How much can I spend today? | Cash Flow, Budget, Bills, Debt, and Savings Tracker with Projections | Alexandra Wilson, CFP® | 2019 Tiller Builders Challenge

Hi! I’m Alexandra. :grinning:

I am a fee-only, fiduciary, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Financial Coach, and Student Loan Expert dedicated to serving early-career professionals.

Alexandra Wilson, CFP®’s Entry | 2019 Tiller Builders Challenge

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

Don’t we all just want to know how much we can spend today? How is that impulse buy going to affect your cash flow for the month? How does your spending affect how long it will take you to pay off your debt?

Well, look no further because this sheet answers those questions and so much more!

This template can help you:

  • Track your spending by category over time

  • Tell you how much you have left to spend for the month & day-by-day

  • Breakdown how much you planned to earn and spend, compared to how much you have so far

  • Show a simple view of your monthly budget by fixed or flex expenses

  • Display your total income and expenses for the last 12 months

  • Check off bills as they are paid or scheduled

For more, check out the template preview. Links are at the top and bottom of this post.

Fixed v. Flex Expenses

Fixed expenses are those that are close to the same amount every month. Things like your utilities, rent, insurance, and childcare. Once these items are paid - just check them off for the month!

Flex expenses are things that you have some control over how much they are, like your groceries or transportation costs. This category also includes expenses you could do without, but are a part of your routine. Think coffee trips, shopping, and eating out.

By tracking these types of expenses separately, you’re can quickly see what you can cut back on if needed.


With the savings tracker and savings over time chart, you can quickly see what your savings account will grow to in a year.

This sheet is smart enough to include your employer match, grow each account by a different rate, and show the growth of your savings over time.

This template can track up to 20 savings accounts.

Have debt?

This sheet compares 3 strategies to pay it off:

  • Minimum Payment

  • SnowBall

  • SnowBall that adds extra payments that update as your leftover cash does (as you’re spending!).

It’ll even show you the payments and balance overtime by strategy.

Using the debt tab, you can update extra payments by month. For months that you need more to spend - reduce it, for months you can send more - increase it!

This template can track up to 20 debts.

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

I have coached hundreds of people, and this sheet reflects that experience. Some of my clients need help just spending less than they make, others have debt they are working to pay off.

This sheet was born from my 4+ years working with and listening to the needs of everyday Americans.

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

No custom formulas, but there are many advanced ones and nested within each other. I added AutoCat from the “Tiller” add-on, but it is not required to make the sheet work.

Tabs include:

  • How to Guide - a step-by-step guide to using this sheet

  • Dashboard

  • Debt Calc - where I’m running a debt calculator for minimum payments using the snowball method with extra payments

  • Balance History

  • Transactions

  • Categories

  • AutoCat

Hidden tabs include:

  • Spending - where I’m running the math for spending tracking

  • Savings Calc - where I’m running projections for savings

  • Debt Calc (min snowball) - where I’m running a debt calculator for minimum payments using the snowball method

  • Debt Calc (min only) - where I’m running a debt calculator for minimum payments only

Anything else you’d like people to know?

Please check out the template; I’d love feedback on how to make this even better! Feel free to reach out to me to request a feature or if something is broken - even if it’s due to operator error :slight_smile:

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


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

If you love my template, be sure to vote! #spreadsheetnerdsunite :nerd_face:

Nice workflow with easy to understand instructions!

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Good job, very nice visuals!

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I always tell my kids that there are more “wants” than money can buy, so prioritize spending on the things you NEED and save for things you really want! I tell them this mostly to keep senseless junk from cluttering my house, but it could be the mantra for your sheets!

I like that you include spending for days and months because once a person can get daily spending under control, they can “graduate” to monthly.


So true! I love that mantra. Junk fills your life with so much unneeded stress - financial or physical.

Hi Alexandra,

Loving your creation.

Quick question - I get a #Ref! error in the Date column head in the transaction sheet when updating transactions. Any idea how to remedy?



Hey Carl,

I’m looking into this now. Is the error in the header or in a particular cell?

Hi Alexandra,

It is in the header of column b. The error seems to say the array formula cannot expand because there is data in column b. When I update the spread sheet with the Tiller feed, it places data in column b.

Found the error and it should be fixed now, but you will need to copy the template over again. Sorry about that!

When linking your accounts delete the sample data in there now. Also, make sure to drag down Q1 to the end of your transactions on the Transactions tab for looking up the category type (fixed or flex). I will be making this automatic this weekend through an update.


Thanks Alexandra.

I am enjoying exploring your spreadsheet and like the concepts behind it.


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Hi - I’m a total beginner with spreadsheets, so forgive me if this is user error. I have two issues that are coming up as I try to use this sheet, and a question.
1 - Autocat isn’t running with this for some reason. I believe I have it set up correctly and use Autocat with another sheet without an issue.
2 - On the dashboard, under budget, the box for how many times a month a paycheck comes in keeps rounding to the nearest whole number. I was attempting to put in 2.17, as that paycheck comes every two weeks. Do I need to do something to make it not round?
3 - What is the best way to track freelance, constantly changing income, on this sheet? Do we just change the number and amount next to “freelance” as it comes in?

Thank you!

1 more thing - the dashboard doesn’t seem to be automatically pulling all of my categories into the spending area. It’s missing many of my fixed expenses. Help? Thanks!

Hi Sarah!

Happy to help.

  1. I’m going to loop in Tiller support to see why AutoCat is not working. @tillersupport

  2. I think this is actually just displaying 2, but still running off 2.17. Try using the increase decimal points tool (pictured)


  1. That’s a little more difficult, tracking constantly changing income is a problem many budget apps haven’t been able to solve, and I’ve tried multiple times - so I feel your pain. Your solution to change the number as it comes in will work for this sheet though.

  2. Try checking “group” column on the transactions page (far right) to make sure all transactions have a group associated to it. If they all do, let me know because I have another thing we can try to do to fix this.

Thank you for using my sheet. I hope this helps!


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Hi Alex - Thank you so much for your help.

I’ll start with the good news - #2 was fixed with that tool.

When I opened the sheet today, the top of the dashboard now says #value #value. It also says this next to Expenses. I don’t believe I did anything to break it!

For #4 - They do not have a group on the transactions page! They do all have groups on the category page. Am I supposed to manually add the group on the transactions page or is that supposed to pull from the category page?

I appreciate your help as I blunder through this. Thank you!