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