Need help understanding how to use the Savings & Debt template

Having a difficult time with getting Savings Budget to work. As I understand it, there are several things that have to work… The Foundation Sheet (Mine is working), the Savings Goals (not working), and a new column in my Categories sheet (there is one more, but I can’t recall what it is).

Everything seemed to be going well. The new column for “Tracking” was inserted into my Categories sheet and the Savings Goals sheet was working. Viewing the installation instructions on youtube, I plugged in “Savings” in the Tracking column for ALL of my categories… as was shown in the Youtube video. Still… all seemed to be working.

Then, I figured I didn’t really need to track those categories that were not going to be savings categories, so I went into my categories sheet and eliminated all of the “Savings” enteries for those categories I did not want to track. That’s where things went wrong. Where zeros were showing for all the categories in my Savings Budget previously, now there were none – even for the categories I wanted to track. The Savings Goals page now had little red indicators in the upper right hand corns of the catetories cells (indicating they weren’t seeing anything). Nothing was hooked up now.

So I went back to my categories sheet and happened to see that the title at the top of the tracking column was missing.

I tried restoring the Savings Goals page. Managed to do that, but it wiped out all of my entries (only 5). When I tried to type in a new line for a category to track, I was told that (basically) the dell was not seeing anything.

Again, my Savings Budget sheet seems to be okay.

Help. I’m out of tricks. And I don’t want to restore my Categories page because I really don’t want to loose all those category entries.

Hi @mpstaples,

So it sounds like you’re missing the header keyword at the top of one of the columns in the Categories sheet, the one that you use to mark a category as “Savings” or “Debt” - is that right?

If so, the column is just titled “Track” (no quotes) and you can re-add that word to see if that helps solve your issue.

There isn’t a way to “restore” the Categories sheet for the very reason you’re nervous about doing it so no worries there.

If re-adding the word “Track” to the column in the Categories sheet doesn’t help let us know and we’ll keep working at it.

I tried typing in the word Track. Looks like it fixed the Savings Budget sheet. Values are now showing up in the Savings column. But in the Savings Debt sheet (the one where I restored in an attempt to fix… and it wiped out my Savings Categories and began with a new…blank…sheet) typing in a category name got me this:

The data you entered in cell A8 violates the data validation rules set on this cell.

I do think that when I restored the Savings & Debt sheet, that it plugged in another Track column in my Categories sheet. Currently, I have the old column with no header, and a new column with a header. Can I delete the old column with no header? Or will that make things worse?

Sure, try deleting the old column with no header in the Categories sheet and then make sure the Savings Budget sheet is still working properly.

Then try restoring the Savings and Debt sheet again.

To avoid losing all your customized entries in that and many other sheets, make sure you choose the Archive option during the restore process int he Tiller Community Solutions add-on. You’ll still get a new blank sheet, but you’ll have a copy/archive of the original sheet that you can reference or copy/paste from into the new blank sheet.

I gave deleting the column with no Track in the header. Didn’t fix the Savings Debt page. I’m thinking I might delete the left over column with Track in the header, which was probably placed there when I restored the Savings Debt page. It looks like restoring or installing the Savings Debt page results in that page inserting a new Track column in the Cateogires page. So… I’m thinking, delete the Track column in Categories (which wold return it to its pre-SavingsBudget state), then restore the Savings Debt page and see if it places a new Track column into the Categories page. Sound reasonable?


Did you restore the Savings & Debt sheet after deleting the column that did NOT have the header title “Track” ? Based on what you shared here you didn’t indicate that you did so just trying to be sure

I don’t think restoring the Savings & Debt sheet will add a new “Track” column if it already exists. It likely did that the first time because the header was missing so it couldn’t find it.

If you delete the one that’s currently in there it’s going to break other things.

Try restoring the Savings & Debt sheet if you didn’t already without doing anything else at this point since you have already deleted the extraneous track column that didn’t have the header keyword.

Okay. I eliminated only the column with no Track in the header. That left the second column with Track in the header. Since I only had one category involved since the others were erased (and only had a few to start with anyway), I just did an overwrite. I went back to check, to make sure the Categories sheet still had one and only one Track column. Then I tried typing one of the categories I want to track as a Savings Goal into the top line of the Savings Debt sheet and go this:

The data you entered in cell A7 violates the data validation rules set on this cell.

@mpstaples First, just to confirm, the category you are trying to include on the Savings and Debt sheet is marked as Savings or Debt in the Track column on the Categories sheet, right?

Second, if that is true, click into the cell where you are getting that error and then open the Data menu at the top of the Google Sheet and choose “Data validation” and then send me a screenshot back with what you see in that data validation rule window that pops up there.


@mpstaples so it looks like the criteria is referencing hidden columns Z for the list of items to pull. Can you unhide the hidden columns out right and see if there are errors there (likely column Z) and send back a screenshot? If you see an error there, hover over it and make sure the screenshot includes the error text.

Column Z on the Savings Debt sheet?

@mpstaples this one is out of my skill/knowledge level at this point.

@randy do you have ideas on what he should try next? He has restored Savings and Debt a couple times now without success. He’s getting a data validation error when trying to select a category to track for Savings.

Hi @mpstaples,

Circling back here after thinking about it more, try this:

  1. Delete the Track column in the Categories sheet entirely
  2. Delete the Savings Budget sheet
  3. Delete the Savings and Debt sheet
  4. Make sure your Categories sheet has the “Category” “Group” “Type” and “Hide from Reports” headers in row 1 (without quotes)
  5. Open the Tiller Community Solutions add-on and re-add the Savings Budget sheet then the Savings and Debt sheet

Hopefully that solves it!

Before I do this you should know that the Category, Group, Type, Hide from Reports headers currently have no quotes marks in any of them. Are you sure you want me to place quotes around them?

Also, can I just delete the two pages, or do I need to go through some kind of uninstall routine?

Heather is saying you should confirm the headers are present WITHOUT THE QUOTES. Do not add quotes.

Just delete the two sheets from the spreadsheet to uninstall them.

Oh yeah. I see that. Misread it. Glad I asked.

I can’t remember how to install the Savings and Debt page, Randy. It isn’t popping up in the Solutions pull down menu.

Also, I installed the Savings Budget. There is nothing but the header on the page. No categories listed. Blank page, essentially. Will this fill in when I install the Savings and Debt page?