There is one thing about travel that I am sure a lot of us hate and that is tracking and settling the travel expenses. Either we designate one guinea pig in the group to handle all the headache or spend prime time in keeping track of receipts or excel sheets. But, if you happen to be an Android phone user like me, then you have a brilliant travel expense solution in a mobile app called ‘MissPlitty’.
This free mobile app available on the Android market is the near perfect answer to all our travel expense tracking and settlement worries. This is a simple app that helps you in sharing expenses among participants of events like trips, holidays, parties and so on. And all these expenses can be tracked in any currency. To give you a quick example…As soon as you open your app, you get your events page. Here, you enter your event title and the desired currency. Then, you can add the participants in your event. Either you can pull the participant details from your phone contacts or add them as a new entry. Then, as you start making expenses on your trip, you can add the expense details, the person who paid the bill and then select the participants of this bill from the pre-defined list.
You keep doing this during the course of your trip. Each entry takes no more than 30 seconds and can be entered absolutely anywhere. At the end of your trip, you can ask the app to calculate and it will show numbers in red and green against each participant. The red against the participants means that they owe money to someone in the group, while the green means that they have paid in excess and will get a refund.
To make the accounting simpler, the app has a ‘Suggestions’ feature that allows the user to see who pays whom and how much. And finally, the entire expense and suggestions report can be shared via email and/or Bluetooth and/or just the suggestion summary can be shared as a text message (SMS). The mobile app is so helpful that all my recent trip expenses have been settled before the group split ways at the end of the trip. This is a fantastic travel app if you are a Android phone user. I am sure you will agree with my sentiments on your every first trip using this app. But, like all apps, even MissPlitty has some areas for improvement. One of the areas where I would like some richer functionality is the provision of splitting one bill amongst multiple participants. Right now, it allows only one participant per expense. The other requirement is to be able to simultaneously edit and share the app with all the participants. Again, these are only good-to-have features and the app as it stands today is a great one considering that it is a free app. Thank you Fabio Maffioletti for developing this seriously helpful travel app for Android.
P.S. Settle Up is another similar free mobile app that is available across iPhone, iPad and Android. You can give that a try too.