Tracking Our $3,000 Milkshake Expense

Excel spreadsheets have been my tool-of choice for expense tracking for the past few years. But that won’t be practical when Mr. Grumby and I pedal away on Undaunted Porridge. With eight bicycle panniers and one handlebar bag that we’ll carry over thousands of miles on two bicycles, we will be minimalist travelers. Our electronics need to be lightweight, and since we’re riding through the summer months we will need a powerful app to track our milkshake expense. It could be upward of $3,000!



Devices for the 2-Wheel Travelers

We don’t have room for this much paper in our panniers!

We decided against paper and pencil, because we would need reams and reams of paper to record our deep thoughts and document each milkshake purchase! After many hours of research, discussion, and anxiety attacks, we’ve decided on:

  • Two Moto G5 Plus mobile phones: personal computers, cameras, and (oh yeah) phones
  • One iPhone 5s: GPS
  • Two Kindles: entertainment!
  • One wireless keyboard

Weight and bulk are very important when deciding what makes the packing list and what doesn’t. And everything possible should have more than one function. We’re so lucky to be launching our tour at a time when we can use technology to help limit our gear weigtht. Two small 7 1/2 oz phones will capture memories, help us stay connected, wake us up in the morning, process transactions, keep records, and more! The other smaller decommissioned phone will prevent us from heading to Ben Wheeler (Wild Hog Capital of TX!) when we should be going to Sioux City, IA. And the two Kindles will store all the reading material that we need to keep us entertained and inspired (except for blog posts, which we’ll continue to read on our phones).


Monefy App for Expense Tracking

$3000 on milkshakes?!

One of my personal computing priorities is expense tracking. Mr. Grumby thought he would have to admit me to detox to get through the Excel withdrawals, but I found an app that meets our needs! Monefy is simple, user-friendly, and allows us to track expenses by category, month, year, and expense type. It also has a comments field that allows us to record vendor information and any other notes we want to add. What I found most impressive is that with the $2.50 “Pro” version Mr. Grumby and I can both input expenses and share the database by synchronizing to Dropbox. The upgrade also includes custom categories and accounts.

This will be a particularly useful tool while we’re traveling because we will likely use cash for campground fees and milkshakes. Since we’ll be riding during the summer months, our milkshake expense could easily exceed $3,000.

Here’s a look at how the app works with some of our live January data.


A Few of the Grumby Custom Categories



Custom Accounts


Category Overview by Percentage



Value by Category



Line Item Detail



Monefy Data for the Future … and for You?

If we want to use our Monefy data in the future for more robust analysis, we can export the data as a CSV file and copy to either Google Sheets or Excel.


What do you think? Will Monefy be able to handle the number of milkshakes we drink while riding through the summer heat?


Would you ever use the app to track your expenses?


If you’re interested in building your own expense tracking app, check out this post by Mr. Waffles on Wednesday.


  2 Replies to “Tracking Our $3,000 Milkshake Expense”

  1. January 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    At first I thought you were kidding about those milkshakes! But with all that biking, the drinking of liquid sugar might be the most important category in the budget!

    If we were hitting the road without laptops I could totally see using this app. I forgot whether you already have a wireless keyboard. I bought one on Amazon for my iPad and it works great. It’s fairly small and lightweight but comfortable. The charge lasts long too.

    • Mrs. Grumby
      January 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Ha! My original title was “Expense Tracking for the Minimalist Traveler”, but thankfully Mr. Grumby talked me into playing up the milkshake angle. I think every bike touring blog we’ve read has referenced an increase in ice cream consumption during summer rides. :o)

      We do have a wireless keyboard that our friend gave us (thanks Kathleen!). Comfort while typing and long battery life are essential!

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