You might be wondering whether there is anything special you need to do to your Tiller Money-powered spreadsheet budget for the new year. This guide is meant to help you navigate what to do when the new year rolls around.
Randy and I covered this question in a recent Community Webinar + Q&A which you can watch here or read more below (this topic will be covered a few seconds after where the video starts):
First, you should ask yourself whether you want to keep your historical budget targets in your Foundation template for Google Sheets into the next year. If you're not using the Foundation template, skip to this section.
If yes, you can set up your Foundation template for Google Sheets for multi-year budgeting so you'll have 24 budgeting months instead of 12. Follow the steps in this guide to set up your Foundation Template for multi-year budgeting.
If no, you can just change the budget start month on the Categories sheet in cell E1 to be the first day of the new year on New Year's Day. You'll notice that your budget targets for your categories do not shift with the change so at this point you're re-using the same budget targets for each month that you did in the previous year. Feel free to customize these for the new year.
You can also always make a copy of the Google Sheet from the File menu before making this change so you have a historical version of your budget to reference if needed.
If you have several years of data in your Transactions sheet and notice your Google Sheet slowing down, you may want to create an archive when the new year starts.
The Tiller Money Tracker for Excel does not support multi-year budgeting. We recommend making a copy of your Excel workbook (File > Save as) for the prior year and then change the budget start date on the Categories sheet in the workbook to the first day of the new year.
If you prefer to start planning for the year ahead of time you'll likely want to either use the multi-year budgeting option in the Foundation template for Google Sheets so you can start planning for the new year without disrupting your current budget or start fresh in a new sheet so you can plan out a new year.
If you want to start planning in a new sheet, we recommend making a copy of your current spreadsheet (Google Sheets > File menu > Make a copy or Excel > File > Save As ), set up the plan for the new year by changing the budget start month on the Categories sheet and then link it to the Console on the first day of the new year.
⚠️ Linking a copy of a workbook in Excel will result in duplicate Transactions. Make sure you clear the Transactions sheet before linking a copy.
Notes on New Year's process for older Tiller Money templates
If you're using one of the below templates keep these details in mind.
Tiller Budget with Rollovers (screenshot below)
The Tiller Budget will continue to create budget periods and years automatically via the Tiller add-on and the use of scripts running in the background. If you’re using this budget template you don’t need to do anything.
Budget templates that do not support multi-year budgeting
Some of the early versions of budgeting templates from Tiller do not support multi-year budgeting.
The Tiller Monthly Budget template
This template looks very similar to the Tiller Foundation Template (the Foundation Template was built off this template), but it does not support multi-year budgeting where you can set budget amounts for categories. You can tell you’re using this template if you have a tab called “Monthly View” in your sheet.
For the new year you can do one of the following:
Reset your budget numbers
This template’s budgets are set on the Categories sheet and are static for the current calendar year. These same budget values will get re-used in the new year unless you change them. If you change them you’ll lose the historical budget values.
You will need to change the year value on the Yearly Budget sheet (tab along the bottom) to reflect the new year and have it show the actuals for that year. The budget columns on this sheet are showing whatever is in the Categories sheet, regardless of which year’s actuals are showing.
If you want to retain the historical budget values you can create a copy of your Categories sheet (right click and choose duplicate) and rename it “2019 Categories” or something like that. This would be a reference only sheet. The reporting sheets will not allow you to pull the data from this historical Categories sheet for analysis or comparison.
Make a copy of your sheet
If you’d like to keep your prior year budget intact, you can make a copy of your Google Sheet (from the File menu) at the beginning of the new year. Then you’ll have a working copy of that budget archived (but not updating by Tiller) and then just adjust the budget amounts for the new year in the original spreadsheet’s Categories sheet and update the year on the Yearly Budget sheet.
You can always start fresh in a new Tiller-powered Google Sheet no matter what template you’re using. By default the Tiller Console will opt you into using the Tiller Foundation Template fed by the Tiller Money Feeds add-on. If you want to try the Tiller Budget with Rollovers it’s documented and supported on the Tiller Money Community here.
If you decide to start fresh, and don’t want to lose your work, you can try the Tiller Labs experimental Migration Helper tool to get your categorized Transactions, Categories, and manual account balances into the new Google Sheet. From there you can copy/paste your budget values and other customizations. You can also manually migrate your data in a few simple steps.