How to Budget When You Travel: Trail Wallet

Please note this post is my own personal opinion and is not compensated. Trail Wallet is simply an app I have discovered and love!

Travelling for a year is a scary prospect, especially when you have worked so hard to save up so much money and all of a sudden you are going to be blowing just about all of it, albeit on the travel experience of a lifetime!

To make our hard-earned money go as far as we can on our travels, we need to be tight on our budget and manage our money wisely.

We have set ourselves a maximum budget of NZD $50 per day each (essentially $100 a day for the both of us). Having done plenty of research we know this is a feasible number to base our spending on, especially considering our travel plans are primarily within Asia, which is known to be significantly cheaper than Europe for backpackers (in most cases, anyway!).

Philippines Beach Travel

We know that some days we are going to splurge on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and other days we are going to get by on the bare minimum. Sometimes all we will need to pay for is a bed and something to eat, other days we will be paying for buses, trains, planes and expensive activities. Its all a balancing act!

The question in my mind was: how on earth are we going to track our spending to ensure that we are staying within our budget? I couldn’t think of anything worse than returning home early with my tail between my legs, having run out of money because we were too lazy to track our spending.

Well, thankfully we found an app that we have been using since the beginning of our backpacking adventure (three weeks now!) that is making this seriously easy for us.

Enter: Trail Wallet.

Trail Wallet is amazing, efficient, and very simple to use.

You start by creating ‘trips’, so we are creating a trip for each of the countries we go to. You simply enter in the dates you are going to be there, and your daily budget. We create our trips as we go.

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From there, you simply enter in any expenses you have during the day. We have the app on Alan’s iPhone 5 (because apparently I live in the dark ages with my iPhone 4!), which comes with us just about everywhere so we usually enter it on the spot, however others may prefer to jot down notes of what they have spent during the day and enter it in each evening – up to you. It only takes about 5 seconds!

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There are many great things about Trail Wallet:

  • You can select the currencies you wish to use, for example our Indonesia trip was set up for NZ Dollar and Indonesian Rupiah. That way we can see every day exactly how much we are spending both in the local currency and our home currency!
  • When you enter your expenses you allocate it into a category, e.g. food, accommodation, transport, entertainment, etc. You can add categories as you wish, for example we have set up extra categories for Laundry, Massage and Visas. It is interesting to see the breakdown of your spend! Trail Wallet shows you a pie graph of your expenses so you can see what proportion of your spending are going where. Ours is a constant battle between food and accommodation.
  • You can spread expenses across multiple days, or input them in for a future (or past) date. For example, with accommodation you can split a total across three nights and it will automatically split it for you, or for renting a scooter you can split it across the amount of days you are renting for. When we book transport, we usually put it in for the day we are travelling itself, rather than they day we booked.
  • You do not need an internet connection to enter any of your spending data. The only thing you need the internet for is to initially download the app itself, occasionally check and update the exchange rates or if you want to share any of your data (you can send yourself a CSV file of it, share on Twitter or Facebook).

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With Trail Wallet you can see right in front of you what you have spent for the day, the last few days, the last month, or your entire trip. It can help hold you back on unnecessary spending because you know you have overspent for the day, or perhaps if you know you haven’t spent much that day you could indulge yourself in a massage!

I will be using our Trail Wallet data to divulge what we spent in each country with a bit of a breakdown of our costs, look out for Indonesia in the next couple of weeks! So far, I am pleased to say with Trail Wallet holding us accountable we are coming in well under our overall budget.

Trail Wallet is SO easy to use and SO helpful to track your spending on the road. I would recommend this to any traveller without a doubt!

How do you manage your budget on the road?


Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to follow me on BloglovinInstagram & Twitter to stay up to date with The Butterfly Editions!



6 Responses to How to Budget When You Travel: Trail Wallet

  1. Laura Pita says:

    This app is sooo cool! Definitely downloading it and using it for our next trip!
    Maybe this way i can finally write a budget/itinerary post frome very trip we do 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Erin says:

    Thanks so much for the great review Christie and we’re really glad it’s helping you stay on budget! Looking forward to seeing your budget posts as we’re hoping to get to Indonesia next year. Happy travels!

    • Christie says:

      Thanks for your comment Erin, you guys have created a seriously awesome app – I won’t ever be travelling again without it!

  3. Leanne says:

    This looks like a seriously awesome app. Great find! x

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