One thing that I hear about a lot from clients (and have experienced myself) is how difficult it can be to stay on budget when they go out to eat with friends. Obviously, it’s much easier to split a check evenly, rather than calculating how much each person owes. However, many people are ordering less food or less expensive food in order to be social while sticking to their budget. Luckily, there are lots of apps out there that can make dining out, traveling, and living with other people much less complicated, financially. Here are some of my favorites:
I had heard a lot about Splitwise from clients who use it with romantic partners or roommates, but I hadn’t used it myself until this past March. I was up in Vermont for my friend Nina’s bachelorette party and we were all perusing a cute wine and cheese shop. One of the other women suggested that she just pay for all of the wine and cheese (which added up to over $200) and then we could pay her back through Splitwise. Basically, you can create a group or event in the app and invite people to be part of it. Every individual can input how much they’ve spent and decide who owes them what. It was amazing how easy it made the bachelorette weekend. No one had to worry who was spending how much on what, because we were all able to settle up at the end.
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Speaking of settling up, SettleUp is another app that’s a lot like Splitwise. All of the expenses are uploaded and synced so that every person in the group can see them. By the end of the event or trip, everyone’s expenses are uploaded and you can see who owes who to whom.
Plates is actually a subsidiary of Splitwise, and it’s another app that I hadn’t heard of until recently. A big group of friends went out for brunch for a birthday celebration and we all ordered differently priced dishes. Instead of flipping over the receipt and writing who owed what on the back, we decided to use the Plates app, which one person had on their phone. You can split it between up to 10 people, and even assign seats to them on the app, which makes it easier to remember who ordered what. The best part of the app is that it assigns tax and tip based on how much the person actually paid for their order.
Tab is specifically an app that helps you split the check at a restaurant. You simply upload a photo of the receipt and assign specific orders to each person. This app also calculates the tax and tip for everyone, which makes that math much easier.
Venmo is a popular cash sharing app, not an app that splits your check or other expenses. But it’s a really easy way to pay someone back for something! Plus, it often connects to the apps listed above and is the way you actually make the payment in the end.
The next time you’re going out to dinner or on a trip with friends make sure you have at least one of these apps on your phone. It’ll make things much less complicated!
This article originally appeared on Maggie Germano.
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