🏆 Generated Recurring Expenses Workflow

Overview

This documentation describes how the sheets that I developed can be used as a base by others to develop their own custom reports. I will be releasing a few solutions that use this same sort of setup.

Write a brief description of what the template does.
Essentially, this template takes a user supplied list of inter-grain recurring expenses on one sheet (Recurring Expense Entry), and then dynamically generates a row for every expected due date of those expenses that fall between two user supplied dates on another sheet (Generated Expenses).

It works with 10 frequency grains: One-Time, Weekly, Bi-weekly, Semi-monthly, Monthly, Bi-Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annually, Annually, and Bi-Annually. When a user flags an expense as paid in the transactions sheet, it will be flagged as paid in the generated list as well.

What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve?
This workflow is mainly for developers to use as a base for building dashboards/reports to view past, present, or future recurring expenses. End users can use this sheet, but it cannot be sorted in any way due to the logic used to generate it. So viewing it directly isn’t the best experience. I’ve supplied a basic report sheet with it to show how the data can be pulled into another sheet for viewing that could be useful.

You would pass your report start and end dates to the correct fields on the Generated Expenses sheet (or enter dates directly if you just want to use it with no report), and a list of expenses from Recurring Expense Entry would generate between those dates. You could then query that generated list to be displayed in your report.

  • I have supplied a really basic ‘report’ example sheet with the solution so you can see how to pull the data into another sheet for your purposes.

The problem that this solution solves is that it allows for use of a more granular expense list. I’ve seen a few solutions that have aimed to tackle recurring expenses, but the smallest grain they all allow for an expense frequency is monthly. This workflow breaks that barrier by adding weekly, bi-weekly, and semi-monthly frequency options.

How did you come up with the idea for your workflow?
I built these sheets for a custom report I’ve been working on (and hope to release soon). The report takes any past, present, or future paycheck date as an input, and then displays a series of paychecks and the expenses that fall between them. For this, I needed a list of expenses, along with the actual dates they should be due. The expense list needed to handle different grains, display the correct due dates, and cover any period that I wanted to look at. Thus, the Generated Expenses sheet was born.

After building out my solution, I realized that this sheet, along with the Recurring Expense Entry sheet that it pulls data from, could be offered as a separate solution for anybody else that has this base need to generate a list of expected expenses between given dates.

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

  • There are two custom sheets required: Recurring Expense Entry and Generated Expenses
  • There is one custom sheet that is optional: Credit Card Settings
  • The solution also requires an extra column be added to the Transactions sheet named Expense Tag, and a data validation rule set on it that points to the Expense column on the Recurring Expense Entry sheet (see install instructions).

Recurring Expense Entry - Required. Takes a user supplied list of recurring expenses, and displays a few metrics for that expense pertaining to the current month.

All green fields are required, unless stated otherwise. The fields to enter are:

