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Add debt shuffling outside of groups

There's an option on BillMonk called "debt shuffle" where an algorithm is run to reduce the number of payments between many friends. This would be a great option to add on Splitwise.

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Sajin George shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
completed  ·  AdminSplitwise Support (-, Splitwise) responded  · 

This is now live! We call it “simplify debts” rather than “debt shuffle” – check it out at https://secure.splitwise.com/users/simplify_debts. You can find it on your user settings page within the interface.

We designed our debt simplification algorithm to obey three simple rules: (1) everyone owes the same net amount at the end, (2) no one owes a person that they didn’t owe before, and (3) no one owes more money in total than they did before the simplification. It also respect everyone’s privacy by only showing you how your debts have changed.

We’ve tested our algorithm with a variety of cases, but if you think it does a poor job with your data, let us know! Email us at support@splitwise.com and we’ll see if there’s a way to fix it that improves your case.


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  • Nö Nie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    +1 to what Betsy said. The algorithm could even suggest this if it seems beneficial, and if both friends agree, the between-group carry-over is executed. There are countless examples where it simplifies the payments, to the extreme cases where an entire group, whose members with open balances are a subset of another group, can be settled up by simply carrying over all the balances to that other group.
    I usually use groups (1) for logical grouping, so I know what belongs to which trip, or which flat, etc. and (2) for splitting among the right people (evenly among everyone who is in that group), but NOT so much for settling up. Settling up, to me, is independent of groups and is more the outcome of a group that then happens independently between the people.

    The "simplify debts" page could have some helpers to select people (e.g. everyone who is in group X, etc.). The list is pretty long and using it takes a long time.

  • Betsy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When a couple friends go on a two separate trips and there are some similar members of the two groups, the current app doesn't allow balances fro group one to offset amounts from group 2. I.e. person A owes person B $70 from trip 1, but Person B owes $75 to person C in trip 2, which person A is also a part of. It would be great if Person A couple pay Person C the $70 they owe Person B that Person B owes Person C.

  • Vinod commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I tried doing. And the total is showing pretty much as expected. But it is not showing up on Dashboard when i click simplify. I want to know the logic behind it...... How do you shuffle when i select two friends which are not friends in their list.

  • AdminSplitwise Support (-, Splitwise) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey Bhavik,

    Our dashboard is about to get a pretty big revamp in the upcoming future. Due to that, we're making sure we get the features we want in (things like debt shuffle and grand total), and then do a big dashboard upgrade. It's coming though! Thanks for bearing with us.

  • Raj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is the only missing feature which prevent's the BillMonkers from joining SplitWise. I've sent invites to all my friends but none of them are willing to join without this feature being available. Do we have any timelines on when this feature would be available on Web?

  • edbury enegren commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The auto-debt shuffling for Splitwise groups is great - excited to hear it's coming to individuals as well. Wondering if it's planned to partner that with the ability to do itemized/multi-participant expenses outside of a group as well? (i.e. the way BillMonk functions)

    It'd be nice to be able to split dinner without having to put everyone in a group / make their transactions all public to each other.

  • Brandon Heller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Another Billmonk refugee here, and using the Android app. Debt shuffling would be great - a bunch of Billmonk receipts imported to a name that's also in a group, and since there's only one person owed money, it'd be nice to get a single number for what {I owe / they owe} across groups/individuals.

  • Jo Chou commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also, something I asked from Billmonk but never got was to select who to shuffle TO. Like, I would have debts with 3 people, and I would shuffle: but Guy #1 would end up being owed everything from me and Guy #3. Problem is, Guy #3 didn't know Guy #1, so how can Guy #1 pay him back? I want to be able to reorder the shuffling priority to who should ultimately owe or who should ultimately be owed.

    Let me know if that doesn't make sense....

  • Jo Chou commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I already moved here from billmonk, but found out there is no shuffling, which is basically balls. It's the main reason I used billmonk!

  • Zack Wexler-Beron commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Debt shuffling is especially needed for people within groups. Our house also uses bill monk and are desperately looking for a new website!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Debt-shuffling would be really, really great! I am also coming to splitwise from billmonk, as it's all but dead.

  • Radheshyam Balasundaram commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I guess this would be a very helpful feature, especially within groups. Lemme illustrate this with an example.. if A owes B $10, B owes C $10 and C owes A $10, all of them can be cancelled among themselves by 'shuffling', cutting down no. of checks by 3!
    This is one of the reasons why we have decided not to use Splitwise, which is otherwise a great product!

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