Hello Tiller Community -
I’ve officially eclipsed my 1 year using Tiller and it’s been exactly what my wife and I were looking for. We were previously piecing together our own spreadsheet with manually uploaded .csv files and it was a nightmare to say the least. We were burned out before we even got to categorizing transactions. Very happy with our weekly / monthly budgeting but I wanted to take things to another level from a more long term perspective. Which leads me to my question:
Is anyone currently running a separate spreadsheet that’s geared more towards long term planning? ie: longer term investments, net worth insights, tracking 401k, mortgage balance, etc. etc.
I’m intrigued with adding more accounts (IRA, 401k, 529, mortgage, etc.) to our sheet but don’t want to complicate the foundation template we are using for weekly / monthly budgeting. We have that dialed in and I don’t want to overcomplicate it. But I do want to leverage the software for more long term financial tracking and planning in general. If you are - I’d love to know how you’re approaching it, maybe some of the categories you are using to reconcile transactions and the sheets you find most useful.
(Please link out to a previous thread if one applies!)
You can have multiple Google Sheet documents linked to Tiller, and each one can have different accounts enabled/disabled, so perhaps in the one you use for long term planning you hide the Transactions and categories sheets and just focus on the balances that are downloaded for the accounts you select? I believe there are some long term planning templates you can add that might be useful…
Hey @jpfieber - I do have a separate sheet set up with different accounts pulling in. The balances are nice to look at but I’m curious how people are categorizing the incoming transactions from brokerage accounts (dividend payments, stock purchases, etc.) and generally how they are approaching more long term planning with something like this.
I use 1 main Tiller sheet that has multiple investment accounts and credit cards linked to it. Two of our investment accounts have check writing options enabled. I pull in all transactions for all accounts.
The credit cards handle the majority of our daily living. Those transactions have budget categories assigned to them. When I pay the credit card bill I use 2 Transfer transactions that essentially cancel each other out. I “Hide” Transfer Transactions from most reports.
For investment accounts that have no check writing options, I have a category called Investment Transactions for everything that downloads into those accounts and then I “Hide” that category from most reports.
For the two accounts with check writing options, anything that adds to the available cash balance, I have a category called Dividends/Interest.
I do reconcile all the accounts each month and Balance History captures all the historical values for me. I use the Trim Balance History to keep 1 entry per month there. My transaction sheet has 7300 rows in it today and is holding everything for all accounts since 1/1/2020.
The sheets I look at most often are Balances, Monthly Budget, Yearly Budget, Year to Date, and Yearly Insights. I use a lot of Tags for specific vacations, tax records, HSA records, and Home Improvement (for future sale of home). We break our Costco and Amazon purchases into different budget categories using Split Transaction. I also use the Note column for specific reminders of what we bought (especially with Costco, Amazon, Home Depot, etc). I do not use AutoCat as I want to touch each transaction that enters and stays in the sheet. I add future dated transactions as bills arrive (many are auto paid by credit card) and then use Reconcile Transactions to catch the duplicates when the actual transaction finally downloads.
I use Tiller to track my current expenses and to populate my current balance sheet.
I built a completely separate spreadsheet to project expenses, income, taxes and asset balances for 30 years. It took me a couple years to build but I used it to figure out when I could retire (which was 4 years ago). I update this in real time based on cash flows pulled in from the Tiller feeds as well as any changes to assumptions.
First, I would say you can go ahead and link all of your investment accounts so that those balances automatically flow into the Balances sheet that is part of the Foundation template.
From there, I would set up AutoCat to flag any transaction inside of those accounts as Category>Transfer and Group>Transfer. And then flag them as Hide in the Hide From Reports column on Transactions. Examples here include automatic Dividend Reinvestments, fees, etc. Some of my accounts have a lot of churn in them so it’s perfect to just mark all of that as Transfers and then hide it. That gives the ability to see everything happening in Transactions which is essentially your data dump while keeping that churn out of your budgets and reports unless you build a report to see it.
Your other category of investment transactions are ones you actively make…like buying stock, making your annual contribution(s) to IRAs, etc. I mark all of those as Investment Transactions in Categories.
Gets more complicated from there on building out investment views but you can start with the Cash Flow Forecast and Retirement Planner modules. Beyond that you are probably going to have to customize your own long term planning stuff. Personally, I use Personal Capital for a more robust view of investments simply because it’s free and they have great visualization software. Caveat there is that if your company has decided to use proprietary funds in their 401k there may not be a ticker symbol to track.
Like dminches, I made a separate spreadsheet for retirement projections. This sheet contains only my custom tabs (no Tiller tabs) and references amounts from the Balances tab in my main Tiller sheet. The problem I have is when I adjust an amount in one of the manual accounts, or if I hide an account, the order in the Balances tab changes. This breaks the links in Retirement sheet to the main Tiller sheet Balances. This happens even if the Retirement sheet tabs are moved into my main Tiller sheet. Any ideas on how to prevent the links from breaking?