8 apps that will help track your travel expenses
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Keeping track of travel expenses can be challenging. With paper receipts, email receipts and not being handed any receipt at times, it’s important to be organized for both the business and leisure traveler.
Fortunately, for those who are not the best at having a good grasp on their expenses, there are many apps that can simplify your life. These apps help with expense reports, budgeting purposes, tax preparation and splitting expenses among friends.
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With something for everyone, here are the best apps to help you keep track of your expenses.
TrabeePocket is a straightforward app that allows you to keep track of your expenses for a given trip. Before you even start your trip you can add all prepaid expenses to the “preparing” tab. This allows you to account for your flights and any tours you might have booked in advance. Once your trip begins you can easily add all additional travel expenses. You can categorize your expenses into eight different categories, but with the paid version, you can add as many additional categories as you want if you have very specific expenses you want to track. The free version also only allows you to track one currency per trip, but the paid version allows you to track multiple currencies in one trip file.
Not only will TrabeePocket serve as a place to file your expenses, it also helps you on the budgeting front as well. You can set a monthly budget and have your expenses track against that overall number. If you are earning income during your travel, you can also enter income to a specific trip expense.
One neat feature of this app is that you can take pictures and tie it to a specific expense. This is great for the backpacker or family traveler who wants to remember exactly what the expense was used for, or to keep track of trip suggestions. Business travelers can also use this feature by taking a picture of a receipt if it is needed for a corporate expense report.
Cost: Free; Upgraded version is $1.99 and includes some additional options (i.e., multiple currencies, additional categories, view and export expense report)
Trail Wallet is very similar to TrabeePocket, but unfortunately is not available to Android users. With this app, you can add as many categories as you want to separate expenses and everything is color coded to make the app more visually appealing. (Unlike TrabeePocket, you do not need to pay for an upgraded version to add more categories).
When you enter your travel expenses, you’ll tie it to both a trip and a date. This allows you to view your expenses at a Month View or Trip View. You can also spread expenses across multiple dates so you can see your daily expenses for a certain trip. This is handy if you are on a daily budget to ensure you’re not exceeding the amount you can spend on a particular day.
One nice feature of this app is that you can add as many currencies as you’d like within a certain trip. This comes in handy if you are paying in multiple currencies — for example, flight and hotel costs in USD, but food expenses in euros.
This app caters more toward individual or family travel as you cannot invite friends to add expenses. You can, however, take pictures of receipts and tie them to a specific expense, and then export the images — perfect for keeping all receipts or for business travelers for expense purposes.
Cost: Free for the first 25 expense items added to a single trip; Upgraded version is $4.99 which allows you to enter an unlimited number of expenses per trip.
Download: iTunes App Store
Concur is one of the top expense programs for business travel. This app is definitely more involved then some of the others on the list, but it has all the bells and whistles for keeping your expenses fully organized. If you work for a large corporation, you might already find that this is the required app to use for your business expenses.
Expenses from corporate credit cards will automatically be uploaded and you can also manually add out-of-pocket expenses. For manually entered expenses, employees can take a picture of their receipt which will be included in their expense report. For the business traveler with many paper receipts during the week, this app helps ensure that all expenses are reimbursed properly.
If you run a small-business, this is a great platform for you and your employees to use as it allows you to manage expenses and prepare expense reports. When I worked for a large consulting company, I used this program on a weekly basis. Being able to keep track of my work expenses to ensure I was reimbursed with every amount paid out of pocket was huge. For solo and group travelers, this is not the app I suggest using as there is no need to pay the monthly fee as there are many other free apps available.
Cost: Fee depends on number of users and account type.
Tripcoin is a very simple app to use that will track all of your expenses against a particular trip. You can tie each expense to a specific category, enter a city location and a defined date and time. You can also include notes and a screen shot to keep better track of every purchase you make.
This app has an atheistically pleasing filter capability, where you can look at expenses between a given date, within a certain category, a type of payment method or within a particular country. There is also a real-time currency converter or you can set custom currency exchange rates if needed.
Best of all, you can automatically back up all of your data by enabling the Dropbox integration. With many of the other apps listed here, if you lose your phone or if your data gets wiped out, you will lose all of the expenses entered. If this does happen, with this specific app, all of your expenses are saved and can be re-imported.
Unfortunately, this app is only available for iPhone users.
Download: iTunes App Store
SplitWise is one of my personal favorites and an app I’ve been using for years. If you are traveling in a group, this is the app for you. The best, and unique feature, is that you can have friends or family members join a group and everyone can enter all expenses incurred for the joint trip. The app will then itemize expenses and tell each individual how much they owe to make things equal. You can even designate which expenses should be split among certain individuals. Like most of the other apps, you can also take include a picture and notes for every expense entered.
I have used the app for friend and sibling trips, including bachelorette parties, group ski trips and even just day trips. Aside from travel expenses, you can even use it to split up expenses among roommates or just everyday purchases with friends.
Cost: Free; Upgraded version is $2.99/month ($29.99/year) which includes receipt scanning, currency conversion and more.
Tricount is a simple app, but a great choice for group travel. It works very similar to SplitWise where you can split expenses among multiple travelers in your group. Everyone can add their own expenses and designate the specific amount (or percentage) for each individual within the group. At the end of the trip, you’ll then receive a breakdown of what everyone owes each other.
The app supports multiple currencies and allows you to take pictures of images or receipts to go along with every expense entered.
Cost: Free; Upgraded version is $0.99 and allows you to have an ad-free experience.
If keeping track of receipts is high on your priority list, then the Foreceipt app will be perfect for your needs. You can attach a receipt with all expenses entered and all images will automatically be saved to your Google Drive account. Additionally, all email receipts can be tracked as well by forwarding them directly to Foreceipt email address and including your unique ID.
Other features include the capability to batch upload bank transactions and downloading excel reports for tax return purposes — perfect for those who need to write off travel expenses.
Within the app, Foreceipt allows you to enter your income, bills and travel expenses to track against your overall budget. You can also tie all travel expenses to one of many pre-populated categories.
With these more involved capabilities, business travelers and those who own small businesses will probably find this app more useful than solo or group travelers.
Cost: Free; Upgraded version is $3.99/month ($38.99/year) and includes more receipts scans per month, email receipts and expense reports.
Expensify caters toward both individual and group travelers traveling primarily for business. This app allows you to complete all the simple tasks such as documenting your expenses and taking a picture of your receipt, but goes one step further where you can submit your expenses to your manager or accountant (or really whomever you’d like).
For those who need to keep track of mileage driven, this app allows you to not only manually enter your information but also has a GPS calculator which you can turn on to track your distance. You can also enter your time worked, which helps those needing to track billable hours.
The app also features more than just a place to submit your expenses, as you can keep track of business operations and even set expense policies.
On the feel good front, Expensify will also donate $2 for every $1,000 in expenses to Expensify.org. These donations are given to a broad range of campaigns to help organizations around the world.
Cost: Free up to five scans a month; Upgraded version is $4.99/month per user giving you unlimited scans and additional automatic capabilities.
With many apps to keep track of your expenses, it helps to find one that fits your needs. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, with a group or on your own, there are many apps out there that work well depending on your needs.
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