Managing transfers between accounts

:wave: I will be transferring money every month from a savings/investment account(s) to checking as part of our living expenses. And I am wondering the best way to categorize the transactions. I was thinking it should be 2 transactions like a debit/credit. The xfer out could be in the group of ‘Living’ with a type of ‘transfer’. And the receiving end in checking could be in the ‘primary income’ group again with a type of ‘transfer’. I would not hide from reports either transfer so both would show.
Does this make sense? Thx much for any assistance.

I’ve always felt that since it’s not actually leaving your accounts it should just be considered a ‘transfer’, and not categorized. If you count it as ‘Living’ now, and then use some of that living money at Target, what do you do with that transaction when it comes in? Any category you give it would make it look like you’ve spent twice as much as you really have.

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Hi, @christophercarlson. I transfer funds from a savings account to a checking account to meet our budget for living expenses, too. This is how I decided to manage it, and it’s working perfectly.
For the funds I pull from our savings account:
Category = Savings Withdrawal
Group = Uncategorized
Type = Transfer
Hide from Reports = Hide
I do not enter a monthly budget amount into the Category sheet.

For the deposit into our checking account:
Category = Supplemental Income
Group = Income
Type = Income
Hide from Reports = No
This is a fixed amount that I’ve entered into the Category sheet as the budget for each month.
Note: If we need to take more from our savings due to an unexpected expense, I handle it the same way except when the transaction comes through to my Transactions sheet, I use the Split Transaction tool (found in Tiller Money Feeds for Google Sheets) to split the amount between the usual Category of Supplemental Income and whatever Category or Categories the unexpected expense funds belong in.

Hi Joe and thx for your response. And I found Heathers ‘understanding transfers’ article. :slight_smile: What I want to do is show the xfer in as income as that will make the monthly budget report make sense. But I don’t want to see the xfer out as an expense in the monthly report because that will essentially double my monthly expenses. I tested this in a test-copy of my Tiller spreadsheet and it looks like it works: The monthly-out transaction is a ‘transfer’ type and the monthly-in is an ‘income’ type. The group and category are customizeable by users so what they are called doesn’t really matter. I just finished typing this as @Rebecca.S response showed up and I think I’m pretty close. Thank you again both for your responses.


I manage transfers in a similar way to what @christophercarlson explained. Rather than thinking of them as transfers between accounts, I think of them as moving money into and out of my budget. I only use my main transactional account (checking) and credit cards in my budget, all other accounts are tracked but as “off budget” via grouping. When I move money from a savings account I enter it on my checking account as “Income – from assets” and it becomes available to budget. For moving money from checking (on budget) to savings or an investment account (off budget), I enter it using the category “To Savings or Off Budget” which is setup as an expense on the category list. The other side of the transaction, into or out of the savings or investment account, is entered using a category called “Asset Balance Change” which is marked as “hide from reports”. This approach allows me to budget for savings just as I would for any other expense. Since all I want to do is track the balances for accounts that are not part of my budget, the only category used is called “Asset Balance Change”, also hidden from reports. The only place I use the actual Tiller transfer category type is when I pay my monthly credit card bills and these are set to “Hide from reports” on the category tab.

@jshelham … that’s why I like Tiller as it can be used in so many different ways. :blush: A couple of questions if I may:

  1. When you say “off budget” you mean there are no entries against that category in the categories tab, yes?
  2. And ‘grouping’ means you give those ‘off budget’ items the same group.

I have my credit cards & primary bank accounts linked to Tiller. But I have left my retirement funds as manual. So I guess that’s my version of ‘off budget’. They are shown in the ‘balances’ tab and are included there in my net worth. But with a single monthly draw against them I don’t expect there to be enough activity to warrant an automated link. My manual updates should work fine. I like your ‘Income - from assets’ category though and may rename mine when I get to that point. Thx for your comments.

You explained it better than I did :slight_smile: . Yes, “off budget” and “grouping” are exactly as you describe them. Bottom line, it’s using only one category for all entries in the accounts that aren’t part my budget that does the trick. I enter any adjustments to non-budget accounts using the “Asset Balance Change” category which is marked as hide from reports.

:wave:, @christophercarlson

Did any of these suggestions help? If so, please mark one as the solution.

Hi Morgan….I marked the Rebecca S response as the solution.