6 Painless Ways to Split the Check

It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that — actually, there are six of 'em — and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: Who Should Pay for the First Date?)

Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)

1. Splitwise

This free web and mobile app helps friend settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.

2. Divvy

Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and see how much everyone owes. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.

3. Cover

Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check without ever having to flag down the waiter. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the 113 restaurants that support the app. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.

4. Billr

Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

5. Advanced Bill Splitter

This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out personalized meal totals for each diner. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.

6. Receipt Ninja

Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.

How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture

I have not heard of any of these apps. These would be so helpful when going out to eat with my friends. It is always such a headache, especially when everyone doesn't order pop or desserts, etc. I can't wait to download the apple version!