In this Tiller Money review, we’ll explore how you can use the program to create a budget, track your spending, run reports for your taxes, and more. Enjoy!
The most important step to organizing your finances is tracking your income and expenses. Of course, that is easier said than done. Using a spreadsheet is a great way to do it, but manually adding each transaction and updating your balances can be time consuming.
Thankfully, there are tons of budgeting apps out there, and many of them make it easier by automatically importing data right from your bank account. Still, even the best budgeting apps are limited in how you can organize your financial information.
Tiller Money is designed to automatically import your transactions and transfer the data directly into Google Sheets or Excel. Instead of manually entering your financial data, Tiller connects to your bank accounts, syncs your income and expenses, and organizes everything with a spreadsheet.
With no advertising and ultra-customizable templates, Tiller Money builds on using the power of spreadsheets to take your money to the next level. But, is it worth it if you don’t already love spreadsheets? Let’s find out.
Tiller Money at a Glance
- Platforms Needed: Google Sheets or Excel
- Promotions: 30-day free trial
- Auto categorizes transactions
- See all your accounts in one place
- Automatic account syncing
- Includes budgeting spreadsheet templates
- Can build your own spreadsheet from the ground up
What is Tiller Money?
Tiller Money is a personal finance tool that makes managing money with a spreadsheet easier. It syncs the financial data from your bank accounts directly to a spreadsheet, saving you from having to enter it by hand. It’s geared toward people who prefer to be more hands-on than what some of the other financial software out there allows.
In addition to spreadsheets for budgeting, debt, and net worth, there are also spreadsheets for small business owners. These are great if you’re running a side hustle because they sync your income and expenses, making things easier when tax time rolls around.
It comes with spreadsheet templates, but you also have the option to set up customized sheets to fit your individual money goals. Tiller Money can pull financial transactions from several different accounts into the same page for a central place to organize your spending.
It also supports separate sheets at the same time, so if you want to use a different sheet to display different accounts, you can do that, too.
How Much Does Tiller Money Cost?
Tiller Money is ad-free, and there is a cost involved to use the service. It comes with a 30-day free trial, giving you time to test it out before you subscribe to it. That way, you can see how you like it compared to other budgeting software you’ve used.
If you’re a student, you get the advantage of signing up for their Student Plan. As a student, you can use Tiller for an entire year without paying anything.
For everyone else, you’ll pay a subscription fee of $59 a year after your 30-day free trial. Considering that works out to less than $5 a month, it’s a pretty darn cheap solution for getting your money straight. You don’t pay until the end of the trial, and you can cancel at any time.
Top Features of Tiller Money
Tiller Money imports your spending, transactions, and account balances to a spreadsheet, making it easy to track your finances all in one place. It connects to more than 20,000 financial institutions and imports data from bank, credit card, mortgage, and brokerage accounts, capturing your full financial picture.
Tiller recently revamped its platform to better meet your needs. Here are the top features you’ll enjoy as a subscriber.
The easiest way to get started with Tiller Money is with the Foundation Template. It’s an automated template for Google Sheets that combines the most popular features of the previous Tiller version in one easy-to-use solution. It includes prebuilt sheets for budgeting, tracking your spending, visualizing financial trends, and more.
The Foundation Template includes the following ready-to-go sheets:
Instant Financial Insights
This sheet summarizes your financial standing in easy-to-understand graphs and tables for a big-picture overview. It includes balances in your three most active accounts, as well as your top 10 inflows and outflows. You’ll see your top 10 accounts by activity and your top 10 transaction descriptions by frequency.
The Insights page also captures your net worth at a glance, including total assets and liabilities so you instantly know where you stand.
Expanding on the net worth snapshot you get on the Insights sheet, the Balances sheet displays your total net worth and then breaks it down by assets and liabilities. Under assets, you’ll see balances for your savings account, checking account, investments, and more. On the liability side, you’ll see your credit card, loan, and mortgage balances.
The categories sheet is where the budgeting and tracking magic happens. It comes stocked with the most common spending and income categories we all use (mortgage, utilities, paycheck, etc.), but you can edit any existing categories and add your own.
The categories you create on this sheet are the ones you’ll sort your transactions into on the Transactions sheet, so it’s important to cover all your bases.
This is also where you build your budget. There are columns for each month of the year, allowing you to budget your spending in each category for every month. Again, the budgets you build here rollover to the Monthly Budget sheet.
This sheet lists all the transactions moving through your accounts. It includes key details like date, amount, description, spending category, and account. And because it’s powered by Google Sheets, you can sort your transactions by any column, making it easy to identify patterns. This is where you will sort your transactions into the spending categories you create on the Categories sheet. There’s also an option to auto-categorize your transactions. More on that in a minute.
