Envelope/Zero Sum Budgeting

I’m moving to Tiller from Mvelopes, and I’ve got everything entered for 2020, but I can’t figure out how to use it for zero sum/envelope.


My envelopes are my categories, which I have set up, but how do I see envelope balances? How do I see the history of each?
Since I’m transferring over, I already have sinking fund money that I need to assign envelopes?
How do you assign income into the various envelopes?

If you can refer me to the instructions, that would be great; I haven’t been able to find them!

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Can you clarify which budget you are using, @liban?

Are you using the Monthly & Yearly Budget sheets that come in the Tiller Foundation template? Or are you using the Tiller Budget with rollover budgeting via the Tiller add-on?


I also moved from Mvelopes and found the default template doesn’t do what I wanted. I have created a envelope sheet add on that works with the foundation template and it captures almost everything I had with mvelopes ( minus mobile app). Take a look and let me know if you have any Questions Use version 1.4


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The basic foundation sheet.

When I go to Tiller>Budget>Start, I get a warning. “Spreadsheet Not CompatibleThis spreadsheet is already set up for monthly budgeting. The Tiller add-on is unable to install another budget into this spreadsheet.”

*I also followed the instructions here to no avail: *https://community.tillerhq.com/t/tiller-budget-via-tiller-add-on-comprehensive-guide/110

Thank you for this. It’s what I was looking for. How do I integrate it with the Foundation Sheets? Is it an addon or in the labs? I’m sorry I’m so lost - but I’m still lost.

I wrote a getting started guide it will explain what to do to get started. It is in the post I sent earlier. But basically you need to copy a few sheets to your file and and a few custom columns to your categories sheet. It works without impacting the other tiller sheets. If you can’t figure it out after that I can help.

I should add this isn’t a tiller sheet but a custom one I built.

So it’s not supported by Tiller? I’m more and more confused. I thought this was what Tiller did?

Nope I use tiller for their feed to my bank (Which is supported)!and then created this sheet to meet my needs as I transitioned from mvelopes. This is the main benefit of using tiller. You can create and modify the sheets to meet your specific needs

richl’s solution is not supported by Tiller but the Tiller Budget that does use envelope/zero sum style budgeting is. The link you pointed to, Tiller Budget (via Tiller Add-on) Comprehensive Guide, is the setup guide for that. If you could provide more information about where in the instructions you had trouble it would help figure out what’s wrong. If it’s the “unable to install another budget” error you mentioned it’s because you tried loading it into a sheet with the Foundations budget setup, rather than the sheet in Step 1 under Part 1 of that guide.

That is what I did. So if I don’t use Rich’s solution, how do I backtrack? I watched the seminar and thought I followed the steps there exactly.
I understood from the seminar that the Foundation template was the thing to use for everything, and that everything built on that.

I have a beautiful budget that extends through 2020. I have Autocat set up and working. I have insights. I’ve spent hours on what I’ve done so far, and I’m determined to figure this out, but I’m totally lost and very frustrated.

But - no envelopes. So here goes - from the beginning.

  1. Make sure you have a trial or active Tiller subscription and have connected at least one account to the Tiller Console 61. DONE

  2. Open this template sheet 382 that has both the Tiller Money Feeds and Tiller add-on pre-installed. DONE

  3. Click “Use template” in the upper right of this screen. :point_right: DONE

  4. Click “Add to sheets” next to the Tiller add-on in the sidebar :point_right: https://www.screencast.com/t/6k6BEFtXwVQ
    I think I did this correctly, but now I see this: https://www.screencast.com/t/IWvD5Xf6b and all of my work is gone; I’m assuming this is a fresh install. Plus, where are all the cool features of the Tiller Foundational Sheet, like the Insights and the Monthly Budget?

  5. Click “Use > Budget > Start” This will add the Transactions, Balance History, and Categories sheets to the Google Sheet. <<< I don’t see this at all.

