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Old 09/20/2009, 03:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Imagine:

You are going on a holiday with your friends, and one of you payed the bike rent, while another bought some food.
Or you are often eating out with your buddies and you don't want to split the bill each time.

There's bound to be a discussion about who payed what and when, no matter how reasonable you are.

ShareTheCosts lets you keep track of expenses in a group and lets you define who profited from a given payment. With STC you always know who payed more or less and saves you the hassle of having to back-track through all your expenses after a trip.

Example:
Only two out of three people needed to rent a bike, but the third one (A) was the only one with money. So A pays for the bike rent, but B and C profit from it. Now B and C both owe A.
Thus, A has a positive balance, while B and C might consider getting some money and paying for lunch.

Features:
  • Manage multiple projects with different participants
  • Keep track of who payed what for whom
  • Display a balance sheet for each person

The current version has been submitted to the official WebOS app catalog --
get it here.

License: This app is licensed under "Creative Commons, no derivative works".
If you like it, consider a donation:


Please provide feedback and rate the app on precentral!

Changelog:
2009-09-21
Initial release 0.1.0
2009-09-23
Release 0.1.1
* Ability to mail balance sheets
* Changed some navigation
* Version checker added
2009-09-30
Release 0.1.2
* Choose people from contacts
* Clarified balance resolution
* More polished interface :-)
* Fixed a mean bug preventing the app from running on V1.2
2009-10-06
Release 0.2.0
* Manually edit amounts by double-tapping
* Edit the date of payment
* Set the input mode to numbers for amount fields
* Clarified some wordings
2009-10-14
Release 0.3.0
* Added a balance overview
* Added a "Palmely" help-scene
* Made everything localizable, and....
* Added ze german translation
2009-11-07
Release 0.4.0
* Added ability to remove people from a project
* Added configurable default selection behavior (see the preferences)
2010-04-24
Release 0.4.2
* Database now stored on usb drive for easier backup
* Manually distributed amounts are now added to the previous amount
* Mail balance overview
* fixed some minor bugs
2010-08-08
Release 0.4.3
* Re-added ability to simply enter names of participants
* Mailed balance overview now much more detailed
* fixed some minor bugs
2010-12-19
Release 1.0.0
* Finally n-to-n payments possible
* Add and remove people from projects as you like
* fixed some minor and major bugs
* much more small functionalities
2011-01-02
Release 1.0.1
* Enter to input values into "popups"
* New splash screen :-)
* some minor bugs fixed
2011-03-16
Release 1.0.3
* Added a balance history graph
* Now you can enter 0 into numerical textfields
Attached Images
File Type: png balance-overview.png (37.0 KB, 12 views) Email Attachment
File Type: png mail.png (36.5 KB, 12 views) Email Attachment
File Type: png new-payment.png (45.4 KB, 9 views) Email Attachment
File Type: png new-project.png (35.9 KB, 9 views) Email Attachment
File Type: png payments-list.png (40.7 KB, 8 views) Email Attachment
File Type: png projects.png (30.2 KB, 9 views) Email Attachment

Last edited by rnatau; 03/16/2011 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 09/21/2009, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is potentially a very useful application, but needs a way to print. I suggest a function where we can email the data (excel or csv format) to a computer where it can be printed.

I ran a test, but could the summary button did not show a summary page.
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Old 09/21/2009, 03:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, that would make sense - shouldn't be that hard, either. I'll look into it.

But... what exactly did not work? Unfortunately it's quite likely that there are some quirks, because I don't actually own a pre - we don't have them here, yet.
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Old 09/22/2009, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatau View Post
Yeah, that would make sense - shouldn't be that hard, either. I'll look into it.

But... what exactly did not work? Unfortunately it's quite likely that there are some quirks, because I don't actually own a pre - we don't have them here, yet.
I can't input anything where it says "ENTER AMOUNT" when adding a new payment.
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Old 09/23/2009, 02:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you actually enter a number? For the moment, i'm only allowing digits and dots - it's the easiest way to make sure that only valid amounts are entered.
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Old 09/23/2009, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How do you get to the balance sheet for each person? I can't figure it out...
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Old 09/23/2009, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by un_designer View Post
How do you get to the balance sheet for each person? I can't figure it out...
In the project-view, i.e. where you see the list of payments, in the top-left menu: "Show Balance". Then you can switch persons with the left/right-buttons.

Maybe I'll make that a bottom-menu button in the next revision :-)
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Old 09/23/2009, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatau View Post
In the project-view, i.e. where you see the list of payments, in the top-left menu: "Show Balance". Then you can switch persons with the left/right-buttons.

