Tiller Money Review: Track Spending and Create a Budget

Are you looking for a financial management tool that puts you in control of how you think about, visualize, and categorize your finances? Are you naturally a spreadsheet junkie? Tiller is that tool. It automatically populates a Google spreadsheet or an Excel workbook with your financial transactions and account balances. Then, as a user, you can manipulate the information any way you want.Does Tiller sound like the financial “app” for you? Here’s what you need to know about it in our Tiller Money review. See how Tiller compares to the other top money management apps out there.

Tiller Money is a tool that automatically feeds transactions and balances to a spreadsheet (either in Excel or Google Sheets). It allows you to track all parts of your financial life in one place.The “basic” installation of Tiller includes a “Foundation Template” which functions like an all-in-one dashboard. You can see your top 10 sources of income, top 10 sources of spending, your budget, net worth, and more.On top of the “Foundation” template, Tiller offers supreme flexibility, because you can build or tweak the spreadsheet to your liking. The company frequently issues new templates, graphs, and visualizations through its Tiller Labs add-on.Want to track your net worth over time? Tiller can help. Want to make a budget based on your income from last month? You can use Tiller to do that too.In some ways, it is a “build-your-own” app for people who really like to nerd-out on their finances.

Tiller Money is a special “app” because it offers users the ability to put their own unique spin on their finances. Are you focusing on reducing your grocery bill? You can make a tab specifically dedicated to tracking grocery expenditures.Are you figuring out exactly how much money you can send towards your student loan or towards investments? Tiller can help with that.A lot of people who love to “nerd-out” with finances already put their information into a spreadsheet. Tiller simply makes this process easier by putting all the information in a single place.Also, because the app feeds information into a spreadsheet, users can make edits to the sheet to make the information more accurately reflect their life. Want to split a transaction between groceries and clothing (hey, those Sam’s Club socks are great)? Tiller allows you to do it.

Tiller Money has some very high-quality budgeting, debt-payoff, and financial independence sheets. However, I think the best feature is the supreme flexibility.I use Tiller to track transactions for two rental properties, two small businesses, and my family’s finances, all in the same spreadsheet. This makes it super easy to prepare profit and loss statements for tax time, budget on a variable income, and plan short-term savings and investments without needing a separate account for every single savings goal.

The thing that makes Tiller great (its flexibility) is also its downfall on two counts. First, if you don’t know what you want out of a personal finance system, you may be overwhelmed by Tiller. The visuals and reports that Tiller powers only matter if you know what you want out of the system.The second downfall is that it is not as intuitive for most people. If you spend your work life inside of spreadsheets (for example, you work in finance, accounting, or data science), building out a “Tiller” app will be easy for you. But if that isn’t your background, Tiller may feel like an over-engineered product.That said, I don’t want it to seem like Tiller is hard to use. I use it for collaboration with my spouse. While I had to push him to start using it, we now use it collaboratively when making joint decisions. He also uses it independently to run his business finances (he uses the Tiller Business Template from Tiller Labs for this).The other weakness is that I find that the Tiller Foundation Template (which you open through Google Sheets) doesn’t appropriately update on my phone. From my testing, it seems like the issue lies with the Google Sheets mobile application rather than Tiller, but if the lack of phone access is a deal-breaker for you, Tiller simply isn’t going to cut it.

Tiller costs $59 per year. All users get a free 30-day trial.

I’ve personally used Tiller for my personal and business expenses for over two years, and I continue to pay for it because it gives me exactly what I want in a spending app. It makes it easy for me to make tax reports, to make a household budget for our family that has a variable income, and to track my net worth. But I’m a nerdy person, and getting into the details of my finances works for me.If you’re the type of person who gets delight from a beautiful visualization, or who wants to think about their money through different lenses, Tiller is the perfect tool for you. On the other hand, if everything I said makes you feel sick, forget Tiller. Quicken, Emma, Personal Capital, or some other tool will work better for you.

Written by Investors Wallets

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