Visualize Your Money Trends With a Waterfall Chart in Google Sheets

Here's a free waterfall chart template for Google Sheets to show how your money trends change over time.

When it comes to understanding your money trends, a waterfall chart can show you how your income, spending, or savings totals are affected by positive and negative changes over time.

Because a waterfall chart is color-coded, it’s an easy way to visualize positive vs negative trends.

Tiller Community member Joseph Fieber recently built a Waterfall Chart for Google Sheets powered by Tiller Money Feeds.

This template is available for free in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets

Here’s a quick overview of this helpful visualization tool directly from Joseph :

What is the goal of your workflow? What problem does it solve, or how does it help you?

I use a ‘Waterfall’ chart to show category or group totals for selectable time periods and make how expenditures fit within income more apparent.


How did you come up with the idea for your workflow?

My wife doesn’t understand numbers. To help her understand where our money is going, I need to provide visuals.

Pie charts and Bar charts are OK for comparing categories to each other, but I wanted to include how expenditures fit within earnings.

While figuring out how to do that, I stumbled across the ‘Waterfall’ chart type, included in Google Sheets.

A waterfall chart shows how values add or subtract from a starting value. When referencing a sorted query, the chart uses vertical bars showing how your income was generated, and then a cascade of increasingly larger subtractions for each category or group, with a subtotal at the end showing the difference between your income and expenses.

Please describe your workflow. What are the sheets? Does it use any custom scripts or formulas?

Everything exists within one sheet that you can install via the Tiller Community Solutions extension.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

You can change the period of time you’re seeing transactions by using the ‘Period’ dropdown. You can change if you’re viewing by category or group using the ‘View By’ dropdown.

If you enter the description of your paycheck transactions in R3 (you’ll need to unhide the columns on the right side of the sheet by clicking the black triangle on the right side of the column P header), you’ll see additional paycheck options in the Period dropdown.

Note that the ‘Paycheck’ options will be most useful for those with a single major pay source:

  • Current Paycheck – Enter your paycheck ‘Description’ in R3 (either the entire description or a unique portion). Period starts on the date of the first transaction with a description that contains R3, and extends until now.
  • Previous Paycheck – Enter your paycheck ‘Description’ in R3 (either the entire description or a unique portion). Period starts on the date of the second transaction with a description that contains R3, and extends until the day before the first transaction with a description that contains R3.
  • Since Last Sunday – Period starts on the most recent Sunday and extends until now.
  • Since Start of Month – Period starts on the first day of the current month and extends until now.
  • Previous Month – Period starts on the first day of last month and extends until the last day of last month.
  • Since Start of Year – Period starts on the first day of the current year and extends until now.
  • Previous Year – Period starts on the first day of last year and extends until the last day of last year.
  • Number of Days – After selecting this period, B4 will become visible so you can enter a number. The period starts the number of days you entered before now, and extends until now.
  • All – Period starts on the date of your oldest transaction and extends until now.

Is it ok for others to copy, use, and modify your workflow?

Yes, please, and please provide feedback on any issues you encounter and/or suggestions on how to make improvements!

How to get the template

This template is available for free in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets.

Share your questions or feedback about this template

Visit this thread in the Tiller Community to share your questions and feedback.

Edward Shepard

Edward Shepard

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

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for randy randy says:

    I love this @jpfieber. It was kind of eye-opening for me. I added it to my sheet, entered previous year and saw that we lost money— which wasn’t a surprise. What was uncanny though was that we were within a few dollars of breakeven until a significant tax expenditure (the final bar on the right).

    Out of the box, I had it working in under a minute.

    I especially like the way you built the column header finders with REGEXEXTRACT(). It’s a cleaner approach than the one I’ve been using forever.

    Really nicely done overall.

    Would you be willing to add a Tiller Community badge? The intent is to communicate that the solution is built for compatibility with Tiller’s data structure and will protect user privacy. Most of the formerly-Tiller-Money-Labs templates have been updated to include the logo and a “Learn & Discuss” link to help content. You can DM me if you have any questions or feedback on this idea…


  2. Thanks, glad you like it and that it worked well for you. I spent a lot of time converting it from a ‘just for me’ to something that should work for most users, and that process actually helped me come up with a number of improvements that made it better than what I started with.

    I can’t take credit for the REGEXTRACT header finder, I copied that from the Detailed Category Tracker, so I think it’s @cculber2 we have to thank. I agree that it is quite excellent and should probably be base code for most community templates!

    I did plan on adding the badge after I was sure it actually worked for someone other than me. If you can let me know here or in DM the details of size, preferred URLs, etc I’m happy to add it.

  3. I’m afraid I can’t take credit for the usage of REGEXTRACT(), which was original to Tiller’s Category Tracker sheet. :sweat_smile:

  4. Avatar for randy randy says:

    Sadly, that process of abstracting your creations to make them work seamlessly in a foreign sheet is often the most time consuming part of the sharing process. I know how you feel… but I’m glad to hear there were some improvements that it unlocked for you, @jpfieber.

    Regarding the badge, I’d just load one of the newly updated templates in TCS, @jpfieber, and copy those two cells over with their formatting (and update the community URL). We don’t have firm guidelines (yet) regarding exactly how it all goes together. Thanks for being the first!!! :medal_sports:

    That Category Tracker template is OLD! I think that must be a @tom or @jono original. I always try to use the latest and greatest formulas from past creations, but somewhere along the line that REGEXTRACT() was lost until you unearthed it, @cculber2. :bone:

    Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Thanks for this, this is really helpful. I hope I can ask for a modification, I think I can do it myself but not sure if I want to edit the SQL and break something.

    My paycheck description isn’t always the same, the last few characters is the date. Is there a way for a “starts with” instead of “match” in the SQL?

Continue the discussion at community.tillerhq.com

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