I have been a longtime user of Mvelopes and am now looking to move to Tiller. I have looked at previous discussions and there are not any recently. In light of Mvelopes closing down at the end of the year, I suspect there are many people like me who would love some help transitioning to Tiller to use it in a similar way to Mvelopes, an envelope budgeting plan. It looked like the Savings budget sheet may be what I need, but is there anything newer that I should also look at? Thank you for any help!
Hey welcome to Tiller. I was a long time Mvelopes users as well but decided to move away in 2019 after their upgrade to Mvelopes 5. What a trainwreck of a transition. So first off, you can definitely get the same capabilities fromTiller that you had in Mvelopes, and a lot more. Tiller being based on Sheets and now Excel allows the ability to build any tools you need in a spreadsheet. The savings budget sheet is a good sheet, but it is different than Mvelopes. Here are the biggest differences. Mvelopes is a cash flow envelope system that only allows you to fund your envelopes with money that has actually been received. The savings budget is based on the budgeted amounts not the actual balances. Not a huge deal, but it is different and something to know ahead of time. The 2nd difference and somewhat related is the lack of envelope funding tempates. In fact, this is what drove me from YNAB too. I loved being able to use the first paycheck to partially fill my groceries or mortgage envelope and then use my second paycheck of the month to fill other ones. Using a template made the process repeatable and super fast.
Luckily, since it is based on Sheets, I was able to create a new sheet that met all my needs. I call it Ultimate Envelopes. You can read about it here
And you can grab the template here.
If you have any other questions about it or my transition from Mvelopes, just ask. I would be happy to help out.
Good luck and welcome to the community.
Hi @richl thanks for sharing this
We’re getting lots of inquiries about transitioning from Mvelopes to Tiller. I’m glad to hear that you’ve had some experience with that.
I just wanted to get some clarification from you though, how is the “Ultimate Envelopes v22.2” hosted on Gumroad for $10 different than the version hosted here for free on the Tiller Community via the Show & Tell link?
I want to point folks to a good resource, but I have no experience with Mvelopes, don’t know what the transition would look like or how they might be able to migrate their data into Tiller. Any thoughts?
Hey Heather, thanks for reaching out. the version and the show and tell us an earlier version of my envelope sheet. The new sheet 22.2 hosted on gumRoad has a bunch of enhancements and improvements and a full redesign. The only reason I’m not hosting it on Tiller anymore is because I was told my sheet wouldn’t be allowed in the community because it requires a script.
As far as the transition from mvelopes, my sheet is the closest to it. I think Tiller has a good opportunity to get more subscribers with mvelopes closing shop, but the current savings budget is not a good match
I believe this may be a misunderstanding. We definitely allow sheets in the community that require scripts via Show & Tell, but we can’t add solutions to the Tiller Community Solutions add-on that have scripts. It’s just too much maintenance on our side to also have to do version control for solutions hosted via that add-on that have scripts.
Totally fine to have the solution hosted here via show & tell that have scripts as long as how to add the scripts is well documented.
I’m one of the lost mvelopes souls searching for a new home. I went ahead and bought your google sheet v 22.2. A couple of questions to start:
- How do I delete your sample accounts?
- Why do you have a “funding account” for your various categories. Does the accout really matter? Back with Mvelopes, the funding came from unallocated money, which could be a combination of many accounts.
Looking forward to using this!
Been trying to work on it a bit. I think I resolved #1. I deleted the accounts from account calculator and was able to populate with my account using the Tiller Money Feed.
Still don’t understand #2: 1. Why do you have a “funding account” for your various categories. Does the accout really matter? Back with Mvelopes, the funding came from unallocated money, which could be a combination of many accounts.
And I have a new problem. After deleting all of the sample transactions and funding transactions, the Envelope Calculations sheet seems to think I have $5,000 of income. In Column D, I have a category called “Paycheck” and even if I delete column J’s value of $5000, it re-populates. But I can’t find where this value is coming from.
Do you have a primer or how to get started on this spreadsheet?
so first thing first. To remove the sample data, go to the following sheets and delete all of the data (don’t delete the headers in the first row).
