Use Goal Seek in Google Sheets to Model Future Financial Outcomes

Goal Seek is a powerful tool for determining targets when modeling future outcomes. It's perfect for break-even analysis, net worth projections, and more.

Google Cloud has just released a new Goal Seek add-on for Google Sheets.

Goal Seek is a powerful tool for calculating the required value of a cell to achieve a desired formula value in another cell. It’s commonly used to determine targets when modeling future outcomes.

For example, Goal Seek can be used to:

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  • Conduct a break-even analysis for a business.
  • See the maximum you can borrow on a mortgage or loan (example on Ben Collins’ blog).
  • See what you’ll need to save each month to hit a big savings goal.
  • Calculate a car payment including projected repairs.
  • See how your net worth might increase with additional income.

According to Google, “You can use the Goal Seek add-on to calculate the required value of a cell to achieve a desired value in another cell. This is particularly useful when conducting break-even analysis or sensitivity calculations, like determining how changing one value affects other correlated values in your sheet.”

Ben Collins describes Goal Seek in a very useful tutorial on his blog:

“It’s a tremendously powerful and useful technique in data analysis. It’s a process where you set an output you want to achieve (e.g. break-even, sell 10k units, save $1m) and let the computer find the input value that will get you there (e.g. 500 attendees, $100k capital lump sum, save $8k/year)

How are you using Goal Seek in Google Sheets?

Have questions about how to use Goal Seek with your Tiller Money spreadsheets? Or do you want to share how you’re using Goal Seek to model your financial goals? We’d love to hear from you over in the Tiller Money Community.

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