How to settle up monthly with live in partner

Hi tiller community!

I am looking for advice on how to structure my data in Tiller and how to extract the data for a specific scenario. I know the underlying data is there to acheive this, I just need some guidance on which features or excel formulas can help here.

My fiance and I have started to use Tiller to track our expenses together. We are using it for two goals:

  1. Understand what categories our expenses are in long term (I have figured this out in Tiller)
  2. Track who needs to pay back each other each month (this is what I need help with).

We are in the interim period for say 1.5 years before we get married and combine financial accounts legally. We live together now and have an agreement of which categories we split evenly (like groceries) but we still have categories that we don’t split (like each others car payments or hobbies).

Every month we want to settle up how much we owe each other for the categories we split. We have been doing this prior to Tiller by manually entering all expenses in a spreadsheet and marking in columns who paid for that expense and who should pay for it (either an even split or in full).

What I have set up in Tiller so far:

  • We are sharing one account/sheet and have combined each of our accounts to it so all transactions are mingling together

  • We are using google sheets

  • I have added all categories/autocat

The data that I think will help figure this out:

  • On the transactions tab, the account lets us know who did pay
  • On the transactions tab, I need an attribute that I can say who should pay. For my first attempt I have used the Tags column and entered tags like: Partner 1 should pay, Partner 2 should pay, or Even Split. So I can see in Tags report by month what each should pay.

How can I now combine this who should pay by tags with what was paid? I’m getting tripped by trying to do filtering on the transactions by accounts and dates which is also bringing in income transactions thats throwing this off sum calculations. Is there something other than tags that would be better to use?

I did search past posts looking for suggestions. The most common one for scenarios where you expect someone to pay you back (like when you cover the check at dinner and 4 people pay you back) is to split transactions into an accounts receivable category but this seems too cumbersome to split with our volume of split transactions. I have also set up our categories for what I think is best long term and not like in this article where it suggests two copies of all categories like “J Groceries” and “D Groceries” as I think this will make our categories now less transferrable to when we are married and just want to know “Groceries”.

Appreciate any advice on where to go with this. Thanks!

When my spouse and I married, we decided to keep our own individual checking, savings, and credit cards to use on our own individual expenses, and then opened a joint checking and a joint credit card to use for all shared expenses. Each month we make equal transfers to the joint checking account to cover the mortgage and to cover the joint credit card payment (we pay the full statement balance each month.)

This also lays the groundwork in Tiller for flexible budgeting and analysis for combined views (all accounts) or your individual total expenses (Individual expenses + 50% of any amount in a joint account).

Alternatively, if you want to leverage tags, I would tag all shared expenses with “Split”, then use the Transaction Tracker available in Tiller Community Solutions.

Here’s a sample where I am substituting your “Split” tag with my “Charity” tag for illustration. I filter the results by a time period (I’m using Last Quarter to get a larger set of sample transactions), with this output resulting in the detail section below.

You see all results with “split” (or “charity” in my example) in the tag column, along with other details such as Account, Amount, Category, etc…

Now go to the Group By section on the right, and choose Group By “Account” This aggregates to the total paid by account towards shared transactions.

The total shared expense is $40, or $20 each. Brett has paid $30 of that, Meredith $10, and so Meredith owes Brett $10.

You could stop there, but if you want to then track Meredith’s $10 payment to Brett, I think you could tag the payment made and payment recieved with “Split.” This nets to $0, will credit Brett’s total “split” amounts to -$20 and Meredith’s to -$20. One problem: the payment is probably made in the next month, so it doesn’t aggregate neatly into the month the expenses were incurred. You could backdate the transaction date of the payment, but it’s probably not recommended to start modifying that field. Up to you. Just thought I’d share a possible solution with little custom coding.

hi brettanicus. Thank your for your detailed example! I was not aware of the Transaction Tracker tab option and your charity tag example will work for this. Thanks!