Tracking Categories in Savings by percentage

I’m new to tiller (trying out the free trial).

I have a savings spreadsheet that I really love (and have used for 9yrs and want to make it work in Tiller, but don’t know how to set it up.

Here’s what I currently do:
-The Savings total amount is divided between 11 categories (emergency, new car, medical, vacation, auto, electronics, clothes, dog expenses, escrow, house projects, extra giving). Each category has an assigned percentage that can change each month based on how close I am to reaching the capped amount or goal (ex. for auto, I currently allocate 10% of savings each month until I’ve reached $2000). If/when I reach a goal, I stop saving in that category and reallocate that percentage to another category. Most everything that I track in savings is an expense that’s inevitable but not monthly and/or not consistent in amount.

-So, when I budget each month, I will move a certain amount from checking to savings (assuming in Tiller, this would be an “account transfer”), which is divvied up among the categories, providing me with annual total and current total for each category. I make a payment from my savings account for the total amount of any expense that would fall into the 11 savings categories.

How can I recreate this in Tiller? I see my savings total in the “Balances” tab as an “Ungrouped Asset.” I’ve put in my savings categories, labeled them “Savings” as the group, and expense as the type. But I don’t know how to create this level of specificity. Could I add my savings spreadsheet as a tab in the Tiller one and get Tiller to to interact with this spreadsheet somehow? Or maybe there’s a tab that can already accommodate this.

Any help on this would be wonderful - thank you!

Not sure that I fully understand your system, but I’d encourage to take a look at the Saving Budget template. It’s a popular, envelope-style budgeting sheets that a good number of us use as a way of allocating money toward savings goals. There’s a helpful YouTube video introduction to it as well.

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Thank you! I watched the video and read the article. This seems like the place where I would build out what I’ve used in the past.

I don’t see how to link the amount in my savings account with this savings spreadsheet. So if I’ve saved 20K in my account, I would think that, under the “Available” column, I could divvy up that 20K by each category and then add/subtract from that. Can this be done.

I don’t see how the savings budget interacts with my savings account that’s supposedly is linked. The only place I see it is under the “Balances” tab listed as an ungrouped asset.

Interesting question. I suspect there’s a way to do that, but it’s not built into the sheet. As is, the Savings Budget sheet is entirely a product of the budgets on your Categories sheet and your transactions (and any manual adjustments you make to the Savings values). It doesn’t have any connections to your account balances or how you are paying for any of your transactions. You could manually add your savings to the Savings column, but that probably wouldn’t be much fun to keep constantly updated. Somebody better than me with Google Sheets might be able to build out a way to connect the Savings column to your actual account balances.

When I start adding amounts in the savings column, the whole column goes blank. So I don’t think that will work.

This seems like an important feature to be able to track. None of my savings categories are going to be paid the primary income listed at the top of the savings budget. There will be some transfers that will undoubtedly move more money to savings, but, as an example, the $824 I spent on home improvement will come from my savings account. So it’s necessary that I see not only the actual account balance for my savings account, but also a means to distribute said balance into categories.

I’ve copied my savings spreadsheet over as a new tab that I’m guessing I’ll have to manually update. My spreadsheet is not very complicated, but has some simple functions that have allowed me to manage and track my savings for 9 years. I was just really hopeful that Tiller had a way to automate this process. I can’t imagine that it would take much modification to create these features.

I would gladly welcome other ideas to try out. I’ve added a screen shot of a basic example of how my savings spreadsheet works. Perhaps in looking at this, someone would be able to let me know how I could make this work with Tiller.


Just one observation: in the Savings Budget sheet, you don’t directly add numbers into the Savings column. You put them in the Adjust +/- column. Then you make sure that Adjust +/- Modifies is set to Savings. Finally, you Update Savings Budget from within the Community Solutions add-on menu. The numbers from the Adjust column will appear in the Savings column. If you just try putting the numbers directly into the Savings column, it will, indeed, break the sheet. Not sure if you followed that process, but the Savings Budget workflow takes some getting used to. There’s nothing that I see that would prevent you from putting those savings numbers from your spreadsheet into the Savings Budget spreadsheet. One sometimes useful thing about the Savings Budget sheet is that it doesn’t need to balance. That is, you can add as much as you want to the Savings column, and it doesn’t need to be offset anywhere.

Okay, that’s helpful. So I could add the totals for each category in the Adjust column. Is there a place where I can make notes about - is that possible in the budget journal or is there a better place?

My other question is about the percentage system I use: when I make a transfer to savings, I organize/divide that amount by percentages in each category using a fairly basic formula. Is there a way this can be done? or would I just have to do the calculation myself and add the amounts each month for each category? Perhaps something like the split transaction tool where I can divide something into several areas?


There is a Note column in the Budget Journal, so I presume you can use it for whatever you like.

As for the calculation, I suspect you’d have to do that yourself. There might be a way to feed it automatically from your spreadsheet into the Adjust column for the appropriate category, but you’d have to be careful not to mess up the underlying functionality of the Adjust column.

Try adding your savings spreadsheets then referencing the ‘Balances’ tab by typing something like “=Balances!D11” where D11 is the cell that displays your account value. Then you can assigning percentages with “=Balances!D11*0.1” for a 10% allocation. If the amount fills up, I would re-calculate the %. There is probably a way to program it with IF statements, but I don’t know how to use them.

:wave:, @chris.meyers

Did any of these suggestions help? If so, please mark one as the solution.