Webinar: Get a grip on your finances series

In this webinar series Peter talked through a couple essential steps to getting a handle on your cash flow, how to set up a budget in the Foundation template, and strategies for planning out cash flow. He also covered a couple ideas for how to track savings. Finally, he covered how to use AutoCat to quickly categorize transactions and then how to think about collaborating with a partner or spouse on finances.

Recordings

1st Session
You can review the recording for the first webinar in the series on 4/9/2020 here

2nd Session
You can review he recording for the second webinar in the series 4/16/2020 here

Final Session
You can review he recording for the final webinar in the series 4/23/2020 here

Q&A

How do I add a bank account or Credit card account
On the console at https://sheets.tillerhq.com/auth/google you can add more accounts under the Account Summary section.

Can I add a column to the transactions page? For example, I would like to have the ability to add notes to a specific transaction in its own column.
Yes, you can add columns to the Transactions sheet. For notes, we recommend calling the column Note and it will work with some of the other features in Tiller Labs. More on editing the Transactions sheet here.

I am new to tiller. I added my account, but I get emails regularly saying I have no new transactions. Doesn’t it update automatically?
If you have two factor authentication (2FA) turned on for accounts you may need to visit the console to refresh accounts and that may be why you’re not seeing them in the daily email. More on how refreshes work here.

I think I set up for our family using the Lauren Greutman template. Are those categories changeable?
Yes, you can modify the categories in this template. However, as of August 26, 2019 this template is no longer supported by our team. Read more on how to transition here.

Will you cover how to handle quarterly or annual budget items in future episodes? They give me grief
Yes, we’ll cover this in future sessions.

So I don’t need to worry about past months transactions? I feel overwhelmed thinking there are so many transactions to categorize.
That’s right. Don’t worry about the past just focus on what’s recent. The last month up to today is sufficient to build important insights for your cash flow.

How do you deal with weird one time expenses that don’t easily fit in a category, and arent likely a usual type of thing (without adding a ton more categories)?
We recommend a category like “miscellaneous”.

On the Tiller Blog, there is a how-to post for using Tiller with Glide which makes Tiller mobile friendly. Have either of you personally tried or used this?
We have not tried this, but it was a workflow recommended by a community member.

What’s the best way to handle bank imports that aren’t currently supported. I.e international bank accounts?
Manually add the data using the steps in this guide or experiment with the CSV import options from Tiller Labs.

Are there differences in functionality between sheets and Excel?
Yes there is quite a bit of difference between Sheets and Excel. Excel is still in beta with less features and functionality. Google Sheets is more mature and more fully featured. Basic feeds are the same in both though :slight_smile:

If I refine categories like breaking “stuff” into “valuable stuff” and “necessary stuff” what would I do to my transactions?
You could do a find and replace on the Transactions sheet with the new category.

What are your recommendations for handling a family budget where you and your partner put shared expenses on personal credit cards? It seems tedious to categorize so many transactions as transfers
We’ll be covering more on this in future sessions, but there are some good threads on the community about sharing expenses.

Can you show an example of splitting an expense?
You can split expenses using the Tiller Labs add-on under Tools. More on that here

How should you handle credit card payments out — both the debit from the checking and the credit to credit card
We recommend categorizing those as a transfer. More on that here.

I don’t see the “Monthly Budget” tab at the bottom of the page. How do I add that tab?
Depending on the template you’re using you can add it using the Tiller Labs add-on. If you’re still in a Feed Bot sheet, it’s best to just start fresh. More on that here.

I get FSA reimbursements for prescriptions. Should these transactions be Transfers?
Yes, if you have both of the accounts linked and you’re seeing both sides of the transaction.

Can you explain Budgeted Cash Flow vs Actual in the yearly Budget Tab
We’ll get into that in more detail in a future session, but essentially the budgeted cash flow is what you’re expected to earn minus what you’re expecting to spend (budgeted income - budgeted expenses) and he actual cash flow is what you’ve actually earned minus what you’ve actually spent.