The Monthly Budget sheet pulls data from the Transactions and Categories sheets to show you how your actual spending compares to your budget for the month. You can select the month you want to view from a dropdown menu, so past budgeting data is always available.
You get three bar graphs showing your planned and actual cashflow, spending, and income. Just below, a table shows your budgeted, actual, and available spending in each category. Tiller makes things easy by showing the percentage of your budget that you’ve already used.
The Yearly Budget sheet is a lot like the Monthly Budget sheet, but for the calendar year. You see your budgeted, actual, and available spending in each category for the full year, and you can scroll to the right to see it broken down by month. It’s a great way to see how your real-life spending stacks up against your plans over time.
The Tiller Money Feeds Add-On
The Tiller Money Feeds add-on imports your financial data into Google Sheets and keeps your transactions and balances up-to-date. It eliminates the need for manual data entry and makes keeping track of multiple accounts in one place a snap. As of August 2019, it is required for all Tiller customers who use Google Sheets. For customers using the beta version of Tiller Money for Excel, there is a similar add-on you’ll need to run.
You have two choices when it comes to importing your financial data: You can manually import it using the add-on’s sidebar or you can enable Auto Update to have your transactions and balances imported daily.
AutoCat is part of the Tiller Money Feeds add-on. It eliminates the need to manually categorize transactions, saving you time and energy through auto-categorization. Using AutoCat, you can build rules for sorting transactions into categories based on payee. This is a great solution for recurring transactions, such as bill payments and grocery shopping. If you need to split transactions (for example, you spent $100 at Costco on groceries and $30 on baby supplies), there’s another add-on for that.
Add-ons and Tiller Money Labs
The free Tiller Money add-on gives you access to additional features that take budgeting and financial tracking to the next level.
The Tiller Money Labs add-on is described as an experimental playground for the Tiller team. It’s free, and it allows access to a selection of ever-evolving financial templates and workflow solutions to customize and maximize your financial tracking and budgeting experience.
These are our favorite add-ons.
The Foundations Template includes a ready-to-go budgeting tool that works great for many users. But if you prefer a specific budgeting system, such as the zero-sum budget or the envelope strategy, the Tiller Budget add-on has the features you need. We’re big fans of the zero-sum budget, and Tiller makes it easy to budget every dollar across as many categories as you need. There are shortcuts on your dashboard that allow you to move money from one category to another, making it easy to keep your budget balanced.
As with the Monthly Budget, this template allows you to automatically import and categorize your income and expenses. But you can also up your budget game with custom options such as setting and tracking a savings goal. For those who like to budget weekly or biweekly, you have the option to pick custom periods to track your budget, too.
Net Worth Template
Your net worth is a measure of where you stand financially. When you compare the value of everything you own to the amount of money you owe, you can see if you’re on the right path to building wealth or on the fast track to more debt.
With that value constantly changing, Tiller’s Net Worth Tracker syncs your account balances automatically, giving you a clear picture of your financial health. Viewing changes in your net worth over time shows whether you’re making progress toward your goals.
Weekly Spending Analysis by Category
If you want a quick break down of where your money goes on a weekly basis, this add-on is for you. You’ll see spending by category for the last five weeks, giving you instant insight into your major spending areas.
Tiller’s Weekly Spending Analysis shows you at a glance if your spending habits match your financial priorities. Often, you don’t realize just how much money you’re spending on food and entertainment. Seeing your expenses in black and white is the first step to creating better money habits.
Debt Snowball Spreadsheet
Tiller Money helps you get organized for paying off your debt by creating a concrete plan with the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet template. If you prefer the debt avalanche method or another custom payoff plan, you can switch to using those instead of the debt snowball. Whichever strategy you pick, it automatically syncs your daily balances into the spreadsheet and helps you target one debt at a time.
It works with credit cards, car payments, student loans, mortgages, and more by mapping out how much you can pay toward each one to finally become debt-free. It even lets you experiment with different hypothetical monthly debt payments so you can easily see how small adjustments in your spending can impact your debt-destruction journey.
Simple Business Tools
Managing the financial aspects of a small business or freelance operation is no small feat. With Tiller Money, you’ll monitor business expenses and cash flow. Plus, you’ll be able to generate profit and loss reports to keep organized.
The Simple Business Tools template automatically imports your transactions to update your ledger. You can see available balances and reconcile your bank statements, too. You can even set up a business receipt tracker, keeping all your business financial records in one place.