  1. Active - You can toggle this on and off if you want to temporarily stop an expense from generating rows. Active is checked, inactive leave blank. If you want to go from active to inactive, you can simply hit backspace while the cell is highlighted.
  2. Expense - This is the name of the recurring expense. It is used as the value you would tag the transaction with (via a dropdown) when it comes into the Transactions sheet.
    • Do not use a Pipe (|) or at sign (@) in the expense name.
    • You can have expenses with the same name, but they must not also have the same start date. This is to allow changes to a recurring expense while keeping record of the old settings. If duplicate expenses exist with the same start date, the names for both records will turn yellow.
    • If you make an expense with the same name as an existing expense, set an End Date value for the existing (old) record. It is not recommended to have two expenses with the same name active during the same timespan.
  3. Frequency - How often is the expense due? There are 10 grains to choose from the dropdown:
    • One-Time: Occurs on the start date only
    • Weekly: Same weekday (Monday, Tuesday, etc…) every week
    • Bi-Weekly: Same weekday every other week
    • Semi-Monthly: Twice a month on set days
      • 1st & 15th, 14th & 22nd, etc…
    • Monthly: Once a month on the same day
      • 1/13/2023, 2/13/2023, 3/13/2023, etc…
    • Bi-Monthly: Every other month on the same day
      • 1/13/2023, 3/13/2023, 5/13/2023, etc…
    • Quarterly: Every 3rd month on the same date
      • 1/13/2023, 4/13/2023, 7/13/2023, 10/13/2023, etc…
    • Semi-Annually: Twice a year: once on the same start date, and another 6 months later
      • 3/13/2023, 9/13/2023, 3/13/2024, 9/13/2024, etc…
    • Annually: Yearly on the same date
      • 3/13/2023, 3/13/2024, 3/13/2025, etc…
    • Bi-Annually: Every other year on the same date
      • 3/13/2023, 3/13/2025, 3/13/2027, etc…
  4. Start Date - The first date the expense is due.
    • For Semi-Monthly: The first day of the month that needs paid is calculated from the Start Date. The day value must be the first day of the month that the expense is due. So if something is due on the 5th and 20th, the start date should be like 12/5/2018. Day value must be the 5th in this instance.
  5. End Date - Optional for all frequencies except Semi-Monthly. If you enter an expense with the same name of another expense, the old expense should have an end date earlier than the new expense start date.
    • For Semi-Monthly: The second day of the month that needs paid is calculated from the End Date. If the expense has a real end date, enter the month and year of the end date, but use the second day of the month that needs paid as the day value. If there is no end date, set the month to 12 and year to 2999 (or some other far off future date). So if something is due on the 5th and 20th, the end date would be like 5/20/2025 if it ends, or 12/20/2999 if there is no end date. If no end date is selected, the last day of each month will be used instead.
  6. Amount Per Occurrence - Budgeted amount planned each time the expense is due.
  7. Pay Method - The credit card or checking account responsible for paying the expense (see Notes if an account is missing from the selection)
  8. Auto-Pay - Optional. Choose an option from the dropdown if the expense is set up for Auto-pay
    :heavy_check_mark: = auto-pay is set up to pay the full amount due
    ● = auto-pay is setup for either the minimum due balance, or a set amount that may or may not cover the expense
  9. Notes - Optional. Enter whatever you want here.

The automatic calculated metrics on this sheet are:

  1. Last Paid On - The date of the most recent transaction on Transactions that has an Expense Tag matching the expense name.
  2. Occurrences in { month } - Will calculate how many occurrences of that expense to expect in the current month. This will automatically update on the 1st of every month.
  3. Total Monthly Amount - Will be the amount per occurrence multiplied by the expected occurrences that month. This will automatically update on the 1st of every month.
  4. Master Pay Method - If the Pay Method that you selected for an expense is set to a credit card, this will retrieve the checking account that is set as the payment method for that credit card in the Credit Card Settings sheet. Otherwise, it will be the pay method that you chose.

Generated Expenses - Required. Takes the expense list entered in Recurring Expense Entry and dynamically generates a row for every expected due date of those expenses falling between two supplied dates. The only two cells that should ever change here are the View Start and View End dates at the top.
– These dates can be entered directly into the sheet, but can also be fed from start & end date fields on a report page. The latter is preferred, as this sheet cannot be sorted in any way, due to the logic used to generate it. See the number list below for a rundown of that logic.

For any solution you build, the name of Generated Expenses should be changed to reflect the report that it’s feeding. (“Quarterly Projected Generated Expenses”, etc…) Then, that name should be referenced in the report you build. This way, if a user wants two solutions that both use this solution as a base, there won’t be any sheet naming conflicts. They would just have two instances of this sheet, with different names, driving different reports, both using the same Recurring Expense Entry sheet as a base.

The dynamic list on Generated Expenses is built in multiple steps. This is all automatic. The only manual step is step 1. This info is not necessary for use, but is added as a “How does it work” section. You can skip to the next screengrab/section if you’d like.

  1. The View Start and View End dates are supplied at the top. Typically, these cells would reference user input cells in a report, but you can enter data directly here as well. Must be valid dates, and the start date must be before the end date.
  2. The amount of Total Months that fall within the view time frame are generated to the right of the start/end dates.
  3. The Expense list on the left is generated from Recurring Expense Entry. This is every expense entered that is:
    – Active
    – The start/end dates of the expense overlap the view start and end dates from above.
  4. Depending on the frequency for each expense, the number of Occurrences between the view dates for the expense will be generated.
  5. The dynamic list starts to generate. The Expense Name from the left is repeated however many times the corresponding Occurrences column says using a custom formula that utilizes the REPT and BYROW functions.
  6. Amount, Pay Method, Start Date, and Auto-Pay are pulled into the generated section next to the Expense using Vlookups.
    – I could pull these all in with the expense name, but the rept function has an upper character limit (due to each cell having a character limit), so I kept that part as lean as possible.
  7. The Date for the expenses are generated, depending on the frequency set. Each frequency calculates this differently. All frequencies use the expense Start date in some fashion. Semi-Monthly(2x a month) also uses the expense End Date to calculate the second due day of the month.
  8. RowNumber is Generated using a simple formula. This is not used for anything.
  9. Paid column is generated next. It uses a query that looks to see if the Expense name was entered into the new Expense Tag column in the Transactions sheet on a date near the generated date. The window that the query looks for expenses is also dependent on the frequency.
  10. Active is calculated: If the date we generated falls between the view start and end dates, it will be 1. Otherwise, it’s zero (0)
    – If an expense starts or ends halfway through the dates set in the view start/end, the process will still generate out the full amount of instances needed to cover the view start/end, along with the generated due dates. This then looks at that generated date and makes sure it falls within the expense Start/End dates. You would query the list where Active = 1 to get a list of all the true expense dates.

Credit Card Settings - Optional. Used to pull back the checking account set to pay a credit card if the card is selected as a pay method for an expense. If the Credit Card Settings sheet is not installed, Master Pay Method will mirror the pay method you set in Recurring Expense Entry. More information on the Credit Card Settings sheet can be found here.

Dependencies

The following Tiller core sheets are required:

  • Transactions - Used to pull back if an expense has been Paid on Generated Expenses.

This solution has a dependency on the following Tiller Community Solutions:

  • Recurring Expense Entry by myself - This solution allows the user to enter a list of recurring expenses, and set the metrics around when it will be due. This sheet serves as the data source that the Generated Expenses sheet will use to dynamically generate the expenses for a given period.
    • Note: This solution has dependencies on another custom solution, Credit Card Settings, which must be installed first. Please consult the documentation, and follow the installation instructions for this sheet.

Installation

To install:

  • Add a column to your Transactions sheet named Expense Tag
  • Open the attached workflow
  • Optional - Right click on Credit Card Settings and copy to your Tiller solution
    – Rename from Copy of Credit Card Settings to Credit Card Settings
  • Right click on the Recurring Expense Entry sheet and copy to your Tiller solution
    – Rename from Copy of Recurring Expense Entry to Recurring Expense Entry
  • Right click on the Generated Expenses sheet and copy to your Tiller solution
    – Rename from Copy of Generated Expenses to whatever you’d like, as it is the end of the dependency chain for this template. If you want to build a report on top of it, It is suggested that you rename this sheet to reflect what report it feeds.
  • Remove all sample data from the sheet.
  • Populate Credit Card Settings & Recurring Expense Entry sheet fields that are green.
  • While on the Transactions sheet, go to Data > Data Validation
    – Enter the following rule for the entirety of your new Expense Tag column (mine is on F2:F):
    ='Recurring Expense Entry'!$B$7:$B
    – Change column B in the formula if you move the Expense column on Recurring Expense Entry!

To Uninstall:

  • Right-click and delete the installed sheets above.
  • Delete added Expense Tag column on the Transactions sheet.

Install notes:

Please follow the installation order path above. Install a sheet, rename it to remove "Copy of ", then install the next sheet in the list. Each sheet references the previous one in some way. If you install a sheet out of order, Google Sheets will not recognize these reference formulas and throw a #REF error, even after the sheet has been added and is currently present. The only way I’ve found to get the reference to re-validate is to cut the formula out of the cell completely and paste it back in. Once this is done, Google Sheets has an “Oh yeah!” moment and recognizes the sheet is there and the formula is now valid.

Setup

Once installed using the above instructions, you can enter values into the green fields on Credit Card Settings & Recurring Expense Entry. Then, you can hook into the View Start and View End dates by referencing date fields in your report. After feeding dates to View Start and View End on Generated Expenses, You should see that sheet come to life with your projected expense data.

For the included solution, the View Start and View End dates are controlled by the Sample Report sheet.

  • If you would like to install the sample report into your own solution:
    – Right click on it and rename from Copy of Sample Report to Sample Report
    – Change the value in cell N2 from Generated Expenses to whatever you named that sheet
    – On Generated Expenses, paste the following formula into cell L4: ='Sample Report'!C2
    – On Generated Expenses, paste the following formula into cell L5: ='Sample Report'!C3

Usage

There is no real upkeep for this solution outside of adding/updating expenses and credit cards.
You change the View Start and End Dates, and the generated expenses change to reflect the timeframe.

