Buying groceries with roommates, sharing bills, and splitting the check at restaurants seem to be a problem just waiting to be solved. Having to carry around cash is a pain enough, but now you’ve got to split change, remember who owes whom… I felt like, in our digital age, surely there’s a simple way to keep a tab between friends?
Well, there is, all I had to do was google it. In fact, there are a handful of solutions and after dabbling with each it seems Splitwise is the most fully featured, while still being very easy to use. Though you can add single people, I think it’s most useful when you create a group and add your friends to it. They can access the group as well, either from an app or the website, but don’t actually have to - you can still keep track of who owes what if someone doesn’t want to use the service.
The app keeps a floating tab between friends. If your roommate paid a bill, you can record a payment between the two of you, which may be partially canceled out when you pay for another bill. You can also manually divide a bill equally or itemised, and the web interface even supports Google Calendar-like text input, so you can just write ‘everyone owes me for $48 pizza bill’ and it’ll figure it all out for you.
Plus, when you have a tangled web of IOUs going between a bunch of people, you can ‘settle your debt’ to automatically shuffle money around so everyone owes the actual minimum. And if you want to cash out I think there’s a paypal option, even. It’s so nice when a piece of software fills a need so well and Splitwise definitely fits the bill.