What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve, or how does it help you?
I have been a long-time user of the envelope system of budgeting so I am more concerned with the ongoing balance of my envelope then where I sit with my monthly budget. I want to fund my envelopes based on the actual cashflow vs. a monthly budget number. I know there was a zero-based budget/envelope template in the older tiller templates, but honestly, it didn’t work for me. Why?? Ok, I will tell you. First, it didn’t support the use of templates. I like to fill my envelopes the same way each time I get paid, but the amounts vary by the paycheck. Using templates I can easily set up different amounts for each paycheck without too much work. Second, it was complicated. It was awesome, yes, but complicated. Being a spreadsheet user, I want to see how the stuff was being done and that template didn’t allow that. Another thing missing for me, was I wanted to see the envelope fundings as part of my transactions. This way I have a history of what I have done and a way to clean it up when I screw it up, and I do ofter. I also felt the roll-over capability was a bit complicated. I guess lastly because you guys changed the template and the envelop template wasn’t available on the new format. So heck, why not create it.
How did you come up with the idea for your workflow?
My idea wasn’t new, it was just inspired by the good parts of the past tools I have tried to use.
Please describe your workflow. What are the sheets? Does it use any custom scripts or formulas?
So one of the goals I had in creating this was to ensure, I didn’t screw too many things up with the other templates. I started with the monthly budget template provided by Tiller to ensure it worked mostly like the original and used the default (well almost) Category and Transaction Sheets. The main page is the Envelope tab, it is where everything is managed. I did add 3 columns to the category sheet to hold the templates for funding. I have highlighted them in a different color. The transaction sheet is completely stock. I do use custom scripts to grab the templates and fill them so you will need to authorize it to work. Besides that, I use array formulas, query formulas and a bunch of holding tables that you can find by unhiding the columns to the right.
Like I mentioned above, I am adding funding events to my transactions sheet. This will screwup for monthly budgets and other sheets unless you filter them out. I did pre-pend every line with “*Fund Envelope - Category Name” so you can easily filter them out.
Anything else you’d like people to know?
I am not a programmer, financial person, or anything fancy like that. I am just someone who wants to manage my finances better and for me using this method works. As I said I am not a programmer, so I want to thank Ben Collins and the Tiller folks for their templates and tutorials as I had no clue about using array formulas and query before I started this. I expect you will find some errors in my logic and programming so please let me know so I can fix it. I also want to thank the Tiller Community for posting their ideas as well.
Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?
Absolutely!!! but only if they make it better and repost it, so I can use it.
If you said yes above, please make a copy of your workflow and share the copy’s URL: