Help in Understanding Concept of Large Item Purchase Transaction Management In Tiller

Greetings…Been with Tiller one week and have spent quite a bit of time moving Mint data over and organizing the Tiller Worksheets. EXCEL USER . My husband and I are having a debate on the following concepts which so far are the only things that are stumping us.

  1. We remodeled our Kitchen and had a few very large transactions during 3 months this year to pay for the materials, etc. We charged everything on a credit card with zero percent interest and tagged the transaction category as Home Improvement. During those 3 months the cash flow is way off of course, and my opinion is the charges are not cash flow but the monthly payments we have been paying are part of cash flow. Those payments are tagged as transfers. Is there a better way to budget or categorize for large credit card purchases to not affect your cash flow? For now I removed the category Home Improvement for these transactions and left them uncategorized.

  2. We also want to budget for large outlay expenses that occur in ONLY certain months of the year such as property tax, home insurance, car insurance, vacation so there is not a big hit to cash flow. My thought is to move money to a savings goal account with a monthly allocation for each of these, but how can that be done with category expense without counting them as transfers.

Thanks for any input.

If you haven’t already, have a look at Budget Plan - Excel. It provides a number of budgeting methods, including spreading amounts over a set period if you decide that makes the most sense. It does also allow you to budget individual items within set periods.

Of course, there are several ways to handle anomalies, but I’ve created different group types so they sit below my Variable Expenses. I’ve named them Z-Annual and Z-Other. So, my groups of Expenses are Fixed, Variable, Z-Annual, and Z-Other.

One option would be to use the “Hide From Reports” column in the Categories sheet, using a category name that makes sense to you. Of course you wouldn’t want to use a category you use in budgeting.

I do wish there was a way to do this with a tag filter per transaction, instead of an entire category, so a dedicated category isn’t needed.

I just adjust the monthly budget column amounts in the Categories sheet. They can be changed to vary by month.

For large outlay expenses…I use a category of Transfer/Insurance and Transfer Offset. Transfer Offset is set to “hidden” on reports.

Example: Saving for semi annual auto insurance.

Transfer Insurance ----- this is a monthly expense…and I actually do move it to a savings account.
Transfer Insurance is the amount out of my checking account and I budget for this.
Transfer Offset is the incoming amount into my savings account and I hide it from reports.

Then when I pay the insurance…I transfer the amount saved from Savings to Checking and use Transfer Insurance for both sides of the transaction. This nets to $0 impact on the month the payment is due.

For the kitchen remodel, I’d try this…I am assuming you use the “Savings Budget” template.

Tag the credit card purchases as Home Improvement.
This does create a negative cash flow in those months and a negative “Savings” amount in future months for the Home Improvement Category as the budget category rolls over each month.
Then…each month budget for how much you are going to pay on the credit cards using the Home Improvement Category.
This has the effect of allocating some of your monthly cash inflow to pay for prior purchases.
Your credit card payments would be Transfer category.

I have spent 40+ years as an accountant…so I admit to these ideas using that background basis.

Good luck

Thank you Joseph, I have been reviewing the information regarding the budget plan and hope to install and work with this in the near future. Thank you for the lead and for your response.

Thanks Mark for the information. I think this idea is going to work for the short term. It has changed the cash flow values to be more realistic. Appreciate your response and suggestion.

Mary, thank you for your suggestions. We are going to review and see how this will work for our financial information. Appreciate you taking the time to respond and share your ideas and what is working for you with Tiller.

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:wave:, @rfandsj

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