Sinking Fund Operations - How To / Best Practices

Hi all, new to Tiller and love it so far.

I have used a ~25 category sinking fund for years that I kept in a separate tab from my monthly budget tab (one tab per month for that month’s budget). We use a credit card and pay in full the 1st day of the following month.

My question is about how to handle the monthly movements from Checking to my Sinking Fund (Savings account). After getting paid, I make one large sweep from checking into savings to fill up these categories each month during the year. At the end of each month I’ll calculate what I use from the sinking fund categories and transfer that amount from Sink to Checking at the end of the month.

Are there best practices for how to implement this in Tiller? The ones I can think of are:

  • Categories setup
  • Separate sheet for the sinking fund (guess I can still track that manually doesn’t need to be automated)
  • Monthly movement of money to/from Checking and Sink
  • Backdating the movement on day 1 to the prior month
  • Not double counting money as income in my monthly budget sheet

Starting with the foundation template and getting my categories set up but I feel if I don’t set it up right now I’ll pay for it later.


1 Like

Welcome @muffinDad :wave:

Great questions here :slight_smile:

The Foundation Template is a little lacking in “savings tracking” functionality, and we hope to address that in the next year with some solid, but hopefully intuitive, workflows.

In the mean time, I’d recommend learning a bit more about the Savings Budget from the Tiller Community to see if it helps at all. It keeps track of savings per category month over month (e.g. tracking overspent/underspent in each category in each month and recording it as “savings”)

It’s not exactly the same concept as the sinking fund (at least the way you’re describing it, but I’m a bit unfamiliar with that concept generally) but it could help with not having to use a manual sheet.

As for the money moving between savings<>checking and not wanting it to show up on the budget as income, there are a couple ways to do it. You can use a category that’s set as a transfer type (those do not show on the budget by default) or you can use an income category and mark it as “hide” in the “Hide from Reports” column on the Categories sheet.

Don’t worry too much about getting the category setup perfect the first time. If you change your mind later you can use Find & Replace to update the category in the appropriate places (all sheets) or you can use the “Rename category” tool in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on.

Hopefully that helps!

Thanks for the reply, Heather.

Biggest problem I’m having right now is accounts I have set up are not pulling in data. Some are, not all are. I get an error that “Three institutions with linked accounts need your attention” but it’s not clear which accounts those are or how to fix them:


Other issue is speed - clicking on an account has a 2-3 second pause before I can read or edit anything. Is this normal? I have a speedy computer but this level of constant pausing is pretty bad for a daily workflow.


Hi @muffinDad - the “needs attention” just means you probably need to refresh them or they have errors. Click into Connected Accounts and refresh/fix any that haven’t refreshed in the last day or so.

It can be slow and we hope to address that in the coming year.

I’d recommend using the menu structure for faster navigation.

Extensions > Tiller Money Feeds (near the bottom of Extensions menu) > Fill sheets or AutoCat or Tools, etc