Winning Money Routines That Keep People in Control of Their Finances (Part 1)

We recently asked Tiller Money Memo subscribers to share their money routines. We had an amazing response – so much so that we’ll have to post them in three parts!

You can read the first post here.

It was surprisingly inspiring to read these routines. A few things jumped out:

  • Several college students responded – gives me hope for the future. ?
  • It’s fun to read how people incorporate Tiller into their routine (though of course not all of the responses come from people who use Tiller).
  • A large number of people track finances with a spouse or partner, and some even involve the kids.
  • Many, many responses focused on tracking and categorizing spending – which is often noted as the second most important financial habit (after spending less than you make).

As promised, three random entries won a $50 Amazon gift card. We’re going to do this again!

“Every morning I load up my Excel sheet connected to Tiller and update my net worth chart. I love watching the roller coaster! – Chris, Veazeytech.com

“My wife and I are both full-time artists and sometimes money can be a discouraging thing. Each month I run a report on how much money we made from our art and celebrate it. I used to focus only on our spending, but focusing on the income and celebrating it brings a positive perspective to finances for me. I’ve been meaning to celebrate this with my wife as well (this is a relatively new practice for me), so this is a nice reminder to do that.” – Nathan, Nathanpeterson.net

“Weekly budget meetings when our son is asleep to review our recent transactions and to review what’s going on the upcoming week and month.” – Crystal

“The first thing I do when I sit down at my desk every morning is review my new transactions. I categorize them so my wife and I know at the start of every day where we are vs. our monthly budget.” – Josh

“Every Friday I review where I am financially as compared to my budget to see how much I can splurge that weekend.” – John

“Every January 1st I max out my ROTH IRA contribution. It’s something my mom taught me to do and I made my first deposit when I got my first job out of college.” – Stephanie

“I like to update and review my finances daily after I finish my morning meditation when I am centered and at peace to get a clear picture of my finances.” – Bob

“Using Tiller, I created a Chart depicting our monthly discretionary spending remaining. The discretionary budget is automatically calculated based on previous months’ transactions (Projected Income minus projected living expenses).

Every few days, I check the chart to ensure we are on track to stay within our discretionary budget and this way we know we are not spending the money we need for bills or if we have room for s bit of splurging.” – Stephanie

“I normally do categorize my finances on Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee so I can plan my grocery budget and meals out for the week with my budgeting.” Danielle

“My banking institution (America First Credit Union) has a money manager app that syncs with other banking institutions to show track all transactions, spending, and a budget if you want to set one up.

At the end of each day, I categorize transactions. And each weekend, I review my spending against my budget. At the end of each month, I review my spending against my budget, transfer any extra cash to savings, and estimate my budget for the next month.” – Monica

“We started a weekly budget night on Tuesday night and the kids understand that is our time to talk about money stuff- they even come to us with ‘budget requests!’” – Chris

“I categorize transaction data on a bi-weekly basis. I do so every Sunday and Wednesday, preferably over coffee. My wife and I use Tiller to help us predict how much we’ll have in savings after we both graduate from college, which we talk about every week or so.” – German

“I review and categorize transactions 2-3 times per week so I don’t get behind. Then, every week on Thursday (my husband and I get paid on alternating Thursdays), I go in and divvy up our income and make transfers from the Income account into our various accounts. We follow a Profit First method for bookkeeping (designed for small business but works great for personal, too!).

Using this method, we put a little bit into savings, take care of our bills, and allocate a little bit for spending for each of us every single week. It works great!” – Valerie, Aclevercat.com

“I’ve had a Sunday night money routine for quite a while. I pay bills and categorize transactions. But I’ve moved to more of a daily routine for categorizing transaction since I moved to Tiller at the beginning of the year. The daily update that Tiller sends let’s us categorize transactions while they are still top of mind. It still have a Sunday night routine but it doesn’t take as long because I’m categorizing most transactions during the week.” – Rob, @oliverplanning

“As a money speaker and coach, I have to lead by example and be on top of my money! I usually check in on my credit card apps twice per money to make sure everything looks right, and I have my savings automated (pay myself first!) so I don’t have to worry doing it. Once a month, I sit down to take a deeper look at my finances — usually Sunday night with a big glass of water — and see how I’m tracking towards my goals. I’m on track to save $100k by 25, so that’s my big target right now.” – Tori, Victorimedia.com


At least once a week, I review my spending. I actively look for ways to reduce what I see in my review as ‘extra’. This keeps me honest when I feel the need to splurge on things such as coffee, etc at the pricey coffee shop. I move any extra money at the end of the month to my savings account. – Carla

“As a college student, budgeting and staying up with my finances is key to making sure I am staying above the water. In order to do this, I have recently began envelope budgeting, where I divide my total monthly budget between 10 categories.

I use cash only, as I believe this holds me accountable and makes me more aware of my finances. As I spend money, I use Fidgit app to track all expenses to keep track of my finances daily.” – Chaela

“My wife and I are ever evolving our routine but it stands today as so:

Daily emails sent to my wife with a goal tracking meter and spend log for our most over budget category: Groceries. Also in that report is a list of uncategorized items that need attention. My favorite feature Autocat but the rules don’t catch everything and the daily log is a helpful reminder to stay on top of categorizing throughout the month. Having our budget live in google sheets allows me to customize our workflows like this. Daily email charts and reports are just one of the many we’ve done as our budget routine has evolved.

Finally, at the end of the mont,h we sit down over coffee and review spend vs plan. We call out areas where we did good, areas to improve on and make tweaks to our budget as needed for the coming month. Rinse. Repeat.” – Steve

“Every month, I go through and code our Tiller on my couch next to my wife while the TV is on. As I’m coding, I’m making sure every charge is familiar or asking my wife what it relates to if I don’t recognize it. Then, once that’s done, I check the monthly budget to see how we are lining up and if we spent more than we make.

My wife couldn’t care less about finances, but I am a hawk and tell her how we are doing month to month, where we are probably overspending, and see if there are any reasons why certain trends are happening and if it will continue. It’s a good way to easily get her involved in our finances even though she doesn’t have to do any of the legwork!” – Mark

Edward Shepard

Edward Shepard

Marketing Lead at Tiller. Writer. Spreadsheet nerd. Get in touch with partnership ideas at edward @ tillerhq.com.

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