5 Modern Ways to Split the Bill


How many strained friendships can be traced back to someone not paying their share of a dinner bill (or several)? If you're getting worn down by "separate checks" anxiety, check out these five modern ways you can split the bill with friends.

1. Tab

One of the simpler apps on the list, Tab snaps a photo of the check and lets you assign split totals from there. Pass the phone around and let each person tap their own expenses under their name. Then, Tab calculates a new total for each diner that includes their share of tax and tip. This is a really fast and easy solution for large groups, and especially helpful when that certain friend who always underpays is in attendance.

2. Plates by Splitwise

Want an app that will work for nearly anything? Splitwise is free on both iOS and Android and allows friends, roommates, or family members to split all kinds of expenses — from utilities, to groceries, to repairs. Plates by Splitwise is made especially to help split restaurant checks. Splitwise even keeps track of who's picked up the check and who owes what over time, and will send friendly email reminders to settle up on past debts.

3. Divvy

Divvy is similar to Tab in how it works. Divvy is an iOS app that scans your check using OCR (optical character recognition) to "read" the line items. You then assign each line item to a member of your party. In addition, the app lets you group members into sub-parties who want to pay together. It also calculates the tax and tip, so everyone knows how much they owe. This is a great choice for extra large parties that need to be sectioned off into smaller paying groups.

4. Billr

Sharing similar functionality to other apps like Divvy or Tab, Billr for iOS calculates how much each person in your party owes from the meal — entrees, drinks, everything — along with tax and tip. The best part of Billr is that at the end, it sends a carbon copy of the split bill to each person in the group via email or text message.

5. Venmo

Quite possibly the most popular of the crop for everyday use, Venmo (now owned by PayPal) is an easy-to-use money exchanging app to pay friends back for goods and services. The app is connected to your bank account. While you cannot add funds to Venmo, when someone pays you back for a good or service you have the choice to let it sit in your Venmo wallet, or transfer it to your bank, similar to PayPal. Also: It's almost as fun as chatting on WhatsApp. You can use emojis to tag what the transaction was for, like a pizza for a night in with pals and delivery.

How do you equitably split the bill with friends?

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