Spreadsheets are the most flexible tool for managing your financial life.
However, no one wants to spend time manually entering bank transactions into a spreadsheet.
If you don’t use Tiller Money to automate your financial spreadsheets, you can still export your bank data with a CSV file and import it into a Google spreadsheet.
What is a CSV File?
CSV, or comma-separated values, is a file type that contains a list of data separated by–you guessed it–commas.
These files allow for the data to be quickly and easily transported from one source to another. While you can open a CSV file with many different programs, the most commonly used program is a spreadsheet editor like Google Sheets.
How to Create a CSV File
To create a CSV file of your bank transactions, go to your bank’s website, locate the export feature, and choose CSV from the available file types.
When you export the file, it will appear in the downloads folder in your computer’s file explorer.
To make it easier to locate the file later, find it in your downloads folder and transfer it to your Documents or Desktop folder.
How To Paste CSV Into Google Spreadsheet
To get your CSV file into a Google spreadsheet:
- Open Google Sheets
- Choose “File” → “Import” → “Upload” → “Select a file from your computer.”
- Choose your CSV file from your Documents or Desktop folder.
- The following window will pop up. Choose “Import data.”
How To Clean Up A Spreadsheet CSV File
The imported data will look ugly. There will be extra information you probably won’t need, and the information you do need won’t be formatted correctly.
Get rid of what you don’t need
Start by removing the columns you don’t need. Right click on the column letter. In the pop-up menu, choose “Delete column” to get rid of the data or “Hide column” if you don’t want to see the data but think you may find it useful later.
Use the CONCATENATE formula to combine columns
Some banks import the debits and credits in different columns, which isn’t ideal for a budget spreadsheet. To combine the data into one column, add a column to the left of the debit column by right-clicking on the column letter and choosing “Insert 1 left.”
Next, use CONCATENATE formula. CONCATENATE allows you to combine the data in multiple columns without manually copying and pasting or retyping each cell.
Because of the syntax, the formula is slightly different for the debits than it is for the credits.
For the debits:
For the credits:
Once your data is combined, you can hide the original debits and credits columns. Be careful not to delete them; if you do, the data for the CONCATENATE function will be erased.
By following these steps to import CSV into a Google Sheet, you can quickly create a budget spreadsheet or manually import your bank data into your Tiller Money-powered spreadsheet.