Join the 2019 Spreadsheet Builders Challenge

The 2019 Spreadsheet Builders Challenge invites you to enter to win up to $1500 by creating impactful personal finance solutions based in Google Sheets and powered by Tiller Money Feeds. 

  • The Spreadsheet Builders Challenge presents two honors  – The Judges Award for $1000 and the Community Choice Award for $500. 
  • All solutions are shared in the Tiller Money Community.
  • The Challenge aims to inspire the creation of new spreadsheet-based tools that empower people with greater control of their financial lives.
  • It will also showcase the creativity of spreadsheet enthusiasts across the U.S.
  • Read how to enter, requirements, and key dates below.

Sign up to learn more and get updates for the Builder Challenge →


Why Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful, accessible, and flexible tools for solving problems. And the #1 stressful problem for most people is money and finances.

Each day, millions of people ask themselves: 

  • Where does my money go month after month?
  • What strategy will help me deal with my debt? And how much do I really owe?
  • How can I save more (or any) money each month for retirement, an emergency fund, to buy a house, or my child’s education?
  • How can my spouse and I get better in sync with our finances?
  • How can I easily understand the value of my investments?
  • How can I evaluate the long-term costs of various major payments?
  • How can I better track and understand my tax burden?
  • What is my net worth? 

All of the questions above can be answered in a spreadsheet. Indeed, spreadsheets have unique advantages for organizing, tracking, and understanding money.

However, a blank spreadsheet is a daunting place to begin. The 2019 Builders Challenge aims to generate dozens of spreadsheet examples to help people get started.

What We’re Looking For 

High-ranking solutions will:

  • Empower people with greater understanding and control of their financial situation. 
  • Solve specific personal finance riddles (like the examples above).
  • Showcase what’s possible in a spreadsheet (specifically Google Sheets for this challenge).
  • Function reliably with clean design and code.

Examples of what you might build:

  • A mobile-friendly dashboard for tracking spreadsheet finances on-the-go.
  • A dashboard for couples to mutually track shared finances. 
  • A debt calculator based on actual spending that helps people strategize how they can pay down debt.
  • A lending rate comparison tool based on current income. 
  • A visually dynamic spreadsheet with great UX.
  • Credit card benefits or fee tracker based on annual spending.
  • A budget for people who hate budgeting. 
  • A minimalist personal finance dashboard.
  • A student loan tracking and payoff tool.
  • The quirky but effective way you use a spreadsheet to manage your money

How to Participate

1 – Get Tiller Money Feeds.

2 – Explore Spreadsheet Builder Resources.

3 – Build your template.

4 – Submit and iterate on your solutions. 

  • All entries must be posted in the 2019 Builders Challenge category in the Tiller Money Community.
  • You can enter multiple solutions.
  • When you post your project, you will answer a few quick questions explaining how it works.
  • Your templates must be freely accessible to see, copy, and use for the duration of the challenge.
  • The best way to share your template is with a direct view-only link to the spreadsheet in Google Drive with “/template/preview” at the end of the URL, in place of “edit,” as seen in this spreadsheet.
  • You can continue to iterate on your solution until voting begins November 7.
  • Tiller Money will promote your project as long as a copy of your spreadsheet is accessible.  
  • You own your solution, even after you post it in the Tiller Money Community. Tiller will not own the rights to your project. We may ask permission to highlight your project in a gallery of templates compatible with Tiller Money. 

5 – Voting is open until November 20 and the winner is announced November 21.

  • Two prizes will be given, the Judges Award for $1000 and the Community Choice Award for $500. 
  • Judges evaluate all entries on criteria of quality, functionality, usefulness, and creativity.

6 – How Community Voting Works

  • The Community Choice Award is selected by voters in the Tiller Community.
  • Community members must be logged in to vote and can vote once for each entry. The entry with the most votes in the Community wins the Community Choice Award.
  • The top 10 runners-up will get a Tiller Money mug.
  • Builders can vote on other solutions entered into the challenge.

Requirements and Key Dates

+ The 2019 challenge is based in Google Sheets.

At Tiller, we love both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. However, for the 2019 contest, all entries must be designed for Google spreadsheets. They provide excellent accessibility and ease of sharing, and they’re free for anyone with a Google account. 

+ All entries must be fully compatible with Tiller Money Feeds

The Tiller Money Feeds Add-on automates virtually any Google Sheet with a feed of daily spending, account balances, and transactions from over 20,000 banks, credit cards, mortgages, brokerages, and other financial sources. 

By eliminating data entry, multiple account logins, and CSV’s, Tiller Money Feeds make personal finance spreadsheets faster, more app-like, and easier to use, bringing the benefits of personal finance spreadsheets to experts and beginners alike.

Note: while qualifying entries to the Spreadsheets for Financial Empowerment Challenge must be fully compatible with Tiller Money Feeds, manual data entry remains an option for people who prefer that approach or don’t want to subscribe to Tiller. 

+ Qualifying winners must be based in the U.S. to qualify for the cash prize.

For 2019, all entries must be based in the U.S. to qualify for the cash prize.

+ Key Dates

  • October 17 (Spreadsheet Day!) – Challenge kick-off
  • November 7 – Entries Closed, judges start to vote
  • November 7 to 20 – Voting is open
  • November 21 – Community and Judge’s winners announced, prizes distributed

+ Judges

Our panel of expert judges will select the winner of the $1000 Judges Award. Each is a well-recognized expert in their field. Together they have helped tens of thousands of people better understand and control their financial lives.

Ben L. Collins

Google Sheets guru, Google Developer Expert for G Suite Technology, data analyst and developer, founder of The Collins School of Data.

Paco De Leon

Financial educator, founder of The Hell Yeah Group, co-host of Refinery 29’s Money Diaries podcast, musician, and all-around financial wizard.

Jim-Wang

Jim Wang

Personal finance writer, speaker, publisher, and founder of leading personal finance site WalletHacks.com.

Elle Martinez

Founder of the Couple Money podcast and website, dedicated to helping families reduce debt, increase income, and achieve financial freedom.

Peter Polson

Founder, Tiller Money. Peter has spent his career building innovations that better people’s lives. Tiller was founded on the value that money matters because life matters more.

Brynne Conroy

Personal finance writer and speaker. Author of the Feminist Financial Handbook published in 2019.

Time to start building!

Again, if you get stuck, jump into the Tiller Money Community with any questions.

Here’s a successful and rewarding project!