Using the Tiller Foundation Template for Microsoft Excel

Learn how to set up and use the Tiller Foundation Template for Microsoft Excel

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

The Tiller Foundation Template for Excel allows you to quickly see all your account balances in one place, set budget targets to help you stay on track, visualize your cash flow, and easily understand your spending and earnings across categories for a selected time period.

Save your workbook to OneDrive for easy access to your automated bank data spreadsheet while on the go using the Microsoft Excel app on your mobile phone.

How to find your workbook

The Excel spreadsheets you've created with Tiller will either be in the OneDrive for the Microsoft account you were using with Excel at the time you created them or saved locally on your computer. When you do a "Save as," you're prompted to pick a location. The default location is usually the last place you saved an Excel workbook.

Step 1: Set up the automated bank data feeds

Most likely you’ve already done the steps of setting up your bank data feeds to the workbook. If not, you can get those steps in the Getting Started guide here.

If you’re having trouble signing into the Excel add-in using a Google Account, review this troubleshooting guide.

Keeping your sheet updated with data

You will need to open the Tiller Money Feeds add-in from the Data ribbon in Excel and click the "Fill" button each time you want to get the latest transaction and balance data in your spreadsheet. Some accounts may require you to manually refresh before data is available to fill into the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Setting Up Categories

The Categories sheet allows you to organize how your money is spent and earned.

  • You can add new categories to the bottom of the list and overwrite or delete the example categories. If adding categories to the bottom of the list, make sure to use the first empty row so the Excel Table expands properly.

  • Feel free to use the sorting features in each header column to sort your Categories sheet based on how you'd like to see the data organized. Note that the Transactions sheet Category column orders the list of categories based on how they appear in the Categories sheet. Therefore, if you want to see your categories list sorted alphabetically when you're assigning categories on the Transactions sheet, sort the Categories sheet by the Category column from A>Z.

  • Each category should be unique and have a group and a type assigned.

  • The categories sheet populates the dropdown menu for the Category column on the Transactions sheet.

  • Types are Income, Expense, and Transfer.

  • Think about Group as the bigger bucket that the categories fall into. Read more about subcategories.

  • The Transfer type is generally used for transactions that correspond to money moving between accounts. Read more about Transfers.

  • Try to keep it simple, you can always change your mind and adjust these later.

Step 3: Categorizing Transactions

Quickly categorize transactions on the Transactions sheet by typing the category into the Category cell for a transaction or by using the dropdown menu that appears by hovering over the category cell.

Once a category has been used at least one time previously in the Category column Excel will auto-populate the Category cell once you start typing the category. Once the appropriate category appears, press Enter to quickly move to the next line.

There is no need to categorize all your historical transaction data unless you want to build a historical picture of your budget.

We recommend categorizing last month up to today if you’re brand new to budgeting and want help deciding on your budget targets for a category using your actuals.

You can automate your transaction categorization using AutoCat. Read more here.

Understanding the Transactions Sheet

The Transactions sheet is the heart of your Tiller-powered Excel Workbook. It’s where Tiller fills in your latest bank transactions when you click the Fill button in the Tiller Money Feeds add-in task pane.

Feel free to modify the data in the Transactions sheet, but don’t change the name of the Transactions sheet (tab) or modify any of the existing header keywords.

The Transactions sheet is an Excel Table. The table area has alternating shaded rows. If you plan to manually add data, be sure to add it to the table area as indicated by the alternating shaded rows to ensure that your manual data is included in calculations used by the other sheets in this workbook.

The table boundary is indicated by a green icon in the lower right corner of the last cell in the table. You can increase the table area by hovering over this icon and dragging to expand.

Step 4: Setting Up A Budget

The Tiller Foundation Template has Monthly and Yearly Budget sheets that allow you to review your budget, actuals, and available for a single month in your 12 month budget period or the entire 12 month budgeting year.

You should have already customized your Categories and Groups on the Categories sheet. Now it’s time to set your budget targets for each category.

Set your budget targets

Enter in the budget target for each category in the first month in column E on the Categories sheet. All subsequent months will update to the same target. This “cascading” feature allows you to quickly set budget targets for an entire year in minutes.

Modify individual months' budget targets as needed by directly editing the cell for that category and month and then the next month’s value if needed to correct the budget cascading.

ℹ️ Each month after the first month uses the previous month's budget amount as it's target using a simple formula =[previous cell]

If you need help setting budget targets, and you categorized last month up to today, you can review the Monthly Budget sheet actuals for last month to see how much you spent and use that to help you set a baseline.

Review your budget

Review the Monthly and Yearly Budget sheet in your Excel workbook to see how you're tracking against your monthly and yearly budget so far.

