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How Splitwise Has Changed Finances Between Friends

Splitwise is a new app that you can use for free if you have consumer expenses that you need to split with friends or relatives. Perhaps you are going on a group vacation or maybe you're attending a concert or other kind of event. Splitting the bill fairly can be tricky business, but the Splitwise app can help you to do it fairly, quickly and easily. How has it changed the real estate industry?

It's a free tool that helps in figuring cost divisions

When a group wants to go through a realtor to acquire a vacation rental, the app makes it easier for the agent to divide the costs among the renters so everyone gets treated fairly in the deal. It's also good for the temporary renters to use on their own so they can determine how to divide the cost for accommodations.

Figuring costs as they come in

When people are splitting a joint trip, who should pay for what can become an issue. For example, some persons in the party may want to use room service or dine out and eat expensive meals while others may want to conserve on the total cost. Splitting the bills down the middle isn't always fair because some people will come out ahead. Splitwise offers a solution to the problem of equitable divisions. It even has the capacity to track new amounts as they come in. It's a cloud-based app so it maintains the data that is input so you won't need to worry about keeping receipts. Expenses are added to the app as soon as they come in.

How it works

It doesn't really matter whether members of the group make payments by check, cash or an online payment resource such as Venmo or PayPal. The app allows all users to send an IOU to another member of the group for tracking, and you can also send messages via the app. Another free app that is complementary to Splitwise is the Plates app that helps to split up restaurant bills. This ensures that any items that are shared is split among the guest that share the plates and all other meals are paid for by the person ordering, including taxes and the tips. An email notification of the total amount owed is sent to each member of the group. The Plates app is easy to link with the Splitwise app.

Online integration

One of the features that make Splitwise so handy is that it is integrated with Venmo and Paypal. These payment systems can be linked with a bank account, a credit card or a debit card and can be used to either send or receive payments through PayPal via both payment platforms.

The benefits of a shared finance app

Vacationers aren't the only ones who can benefit from using Splitwise. It's also a handy tool for people who are renting a home together. Splitting up the bills equally isn't as simple as each person paying half of the total amount due. Sometimes the divisions need to be made differently in order for them to be fair. Roommates can use the handy app to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share, but no more. It's a great app for figuring out how to split the weekly grocery bill, utilities, rideshare situations where several commuters carpool on a weekly basis for school and work and much more. It eliminates the need to keep receipts for purchases and to write a ton of small checks or make trips to pay people the money you owe for your IOUs because you can make the funds transfer instantly via PayPal. It's a convenient and time-saving app that is absolutely free to download and use. There may be a charge if you are using a credit card via Paypal but these charges usually only amount to one percent of the transfer amount and in most cases, there is a maximum charge of $10, which is affordable when you're making a larger funds transfer.

Final thoughts

Splitwise is a useful tool that makes it easy to keep track of shared expenses by taking the pressure off and doing the tracking for you. All you need to do is make sure to input the amounts that you spend. It's available for iPhone, Android and through the web. It's totally free so give it a try.

FAQs About Splitwise

If you’re interested in using Splitwise to manage shared expenses, be they rent costs or restaurant bills, the first step is to open a new account. This only takes a minute. You need to provide a name, an email address and a password – that’s it. Once you’ve registered for an account, create a new group.

Groups are helpful because they allow users to set up recurring sharing conditions between groups of people who regularly split expenses. If you lease an apartment with friends, for example, you’ll need to create a ‘rent’ group with repeating dates and terms. To set one up, you’ll need permission from its members to add personal details.

You’ll need to provide contact information for every group member. Each member can then log in and view the cost splitting conditions associated with it. To set up your first cost sharing arrangement or scenario, click the Add Bill button. Fill in the details regarding total cost, how many people owe money and how the expense is to be split. When finished, hit the Save button and Splitwise will create a record of payment for each group member.

Who Can Make Changes to a Group?

Do be aware that Splitwise groups are inherently equitable. If you add somebody to your group, they get permission to make changes to it. All members of the group can view, edit or even delete shared bills. There are no special privileges for the individual who originally set the group up.

