H/T to my supervisor for this idea- I’ve been using it successfully for a few years now.
When it’s time to go TDY, don’t dip in to your personal money by taking your ‘walk around’ money in advance from your personal checking or Credit Card account- Take cash out from your Government Travel card:
Let’s say you’re headed to DC for 6 days. Look up the rates for DC in this case the ‘meals’ rate is $71 per day:
…on the day you travel, walk up to the airport ATM and take out FIVE (5) day’s worth of cash from your Government Travel charge card, just to make sure you don’t outspend your Per Diem. In this case it will be 5 days x $71 = $355.
It’s the world’s simplest accounting system- When your wallet starts to get thin, you simply throttle back on your spending.
When you get back tot the office after completing TDY, don’t forget to list the ‘ATM advance fees’ you were charged on your DTS travel claim. Also, make sure you list the 355 dollars on your ‘Less Government Advance’ section in the ‘Payments Total’ on DTS.
You just did an entire trip without dipping in to your checking account or racking up charges on your personal credit card!