Categories sheet shows all 0 balance

Basic question on sheets-all my transactions successfully uploaded to transactions sheet. Used autoCAT to classify all the transactions according to category. However my categories sheet shows $0 for all the categories and all the time slots. What do I need to do to populate the cells in the categories sheet?

Hi @andycski …welcome to the Community.

Your Categories sheet is your monthly budget for each of your categories. By default, it only has zeroes in it because it is ready for you to enter your spending and income plan for each one, in each month. Does that make sense?

Assuming that you expect the same numbers in each month in a given category, the Categories sheet, by default, will copy your January’s number across to the other months in the year. You can override any of these numbers at any time by simply entering a different number. Some months can remain zero, too, depending on your expectations.

Tiller then compares your actual activity in each category against your budget and produces several, cool summary items to help you see how you’re doing compared to your plan.

Here is a link to a post with a great budget-prep tool. Take a look:

Does that help?

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Thanks for the information. I was hoping there was an easy way to enter the data into the categories sheet. So from the transactions sheet, I need to filter and sort by each category, do “sum” of above for each category and enter the data into the categories sheet to start building the budget?

Not quite. Some of the tools in the link above will do that and help you see what your spending trends are, and you can use those to get some ideas about what your budget could look like. The prior-year’s actuals tool will aggregate the data for you.

Recall that the data in your Transactions sheet merely inform you as you start to develop your budget. They show what has happened, not what you want to have happen. The data are not actually copied over, since to do so would produce summary reports that indicate your are exactly on budget in every category and in every month.

Take a look at your spending in a category, Groceries, for example. If you find that, on average, you’re spending $600 a month. Is that where you need to be? Maybe your target spending needs to be $500 or $700 per month. That becomes your budget and the number you enter on the Category sheet in the line for Groceries, each month.

Do this for each category, and you will have built your spending and earning plan for the year. That’s where the Tiller magic starts: Tiller will compare your actual spending and earning to your plan to let you know if you’re on target or not.

Your Yearly Budget sheet will bring all of these ideas together to indicate, first, if you are planning to spend less than you’re planning to earn :innocent:, and if your actual experience is matching that plan to help you toward your goals.

Sorry for the long-winded reply. Proud of you for tackling your finances. You’re on your way!

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