Strategies for Immediate Transaction Tracking & Avoiding Duplicates with Bank Sync Delays

Hello Tiller Community,

I’ve been using Tiller for a while now and greatly appreciate its power and flexibility in managing personal finances. However, I’ve encountered a challenge-

I aim to track my transactions immediately after they occur to maintain real-time insights into my spending and budgeting. Given that Tiller syncs transactions from the bank, which can take a day or two (sometimes due to the bank’s processing time), there’s a delay in reflecting these transactions in my Tiller sheets. This delay hinders my ability to have an up-to-the-minute view of my finances.

I have considered manually entering each transaction immediately after it happens. However, this leads to a potential issue where transactions could be duplicated once they are eventually synced from the bank.

Has anyone devised a method or workflow for incorporating immediate manual transaction entries without creating duplicates upon bank sync? I’m interested in both manual strategies and any scripts or automation that could streamline this process.

Thank you in advance for your insights and suggestions!

Manual transaction reconciliation is designed to address precisely this issue.

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You can also add manual transactions without using the Add Manual Transaction Tool.

I have a sheet called Recurring Transactions that looks just like the Transactions sheet. I copy and paste from Recurring Transactions into Transactions all the time - it’s much easier and faster than using the tool. It’s mostly populated with monthly bills, deposits, etc. Make sure to use Paste Special - Values Only when you do this.

As long as you keep the Metadata field (in the Transactions Sheet) populated with the same format of {“manualTransaction”:{“reconcile”:true,“ignoredIds”:}}, the Manual Reconcile feature still works.

My workflow tends to let the credit card charges come in as Tiller syncs them, but I keep the checking account activity up to date with manual transactions/reconciliations.

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Thanks! How would you fill in the data? Would you be able to insert a line at the top of the transaction sheet and fill in the fields without using the dedicated Manual Transaction Tool?

Yes you can insert lines anywhere in the Transactions sheet. Just sort the sheet by the Date Column from Z to A when you are done making changes.

For instance, I want to schedule a credit card payment. If I use the Add Manual Transaction tool, I need to do it twice - one for the transfer out of my checking account and again for the transfer into the credit card account. By using my Recurring Transactions sheet, I just change the amount of the payment on both lines, copy them, insert 2 blank lines into my Transaction Sheet and then use Paste Special Values Only to add them.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Great- Thanks!

Maybe you could help me with one other thing. Your suggestion got me thinking about adding columns onto the spreadsheet; I was always afraid to mess with it so as not to mess up the formulas.
There are certain transactions where I want to add a note describing the purchase (example: $5 at Target, making a note that it was for a bottle of soda). Would I be able to insert a column on the transactions sheet to record notes? or is there another solution for this out there?

thanks again for the help!

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You can add columns to the Transaction sheet.

Tiller has a “reserved” column name called “Note” (not “Notes”) that you can add and when used it will show up in some other sheets and reports automatically.

Another useful one is “Tags”. This lets you group transactions together that may occur at different times, categories, etc. For example, I use Tags for all of our travel related items. I have one category called “Travel”, and I put everything like plane tickets, car rentals, hotels, meals, etc into that category when they happen. I then use a Tag of a specific trip like 2024 Jan CA. You can put multiple Tags, separated by commas. I have another one for 2024 Tax Records. There is a Tags Report in the Community Solutions area that will add the Tags Column to your Transaction sheet (if you try just to add the column by yourself it may cause problems).

The Community Solutions Extension is a great place to spend some time exploring.

You are most welcome for the help.

wow- that’s very helpful. I will explore Community Solutions some more.

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Hi @MNK214 !

I had this exact challenge and created a sheet that tracks scheduled transactions and calculates future balances. It was originally called Short Term Cash Flow, but I’ve added a number of features (including automatic reconciliation and credit card balances) and renamed it Scheduled Transactions:

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Hello again, Tiller Community,

I greatly appreciated the insights shared above. As I’ve begun to implement some of your suggestions, a new challenge has emerged, related to transactions that need to be categorized into multiple categories.

Challenge: When manually entering transactions to track them immediately, I sometimes need to split a single transaction into different categories for accurate budget tracking. However, this complicates the reconciliation process. Once the transaction is imported from the bank and needs to be matched with the manually entered data, the splits cause discrepancies, making it difficult to reconcile without manual adjustment.

Example: If I make a purchase at a general store that includes both groceries and household items, I’ll manually split the transaction into these two categories for precise budgeting. But when the bank transaction comes through, it’s a single transaction, not split, leading to mismatch issues during reconciliation.
The obvious solution seems to be waiting to split the transaction into categories until after the bank transaction has been reconciled with the manual entry. However, this delays the accurate categorization and affects real-time budget tracking.

Has anyone found an efficient method or workaround for dealing with this issue?
Are there scripts, formulas, or tools within the Tiller ecosystem that could facilitate this process?
If immediate splitting isn’t advisable, are there best practices or strategies you’d recommend for managing these types of transactions while maintaining the integrity and accuracy of your budgeting system?

Thank you!

Hi @MNK214 – I’d suggest splitting these transactions at the source. When you’re at the store, put all your household items together to be run as one transaction, and then all your grocery items to be run as a second transaction. That way you end up with the same split result more easily, as you won’t have to split it out later and reference your receipt. If it’s something you do a lot, you could also assign two separate cards to the different transaction types and then leverage AutoCat to assign them for you. E.g. use credit card A for groceries at store B, and credit card C for household items at store B. Then once you’ve split your purchase up into two transactions and run them on different cards, Tiller can automatically do the rest for you.