profile of Kristi Smith


I'm Kristi, aka The Spreadsheet Alchemist

First and foremost, I am a data geek. I LOVE working in spreadsheets – a good thing, considering I’m a data analyst and am buried in them day in and day out!

I’m also a single mom to a 17 year-old, recovering protester, and (sometimes) meditating yogi. My small family lives in Highwood, IL – a super cool town situated a few blocks from Lake Michigan and 25 miles north of Chicago’s Loop. 

I have a BS in economics, an MPA (like an MBA for the public sector), and enough post-grad credits in applied economics for a second masters. Professional gigs include a stint as a revenue and tax policy analyst in the Governor’s Budget Office, a financial analyst for Big Pharma and Big Energy, and a data analyst for a global consulting firm. I’ve also (briefly) taught yoga but #neededtopaythebills…


Spreadsheets. They have the potential to simplify so many things and solve a multitude of problems. But judging by my inbox, they also inspire massive overwhelm. And it’s not surprising, given that…

...every spreadsheet site I've ever stumbled upon has either been painfully uninspiring or written in what seems to be a foreign language.

As someone who loves to help people, has an entrepreneurial spirit, loves to blog, and (obviously) had too much time on my hands, I created this site in 2016. My inspiration came from the women in the Facebook groups and forums to which I belonged who were either intimidated by spreadsheets or fed up by how off-putting most were. 

My goal is to make Excel and Google Sheets both accessible to the "average" user and attractive enough for her to actually want to use spreadsheets.

Changes to The Spreadsheet Alchemist

When I created The Spreadsheet Alchemist (aka TSA), I had a bazillion ideas for courses, templates, and tutorials that I could create. But, I was scattered and quickly faced some serious burnout. Despite completely neglecting TSA for two years, my subscriber base tripled, spreadsheet sales soared, and page views exploded. This led me to brainstorm ways that I could reengage without pushing myself over the edge.

I discovered that I love developing budgeting and finance-related spreadsheets but dislike creating content calendars and social media tracking spreadsheets. So, I’ve decided to phase those out. 

I’ve also decided to focus more on taking a solutions-oriented approach to problems that involve spreadsheets rather than focusing on the spreadsheets themselves. After all, people use spreadsheets to solve problems – not because they want an excuse to use a pivot table or vlookup. 

These posts will be driven in part by reader requests, so please drop me a line if you have one!

It's not about spreadsheets - it's about solving a problem and making a task (or life) more manageable. Spreadsheets are just the vehicle.

How Can I help you?

Done-for-You Templates

Do you need a profit & loss spreadsheet template? I’ve got you covered.

Tutorials & Posts

Find answers & up your game with these tutorials, posts, & free spreadsheets.

Budgeting TSA-Style

Borrow what’s worked from my late-blooming (& lazy) budgeting approach.

From Spreadsheet Virgin to Goddess in 30 Minutes

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