A very underrated way to track savings

TLDR: Yearly Insights!

The first year I used Tiller I was mostly diving into everything I could do and I fumbled around with the Transfer category type a bit, but I didn’t have an easy way to see how much I saved EOY. I don’t use a roll over method (which the Savings Budget sheet covers), instead I have a set amount I save each month and then I try to save more on top of that when I can.

The second year I made Savings an Expense type, but ended up categorizing the actual transfer amounts and positive deposits as savings which overcounted (then undercounted) the total amount. I also didn’t like how “cash flow negative” and red everything was when I would exceed my “savings budget.” I will admit most of my issues with this method were user error.

Now I’ve found a template that I LOVE for tracking my savings very simply (3rd times the charm…) I use the Yearly Insights sheet, created a few transfer types (this was key) including Money Saved, and I don’t have them hidden from reports.

I’m better now at categorizing the transfers from my checking to my savings and then the deposit from my savings to my Roth, HY, etc. by having the very distinct “Money Saved” transfer category that doesn’t get easily confused with my other transfer categories: money transfer, payment, and cc payment.

Now “Money Saved” has a spot in the list of my total yearly expenses by category and I can see how it stands up against where the rest of my money is going. I just wanted a simple way to see the total amount and this template nails it.

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That is cool, Morgan. I did a similar journey with the “expense” for savings that never worked correctly. I am actually using the Live Profit & Loss Report to track Savings now. Every month it gives me a positive (we saved!) or negative (we failed!) number, and has a yearly running total. Really helps put our savings goals in perspective.

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Great work. Ok, follow up and possible curve ball. Let’s say you saved $1000/month, so your MONEY SAVED will have $12,000 in it. But you had to dip into savings to buy something, let’s say $2000. So the end of the year, your net savings were $10,000. Do you use MONEY SAVED as the category with (-$2000) or do you have a different category together SAVINGS TRANSFER or something else? Just curious how you account for that. In the end, it all adds up to $10,000 but I guess what i am asking is, are you tracking the money saved vs money spent separately if that happened?

Does Yearly Insights work only for Google sheets or Excel as well? Thank. you

I’ll have to check that out! I didn’t even consider the P&L report… perhaps that’s what I’ll go with on Year 4 :laughing:

No, not in Excel unfortunately.

@bsrabian That’s where I was first getting stuck too… so here’s how I have it set up.

“Money Saved” is only for money that goes out of my traditional savings account and into my investments.

“Money transfer” is for money going from checking into savings.

I don’t pull anything out of my investment accounts, and I don’t refer to my transfers from checking > savings as “money saved.” So “money saved” is 100% just that - money tucked away where I won’t touch it so that EOY total is accurate.

When I would initially mark money from checking > savings as savings along with money from savings > investments, it was double counting how much I actually saved so I had to redefine that middle man.

Gotcha. I use “INVESTMENT” for money that goes into investment, but I also have an external SAVINGS ACCOUNT that i transfer money from my checking account. Lately, I have been using a lot of that savings on home upgrades, so money is going into savings, but also back out to pay contractors, etc. Maybe I have MONEY SAVED, TRANSFER TO CHECKING, and INVESTMENT categories. Thank you for this.

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I’m not sure if it’s still available but someone built a sheet called “Savings Tracker” that I use. I did customize it some, but it lets you set a dollar goal against any Account that you want to consider for Savings and then tracks your transactions going into those Accounts.

There are visual indicators that quickly let you see your progress against each account and then I tweaked it so you could see your progress against your overall annual savings dollar goal. I ended up using Tags to track these transactions.

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