How to Use Splitwise to Split Bills with Roommates

After living by myself for over five years, I now have not only one roommate again, but two. While they are (thankfully) tech savvy and are open to making split payments — like rent — via PayPal, it’s become obvious that at some point we will share more expenses than just the rent due every month. We’re all fans of using whiteboards and text messages to stay in touch, but will undoubtedly need an easier and streamlined way to track shared expenses — like cleaning supplies and new decor. Someday, we will also need a way to reimburse one of the others for things like furniture.

How to Use Splitwise to Split Bills with RoommatesSplitwise, a service still in beta, resolves all these problems and more. With Splitwise, a roommate can set up a new “apartment” and start categorizing and noting expenses that are shared so that the other rommate(s) can be reimbursed for paying the expense. Splitwise is easy to set up and it keeps track of expenses owed and paid by each roommate in a very intuitive interface. . Users of Splitwise can also set reoccurring bills — such as rent and cable — or only invoice roommates for a single expense, such as shared items purchased from the grocery store. If each roommate owes a different amount, Splitwise can also easily calculate the total amount owed to each other, reducing confusion and making it easier for an indebted roommate to get paid the correct amount, and much more quickly. Users can also use Splitwise’s calculators to calculate a fair cost for couch-surfer guests or to adjust expenses if a roommate is being too loud.

Splitwise was created by Jonathan Bittner (JB) and Ryan Laughlin with the mission “to make shared living easier by providing neutral advice, fair judgement, and simplified expense sharing through Web-based tools, calculators, and blog content.” JB and Laughlin know that most roommates use different ways to keep track of shared expenses, whether through Post-its or complicated Excel spreadsheets. Splitwise emerged as a simple solution to track the annoyance of repaying shared expenses between roommates. While other services like SplitABill aim to do the same thing, Splitwise is comprehensive and intuitive without being complicated.

You can start splitting expenses with your roommates at, and be sure to check out the Android and iPhone apps for Splitwise to track and bill for shared expenses on the go.