REVIEW: Splitwise - A Must Have for Group Spending

Do you hate splitting checks as much as I do?  I remember way back in college, we would go out for these big group dinners and when the check comes at the end of the meal, it was always a 20 minute ordeal trying to figure out who owes what.  Being the perpetual nerd, I always volunteered to pull out my smartphone and do the math.  But turns out there is much easier and elegant way to split bills.  Let's talk Splitwise.

What is Splitwise

Splitwise

Splitwise

Splitwise is a company based out of Providence, RI.  Their namesake software can be accessed online at https://www.splitwise.com, or downloaded to your smartphone as a free app for both iOS and Android.  Splitwise's stated mission is to "make shared living and travel easier by providing neutral advice, fair judgement, and simplified expense sharing through web-based tools, calculators, and blog content."  Let's see how they fared.

App Review

One of the best things about Splitwise is the fact all information is stored in the cloud, which means you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection.  My review is based on the user interface as presented on the Splitwise iPhone app, but your experience using a computer or an Android phone will be similar.

As you can see from the screenshots above, the developers of Splitwise has done a great job condensing the features that would otherwise require a complicated excel spreadsheet into something that can be managed from a tiny screen in your palm.  There's minimal concern for identity theft as you can use the service without ever linking to a bank account.  They even made the process of settling your debt a breeze by integrating Venmo and Paypal into Splitwise (not pictured).  The best part of it all?  The apps, online account, all the Splitwise calculator - they're 100% FREE!  Yes I've been using Splitwise since 2013 and I have yet to pay a dime.

How does Splitwise Make Money?

The short answer is they don't.  The long answer?  We'll have to wait and see.  Splitwise is run like a lot of other tech startups - provides an awesome service for free to users on seed money, without a pre-defined plan for monetization.  I'm sure eventually investors will want to see a concrete plan for return on their investments, probably not this plan

FPMD Verdict

Whether you are a medical trainee or not, you will likely run into situations where you need to split the bill with a group of people.  For such a situation, Splitwise offers all the features you need, with an intuitive user interface, for a price you can't beat - FREE.  The only downside is that you'll need to find something better to do with the extra 20 minutes you now have at the end of group meals...

TL;DR: Just get it! (Splitwise.com/iOS app/Android app). 


Sponsor Highlight

Ryan created his virtual, fee-only practice to help young physicians take control of their finances. As part of a physician family, Ryan knows the pains, struggles and joys that come from a career in medicine. When his wife was in residency, he witnessed how vulnerable she was to poor financial advice that wasn’t in her best interest. Because of this, he shifted his practice to work exclusively with young physicians who could truly benefit from unbiased, quality financial advice. PWS seeks to provide clients with the financial literacy they didn’t received despite decades in school. He offers student loan analysis, comprehensive financial planning (starting at $200/mo.), and investment management (.75% per year) with no investment minimums. Wondering if you can save for retirement while paying off student loans? Click here


Future Proof, MD

Dr. Bo Liu is an aspiring radiologist-in-training and the founder and editor of the White Coat Money Blog.  He has an interest in interventional radiology and helping his medical colleagues get ahead in this mad world of medicine and money.  When he's not crushing the list at the PACS station or typing up your next favorite blog post, you can usually find him at the local badminton club, movie theater or the most recently opened restaurant.