Goooood morning sexy budgeters!
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, National Spreadsheet Day arrives 🙂 A day to finally rejoice around something important! Haha…
According to DaysofTheYear.com:
A holiday sure to appeal to some people more than others, Spreadsheet Day commemorates the date that VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers, was released – October 17th, 1979. Since its beginnings, Spreadsheet Day has grown to become a day for celebrating both the advantages and the aggravations of working with spreadsheet software.
I was only two months and 9 days old when this came out, but 336 months later I’d fully realize just how powerful spreadsheets could become. Now I track ALL KINDS of random things using them, as well as of course the almighty net worth. (Not random at all, but very motivating!)
The whole history of how VisiCalc came to be is actually pretty interesting (VisiCalc = Visible Calculator), so be sure to check it out once you’re done with this literary masterpiece 😉
This is the best part of it though:
Screen shot of the very first prototype!!! Created over a weekend on an Apple II computer using Apple Integer Basic, haha… Anyone around here ever use that back in the day? Anyone thought they’d get so many history lessons on this blog? 🙂 (See last week’s article on where “keeping up with the Joneses” originated from. Spoiler alert: they couldn’t even keep up with themselves!).
Anyways, it’s a great day to be alive and celebrate something we so easily take for granted now that spreadsheets are so ubiquitous. And while they aren’t always perfect and have their own set of challenges, the amount of customization and control you get using them is just mind blowing. Particularly with tracking your finances.
My boy Peter Polson from Tiller who tipped me off on this beautiful day today, also emailed me a handful of stats he got doing some sleuthing of his own.
If you’re as much a spreadsheet lover as I am, I’m sure you’ll agree with a handful of these:
- 96% are satisfied with using a spreadsheet compared with the app/s they tried
- 92% are more aware of their spending habits now that they’re using a spreadsheet
- 89% say spreadsheets give them more control over how they track their finances
- 83% think spreadsheets are easier and simpler to use than the app/s they tried
- 81% say spreadsheets have better reporting options than the app/s they tried
This comes from a survey using AYTM.com questioning 100 people who have a) tracked their finances for 3 months or more, and b) who are currently using a spreadsheet, despite having tried at least one personal finance app in the past.
The stat I highlighted is by far the most important in my books. You can automate all you want, but if you don’t take the time to review any of it – and then adjust as needed – what’s the point?? Full automation can hurt just as much as it can help depending on how you utilize it.
Now – the PERFECT TOOL, in my opinion? A combination of both automation & spreadsheet, giving you the best of each of the worlds to really catapult tracking.
But how the hell is that possible? You’d be rich if you figured that out!! Haha… Well, I have no idea how rich Peter and his cohorts are, but after spending some time on his site (TillerHQ.com) as well as in person at our last financial conference, he’s definitely figured out how to merge the two.
And it’s a beautiful thing 🙂
I’ve only just started poking around and getting a feel for it, but I thought I’d pass the note along to you in case it’s something you’ve always dreamed of too. Could be a cool way to turbocharge your tracking!
How Does Tiller Work?
In a nutshell, Tiller automatically pulls transaction data from all of your credit card, checking, and savings accounts every day, then feeds it into a secure Google Sheet spreadsheet so you’ve always got a current view.
It’s like “if Mint and Google spreadsheet had a baby, and the genes from Google were a lot stronger.” Haha… at least says Kathleen Celmins who you may know from FrugalPortland.com and Stacking Benjamins 🙂 My good friend Derek from HowDoIMoney.com (hilarious blog, btw) is also pretty obsessed with them, and swears it’s changed his financial game.
Some of the perks are being able to create multiple sheets for multiple finance needs, categorize the data however you want, being able to filter the transactions and drill down to identify spending for a specific amount, merchant or date, being able to build your own pivot tables for customized reporting, to modify transaction descriptions, add new columns/rows/ notes, and even share the sheets with whoever in your family or financial life needs access.
Here’s some cool screenshots of it in action:
The downside is that it costs $5.00/mo to use, but you get a free 30 day trial to test it out first and see if it’s something worth continuing or not. And people like us can figure that out pretty quick as we’re better testers than the average person 🙂
So yeah – check ’em out if it looks interesting or you’re not happy with your current set up! You can poke around and learn more here: TillerHQ.com
Actually, would be super interested in learning how YOU GUYS are currently tracking your money? Are more of you using spreadsheets vs automated apps like Mint or Personal Capital? Or even a combo of both? Is anyone already rocking Tiller?
However you’re tracking it, as long as you’re DOING IT you’ll be well on your way to Wealth Nation, USA in no time. And I’m proud to share such a beautiful day with you here today 🙂
Happy Spreadsheet Day* to all!
*2nd to only International Be Proud of Your Money Day!
FYI: Went back and included affiliate links to Tiller once I found out they had a program (which means I’ll be compensated if anyone ends up testing them out). But you can rest assured I genuinely love what they’re about as I was going to write about them anyways for free! Haha…