Tiller Money: A Spreadsheet-Based Mint.com Alternative

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If you’ve never used a personal money management app before, you might not know what Mint is and why anyone would be looking for a Mint alternative. When it first launched in 2006, it revolutionized a lot about the way budgeting and financial management apps worked. With a single app that costs you absolutely nothing to use, you could link to almost any bank account, view every transaction, check your balances, and monitor your investments.

It wasn’t long until they dominated the market, and other financial apps tried to mimic what they offered. Unfortunately, 14 years down the line Mint is not the amazing app it once was. Instead, there are complaints about synchronization, poor customer service, constant and intrusive adverts, and a lack of features many consider standard today — such as the ability to generate reports or reconcile data with your bank accounts.

These have led many to look for alternatives to Mint, and one of the contenders that has become quite popular is Tiller Money. If you enjoy spreadsheet-style budgeting and financial tracking, read on to find out more!

What Is Tiller Money?

Tiller Money is not like other personal finance, budgeting apps, or mint com alternatives you may have heard of. In fact, it’s not an app at all. Instead, it is nothing more than an extension you add to your spreadsheet software. Originally designed for Google Sheets, it now also works with Excel. It uses Yodlee to pull data from your bank accounts, the same data integrator that Mint uses, Google OAuth, and AES-256 encryption so you can rest assured that your data is completely safe.

An important thing to note is that while you can download the Tiller Money Tracker for Excel and manually update it for free, you have to pay for it to connect to and automatically pull in data from your bank accounts. But it costs just $4.92 a month, so that is a negligible cost for something that is completely ad-free and allows you the degree of customization that this tool does.

The Tiller Foundation Template

Tiller offers a number of different spreadsheet templates for its users to experiment with and establish which one works best for them. But your Tiller journey begins with the Foundation Template that includes prebuilt sheets for tracking your spending, budgeting, visualizing trends, and more. When looking at it, you might be reminded of the dashboards you see in most financial apps today.

If you’re comfortable with spreadsheet software, you can start customizing this or any of the other templates Tiller Money provides, build scripts for basic automated reporting, automatically categorize repeat transactions, and even split transactions into multiple categories if necessary (for example, Utilities can be split into gas, electricity, and water). But if you’re not all that comfortable with spreadsheet software then the variety of standard templates is usually more than enough for most users.

Some Tiller Money Features To Explore

Debt Progress Spreadsheet

Many people start using budgeting apps because there is debt they’re trying to get rid of. It could be a mortgage, credit card debt, medical debt, or student loans. Whatever it is, the Tiller Lab Debt Progress Spreadsheet can be used on its own or as a companion to your Foundation Spreadsheet. It collects all the information you shared when you signed up for Tiller, links your accounts, and places all your liabilities in one place.

It automatically updates to reflect new transactions, payments, and balances, so you always know exactly what you owe. But the best part about this Mint alternative is that Tiller can help you put together an effective payoff strategy for your debts. It models different scenarios based on your monthly payments, and you can set which method you prefer to use.

Business Spreadsheets

A lot of people are exploring the world of entrepreneurship and side hustles, especially in the current economic climate. With a number of business spreadsheets and the ability to link one account to multiple spreadsheets, multiple accounts to one spreadsheet, or multiple accounts to multiple sheets as you see fit, using Tiller to grow your business into a successful venture while keeping track of every cent you spend is ideal.

You can also have a look at their nifty Side Hustle Ranker, where a variety of side hustle ideas are ranked by complexity, monthly earning range, the average time to earn your first $1,000, how realistic they are, and introvert index.

Tiller Help and Support

Now, the most important thing with any financial management app is customer support. And with Tiller Money, you’re getting an incredibly responsive and helpful team who are happy to assist you with any problems or questions you might have about your spreadsheets.

In addition, they have an incredibly detailed Help Library where topics on everything from getting started with Tiller Money to Customizing and Optimizing your spreadsheet are covered. There are even a few Google Sheets how-tos written for those who may not have worked with it yet!

Tiller Money and Investments

Something that Tiller Money does not do is provide insights on your investment accounts or your Employee Stock Options. However, it does allow you to add a GoogleFinance formula that feeds stock price data into your spreadsheet (with a 20-minute delay), and lets you track opening and closing prices, weekly highs and lows, market cap, average daily volume, and more.

If you’re a knowledgeable investor who knows all the maths involved in calculating the value of your ESOs, having this data is more than enough. But if you feel you need guidance in planning your financial future, and to make sure you’re making the right choices, you may want to look at apps like Personal Capital, another well-known Mint alternative popular for its investment advice; and GrowthAdvisorHQ, which offers detailed insights on everything related to ESOs.

As you can see, there is a lot about Tiller Money to love. And this is only a brief introduction. But if you want to explore their tool and see how well it works for you, then sign up for their free 30-day trial — or try it out for a few months. At less than $5 a month, it’s an investment you won’t be sorry you made!