Have you ever had a relaxing Saturday brunch at a new dim sum restaurant with three or four friends only to end your meal with the most stressful math problem of the day: How to split the check? Splitting bills with friends has never been easy: You need to find out who has cash or card, how to fairly break everything down, and how the heck your tip factors into everything.
Fortunately, technology has the answer. Whether you're splitting lunch, dinner, coffee or even your rent, there's an app for it. Here's a comprehensive look at the bill-paying apps available to you.
This one's the biggest name on this list, and for good reason: It's a free (on the App Store and Google Play) and streamlined version of just what you want, a simple way to split a bill or repay a friend. And since it boasts the largest audience, your freinds are more likely to already have it downloaded. Getting everyone on the same app can be a major roadbump on the path to paying your bill.
To use the Paypal-owed app, just wait for a friend to pay via connected bank account or debit card, or send them a money request yourself. This one has a fanbase. Just check out their top iTunes review:
“Venmo is a requirement for friendship. If you don't have Venmo we can't be friends.”
Can't argue with that.
This app keeps it even more simple: You'll start by grabbing a snapshot of the bill itself. Once it's registered in the app, you'll be able to tap each item that you'll be paying for, and just send in that amount — appropriate tax and tip included.
With Billr, you can handle the table's tab: For groups of up to 16 people, just list out the cost of each order item, split the shared appetizers or wine bottles, and then email or text everyone in the group their exact portion of the bill. This way, splitting bills with friends doesn't require everyone download the same app: One person can do the work, and everyone benefits. You'll just need an iPhone and 99 cents do handle it, as it's only on the App Store.
This app tackles everything from utility bills to personal IOUs to groceries. Splitwise keeps a running total of it all, so you can tell who's turn it is to pay for the next month. The app even sends out cheerful reminder emails. It's free on the App Store and Google Play.
“Plates by Splitwise” is designed specifically for restaurant bills, so explore that option if this app is popular with the rest of your brunch-loving friends.
One specific “splitting bills with friends” situation can't really be handled the same way you'd split a dinner, and that's the rent. Why not? Because it's too damn high.
There's now an easy way to ensure that you won't get stuck with the full rent bill if a shifty roommate tries to avoid you. With Rentmatic — available on the App Store and Google Play — you can automate rent payments. You'll pay your rent, your roommates can pay theirs, and the app will sort it all out into the property manager's account.
Divvy combines the benefits of Tab with the UI of Snapchat: You can snap a shot of the bill, and drag each item to the person responsible for it. As always, the tax and tip are portioned out as needed. You can add people into sub-groups who are paying together, making it a great fit for a double date scenario. This one's on the App Store for 99 cents.
These aren't apps dedicated to bills, but they offer a simple answer for that one friend who never downloads the bill-splitting app you want. Just arrange how much your app-shy friend owes in real-time, and use on of these two popular online payment services to collect the bounty via email addresses. The email process allows you to request a payment as well, so you'll be able to usher your friend through the process.
Pick an option from the list above and let your friends know: The main pain in the neck known as splitting bills with friends has just been reduced to a few taps on your handy pocket computer.
Read about more apps to streamline your daily tasks at TechCo