Understand Your Spending With A Financial Comparison Google Sheet

Want to gain a better understanding of your spending and earning across time periods? Check out this quick financial comparison Google Sheet we put together to help you visualize your financial picture over two distinct time periods.

An easy way to better understand your spending is by comparing it across two time periods. The time periods could be a week, month, quarter, or year. When your income or spending changes from one period to the next, you can gain a better understanding of what happened by looking at which categories or groups changed the most and least.

Our financial comparison report is designed to help you gain those insights. The sheet compares your spending or earnings across any two different time periods you select. You can also select whether you want to view the report by categories or groups. The sheet will then pull data from your automated Transactions sheet and provides a quick analysis of the difference in the total amount and percent change

Financial Comparisons

Getting Started With A Google Sheets Comparison Report

  1. Open one of your Tiller spreadsheets.
  2. Copy the URL of your Tiller spreadsheet.
  3. Open the Reports Master sheet here.
  4. Right click the tab called “Comparisons” at the bottom.
  5. Click “copy to” from the menu.
  6. Paste the URL of your Tiller spreadsheet into the bottom of the window that opens.
  7. Click “Select” to copy the Comparisons sheet into your Tiller spreadsheet as a new sheet.
  8. Navigate back to your Tiller spreadsheet and find the new tab along the bottom called “Copy of Comparisons” and rename the sheet by double clicking the sheet name.

Easily Customize Your Financial Comparisons Report

You can customize this financial report by selecting whether you want the comparison organized by group or category and then choose the two periods to compare.

  1. Choose your comparison type, either categories or groups.
  2. Choose your 1st Time Period.
  3. Choose your 2nd Time Period.
  4. Gain insights.

time period selection

Time period options include This Month, Last Month, This Week, Last Week, This Year To Date, Last Year To Date, This Quarter, Last Quarter, and Last Year.

Understand Your Spending With Comparisons

Once you’ve customized the report’s settings this sheet shows you how your categories and groups are changing from one time period to the next. Feel free to adjust the time periods as much as you want to get additional insights.

The amount in the Difference column is calculated by subtracting the amount in the 2nd Time Period from that in the 1st Time Period. The % Change column calculates the percent difference  from the 1st to the 2nd Time Period.

The Difference column is color-coded to help you visualize the biggest changes.

comparison table

Expenses will be negative numbers and income will be positive, just like the Amount values in the Transactions sheet.

If a Category is marked as Hide in the Hide From Reports column on your Categories sheet, it won’t appear in this report. It also won’t appear if the total amount in both time periods is zero.

If you want to see the magic of how the sheet works, unhide Columns F through AD. Hover over the header (row 1) in these hidden cells to learn more about what each column is doing.

Important Notes

This sheet requires a Tiller Transactions sheet with Columns labeled Date, Category and Amount. It also requires a Tiller Categories sheet with Category, Group and Hide From Reports columns. The columns can be listed in any order.

Amounts for categories that are marked as “Hide” on the Categories sheet will be calculated into the report if you use a Groups comparison view.

If you mess around with what’s in the hidden columns, and something breaks, copy in a fresh version and start new. We can’t support fixing broken copies of this sheet due to editing the hidden columns so please start with a new copy and have fun!

Heather Phillips

Heather Phillips

Heather comes from a background of user experience design & customer support. She loves helping others learn, explore and discover better ways to use applications and products that improve their lives. When she’s not coaching customers on Tiller best practices, tweeting or writing blogs, she’s probably at a yoga class, out for a hike in the Blue Ridge, or off volunteering for a variety of non-profits.

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