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Can I use subcategories with Tiller spreadsheets?
Can I use subcategories with Tiller spreadsheets?

Learn how to set up subcategories within your Tiller finance spreadsheet.

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

By default Tiller spreadsheets include a Categories sheet that has a Category, Group, and Type column structure. 

The hierarchy for these columns is:

  1. Type = Income, Expense, Transfer. These are the only supported Types.

    1. Group = groupings for your categories such as Discretionary, Bills, Income Sources. All categories should be assigned to a group.

      1. Categories = unique classifications for your income, expenses, and transfers that are organized into one of your groups.

A transaction can only be assigned to one category and categories on the Categories sheet must be unique.

The Group column data does not show up on the Transactions sheet by default, but you can add a column and use a formula to have it automatically populate after you categorize a transaction.

If you're used to a Category > Subcategory structure think about Groups as the bigger bucket (what you used to call "Category") and Categories fall into that bucket (what you used to call "Subcategory").

Groups can be reused on the Categories sheet, but categories must be unique.

For example, if you want to organize all your food related expenses in a single bucket, but still be detailed about the specific and budget for the kind of food purchase you'd use "Food" for the Group and "Groceries, Restaurants, and Snacks" for the Categories. 

Budget targets are set per category on the Categories sheet. So when deciding how to structure your Groups and Categories, ask yourself, "do I plan to set a specific budget for this?" If yes, then that would be the category name and you'd assign it into a group that represents the more general spending or earning area.

To prevent breaking other dashboards/visualizations, do not rename columns in the Categories or Transactions sheet.

We recognize sometimes the Group>Category structure doesn't always fit what you're used to using in tools where subcategories were supported.

If you're looking for more granular tracking we recommend adding a Tags column to your Transactions sheet. You can apply multiple tags to a Transaction by separating tags by commas. There are some community-built and supported solutions and workflows, like the Tags Report, that use the Tags column in the Transactions sheet.

You can also add a "Note" column to your transactions sheet to make notes, reminders, etc about your transactions. We recommend "Note" instead of "Notes" because some community-built solutions leverage the "Note" column.

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