Tiller Video Tour 7: Track Your Spending and Make a Monthly Budget

Tiller is the easiest way to track your spending and build a monthly budget in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

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Edited video transcript:

 Hi, I’m Peter Polson with Tiller. In the last videos, we created our own Foundation Template spreadsheet. We populated that with all of our transactions from all of our accounts. Then we created categories that reflect our goals on how we think about money, and we applied those categories to our transactions.

Some of those transactions we categorize manually and others with AutoCAD. So now we have a month or more of transaction data all categorized and what does it look like? We’re dying to see what does our spending look like. So our next step is to go over to the monthly budget sheet. Now that I’m on the monthly budget sheet, I can select my month.

In my year, and once I’ve chosen those, I can see all my categories here and I can see the actual spending under the actual column. This is a really helpful glance at what is my actual spending across all my transactions organized by category, by month. And of course, each of these categories is organized by groups.

This alone is a huge win because suddenly I can see what does my spending look like. I’m gonna roll ahead to February, all the totals update, and again, I can see what is my actual spending for each category. By month classes are 3 35 stuff is 360 3. Many people find that tracking alone is a huge victory and that is where they want to be in terms of feeling in control of their money.

But if you want to take it to the next step, you can start to set budgets. Budgets are a really helpful mindfulness practice where you’re thinking ahead to the next month and thinking, what am I gonna spend? And then at the end of that month, you’re looking back and seeing how did that forecast compare with my actuals?

Let’s look at how we could set up a quick budget here for the next month. So we have our actual spending here for February. We’re gonna go over to our category sheet, and this is where we set our budgets. We can set a monthly budget for each category. So for example, what if we wanted to set our phone budget for the month of March?

Well, let’s go back and look at the monthly budget and we look for phone, and we can see that in February we spent 85. So I’m gonna go back to my category sheet, and for March I’m gonna type in $90. That quickly populates across the rest of the year. In April, may, June, each of them referenced the prior sell, and each of them are gonna borrow that same $90 budget.

Well, if I think ahead, I know in April we’re gonna be traveling internationally, so there’s gonna be some roaming charges. I’m gonna bump that up to a hundred, and then in May I’m gonna bring that back down to 90 and it carries out 90 for the rest of the year. You can dial in all your budgets by category by month here and adjust them as much as you want.

If we go to the next category, utilities, and we set that budget, I can keep referring back to the monthly budget sheet, but instead, what I’m actually gonna do to make this easier, I’m gonna open two new sheets. One is my monthly budget sheet, the other is my category sheet. Now I can scroll down and see my monthly budgets, and I can go here.

I’m gonna drag this slider so that I always see my categories. Then I’m gonna scroll over. As I scroll through my monthly budget on the left and I look at my actuals column, I can start to forecast what do I think my spending’s gonna be for each of these categories? I’m gonna go utilities, restaurants, and start to fill them all in.

All right Now I have all my budgets entered for each category. I’m gonna go back to the big view in a single browser. Looking at my monthly budget, let’s pretend we’ve rolled ahead to March. Let’s look at March. I now have my spending for March categorized, and let’s actually see how did we compare against that budget?

Well, income’s usually the easiest because we, if we’re getting our income from a paycheck, it’s fairly predictable. But if we go down to the bills and the discretionary, we can start to see. If we look at gear and clothing, I had a budget of 300 I had spending in March of 2 74 that left $25 available. I can go down to the following lines and I can see with each line what my budget is, what my spending was, and if it’s in red, I know I overspent.

I had a budget of 300 and I spent 381, whereas with subscriptions, I had a budget of 200. I only spent 136. Net net. I can look up here and I can see my total budgeted spending across all my categories was 5,040, and my total actual spending was 4,979. That brought me $60 under budget. That’s actually a fairly tight budget.

If you go through and do this month after month, your first month, you might have a wide variance, not only in some categories, but overall you might be way off from where your budget is. Again, this is a practice and if you keep doing it month after month, you’re gonna get better at it. Success isn’t that your numbers are exact.

Success is actually, you just feel more in control about your finances and if you keep doing this month after month, I’m sure you will feel more in control about your dollars. One last thing here. As I look through, I notice a few things that I want to clean up. First of all, I’ve noticed that utilities is under the living category and actually wanna bring that up to the Bills category.

So I’m gonna go to my category, she, and I’m gonna enter bills here. Now, if I go back to my monthly budget, utilities has been brought right up to that Bills group section. It’s no longer under living. There’s also a few categories. There’s repairs and there’s parking. I’m not using those categories anymore.

Furthermore, there’s freelance. So I’m gonna go back to my category sheet and I’m gonna delete those categories. I’m gonna delete repairs, I’m gonna delete freelance, just delete those rows, and I’m gonna delete parking as well. Now again, I’m gonna refer back to my monthly budget sheet. And those are gone.

And this is now a monthly budget, both with actual spending and budgeted spending that reflects my best categories and all my spending of the last month. Next up, I’m gonna show you how to create some custom reports. We’re actually gonna create a pivot table as another view into tracking how we’re spending, and it’s gonna show you how to take advantage of some of the capabilities of having all your money in a spreadsheet.

I’ll see you there. Thanks.

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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