Is there a way to organize the budget according to day of the month that bills are due?
You’d have to modify the category names to do this as they’re presented alphabetically within groups/categories on the budget dashboards.

Since updating to the new base template, all imported items are all in strikethrough font… Is there a way to make that not happen?
I think this is just the formatting and you’d need to remove the strikethrough by selecting all data and then click the strike through button in the formatting section.

What is “Refresh with MFA” in the new format?
Refresh with MFA means that your account requires security codes or answers to refresh and can’t automatically refresh.

I often can’t get the Feed ad on to refresh my sheet. This morning I refreshed my accounts with MFA, but it only updated the old feedbot style sheet. ???
After refreshing accounts on the Tiller Console be sure to click “Update sheets” in the Tiller Money Feeds add-on to feed in data.

Any way to designate taxable income/expenses?
You can do this by creating a special category on the Categories sheet or you can add the Tag column to the Categories sheet and tag categories as Tax. More on tax workflows here

Are the Excel capabilities going to improve or is google sheets the best platform?
Google Sheets definitely best, we don’t have a timeline on when or if Excel will ever reach parity right now.

When is the next webinar? How many are in the series?
The next webinar in this series will be 4/16 at 11AM PT / 2PM ET. Register here.

Is there a way to auto fill budget values based on an average of spending for those categories?
There isn’t an automated way to do this right now.

When I refresh accounts I get a slew of 2FA requests from my banks all at once but there is no way to enter these codes. How do I refresh my accounts without having to delete and re-add them entirely.
After clicking “refresh all” it’s expected that the banks will send the 2FA codes. Wait for all accounts to finish refreshing and then click “Refresh w/ MFA” for accounts where it appears and you’ll get another code and be able to enter it into the secondary screen.

If I were starting fresh, would I use the same template for cash flow, net worth etc? Or is it better to have different spreadsheets for different overall questions?
It’s fine to have them all in one sheet. The only caveat with tracking net worth in the same sheet as your day to day expenses is that you may see a lot of investment related transactions and will need to think about how best to categorize those. Typically, as transfers, but sometimes they may make more sense to be hidden income categories (e.g. dividends).

How would you handle a HELOC?
If the HELOC is connected, in most cases the transactions for inflows/outflows will be a transfer type.

The budgeting sheet is only for one year. What happens when we reach the next year?
The Foundation template supports multi-year budgeting.

What about all those amazon expenses? They go across lots of categories. Can you walk through the amazon categorization tool?
You can learn more about this tool here.

is there a way to track how much cash on hand i need to have to make it to my next paycheck and to my upcoming bills?
This will be something we’ll cover in a future webinar in this series, but if you want to experiment with a different solution because you need something quickly you could check out the Spending Money sheet.

What is Tiller Labs?
You can read more about Tiller Labs here.

Is there a particular browser or OS that Tiller works best with?
Yes, Google Chrome best browser, doesn’t matter which OS really as long as computer vs mobile.

I initially added in my roth ira and 401k — they are confusing the heck out of me. I tried to login to tiller to remove those accts and it doesn’t seem like they ahve been removed from my actual tiller sheet
You’ll need to manually remove the data that was already added from Transactions and Balance History, we have a help article on how to do this here.

Can you say about more about what is considered a transfer?
More on transfers here.

If your credit card is stolen and the number changes, what’s the best way not to have double entries with the new number?
Usually the data feed handles this pretty well and the re-issued card may actually be the same account number, just a different card number, so nothing actually changes on the feed side of things (e.g. a new account doesn’t appear on the Console).

How do I get to the Help Center. Are there archived webinars?
Help Center is at https://help.tillerhq.com. Recent archived webinars are here on the community via this tag https://community.tillerhq.com/tag/webinar

What is the best method to access and use Tiller on the iPhone?
You can access/view your sheet using the Google Sheets app. You can categorize from the Google Sheets app as well. Right now, there isn’t a way to access add-ons in the Google Sheets app on mobile right now, but you can from a mobile browser like Chrome or Safari (if you’re using an iPad for example) so you’ll need to do things like updating sheets and running AutoCat from a laptop browser or one of those supported mobile browsers.

