Reconcile Savings Budget w/ actual balances

Hello All,

I’m new here and have been enjoying how to use Tiller. The Savings Budget may have almost exactly what I need to accomplish my goal of knowing what my vast wealth in the bank is to be spent on. Well, maybe it’s not so vast!

Has anyone explored a way to match/reconcile the Available column in the Savings Budget with the latest balances from the Balance History tab? For example, if one had a balance of $125 in their checking account at the end of the month then the total of all the available budget amounts for the expenses should also total $125. This assumes three things:

  1. All income for the month has been received. Therefore, the Available column for income in the Savings Budget tab is zero.
  2. Budget Expenses = Budgeted Income
  3. All transactions have been categorized in the Transactions tab

If the total of available budget for those expense were different than $125, an adjustment to Savings would be necessary.

Reconciling in this manner could be done after the monthly reconciliation of the bank account.

Thank you in advance for any guidance.


Welcome to Tiller and the Savings Budget, @thomasnjefferson! That’s a great question. One of the riddles of the Savings Budget is connecting the “virtual” savings you accrue in categories to real world money in an account— either discrete accounts or with one account containing savings from multiple categories.

It is an imperfect solution, but you may find that the Savings Goal & Debt template helps in this domain.

I have this same question. The only solution I have been able to come up with, and I’m not 100% it is correct, is after the last day of the month (I’ll use September 1), all your transactions for the month (August) should have come through. The balances page shows the actual amount in accounts after all those transactions. You can then balance the savings budget and it should match up to the balances in the accounts, and if not you can adjust the savings budget. Other than that, I can’t figure out how to reconcile the two. But I think that will work. Which limits you to one chance a month to make sure they match.

I do something similar to what cliff.lusk does. At the start of each month I need to make sure my checking balance equals the sum of “available” (savings + budget) plus my credit card balances.
This is based on a couple assumptions:
• Only one spending (deposit) account, checking in my case
• Prefunding for the month – I came to Tiller from YNAB and have stayed in the habit of funding the coming month using last month’s income.
Most of my spending is done using credit cards and then I pay the statements in full. As such, I may spend and record transactions in one month but the money to pay for them won’t come out of my checking account until the following month.
I added a few simple formulas to the top of the Savings Budget to show these values and calculate whether or not the balance in checking is sufficient.

Would you share your formulas? @jshelham

I inserted a couple columns to the left of Column I on the Savings Budget tab and then entered the following at the top:


Total Needed =D23+E23+Balances!H9

Checking Balance =Balances!D9

Over/Under is Checking Balance less Total Needed

If the difference is positive, then I have “extra” money in my checking account that I can transfer to savings. If I do transfer the overage then I have to remember to adjust the savings amounts on the Saving Budget by the same amount.

That makes sense. My credit card transactions are done day to day, when they happen. So they are categorized the same month. The payment from checking is just a transfer that disappears and is already accounted for.
I think for me it’s - at the end of the month:

Income “Available” + Expense Savings Envelope “Available” (carry over) = Balances - Credit Card.
I think that’s right…maybe?? Is that right? I don’t know why this is so difficult for me to wrap my brain around.

I am not sure I follow your calculations (which certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t correct!). The goal, I think, is to match the savings budget to the actual balance of your cash spending account (probably checking). Since I still follow the YNAB approach of using last month income for this month’s budget, my budgeted amounts should all be available money in my checking at the start of the month - so I don’t worry about the “available” for income, since the current month’s income is earmarked for next month. Under that scenario, all my budget savings plus available budgeted amounts plus my current credit card balances should be equal to (or less) than my checking balance.

For credit cards, I also categorize them as they occur, but the money doesn’t come out of my checking account until the bill gets paid. That’s why I add those balances into what I need to have in checking at any given time.

I do the same as far as funding. I get what you are saying. I think I just do an extra step and do the math to subtract my credit card balance. But now that I think about it, your way is easier!

We are experimenting with a new Savings Goals dashboard in beta that is essentially a cleanup of the Savings Goal & Debt template . It doesn’t integrate specifically with budgeting or end-of-month workflows but does allow you to prioritize savings goals, assign a real-world “savings” account, and track the funding of the goals against the balance.

If this is of interest, tag @heather and let us know. (If the Savings Goal & Debt template is not integrated enough from a workflow perspective though, the new tool probably won’t meet your needs either.)

Our goal is to know how much of the money in the bank has been saved for each budget category. For example, how much of the total cash in the bank is saved for vacation, or whatever.

We have this equation to work with: Beginning Balance + Additions - Subtractions = Ending Balance.

On the Savings Budget tab those columns are Savings + Budget - Actual = Available.

A periodic reconciliation process is necessary to confirm that something hasn’t happened to make those balances inaccurate.

After 6 months of using the Savings Budget, I’ve come up w/ the following monthly reconciliation procedure:

  1. Reconcile all Bank Accounts - This step is essential to confirm that all transactions on the Transactions tab are complete and actually occurred. In other works, we will find any duplicate or missing transactions that would misstate the Additions (aka Budget column) or our Subtractions (aka Actual column), which would result in a misstatement of our ending balance (aka Available column).

  2. Categorize all monthly transactions - This ensures completeness of the Additions (aka Budget column) and the Subtractions (aka Actual column).

  3. Adjust budget to a net zero. Do this with a Budget Adjustment. Most of us won’t know exactly, to the penny, how much will be deposited throughout the month. Step 3 is to make a budget adjustment that will make Budget Income = Actual AND Budget Income = Budget Expense. Remember our beginning equation. If the Additions are misstated, our Ending Balance will be, too. An example of a misstatement would occur if budgeting 10 of income, but only receiving 7. Without an adjustment, the Available balance would be overstated by 3 at the end of the month. As a check figure, the Available column for Income MUST be zero after all the deposits to the bank have been made for the month.

  4. Compare cash in bank as of last day of month to the Available column. Adjust the Available column to tie to actual cash in bank, not the other way around. Do this w/ a Savings Adjustment. Note that my bank statements are not as of the last of the month, but the Savings Budget tab Available balances are. So I have to convert the reconciliation ending balance to cash in the bank as of last day of month. For example, if reconciliation was as of 29th of the month, I look at bank activity and add or subtract the actual activity b/w reconciliation date and last day of month. Also, I have to add multiple bank balances together with my credit card balance and compare that net number to the total Available expenses.

If this procedure is followed monthly, you get to the correct ending balance. When the new month starts you will have the correct beginning balance for that month b/c it is the ending balance for the previous month.

Is this procedure perfect? NO
Is it time consuming? YES

I’ve been working in google sheets, but plan to start the new year in Excel b/c I am much more comfortable in Excel after many years while google sheets are new to me. I think this will allow me to automate more things like the bank reconciliation.

Thanks for sharing your workflow. This doesn’t integrate into the budget as @randy mentioned but you can access the Savings Goal Tracker here: Savings Goal Tracker (Beta)

And take it for a spin. You could set targets for each category if you wanted to help with the reconciliation process but once again it’s disconnected from the budget because that’s all transactions based, whereas this is purely balance based.