Travel expenses. Plan vs reality.

I have always wanted to know how much I spend for travelling with my family or a business trip. But it was not such a simple task. While basic transport tickets are bought and accommodation expenses are made in advance and they can be easily foreseen, expenses during a trip itself are hard to be accurately calculated. Everything is on the go, often in a relaxed state, with different cards payment, in cash and different currencies.

And still I would like to get an accurate expense report and carry out an analysis; view the cost proportion for transportation, hotels, food and entertainment; estimate average daily expenses; compare expenses in different countries. If you accumulate reports on several trips, you can forecast incoming trips budget.

In general, planning this year vacation with my family in Germany and Portugal, I decided to fulfill my plans and calculate all the expenses. I needed to get a complete and structured report. The costs were to be grouped by certain types, such as transport, hotels and apartments, food and other expenses. It was obvious that the costs could be in different currencies. There should have been an opportunity to bring all costs to one currency in a final report. Besides I wanted to view the report first in one currency, then in another one.

Of course, the smartphone, which is always with me, became a tool for implementing the plan. I was supposed to enter the minimum required information, that is, the sum and a brief description of the expense right at the time of its occurrence. For example, I paid the bill in the restaurant and immediately input an expense. Or I bought fish in the market or a souvenir for my relatives and immediately entered the cost into the smartphone.

On the market a lot of services are sure to be used for travel planning and personal finances accounting. I did not look for them, as I’ve been using the Brown Boot Works service to manage my personal issues and business. It is always with me. There are Quick financial operations and Budgets sections in the service. Functionality completely meets the requirements described above. So I decided to try.

The project was successfully implemented in three stages.

First, I entered the service and created 4 labels for costs grouping – transportation, hotels, food and others. I Marked them as favorites for the period of travel, so that it was more convenient to select them.


Secondly, I entered all hotels and tickets expenses. Next, starting from the first day of the trip I started entering all expenses. It turned out to be convenient and not complicated at all.


Thirdly, having returned from the trip,within a minute I set up an output form in the service and got a Google spreadsheet containing a complete report.



About 100 operations had been collected within two weeks! The analysis was quite interesting. Transport (taxi and bus) expenses in Portugal were almost two times lower than in Germany. Insignificant prices of souvenirs, gifts and knickknacks finally turned into almost half of the food’s cost.

I gave my spouse an access to the report. Then I transferred the received budget into the service’s archive so that I could return to the accumulated statistics later on.




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