Permissions

Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?
This solution is for personal use. I do not give permissions to modify or re-upload my work, in part or in full, to Tiller or any other site.

Notes

  1. If more rows are required on the Generated Expenses sheet, you just have to add them to the bottom, then drag formulas in three cells down to populate the new rows. The cells you need to do this to are dark grey: Date, RowNumber, and Paid. All other formulas are wrapped in array functions, and automatically handle new rows.

  2. The accounts that can be selected on the Credit Card Settings sheet are filtered down to accounts with a Type of ‘Credit’ on the Accounts sheet. Unfortunately, account types are set by the institution, and cannot be changed. If your institution sends an account through as a different type (i.e: “OTHER”), there is a section in the hidden area (Y7:Y) that will allow you to select additional types. Adding a type to the list will add all accounts of that type to the dropdown.

  3. The accounts that can be selected on the Recurring Expense Entry sheet are filtered down to accounts with a Type of ‘Credit’ or ''Checking on the Accounts sheet. Unfortunately, account types are set by the institution, and cannot be changed. If your institution sends an account through as a different type (i.e: “OTHER”), there is a section in the hidden area (U7:U) that will allow you to select additional types. Adding a type to the list will add all accounts of that type to the dropdown.
    Type Override Feature

FAQ

Please ask any questions you have below and I will reply, and update this section accordingly.

Solution Link

Version changes

1.0 - Initial release

1.1 - I added the ability to allow for multiple expenses with the same name, as long as they have different start dates. This is to keep record of the values of an expense over time for potential historical reporting purposes. With version 1.0, you would have to replace any old values with new values for an expense instead of closing the record out and creating a new row.

Very cool, I look forward to playing with it! Thanks for sharing it!

1 Like

Thank you for looking at it! I would love to hear your thoughts on the workflow. I’ve been using it in my personal solution for about 5 months now, with two reports sitting on top of it, and it has been a lifesaver.
Let me know if you run into any issues!

Thanks for sharing and documenting this solution to generating transactions, @1Email2RuleThemAll. As with your Income Settings sheet for Google Sheets contribution, you have done a really nice job making a complex tool accessible to others with extensive in-cell notes, granular intermediate calculations of layered outputs, and thorough documentation in this thread.

You’ve done a great job integrating Tiller core sheet conventions and leveraging header-row and ARRAYFORMULA(). I also appreciate your clear statement of purpose— that existing templates don’t allow for finer-than-monthly intervals.

Especially if the output of the “Generated Expenses for Check Expense Page View” were mapped to the user’s Transaction’s sheet header order, a tool like this could have been helpful in creating sample data.

As part of the Tiller Builder Rewards Program, the Tiller team is awarding you $25 for building this unique tool for developers and builders. Thanks again for sharing your creations and your process with us.

:trophy:

P.S. You mentioned an upcoming Report template…? Any hints on what you will be reporting on?

P.P.S. Your “grain” terminology is intriguing. What is the origin of that?

The report I mentioned is more of a projection of recurring expenses, broken into pay periods. Essentially, it uses my Income Settings Sheet to determine your pay date and frequency. You then select a date on the report, as well as how many “paycheck lanes” you want to generate (from 1 to 6). The report will generate all of the recurring expenses expected to be due within the given period, and place them under the paycheck that the expense will be due from. It also uses my Credit Card Settings Sheet to optionally pull in the totals due for each credit card, and maps them to the paycheck they will be due from as well. There’s a section at the top that aggregates the final totals of each period to give an overall total due/available.

Black entries are upcoming expenses that have yet to be paid, and shows the budgeted amount, which is used in the calculation to show what’s available. Green entries are expenses already paid, and shows the actual amount spent. When you mark a transaction as an expense in the new Expense Tag column on the Transactions sheet that the Generated Recurring Expenses Workflow introduces, the expense turns from black to green, and the budgeted amount is replaced with the actual amount of the transaction marked. The amount available is then updated. Red entries are expenses that have not been marked in the Transactions sheet, and the due date has passed. Blue entries are credit card totals due, and can be excluded by the control in cell W3. Additionally (for periods that are current or in the past), you can set the control in cell W4 to Yes to include all transactions not marked as expenses that occurred within that paycheck period, and they will show up in Italicized grey.