% of budget is the amount of that category in the total budget, bit a status % to date in the period, right?
The % of budget on the Monthly Budget dashboard is the % of the total expense budget allocated to the group.

I just bought a Chrome book. Can I export from my lap top my Quicken from the beginning of the year into Tiller without retyping it all?
Yes, you can export data from Quicken and use these steps to import into Tiller, I’m not sure of the specific version in the screenshots (2016 maybe). Steps here

What’s the best way to “experiment” with changes to a user’s main Template? How do you make a copy you can rename, keeping feeds and all intact (so you can try adding a column, etc.) and then rename or discard it?
You can create a named version from Version History under the File menu and then if you need to revert you can restore from that version or if you have any issues restoring you can make a copy of that revision. Steps here

it looks like my Accounts tab is missing from my foundation template… how do i add it back?
It’s likely just hidden. Just click the four horizontal lines in the lower left corner of the Google Sheet to unhide.

What’s your recommendation for estimating freelance tax in the sheet?
If you have a really simple tax situation/freelance business you can use this Estimated Tax sheet from Tiller Labs. Please read the Assumptions and Expectations section carefully for best practices with whether or not your situation is “simple” Estimated Quarterly Tax Sheet Comprehensive Guide - otherwise, you’ll likely want to work with a tax professional on that.

I pay a certain amount each month into a joint checking account from my personal checking account and my partner (not on Tiller) pays the same amount from his bank into the joint checking account. We also have a joint credit card that gets automatically paid from the joint checking account each month. How do I notate each of these accounts so I don’t get debited or credited double? Or half? Or … I’m obviously confused. I’m using the foundations template.
Best option is to keep a separate sheet for the shared accounts and use Transfers to help with keeping these types of transactions organized.

When you spend money out of savings how do you handle that?
The money moving between checking and savings accounts should be categorized as transfers so they don’t show in the budget/cashflow and then when you spend the money you transferred back to checking (when you need to spend the savings) just use the category appropriate for the expense.

Is it possible to get the first and second videos for better understand since I missed them???
Yes, over in the community. Here is the URL: Webinar: Get a grip on your finances series

How do you recommend managing the situation where one partner is interested in doing Tiller and categorizing transactions while another is not?
One person can be the “accountant” and the other can get the highlights or give inputs as needed rather than needing both to spend time categorizing. AutoCat can also help with categorization maintenance.

Is there any way to make it so that my wife can refresh/update our accounts from Google Sheets even though I’m the “Tiller admin?” Thanks!
Best recommendation for this would be to create a shared Google account so you both have access to refresh the accounts on the Tiller Console and update the sheet via the Tiller Money Feeds add-on.

When AutoCat runs, does it run over the entire spreadsheet each time? Or, does it run over a subset of the spreadsheet?
The default settings will only run against uncategorized transactions in the last 90 days. You can change those dropdown settings to have it run against the entire transaction history and even those that are already categorized.

I link my retirement accounts to my main Tiller sheet because I do want to track balances. I’m not interested in tracking transactions for these accounts in this sheet. But it bugs me to have uncategorized and unreconciled transactions. Recommendations? Can AutoCat do some sort of dummy categorizing/reconciling?
One idea is to have a separate sheet for tracking investments. But yes, AutoCat can help with categorizing those as “transfers” or another hidden category (mark as hide from reports on the Categories sheet) if they have similar descriptions.

Since you’ve seen so many couple budget examples, do you think the “his/hers” or “partner 1/partner 2” budget approach tends to work well for discretionary purchases?
It really depends on what’s best for you as a couple. Sometimes it’s helpful to track against the his/hers with discretionary, but other times it makes sense to just lump it all together.

When trying to add-on the Auto cat it says that I will allow Tiller to see all of my Google spreadsheets. Can I limit this to only certain sheets?
AutoCat (beta), our latest version, is in the Tiller Money Feeds add-on, which does not require the all spreadsheets drive permission. This may have been in reference to the previous version, in a different add-on, that does require that high level of permission.