Budget Plan - Excel

I have not seen anyone else complaining about the performance aspect of the sheet. I wonder if it could be a configuration kiddie on my laptop. I am using Microsoft 365 and I do have it set up always keep the spreadsheet on my laptop.

Maybe it is my lack of Excel knowledge, but am havingrtrouble sorting by group. I get an error message that merge cells not the same size. Am using Excel 365 on Mac. Also your instructions do not match what i see when trying to sort, maybe that is a Mac difference?

I updated the documentation with a new formula to paste into the Categories sheet. The formula does a better job of matching the date headers in the Categories sheet to those in the Budget Plan sheet. If things are working OK for you already, you probably don’t need to change, but it’s not much work, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Yeah, sorting isn’t as friendly in Excel as it is in Google Sheets. The problem is that it is trying to also sort the merged cells in the header area, which it should be smart enough to know not to do, but it’s not. To sort in Excel you’ll need to select the entire range you want to sort, and it’s easier if you include the header row. So for example, click on the Row3 header and drag down which selects the entire rows you pass by. Don’t select any blank rows or they will likely sort to the top. Then click the Data menu, select “Sort”, check “My data has headers”, the choose the Sort by option. I usually first sort by Group, then I add another level and also sort by Category. Click OK and it should sort only what was selected. In Google Sheets, you click anywhere in the column you want to sort by, and click either sort A-Z or Z-A and it does it. I think Excel used to work like that, but they took it backwards for some reason. Be careful to select the entire rows! If you only select a few columns, only those columns are sorted, the rest stay where they were, and you likely end up with a mess.

Thank you. That worked!

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Hi @jpfieber …I have only one question.
When. When do you sleep?

Great work.

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I just finished an overview video which has been added to the first post.
Hopefully it starts to explain what’s possible with this template, but I definitely don’t have time to delve into every option.
That scratching noise you’ll hear is one of our dogs making a guest appearance.

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First of all, thank you for this great option to improve the monthly budget planning, it motivated me use it to feed the current year in my Yearly budget sheet. So, I incorporated your sheets into my own file, but used the “year” column to extract from the transactions and income input from my retirement planning sheets and money market transfers". I thought all was well until I reviewed Tiller Yearly Budget report sheet. Since expenses come into the transaction sheet as “negative” numbers, I entered my expenses in the Budget Plan sheet as negative numbers. Surprisingly, this in turn resulted as positive values in the expense line items in the budget report causing incorrect “available” values. As a work around, I reworked the YEAR column in the budget plan sheet to multiply all rows with “Expense” in the TYPE column by “-1”.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Hey @jpfieber!

I’ve been meaning to congratulate your amazing & comprehensive video demonstration of the Budget Plan template. I appreciated not only your thoroughness in walking through the tool, but all the incredible features and workflows that you managed to pack into the template. (I had forgotten how feature-packed it is!)

It’s such a great tool and I know it will help many many budgeters & trackers in this community.

Thanks for your hard work on the template and for making the support content so accessible.


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The Budget Plan sheet is designed as a way to feed the budget info in the Categories sheet, so it works with all current budget tools. The budgeting numbers in the Categories sheet are all positive, and in general, other budgeting tools I’ve used use positive values as well to represent the amount you will allocate to spend or receive, so I kept or converted all the values in Budget Plan to be positive. I think if you restore the sheet to default and enter positive values you should get the expected behavior.