After a night of drinks, you ask the bartender for the check and he places it on the table. You and your friend exchange glances, then draw for your wallets.
Friend: Don’t worry about it — I got it.
You: No, man, I can’t let you do that.
Friend: Fine. Want to just split it?
You: Yeah, but let me pay for it — I want the points.
Friend: Alright, I’ll just Venmo you.
Except they don’t.
And your list of small-time debtors grows: a roommate who didn’t pay their half of the electric bill; a partner who owes you the difference between the flight to your vacay destination and the Airbnb you’re staying at; a sibling who never threw in for that anniversary dinner for the parents. Getting paid back is a simple concept that can seem like a chore.
It’s easier than ever for friends to pay each other back, thanks to peer-to-peer payment services like Venmo, PayPal or Square Cash; Gmail, iMessage and Facebook Messenger work, too. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it always happens. And if somebody doesn’t pay you back, asking them to do so can be awkward. “Really, he’s asking me to pay for that?” Luckily, there’s more than just peer-to-peer services; there are also apps that specialize in bill splitting of all kinds. For starters, read up on the best way to split your next bill, your next dinner and your next vacation. From here on out, nobody gets shafted.
Split Monthly Bills
If you have roommates, you’ll know the pain of asking — or being asked — to pay the monthly bill for rent, utilities or cable. Unbill is a great app because it lets you schedule payments between friends. Each month or week or that the bill is due, each of your roommates will get a notification that it’s time to pay up. No more hunting each other down for money; this app takes care of it for you.
Split Drinks and Dinner
One-time payments can get a bit tricky if you’re splitting between several people. Even though there are plenty of group payment solutions, the best one I’ve come across is actually Facebook Messenger. It allows you to request money from multiple people at the same time in a group chat. If you and five friends grab drinks with each other, and you pay for it, you can request $15 from all of them in one fell swoop.
Split Vacation Expenses
If you’re on a group vacation (think: beach house) and you don’t want to squabble over receipts at the end of the trip, use an app. Splittr details what each person pays for, all in a group-chat-like format. It does most of the arithmetic for you, so nobody has to break out the calculator; it even works offline, in case you’re in a remote location.
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