We love spreadsheets! Maybe you already knew that, or at least had a guess. Back when Tiller started, we chose to automate bank data into a spreadsheet instead of building another finance app. That’s because we believe spreadsheets are the most flexible and powerful tool for managing your money.
We talked with many others who agree. The most financially engaged individuals rely on spreadsheets. A direct bank-to-sheet feed takes the pain out of this pretty straightforward and inherently flexible process. We believe there really isn’t a better tool, but of course we’re biased.
Because spreadsheets are so powerful and flexible, they can be intimidating to some people. Others are just downright allergic to spreadsheets. (I’ve had customers use these exact words!) How can something so simple also be rather complex?
Pushing the Limits of What A Spreadsheet Can Do
Using Google Sheets as a platform to automate financial data has allowed us to push the limits of what a spreadsheet can do. The new Tiller Budget and Simple Business templates use Google Apps Script to automate many aspects of budgeting and business finances. Google Apps Script supplies the magic behind the Tiller Add-on, which makes it possible to install these features on top of any other Tiller template. It removes the pain of manually migrating your data when you want to switch templates.
Leading the customer success department here at TIller, I’ve heard the painful cries caused by too much manual effort. Tiller-powered spreadsheets remove the hassle and save hours of time required to download CSVs and manually import the data into Excel or Google Sheets. Reducing manual effort was a big driver in why we leveraged the power of Google Apps Script when we created the Tiller Add-on. The add-on allows our customers to easily get an automated budget or business finance spreadsheet up and running. It can automate savings goals, cash flow projections, bank statement reconciliation, and help you keep your leftover budget funds organized month to month.
The feedback has been awesome, and we’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm about the new Tiller Budget and Simple Business templates powered by the Tiller add-on for Google Sheets.
But putting the scripts behind an add-on takes away some of the charm of a spreadsheet. You can’t tinker with the code to get just the right calculation for your budgeting situation. The menus create extra steps for things that should be simple. What if you don’t want to use a zero sum budgeting method with rollovers?
Creating A Foundation You Can Build On
We ran a recent survey of our customers to understand just what they want from our templates and tools. One of the messages was loud and clear: people want a simple foundation on which to build. So in response to that feedback, we’re releasing the Tiller Yearly Budget and Insights template.
The Yearly Budget and Insights template is a simple yearly budgeting spreadsheet that lays out your entire year’s budget in a single sheet. No scripts or complex concepts to digest. It’s great for those who are brand new to budgeting or just want to be able to tinker with what’s under the hood.
The Yearly Budget sheet offers the big picture view of your budgeted and actual cash flow for the year. You can dive into the details for any month right in this sheet too. The template offers a Year to Date report to help you understand your budget progress for the year and the Budget Filter sheet allows you to dive in deeper to visualize only your budget, actual, or available amounts for each category for the year or a specific month.
Finally, we’ve incorporated the Yearly Insights sheet to help you visualize other trends about your finances for the year such as net cash flow, income vs expenses, and totals by category and merchant.
How Can I Get This New Template, You Ask?
We’d love to get to the point where you can install and experiment with any of the sheets and features of any template via the Tiller add-on, but we’re not there yet. For now, this template is a stand-alone template available from the Tiller Console.
A big thanks to one of our loyal and long time customers, Jon Orlin, for helping us craft this template and document how the Yearly Budget sheet works.
If you’re curious about the best way to transition to using this template from one of our other templates review these steps.