Tiller Money Review 2021: Is Spreadsheet Budgeting Right for You?

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According to Debt.com’s 2020 budgeting survey, nearly one in four prefer to use a spreadsheet for budgeting. However, budgeting spreadsheets are notoriously tricky to use, in large part, because they don’t import your transactions in real-time. Enter Tiller Money, a budgeting solution designed to help you create customized budgeting spreadsheets that automatically import your financial data. So, is it any good? In this Tiller Money review, I will share everything you need to know to determine if Tiller is right for you. 

What is Tiller Money?

Tiller Money is a spreadsheet add-in to help you budget. 

In its simplest form, Tiller is a way to automatically import your financial data into the spreadsheet solution of your choice. It allows you to customize your budget fully while also leveraging up-to-date transaction data.

Tiller provides some foundational templates to help you develop your budget, but the real power of Tiller lies in its customizability. 

Tiller Money Review Pinterest Pin

How Does Tiller Money Work?

Tiller Money will automatically download financial data to your spreadsheet daily so you can see your entire financial life in one place. 

It is straightforward to set up Tiller with the spreadsheet solution of your choice. 

You may be wondering, does Tiller work with Excel? The answer is yes! Tiller Money works with both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

However, there are certain features which are currently limited to Google Sheets.

Unsure whether you should use Excel or Google Sheets? Why not try both! You can use both platforms with a single subscription (more on that in a minute). 

Tiller Money Features

Next in this Tiller Money review, let’s cover the features Tiller offers. 

Tiller is all about customizability. To that end, you’ll want to understand some of the key features before deciding if Tiller is right for you. 

Tiller Foundation Template

One of Tiller’s biggest criticisms is that it doesn’t offer enough structure to help you budget. On the contrary, however, Tiller’s power is in the flexibility it provides to make your budget your own.

Nevertheless, to help you get started, Tiller has created a Foundation Template. Think of this as your starting point for creating a fully customized budget.

The Foundation Template is nothing more than a spreadsheet to help you do key budgeting activities, like creating monthly budgets, tracking your spending in one place, and showing you the money trends that matter. 

Some specific features of the Foundation Template are:

  • Monthly & Annual Budgets
  • Spending and Balance Trends
  • Net Worth Tracker
  • List of Daily Transactions
  • Customizable Budgeting Categories

The Foundation Template is your launchpad for creating a genuinely unique budget.

Notably, the Foundation Template is only available for Google Sheets at this time. 

Financial Dashboard

Tiller Money Feeds

If you currently use a spreadsheet to budget, perhaps the biggest challenge is that you can’t track your spending against your budget. Tiller solves this problem, allowing you to import transaction data from 21,000 banks and financial sources automatically. 

All you have to do is link your accounts and then import your transactions. Your accounts, balances, and transactions will appear in one place, allowing you to budget more accurately. 

And the best part? Tiller Feeds works with both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel!

What makes Tiller so powerful is the ability to customize the way you view your financial data. You can add manual transactions, split transactions across multiple categories, and more!

Tiller AutoCat

When you download financial data into a spreadsheet, you’ll want it to be as easy to use as possible, right? Well, that’s why Tiller AutoCat assigns categories to all of your transactions automatically!

You can even create custom categories!

Unfortunately, AutoCat is not available for Microsoft Excel at this time. 

Tiller Money Labs

The team at Tiller is always working to make your budgeting experience better. That’s where something called Tiller Money Labs comes into play.

This add-on for Google Sheets offers a growing library of personal finance tracking spreadsheets that you can use in addition to the Foundation Template.

For example, you can do things like:

  • Compare spending by week/category
  • Figure out how much “available” money you have
  • Create a debt snowball template
  • Plan holiday gift spending

All of these templates add up to a whole lot of value, so you can slice and dice your financial data any way you like!

Daily Email Alerts

Looking for a way to stay on top of your spending daily? You’re in luck. Tiller can send you a daily email alert with things like spending, balances, etc. from all of your linked accounts. 

How to Get Started with Tiller Money

Signing up for Tiller is easy.

1) Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of Tiller Money

2) Authenticate your accounts

3) Customize import options in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for the next step in using Tiller Money. You’ll want to download the Foundation Template to get started. 

The best place to help you get going is this Tiller Money tutorial

Financial Data Spreadsheet

How Much Does Tiller Money Cost?

If you’ve found yourself wondering how Tiller makes money, the answer is simple.

Tiller comes in at $79 for a flat annual subscription. 

However, Tiller does offer a 30-day free trial, and you can cancel at any time during your trial. At the end of the 30-day trial, Tiller will charge your credit card the annual subscription fee. 

However, even after you start a paid subscription, Tiller offers a 100% refund within 60 days if you decide it’s not right for you. 

Lastly, Tiller offers a FREE subscription for students!

Tiller Money Support

Tiller strives to make its customers happy. They can help with any issue or question you have about features, budgeting, and more. 

They offer a community knowledge base, help docs, and more.

