This app solved our group’s bill-splitting headaches

Illustration for article titled This app solved our group’s bill-splitting headaches
Photo: ViewApart (iStock)

This past weekend, I traveled to Las Vegas to meet up with a group of six friends who live all across the company. It was a girls-only weekend full of unlimited buffets, inadvisably large daiquiris, plus a Céline Dion show. (Don’t judge; Celine is a legend.) Because we are all conscientious people, we didn’t want any one person to get stuck footing more than her share of the food, drink, and ride-share expenses. What would have once been a rat’s nest of record-keeping was much easier once we all downloaded this app called Splitwise. If you dine out in groups a lot, you need this on your phone.

A screenshot of the Splitwise expenses queue
A screenshot of the Splitwise expenses queue
Screenshot: Kate Bernot

It works differently than Venmo or Chase QuickPay because you don’t have to do any of the math to figure out who owes what to whom. It’s especially handy in situations like a multi-day group trip, when various people are splitting expenses over the course of days. Here’s how it works: If one person pays for an expense—let’s say a round of drinks—they enter that expense into the app. Then, they select which other people are sharing that expense, and Splitwise keeps track of all those transactions during the weekend. At the end of the trip, you click ‘settle up,’ and the app calculates how much each person owes each other person. Instead of trading money back and forth, you just make one simple payment.

I’ve also used this app during another group vacation to California, and as long as everyone enters their expenses in a timely fashion, it works out great. It’s not as awesome as having that one mega-rich friend who offers to pay for every round and every meal, but few things are.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.



I’m looking at this app’s page (without downloading it), and it looks like it’s all good if you need to split an expense equally.  But, I’m wondering what happens if the round of drinks includes buddy Dave’s $1.50 happy hour special draft beer and his sister Julie’s $15.00 fancy craft martini, plus a few other drinks in between those.  I’m guessing everyone’s drink would have to be inputed into the app manually and individually?  Sounds like a lot of work.  I hope I’m missing something here that makes it a lot more powerful than I’m perceiving.