The Budget Status template is intended not only to let you know how your actual earning/spending relates to your budget, but also how it relates to the actual funds available in your accounts. Some of this functionality is present in and inspired by Savings Budget. It’s a great companion sheet for Budget Plan, but does not depend upon it.
The template allows you to create ‘Pools’ of funds which are linked to one or more of your accounts. You then assign each Category to the Pool where the income will go or the expense will come from. The template then shows the currently available funds by Category or Group, and also shows the available funds in each Pool, so you can see if you’re in danger of overdrawing on an account.
You can sort your Categories/Groups/Pools based on the total amount of budgeted funds that are available, or you can sort based on the percentage of budgeted funds that are available (my preference).
Another tool that is available is a “Category Transfer Tool”. This is similar to the savings budget tool in the Savings Budget template, allowing you to make one time transfers of funds between budgeted categories. For example, if you go over budget on your Restaurant category by $100, but you’re $100 under-budget on your Groceries category, you can transfer $100 from Groceries to Restaurant. This doesn’t change your budget, and it doesn’t move funds between accounts, it simply tells Budget Status to show $100 extra for the Restaurant category, and $100 less for the Groceries category, keeping you within your overall budgeted amount, but allowing you to move some of those funds around a bit. If you need to do this often for the same categories, you should consider altering the budget directly to better align with your actual earning/spending.
Here’s a quick overview:
The Budget Status template relies on 3 different sheets in the Tiller Foundation template:
I’ve attempted to make Budget Status work even if you’ve customized those sheets, but if it’s not working properly, it’s possible it’s not finding something it needs on those sheets.
Open the link to the “Budget Status” template below. On the “Budget Status sheet name at the bottom of the screen, click the triangle and choose “Copy To”, then “Existing Spreadsheet” and select your Tiller foundation template. Open your Tiller foundation template, find the new sheet (it’s likely the last sheet) and rename it to “Budget Status” (it’s likely named “Copy of Budget Status”) by clicking the triangle on the sheet name and choosing “Rename”.
Step 1 is to create your Pools. Just type in a name for each funding source you’d like to use for your budget. If you’re only going to assign one account to each pool, you could use the Account name for the Pool. If you’re going to assign multiple accounts to some pools, you can use whatever name you’d like. Here’s an example of how I have our Pools setup:
Pool Account His My personal checking His My personal savings Hers Her personal checking Hers Her personal savings Joint Our shared joint checking Projects High Interest Savings account
So you can see the His and Hers Pools are each going to have two accounts assigned, while the Joint and Projects Pools each have only one account assigned.
Step 2 is to assign accounts to your Pools. Select the Pool and the Account from the dropdowns in Section 2 and it will show the Account balance as well as the Pool Balance. These will be the same if you only have one Account assigned to a Pool, or if you have multiple accounts assigned, it will add them together for the Pool Balance.
Step 3 is to assign a Pool to each Category. You’ll do this on your Categories sheet. Add a column named “Pool” to your Categories sheet. Now you can either just type in the Pool names for each Category, or you can create a drop down menu to select a Pool from:
- Select all the cells below the header in the Pool column of your Categories sheet
- Go to the Data menu and choose Data Validation
- In the field to the right of ‘List from a range’, enter
- Click ‘Save’ and you should now have a dropdown menu in each cell that shows a list of your Pools.
Here’s how I assigned our categories:
- Most categories are assigned to the Joint pool.
- Categories related to our personal spending are assigned to the His and Hers pools.
- Categories related to future projects (think “Replace Roof”, “Emergency Fund”, “New Car”) are assigned to the Projects pool.
With all that done, you should now see your Category, Group and Pool information sorted by the percentage of budgeted funds that are available. You can change this to sort by the total amount currently available by changing cell A22.
I haven’t been using this long but I think I have most of the big bugs worked out. That being said, don’t base any important financial decisions on this template without first confirming the accuracy of the numbers you’re seeing. If you notice anything that’s not showing up right, let me know! If you have any ideas on how to improve it, let me know! I don’t have an Excel version yet, once the bugs are worked out and the features set on this version, I’ll convert it to work in Excel.