Contributor Spotlight: @cculber2

Within this community, the Tiller Money team is constantly impressed with your insights, creativity, and generosity. We have decided to celebrate some of your exceptional contributions with a Contributor Spotlight recognition.

This week we recognize @cculber2.

Early on, @cculber2 expressed interest and offered feedback on the new Savings Budget. I was especially appreciative when he dove into a manual, early-draft of a migration tool that I had shared in this community.

Not only did @cculber2 flag a few bugs in the migration scripts, he really dug into the structure of the migration tool and offered several concrete, ready-to-implement improvements to the tool that made the whole process more robust and seamless.

When we created the Tiller Money community last year, we had hoped that it would be a collaborative space where we could share and workshop concepts with engaged and creative personal-finance aficionados whose diverse experiences would make our solutions better. Collaborating on the Savings Budget migrator with @cculber2 is a great example of this aspiration coming to life.

Thank you, @cculber2, for all that you do in this community.

Q&A with @cculber2

Why and how did you switch to Tiller? What were your goals?

I found Tiller Money the way anyone finds anything on the Internet: A Google search! I have been using Mint to manage my finances for nearly 10 years, and I added Personal Capital to the mix around 3 years ago. Both have been very helpful in keeping me more in tune with my finances and savings, but I have been looking for something that could provide more control and access to my financial data.

I began my migration to using Tiller Money at the end of July, first using the Foundation template, and then the older Envelope Budget template. Towards the end of August, I caught wind of the new Savings Budget template that is in development and it became a quick favorite. I now have 10 years of categorized transactions, and I’ve retroactively added budget periods back to January 2019 using the new template!

What feature is a game changer for you?

In moving to the Envelope Budget and then Savings Budget templates, rollover and zero-sum budgeting have been a major paradigm shift for my finances.

Mint does not support envelope budgeting, and while it supports category rollover, it has no flexibility to reallocate savings from one category to another. Its savings goals are also limited by being balance-driven (i.e. a separate account is required to track each savings goal). Tiller Money addresses this by treating savings as rollover budgeted expenses.

Moving from the mindset of “do I have extra money to spend on X” to “have I put all of my income towards expenses and savings” has been a complete paradigm shift and has given me new confidence in my spending and savings.

What spreadsheet are you most proud of?

I would have to say that I am most proud of the Savings Budget template spreadsheets. For the game-changer reasons mentioned above, it has given me greater control of my finances, and its beta status has given me extra motivation to dig into its inner workings and address any bugs or potential improvements. I feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to make some contributions to the development process and see those changes implemented.

If the Tiller Money team or the community could grant you one wish, what would it be?

If there was one new feature I could have rolled into Tiller Money, it would be investment tracking and analysis. That is what initially drew me to Personal Capital, and is the only reason I still sign in to it today. I think the spreadsheet format is the perfect platform for investment tracking, and I would love to have that functionality integrated into my spreadsheets.