For anyone looking to keep track of their expenses whilst on the move, a budgeting app is the way to go.
I used to be guilty of writing down everything I spent on the notes app on my phone, but since discovering travel orientated budgeting apps I haven’t looked back!
They allow you to record your expenditure into customisable categories, note down different spending methods and switch currencies for use wherever you are. Plus, they do all the time consuming maths for you.
I’m reviewing the following 4 apps to separate the good from the great and find the one most suited to you. After putting them to the test on multiple trips, here is my summary:
+ Simple introduction to add trip summary details like destination, budget, currency and photo
+ Attractive, clean layout looks great and makes for easy reading
– Initially confusing on how to add a new entry but fine once you get used to it
– Must upgrade to Pro version for trip summary and multiple currency functionality
+ Supports multiple currencies as well as a daily or total trip budget
+ 100% free with great standard features such as graphs and summary pages
+ Remembers previous inputs to save typing commonly used words or phrases
– Currently only available on iOS
+ Another simple interface – looks good and is easy to use
+ Useful features such as summary pages, customisable categories and ‘adjusted budget’ (updated daily budget based on total remaining allowance)
– Free version is limited to 25 entries
– Only available on iOS
+ Very simplistic old school interface makes it relatively easy to navigate
+ Customisable categories allow you to add greater detail
– The ‘history’ tab (summary page) can be a bit confusing and definitely not useful
– Multiple ‘projects’ and currencies require in-app purchases
It really does depend on what phone you have and what purpose you intend to use the app for!
I would have to rate Tripcoin as my overall top pick due to its superior free features and overall usability. TrabeePocket is the best all-rounder available on Android as it’s easy to use and supports unlimited entries.
Live Expenses is a little difficult to use and not designed with travel in mind, but could definitely be utilised for everyday use. Last but not least, the free version of Trail Wallet packs some fantastic features which would be great for shorter trips!
As my conclusion suggests, these apps aren’t just designed for your typical Asia backpacking trip – they can (and should) be used for your next Mediterranean cruise, Caribbean holiday or weekend getaway. You could also use them to keep track of your finances in everyday life (but if you were serious about this I’d recommend looking into apps less geared towards travel and more focused on regular spending like bills and grocery shopping).
I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping a log of your expenditure. If you want to go backpacking on a daily budget or travel on the cheap then you simply have to keep track of what you’re spending – otherwise, even with the best intentions, you’ll end up overspending and before you realise it will be too late.
All it takes is a couple of beers or a short bus ride missed off your spending log and suddenly you’ll have exceeded your daily budget; fast forward a few days/weeks/months and you’ll suffer the consequences. Turn to Tripcoin or TrabeePocket – as long as you use them properly they won’t let you down.
*Disclaimer – I don’t earn any money from this blog post. These reviews are my honest opinions and are based on my personal experience from using these apps on multiple trips