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Do you love tracking your finances? Do you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you see data laid out beautifully in spreadsheets? Tiller Money automated spreadsheets may be just the personal finance tool you’ve been looking for.
Whether you’re experienced with financial tracking tools or you’re just getting started, Tiller Money guarantees to provide you deep insight into your finances.
Tiller has a ton of tools. They offer net worth tracking, category spending reports, transaction trends, and lots more. Their tools library is growing all the time.
There’s a lot to cover in this Tiller Money review. Let’s get into it.
What is Tiller Money?
Tiller Money is a financial tracking tool that uses automated spreadsheets. They offer a lot of tools for budgeting, managing taxes, tracking spending, and tools to help you get out of debt. Whether you’re interested in tracking your personal finances or you want tools to help manage your business, Tiller has something for you.
Like Mint or Personal Capital, Tiller lets you link your financial accounts. But with Tiller, you view your account information in Google Sheets.
As of January 2020, Tiller is available in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets in beta testing. Your Excel Workbooks can be stored in One Drive or on your local computer. Tiller only supports Excel installed from a subscription to Office 365.
Tiller offers some pretty cool customizations using its default tool, the Foundation Template. It also gives you access to a growing library of other tools, templates, and spreadsheets.
Tiller can automatically update your spreadsheets with information from over 20,000 financial institutions. They display all your transactions and linked account balances in the Foundation Template and, optionally, they’ll send you daily email updates.
How Much Does a Tiller Money Subscription Cost?
Tiller is currently $59 per year after a free 30-day trial. That’s about $4.92 every month.
What’s Included with a Tiller Money Subscription?
Tiller includes a lot in its subscription.
The Foundation Template is the first tool you’ll see after signing up and connecting your accounts. It’s your dashboard for getting a broad overview as well as a detailed look at your finances. The automated spreadsheets in the Foundation Template allow you to make a budget, track your spending, and quickly view your monthly and yearly trends.
Tiller Money includes a free tool called Feeds, which is how they keep your finances updated in your spreadsheets. You install the Tiller Money Feeds as an add-on in Google Sheets. After you select the accounts you want to keep automatically updated, Tiller Money Feeds does the rest.
Tiller offers another add-on called Tiller Labs which provides access to the solutions library.
The solutions library is what makes Tiller such a powerful and useful tool.
The library includes net worth snapshots, weekly spending reports, a debt snowball spreadsheet, and tools for small businesses like the Tiller Simple Business Spreadsheet — which looks great. And we’re just scratching the surface.
The solutions are all included in your subscription, but you’ll need to install them separately. Once installed, the solution will be added as another sheet in Tiller’s primary tool: the Foundation Template. As its name implies, this template is the foundation for all of Tiller’s spreadsheets and solutions.
After you open a Tiller Money account and connect your financial accounts, Tiller shows the default Foundation Template with its basic sheets populated.
To load the Foundation Template, you’ll first need to open an account. The setup process is pretty straight-forward, but due to working in Google Sheets, the setup process has a few extra steps. And I want to share my experience with attempting to link my financial accounts.
Opening a Tiller Money Account
Opening an account is easy. To try Tiller for free, simply sign in with your Google account.
As part of the sign-up process, you’ll need to enter a credit card. Tiller lets you know that you can cancel anytime.
During setup, I connected 4 of my accounts: bank, mortgage, student loan, and credit card. After adding each, Tiller displayed my account balances so I could see that the accounts were linking.
When I was finished, I clicked the ‘Close’ button and was taken back to the connect accounts step. I couldn’t see any of my accounts, and I was again prompted to link an account. Naturally, I was confused.
I reached out to support (who was very helpful) and it seems like there was a temporary server delay.
After a few minutes, my accounts showed up. I haven’t had any issues since then.
If you don’t see any accounts immediately, you may have to wait a few minutes. If you do have any problems, you’ll get a quick response from support.
After linking your accounts, you’ll be on the final step of the process — Step 3: Create a new Tiller Sheet.
Once you create a new sheet, you’ll be instructed on how to get started.
Once you go through the Getting Started instructions, you’ll be greeted with a Google Sheet showing your assets, liabilities, and net worth based on all the accounts you’ve linked.
This dashboard is your introduction to Tiller Money’s default tool: the Foundation Template.
The Foundation Template Spreadsheet
The Foundation Template includes all the basic spreadsheets you’ll need to get started. These sheets display information like your transaction trends and your net worth. The template comes ready to help you itemize your spending and set up your monthly and yearly budgets.
The Foundation Template offers a ton of out-of-the-box tools, insights, and features.
- At-a-glance overview of your assets, liabilities, and net worth
- Top 10 inflows by amount (highest sources of income)
- Top 10 outflows by amount (highest expenses)
- Top 10 accounts by activity
- Top 10 transactions by frequency
- Sheets for Transactions, Balances, Categories, and Monthly and Yearly Budgets
I really like the Top 10 groups that Tiller shows by default. I think they made some good decisions. Their dashboard overview covers everything I want to see at a glance.
You can customize your overview by filtering your data by account and time period. So if you want to see all your transactions from the past year for just one of your investment accounts, you can do that. You can also set custom time periods.
The Categories Sheet
The Categories sheet lets you customize categories in whatever way makes sense to you. You first create a Group — any kind of transaction you want — which a Category will belong to. A Category must have a Group and a Type (an income, expense, or transfer).
