Per Diem Calculator


About Per Diem Calculator (Formula)

A Per Diem Calculator is a useful tool that helps individuals and organizations calculate daily allowances for various expenses, such as meals, lodging, and incidental costs, typically incurred during business travel or when employees are working away from their usual place of residence. Understanding and correctly calculating per diem rates are essential for budgeting and expense tracking. Here, we’ll explore the concept of per diem and provide a formula commonly used in per diem calculations.

Understanding Per Diem: The term “per diem” is Latin for “per day.” It refers to a fixed daily allowance provided to cover expenses when individuals are traveling for work-related purposes. Per diem rates are established by organizations or government entities and can vary based on factors such as the travel destination and the type of expenses to be covered.

Formula for Per Diem Calculation: The formula for calculating per diem expenses is straightforward:

Per Diem Allowance = Daily Rate x Number of Days


  • Per Diem Allowance represents the total daily allowance to cover expenses.
  • Daily Rate is the predetermined per diem rate set by the organization or government entity.
  • Number of Days is the total number of days for which the per diem allowance is applicable.

For example, if an organization sets a per diem rate of $100 for meals and an employee is on a business trip for 5 days, the per diem allowance for meals would be $100 x 5 = $500.

Types of Per Diem Rates:

  1. Lodging Per Diem: This covers the cost of accommodation while traveling. Lodging per diem rates can vary significantly depending on the location and can be based on government-established rates or negotiated corporate rates with hotels.
  2. Meal Per Diem: This covers the cost of meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) during the trip. Meal per diem rates are often broken down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and incidental expenses, each with its rate.
  3. Standard Per Diem: Some organizations provide a single, all-inclusive per diem rate that covers both lodging and meals.

Importance of Per Diem Calculations: Accurate per diem calculations are essential for both individuals and organizations for several reasons:

  • Budgeting: Per diem rates help organizations plan and budget for travel expenses, ensuring that employees have the necessary funds for their trips.
  • Expense Tracking: Proper calculation and documentation of per diem expenses help organizations track and justify travel-related costs for accounting and reimbursement purposes.
  • Compliance: Government employees, contractors, and others may be subject to per diem regulations set by government agencies, making accurate calculations critical for compliance.
  • Fair Compensation: Employees can receive fair compensation for their out-of-pocket expenses while traveling for work, reducing financial burden.

In conclusion, a Per Diem Calculator simplifies the process of determining daily allowances for expenses incurred during business travel, ensuring that both individuals and organizations can effectively manage their budgets and track expenditures accurately.