How to get started?
Are you new to spreadsheets and money? Welcome! Tiller is for you. Some Tiller users are experienced spreadsheet jockeys. Others are novices with spreadsheets and Google Sheets. This post provides a process for getting started, and it’s targeted at those who haven’t before used a spreadsheet to manage their money.
Setup your categories. If you’re new to spreadsheets, open your Tiller Sheet and start with the template we provide. First, setup your categories in the Category Setup tab. There are several categories listed to get your juices flowing. Take a look, delete these, and write your own. What categories best describe your spending. Fewer are better, and you can always edit these as you go.
Start categorizing. Next, start categorizing transactions on your Transactions tab. Tiller will populate your Sheet with a few months of data, but don’t worry about categorizing everything from the beginning of time. Start with this week. For extra credit, do last week too.
Checkin daily. This is the most important step. Come back again tomorrow, and the next day, and the… You will probably have a few new transactions, and categorizing will take a minute. Maybe less. The simple act of checking in each day creates awareness, and that awareness with naturally start to align your priorities with your spending. If you have a second minute to spare, you can take a quick tour through some of your reports. Category Trends, for example, will show how you’re trending in each category this week versus the previous four weeks.
Build your own. Spreadsheets are amazing because they make it easy to create your own reports and analysis. The Tiller Sheet we’ve provided is just a start. If you want to learn more, Google has valuable tutorials online, and there are lots of third-party resources available too. If you’ve built a chart or report that you think is helpful, we’d love to know about it. Tell us what you’ve done at firstname.lastname@example.org.