Using Numbers instead of a dedicated banking app. Also, we don't discuss Numbers all that much, what's your favorite use?

A few months back I’d mentioned in a thread somewhere that I was going to experiment with Numbers to replace my FileMaker Invoicing. Recently I decided to do the same to replace my banking app, iFinance. I wrote up a short blog post. My needs are pretty simple but it’s working great. Each account in its own sheet with an auto-calculating balance. All are collected and displayed in the first sheet, “account overview”.

Secondary purpose of the post, we rarely discuss Apple Numbers here and I’m curious what others use the app for that may be of interest to the rest of us?

A sampling of my other previous uses:

  • Tracking astronomical observations
  • Health tracking for calories and cycling miles (alongside of dedicated apps)
  • Milage, gas, MPG tracking

Kind of think the question is what do you use spreadsheets for, since there is nothing unique about Numbers.

I do everything in Excel:
Bank register
monthly budget
Subscription costs
Monthly/annual net worth
Investment performance
Investment rebalancing worksheet
Loan amortization

And a bunch more. Office 365 is a bargain for how much I use Excel. :slight_smile:

I am kind of making a workout tracker now, but 1) I hate trying to use times in Excel 2) I already have 10 web apps that do it.

I will say, I like the looks of Numbers graphs and charts better than Excel.


Some of my use cases:

  • Calculating energy costs (monthly fee for electricity & gas) at different providers to select the cheapest “green” one (only those using sustainable sources at my short list)
  • Track solar panel performance (compare with expected and historical production)
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Numbers is a lovely app to use. It makes Excel feel like scratching on a blackboard with an old piece of chalk. Sure, Excel has fantastic power, but Numbers is a pleasure. Every bit of friction reduction in life is worth taking advantage of.



Ha, every time I use Numbers it makes me question how people use it, everything feels so awkward to do. I guess it all depends on what you are used to.


I use Numbers – one spreadsheet for my checking account and another for my credit cards and other charge accounts. For non-arithmetic needs, I’ve been converting lists to the (recently highlighted in this forum) Notenik app to use its forms interface rather than a grid while maintaining everything else I like about spreadsheets.

I used VisiCalc on Apple II machines and Lotus 123 and Excel on PCs at work.

EDIT: I forgot about Microsoft’s early spreadsheet called MultiPlan. I used that around the time that 123 had its heyday.

I use Numbers for banking. It’s a great app.

I like Numbers a lot less than Pages and Keynote, probably due to heavy professional Excel usage in the past. That said, it’s nice to use for one-offs where I’m doing more displaying of tabular data than heavy calculations. I think half of it is the way it hides unused rows and columns so you have a table sized just right for your idea.

I track income and expenditures, and have a sheet where I essentially start preparing for my taz return throughout the year.

I track my mom’s glucose levels. I track my fountain pen inks. I track inventory / shopping for the pantry.

My primary uses for Numbers are bibliographic. I have an inventory of my books, printed and digital, with publication and other meta data. I have another spreadsheet that’s a very large research bibliography, which is loaded with metadata, my notes, summaries, and sometimes links to the local file of an article or book.

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I like it for keeping accounts’ investment classes in balance with columns for: Have, Need, Sell and Buy based on the per cent I want to own overall. Basic yet it works.

Have you created a way for reconciling bank accounts as you go in Numbers? I don’t want to reconcile monthly. YNAB is great for tracking bank accounts because it’s instantly reconciling.

THere are templates for that but honestly, they were awfully frustrating fir me, so i just created a running tally.

I find Soulver particularly useful for reconciling and calculating in general. My ability and understanding of spreadsheet formulas doesn’t extend much beyond SUM.

I reconcile on a weekly basis. I have a field for reconciled, and a put a “C” in the cell when it is. That ties into sumif calculations to calculate the cleared and uncleared balances.

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I use Numbers for exercise tracking. Times show up well as long as you have consistent formats across data points and totals.

You could also format the cell to a checkbox

I can and do have it set up to use time, but as you said you have to be consistent, and it get’s weird if you miss something. Also, even with everything configured correctly, if the value is 8 hours, it will stay say 8am in the formula bar which drives me nuts even if it doesn’t matter.

This is very interesting! I use Banktivity for tracking my accounts, and while it’s working fine, version 8 adds nothing I need and I’m afraid in the next few years I will again be looking for a basic financial program. I could easily move everything to a spreadsheet. My only beef with Numbers is that you can’t use a keyboard to enter info into a cell from a drop-down menu by typing the first few letters of the item. I got so used to doing this with Excel & it’s so much faster to enter data this way.

I also use Numbers to track my cats’ health. It’s nice to have their age auto-calculated by month in the early years (since vaccinations and other stuff is based on months-old), and then by year later on.

And as I’ve dealt with two cats with inflammatory bowel disease, it’s great to track flare-ups so the vet can look for patterns. Numbers makes it easy to create good-looking, readable, and useful columns of data.

I must not be understanding your usage because I think I do this all the tiime in Numbers.

EDIT TO ADD: Or is this what you are looking for?

Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. (I don’t know why they call it “pop-up” when it clearly drops down!)

In whatever version of Excel I was using many years ago, simply typing the letters caused the drop-down to appear with the matching item highlighted. If it wasn’t right, you could then use the arrow keys (or type an additional matching letter) to select the proper one. Hit enter, and the whole thing is entered and you can tab to the next field.

My bank exports account transactions in an oldish Excel format. If I try to import it into Pages, it display a terrible XML file in a cell. So the easiest thing for me is to upload it to Google Workspace, where Sheets can handle it.

I love Numbers, if I can use it instead of Excel, I do, everytime. It’s sooooo much better looking, and I’m a very visual person. My main use for it was as a teacher (not doing so many cool spreadsheets anymore). Our grading system had up to date grades, but I wanted to see trends at a glance, I also wanted to track individual attendance, but with a visual component. I have attached 4 images. The first is a sheet of my studentslive attendance (it wsa a virtual school with options to watch recordings), then a chart that showed the class as a whole. Then I attached two images of my grade book. One is a view of every Friday afternoon’s grades, it also includes the title of the most recent note (on another sheet in the same file). Then I have the consolidation and line graph of the trends.