Categories, Balance History, Transactions, Funding Transactions
Don’t do anything to the Envelopes, Envelope Calculations, Account Calculations, and Sheet References Sheets. These sheets are used to calculate values only and are not meant to be edited.
For the second question it is a bit complicated, but let me try to explain in another post, give me some time to write it up
What is a Funding Account?
- A funding account is just an account where the money for an envelope comes from.
For example, I use my Checking account for Groceries and use my Savings Account for short term savings items like Car Insurance.
*** This is only for your expense categories. Do not add an account for Income Categories. Doing so will mess up the account balances.
Why do I need to add a funding account to each Category?
The Funding Account gets used in two areas within Ultimate Envelopes
1. View by Account
Having the ability to group your envelopes is very helpful. Currently you can view by Group, Account, Favorites, or Hidden Envelopes.
In order to View by Account, you must have Funding Account assigned to the category.
On the Envelopes Tab, you can select several options to Group your Envelopes by.
2. Used to show if your Bank Balance and Envelopes are in balance.
On the Balances section of the Envelope Sheet, the funding account is used to calculate the Total Envelope Balance. This is used to compare your actual bank balance with the Envelope amounts to ensure your envelopes and banks match each other.
When the Bank Balance and Envelope Balance don’t Balance you will get the following error in the Insights section of the Envelope Sheet.
Is the Funding Account required to fill my envelopes?
While the funding account is the account where the money should come from, the funding account has nothing to do with fill your envelopes. It is actually Income Transactions (those categories with a Type of Income) that determine how much unallocated money you have to fund with.
When you Categorize as transaction as Paycheck ( An Income Envelope), that money is now available to fund/fill your envelopes
This will allow you to now fund any envelope with this money.
I hope this answers your question.
For more help, here is link to a getting started document. It is for an earlier version but should still help you get started. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime.
Thank you for the response. I started over and followed your instructions and it worked! Now I’m trying to decide how best to start this mid-year!
It wont matter when you start. The easiest way to start is to follow the instructions on the page 12 of the getting started doc.
This will walk you through the process.
I just purchased your UE 2.2 (also giving tiller a test run) and am getting it setup myself this morning (I’m another Mvelopes refugee). Clearly you’ve put a lot of work into this, I’m pretty impressed! There are a few things that I can’t find good documentation for though, so I’ll see if you can help me here. In Mvelopes, there were a serious of “system” envelopes for holding money for paying off credit cards each month. Each time we categorized an incoming transaction, it would move money from the envelope (category) to the system envelope corresponding to the account the transaction came in on (e.g. $10 for a visit to McDonalds on my Chase card would result in $10 being added to my system Chase card envelope) . This process resulted in a series of positive buckets that were used for transfers when we paid off those credit cards. So now, I’m following your setup instructions and have categorized all my transactions that came in from tiller, and have added my bank account balance to the negative balance of my buckets so that I can seed those accounts getting back to my Mvelopes balances. I went through that process but had a lot left over, and after comparing it to my Mvelopes accounts, I realized that the extra money is likely in those system envelopes. In your spreadsheet are we supposed to put all of this money in the “account transfer” or “credit card payments” envelopes? I think once I understand this part of the spreadsheet, I’ll be mostly up and running. Thanks!
Sorry for the delay in responding, I had to think over my response before sending.
So first the easy part, No I don’t create a separate credit card transactions or move anything around to track to the credit card balances.
Instead, in the Balances Tab, I compare the Bank Balance with the Total Envelope Balance. Since all envelopes are filled with the money from your bank accounts, as you spend money the balance of your envelopes will reduce. If you buy something with a credit card the envelope balance will reduce but the bank balance will not. This creates a delta which in theory is the current credit card balance. If you then compare the Credit Card balance to the delta amounts the amount should be zero. This will then tell me how much from each account I will need pay towards the credit card bill. In the example below, there are two checking accounts, if you have only one it makes things simpler.
For the second part of your question, without seeing the transactions it is hard for me to determine why the balances are off. However, for the sake of this sheet, Credit Card Payments are just another type of Account Transfer. I create a dedicated Category for them and set the type to Transfer.
Another area to check is your Income Categories ( Paycheck) . Make sure you don’t put a funding Account for these. Just mark it as Income of something like that.
