Help with Savings Budget and how to handle cashflow number

I joined Tiller at the beginning of the year, and it has made my life so much easier. Previously I had my own spreadsheets but Tiller does a great job of automating almost everything that I did.

One question I have is in regards to the Savings worksheet. Formerly, I basically had a spreadsheet that worked as the ‘envelope system’. Every month, money would be allocated to specific categories (eg, car insurance, water/sewer, property taxes, etc) that did not happen every month, but we saved every month for these periodic expenses. No problem there as the Savings worksheet does that.

My question is in how to manage the ‘actual cashflow’. I will try to explain with hopefully a simple example.

  • Budgeted income is $3000; budgeted expenses are $2800 (of which $300 is for property taxes which are paid 2X per year).
  • At the end of the month, my actual cashflow is hypothetically negative $525 because I did not spend the $300 for property taxes plus the unbudgeted for $200 plus I spent $25 less on groceries than I was expecting (for example; in practice, one never spends exactly what is budgeted for a number of items).

What I am trying to find is the $225. If I do nothing, it just kind of gets lost. What I would normally have done is move it to a ‘savings’ category or a category like ‘vacation’ that slowly builds over time for something.

I have tried to make my own formulas:

  • ‘money to envelopes’ = the total of all savings categories: money budgeted minus money spent
    • In the above simple example this would be just $300
  • Then calculate ‘actual monthly cashflow’ minus ‘money to envelopes’
    • In the above example, this would be $525-$300 = $225

While this seems to work, I was wondering if there was an easier way that I am missing.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice.

If I understand your scenario correctly, then I use a pretty simple solution along the lines that you suggest. I have a couple of different savings categories–one for school tuition, one for general savings. If I have more income than expenses in a given month, then I move that excess into one of those savings categories, and it rolls over as savings into the next month.

1 Like