Apply payment directly to expense/pay for individual items
When a payment is made, you should be able to select the associated expense(s) & enter a $ amount to which expense the payment should be applied to.
An update: we’re still not planning to add the concept of a payment for a specific bill or a specific expense. We’ve left this idea under review for many years, but we’re not convinced it’s the right idea for Splitwise. We think focusing on a total balance makes things simpler in most cases. This is also how a bank balance works.
Here’s two potential work-arounds if you’re not satisfied:
1. Let’s say you want to set things up so you can see if people have specifically paid for a certain bill, or for a certain month of expenses. You can create a group just for that bill or month – then, when viewing that group, you will only see balances owed from that specific bill or set of bills.
2. Once you pay an amount and want to keep track of it being for a certain bill, you could use a comment on the payment and the expense. This would allow you to note down your intentions.
Also, since this request was added, we’ve added the following feature: if you ever /fully/ settle up with a friend or group, we automatically hide all bills before that time behind a tap or click to make things cleaner. This way, you generally can see only which bills specifically are affecting the group or friendship balance. (If things have been only partially settled, we leave everything visible.)
If you’d like to share more about why this feature is important to you, or why these workarounds are not sufficient, we always appreciate specific feedback so we can understand how it could help you specifically. For this reason, we’ll leave the request “under review”
I'm the guy in our house that pays all our bills upfront and collects my house mates contributions through splitwise. It's confusing for me to chase up the guys not knowing what they have and haven't paid for... If there was a function for them to check off what they have and haven't paid (allocating their payments) it would my life a whole lot easier.
Has the recent web update (Aug 22) hiding balances which have been previously settled improve this for people (on the web)? We agree that it can be confusing to just see a list of all transactions.
(On the mobile apps, we still don't hide transactions past the settle-up point yet, though we plan to.)
We really sympathize with the lines of thinking steve and matt have posted here. You are welcome to extend Splitwise to do what you want using our API (http://dev.splitwise.com), but whenever we whiteboard out the solutions like the ones you are proposing, we see big problems and user interface potential confusions that are hard to solve. The minimal update on Aug 22 relieves a lot of pressure for "why do I owe what i owe" by reducing the list to the set of relevant transactions, and then why I owe what I owe should be more clear.
I'm curious if others feel the same way? Haley K, are you referring to the website or mobile app?
Haley K. commented
Any progress on this? Definitely needed IMO.
I just started using this program recently and i really like it except ive been having the same issue as these guys that unfortunately will prevent me from using it. Until this enhancement is included, i unfortunately cannot use this app because the people that owe me money cannot see why, without me manually going into each bill and calculating why for them. What is the point of splitwise then if i have to do this?
When my roomates pull up the app, all it says is "you owe..." A certain amount, but it doesn't properly breakdown why you owe it (it only gives u a record of ALL bills). The question of "why do i owe this much" cannot be answered without wasting ALOT of time going thru all the records.
Like any bill, you should have the capability to find out exactly why you owe a certain amount (ie. for october rent and share of electricity..but NOT Sept rent bc its already been paid for).
This seems like a rudimentary essential feature that you guys seemed to overlook. I can understand the need to have it the way it is right now (consolidating all monies owed to a certain person) but the missing feature of being able to break down "why i owe" is still such a glaring issue and honestly I believe is the biggest flaw/drawback/achilles heel/lacking of splitwise.
Anyone who disagrees probably either just doesn't care about why he owes someone money or uses the app in a different way. But I'd say that being able to know 'why you owe money' is a very reasonable, basic, civil necessity not only for this app but for every bill or debt we owe.
Solution: i think the solution is simple. Keep the code the way it is, just add the ability to mark a bill paid or partially paid (with how much) for the share the person owes. For example: september rent shows Bob owes $100 & Joe owes $200, and electricity bill $200 joe owes. When entering a payment from Joe of $300, user can mark sept rent fully paid for joe and electricity partially paid.
Endstate: when clicking on how much you owe to someone, it will output all bills that have NOT been marked fully paid.
Unless the code is really messy i dont see how hard this can be.
Pls let me know when this feature is added as I am happy to return to use this app and tell all my friends how awesome it is. Until then, im going to other sites. Thanks for listening!
Matthew Gordon commented
I'm part of several Splitwise groups used for traveling with friends. I like a lot of things about Splitwise, but without this feature I'm thinking about demanding that we go back to the old, crappy way of sending each other a bill for each thing.
Without the ability to apply a payemnt directly to an expense, there's no way to answer the question "Why do I owe money?". Many times since I've started using Splitwise, I've signed in to find that I owe money in an old group where I'm confident I was already settled up. Did someone edit an old transaction? Add a new transaction after the trip was over? Am I mis-remembering? Did someone else overpay accidentally?
It's not impossible to find out, it just requires an extraordinary amount of time. Or, I can just pay money that I don't feel I owe. Those are bad, frustrating choices. The reason I wanted to use Splitwise is to save time and still be confident that everyone was paying their fair share.
It sounds like you've been thinking about the best way for this to work for a while, but I'd like to throw my two cents into the mix.
1) Add a checkbox next to each expense
2) Add a selector for expenses to allow: select all, select none, select unpaid
When the settle up button is pressed
3) If expenses are checked, settle up records a payment against those expenses.
4) If expenses are not checked, settle up records a payments against the oldest unpaid expenses moving forward until the amount of payment is exhausted.
It seems like a primary technical point would be handling the issue where the selected expenses require payments to many people. I'd like to vote for starting with the simplest thing that could possibly work: open a paypal tab for each of the checked expenses. Is that sort of crappy? Maybe, but it'll be really easy to do because you've already written that code. That just leaves adding the checkboxes, associating the payment with the expense, and displaying a link to the paypal transaction.
I obviously haven't read your code, so there's probably more to it than that. There always is, but I really want you to add this feature so my problem will go away. If it's an issue of time, I will add the feature myself and send it to you for review. Just give me access to the repo. I'm so serious.
Thanks for reading,
Jonathan Taufer commented
Good to know that this is something still on the table!
Mark Warwick commented
Does Winter 2013 mean early 2013, or the end of 2013?
Grant Payne commented
Yeah, it is confusing that when selecting a bill, the "Who paid what" never changes.
You should be able to "check off" certain payments under specific bills.
The "running tab" could easily still be kept.
Christian Rahn commented
I'm actually going to disagree with this one. Applying payments directly to an expense, when others exist is essentially reversing the (good) abstraction that SplitWise creates. If a person has multiple expenses to pay for, it's only a mental construct that they are "paying for" a specific thing.
This is, of course, completely disregarding all concept of interest/time calculations.
I think that it's especially confusing to see "Bob owes $55.55" in the expanded view of a Group bill when Bob already payed me $55.55 through the Settle Up menu.
it'd also be great to hide/display what you already paid for from the dashboard to sorta clear it up.
Narayanan Kashyap commented
Although paying back specific expenses will be a nice-to-have feature, this can quite easily be solved by paying up a certain amount and reporting just that amount as a pay-back.
on the monthly breakdown, it would show the payments lined up with the correct response and you can see what is still owed for each expense.