Money Under 30 just wrote an article on how he handled work expenses, along with great tips on how you can do the same. The article had me thinking about the evolution of how I handle my reimbursable work expenditures and how it fit into our finances.
When I first started at my company, we didn’t have much money stashed away in savings, and I had balances on (high interest rate) credit cards. There was no way that I was going front any of my own money in hopes of getting it reimbursed. I knew that other people had company issued credit cards, so I would have to ask them to purchase something for me. At first it was only under $50 items I would ask for, but then when it came time for me to make arrangements for my first business trip, I felt bad asking them to put $1,000+ on their company credit card and then have them deal with the paperwork associated with it. After that, I asked for my own company credit card.
Things went pretty smoothly after that. I put all work related expenses on the company credit card, saved receipts, and did all of the paperwork. During actual business meetings, I would always bring $100 in cash with me for the little things like cab rides or tips, diligently saving all of my receipts. Remember, with anything reimbursable, RECEIPTS ARE KING.
Fast forward to a few months ago. We have no credit card debt, and we’re now using rewards cards that we put mostly everything we buy on, and then pay off each month. We even have a substantial (for us) amount of money in savings. All of these things allowed me to cover a lengthly business trip in which I incurred ~$1,800 in expenses. The credit card bill came before the reimbursement check, but we were able to pay with bill without much financial hardship. When the reimbursement check came, we deposited it directly into savings.
By having our own personal finances in order, we were able to not freak out about taking on a relatively big expense, all while earning rewards for business trips that I’d have to go on anyway.
How do you handle work expenses? Has it ever been a drain on you personal finances?