How To Stay On Budget

Some travelers like to keep track of their expenses, while others simply set a week travel budget and keep to that. I’m the sort of traveler that likes to know afterward. I want to know how much we spent on accommodation or food or transportation. Then all that information just sits there and I don’t really use it. There will be a time when I’ll make a colorful pie chart and lay it out in a nice post about how expensive or cheap travel was back in the day. I do like to check it every once in awhile on the road, just to see if we’re doing well or we need to save on certain things. Budget traveler or not, everyone has to keep to some sort of budget. Bookkeeping is a lot of work and it takes up some time. I tried a few methods and tried to make it easy and low-maintenance. Eventually we found a great app to keep track of everything without me having to categorize every cent. Follow me!

Your money!

The beginning of travel bookkeeping

On our first trip, we had a lot more time than money. That’s why we could spend some of this time on figuring out how long our money would last. We had a book in which we wrote every cent we spent. The book wasn’t that convenient for writing down everything while traveling. It was too big to carry all the time. Nobody goes out to eat a taco holding their entire financial plan. So I typed everything into Evernote to copy it to the book later. Evernote is a great app to take notes in different ways: you can write, type, take a photo or talk. We made a note called “expenses” and typed everything in there. Every few days we copied all the expenses into the book, changed currencies to euro and divided them into categories.

Our bookkeeping


Because we did everything by hand, it seemed best not to have a hundred categories. We divided our spendings into four basic options: Transportation - Accommodation - Food - Extra. This gave us a global idea of where our money went. We still use these categories today.

The android app solution

Android, as well as Apple, offer a plethora of budget managing apps. Most of those apps are designed for home situations and can be synced with your actual bank account. They have pre-fixed categories for everything and you can attach multiple existing accounts. Most of them work best when you enter your income as well so you get a good idea of your actual account balance.We didn’t want all that since we only keep track of our every cent when traveling. We needed something simple and efficient.

Travel On A Budget - Tips and Tricks

Trabee Pocket

Dozens of apps I’ve tried. I’m not sure why we eventually choose Trabee Pocket, but we did. This app is easy to use, has just some categories you need for travel and it’s free to use. It allows you to see (in a pie chart) where your money went. Our train journey through Europe was pretty expensive and as you can see: trains aren’t cheap in Europe! The cool thing is that you can just enter your spendings in the currency you actually use. That way you can also see how much you spent in each country. The currency was a big hassle in the pre-app times. I know there are a lot more decent apps out there that we didn’t use. So feel free to let us know which app or gadget you use to keep track.

Trabee Pie
Trabee Pocket

Related Post

My name is Inge. I'm a traveler, writer and photographer. All those things I want to share with you. I've traveled a lot and wish to explore some more unknown territory.

4 Responses to “How To Stay On Budget

  • Great ideas. I am so bad when it comes to budgeting. I literally just go and make it work. But this post really makes me want to rethink that and want to use some of the tools you suggested. Its awesome that you broke down expenses into different categories so you know where your money is going. Thanks so much!!

    • Hey, thanks for commenting! Some might think it’s a little autistic, but I like to know how we’re doing and what we’re overspending on… Happy travels!

  • willwainwilliams
    4 months ago

    Ive always been terrible at this. But fortunately when me and my wife travel, she makes really good records of our spending, in exactly the way you wrote

    • Thanks for commenting! It good to hear I’m not alone 🙂

Share your thoughts

How To Stay On Budget

by Inge Reading time: 2 min