This allows you to project the available amount of money that you will have left per paycheck after all of your recurring expenses and credit card debt is covered. This, in turn, allows you to better plan for what you can stash back into savings, and also allows you to see where exactly your budget might be tight. So if you see that you have $400 projected to be available after covering all expenses this check, but only $100 available after the next check, it’s likely a good idea to cover one of the expenses due out of that check to free up some money in that next period. So instead of thinking “I have $400 to spend or save”, you can think “I should earmark some of this money for a future expense and keep my spend/save amount to about $250 instead so next week isn’t so tight.”

As for the use of ‘grain’, I’m a Business Intelligence Developer. I deal with databases, cubes, reports in various systems, etc… The word is really just a synonym for ‘granularity’. Data granularity is a measure of the level of detail in a data structure. The “grain” of a report or a table is important in determining what analysis can be performed on the data.

Most of the Tiller foundation workflow is at the monthly grain. This was no good for my reporting purposes, as I wanted to see which expenses were due out of each of my paychecks. Since I was paid more frequently than monthly, I had the need to drill down to a more precise grain. The report I mentioned in my previous reply does that by drilling down to a custom sort of shifting granularity (grain). The granularity of the data is at the “Paycheck” level. If you get paid weekly, the grain of the data is weekly. If you’re paid bi-weekly, the grain is bi-weekly.

With the Generated Recurring Expenses workflow, this type of analysis on expected expenses is no longer cut off at a monthly grain. Projections can be analyzed at any grain you wish. For instance, you can build a report using this workflow that graphs your daily expected burndown of money for the entire year on the left, and another graph with an actual spend-to-date analysis on the right. To your point, this could be used to build out a more robust sample data set for developers. I know I’ve had troubles when building reports because the current sample data is a bit too random (such as paychecks are not entered in any reliable cadence). The use cases are wide, and I feel its value cannot be overstated.

On that note, are there any resources available that explain the reward system better than this snippet?

Prize level will be determined based on the quality, ambition, and value of your solution:

Tiller t-shirt
$25 gift card
1-year Tiller subscription extension
$100 gift card
$500
$1,000

I do appreciate the $25 gift card, but I’m just a little perplexed on how rewards are actually determined. For my first submission, I changed two formulas in an existing workflow and received a $150 reward, which I just don’t feel is even on the same level as this solution in terms of quality, ambition, or value.

Not all my credit card accounts are showing up. My Sam’s Club Credit Card, which I just recently added (not sure if that has anything to do with it) is correctly listed on my Tiller Accounts page and is categorized as a liability so I am unsure what is wrong.

Please check out the Notes section. The issue is likely due to the institution sending over a Type other than Credit.

This looks really helpful. Has it been released yet? I like the Sample Report in the Recurring Expenses solution, have you thought about integrating it with Income as well? Then it would give a great overview, while this report you have sampled here provides even greater visibility per pay check.

Thanks! The check expenses report has not been released. I’m trying to work out a few areas that I’m not satisfied with. There’s a lot going on, and I’m still trying to tweak some things in it to make it better. I’ll either be adding a lot to this report, or scaling it back before I decide to release.

But I created a sort of “Account Health” report that also uses the Generated Recurring Expenses solution as a base. I’m more happy with the state that one is in, and would likely release that first. It shows your checking, savings, and credit card totals, as well as expenses due by your next check (which disappear after being marked as paid). For savings, it shows the total amount in savings, the amount allocated to savings goals, and the amount available that’s not allocated. For checking, it shows the amount you have in each account, and the amount available after you pay all expenses due by your next paycheck that you set as being paid from those accounts. There’s also an option to change the amount available from the “Total Due” (total after current paycheck expenses are paid) to “Total Pending” (total after current paycheck expenses and all credit card totals are paid).

I have thought about integrating income and expenses into a report, and might work towards making that in the future. The sample report was just a straight pull from the Generated Expenses sheet, ordered by date, as a way to kind of show how to pull the data in. You could easily use my Income Settings sheet to set up your paycheck cadence, then use that to generate a list of paychecks between the start/end dates of the report, then combine the expenses and paychecks together in one list, ordered by date.

Not sure I am skilled enough for the combo part of this exercise but am going to try =) And looking forward to your release of the “Account Health” and “Check Expenses” sheets in the future.

1 Like

I can try to work on a solution to this soon and send you a personal link via direct message. But to be honest I’m not really feeling up to developing for Tiller right now after being ignored for two weeks. If I build the above report, please do not upload it to the site. It would be for personal use only.

