"I don't think Tiller is robust enough for me"

The first night I downloaded Tiller, I connected my accounts, watched the transactions pour in, and checked out the insights dashboard.

Then I closed my computer. “I don’t think this is robust enough for me,” I said to my wife.

A few days later…

I played with some manual categorization of transactions…

Then I used the AutoCat feature…

Then added Tiller Labs…

Downloaded the Net Worth Tracker…

Holy smokes I couldn’t believe how far off base I was. Truly laughable. Thrilled I kept at it.

So my question is: What next?

Context: I have a good handle on my money, e.g. for the last 3-4 years have a budget with 80% confidence, net worth tracking 95% confidence in, and a yearly cash flow projection I have 70% confidence in. All this was being done by manually pasting from PC and Mint into my own spreadsheet.

LOVE that Tiller can automate so many things I used to do manually. And makes it SO MUCH easier to change how I group or categorize transactions and accounts. Limit, meet sky.

But where would you start?

Here are the broad strokes of how I think I’m going to approach this, open to feedback:

  • Use AutoCat to finish categorizing items
  • Develop my budget
  • Build out my net worth tracker
  • Add my manual accounts (for some reason I don’t have the motivation to do the manual accounts at the moment, but once the net worth tracker is set I think the motivation will be there)
  • Cashflow - monthly projections
  • Forecast - longer forecasting
  • Fancy dashboarding

Would love to hear what you think, and happy to continue to add to this thread if people are interested.

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:wave: @chrisming ! Thanks so much for sharing this story and I’m glad that AutoCat and community built solutions helped you realize just how robust Tiller Money can be :slight_smile:

I would definitely go with the first two on the list as starting points.

And if you have a beloved spreadsheet template in Google Sheets you can try wiring a copy of it to the Tiller Money Feeds add-on.

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The option to connect is pretty cool but TBH everything I did in my own was pretty manual. It’s insane how much time I’m going to save with just the feeds pulling in everything for me.

Q: any particular fave dashboards people like?

(I know that’s on the bottom of my list… and not as important as budget or cashflow projections… but c’mon who doesn’t love a sweet dashboard?)

Chris,

I found it useful to build my own simplified dashboard based on Tiller’s included sheets. My dashboard pulls from Tiller’s “Balances” and from another sheet I created to keep track of credit cards and other lines of credit.

What I found that Tiller did for me, somewhat unexpectedly, was to allow me to better exploit various credit-card and bank offers offers (opening bonuses, rebates, “5% back this month on streaming,” etc. By having all the transaction information readily available, and being able to see the bigger view: what do I owe total this month, vs. at some point in the future (if I’m exploiting a 0% intro rate to intentionally run up debt), etc. The budget side of it lets me keep better track of the overall picture by year, or multiple years, which allows me to more easily do things like pay a phone bill or rent for 3 months ahead to take advantage of a discount, while still tracking the cash flow and budget overages by year instead of just the current month.

Based on your description of what you had already been doing prior to Tiller, these examples may or may not be anything new to you. But my main point is that you can look for what ways in which the tool may suggest new uses which you have not already thought of!

Cheers,

Tom

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Phew! Your post’s headline (“I don’t think Tiller is robust enough for me”) had me pretty worried for a second there, @chrisming:relieved:

It sounds like you’ve worked through some the setup and configuration, understand the data structure, and see the power of the platform.

If you’re setting up a budget, consider the Savings Budget, which allows month-to-month rollovers. Most of the setup steps will work the same if you choose to use the Monthly Budget in the Foundation template.

We just released two cool tools for “longer forecasting”. Check out:

Finally, @tom.kermode makes a great point about customization. Definitely use the published templates as starting points and references to make your own dashboards.

Good luck,
Randy

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Thx so much @tom.kermode ! Two follow-up questions here:

  • What are you tracking on your own simplified dashboard?
  • In years previous I did a lot of churn & burn with cc for the travel points (while tracking my credit score as the tradeoff metric like a hawk) however for obvi reasons not doing that right now. Currently just use an amzn chase card for the amzn points, but what’s the use case for a using a 0% intro rate to run up debt?
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Thanks @randy !

Didn’t know about the Savings Budget and Retirement Planner, just grabbed both of those.

Will report back!

  • On my Dashboard I track a simplified view of Assets/Cash/Credit and then use them to calculate net worth less payables, both current and forecasted for the next month based on lookup against the Monthly Budget sheet. (I drive those formulas in my Dashboard based on whatever month is selected in the Monthly Budget.) I have another section to keep track of bills by due date, date last paid, and bills scheduled to be paid; these data help me to further optimise payables and cash flow.

  • The word to search for more info online is ‘stoozing.’ But the short version is that by (responsibly) using 0% intro offers (whether for new purchases, balance transfers/cash, or both), you can delay payment on your usual expenditures by 3 to 24 months. For me, this is primarily to improve cash flow. You pay the minimums required by the credit card or line of credit, until the 0% rate resets to > 0, at which point you either pay the balance or refinance it if you still have favourable terms. Meanwhile, you save and/or conservatively invest a portion of the extra cash flow between now and whenever the loan is due. If you do this over time you can earn a reasonable bit of side income. I’ve been making about 2.5% of all spending back on average in the form of cash back, plus about 3% to 6% on average by investing the extra cash flow. In a few cases I’ve simply kept $10k to $20k invested for up to a year, paying only the minimum (1% of total). You are correct that these practices can take a toll on the credit score, especially from a credit utilisation perspective, but all things being equal, it reverts back to normal whenever you stop stoozing and pay it all back. You also have to have the discipline of closing accounts when they are no longer profitable.

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Re: dashboard, perfect this is really helpful.

Re: stoozing, :exploding_head: how did I not know this existed? (understood this has to be done v responsibly. a very cool tool to have in one’s back pocket.)

Thanks Tom!

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