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How to Get Your YNAB Data into Your Tiller Spreadsheet
How to Get Your YNAB Data into Your Tiller Spreadsheet

Step by step guide for getting your budget out of YNAB and into Tiller.

Heather Phillips avatar
Written by Heather Phillips
Updated over a week ago

Note: these steps are for Tiller powered Google Sheets, but a similar workflow could be used for Excel.

If you're new to Tiller and coming from YNAB you can use these steps to help you migrate your existing data. Video tutorial at the bottom. 

Prepping Your Data Files

  1. Export your data from YNAB. You can do this by clicking on “My Budget” in the top left and then choosing Export Budget. This will export a zip file that contains two CSVs: one for your budget and one for your register.

  2. Once those are downloaded onto your computer open your Google Drive at and drag and drop the two CSV files from the YNAB export into your drive.

Prepping Your YNAB Budget Data

The next step is reorganizing the YNAB budget CSV to match the Foundation Template Categories sheet. The Foundation Template offers a monthly and yearly budgeting option. It does not calculate your surplus or deficits per category month to month.

  1. In your Google Drive double click the “My Budget as of [date] - Budget.csv file and then click the “Open with Google Sheets” button at the top.

  2. Open your Foundation spreadsheet from the Console and navigate to the Categories sheet (a tab along the bottom).

  3. First copy over your categories from the Category column in the YNAB budget CSV. Select the first category, hold shift, then select the last category to do a bulk selection. Copy the list by right clicking (or CMD + C for Mac or CTRL + C for Windows).

  4. In your Foundation template right click the first cell in the Category column on the Categories sheet and choose Paste Special > Values only.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Group column in the YNAB Budget export to copy the Group data into your Foundation template.

  6. Set a type for your Categories, likely these will all be expenses except any credit card payment categories will be Transfers.

  7. Add a group and category for your monthly income and choose the Income type. Simply type these in at the bottom of the list.

  8. If you've been using YNAB for a while, you'll have multiple months of budget data in this budget CSV. The Foundation template 12 month budget start month is set in cell E1 on the Categories sheet (you may need to expand these columns.) You can leave it set to the default Jan or change it to whatever month you like by entering the date for the first of that month and year. Learn more here.

  9. Copy the budget data for each month of past budgeting data you want to have in your Foundation template from the YNAB export. Paste it into the Categories sheet in the appropriate month column. As long as you didn't sort the Categories sheet the values should line up with the Categories from the Budget export.

Prepping Your YNAB Register for the Transactions Sheet

  1. Open your My Budget as of [date] - Register.csv file either in Microsoft Excel or upload it to your Google Drive and open it as a Google Sheet.

  2. Check your Transactions sheet in the Foundation Template and compare against the data set in the YNAB register CSV file. If there is any data that you don't want to move over from the YNAB register, clear it from the YNAB Register CSV file.

  3. If there is duplicated data in the Transactions sheet of your Foundation Template that you want to overwrite with the YNAB register's data, clear it from your Foundation Template Transactions sheet.

  4. Save or export the YNAB register CSV file.

  5. Navigate to the Tools

  6. Choose Import CSV Line Items

  7. Click the "Upload CSV file" button

  8. Locate your YNAB Register CSV file on your computer

  9. Click open

  10. Confirm upload.

  11. Review the Transaction data for accuracy.

This will pull all the data from your YNAB Register CSV into your Foundation template transactions sheet.

Move on to Budgeting

Now when you open the Monthly Budget sheet you should get an idea of your budget progress for the current month or period.

You can further customize your Groups and Categories and update any category budgets that need your attention on the Categories sheet. Review our getting started steps for the Foundation Template for more on how to get started.

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