5 Apps To Track and Share Vacation Costs
When you start traveling with a child or two or three your budget expands pretty quickly. Additional airplane tickets, larger hotel rooms and bigger restaurants tabs add up. If you don’t plan your budget well and stick to it, you could wind up spending more than you’d planned too — and somehow too much of it will have been on ice cream and snow globes. So we’ve rounded up five clever apps to help parents budget better and stick to their plan, no matter how many souvenirs your kids beg for.
AwardWallet stores all your loyalty programs in one place and allows you to track points and rewards balances as they’re updated. When we say all, we mean all: frequent flier miles, hotel and car rental loyalty points, your credit card cash back tallies, even your points from Papa John’s Pizza. It’s easy to lose track of points and let them go to waste, so this app helps you to make the most of those perks you’ve earned.
Available: App Store or Google Play.
Splitwise shares bills and IOUs, making it handy for those who frequently travel with friends or extended family. The sleek interface shows you how much you owe — and who owes you — at a glance. You can list expenses, evenly split bills and check who owes what for a given expense. Best of all, Splitwise keeps a running total over time, so it’s easy to repay relatives with one big payment at the end of the trip rather than divvy up every meal and ticket purchase on the spot.
Available: On the web, App Store and Google Play.
FamZoo dubs itself a virtual banking tool. It allows you to give a debit card to your child, track what they spend and set an allowance, perfect to teach older kids about budgeting and fend off those pleas for just one more souvenir. This money-teaching app is also helpful for those rebuilding their credit with fair-credit credit cards.
Available: App Store.
I think this is the best app for actually reining in your family’s vacation spending. Trail Wallet lets you set your budget, note your ideal spending cap for each day, and enter expenses as they happen. Then Trail Wallet will tell you tell you how much of your budget you’ve already spent and which categories are pushing you overboard. The app also lets you divvy up budgets by country or category so you can better keep track of your habits. (It converts expenses to your home currency as well.)
Available: App Store.
Billing itself as your personal finance coach, Penny could be just the thing you need or a bit more intrusive than you would like. She tells you in real time what your family is spending. And I mean she literally tells you: Penny will notify you in a conversational tone when charges hit your checking or credit card account, clearly listing the vendor and the amount. It also breaks spending down into categories and “predicts” when bills are due so you (and your wallet) are always prepared. Financial coach…or mom?
Available: App Store and Google Play.
Further Resources: Budget Travel offers plenty of family travel ideas that stretch your dollars well without a “low-budget” feel.
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Jill Krasny is a reporter and editor at Credit.com. Prior to joining the company, she was a senior writer at Esquire and Inc. Magazine, where she covered a range of lifestyle and business topics. Her work has appeared in Mashable, Travel + Leisure and MTV.com.
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