When you’re out with friends enjoying a night on the town, it’s easy to lend your best friend $5 for another drink. However, what happens when that friend asks for another $5 the next night and then $10 next week? Lending friends money, or borrowing it yourself, can add up quickly — and unpaid debts can lead to some uncomfortable conversations.
Don’t let money tear apart your friendships. There are many smartphone applications that track expenses and debts between friends, giving you an easy and comfortable way to keep tabs on where everyone stands in terms of money. Here is a list of the best apps out there to make splitting expenses much easier.
Venmo has become a pretty popular name among groups of friends and roommates who regularly split bills. This free smartphone app is owned by PayPal, but focuses on its social and interactive experience.
Within the app, you can send friends requests to pay specific charges, like rent payments or loan repayments, and they can pay instantly right in the app with no additional charges. There is also a memo feature that allows you to chat with friends about financial matters. For iPhone users operating on iOS 7, people can even send money over Bluetooth to friends who are physically close to them.
GroupMe is already widely used by groups of friends who want to stay in touch, but many people may not know about the payment feature of the app.
There is a Collect Money feature that allows friends in a specific group to chip in for a party or group outing or pay each other back for expenses. You can click on each friend individually and type in how much they owe you by clicking on the small paperclip icon in the chat screen. Then, you’ll receive a notification once you’ve received payments. GroupMe is a free app, but does charge for transactions.
Divvy makes it extremely easy to split bills when you’re out to dinner with friends. It’s a 99 cent app, but well worth it if you and your friends find yourselves staring at receipts trying to figure out who owes what for longer than you spent actually eating the meal.
All you have to do with Divvy is take a picture of the receipt. The app will itemize each entry on the receipt and you can simply drag each item to the person who will be paying for it. Then, the app adds in tax and tip to each person’s total and just like that, you know who owes what. It’s much easier than pulling out a calculator and fighting about who ate the most mozzarella sticks.
Splitwise is a convenient app that lets you track a running total of what each person in your friend group owes. It uses Venmo and PayPal for the transactions and is a great tool to use to keep a running total of how much everybody owes.
It will split bills and other expenses down to the penny, and keeps everyone in the know by showing totals and who owes what to each person in the app. This app is perfect for roommates who are splitting bills often, but also works for large groups of friends who often lend money to each other.
The HomeSlice app is perfect for friends who live together and need some help keeping track of expenses and chores. HomeSlice isn’t just about money — it also helps roommates settle debates about who bought toilet paper last, which can often cause the biggest and silliest arguments.
In the app, you and your roommates can create an inventory that lists all the shared items in your living space. Then, you can mark when certain items are getting low and let everyone know when somebody buys more. You can also create lists of chores that need to be done and mark them when completed. This app also includes a calendar feature that lets you track when bills are due and reminds everyone so nobody is caught by surprise.
Hopefully, your friends can find an app that works for everyone and will hold everybody accountable for the debts they owe to one another. Nobody likes having to bring up money, and unpaid debts can lead to resentments between best friends. Money isn’t worth losing a friend over, so let these apps do the hard work for you.