Groups can be anything you want, so you can categorize in ways that are difficult or impossible using more rigid financial tools. If you want a tool that lets you be extremely precise and take a granular, customizable approach to your finances, you’ll love creating your own Groups.
Some examples of Groups are Primary Income, Bills, Discretionary, and Side Hustle. Again, you can customize these to whatever works for you.
Categories, Transactions, and Budgets
One really cool thing about Categories is that they tie directly into the Transactions sheet and allow you to be extremely specific with your transactions. As you work your way through your Transactions, you’ll select a Category for each one. If a satisfactory Category doesn’t yet exist, you can just add a new Category to handle the situation.
The Category sheet is the central sheet for creating your budget. The categories you create are used to fill out your Transaction and Budget sheets.
After setting up your Category sheet, your Budget sheets show an overview of your expenses along with your planned cash flow and cash flow to date, spending budget compared to actual spending, and expected income compared with actual income.
Tiller Money also includes access to an automatic categorization tool (called AutoCat) that allows you to set custom rules for categorizing your transactions. This is a super cool tool! You can create rules to automatically add categories to transactions based on a search term — ‘bell’ would match for ‘Taco Bell’ — and you can apply that rule to all matching transactions.
You can also set rules for ‘account contains’, ‘institution contains’, and an amount range that the transaction must fall within. Very cool stuff.
To learn more, check out Tiller’s article on Getting Started with AutoCat or check out the YouTube video.
Manual Setup for Spreadsheet Lovers
When you first get started with Tiller, you’ll have some work to do to get your category, transaction, and budget data set up the way you want. Tiller thoughtfully forces you to be actively involved with your finances. This is exactly what you need to get your finances on track and keep things running smoothly.
If you’re into financial tracking and budgeting with spreadsheets, you’ll enjoy the process. Even if you’re not, going through the process will be a great opportunity for you to gain insight into your finances.
A very useful feature of Tiller is its out-of-the-box automated tables.
Under the monthly section, for example, if you change a category’s budget one month, the sheets automatically update all the following months with that value.
Anyone who has spent time building their own budget in Google Sheets or Excel will appreciate the utilities Tiller provides by default.
Support and Tutorials
Tiller has a lot of helpful documentation, videos, and tutorials. And my experience with their support staff was great.
If you get stuck or you just want some tips, Tiller’s YouTube channel offers a lot of walk-throughs and several how-to guides. You can get started with the Tiller Foundation Template video.
Tiller Labs: A Growing Library of Automated Spreadsheets
Tiller’s default Foundation Template is just the starting point.
Tiller offers a lot of extra spreadsheets which they call “solutions”. Once you install the Tiller Labs add-on in Google Sheets, you’ll have full access to the solutions library. Offerings include:
- Weekly Trends
- Yearly Insights
- Estimated Quarterly Taxes
- Statements — a tool for reconciling your Transaction sheet to your bank statement
- Lots more
They even have a Holiday Gift Planner!
There are just a ton of solutions to play with. I’m excited to experiment with a lot of them. Maybe I’m a spreadsheet nerd.
If you’re excited thinking of the possibilities, you might be a spreadsheet nerd too. If so, let me know in the comments or find me on Twitter.
Tiller Money Pros and Cons
- There’s a free 30-day trial. That’s a good amount of time to thoroughly test a financial tool. With all of Tiller’s solutions and spreadsheets, you’ll want a full month.
- The low cost makes this tool approachable. It’s under $5 a month, which seems reasonable based on all the utilities.
- They offer a money-back guarantee. They state, “If Tiller Money isn’t helping you better understand your finances, we’ll give you a 100% refund.”
- Tiller is extremely customizable and granular. This is a huge benefit for those who like to track exactly where their money is going.
- You get optional daily emails with updates from all of your linked accounts.
- Tiller offers collaboration. You can share your sheets with your life/business partners.
- Tiller is extremely secure. They use bank-grade 256-bit AES encryption so you can rest assured that your accounts are safe.
- Tiller Money offers a ton of spreadsheet tools and templates.
- Yearly Budget
- Available Spending Money Tracker
- Net Worth Snapshot
- Simple Business Spreadsheet
- Weekly Spending by Category
- Linking accounts wasn’t as quick or clear as I would have liked. It’s frustrating to spend time linking accounts for it to appear that nothing happened. (To their credit, Tiller’s customer support was very helpful.)
- Tiller Money is very manual. It requires user input to make it work. There are a lot of benefits to having the level of precision that Tiller provides, but it isn’t for everybody. If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, you may want to check out Mint or Personal Capital.
- It isn’t free. The cost may be limiting to a lot of people who really need to start tracking their finances with this level of granularity.
Tiller Money Review Summary
Overall, my Tiller Money review is very positive. I’m very impressed with the ease of customization and automation Tiller provides. The ease of updating data and all the opportunities provided for customization make Tiller an extremely powerful tool for those who are willing to put in a bit of up-front time.
The default sheets provided with the Foundation Template alone is a great offering. And access to a growing library of additional tools makes Tiller Money increasingly more useful. I think Tiller offers a lot of bang for your buck.
With a free 30-day trial, there’s no risk to trying it out.
At the end of the day, if you’re just not that into using spreadsheets in general or Tiller specifically, you can still benefit from tracking your finances using Mint, Personal Capital, or any other tools on the Best Personal Finance Software list.