Managing Money: The Kitty

There is no doubt that money can part friendships, divide groups, cause legal headaches and start wars. Maybe I am being a bit dramatic here, but when you’re travelling with a friend, money should not be an issue. You and your travel buddies should be able to agree on subjects such as how much money you would like to spend together, where you would like to spend it and who pays for certain things. If you are both of similar mindsets and you make your opinions known, there is no doubt that you set yourself up for calmer waters.

There is little worse than keeping a log of expenditures between a group travelling. There are many times when the log is relevant, especially when more money is being spent by one person than the other. Since travelling with my good friend Campbell a few years ago, I have used a method which seems to make travelling easier. This tip is very simple, but sometimes forgotten. The ‘kitty’ is the best way to describe it.

a pool or reserve of money, often collected from a number of persons or sources and designated for a particular purpose specified by the contributors.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who loves a good kitty. It seems that the people that follow this website do not mind one at all. Or these guys. Or anyone (myself included) who loves a bubble sticker of Hello Kitty.

People have kitty houses! That is how good the kitty is...

The ‘kitty’ is simple. It can be between two people or a group.Everyone who opts in for a ‘kitty’ puts an even amount of money into a reserve. You are travelling together and seeing/smelling/touching/tasting/hearing similarly priced things, so the kitty will often be used to purchase group items such as food, accommodation, tickets or entry fees. Anything that only one k-om-itty (committee – lame!) member wants (generally over a certain amount – $5 is recommended) can be purchased individually. An alternative to this is to keep a log of the items that that k-om-itty members buys with the kitty’s money.

I forgot to make mention of the ‘Lord of the Kitty’. This is the person who is responsible for managing the kitty’s money. They will both be the payer and will need to inform k-om-itty members when the kitty requires a top-up.

Even this lady knows the value of a kitty!

So ‘kitty’ up fine travellers and reduce your money woes.

  1. Hi Alex,

    Any tips on how to get the bike back on the plane for return leg of OS trips. I.e. we will fly into say Barcelona and leave from another European city – Paris or Rome. 

    Fat Rider

  2. In recent times I have always found a bike shop at the end of my journey that has a cardboard box and foam parts spare.

    In previous times, I have owned a Ground Effect ‘Tardis’ bag, which is a cloth bicycle bag that isn’t padded at all. It weighed about 1.6kg and after flying in somewhere, I would post it to the final destination point of my tour (generally a hotel organised prior to leaving). I haven’t used this bag recently as it became damaged when someone stole my bike/bag!

    Definitely check out the Tardis if you’re worried that you won’t find a cardboard box at the end!

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