The Tiller Debt Snowball spreadsheet comes with some predefined and example categories. There are two important predefined categories in a “Debts” group included in the sheet that are necessary for a good budgeting for debt workflow: “Debt Payoff” and “Debt Payoff Received.” 

If you’re working to pay off credit card debt, but are still using the credit card(s) you’ll also want to keep the “Transfer” category. You can rename the predefined categories if you want, but some variation of them (including the assigned “types” and one “hidden” income category) needs to be included on the Categories sheet. 

“Debt Payoff” represents the money leaving your checking account (an expense) that’s going toward debt payments. 

“Debt Payoff Received” represents money coming into your debt account (income), and should remain hidden on this Categories sheet. More information about applying these categories to transactions is detailed below.

Defining Other Budget Categories 

The rest of the categories are up to you. Edit the existing ones and delete any that you don’t need. Try to keep it simple and think about the groups and categories in terms of what’s required spending (mortgage/rent, utilities, groceries, gas, etc) vs what’s discretionary (dining out, clothing, entertainment, subscription services). If you need some guidance look at your Transactions sheet. Where are you spending your money? Can you lump it into a few main buckets?

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Read what's next: Categorize Recent Transactions

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