Announcing The Travel Calculator

Over the past few months, we’ve done a lot of research into how to share vacation expenses, thanks to the help of users like you. We posted a detailed survey to recruit respondents from the Splitwise interface. That data enabled us to create a travel calculator that tells you how much each person should pay for an expense based on how many days each person was on the trip. Go check it out! This is all part of our grand strategy to make Splitwise the best travel sharing app on the web.

I also have a new blog post on Forbes describing our data analysis. Read my post there for lots of juicy graphics, conclusions, and economic logic.

A Round-up On Roommates

With the financial crisis still fresh on our minds and wallets, sharing costs and being thrifty has become increasingly important for many people around the world. Several US newspapers wrote stories this week about how having roommates is often part the solution to dealing with a tough economy.

Splitwise is on the record with a colorful quote in the Forbes story: Continue reading A Round-up On Roommates

Soon To Be Third Wheel

In this “Dear Splitwise”, we return to the always tricky issue of live-in significant others.

Dear Splitwise,

If my roommate has his girlfriend move in, what would be a fair price for him to pay me additionally? My roommate currently pays $435.00 for his share of the rent out of $995.00 per month. Electric is a total of $210.00 (which we split two ways) and cable is $60.00 each. He only wants to pay $50.00 more per month, which is way too cheap. What would be a fair amount for her share of rent and utilities per month? He’s trying to justify the low amount by saying she’s not going to use TV even though there is TV with cable in his room.

Thanks,
-Soon to be Third Wheel

Continue reading Soon To Be Third Wheel

Preview: ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Here at Splitwise, we get a lot of emails from users who love our website (thanks!), but we also get some very good questions and suggestions – especially from new users. “How can I see my share of an expense? Why can’t I backdate a payment? What if my group has a dozen people in it? Can I add an avatar?”

We’ve thought long and hard about these problems, and now we’re hard at work addressing them. You may have already noticed some updates – for instance, we’ve added Facebook Connect and Gravatar support on the “My Account” page – but there are more exciting changes to come. Here’s a sneak peek:

Continue reading Preview: ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Living Alone Is Overrated

I think that many Americans share a similar mythology about roommates – it’s a challenge that happens in college, or in your 20s, on the quest of growing up. Part of this myth is the horrors that must be overcome to save money. The often-discussed issues of dirty dishes, loud noises, and unpaid bills lead us to think that the only way to be civilized is to escape from shared dwellings as soon as possible.

While not everyone makes a good roommate, sharing living space with good people can make you so much happier. I found this article by Leilani Clark a heartwarming story about how her new housemates cook, brew and grow things together, and how it cured the loneliness she felt after a divorce. (I found the article via a google alert). Continue reading Living Alone Is Overrated

Splitwise Supports International Currencies

Hello, world! At long last, Splitwise supports non-$ currencies from within our interface. We support €, £, ¥, and even the ₹ symbol for INR. This can be set on a per “apartment” basis, so that if you use Splitwise for travel, you can set your trips to use a different currency.

If you would like to help us translate Splitwise into your local language, or if we don’t yet support your country/currency, please email us at contact@splitwise.com. We really want to support everyone, everywhere, but we need your help to do it, because hiring translators is expensive, and this is a free service after all.  Continue reading Splitwise Supports International Currencies

Loud Sex And The Noise Calculator

Hey all – just posted an article on Forbes all about loud sex. That survey was also used to create the new Noisy Neighbors calculator.

Very few survey respondents actually would offer to pay cash to a roommate based on disrupting them. It’s a more of a guide to the value of the appropriate gift for, or to how much value your apartment would lose on the open market if you knew how frequent the disturbances would be.

The way we calculate the number comes from linearly extrapolating loud sex to all other cases.  Specifically, loud sex is worth (per incident) some number we get an average of from our survey. We take this as a fraction of the average daily rent contribution of our survey respondents. Lastly, we linearly extrapolate this percentage from the average badness of each sound type in the “how disruptive question” described in this article.

Make sure you use your personal rent contribution instead of the total rent for the apartment, or the number will be several times too high!

If you have questions about the procedure, feel free to use our contact form and I will respond as soon as I can (often well within 24 hours).

When Things Go Super-Wrong: Roommates and The Law

Here at Splitwise, we are focused on simplicity, ease-of-use, and trust. If you owe your roommates money,  you can use our service to keep track of that. If you want to figure out how much they should owe you, we offer fairness calculators and blog content. If you want to settle a dispute using us as your mediator, you can email Dear Splitwise.

But sometimes, things get a little more complicated then friends settling debts. For instance: your roommate broke the lease and the landlord is coming after you for the money. Or say the landlord won’t do anything about the broken toilet which is rapidly making your apartment unusable. In times like these, what you need is legal advice, not fairness advice.  Continue reading When Things Go Super-Wrong: Roommates and The Law