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As a digital nomad, the freedom to travel slowly without having to worry about what you’re going to do for work is truly liberating. Unfortunately, as with everything else in life, it also comes with its own set of problems — and one of the biggest ones is figuring out how to properly manage your finances when you’re on the move.
For one, frequent travelling entails getting to grips with different costs of living and currencies on a regular basis. Meanwhile, bank transfer fees eat into your bottom line. Throw in the travelling “mindset”, and running a profitable business whilst staying within your means and also making the most of your travels starts sounding like a tall order.
Thankfully, these days it’s much easier to keep track of your money and manage your finances than it was back in the day. Whether at home or on the go, these four apps have taken the stress out of managing my finances and made it that much easier — and they can do the same for you too.
XE Currency Converter
Getting used to the value of the local currency is probably one of the biggest challenges when you first arrive in a new country.
I find that a new currency can really skew my perception of what’s expensive and what isn’t. There you are, thinking you’re getting something for a song, when in fact it’s an eye-watering amount. Not good, huh? Thankfully, that’s where XE Currency Converter comes to the rescue.
XE Currency Converter is a necessity in any serious traveller’s arsenal. It has accurate live exchange rates for virtually all currencies worldwide; and it’s free. What’s more, it stores the last updated rates, so you can still use them even when you’re offline.
Next time you’re about to buy something pointless because you think it’s cheap, hold on to your wallet for a minute and check the real cost on XE Currency Converter.
You can thank me later.
TransferWise is the brainchild of a former Skype employee from Estonia.
Fed up of paying through the nose to transfer Euro from his home bank account to his Sterling account in the UK, he set out to find a way to beat the system and make international transfers cheaper. The result, TransferWise, is truly a godsend if you make frequent international money transfers.
TransferWise essentially works like a normal bank transfer. Money is transferred from your home bank account to your choice of recipient account.
The difference lies in how the transfer is routed. Instead of shuttling the money directly from the sender account to the recipient account, TransferWise reroutes the payment in a way that circumvents bank fees. You’ll only pay the real mid-market exchange rate, plus a small fee.
It has saved me tons of money in bank fees, and made my life that much easier. We talk a lot more about Transferwise here.
Best Budget is an an expense tracking tool, and is probably one of the apps I use most. I like it because you can keep track of both your income and expenses in one place.
Probably the best thing about it, though, is that you can create an unlimited number of different budgets for your various expenses and decide whether to roll over any surplus to the next budget period. That way, you’ll always know whether you’re overspending or if you have some leeway.
Best Budget works with most currencies worldwide.
I’m not one to avoid mixing business with pleasure. In fact, slow travel is, you could say, kind of the essence of that sort of thing.
That said, there is one area where I do my damnedest to keep my work and personal life separate: my finances. Expensify is awesome that way, because it’s built precisely to keep track of all your business expenses.
Using the app is as easy as snapping a pic of a receipt and keying in the amount, location and type of expense. Alternatively, you can automatically import your credit card transactions. That’s it.
And if that doesn’t float your boat, you can also input your expenses manually. In fact, you can even keep track of gas mileage or time. At any point, you can generate a report, track what’s been reimbursed and what hasn’t, and even issue a custom invoice.
What’s not to love?
What apps do you use to manage your finances on the go? Sound off in the comments section.