EDATE: Excel formulas explained

Let's be honest, Microsoft Excel is truly a lifesaver – I mean, it can do everything from calculating simple numbers to creating intricate financial models. However, the key to becoming a true Excel ninja is in mastering the formula. So, in this article, I'm going to explain one of my favorite formulas – EDATE – and how you can use it to make your life so much easier.

What is EDATE?

First things first – let's talk about what EDATE exactly is. In a nutshell, EDATE is a powerful Excel function that allows you to calculate a future or past date by adding or subtracting months to a starting date. Sounds simple, right? Well, that's because it is! But don't let the simplicity fool you – with EDATE, you can do so much more than just add and subtract months.

How to use EDATE in Excel?

Using EDATE is extremely easy, and can be done in only a few steps.

Here's how it works:

  • Step 1: Select a cell that you want to enter the date formula in.
  • Step 2: Type in the equal sign (=) to start the formula, followed by "EDATE".
  • Step 3: Inside the parentheses, enter the starting date, followed by a comma, and the number of months you want to add or subtract.
  • Step 4: Press the "Enter" key, and voila! You have your answer!

So, let's say you want to calculate what the date will be six months from today – just use the formula "=EDATE(TODAY(),6)" and you will get the answer right away.

Why use EDATE?

If you're wondering why use EDATE at all when you can just manually add or subtract months, let me tell you – EDATE can save you a lot of time and hassle. With EDATE, you can easily calculate future or past dates without having to remember how many days are in each month, or worrying about leap years.

Plus, EDATE's real strength lies in its versatility. For example, you can use EDATE to see what a date will be after a number of pay periods, or to calculate the difference between two dates in months.

EDATE examples

Now that you know how to use EDATE and why it's useful, let's take a look at a few examples to see how it can be applied in practice:

Example 1: Calculate end date of project

If you have a project that is set for 12 months, you can use EDATE to easily calculate the end date. Simply use the formula "=EDATE(start_date,12)" and you'll get the end date immediately.

Example 2: Calculate future pay date

Let's say you want to know what your next pay date will be after four pay periods. No need to worry – use the formula "=EDATE(TODAY(),4*pay_period)" and you'll get the answer in no time.

Example 3: Calculate age in months

If you want to know the exact age of someone, you can use EDATE to calculate it in months. For example, use the formula "=DATEDIF(birth_date,TODAY(),"m")" and you'll get the exact age in months!


EDATE is a powerful Excel function that can save you time and help you perform complex calculations with ease. With a little bit of practice, you can become an EDATE master in no time! So, go ahead and start experimenting with this formula – I promise it won't disappoint.

Until next time, happy calculating!

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