Tired of being the one who always picks up the bill? Well, your problem has just been solved by the masterminds behind my new favourite app Splittable.
We’ve all been there at some point, you pay the bill on the promise that the other parties will pay you back the money owed, but it never arrives. Then worse of all, you have that awkward moment where you feel embarrassed to ask for your own money back. Not any longer my friends! Splittable has been created to help renters track and split the associated costs they share in the household.
CEO Nick Katz started the company after falling out with one of his friends that had been tracking expenses on a spreadsheet. When Nick came to move out of the property they shared, the friend produced a bill worth thousands of pounds for the various household costs that that had accumulated over the tenancy. Nick had no idea any of these bills existed, so set to work on creating a tool that made home finances more transparent.
So how does it work?
Splittable is an easy to use tracking system that ensures everybody in the household is accountable for their share of the bill. It gives it’s users the added peace of mind that they will get paid back. It allows you to record recurring expenses such as rent, utilities and internet, whilst at the same time you can also track individual expenses such as cleaning products, toilet roll, toothpaste, and all the other costs in a house that soon add up if everyone isn’t paying their way.
This will be of great news to my other half who regularly bemoans the fact he always picks up the bill for shower gel and deodorants, whilst I’m always ranting about him never paying for toilet roll or toothpaste. Splittable is about to solve these problems – HURRAH!
The app is great to visualise if you owe, or are owed money by appearing on the homescreen. If you have no money owed to you, and you owe no money to your housemates, you are ‘All Squared’ in the household.
You can also pay it forward instead of paying it back – so if you have an expense outstanding but buy the next item yourself, you cancel it out. Sounds good so far huh?
Who will benefit from using it?
I’d argue there is a case for everyone to find a use for it in all honesty, but it has proved to be extremely popular amongst students, young professionals and couples who are house sharing – creating a positive influence on their shared living situations. Anything that increases financial transparency, for couples especially, can only be seen as a good thing. Finances tend to be a source of conflict for many, so by ensuring that everybody is accountable for their fair share it takes away the risk of any financially motivated arguments and would help massively with budgeting. I know many couples who would benefit from that.
Students, who tend to be on strict budgets whilst at uni, can make huge use of this. I remember how frustrating it could be trying to split bills with only two or three of us living together, with student housing often having many more occupants it can be a nightmare keeping track of everything from toilet roll to the utility bills.
The same goes for young professionals. Until three years ago, I was still sharing with a friend and there was many an argument of who owed what, the bills we managed to always sort no problems, but it was the little things like toilet roll, toothpaste, washing powder or who bought dinner that we would bicker over. I really wish we would have had this then, it would have helped greatly to maintain a much happier and peaceful household!
But why stop there? You can use it for other things not within the household. To my very best friends I am known as ‘No Change David’, as admittedly I’m a serial dodger of taxi fares. I never have change and very rarely carry cash at all these days, I always have the intention of paying it back, but usually it has to be dragged from my pocket or transferred after much nagging. Using this app makes sure someone like myself is always accountable for their share. The same can be said about dining out or just a few drinks. How many times have you took someone out for a few drinks on the promise they will pay you back only to never see it again?
It’s good news for parents too, what better way to hold your children accountable for their loans from the bank of mum and dad? My mum would have loved nothing better than to have this to keep track of my borrowings. It would have replaced her famous note on the fridge, there to shame me in front of my friends – she played hard ball my mother!
I intend to use this as a budgeting tool as much as anything, seeing in plain sight what my money is being spent on will allow me to cut down further and get closer to my Q2 target of living off no more than 59% of my wages. I’m not afraid to admit I have had a dodgy few months where this is concerned and have fell well short. Splittable will certainly help me get myself back on track.
Have you ever argued with friends about money owed?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.