Using Tiller to get out of debt with lots of custom "solutions"

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

I have been using Tiller for quite some time now, and I have made many modifications to the core functionality of Tiller, revolving around knowing when my debt will be paid off, if I have enough money paycheck to paycheck, and understanding what I’m able to snowball, if at all.

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

This was a combination of many needs that I have had over the years.

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

There are many things that I have done to make these workflows work for me. I’ll do my best to explain each sheet and its use cases, however, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

1. Transactions sheet.
Nothing really unique here, other than I utilize tags to use for custom dashboards for AppSheet. I will include that to share soon once I figure out how to better do it.
2. Categories sheet
I have added a few custom uses from this sheet. I’ve added the following columns: Bill, Bill Type, Due Date, Bill Frequency, Bill Payment Method, Interest Rate. I am also filling in some of the credit card and loan category budgets utilizing data from the Category Source Data. I use the data from the Categories sheet for a lot of my other sheets.
3. Bill Payment Tracker
I have expanded the array in A5 to include 650 items in order to track all my bills until the end of the year. This works for the things that I’m tracking, but for the document I have shared, it’s a bit overkill. I do, however, have other formulas that are dependent on the bills starting on row 704, so if you make a copy of this sheet, expect that. I primarily use this in order to track the number of bills I have left in a pay period used in the Paycheck Datasheet. I fill in my interest rate, payment frequency, due date and estimated amount all from the Categories sheet.
4. Monthly Bill Type Summary
Quick at a glance sheet that shows me what bills have been paid, what’s remaining, and how I plan on paying those bills.
5. Paycheck Data
This is the core of how I used Tiller to organize my financial life. I have separated this sheet into the 12 months of the year, and for each month, I’ve specified my paydays. Within those paydays, I have my paycheck income, any additional income, the amount of money left over from the previous pay period (Delta from previous), bill amount, living costs (expenses - bills), pending transactions (sum of items in B2:B), savings, snowball and delta (left over after pay period). For those that have more than one paycheck, just make an additional line and update your formula in the “Delta” cell to include that new income.

For every month, I grab the first and last day, days remaining (if in current month), remaining spend (expenses), remaining bills (if this month), or Bills (for future months, summed by Bills = Yes for that month in the Categories sheet), Living Costs (expenses - bills), and living costs per day (if current month, takes living costs * number of days left) and if future month, living costs * days per month.

Bill amount in the current month is calculated by looking into the Bill Payment Tracker and adding up the totals based on how many days are left in the pay period. Take a look at cell F14 for an example.
6. Balances
Used as a reference in a few places, like Current Cash in Paycheck Datasheet, Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast, and R.
7. Monthly Budget
Nothing special here
8. Balance History
Nothing special here
9. Debt Planner
I use this to track when I’ll be out of debt depending on the strategy used.
10. Debt Planner Difference
I use this at the beginning of the month to grab what the Debt Planner recommends for payments. As you spend money throughout the month, the recommendations change, so I use this as a reference to make sure I only pay what was expected to be paid at the beginning of the month. Not really used for anything else except as a reminder.
11. Transposed Debt Planner
I use a transpose function to make the debt planner in a format that can later be used by Categories.
12. Category Source Data
I copy and paste the Transposed Debt Planner into this to fill into the categories. I can’t use the Transposed Debt Planner sheet directly as you run into a loop issue and Google Sheets freaks out. Take a look at the Categories sheet cell O3 for an example as to what I do here.
13. Transposed Balance
I use this function to be able to use the data later in the Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast sheet.
14. Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast
This provides as a one stop shop to see when I’ll be out of debt, broken down by year. I take data from a few places for this sheet, including the Transposed Balance, Monthly Budget, Categories, Balances, and various Bill Forecast sheets. Column D:F takes information from the Categories sheet, Columns F, H, J, L takes information from the Bill Forecast sheets, and columns G, I, K, M take information from the Transposed Balance sheet. O2:R7 shows the formulas that are being used for spend.
15. 2022 Bill Forecast
I set G5 to 1/1/22 and G6 to 12/1/22. This allows this sheet only to see the bills for the year 2022. I also take advantage of my custom column in Categories on cells F25 and F26 to make sure I’m only showing bills. I use this information to fill out the Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast in cells F2:F7.
16. 2023 Bill Forecast
I set G5 to 1/1/23 and G6 to 12/1/23. This allows this sheet only to see the bills for the year 2023. I also take advantage of my custom column in Categories on cells F25 and F26 to make sure I’m only showing bills. I use this information to fill out the Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast in cells H2:H7
17. 2024 Bill Forecast
I set G5 to 1/1/24 and G6 to 12/1/24. This allows this sheet only to see the bills for the year 2024. I also take advantage of my custom column in Categories on cells F25 and F26 to make sure I’m only showing bills. I use this information to fill out the Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast in cells J2:J7
18. 2025 Bill Forecast
I set G5 to 1/1/25 and G6 to 12/1/25. This allows this sheet only to see the bills for the year 2025. I also take advantage of my custom column in Categories on cells F25 and F26 to make sure I’m only showing bills. I use this information to fill out the Loans & Credit Card Spend Forecast in cells L2:L7
19. R
The intent is to eventually embrace this cool sheet from @jpfieber in the way that he envisioned it, but for now I’m using it as a place for some common variables that I pass into other places. H-L are my things where B-F are his ideas (which I’m not using currently).

Anything else you’d like people to know?

This is by no means done by someone who is a professional at finances, excel, google sheets, etc. This is just something that I’ve pulled together that helps me and my wife stay on top of things.

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

Of course. Keep in mind that there will have to be changes done to your core Tiller Foundation sheets to make this work. There is probably a better way to do a lot of what I have done without modifying the core sheets.

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