It’s one thing to properly plan a budget before heading on your vacation—it’s another to put that budget into action. An integral part to managing your finances is to keep them organized throughout the process. Your budget is meaningless if you don’t spend the money like you planned.
Unfortunately, you may encounter unexpected costs and need to shift your budget allowances. You must be willing to adapt. As long as you’re staying on top of your budget and keeping your finances organized, you’ll be able to handle both planned and surprise expenses.
Here are three tips to help you keep your finances organized while traveling:
Track Purchases on Your Smartphone
Smartphones are a great tool to utilize when traveling in order to keep all of your finances in one place. By using a financial management app you can track all of your purchases throughout the trip, receive instant notifications, and even avoid foreign transaction fees.
You can also use budgeting apps to help you break down your expenses into different categories like lodging, food, and souvenirs. This way you can monitor your daily allowances and make sure that you’re not overspending.
By downloading these apps on your smartphone before you leave, you can hit the ground running on your trip, and organize your finances from just about anywhere.
Keep Cash On Hand
For some purchases, you’ll still need cash on hand, especially if you’re visiting remote locations. However, spending your paper money can get out of hand quickly if you’re not properly monitoring how much you spend.
First and foremost, you should keep your money in a safe location. The last thing you want to do is lose money to a pickpocket. Wear a money belt and keep extra cash in a hotel safe—you can even consider carrying a “dummy” wallet as a diversion.
Once you’ve determined how much paper cash you’ll need, make sure to keep track of your purchases with a journal. It can be very easy to forget how frequently you’re spending money, so remember to jot down your purchases in a notepad or notes app on your phone.
Use a Cost-Splitting App
One common way that finances become disorganized during travel is by splitting costs with others. Oftentimes, friends and family choose to split purchases like restaurant tabs or guided tours. However, waiting until the end of the trip to divvy up costs can become confusing.
By utilizing a cost-splitting calculator, you can monitor all of the purchases you need to divvy up over the length of your vacation. Sometimes your financial institution will even offer features that lets you split the bill on the spot, so consider that option as well.
Cost-splitting in real time can help you stay within your budget too. You can’t track your progress if you don’t truly know what you’re spending.
Keeping your finances organized while traveling is all about staying on top of your expenditures. Rather than creating a budget beforehand and waiting until after the trip to review how you did, you need to track purchases as they happen. By staying conscientious of your budget on a daily basis, you’ll be less likely to overspend while traveling.