TripSaver App: Please Help Me Turn a Dream into a Reality

By Nomadic Matt | Published July 31st, 2013

Dear readers,

Today, something different: I need your help. I’ve long wanted to design and build a travel budgeting app and I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund it because I can’t do it alone. I’ve never done something like this before and I’m incredibly nervous. It’s hard for me to ask for help; I grew up in New England and we have a strong “do-it-yourself” work ethic up there. I’m a full believer in that, but to make this dream and awesome app become a reality, I need help.

So, today, I humbly come to you.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people remark that they didn’t know how much visiting a destination cost, wondered whether their spending was too high, or realized they were spending too much, too late. In short, many travelers have found it hard to manage and budget their money properly on the road.

That’s a problem I can relate to. Those Moleskine notebooks I used to record my expenses left a lot to be desired. It’s easy to lose track and calculating a year’s worth of spending in multiple currencies takes time. It’s not the ideal way to record your expenses.

And not a fun way to spend your time.

Between hearing your frustrations and the hours I spent adding up figures in multiple countries, I had the idea for this app. I often thought to myself, “Why isn’t there an app that — besides letting you put in your own expenses — tells you if you are over or under not only YOUR budget but a suggested budget for the country based on your travel style?”

I want to build a travel app that will take the pain out of keeping up with our budgets and our expenses while we are out on the road. I want to create an app (for both iOS and Android) that does the work for us. It is a logical extension of much of the advice I already provide to readers, and one that will help new and seasoned travelers as they move around.

And I am running a Kickstarter campaign to fund it.

In the year-plus that I’ve been thinking of this app, I’ve approached numerous developers but could never find one that was either good enough, reasonably priced, or willing to take on the project. A few months ago, I found a worthy developer, but apps are expensive to create.

As you know, I don’t take advertising on this site. I’ve had numerous offers from people and companies who want me to endorse travel products, plaster banner ads all over my site, or promote something to my readers and subscribers.

But I don’t like advertising or promoting products I’ve never used. That’s just not who I am. All of my advice comes from having been there, done that. How can I give you practical travel advice if I’ve never done it myself?

This site is run only with your support, and I’m forever grateful for it.

So I am here asking for help in making this app a reality.

What would my app do? Here’s how it will make your life easier:
tripsaver app from nomadicmatt

  • Enter your expenses from your trip.
  • Provide pie and bar graphs of your spending – both daily and over time.
  • View your expenses based on a suggested budget for each destination.
  • Set your travel style – backpacker, budget, mid-range, and luxury — and your suggested spending amount will adjust based on that!
  • E-mail your expenses to yourself, a friend, or to Excel.
  • See a breakdown of all your spending based on a category.

The goal is for you to have an easy-to-use app that allows you to track your spending and allow you see your spending against a suggested daily budget.

That way you can know if you are spending too much money — not only relative to your personal spending goals, but also compared to the average for that country and selected travel style. (I personally think this is the coolest feature of the app.)

If you know where your money is going, you can better manage it so you can stay on the road longer.

The smart traveler is the forever traveler.

And this app is about helping make you a better traveler.

My mission is to help people travel longer, cheaper, and smarter. I want people to be able to explore the world as much as I have and I want to destroy the notion that all travel is expensive. I believe this app will help people do that.

So here I am, just a guy, humbly asking some fellow travelers for help.

If you have saved money from this website, if it has made your travels a little better, if I’ve inspired you to start a travel blog, helped you travel the world, or just brought a smile to your face, please consider supporting this project.

The minimum donation is only $1 (which gets you the app before anyone else!) and I’m sure you’ve saved more than that by using my site.

I’ve included a lot of cool prizes at each level of backing – so if you decide you want to donate more, you are going to get a ton of amazing stuff. (I’ve even included first access to my 2014 reader tours. Next month’s Europe tour sold out in an hour and had a 60 person wait list. I opened up TWO spots for the Kickstarter, which lets you avoid that rush/wait and be the first in!)

Over and over, we’ve seen the power of people coming together to help turn something remarkable from a dream into a reality. Please help me make this a reality. Together, we can create an amazing app that will help people travel better.

Visit the Kickstarter page for more information and ways to support the project.

Sincerely,

Matt

comments 25 Comments

Sean

Are you starting with an iOS or Android App, or are you doing both at once?

NomadicMatt

iOS first but any extra funding will go to Android development.

Amanda

Hi Matt,

Quick question: Will the app auto convert currencies? For instance, if I want to know how much money I’ve got left, and I’m recording things in Euros, will it tell me what that amounts to in American dollars?

Looks like a great app and something I’d get a lot of use out of.

Thanks!

NomadicMatt

It will when you update online. The app will live locally on your phone but when you connect to wifi, you’ll be able to update your phone.

Sounds like a good idea and a good app. Best of luck to you.

NomadicMatt

Thank you!

Nadia

Brilliant idea!! Great if notes or journal is added to it, any chance??

Great idea, Matt! Would love to have it on my phone. :)

Question: would you make it possible to download pretty graphs to your computer? I’m doing monthly expenses reports on my blog and would love so pretty graphs to go with the posts!

Best of luck!

NomadicMatt

Not at the moment but that’s something I’ll think about as we build it!

Good luck! I’m sure all the blood sweat and tears will pay off. :)

richard

deleting negative comments? this site is like a marketing 101. you suck

NomadicMatt

I don’t delete comments that say “Matt, I disagree and here is why…” but I delete comments that call myself or other readers insulting or degrading names. This website is a place for adults (as well as people who use proper capitalization and sentence structure) not trolls.

But I’ll leave this up so others know.

Good app and i like it. Good luck Matt!

Izabela

When will we be able to download this ?! It seems great! I’ll be traveling soon and this would come in handy:)

Alex

I second this question!

TranQuil

Matt,

Any chance that you’ll also make a Windows Phone version?

NomadicMatt

Not at this time.

Jaina

Hey. Is this app available yet? Any info on an Android version? I would love to have this for my working holiday in Australia!

NomadicMatt

iOS should be up this month, Android next.

Alex

App available yet?

NomadicMatt

Only for Kickstarter backers. It will be available for everyone next month. We’re still testing things.

Kyle Clements

Just downloaded your app on IOS. Look forward to using it. Great idea and love the blog. ????

Brittany

Super excited for the android version! Any release date scheduled yet?

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