Three: The key to change is awareness

Gaining Insight

“We are only as blind as we want to be.” - Maya Angelou

I think this quote so beautifully captures what we’re trying to get at with this part of the challenge. With the Insights sheet you are given sight. You are no longer blind as to where your money is going. The hard work you did looking at, thinking about, and categorizing each transaction in segment two pays off here.

Insights you gain here are fundamental in helping you understand and shift your habits, and ultimately achieve your goals. You can use these as sign posts that will point you in the right direction.

Example Insights

To help you uncover your own insights here are some anecdotal examples.

All 9 of my top 10 expense categories are in line with my values.

It seems like I’m not putting enough money away for the future to realistically achieve my goals.

I’m curious about the amount of spending in the bills group, this might be an area I explore more.

I tend to shop at the same grocery store.

I’m spending a lot of money at the laundromat. I wonder how much I could save by investing in a washer and dryer.


If you want to dive even further into your spending for a certain category, consider turning on the filter in the Transactions sheet and filtering your transactions by the Category column for a certain category.

Read more about how to use the filter on our help center here.

Setting actionable goals

The insights are great, but they only open your eyes. Without action, nothing changes.

  • What are 3-4 simple actionable goals that will help you change your spending to be better in line with your values?
  • Are there categories where you want to spend less?
  • Spend more?
  • Which categories best align with your values?
  • Which are at odds with your values?

Not sure what your values are? A friend of Tiller Money, Carl Richards, explains more on how values are important for your financial journey on the New York Times website here.

Examples of actionable goals you might set:

Utilities - call Verizon to move to a less expensive cell phone plan

Mortgage - call my bank to explore refinancing at lower rates

Subscriptions - cancel the streaming music plan we’re not using, consolidate to one streaming video subscription, add a subscription to the Atlantic for weekend reading

Groceries - schedule the monthly run to buy in bulk, treat ourselves to a bar of Theo dark chocolate to celebrate the end of the week each Friday night, cut back on ice cream, skip wine on alternating weeks, make a big batch of chili and freeze for lunches

Your turn to share!

What simple, actionable goal do you think you can achieve in the next 12 days? Share with the community below. Feel free to share enlightening insights you discovered as well!

Resources & Support


Here are a few guides you may find useful as you work through the checklist for this segment:

Getting support

If you need help with completing any of the checklist items, including addressing account connection issues and errors, please reach out to our support team via the chat tool in the lower right corner of the Console at for the fastest response. The topics here are intended to be motivational, not for troubleshooting and the team via Chat can help you faster and more effectively than anyone here in the community.

We’d like to spend less on cosmetics after realizing how much we spend in this category!

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We were suprised by how much we spend on subscriptions and memberships. Do we really need Netflix, Sling and Amazon Prime? I’m also part of several networking and coaching groups. I could let go of two of those memberships and really not miss them.

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Stop spending money on “freemium” online casual games. They are a really bad deal!

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My biggest categories are bills, but #4 is ordering in. I actually have this split into two categories: ordering in and eattingniht with friends which includes delivery because I don’t want to give up the shared experience of ordering food with people. But ordering in for just myself is bad for my budget and health, so reducing that spend is a too goal this year.

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My Dad has this problem as well, drives my mother insane :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: we’ve all started getting him google play gift cards for holidays

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I’m going to start checking my tiller spreadsheet(s) daily, to have a better sense where I am within my budget. I overspent quite a bit for Black Friday / Christmas and am dealing with the consequences now. If I had had a better sense of how much I had already spent, it might not have been so bad. Maybe.

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“Groceries” was my most frequent transaction, which makes sense since we’re all home, eating 3 meals a day at home.

If appropriate to ask in this venue, I have a question about the Categories tab. I started using Tiller in 2020, and was able to adjust some areas to 2021 with a drop-down, by my Categories tab is only showing 2020…and I can’t figure out how to change that tab to 2021. How do I do that? (the next trick will be to locate the replies! still figuring out this particular messaging tool). Thanks!

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Disregard my question about Categories and date. I figured it out. :slight_smile:

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My goal is basically find a way to start saving again for travel…
First, I will automate a small automated savings item for travel which I have given up in the pandemic but will resume when I can! I want to be prepared!
Second, I will pay off a points credit card first and use it to pay other monthly expenses to, again, generate points and be prepared for travel when the world resumes.

Can you tell I miss travelling?! :crazy_face: :beach_umbrella: :tropical_drink:

Glad you figured this out @dianewebber22! If you run into issues or have “how to” type questions in the future best to either ask using the chat tool on the Console ( or in the Get Help category here in the Community. We want the challenge posts to be motivational and inspirational without the troubleshooting mix :slight_smile:

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I’ve been using Tiller Money for about 5 years now so my spending is pretty dialed in. It’s been challenging to identify any areas where I need/want to make change.

I think if anything I’d like to support local more often than not and choose a primary credit card that gives back in some way other than to myself and Jeff Bezos :flushed: (my main spending credit card is an Amazon Visa)

Me too, @moneyork. Saving for travel gives us something to look forward to once safe to travel again!