller Money! We're celebrating in Vermont, North Carolina, and Washington.

And what did we eat? Sheet cake, of course. (Though we had to decorate it ourselves because somehow the bakery wasn’t prepared for this particular holiday.)

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We’re being a little cheeky, but truly appreciate the excuse to reflect on how spreadsheets have empowered people around the world.

At Tiller, our focus is helping people gain more control of their finances. When we started out, we weren’t thinking of making spreadsheet tools - even though that’s what we used to manage our money. We just wanted to make better money management tools in general.

However, we kept hearing that many people preferred managing their money in spreadsheets. They might also use a dashboard app on their phone, but primarily to supplement the command center they’d built in Excel or Google Sheets.

Surprising Spreadsheet Data

Tiller Money has surprising data showing that even in this era of colorful apps and chatty chatbots, many Americans still prefer a spreadsheet for managing personal finances. Feel free to share this information in your spreadsheet day posts.

From a June 2017 survey of households earning over 25k per year, we found that:

  • 1 in 5 Americans use a spreadsheet to manage their personal finances.
  • In contrast to the image of baby boomers clinging to old-school spreadsheets, it’s actually millennials using them to manage their money.
  • The average age of people using Google Sheets to manage their money is just 32.3 vs 43.3 using Quicken.

Our 2016 national survey of spreadsheet users found:

  • 92% of people who track their finances using a spreadsheet say they are more aware of their spending habits compared to when they were using a personal finance app.
  • 89% say spreadsheets give them more control over how they track their finances.
  • 83% think spreadsheets are easier and simpler to use than the app/s they tried.
  • 81% say spreadsheets have better reporting options than the app/s they tried.

About Spreadsheet Day

  • Debra Dalgleish (interview here) of the Contextures Excel website proposed a national Spreadsheet Day back in 2010.
  • The date of October 17, 2017, was selected in a community poll because it was the anniversary of the release of VisiCalc.
  • Spreadsheet Day was picked up by the Days of the Week site in 2014, the 35th anniversary of the VisiCalc release.
  • VisiCalc (“visual calculator”) was the first electronic spreadsheet program.
  • Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “VisiCalc ... propelled … the success [of Apple]… more than any other single event.” As co-founders of Software Arts, Mr. Bricklin and Mr. Frankston developed VisiCalc in 1979.
  • You can see a video of Dan Bricklin, co-developer of VisiCalc, talking about his invention on the TED Talks website.
  • For true spreadsheet nerds, we rounded up 8 Podcast Episodes for Spreadsheet Nerds.