To contact Tiller, you can email them, use the website chat, or post a message in their community forum. 

Support hours are from 6 AM – 3 PM PST Monday through Friday, with varying hours on the weekends. Tiller strives to respond within a few business hours. 

Tiller vs. the Competition

This Tiller Money review wouldn’t be complete without covering some other budgeting alternatives

Let’s talk about three of the most popular alternatives:  YNAB, Mint, and Personal Capital.

Tiller Money vs. YNAB

As I have shared before, You Need a Budget (YNAB) is one of my favorite budgeting solutions. Why? Because it works off the principles of zero-based budgeting to help you allocate your money to the most important places to you.

If you want to use YNAB, though, you’ll need to use their budgeting system. And while I think their approach to budgeting is one of the best, if you’re looking for something a bit more flexible, you’ll want to look into an alternative. 

That’s where Tiller Money excels relative to YNAB. Tiller is perhaps the most flexible budgeting solution because you can be as creative as you want with your approach. Just customize your spreadsheet in the way that best suits you!

If you’re already a YNAB user and are looking to make a switch, Tiller makes it easy. Check out this guide on migrating from YNAB to Tiller

Tiller Money vs. Mint

While Mint is a great budgeting solution, its offering is a bit different than Tiller’s. 

Mint is focused more on giving you high-level financial data. On the other hand, Tiller aims to dig into their financial data, customize how they review it, and do so with no ads.

While Mint is easy to set up, it has limited customization potential, and you’ll face ads in using the service. 

However, Mint has Tiller beat on non-budgeting tasks. For example, Mint allows users to track their credit reports and keep tabs on their bills. 

For pure budgeting, however, Mint provides less control over categories, reports, and more. 

Want to learn more about Tiller Money vs. Mint? Check out Tiller’s comprehensive comparison.

Tiller Money vs. Personal Capital

If you’ve never heard of Personal Capital, it’s a financial tool that should be in your repertoire. Personal Capital does budgeting, but it also allows you to track your investments, plan for retirement, and much, much more!

If you’re looking for a simple budget, Personal Capital might be a good fit for you. But if you’re looking for a more dynamic approach, Tiller Money is a more robust solution.

However, it’s not an all-or-none choice. I use a dedicated budgeting solution and Personal Capital because Personal Capital excels where my budgeting solution falls short (namely concerning investments, financial planning, etc.). 

If you want to learn more about Personal Capital, check out this review.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a comprehensive suite of financial tools that helps you track your net worth, make sure you stay on track for retirement, and much more! The best part about Personal Capital is it offers a FREE way to track your investment and cash accounts and plan your financial future! Check out this review to learn more!

Tiller Money FAQs

As part of this Tiller Money review, I want to cover some of the most common questions about Tiller. 

Is Tiller Money Safe?

Short answer, yes.

Starting with privacy, Tiller does not sell your data to any advertiser or 3rd party.             

Next, Tiller encrypts your data using bank-grade 256-bit AES encryption. 

When it comes to gathering your financial data, Tiller works in partnership with Yodlee, a financial data aggregator. While you may not have heard of Yodlee, 9 of the largest 15 banks use Yodlee to manage their data, and the company has undergone 200 audits in the past 24 months. 

When you link your accounts, your financial data goes directly to Yodlee. That means Tiller never sees or stores your login credentials. Also, Tiller cannot see your data. 

If you decide to cancel your Tiller Money subscription, Tiller will delete your account and remove all financial data 90 days after cancelation. 

If you want to learn more, I suggest you check out Tiller’s Security Promise.

Does Tiller Have an App?

No, Tiller Money does not have an app. But if you’re choosing to go with Tiller, you’re not looking for an app. You’re looking for a flexible, customizable spreadsheet budgeting solution.

However, if you wish to access your data on the go, it is possible to use Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel on mobile devices.  

How Do You Use Tiller with Someone Else?

Using your Tiller spreadsheet with a partner is relatively easy.

Google Sheets is designed to be collaborative. So, you can share your spreadsheet with your money partner. Sharing spreadsheets with Excel is a bit more complicated, but it is possible to do as well. 

If you’re looking for some help getting started, check out Tiller’s guide to setting up Tiller when you share expenses.

Tiller Money Pros & Cons

Let’s summarize this Tiller Money review with a few key pros and cons.

Pros

The top three reasons people choose Tiller are:

  • Flexibility to Customize your Budget
  • Automatic Download of your Financial Data
  • Templates to Help Get you Started

Cons

  • No Way to Track Investing Accounts
  • If You’re Not Comfortable with Spreadsheets, Tiller Isn’t Right for You
  • Missing Features for Microsoft Excel

Tiller Money Review:  Summary

Wrapping up this Tiller Money review, you may be wondering if Tiller is worth it. If you’re not a spreadsheet person, or you aren’t willing to pay for a premium budgeting solution, then it’s probably not right for you.

However, if you are looking for the most flexible spreadsheet budgeting solution, go ahead and give Tiller a try by starting your FREE trial today!

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