Travel Good experience Lifestyle

9 Tips for Tracking Expenses When Traveling

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Traveling can be expensive, and sometimes, it may feel like you are throwing money around like confetti.

In fact, the average trip costs around $2,000, and credit cards are swiped an average of ten times per day!

Tracking all of those purchases is a must for both personal and business travel. Luckily, we share nine tips for tracking expenses when traveling below, so keep reading for some helpful ideas.

1) Create an Email Folder

When you book your hotel, flight, or purchase event tickets online, your confirmation and receipt will promptly arrive in your email.

Since these receipts are easy to read and already digital, keeping track of them is pretty simple.

You can create a folder specifically for expenses, and each time a receipt comes in, save it to the folder for future reference.

Additionally, many companies and stores offer the option to receive your receipt via email. When traveling, you should always request the email receipt and your paper receipt so that you have two copies for your records.

2) Write Everything Down

You don’t necessarily need to save receipts for those tracking expenses for personal reference.

Instead, you can choose to write down all of your purchases in a notebook, chart, or spreadsheet.

It would still be helpful to categorize your purchases to ensure you don’t overspend on a category.

3) Download a Receipt Scanner

There are tons of receipt scanning apps available for those needing to keep track of their spending.

FreshBooks, Expensify, and Abukai are a few apps to choose from.

These apps provide a free filing system for your receipts. All you have to do is take a picture and save it to the correct category. Additionally, some apps allow file sharing so you can send your documents to your boss or tax preparer effortlessly.

4) Download a Budgeting App

There is an app for just about everything, so I am sure you are not surprised that there are hundreds of budgeting apps that can help you follow your budget.

Mint, Wally, and PocketGuard are some of the best free budgeting apps. Depending on which app you download, you can link to your bank to confirm purchases and set alerts that notify you when your budget is running low.

5) Record your Mileage

Mileage needs to be recorded for business travel if you plan to request a reimbursement.

You can keep track of your fuel expenses by taking photos of the odometer throughout the trip, saving gas station receipts, or downloading an app.

Apps like GOFAR will record your travel automatically as you drive and estimate costs according to your specific vehicle.

6) Use Credit Cards

Credit card purchase receipts are immediately added to your account statement, making expense tracking more manageable.

If you have a credit or debit card, use it as frequently as possible so you can have a verifiable breakdown of purchases that is easy to understand and provides timestamps and purchase details.

7) Categorize Expenses

Whether you are taking photos of receipts, writing details down, using an app, or using a folder, you should categorize the receipts according to the type of purchase, date, and time.

Doing so will make it easy to find information and monitor how much of your budget has been exhausted.

8) Consolidate Bookings

A great way to keep receipts organized is by consolidating your booking to one website.

You can use a booking engine to reserve flights, hotels, rental cars, and more.

If the bulk of your large purchases are paid for in the same place, you are less likely to lose a receipt or forget important details.

Additionally, a booking site allows you to compare prices, read reviews, and filter by amenities, making fund allocation less difficult.

9) Keep a Physical Folder

If you do not want to go the technological route by using apps and websites, consider using a physical folder to store your receipts.

Keep a lightweight folder in your purse, briefcase, or vehicle to put your receipts in as you make purchases.

A physical folder can be beneficial at tax time and for anyone who has difficulty remembering passwords or navigating websites.

Whether traveling for a personal vacation or a business trip, you may need to keep track of your expenses for tax purposes, reimbursement, or personal reference.

You can easily track expenses by using a budgeting or receipt scanning app, writing your purchases down, creating an email or physical folder, categorizing your purchases, or consolidating your bookings.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.