Expense Categories for Family Users

I’m exploring Tiller’s Google Sheets platform to set up a household budget, and I’m looking for options on tracking expenses for individuals separately from the shared/household expenses. I understand how to set up and even customize expense type, group, and category, but I think what I’m looking for is a way to add one more division to split expenses for Person A, Person B, and Household (shared). For example, groceries might be a food expense that is grouped with the household, but a pair of shoes may be an expense for Person A only. Are there features that allow this to be added not only to the individual transactions but also to the dashboards like Spending Trends and the Monthly/Annual budget sheets? Does anyone have a strategy they like for this?

If they share similar categories/group, you can use the Tags field to differentiate person.

Hi @Teppo,

I think the simplest and most straightforward way to accomplish this would be to utilize the Tags Report from the Tiller Community Solutions add-on.

Could you tell us more about what you are thinking of for the trends and budget sheets?

I will play with that one, but looking at the examples in the page you linked, it seems like that report is more focused than what I was thinking of. Rather than simply an ability to drill down on a single tag filter, I’d like to see the sort was part of the overall view of expanses, like a subcategory to the main categories. For example:

Personal Expenses (category)
Person A (subcategory)
Clothing (group)
Person B (subcategory)
Clothing (group)

Would the tags feature provide that breakout (or similar) on the Spending Trends dashboard or lump everything under Personal Expense>Clothing, and if have to use the separate Tags report to see a further breakdown by person?

What I’m thinking of would be like a subcategory between the main category and the group. Right now, I might use the Category “Personal Expense” and the Group “Clothing”. I’d like to use the same Group but spilt it between Person A and Person B within the Personal Expense category. Like this:

-Personal Expense (category)
-Person A (subcategory)
-Clothing (group)
-Person A (subcategory)
-Clothing (group)

Alternately, I could just create categories like “Personal Expense Person A” to split groups between, but that seemed a little clunkier.

There is so much flexibility with Tiller that there are at least 10 ways to accomplish anything. And when it comes to shared expenses, there are many schools of thought, usually around categories vs tags. See below for a good article on shared expenses. (I’m actually thinking of mocking up 2 or 3 of the most common setups using a Tiller Sample Data file so that people can play around with it…someday.)
How to Set Up Tiller for Shared Expenses

1 Like

I have read that article, and it offers quite a bit of guidance on how to approach shared logins but doesn’t really address my question with regard to category/subcategory/group display of expenses in the Spending Trends or budget dashboards.

If I understand, you want to create another column in the Category sheet called Sub-Category, and then you would like to see those three layers (Group, Category, Sub-Category) in the various dashboards like Monthly Budget and Spending Trends. Personally, I would not recommend that because of the amount of customization required to the dashboards to incorporate Sub-Catogry. But I may be off base: maybe see what others suggest.

Instead, I would start by using Category and Group similar to the screenshot from the article:

Your example might be categories of Person A Clothing and Person B Clothing, both rolling up to a group called Personal Expenses (Group is higher in the hierarchy than Category.)

Personal Expense
—Person A Clothing
—Person B Clothing

Sorry if I’m way off base; wouldn’t be the first time. Of course, what I did myself was different and possibly insane, using a combination of categories (only a few splitting by person) and Accounts (joint versus personal to calculate personal and joint expenses) and some custom calcs in the Budget Plan sheet to determine Person A and Person B total budget.

1 Like

:wave:, @Teppo

Did any of these suggestions help? If so, please mark one as the solution.