The last thing you’d want to be stressed about while travelling is not having enough money to cover your costs. You want to be sure that you’re spending within your means, but you don’t want to be constantly checking your wallet, and be preoccupied and stressed about it.
When BudgetBakers’ Andrej Kurocenko, backend lead, and Jan Jerabek, front-end developer, set out on their month-long trip to South East Asia, they decided to keep things simple. They just continued what they were used to doing every day for their money management–they used Wallet. “I use Wallet every day,” says Andrej. “So it was only natural that I used it while travelling. But honestly, I used it more extensively during my trips to check how much I was spending and if I was on track, especially because I was dealing with foreign currency.”
Staying on track on iOS
Both Andrej and Jan are Wallet for iOS users. So they were at a disadvantage when it came to creating a travel budget on Wallet as we’re still working on introducing this feature on iOS. However, they came up with different workarounds that allowed them to handle their money stress-free.
“Although I couldn’t create budgets on Wallet, what I did was create a different account for each currency I was holding and set a mental limit on the amount of money I was expecting to spend every day,” says Andrej. “Because we were travelling to two countries and visiting more than 5 cities, we had some big payments like flight tickets, accommodation costs and other travel tickets. I set Planned Payments for these so that I would get an idea how much money I have left to spend on other things like food and entertainment,” adds Jan.
Charting expenses right
They tracked their expenses manually and would sit down to take a look at their finances every other evening. They also used Smart Assistant to make sure they didn’t miss out on tracking smaller purchases. To get the big picture on their spending pattern, they checked Charts and Reports on Wallet. While Andrej resorted to reports and charts on his mobile, Jan used web analytics to check if he was spending within his limits.
“I used to look at my Expense Chart, filtered by categories by day with a bar chart. So for instance, if I wanted to check how my spending on food is for the past few days, I would filter by category food,” explains Jan. “So this shows me a bar chart showing how I am doing in the food category. As long as it is uniform and in a straight line, I feel satisfied. Sometimes there is a peak and then I go and check my records to make sure what the extra expenses were. Towards the end of our trip, the chart used to go really low. Because, in places like Philippines, there were days where I spent less than 3 EUR.”
Labels to the rescue
One of the features they used the most, says Andrej, was Labels. Being a frequent traveller, he used it to indicate that the expenses were incurred in Asia and then to see which country he was spending in. As the Debts feature has not yet been introduced on Wallet for iOS, they used Labels to split expenses among them.
“So if Andrej paid for my lunch, I tracked it as if I had paid for it. And then I would Label it I Owe Andrej. Once in every few days, we sat down and I made a filter of this Label. Then, I paid him all the money and I removed all those Labels from my Wallet,” explains Jan.
Tracking their expenses on Wallet not only helped them stay on track but also gave them a blueprint which they can now use to plan their next trips, says Andrej. “A lot of people ask us how much we spent in Asia or what they can expect to spend every day if they were to go on a similar trip,” he says. “With Wallet, I can give them these estimates without much effort.”
Wallet took out the stress in managing money on their trip, says Jan. “It made sure we didn’t have to worry about the little things and could enjoy our trip guilt-free!”
Over to you
Do you use Wallet to budget and track your money when you travel?
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