Parent Category Budget Amounts Like Quicken

I’m trying to find a way to tweak the Tiller Template to let my use a budgeted amount for parent categories, as well as the default sub-categories.

Example: I want to budget $100 total for Entertainment monthly. I want to track the subcategories (Movie Theaters, Date Nights, etc.), but not budget each of them on their own ($33 for Movies, $33 for Date Nights, $34 for Other). Is there a way I can still track each expense as their sub-category, but let my monthly budget sheet show? I tried to attach a screenshot of what I mean, but this doesn’t let me upload images or include links.

Ideally, it would only populate the rows that have spending on those sub-categories, instead of just showing all the blank subcategories by default.

I have a pretty good grasp of using my own custom formulas to tweak and customize the Tiller template for my own needs, but I’m a bit stumped at this one. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I like the idea and see how it would be useful. Seems you basically would like to add the ability to budget by “Group” as well as by “Category”, but the Category sheet currently only allows Category budgeting. I don’t know how to do that, but think it would be a nice addition if it’s possible!

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I noticed the “Yearly Budget” solution shows the total for each group, but doesn’t allow you to set a budget at the group level, it just adds up the totals of the categories in that group.

I don’t do it myself but I believe there are others that do similar by:
1 - Setting up your categories and budgets using the broad categories
2 - Adding the “Tags Report” solution from Tiller Labs
3 - Using “Tags” in the Transactions sheet to note the more detailed level of the expense
4 - Using the Tags Report to see the detail

Autocat can categorize and tag your transactions so you could make it pretty automatic and seamless


I’ve tried to find some solutions to this as well.

The one I recommend is adding a category called “Entertainment Rollup” (or similar) and put the total budget amount in that category. “Entertainment Rollup” and all the other entertainment-related categories should be assigned to the Entertainment Group. That way, you can ignore the individual category budgets. The group total budget vs group actuals will give you a sense on whether you are on budget.

Don’t assign any Transactions to this “Rollup” category.

You can use this technique for multiple Groups where you don’t want to track individual budgets.

In some groups, I put a budget in an individual category (where i have a known amount) and the rollup category.


What works for me is a mixture of this (a rollup category) and some extra formulas and formatting.

For those curious, I wrote a formula in the Category tab to dynamically hide the categories that aren’t being used during the month that’s currently being viewed. This is what I wrote in another post:

=if(isblank(A2),iferror(1/0),if(AND(IFNA(VLOOKUP(A2,‘Monthly Budget’!Z:AA,2,false),0)=0, IFNA(VLOOKUP(A2,‘Monthly Budget’!V:W,2,false),0) = 0),“Hide”,IFERROR(1/0)))

I put this in the Categories sheet in cell E2 (first category row in the Hide column), then I drag the box to copy the formula down the entire sheet.

Basically it says: If the A column is blank, do nothing. Otherwise, look up the Budget and Actuals from the monthly budget sheet, and if they both equal zero (or if there’s a lookup error meaning that it’s not in the list), then populate the cell with “Hide”. Otherwise, do nothing.

This is dynamic so that when you change the month you’re looking at in the Monthly Budget View, the Categories tab will automatically update the Hide values to hide everything that has no spending or no budget.

I mix this with a conditional formatting on the Monthly Budget tab in the Budget column (column F) that when the cell = 0, the text will be white. That way, I don’t see a bunch of zeros on these categories that are basically a sub-sub-category. Not perfect but it works for now!