Whether you’re self-employed or an employee of a company you’ll incur “out of pocket” expenses when you travel.
What am I talking about?
It can be something as simple as a 1 or 2 Euro bus ticket or taxi ride or any kind of expense you incurred while doing your job. Even if you have a company credit card you’ll end up paying for stuff using cash or your own card at some point.
If you’re not sure if an expense is valid or not don’t worry – your employer’s accountant / finance team should be able to tell you! It’s probably better that you keep receipts and try to claim for too much rather than too little ..
The problem we all run into, however, is keeping track of expenses. It’s far too easy to pick up receipts as you go and shove them into your wallet or bag. But what do you do with them a week or two later? Do you remember what it was that you paid for at 1am in Moscow?
There are, however, quite a few tools and apps out there that can help take some of the pain away.
Personally I really like Expensify. And their mobile app is really good too. There are, of course, hundreds of other apps and services that you could use. You might, for example, have a specific solution that your company mandates.
The key thing is to try and record expenses as quickly as possible. This might mean simply shoving each day’s receipts into an envelope and putting a simple note on a receipt to clarify exactly what it is for.
Make sure you claim for your expenses as soon as you get back from a trip. Don’t let them accumulate.
Your employer / accountant won’t be too impressed dealing with expenses for trips months after the fact.
Also, you’re out of pocket. It might not be “much” money, but it adds up pretty quickly.