Maybe I'll make that a bottom-menu button in the next revision :-)
ah, i see it now. i'd suggest a balance button in two locations:

1) on the project detail page, in the bottom left corner across from the "+" button
2) on the project list page, in the right hand column. this saves users an additional click of having to go into a project in order to view the balance sheet.

good stuff thanks for creating this app. this is useful for roommate situations as well.
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Old 09/23/2009, 09:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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true :-)

thanks for the input - I'm constantly working on the app, so you can expect that pretty soon.
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Old 09/23/2009, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sweet. Thx in advance. This app is exactly what I need right now since I'm doing the same thing in a spreadsheet on the computer (boo). A few additional behaviors/features that I would love to see would be:

A) editable date field defaulting to today's date. Reason: sometimes people forget to input data right away, on the day of. Priority: medium

B) tie participant to address book. Reason: email/txt/share the final balance sheet will be much easier. Priority: high

C) advanced bill-splitting options like 2/3 and 1/3. For example, if a single person and a couple were using this, it wouldn't be fair to the single person to absorb 50% of the cost if the couple shares their expenses. Or, if this getstoo gnarly, I think a simple solution would be the ability to "merge" the balance sheet of two people at the end.
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Old 09/23/2009, 11:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A) I decided against that because I assumed it's not _that_ important - but it's no biggie.
B) I tried exactly that today and ran into a cartload of problems - but expect it in the future.
C) planned from the beginning - My plan is to make the amounts editable. But I would advise against using this with couples as "persons" - just tick off both :-)
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Old 09/23/2009, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yea, for C I agree that having a couple as 2 people would prob be better and make easier to integrate with contacts. However, the ability to merge their balance sheet would still be pretty useful though. I can't wait for the updates now heheh. This will be sweet.
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Old 09/23/2009, 04:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Updated to 0.1.1:

Ability to mail balance sheets
Changed some navigation
Version checker added

The more advanced changes will take a little longer - but at least i laid the foundation for using the people picker, which was not that easy :-)

Thanks for your interest, and please rate the app if you like it!
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Old 09/24/2009, 12:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I was just looking at the balance sheet again, and I'm a little bit confused about the whole concept of balance. take this example where 3 friends, Peter, Lois, and Brian are sharing the cost:

Lunch: Brian pays $24 ($12 for himself; Lois owes Brian $12)
Grocery: Lois pays $30 ($10 for herself; Brian owes Lois $10; Peter owes Lois $10)

At the end of the day when everyone is settling their bills, I would expect the following actions:

Lois pays Brian $12
Brian pays Lois $10
Peter pays Lois $10

Because there's payment flowing back and forth between Lois and Brian, a calculation would take place and determine that the net back and forth results in Lois paying Brian $2. So in the end, the balance sheet would be:

Lois pays Brian $2
Peter pays Lois $10

--

The app currently shows that Lois has a balance of $8, Peter a balance of -$10, and Brian a balance of $2. Looking at those numbers, I can't figure out who's supposed to pay whom how much money.

--

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think the balance sheet for each person should contain the amount owed and the person that amount is owed to.

Thoughts?
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Old 09/24/2009, 02:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hm, yeah, I thought that this might not be really clear...
But I don't know how to make it better, e.g. with payback-suggestions, as this only works for small groups. For larger groups it's likely to be confusing (4 people, two have plus, two have minus. It's not clear here who should pay back to whom).

But concerning your example:
Quote:
Lois pays Brian $2
Peter pays Lois $10
Lois ends up receiving a net of $8, while Brian gets a net of $2 and Peter owes $10.
If you compare that to the balance sheets, the numbers match.
The idea behind the balance is: If a person has a positive total, they payed more than they profited and are to receive money. If a person has a negative total, they profited more than they payed and have to pay this amount to break even.
Payback is relatively easy if everybody with a negative balance throws the amount in a pot, and everybody with a positive balance takes his amount out. The sum of the totals should always be (about) 0.

Btw, it's entirely possible to register paybacks by adding a payment, e.g.,
*Peter pays $8, Lois profits
*Peter pays $2, Brian profits
and you'll end up with a "balanced" balance ;-)
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Old 09/24/2009, 04:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Maybe I'll add a balance-overview of some kind... Perhaps two pie-diagrams with the people owing in one and the people receiving in the other. That should make it clearer. Well, I'll see - is not of the highest priority to me :-)
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Old 09/24/2009, 08:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rnatau View Post
The idea behind the balance is: If a person has a positive total, they payed more than they profited and are to receive money. If a person has a negative total, they profited more than they payed and have to pay this amount to break even.
Payback is relatively easy if everybody with a negative balance throws the amount in a pot, and everybody with a positive balance takes his amount out. The sum of the totals should always be (about) 0.
Oh I see now. Thx for the explanation. I couldn't figure out how the balance resolution process worked but now that you've exolained it, it's pretty easy.

Perhaps then all that's needed is a statement at the bottom of the balance sheet that says something like:

"Please contribute $10 to the pot to resolve your balance." for those with a neg balance, and

"You have overcontributed, please take $8 from the pot to resolve your balance." for those with a positive balance.
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Old 09/29/2009, 12:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Great, this app has been broken by the 1.2 update. I'll try to figure out the reason. Until then, it is no longer available.
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Old 09/29/2009, 06:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yay, bug found. Of course it was clearly my mistake :-)
Head on over to the homebrew-catalog to get the newest and so far best version of STC!
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Old 09/29/2009, 07:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I just wanted to say thank you for all the amazing work you've done on this app. There's many a time when my husband and I go on trips with friends, and I'm really looking forward to using this app to keep everything fair. I love how easy it is to use and how well you've set up each screen. Keep up the good work!
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