allow gift payments that don't need to be paid back
In my household, I pay the rent and then my flatmates reimburse me. This works beautifully, normally.
Lately, flatmate #2 has been paying a little extra to cover flatmate #1's share. The way Splitwise is currently functioning, it sees the overage as a debt to be repaid.
But it isn't. Flatmate #2 is giving Flatmate #1 the gift of paying off his debt. It is a gift with no expectation of repayment.
I cannot figure out how to log this in Splitwise. It isn't a "reimbursement". I cannot log it as a simple "settle up". I don't know what to do.
Could there be an additional category of transaction listed as a gift payment? Donation? Something that indicates money spent by one individual which doesn't have to be reimbursed by another?
Hmm…interesting! I’ll pass on this feedback – I haven’t heard much about people adding transactions on Splitwise that aren’t actually IOUs or payments.
For now, your best bet is probably to edit your rent expense, so that each flatmate’s share reflects the actual amount they’ve been paying (including the gift). So if everyone pays $500/mo normally, and flatmate #1 is paying an extra $100 on flatmate #2’s behalf, you could edit the bill to say that flatmate #1’s share is $600 and flatmate #2’s share is $400. Then, when each person pays their adjusted share, there should be no remaining debt between the two of them. Hope that helps for the time being!
There needs to be an option to "write-off" or "forgive" a debt and record it correctly. Making a 'cash' payment is not acceptable for three major reasons.
(1) People use SplitWise for things like rent, utilities, etc with roommates. Sometimes there are disputes where neither party agrees, but there needs to be a record so that later on, if the disputes continue and they go to small-claims court, the ledger cannot show a "CASH" payment was made or a judge will say "he-said-she-said". "Write-off" gives the ability for both parties to at least agree on the ongoing balance and continue to use the app. Without that, people just abandon it, which I've experienced personally.
(2) SplitWise is a financial app and should follow the most basic accounting principles. Recording a "cash" payment for something that was not paid is simply wrong.
(3) If this app is used by a landlord to help track expenses with tenants, in the event of an IRS audit, the auditor will not believe "oh I just marked a cash payment, but I was never paid cash by the tenant". They will say "it's marked as a cash payment, that's income, pay taxes on that amount."
This should be an easy modification and makes the app more usable and inline with accounting principles.
I understand that many people use this as a tool to collect on a debt or pay a debt. But a more wholistic approach would be to include the ability to indicate something as a gift to the group or individual. For example, I am currently owed $4.33. I do not care to collect on $4.33- I wish there was a button to just "forgive" it. Or to be included on a group, but only be notified if I owe money not if I am due money.
Jennifer Wenz commented
A former housemate of mine owes me $0.79. He's never going to pay me, and I don't want/need him to, but there's no way for me to delete the balance or "forgive" his debt to me. It would be super helpful if the person to whom the debt is owed could delete the debt if they want to, rather than having to "settle up"--which would notify him unnecessarily, and bring it to his attention that he owes me $0.79, which is just annoying. Thank you!
Sina Pourasgari commented
Sometimes we pay for something in behalf of others, as a gift.
For example, in my graduation party, I wanna pay 50 percent of the whole bill as a gift to my friends. But I do not need to get back that money.
I think there should be an option to do this.
Currently, I first add a fake payment from all other people to me with the amount of each person's gift, and then I pay for the whole dinner, so they will owe me just the difference of my gift and they share of the bill.
Same problem here. Our supervisor gifted us money for some barbecue-event. How to book this? He doesn't want it back, but - of course - his "debts" are all paid. A gifting-option would be very nice.
All of a sudden one of the members feels happy and he wants to give bonus to all his friends at one shot. They if there is an GIVE option he can give money.