The Many Ways to Track your Travel

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Travel is a silent budget killer. Nevermind hoarding receipts for meals on the road and hotel stays, the real iron maiden of expense is mileage. If you’re using a personal vehicle to travel near and far for your business you’re no doubt burning an ocean of gasoline, and even worse shortening the life expectancy of your ride through wear-and-tear. Now if you’re part of a larger corporation or franchised medium-sized business this may be reimbursed directly through your employer; however for small business owners mileage tracking and tax write-offs is an absolute must.

Thankfully your smartphone offers dozens of options to track your mileage. Of course you could take diligent notes in whatever application you prefer to do such things (Google Drive, Notes, Keep, Evernote, etc.). But for piece of mind, and better records for confidant tax deduction, there are a few applications you should really consider.

First, there are many applications that will automatically track your travel for free and allow users to categorize trips after the fact. Of course, no matter the software platform free never seems to deliver high quality service. So if you’re expecting value from business software, you should be ready to pay for it.

Easily, the four most popular applications for mileage and expense tracking are SherpaShare, MileIQ, Everlance, and Hurdlr. These applications all have a great deal of overlap in service, with only minor differences in pricing and features. Ranging in price from free versions (which seem to be outliers from low expectations for free rule) to $9 per month, if you rack up enough expenses you should easily be able to cover the service costs. Mile IQ is purely a mileage tracker, but will cost you around $60 a year for flawless service. Hurdlr and Everlance are “currently free” and track all expenses and integrates them into your tax documents. Finally SherpaShare offers a free trial and tracks all travel expenses and breaks down in depth data on travel time and where your money is going.

Is one of these four the silver bullet to end your travel tracking woes? Maybe, but with the field still young and many relying on free offerings, there is no guarantee any will providing the same services in a years time. For best piece of mind consider using any of these services and exporting all travel data bi-weekly so if service or pricing changes, you are able to move on without losing your travel documentation cache.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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