If you provide me more detail then I can help more.
I’m really pissed at mvelopes for shutting down. Used them extensively for both personal and business. But I’m hopeful that what you have developed will work for me. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us! A few questions:
is there a way to do customizable exporting of data (eg, i used to select only certain envelopes and exported all of their data for the “previous year” in order get our financials ready for our accountant)? I’ve looked through Tiller Community Tools, and I only see a way to export one “category” (Tiller’s equivalent to a envelope, right?) at a time. Would love to be able to export multiple select “categories” at a time.
Is it possible to set a custom date (as opposed to today’s date) when you fund your envelopes?
Do you think it’s feasible to import all mvelopes data somehow, without having to re-categorize every transaction? I’d like important at least 2-3 years of data, if possible.
Do you foresee making future updates? And if so, will I lose my data by upgrading to your new updates, when they come along? Sorry, I bet that’s a newbie question. I’m just unfamiliar with how scripts and Google Sheets work.
Hey Justin, first off… Breathe… we will get through this together
Let me try to answer your questions.
- The beauty of Tiller is it is just a spreadsheet. You can easily select whatever data you want copy it to another spreadsheet and send to your accountant. I think that no matter your particular situation, you can make it work.
Yes is possible to create a custom funding date. I do it all the time.
From the funding tab just change the date to whatever date you want
*When you open the sheet it just defaults to todays date.
For this I am not sure of the answer there. It has been a while since I have moved from Mvelopes. But as long as all of your Tiller categories match and you have the Category in your Mvelopes Export, I would think the answer would be yes.
I definitely foresee making updates. As a user of Tiller and my UE sheet, I am constantly making changes. This is the best thing about using the spreadsheets is it can adapt to your ever-changing needs. And no you wont lose your data. Your data is your data, it is stored in your spreadsheet on your google drive. I would suggest you create a backup before making changes or upgrading, but that is super easy.
Thank you, Rich! Will jump in now and hope for the best!
Rich, I have another question for you, as I begin the journey. So, I actually used mvelopes not just for personal but also for business finances, all in the same account. The reason being that if we ever made a business purchase with a personal credit card, which we then would reimburse from the business, it would be easier to transfer funds accordingly. When I funded our envelopes though, I only funded personal envelopes, and then business envelopes I funded manually internally, within that group. I maintained a “business cash pool” (old mvelopes speak) where all receivables went, and from that would manually fund business misc, rent, utilities, etc. Did it this way, so as to keep business and personal separate, but also so as to know where both biz and personal cash flow stood at any given time. Obviously, a bit convoluted and probably not typical for the mvelopes user, but it worked very well for us, and really helped me always make payroll and budget out for the year.
Oops, sent too soon.
All that to say, what would recommend within Tiller and with your envelope setup? Does my question and scenario make sense? If you recommend keeping them entirely separate, is there a way to set up a a separate “Envelopes Sheet” for both entities, personal and business?
@JustinPatagonia - you can have up to 5 spreadsheets linked to your Tiller Subscription so you could just make a copy of the Envelope Template before you link any accounts to it (so it doesn’t have any data yet) and link it a second time just for the business or personal if you decide to go that route.
If you already filled some data in you can still make a copy and link the second one to Tiller, you’d just want to clear out data from the first one you don’t want to see in the sheet anymore.
P.S. @JustinPatagonia or @codypermann no one on our team has a Mvelopes account, but we want to offer some guidance for folks or understand the steps for exporting historical data out of Mvelopes and then getting it into Tiller prior to the point of using @richl’s template if you choose to go that route. If anyone would be up for doing a screen share or sending me steps or a screen recording of those steps, that’d be super helpful! Send me a DM here in the community.
Thanks, Very helpful! Ok, so after this explanation, it appears that my delta is likely mostly due to accounts that I’ve linked that are not part of my budget (i.e. my car loan, mortgage, etc). I’ve unlinked those now and things are looking much better. I may still have some bad initial balances and errant transactions, but I’ve cleaned most of it up at this point. I’m getting really close to that elusive zero delta in your worksheet (still dealing with some manual accounts and missing transaction). Thanks for the help!