Thank you for showing so much interest in my workflows. I apologize, but any solutions I build in the future will likely not be making their way to Tiller. I’d rather they stay where they’re appreciated.

If you do build this solution, I would also greatly appreciate a DM with that included.

Your workflows are extremely impressive, and the closest tool to planning for the future. My wife and I pay for everything with credit cards, and pay off total balance each statement. The hardest thing to do is visualize how much cash we will have left over to invest or put into savings.

I haven’t quite figured out how to get the Recurring Expenses setup (I’ll be working on that this afternoon). If I were to have a dashboard with an overview of previous/next statements, future paychecks and future expenses incoming, this would be the ticket to finally get our finances organized how my brain likes it and to be able to maximize savings.

Thank you for your hardwork on these solutions!

1 Like

Sorry to hear this - I’m happily using your current solution and loving it - and can’t wait for the next part!

1 Like

Thank you for the kind words. If you need any help setting up this workflow, I will be happy to assist. The hardest part is the installation. Once that’s finished, everything should run smoothly. If you like the solution, please give it a vote up at the top. I doubt it matters to @randy, but at least it would show that there is more interest in this solution than he gave credit for. This solution has already caused two new users (including yourself) to engage in the community, and also caused a long time Excel Tiller user to switch to Sheets (which I take as a high compliment, and feel is a true testament to how useful this workflow is).

I am absolutely with you on those dashboards. Those were the exact same things I was missing for my overall planning health to be whole. Honestly, it is quite a major hole in Tiller’s ecosystem, and my workflows were aimed to fill that.

The two reports I mentioned above work together to give me this data. I look at my “Account Health” dashboard (which in my solution is actually just called “Home Page”) to see what I have currently, what’s coming out before my next paycheck, and the total I have available after those deductions. When I have that, I go to the “Check Expenses” sheet with the available total, set the first paycheck to the next one I’m going to get, then start working to figure out what I can do, and the best way to allocate the income.

The “Check Expenses” sheet is pretty involved, and there’s still a few things I would like to change with it before showing anybody else. But if I can manage to get around to that, I will send you a DM with the solution/install instructions. The “Account Health” sheet is ready to be released, but I haven’t formatted it for other people to use. I only have about 5 spaces for Checking/Savings accounts to appear, when users on the site might have more. I made it 5 in my solution because I never plan to exceed that. There are 10 spots for credit cards. If those limits would work for you, I might be able to type some install/user instructions up and send that one your way when I get some free time.

I’m glad to hear you love the solution! Thank you for being the first to test it!

1 Like

I would love some assistance in setting the workflow up, I got to the part of setting up the data validation code in the Expense column, but still couldn’t get everything to populate. I curbed the work for the time being, the Credit Card balance “snapshot” is the biggest hole I needed to fill. My “expenses” are all on my card balances, we have 3 cards that we use for certain categories of our lives. So my expense categories are almost arbitrary at first glance, since they all are encompassed in my credit card balance.

Now that’s not to say that budgeting for all categories of life is actually arbitrary, but I think I actually need two different sheets, one is a sheet that’s tracking my monthly expenses by category , and the other sheet to track the total balance of each card along with my paychecks. From the examples of your Paycheck Expense workflow, it looks like it does indeed solve that problem, but I do worry because I feel like it’s going to be counting all individual categories of expenses as well the total balances on credit card statements.

For the time being, I did find a solution utilizing your Credit Card Settings & Income Settings workflows in conjunction with Tiller’s Projected Balances sheet.

If you do not want this posted please let me know, however this isn’t really changing any of your card so I thought it would be ok. But do not want to cross any lines.

I’m basically using this sheet to reference your two sheets.

Starting Balance This is referencing total checking accounts sheet.

Payment & Credit Cycle Flow This used to be the Yearly Recurring Expenses section, but I am able to have specifics months and days, making it easier for me to accomplish the goals that I’m trying to achieve.

This is where your Credit Card Settings sheet has been invaluable to me. I have all cells referenced for the upcoming balances due and then the current picture of where all of my statements are sitting.

I then have your Income Settings sheet to reference the next payday and amount for paychecks that are incoming (for the 2nd pay day, I just referenced the above cell and +14).

