The Best Way to Track Your Receipts on the Road

You are traveling. Each day you pile up expenses at various restaurants, stores, hotels and other vendors and you need to record them. Receipts come in, get folded up in your jeans or handbag and you swear that soon you’ll take a look at and work with each of them.

Later that week, you’re left with a bunch of illegible wrinkled receipts. “Why didn’t I record all of that data sooner?” is the familiar question you ask yourself.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? It’s a pretty common one that many of us experience both when we’re out and about in our hometowns or far away from home on trips.

But, nobody needs to experience this particular frustration anymore. Our digital era has brought us solutions. It has brought us writing solutions like great word processors. It has brought us booking solutions, like websites that help us find deals on and purchase airline seating and accomodations with just a few clicks. And it has also brought us hardware and software that makes tracking financial records on the road a cinch.

Specifically, you should take advantage of the ability to scan your receipts in a mobile fashion.

First, consider the hardware side of the equation. You may not realize it but there are now scanners you can get that are the size of a pen! You can carry them anywhere you go and use them to create an image of your receipt or other financial document right when you obtain it in only a couple of seconds. And that image will never get crumpled up or unreadable – unlike your paper receipts.

Is this somehow still too much work for you? While that may be hard to believe, if you require it, the process can be made even easier than this. How? Well, you can even create the receipt scans on the smartphone that you already have. That’s right. It isn’t even required that you buy a new scanner.

And this isn’t even all. There are actually services that will allow you to seamlessly upload those images to be stored in the cloud and/or even automatically organized for you in a “digital filing cabinet.” Many of these options even let you add notes and assign tax information to each receipt as you enter it, which will make your accounting later on far easier. Some of them even integrate with financial software like Quicken and Quickbooks.

Ultimately, in this day and age, there is no excuse not to get your travel expenses recorded promptly. Not to mention that doing so has many benefits. Security. Convenient, yet safe, data sharing capabilities. Money saved. Less waste. It’s really a no brainer.

Take an hour out of your day and spend it checking out the scanners that have been developed. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how far the field has come with extremely portable devices.

Take a look at the applications that are already out there that will turn your phone into the only receipt scanner you’ll ever need.

And prepare for a life free of paper clutter where every receipt is at your fingertips – or the fingertips of your accountant, business partners or anyone else you wish to grant access to them – at any time of the day or year. That freedom is a great thing.

Jack aims to ease money matters for others through assisting them in discovering the best relevant information on his blog.