Estimated Quarterly Tax Sheet
When you’re self-employed, you’re generally required to pay quarterly taxes. If you don’t have an employer who withholds Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes for you, the IRS provides form 1040-ES for you to determine what you might owe.
The Estimated Quarterly Tax Sheet saves you time and stress by automatically calculating your tax liability. It’s a great add-on for users already working with the Simple Business Tools template or for freelancers who want to take the guesswork out of tax time. You can see up-to-date projections of what your tax bill might be for each quarter using the real-time financial data from your business.
Build Your Own Spreadsheet
For a more hands-on approach to managing your money, Tiller has an option to build your own template. Starting from a blank canvas, you can create a completely customized spreadsheet that will auto-import your daily financial transactions just like the pre-built templates.
If you like more control over your finances or want to experiment with making a spreadsheet that’s tailored from top to bottom, you can use this option. To get started, install Tiller Money Feeds on a blank Google Sheet. Tiller will take care of the formulas and calculations, and you can focus on the data that matters most to you.
Who Should Consider Tiller Money?
- Automation Lovers: If you like automating your money to track and categorize expenses, Tiller Money is a great option. Your income and expense transactions are imported automatically, making it easy to set up and use the Foundation Template. A quick glance at your Insights sheet shows you where you stand.
- Budget Junkies and Spreadsheet Nuts: Budget junkies who want more control over their money can use it to take their spreadsheets to the next level. The Foundations Template is a good starting point, but the customization options available through the Tiller and Tiller Money Labs add-ons let you create a budget that perfectly suits your needs. Real DIYers can build their own template and create a new spreadsheet for an intuitive and personal experience.
- College Students: College students can take advantage of the Student Plan and have complete access to all of Tiller’s features free for one year. The Weekly Spending Analysis by Category Report helps keep spending under control, and you can get ahead of debt and see where you stand by tracking your net worth while you’re still in school.
Who Should Avoid Tiller Money?
- Those Without Google accounts: If you don’t already have a Google account and don’t want to create one, Tiller Money might not be for you. The program uses the power of Google Sheets for its spreadsheet templates and you’ll need a Google account to get started. Tiller for Excel is currently in beta and is open for new subscribers, but you’ll still need a Google account to register.
- The Fee-Averse: A Tiller Money subscription costs $59 per year, which may be more than some are willing to pay. If you can’t stomach the thought of paying for a money management solution, you may want to start with a free app such as Personal Capital. It’s not as strong of a budgeting tool, but it does have some great free tools such as investment tracking, fee finders, net worth tracking, retirement calculators, and more. (Since it’s free, it also makes a nice complement to Tiller.)
- Spreadsheet Novices: I’ll be honest: Tiller Money isn’t the most intuitive platform, especially if you’re a spreadsheet newbie. To get the most out of using Tiller, you should have some knowledge about working with a spreadsheet. Even though the process is automated, you’ll need to know how to read a spreadsheet and be able to understand your information when it’s presented that way. Making sense of the add-ons takes a little time, too, meaning there’s a bit of a learning curve for those who aren’t spreadsheet savvy. You may want to consider creating a budget in Excel.
If you’re a fan of budgeting with spreadsheets, Tiller Money is a no-brainer. With Tiller Money Feeds syncing your daily financial transactions to Google Sheets, it does all the data entry for you. That way, you can focus on your money goals, such as spending less money, paying down debt, following a budget, and building an emergency fund.
Those who are newer to spreadsheets and want to give Tiller a try can start with the Foundation Template. There’s no commitment upfront because you get a 30-day free trial to decide if it’s a good fit.
For those who want to step it up a notch, there are tons of fun templates to try in Tiller Money Labs. Spreadsheet pros can even take control of their finances by building their own spreadsheet powered by Tiller Money Feeds.
Either way, Tiller Money can help you get your finances organized and take your budget to the next level.
Additional Reporting by Amy Beardsley and Sandra Parsons
- Range of Product Offerings
- Functions and Features
- Ease of Use
If you’re a fan of budgeting with spreadsheets, Tiller is a no-brainer. Those who do not like spreadsheets might want to use a different program, however.
With Tiller syncing your daily financial transactions to Google Sheets, it does all the data entry for you. That way, you can focus on your money goals. It’s super easy. For those who are new to the idea of using a spreadsheet and want to give it a try, you can start with the premade templates. You also get a 30-day free trial to decide if it’s a good fit.
Overall, their prices are very competitive for the features they offer. If you don’t currently track your finances, Tiller could help you get your finances organized and take your budget to the next level. With a free trial, you can’t go wrong.