All responsibilities are shared on Splitwise. If, for any reason, you don’t want to give other group members the power to make changes, you’ll need to create a private group for your own management and perusal.

Can I Set Different Permissions for Group Members?

Unfortunately, this cannot be done on Splitwise. The fairest way to split bills and costs in this manner is to ensure all group members retain some control over their balances. Imagine if you were added to a group and asked to pay an incorrect bill? You’d want to amend the incorrect terms immediately. With Splitwise, you can do this. Think of it as the Wikipedia of cost sharing tools. It’s a group enterprise.

I Want to Create a New Account But Add Friends’ Details Later. Can I Do This?

The most efficient way to use Splitwise is with a shared group that gives all members or ‘payees’ the same amount of control over payment conditions. If you don’t have an email address for all members at the time of opening a new account, you can use as a temporary placeholder.

This is a good way to learn how to use Splitwise without sending out real notifications to friends. For example, if you’re just looking around the platform and working out how to operate its tools and features, you may want to create a test group. Use the placeholder email given above to create a group without notifying members.

Can I View of History of Edits to a Group of Account?

Yes, you can log in and view a history of edits and changes made on your account or in a group you’re following. Log in. Click the Recent Activity’ button. It’s near the top of your dashboard overview page, on the left hand side. To see older edits and changes, click the View More option.

Is It Easy to Delete an Account on Splitwise?

You have the power to delete your account at any time. It’s easy to do but you’ll need to visit the website. Just log in as normal. Navigate to the Account Settings page. Find Advanced Features and select Delete Your Account. If you can’t see the button, scroll down the page.

Is There A Way to Keep Some Costs and Balances Private?

The way Splitwise works is very simple. It values transparency so adding any individual to a group gives them access to all its terms, history and conditions. Nobody outside of a group (not linked to the account) can access its information.

Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to share details of one bill with a friend but still keep them from accessing information about others. Essentially, if they’re not involved, they don’t have access. However, this only works if you’re careful about who you add to groups. Everybody linked to an expense or a group can view its details only.

If you’d like to create a private group for just yourself, try adding new expenses without assigning them to new groups.

How Does the Settle All Balances Feature Work?

We’ve got to say, for such a useful feature, the Settle All Balances button on Splitwise accounts sure can be confusing sometimes. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works so you can decide if it’s useful for your group. You’ll see a Settle All Balances option appear on your account at times when two different balances cancel each other out.

Let’s use a simple scenario. Steve and Phil have set up a Monthly Rent group on Splitwise. This particular month, they’ve also been out to lunch and plan to split the bill. Steve still owes Bob $30 to settle his share of the rent. Due to the lunch, however, Phil now owes Steve $20 for a shared food bill.

To make settling multiple debts easier, Splitwise offers users the option to calculate total payments. So, the Settle All Balances button would consolidate all the separate expenses and conclude that, in this case, Steve owes Bob $10. Once this is paid, all debts are settled. You don’t have to use this feature. It’s just an option provided by Splitwise.

Can I Reset the Password for My Splitwise Account?

There are a number of reasons you may wish to change the password for your Splitwise account. Fortunately, it’s very easy to do. Visit or, alternatively, use the Reset Password option on the login page of your Splitwise mobile app.

You’ll need to enter the email address linked to your account so you can be sent a link with instructions for creating a new password. Open the email when it arrives. Click the link inside. It will take you back to Splitwise and a page where you can enter new password details.

Every time you request a new email link, the old one becomes invalidated. So, make sure you’re using the most recent email sent to you by Splitwise. Sometimes, it can take a little while for the email to appear. Just be patient. If it hasn’t arrived after ten minutes, repeat the process to request a new email link.

Can I Block an Abusive User on Splitwise?

Splitwise advises careful use of the block function. It should not be used to shut other group members out of notifications or updates. Its primary purpose is to protect users from online abuse and harassment. Only consider using it if you’re sure you cannot resolve issues with the individual in a fair and friendly manner.

To block somebody, go to the Account Settings page. Select the Manage Block List option. Input the email address or phone number of the person you wish to block. Lastly, select the Block button. This will remove the individual from all your groups, friend lists and balances.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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