How To Prepare Your Tiller Spreadsheet Budget for a New Year

Here are a few simple, optional steps for optimizing your Tiller spreadsheet budgets for a new year.

You might be wondering whether there is anything special you need to do to your Tiller-powered spreadsheet budget for the new year. This guide is meant to help you navigate what to do when the new year rolls around. 

Note that these instructions cover the Foundation Template. If you’re using a Tiller Community template such as the Savings Budget, you should search the Tiller Community for steps on how to prepare for the new year in that template.

1. Decide how much history you need

transactions sheet foundation template 2021

First, you should ask yourself whether you want to keep your historical budget targets in your Foundation template into the next year.

The benefit of keeping last/current year’s budget targets in the spreadsheet as you plan for the next year is that you’ll have the budget history for analysis alongside your actuals.

You can also go ahead and start planning for the new year. The only downside is that you may notice the sheet becomes slower after several years of data accumulation.

2. Keeping historical budget targets

tiller foundation template 2022 google sheets yearly budget simple browser

If you want to keep your historical budget targets, you can also configure your Foundation template for multi-year budgeting. You’ll gain additional budget months beyond the normal 12.

Follow the steps in this guide to set up your Foundation Template for multi-year budgeting.

This option will allow you to start building your budget plan for the new year before it actually starts.

3. Clearing historical budget targets

If you do not want to keep your historical budget targets, you can overwrite the budget months in the Categories sheet for the new year.

This option does not allow you to start planning before the new year starts. You should plan to make this change in January.

In Google Sheets

Change the budget start month on the Categories sheet (usually in cell E1) to be the first day of the new year on New Year’s Day. You’ll notice that your budget targets for your categories do not shift with the change so at this point you’re re-using the same budget targets for each month that you did in the previous year. Feel free to customize these for the new year.

In Microsoft Excel

Right-click any tab along the bottom to unhide the “New Year” sheet.

Copy and paste the new year’s budget month dates starting in cell E1.

Because of the way Excel Tables work, we were not able to use a formula in the header row in the Categories sheet for the budget months so the months have to be manually typed and formatted appropriately.

We added the New Year sheet as a helper to quickly get the new months into your Categories sheet.

4. How to back up your Tiller budget

Make Copy

While both Google Sheets and Excel have powerful revision control, we suggest making a copy of your Tiller-powered spreadsheets before making big changes to them. (For example!)

  • In Google Sheets, click File > Make a copy
  • In Microsoft Excel, Click File > Save a Copy

With a backup of your previous budget to reference as needed, you can now clear your past year of transaction data.

(This may be necessary if you have several years of transaction data in your sheet and notice your spreadsheets are slowing down.)

Read more: How to Archive My Tiller-Powered Google Spreadsheet

5. Starting fresh

You can always start fresh in a new spreadsheet for the new year. Just follow the steps in the Foundations Guide here for starting a new sheet or make a copy of your existing spreadsheet (from the File menu: Google Sheet > Make a copy, Microsoft Excel > Save as) and clear out the past years’ data to start planning for the new year ahead of time.

After you fill your new spreadsheet with your financial transactions just clear out past years’ data from the Transactions sheet to have a fresh start with only the new year’s data.

This option will allow you to start building your budget plan for the new year before it actually starts.

Watch webinars on prepping your spreadsheet budgets for the New Year

“Should I start a new sheet? How do I add budgets for the new year to my current sheet? How do I know where my money went this year?”

For the past couple of years, Tiller has hosted a webinar with live Q&A to provide guidance on how to get your sheet ready for the new year, with tips on how to review your past spending trends.

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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