Is it possible to have three layers of groupings without tags?


I was not able to find a way to have 3 layers of groupings - for instance: Disposable income (group)- Food (category) - fast food( subcategory)

The reason I ask is that I like to see budget breakdowns with main groupings like Giving, Education, Utilities etc… with subcategories under each. However, I would like to also see items grouped by fixed bills, discretionary income, living expenses - similar to what I have seen in many of your demos. I understand that I could use tags but I cant find a way to use tags in all of the core budget spreadsheets you have created.

Thanks for any advice!

I create categories with a colon between the first Group common name and a Group sub-category. Example below:

Category Group
Gifts: Donations Gifts
Gifts: Just Because Gifts
Gifts: Monthly Gifts
Gifts: Christmas Gifts
Gifts: Bday Gifts

Reports roll up to “Gifts” and can see sub-categories under each.
Please note, spaces don’t stay in place between the sub-category name and Group name when posting.

That’s two levels, isn’t it? To the original question, I can’t think of a way to do three levels without using tags, but I’d love to hear interesting ideas. (I use tags and find the tag reports sheet to work well but could understand wanting integration into core budget sheets.)

I would add teh third layer with another set of colons. Haven’t tried but can.

Group is Gifts
Nomenclature is:
Category 1 = Gifts: Donations
Category 2 = Gifts:Donations:Family or Gifts_Donations_Family

Sorts on same order within Tiller reports.

Yeah, I suppose that would work. It would get awfully complicated if you have different third level categorizations that might be used with the same top two level categorizations. Maybe I’ll stick to tags. :wink:

I do a sort of fake third level like @dmelideo described.

Under my monthly spending Group, I have these Categories:
Food: restaurant
Food: delivery
Food: grocery

The “fake” extra grouping is the “Food:” part which ensures related categories (restaurant, delivery, grocery) appear together alphabetically. I then use this extra grouping in certain metrics I track, such as my overall food spending, where I graph spending in all food categories separately and total.

The other thing I do is add an extra column to the Categories tab called “Theme” where I have a different set of groupings that I sometimes toggle between. A good example for this is my “Pets:” fake extra Category, which I then also have as a theme that regroups these together, so I can easily assess how much my pets cost regardless of where those pet categories are in the original Groups. If you pull this column into your Transactions tab, you can them summarize your transactions in the way you describe. Sometimes I want to see all my fixed monthly costs grouped together, and other times I just want to see it by theme regardless of whether it’s in the monthly fixed group, the annual group, or the monthly spending group.

These are the various solutions I’ve implemented after running into issues with Tags – no technical issues, but more just in terms of trying to not add too much complexity in terms of additional tabs and workflows, and find a simpler/less breakable way to get a similar result, especially when working with clients who aren’t spreadsheet power users.

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Thanks all - Imgoing to give these a shot and see what it looks like in the actual tiller standard reports - guess I need to spend some time figuring out how to make some of my own reports as well. Will let you know if I come up with anything else as well.

Appreciate all the inputs!

Sounds like you are on your way to a solution @bigdaddyort - Let us know if you come up with any other solutions.

I’m kind of in the same situation. I have FOUR types of insurance: auto, boat, flood, and RV (each is a separate policy), but then for auto, boat, and RV, I also have fuel, repairs, registrations, and licenses. So, I can’t make one category for Boat and another for Car because both have fuel, registrations, and insurance - so one would inevitably get duplicated somewhere along the lines. Same thing to some extent with Utilities, credit cards and loans.

This is exactly the type of scenario in which I find tags to be very helpful for managing things. Separate categories for insurance, fuel, registration. Separate tags for auto, boat, RV.

Agreed perfect use case for tags

What do you mean by reports roll up to “Gifts” – how do you do the roll up?

I think he just means the way they’re displayed on the various dashboards. Is that right @dmelideo ?