Photo: Ashim D Silva
Tiller tracks the financial transactions for all of your linked accounts in a Google Sheet. If you spend cash, it’s likely that you see the cash come out of your checking account as an ATM withdrawal. That’s the last Tiller will likely see of that money. Using a single category for that ATM transaction doesn’t really tell the whole story if you spend that chunk of cash in many ways over many days.
Simple Cash Spending Tracking
So how can you track cash spending with Tiller? The most simple method involves adding new rows into your Transactions tab when you spend cash, effectively splitting the original ATM withdrawal into multiple rows. For example, a -$40 withdrawal could be duplicated into three rows. The first row might be for parking for -$10 (perhaps categorized as “transportation”), the second row for lunch from a street vendor for -$12 (perhaps categorized as “eating out), and the third row some raspberries and other produce at the farmer’s market for -$18 (perhaps categorized as groceries). Each row can be categorized differently, and the details of your cash spending is now captured in your Tiller Transactions tab.
For more specific advice about how to categorize your transactions read our post on “Which category should I use?”
Super Tidy Cash Accounting
Most of us spend less cash and use more plastic these days. But if you’re really into the nitty gritty of cash spending, you can go further. When you see -$40 ATM withdrawal, first categorize it as a Transfer. Then, duplicate the row on your Tiller Transactions tab and change the amount in this new row to a positive $40. Finally, change the data in the field for the “Account Name” column to “Cash” on the new row and categorize it as Transfer as well.
Next, you’ll want to do the same thing you did in the Simple Cash Spending Tracking method and create new rows for each of your cash transactions. Using the example from above, there will be a row for your -$10 parking cash transaction, one for the -$12 street food, and a final one for the $-18 farmer’s market produce.
Reviewing your Cash Spending
Want to drill down to focus on your Cash spending? You can quickly filter your transactions on the “Account Name” column to show only your Cash account by selecting the blue filter triangle in the column header for the Account Name column. Choose the “clear” all values. Then select only the “Cash” account value. Then click okay.
Curious to see if you’ve accounted for all of your cash? If you enter your cash transactions as described above, you should find that cash coming in to this “Cash account” totals the cash going out. In the below example, we’ve withdrawn another $20 from the ATM and used $5 of it for a vending machine snack. We’ve filtered the “Account Name” column to show only the Cash account, and we’ve selected all the values in the “Amount” column. Google Sheets does a quick Sum in the bottom of the window, which totals $15. That’s the balance in our Cash account, which should total the money in our wallet or purse.