Step 5: Reviewing Account Balances

Review the Balances sheet to see all your account balances neatly organized in one place.

The Balances sheet is organized by Assets and Liabilities, with a quick net worth calculation in the top right. The Balances sheet also includes the last update date for each account that’s linked to the sheet. If you're seeing stale balances, review these steps.

You can customize how accounts are grouped on the Balances sheet by assigning a group on the Accounts sheet.

ℹ️ If an account is missing from the Balances sheet, but it's linked to the sheet, Tiller might not be able to pull the class (asset or liability). You can set a “Class override” using the Accounts sheet so that the account will show on the Balances sheet.

Using the Accounts Sheet

The Accounts sheet allows you to customize how your Accounts appear on the Balances sheet. This sheet is blank by default.

Select an account from the dropdown in column A to start customizing how it appears on the Balances sheet. If an account is missing from the dropdown list, it means it is not linked to this sheet. Review these steps for linking additional accounts to a workbook.

Use the "Class Override" field to assign the class so that the account will appear in the correct section on your Balances sheet.

Assign a custom group by typing in the group name into the Group column.

Use the dropdown in the “Hide” column to hide an account from the Balances sheet.

Troubleshooting Balance Updates

If you notice that the update date is older than about a day

  1. Try clicking "Fill" in the Tiller Money Feeds Excel add-in to pull in a fresh balance.

  2. If it doesn’t pull in any new balance information review these steps.

Use the chat tool in the lower right corner of the Console at if you still aren’t getting a new balance update, or continue to see an error for an account when attempting to refresh.

To link additional accounts to a workbook:

  1. Open the Excel add-in from the data ribbon

  2. Click on the vertical ... next to "Linked Accounts"

  3. Choose "Change" to toggle on additional accounts and confirm.

  4. Then click the "Fill" button.

Understanding the Balance History Sheet

The Balance History sheet is where Tiller records the latest balance, and other data associated with the account such as the last four digits of the account number, the institution, and the account class (asset or liability) for each account that is linked to the workbook.

The Balance History sheet is hidden by default. To unhide it, right click any tab along the bottom and choose "unhide" then select the Balance History sheet from the dialog and click OK.

Manually tracking non-automated accounts

If you need to manually track account balances for accounts Tiller cannot automate, or that you do not wish to connect to Tiller's service, use the steps below.

  1. Unhide the Balance History sheet. Right click any tab along the bottom and choose "unhide" then select the Balance History sheet from the dialog and click OK.

  2. Right click on row 3 and choose “Insert” - inserting at row 2 will copy the header formatting (blue) from row 1.

  3. Type in the manual account’s details (i.e. name, account #, institution, balance, etc)

  4. Assign a unique Account ID to the manual account. We recommend prepending it with “manual:” (e.g. manual:1234556677)

  5. You will need to use this same unique Account ID each time you insert a new row to add an updated entry for the account’s balance.

If you need to also manually add transactions for this account you can add them to blank rows in the table area on the Transactions sheet.

Step 6: Reviewing Transaction and Balance Insights


The Insights sheet will light up as soon as you start the data feed to your Foundation template using the Tiller Money Feeds add-in. It’s intended to give you insights into your current financial standing and recent spending.

Quick Insights

You’ll see a few key insights from the last 90 days of your transaction data in the top left of the Insights dashboard. You also see some stats about how much data Tiller has pulled for you so far.

You’ll also see the current balances of your three most active accounts based on transaction activity in the last 90 days.

Net Worth

The Insights dashboard also aims to provide a quick net worth calculation (assets - liabilities) based on accounts you’ve linked for automated feeds to this spreadsheet. If something looks amiss here, check the Balances sheet to make sure your account classes (asset or liability) are assigned correctly.

If you want to manually track accounts review these steps.

Transaction Analyzer

The Transaction Analyzer will give you a few basic reports as soon as your data starts feeding into the sheet. You can adjust the analyzer’s settings to customize the reporting data for a different time period or just a specific account.

Top 10 Inflows shows you the top 10 inflowing transactions, usually this is income, but it can also include transfers depending on what accounts you have linked and/or visible in the reports.

Top 10 Outflows shows you the top 10 outflowing transactions, which is usually spending, but it can also include transfers.

Note: If you don’t want transfers included in these reports you should make sure all your transactions are categorized and that Transfer category types are marked as “Hide” on the Categories sheet.

Top 10 Accounts by Activity shows you which of your accounts have the most transactions in order from most to least active accounts.

Top 10 Descriptions by Frequency shows you where you’re spending money most, the total count of transactions across the selected date range and how much.

Set up your categories and start categorizing your transactions to fuel even more of the Insights sheet.

After categorizing transactions, grouped rows 19 - 31 will come to life.

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