The red savings text is actually the only number that needs to be manipulated. This is basically for me to enter what amount of savings I could theoretically put into our high yield account. The hardest part about living on cards is making sure we have enough cash in our accounts to pay off the balances when all cards are due.

Balances after upcoming/current statements This is the final part that tells me where we’re sitting with our finances, it references the 17th of each month (this is when the 3rd credit card balance is due) and give me a snapshot of how our account health is looking. This is also where I use the red text savings input to make sure I never put too much into savings before our statement is due.

So, as you can see, it’s clunky, but it’s working for now. I would love to able to track our actual categorical expenses somehow too. It’d be even better to be able to have a dashboard that can look at all of that (your Paycheck Expenses is the closest thing!)

Anyway, if you’d like me to detail the recurring expenses part where I got stuck, I’d be happy to as well!

Thank you again for all of your hard work, these solutions alone have been an IMMENSE help and with our peace of mind as we financially plan for the future.

I’m glad my prior solution have been working out for you!
Yes, please post where you are stuck in this install, and I will help out as best as I can.

From the examples of your Paycheck Expense workflow, it looks like it does indeed solve that problem, but I do worry because I feel like it’s going to be counting all individual categories of expenses as well the total balances on credit card statements.

You are correct. This is actually the one thing that has held me up with releasing the Paycheck Expense workflow. Initially, this sheet was developed to just display the recurring expenses that were due for each paycheck that was generated. In that iteration, it worked great, but was lacking credit card totals. I changed the workflow around to allow those totals to be added when they were due, but that’s still not the “true” picture. This is because the recurring expenses due that are paid on a credit card are still being generated under the lane they’re due and not the lane the credit card that they’re on would be due.

To fix this, I would have to figure out the best way to take expenses set up on a credit card and project the totals out to the date they would be due. I’m sure it’s possible, but it would be very involved and time consuming. The sheet itself is already a bit laggy and takes a little to catch up when you change the date (this is mainly due to conditional formatting that makes things look way better). As it is, I just subtract those expenses out of the columns to get the true picture. It’s not hard, but I’m a fan of automating everything I can.

@randy basically said that nobody wants this solution, it doesn’t have a flashy dashboard, and that’s why it was awarded $25.

:wave: @1Email2RuleThemAll

I wanted to chime in here because I’m sensing your frustration and totally get it. You worked hard on this solution and felt like your inquiry about the reward criteria and amount was ignored. It definitely wasn’t intentionally ignored. Our response monitoring here in the community is not focused on Show & Tell topics that are waiting for a response because generally those are from people using a solution and it’s on the builder to reply so we don’t have a system in place to catch all those replies. Even your direct reply to Randy is easy for him to miss because there is so much going on here in the community, and its intentionally a little like the wild west :cowboy_hat_face: Basically, it’s a little messy here to keep up with what needs a reply. Sorry about that.

I personally do see value in your solution and I totally understand your confusion around the reward system and frustration. Your speaking up about this is prompting us to re-evaluate this and many aspects of this program. It’s not just Randy evaluating things, there are a group of us that collectively decide on this based on Randy’s initial review and input.

It could be that we didn’t understand the full intent of your solution here and we potentially misjudged its overall value to the greater community as well as others’ ability to integrate it into their own workflows. These things can be tricky to assess, but generally solutions that provide value to a broader and more diverse population, and that are easier to use/setup/understand are going to receive higher rewards even if they took much less time, thought, and energy to build. We recognize this judging criteria is a little ambiguous and arbitrary, and perhaps that’s not the best way to judge/award :thinking:

We’re open to your suggestions as we continue to evaluate this program. It’s always been experimental, as are most things here in the community.

In the end we really and truly do appreciate and value your efforts and solutions. :pray: The monetary value awarded is not at all a reflection of our gratitude or the value of your solutions. We encourage builders to share not for the monetary reward, but because they want to help others or are just excited to share their work. It’s clear that some community members are finding value and appreciate your work as do we!

However, It looks like you’ve revoked the permissions for this solution. If you truly no longer want folks to be able to use your solution and you don’t want to share further solutions, we respect that and I would recommend that you remove the link to solution earlier in the post. We can also just completely take it down, but then folks who already have it won’t have any documentation, but that may be okay if you don’t intend to support it anymore.

Once again, sorry for any misunderstanding and we hope you’ll reconsider your decision to stop sharing solutions and revoking permission for this one in particular. Let us know how we can make this right for you.

5 Likes