Five Things I’ve Learned About Managing Money During Travel

by Travel

Nobody wants to miss out on reimbursements or deductions. Here are five things I've learned about managing money when traveling.

  1. Receipt Tracking Systems – Some companies are real sticklers on reimbursing without receipts because they  need to prove it to Uncle Sam if they're audited. When I had to turn in original receipts I kept a plastic envelope with me at all times and always placed them there so I knew where they were. Now I use Shoeboxed and just take a photo of my receipt and trash it. Any company that is still requiring paper receipts is a dinosaur. Even the IRS doesn't require paper!
  2. Don't Eat Your Per Diem! – One of the biggest mistakes business travelers make is trying to eat their per diem. If they get $75 to spend they will buy another ounce of trail mix at the Orange Grove in order to spend it all. Or worse, they'll order an appetizer, entree and/or dessert just because they have $50.00 to spend. They're not screwing The Man, they're screwing their hips, belly and spare tire.
  3. Use Automatic Bill Pay – There really is no reason to get paper bills anymore if you can get them online. You can even go one step further and automagically pay them too, however if you go that route, at least check your bill every time. I had a $6 charge from Time Warner for something I wasn't using. Over the course of the year I was paying more than I pay for my entire bill for one month! It's great to ‘set it and forget it' but you also don't want to totally forget it. Stay tuned in to where your money is going.
  4. Make sure there's a gas station at the airport exit – How many times have you got off the exit to fill up your rental car only to find out there are NO gas stations there and you end up paying the 5 billion dollars to fill the 6 gallons of gas you used? This is under money because I worked for a client that wouldn't reimburse me if I did this and this is exactly what happened. Using an app like Road Ninja can help since it tells you what is at each exit.
  5. Get a banjee – What the heck's a banjee? I love my Sprigs wrist banjee when I travel. My phone, cash and credit cards or hotel key can go right on my wrist. In the airport, I can pack my purse away in my luggage and just have only what I need to get through security.  Check out my review for more info – Sprigs

What have you learned about managing money when you travel?

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jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects