Ever get caught in a debt triangle? You know: Mike owes you $20 for the electric bill, but he’s waiting for Anna to pay him for back for pizza last weekend, and she’s waiting for you to pay her back for those movie tickets…
In the end, nobody owes anyone anything – but until you figure that out, it’s one giant pain in the neck.
Luckily, you’ve got Splitwise. And we have some cool new features for you.
Simplified Debt in groups
Last week, we added an option on the web to automatically simplify debts within groups. What does that mean? It means that if Anna owes Bob, and Bob owes Cathy, then Anna can just pay back Cathy directly. Fewer payments = less waiting for your money = more good times.
Just click the gray “Settle up” button on your group’s page, and see how it works for yourself!
Simplifying Debt with one person
Sometimes you have multiple outstanding balances with a person – $17 for house expenses, $84 for that road trip, another $12 for dinner last night. If you’re in multiple groups with one person, it can be hard to keep track of it all.
Never fear! Just switch to the “Friends” view online and bring up the person you’re interested in – you’ll see a summary of all their debts with you at the top of the page. And if you want to consolidate all those debts in one place, just click the gray gear icon at the top of the screen (next to your friend’s name) and choose “Simplify debts with this person” – all of your outstanding debts will be moved into your one-on-one account.
Simplifying Debt with a whole bunch of people
So you and your friends all use Splitwise – woohoo! You’re not all in a group together, but it would be great if you could get rid of redundant payments, just this once.
Ex-BillMonk users may know this as “debt shuffle“, and it’s a feature we’ve just added today. Visit your account settings page and choose “Simplify my debts.” You’ll be taken to a page where you can simplify your debt with all of your friends on Splitwise at once!
Be aware: this feature is advanced. In order to reduce payments by as much as possible, it makes changes not only to your account, but also to the accounts of your friends – including balances that you can’t see. If they’ve never used Simplified Debt before, your friends may be confused why their balances have changed. Make sure you explain to them what has happened, or someone may delete the shuffle and leave you back where you started!
In addition, to help prevent confusion, this kind of debt simplification obeys three important rules:
- Everyone owes the same net amount at the end
- No one owes a person that they didn’t owe before, and
- No one owes more money in total than they did before the simplification.
This helps ensure that Simplified Debts will always makes things easier, not harder.
Simplified Debts aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a power user who wants to take control of your IOUs, be sure to check out these new features and let us know what you think!