# EDATE Formula

## Definition

Starting off, let’s look at the EDATE Excel formula. In essence, EDATE helps you calculate the date that is a specific number of months before or after a certain date.

## Purpose

The primary reason for using the EDATE formula is when you want to determine a future or past date after a particular number of months.

## Syntax

Here’s how the syntax of the EDATE formula looks:

`=EDATE(start_date, months)`

## Parameters

The EDATE formula takes two parameters:

1. Start_date: The date from which you want to calculate the future or past date.
2. Months: The number of months before or after the start_date.

## Returns

The EDATE formula will give you a date that is a specified number of months before or after a given date.

## Usage notes

Bear in mind that the EDATE formula is especially helpful when you’re performing calculations involving date changes. For instance, in loan repayments or investment maturity dates.

## Availability

You can use the EDATE formula in all versions of Excel.

## Example #1

Suppose you want to find out the date six months after January 1, 2023. You could use the EDATE formula like this:

`=EDATE("2023-01-01", 6)`

This formula will return the date six months after January 1, 2023.

## Example #2

Assume you have a start date in cell A2 and you want to determine the date 3 months before. Here’s the EDATE formula you would use:

`=EDATE(A2, -3)`

This formula will return the date three months before the date in cell A2.

## Example #3

In this example, let’s calculate the date exactly one year after today’s date:

`=EDATE(TODAY(), 12)`

This formula will return the date one year after today’s date.

## Example #4

For our fourth example, let’s calculate the date two years before a specific date:

`=EDATE("2023-12-31", -24)`

This formula will return the date two years before December 31, 2023.

## Example #5

In our final example, let’s determine the date six months before the same date in two different years:

`=EDATE("2023-01-01", -6)`

This formula will return the date six months before January 1, 2023.

## Tips and tricks

A handy tip when using the EDATE formula is to remember that you can use negative numbers for the ‘months’ parameter to find a date in the past.

## Limitations

The EDATE formula’s main limitation is that it only calculates by months. To calculate by days or years, consider using other date functions.

## Common errors and solutions

A typical error when using the EDATE formula is entering non-date values for the start_date parameter. This will yield a #VALUE! error. So, ensure that the input values are valid dates.

## Best Practices

Best practice when using the EDATE formula is to always verify the input dates and the number of months. This will ensure the accuracy of your results.

## List of Related functions

EDATE is one of many date and time functions in Excel. Other related functions include DATE, DATEVALUE, DAY, DAYS, and DAYS360.

## Frequently Used with the formulas

EDATE often pairs with other formulas like TODAY, YEAR, MONTH, and DAY for more advanced date calculations.

### Q. Can I use the EDATE formula to calculate the difference in days or years?

No, EDATE only calculates based on months. To calculate by days or years, consider using other date functions.

### Q. What happens if the start_date is invalid?

An invalid start_date will return a #VALUE! error. Ensure that the start_date is a valid date.

### Q. Can I use a negative number for the ‘months’ parameter?

Yes, you can use a negative number to find a date in the past.

Enhance your Excel skills by mastering the EDATE formula. It’s an essential tool for date calculations.