Matthew Gordon

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    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…

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    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,
    Matt

    Matthew Gordon supported this idea  · 

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