Microsoft Excel

Zero-Based Budget Template for Microsoft Excel

This Zero Based Budget template for Microsoft Excel includes monthly and yearly spending plan management, full-year cash flow forecasting, a debt elimination planner, transaction splits, native compatibility with Tiller Money Feeds, and much more.

The following Tiller Community Template was created and updated several times by Tiller Community member alex.mtz.

You can read about the template and his design process below, and ask questions and share feedback here in the Tiller Community

What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve, or how does it help you?
This is a Zero Based Budget template for Microsoft Excel that integrates with Tiller Money Feeds. The template includes:

  • Debt Elimination Planner
  • Transaction Splits
  • Reconciliation
  • Monthly and Annual spending plan management
  • Reporting
  • Data quality validation
  • Full-year cash flow forecasting and management.
  • Auto file lock with a personal password for data security
  • Auto-categorization
  • Smart-category-suggestions


I used Quicken for over 20 years and was never satisfied with the budgeting capabilities so I ended up building my own Excel tool, importing data from Quicken into it.

I gave it to some close friends to use, and one of them asked me if there was a way they could import bank data directly into it. I did some research and found Tiller. Actually, I found Money in Excel and Tiller.

However, it was quickly obvious that there was no comparison. Tiller had by far the best user-value proposition. And it was really easy to integrate Tiller Money Feeds in the Excel workbook.

This was done as a hobby on weekends. I figured it would be good to make this available as a free option that “natively” supports Tiller.  It’s not part of the Tiller Excel Template, so needs to be linked separately from the template.

Please describe your workflow. What are the sheets? Does it use any custom scripts or formulas?
This is built with scripts and is (mostly) locked for customization (except for a few free sheets where you can add any custom pivots, graphs, reports, etc).

It’s built to provide a comprehensive budgeting solution in Excel for individuals who do not have a lot of deep Excel knowledge and want something feature-full without requiring a lot of their own customization work.

Anything else you’d like people to know?
I am interested in feedback and suggestions for improvement. The template isn’t intended for a large audience, as it is just my hobby, but I will be improving the tool for my own use and would be glad to entertain suggestions for improvement or answer questions not covered in the built-in documentation or the videos (please use those first!).

Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?
The tool is completely free to use (outside of course the Tiller Money subscription), but requires an activation file to continue to use after the first 90 days.

The free activation file is valid for all future versions and has no expiration date. As mentioned above it is built with scripts and is (mostly) locked for customization (except for a few free sheets where you can add any custom pivots, graphs, reports, etc).

This post is my invitation for the Tiller audience to download and use the template/tool. The link includes a zip file, a release notes PDF file, and an Installation Instructions PDF file (ie: how to extract the zip contents).

The workbook only runs on Excel, and only on a local version of Excel (Office365). All data remains local. It also only runs on the Windows operating system (does not yet support Apple/Mac computers).

Zero Based Budget Template User Guide Video


Each sheet in the workbook has built-in instructions. However, the above YouTube channel has detailed examples and instructions. Note that the video links are also embedded in the Excel sheet itself for each access. The > 20 videos are each quite long, however you can skip through to find what you need.

Update – Version 5 (01/19/2023)

Debt Elimination Planner

v5.00 includes a major enhancement in the form of the Debt Elimination Planner. It provides an extremely powerful and effective way to plan for debt elimination and to simulate the effect of different strategies on interest payment reduction and on the final Debt-Free date.

The tool provides the following features, which can assist in setting budget items for debt reduction for the current year.

* Model payoff of up to 20 debts
* Simulate payoff using the standard Snowball Method, the Avalanche Method, or a Custom Snowball method.
* View a Debt-Free date with each scenario
* View the effect of an extra budgeted monthly payment (you can try setting different amounts)
* View Charts showing the total overall principal balance, and individual balances, over time for a given strategy
* See the interest savings of each strategy, and of extra monthly payment amounts, over a simple minimum payment approach.
* Produces payment schedules showing the optimum placement the to-be-budgeted extra monthly payment (ie: which debt to target that payment to).

Once a payoff strategy and extra payment amount is determined, you can add the monthly payments to the zero-based budget on the next sheet (Expense Planning).

View: Debt Elimination Toolkit using the Excel “Managing My Money” Spreadsheet 


How To Install the free Zero-Based Budget Template

  1. Download Link: MMM_ToolDownload  via Google Drive
  2. Download the workbook containing the Category Tracker to your local hard drive.

Support & Documentation

  • View documentation for the Zero-Based Budget Template for Microsoft Excel here the Tiller Community
  • All Tiller Community Solutions are exclusively supported in the Tiller Community

Tiller Community Solutions FAQ

Is this template free?

This is a free template built by a member of the Tiller Community. While it’s free for anyone to use, it’s designed for spreadsheets automated by Tiller. Additionally, it’s recommended for use within the Foundation Template.

What is Tiller?

Tiller is the only automated personal finance service for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Tiller automatically tracks your daily spending, income, and balances in your spreadsheets, so you can see all your finances in one place and manage your money, your way. Learn more →

What is the Tiller Community Solutions Add-on?

The Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets is an easy way to install dozens of free, prebuilt sheets for tracking your budgets, debt payoff goals, net worth, savings, and more. It also includes several helpful spreadsheet utilities and CSV importers.

Does this template have any dependencies or special requirements?

This template for Google Sheets works best when installed in Tiller’s Foundation Template.

Have questions about this template?

Visit the Tiller Community with any questions about this template.

Tiller Community Solutions

Browse free budgeting and personal finance templates made by the Tiller Community for spreadsheets powered by Tiller Money Feeds