Being alone isn’t too bad. Whether you’re hiking alone, dining at your favorite restaurant, or shopping for gifts, doing it alone isn’t so much of a bad thing. In fact, going solo has a lot of perks––and that includes having control of your own cash. Take, for example, your friend goes with you, a group of friends, or worse––your whole family. Bicker after bicker, question after question of who’s supposed to pay more just isn’t the family time you were hoping for.
The biggest challenge when it comes to splitting payments and bills is that everyone and I mean everyone, follows a different method and technique. Imagine being with your friend; you track expenses by taking down how much you’ve spent to the last penny and on the other hand, your friend gives you the classic “you pay now then I’ll pay next” line. That’s one freaky scenario.
And to be honest, that’s really just one scenario out of a million. You could be on a beach trip with your friends who have conveniently switched to vegan diets, a fish diet of some sort, and meat lovers. Imagine the scenes of bill-splitting, then.
However, in this day and age of technology, you really don’t have to worry about that. You can try to note and calculate as much as you want, but that’ll eventually take a toll on you for sure. In fact, there are already app-based solutions to the problem. Not only are these apps pleasing to the eyes, but they’re also functional and works way better than your notepad and calculator.
Here are five of the best bill-splitting apps you need to have!
There’s a reason why we decided to put Splitwise for you to see first as it is the most versatile of all the bill-splitting apps on this list. It’s conducive for every situation and does the only job it has to do very well––splitting costs between two or more people. Being with friends and knowing that money will be involved has never become easier. From one person to another, all the shared expenses are organized in one place for everyone to see just how much they owe.
The app doesn’t only split the cost but it also tracks borrowing and lending over time. Splitwise also makes it a point to send reminders every end of the month to steer clear of any misunderstandings and pay what they owe to go to the new month without any hassles. If you go to the homepage, you’ll see there a tally of the amount you currently owe and feel free to settle the balance any time (if it’s okay with those to who you owe money).
Payments can be made through Paypal or Venmo conveniently through the app as well. However, if it involves real cash, you can record it as a cash payment to clear the outstanding balance. Solid, eh?
The tagline of Settle Up is “good accounting makes good friends” and it’s hard to disagree. With a very friendly user interface that’s pretty much the easiest to use and the most pleasing to the eye, Settle Up is a great choice if you’re okay with experiencing a few glitches here and there. Not to mention the ads while using the app.
If you’re planning to use the app on Android, the basic version comes at a price of your attention span experiencing advertisements. As for its basic version, it costs just under a dollar at $0.99 per month and you’re losing the ads plus opens up a few features. If you’re on iOS, unfortunately, there’s really no choice but to pay $1.99 to use it.
What’s most convincing about it, however, is that there are a few extra features you might want to look at before getting Splitwise (if that’s your choice after reading this list). Settle Up allows you to send an image of bills to your group as well as more breakdown options of where the money was spent. The app can also use other world currencies plus it works offline.
Settle Up comes at a price, which is pretty ironic, but if you’re not satisfied with Splitwise then this one should take the cake for you.
This is perfect if you and your group of friends love traveling together. Splid’s main function is to add all the expenses of a trip to split it up among each person on the trip. Don’t worry, though, the app also caters to those who are just taking a trip to the grocery and other non-trip expenses also! Let’s say you’re in your vacation place and two of your friends are doing groceries. 9 times out of 10, two of those friends have to pay the groceries upfront. The great thing about Splid is that it can factor that in as well––adding more payees for those expenses.
If you have to do bill-splitting work offline, you can do that by downloading the PDF or Excel file version of the summary of the expenses. The app also supports more than 150 currencies!
It isn’t the best way to track expenses, yes, but it’s one of the many ways to pay your friends during a trip. Venmo lets you split a bill and pay friends back in a snap. The downside to that, however, is the need to do the maths manually or with the calculator––and nobody wants that, right?
The best scenario for Venmo is when you’re just splitting the bill into two or three simple parts. The app lets you send your share without all the drama and awkward conversations of asking “when are you paying”––let’s stop that, shall we? However, if worst comes to worst and you have to remind your friend to pay, Venmo can send these friends reminders.
Ironically, PayPal owns Venmo but the app doesn’t charge you for sending and or receiving money. It’s a popular application amongst those who are aged 17-25 in the United States. With the UI, it does feel like a normal social media platform––but for mature people.
Okay, hear me out. Excel Tactics doesn’t seem too up-to-date but believe me, it helps. Before all the fancy Splitwise, Splid, or Settle Up, Excel spreadsheets was the most efficient way to keep track of notes, receipts, payable, and other numbers. Sure, the process was a little hectic but it did yield results––and who doesn’t want results?
Now, Excel Tactics is like Excel but from the future… and it keeps track of money really well. If you’re like any other person who isn’t that good with excel and its infamous shortcuts, this is the web app for you. It’s an efficient app that lets you keep track of everything that touched your money.
According to Andrew Roberts, the creator of the spreadsheet, while there are plenty of apps and websites genuinely devoted to the hassles of shared expenses within groups, he thinks that it’s always easier to just write it all down and sort it out later.
However, the only downside is that it’s not as convenient as mobile applications that can easily plug the numbers as soon as the money leaves your wallet. If you have travel buddies who are so stern and suspicious about the aforementioned apps though and want to keep it old school, this is a great option as well.