Excel Zero Based Budgeting Comprehensive Spend and Cashflow Management Tool

What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve, or how does it help you?

This is an Excel-Only Zero Based Budgeting worksheet that integrates with Tiller Money data feeds and includes:

  • Auto-categorization
  • Smart-category-suggestions
  • Transaction Splits
  • Reconciliation
  • Monthly and Annual spend plan management
  • Reporting
  • Data quality validation
  • Full-year cashflow forecasting and management.
  • Auto file-lock with personal password for data security

How did you come up with the idea for your workflow?

I used Quicken for over 20 years and was never satisfied with the budgeting capabilities so I ended up building my own Excel tool, importing data from Quicken into it. I gave it to some close friends to use, and one of them asked me if there was a way they could import bank data directly into it. I did some research and found Tiller Money. Actually I found Money in Excel and Tiller Money. However, it was quickly obvious that there is no comparison and Tiller Money has by far the best user-value proposition. Even though the Tiller Money Excel template is in Beta all I really needed was the data feed. It was really easy to integrate Tiller Money in the Excel workbook.

This was done as a hobby for me on weekends. Meanwhile, I have seen over the past few months a number of Excel users asking for more features within the Tiller Ecosystem. I figured it would be good to make this available as a free option that “natively” supports Tiller imports for those individuals until the Tiller Team incorporates more features into the Excel offering. It is not part of the Tiller Excel Template, so needs to be linked separately from the template. I hope there are a couple of people who find this userful.

Please describe your workflow. What are the sheets? Does it use any custom scripts or formulas?

This is built with scripts and is (mostly) locked for customization (except for a few free sheets where you can add any custom pivots, graphs, reports, etc). It is built to provide a comprehensive budgeting solution in Excel for individuals who do not have a lot of deep Excel knowledge and want something feature-full without requiring a lot of their own customization work. That may not fit the desire for a lot of spreadsheet power-users on this forum, but I am sure there are those who are in this zone! Happy to provide something of value if someone has the need.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

I am interested in feedback and suggestions for improvement. It is not intended for a large audience, as it is just my hobby, but I will be improving the tool for my own use and would be glad to entertain suggestions for improvement or to answer questions that are not covered in the built-in documentation or the videos (please use those first!).

Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?

The tool is completely free to use (outside of course the Tiller Money subscription), but requires an activation code when you download and first start to use it. As mentioned above it is built with scripts and is (mostly) locked for customization (except for a few free sheets where you can add any custom pivots, graphs, reports, etc).

This post is my invitation for the TillerMoney audience to download and use the template/tool. The activation code is given below. The workbook only runs on Excel, and only on a local version of Excel (Office365). All data remains local. It also only runs on the Windows 10 operating system (does not yet support Apple/Mac computers).

If you said yes above, please make a copy of your workflow and share the copy’s URL:

Download Link: MMM_ToolDownload - Google Drive
Activation Code: TillerMoneyRocks!
User Guide:

It has built-in instructions on every sheet. However, I have generated a series of YouTube videos (links below) to walk through in detail in case there are questions. The watch time is long; 20-30 minutes each for most of the videos. However you can skip through to find what you need.

I suggest to look at video#1 which gives an overview, then #4 which discusses the Transaction tools (auto-categorization, splits, reconcile, suggestions, etc), followed by videos #7/#8/#9 which explain the monthly and annual expense management screens, along with cashflow, data quality checking and and forecasting capability. If you are an Excel user and decide that this is for you, then you can download the worksheet and go through the other videos for guidance.

1: PLANNING - Overview ( https://youtu.be/GlNVJJa7O8o )
2: PLANNING - Zero Based Budget Creation ( https://youtu.be/rE1Bw2mOVXA )
3: PLANNING - Annual Expense Planning ( https://youtu.be/ALOsQjelDE8 )

4: TRACKING - Transaction Entry and Categorization ( https://youtu.be/IRnbuCWP-w4 )
5: TRACKING - Bank Data Import with Tiller ( https://youtu.be/53jvVz5BM_4 )
6: TRACKING - Bank Data Import with Quicken ( https://youtu.be/MW5irowtLRM )

7: CONTROL - Monthly Expense Management ( https://youtu.be/b0c4gUECqQE )
8: CONTROL - Annual Expense Management ( https://youtu.be/ayvnBUBu0aA )
9: CONTROL - Forecasting and Cashflow Management ( https://youtu.be/1o5a0W1HCaU )

10: REPORTING - Goals ( https://youtu.be/Np3B5Ig09VM )
11: REPORTING - Reports ( https://youtu.be/wxnHQYs-Ttk )

12: RESOURCES - Security ( https://youtu.be/aoEggVqTFzU )
13: RESOURCES - Upgrading ( https://youtu.be/_nL5icbmA-M )

Thanks so much for sharing this @Alex.Mtz and welcome to the Tiller Money Community! :wave:

I am glad to see that a few people have downloaded this Excel budget sheet. A couple of comments…

I updated the template in the download link to address 2 reported items:

1.) The very first Tiller import required a dummy entry in the Track sheet. This is no longer required.

2.) The workbook officially only supports standard US date formats. However based on a request from a Tiller user I went ahead and addressed non US date settings. That is in beta right now, so email me any issues if you find any (on the updated download).

I will not be posting about every update here… I will start putting a release notes file in the download folder for minor updates.

One item that I did not address in the original post…
This is only tested on Windows OS. Currently the xml file I/O does not work on Mac, and that prevents upgrades to newer template versions. I plan to address this in the future… but only if there is a request (I have not had any requests yet so not really looking at it).


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