Category Archives: Technology

The Best Personal Finance Excel Template — a @TillerMoney Review

Anyone who has been following my blog for years knows I’m a die-hard Mint fan. But since it was acquired by Intuit the tool has stopped innovating, leaving much to be desired. I looked for another solution, thinking there must be something better out there after all these years of personal finance tech.

After briefly considering buying Quicken, I found TillerHQ, a newer personal finance software tool that basically auto imports all your account data into a google spreadsheet. While it’s lacking investment tracking¬†features, it does a good job of supporting annual budgeting — something Mint does not enable. It also makes it easy to see predicted cashflow per month and plan for the year ahead, which is a great feature now that I need to think annually for my family instead of one month at a time.

It does require a bit more hands on work to set it up the way you want… while Mint makes it easy to auto categorize certain spending, the Tiller tool takes a little while to get used to. But I appreciate the customization and flexibility of the tool, as well as the pretty graphs that make me feel much more sophisticated in my personal finance planning.

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I think this is the best personal finance excel template. Granted, it’s not free. They have a free trial but it will cost you $60 a year. I’m a little concerned about their stability as a company–they only have 2000 followers on twitter and seem to be a bit of a small startup–so I keep my Mint.com account up to date as well (why not, it’s free.) The good news is that Tiller just imports all my data to my own google spreadsheets, so even if THEY shut down, the data won’t disappear (google would have to shut down for that to happen.)

They claim they have tools for budgeting, taxes, spending tracking, and collaboration with your spouse or a financial planner. They do not claim to¬†have robust financial planning software like a Personal Capital or an expensive finance tool licensed by CFPs. I’d like to see them invest more in financial planning modeling and investment support, but right now they are a great tool for helping me budget and track my spending each month and for the year ahead. I love how easy it is to make a budget for each month of the year, and auto set every month as the same amount, but then customize each month if needed (i.e. if my travel budget is a lot higher in November than in October.)

What are your favorite personal finance excel templates and products? Have you tried TillerHQ?

 

 

#InspireHerMind – Ad to Get More Girls into STEM

I’m a huge fan of the latest pushes to get more girls into STEM. Google’s Girls Who Code project, which they recently invested $50M into, is one of the many projects going on across the country to make engineering more attractive to young girls across the country. Today, a viral ad came out which rubbed some people the wrong way, but tried to make a clear point. Girls are often raised to keep clean, stay away from experiments, be cautious, and this is why while 40% of girls say they like math and science in 4th grade, only 18% of engineers are female (watch the ad for yourself below.)

While the math in the ad doesn’t exactly add up (not everyone who likes math and science will become an engineer… there are a lot of other jobs where math is valued in financial services, medical fields, etc), the core point is something that I’m glad is being raised. I often wonder if I was born 20 years later, would even I be an engineer? Well, maybe not.

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