Taking a year off to travel is a dream for many of us. And, it is only common that we hit the farthest place from home when we set out on such an adventure. Mia Zaccardo, a policy officer from Adelaide, and her partner, Ben, had travelled to a fair share of places outside of Australia. But everyone they met during their travels raved about Australia so much that the couple soon realized that they hadn’t seen much of their home country yet. And, that’s why they decided to use that year off to explore their own home a bit deeper.
“We started at Adelaide and we’re doing an anti-clockwise loop around the country,” says Mia, who set out on this trip in January 2018. “We will be venturing inland to explore a bit of Central Australia as well.” Although they had good budgeting and spending habits prior to setting out on this trip, Mia knew that they needed a simple, yet effective tool to make sure they stayed on track with their finances during their trip. And, that’s how they started using Wallet.
Tracking on the go
Wallet has turned out to be a perfect tool for the couple as it is simple enough for them to keep track of their expenses without sacrificing their time for fun on the trip. “Wallet has helped us a lot to accurately track what we’ve spent throughout our travels and helped us stick to our budget,” says Mia.
What was crucial, says Mia, was to set up their accounts on Wallet. “For our travels, we have a pool of funds (Savings account) from which we have set up a weekly transfer to both our Everyday accounts (discretionary items like coffee, meals out, shopping) and Bills account (non-discretionary items like fuel, accommodation, phone bills),” explains Mia. “We have also apportioned some funds to a Contingency account for emergencies and vehicle maintenance. Additionally, we have accounts for Cash and Vouchers (we received a lot as gifts prior to leaving), and also a Surplus account, to which we transfer unspent funds from our Everyday and Bills accounts so that we can see how much we’ve saved every week.”
Simple, efficient features
Mia and Ben were already into budgeting and being responsible with their money even before they found Wallet. But Wallet was what helped them track their money and find out if they were sticking to their budget or not. And, it helped them get a good breakdown of their finances making them understand where they could do better.
The first thing that attracted her to Wallet, says Mia, was that the interface was simple to use and very colourful. Once she started using it regularly, she discovered that her favourite features on Wallet were the ability to manage multiple accounts at once, the Planned Payments feature and the reports and analysis tools.
All through their travels, they have set up weekly budgets to monitor their spends regularly. “Wallet has helped us stick to it by showing us how much we’ve spent each week and how much we have left until ‘payday’,” says Mia. “A really useful feature is being able to set up planned payments as this helps up keep track of upcoming expenses, which we can then factor into our weekly budget. Being able to categorise expenses also helps see how much we’ve spent on discretionary items and where to cut back.”
Another big advantage of using Wallet is that they have started getting insights into their money mindset and priorities, says Mia. “As we’ve been tracking everything on Wallet, we’ve been able to compare our expenses to that of other travellers on similar trips. This has given us some great insights into what we value as travellers. For instance, we found that we spend a bit more on everyday luxuries such as groceries and coffee, and less on big-ticket items like tours, cruises and attractions,” she says.
Using Wallet has helped them go a notch higher with their money management habits and has, of course, made it a lot more fun and enjoyable, says Mia.
Over to you
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