  6. Create your first budget by customizing the interval settings.

PS I emailed support last week but haven’t heard back. Is it because of the holiday or is this forum the only support offered?

Hi @liban,

Sorry for the confusion. The “Tiller Budget” is our envelope budgeting tool that’s available via the Tiller add-on and is separate from the Tiller Foundation Template, our default, official template.

The Tiller Budget (via Tiller add-on) is primarily supported here in the community.

The fresh install steps you did give you a new start with those envelope features. The Foundation Template doesn’t offer envelope budgeting. You’d then need to use the Tiller Money Feeds add-on (a 3rd add-on) to feed data into your Tiller Budget sheet. It should already be in your Google Sheet and that’s what creates the Transactions, Balance History, and Categories sheets.

You can use the Tiller Labs add-on to get the Insights sheet into that template, but not the Monthly/Yearly views that are available in the Tiller Foundation Template - these are separate templates/budgeting styles. You can read a comparison here:

Finally, if you’ve already spent a bunch of time creating categories and categorizing transactions in the Foundation Template you can use the Tiller Labs add-on Migration Helper to move the categories and categorized transaction data to the new Google Sheet.

In summary,

  1. use the Tiller add-on to create a envelope budget
  2. Use the Tiller Money Feeds add-on to feed data to your sheet
  3. Use the Tiller Labs add-on to install Insights sheet and migrate your enriched data

Hopefully that clarifies a bit.

I know that seems like a lot at first, but I promise it’s 100% worth it to setup and get going.

When I started my Tiller trial, I tried setting up the Foundations but soon found that it just didn’t fit in with my current budgeting scheme which is essentially a zero sum/envelope style system that I’ve cooked up over a couple of years.

In the course of trying to make it do what I wanted, I came across the “Tiller Budget” and I’ve got to tell you, it was a little more work to set up but once I did it’s amazing how useful and powerful it is. It’s allowing me to simplify and consolidate my system, while also making it more accurate, so I’m spending less time on financial stuff overall.

Thanks for the further direction and the encouragement. I truly want this to work…but I’ve hit another wall. My data didn’t migrate correctly, and now I can’t add the monthly/yearly budgets.

  1. use the Tiller add-on to create a envelope budget DONE
  2. Use the Tiller Money Feeds add-on to feed data to your sheet DONE
  3. Use the Tiller Labs add-on to install Insights sheet DONE
  4. I had to search a bit to find the migration tool, but found it and followed the steps. Everything has migrated nicely, BUT the categories are all showing warnings because they’re not pulling from the categories sheet. They all say, “Invalid:Input must fall within specified range” The categories are all listed correctly on the categories sheet. When I dropbown, it says “loading”.
    It also says that the Monthly Budget and Yearly Budget are Incompatible.

Is there any way to just hire someone to set this up for me? I’m clearly not getting it, and although I do see the potential, I feel like I’m not going to be able to do it alone.

This spreadsheet has been a savior! It got rid of rollover, which I never understood. I did add a couple of new tabs so I could keep on top of credit card spending (similar to how mvelopes did it ) and also keep on track for periodic expenses. I also made provision for deficit spending which is a reality in my budget method.

Just want to make sure I understand, the dropdown on Transactions isn’t loading anything and existing/migrated Category data (on Transactions) are showing errors? Sounds like maybe the migration didn’t pull over your Categores properly.

You can just copy/paste those from the original to the new one. The dropdown issue can be fixed (I think) with this guide

The problem is that newly downloaded transactions always show the error and have to be manually corrected each time.

Also, the envelope total spreadsheet (which is what I need most), is missing.

@jemmoa7, which spreadsheet are you talking about? Is it not this one?

I’d recommend trying the steps in this guide to correct the Transactions sheet Category column dropdown issue. Let me know if that doesn’t help.

As for the rollover dashboard - that is available only via the Tiller add-on.


After installing that add-on open or refresh your browser/sheet and then open the Add-ons menu > Tiller > Budget > Start

Guide is here:

Does your template work with the Tiller Budgets template?