The Complete Budget & Receipt Tracker

What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve, or how does it help you?

I’ve tried several budgeting apps and tend to run into the same four problems. I’ve built budgeting spreadsheets for myself which fix some of them, but never tried Tiller until I heard about it for this challenge.

My four frustrations were:

  1. Starting the budget month on the day I get my paycheck, rather than the 1st
  2. Easily compare last month’s budget & actuals and then set this month’s budget based on those.
  3. Input transaction on my phone as they occur, so I don’t have to remember everything when I sit down with my budget.
  4. Easily and quickly split transactions.

How did you come up with the idea for your workflow?

I started with the Tiller transactions tab and worked from there, tackling each of my previous frustrations one at a time. I’d built a receipt form for my workplace finances and used that, as well as my personal budget, as inspiration for the rest. I got feedback from friends who asked me a lot of “what if” questions which built out the rest of it.

Please describe your workflow. What are the sheets? Does it use any custom scripts or formulas?

A walkthrough tutorial is available here

Loads of custom formulas and a linked Google form, no scripts. You set up your budget categories in the Categories tab visually with hanging groups, and list any tags you want to use as well, like for tax write-offs which you need to find later. In the Monthly Budget Sheet write out your budget start date and expected budgets for your first month.

A Google form linked to the spreadsheet allows you to record and categorize transactions on the go, and add a receipt photo, tag, and description. These images will be saved to Drive and the link to the photos can be found next to the transactions. When Tiller pulls in your transactions, it’ll match with the Receipt form entries based on amount, date, and account, then it’ll pull over the vendor, category, tags, description, and picture. You can still manually enter these in the Transactions tab.

If you need to split a transaction, enter the category as “Split” and it’ll populate into the Split transactions tab, where you can list out the 2 categories, amounts, tags, and descriptions.

All the transactions are combined back together and can be viewed easily in the Filtered Transactions tab, where you can filter by vendor, category, tag, or lack thereof, plus by date range ascending or descending.

Back in the Monthly Budget Sheet tab, actual spending for each category and month is pulled over and compared to your budget. You can see your net income and budget accuracy. To start a new month you just copy & paste from the previous month, change the start date, and make budget adjustments where necessary.

In the Dashboard tab you can see a monthly graph of any number of variables like budget accuracy, net income, total income or expenses, or totals for different groups and categories.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

This template is robust and may sound complicated but it’s actually pretty easy and intuitive to use. It gives you flexibility to use the Receipts form or not, and you could add your own features into the form or spreadsheet however you see fit.

Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?


If you said yes above, please make a copy of your workflow and share the copy’s URL:

Correction: no custom formulas, I meant I used a lot of nested formulas.

Hi @dhensonroyall,
Interesting sheet. I’m curious to see how you do the Receipt matching into the Transactions list.

When i click on the sheet’s url, it says I need to request access. Can you make the sheet shared so people with the link can VIEW, not edit or comment. Then people can make a copy of it.


Fixed it, sorry.

It matches based on the absolute amount, bank account, and transaction date. Then the transaction tab will add a note if something’s not submitted through the form or if there are potential duplicates (2+ transactions with the same amount, account, and date), so it’s easy to identify potential errors or mismatches.

How can it be adapt to existing Tiller sheet where Column A is categories and Column B is Group, how do I change the array formulae to achieve the same result… here is your formula =ARRAYFORMULA(Categories!A2:C)

You could do something like this:

Curly brackets with commas stack the arrays horizontally, curly brackets with semicolons stack them vertically.

Very nice work. Can I add "group to the selection in the filtered type and value in the filtered transaction sheet? I would like to then sort the transactions by category then sum by category.

Oh yeah that would be totally doable, and good idea on that sorting mechanism. That would also be possible, though a bit more complicated. Actually now I wish I would’ve added a summary to the filter page, missed opportunity there.

@JWienecke I made a new version with your suggestions which you can use with the link below. I added group as one of the filter options, added the ability to sort by amount, date, category, or group, and added a summary at the top and a summary by category to the side.

Complete Budget & Receipt Tracker 1.2

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Wow. That is great … I am really excited to convert from Quicken to using Tiller and have these types of tools. Thank you so much.

Does this support rollovers? If I budget $50 a month to car insurance and don’t spend it, will the next month budget be $100?

Good question! I didn’t add that fuctionality to this version, I was going off of a “zero balance budget” where you allocate everything and spend everything or transfer it to savings. However, since you see the previous month’s spending while making this month’s budget, you could see that you spent $0 and allocate $100 this month.

This is exactly what I was looking for! I’m having trouble syncing transactions, though. I keep getting this error:


Any suggestions?

Hello @dhensonroyall,

I have loaded the template and it appears the transactions are not being tallied and moved to the actuals column. I checked your original and some of yours are doing the same thing. Am I doing something wrong? I have added some new categories and loaded transactions manually but they are not showing up on the monthly budget sheet.

Yeah I couldn’t actually get Tiller to connect to my bank account during the challenge so I was flying blind a little bit. I’ll see what I can do to fix it this week.

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@safetyrazorbacks - this error comes up when there is not a “Date” column in the Transactions sheet. The Tiller Money Feeds add-on requires at least a date column, every other column we can populate is option, though likely needed/desired for most solutions.

Let me know if you’re still stuck.

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Heather, that doesn’t seem to be the cause (in this case) of the warning (This spreadsheet’s Transactions are not compatible.) The issue seems to be the result of date being on row 2, instead of row 1. After deleting row 1 the issue resolved itself.

@brianctait, ah yea that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. I suppose I should have phrased it as, “when there is not a Date header in row 1” :wink:

As mentioned I liked your approach and I am testing this out. As mentioned by @jonorlin above the load of the transactions from TillerHq loads the description column M which is the description from input form versus versus the TillerHq Description in column C. Were you able to make this change, it must not be difficult.

On another note, I was able to set up the form and that feature is nice. The next load from Tiller should bring in the transaction that should match with the form transactions. I would like to get the above fix before loading the related transactions.