So, you’re out with your crew and everyone is having a great time. The food and libations are tasty and the atmosphere is chill. That is, until the check arrives. It’s one thing when everyone is splitting a pizza and a pitcher of beer, pop or sangria. But what if each person orders a separate dish? And there’s always that one glutton who orders way more stuff than everyone else – and expects everyone else to subsidize his or her indulgences.
Related article: 25 Apps Every College Student Should Have
Back in the day, if you were an Urkel type, you would whip out the calculator and determine who owes what down to the penny. Today, you don’t have to be a buzzkill to avoid getting soaked. A fair distribution of the check is as close as your Smartphone or tablet – no drama required. Best of all, most of these apps are free.
1. Splitwise: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Splitwise allows you to use your iOS and Android devices to split household expenses, figure out the costs for a road trip AND split the tab for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Windows Phone users can access the same services through the Splittr app, developed by the same company. All three versions of the app are free.
2. Split the Bill: Android
Split the Bill allows you to whip out your Android and, well, split the bill among all the diners in your group. You can split the bill evenly when it’s appropriate or calculate separate charges for an unlimited number of diners. There is also a help manual to help you sort out the instructions. Split the Bill is free.
3. Settle Up: iOS, Android
Settle Up simplifies the task of calculating and dividing bills among people you hang with on a regular basis. The app allows you to establish groups among roommates, family members or office colleagues to keep running tabs.
The iOS version of the Settle Up app costs 99 cents; the app for Android-powered devices is free.
4. Tip Calculator Free: iOS
This app allows you to split a bill based percentages ranging from 5 to 50 percent and for groups ranging from 2 to 50 people. Attractive icons take the place of complex formulas and figures.
Simple swipe motions allow you to change the number of diners, determine the tip percentage and determine fair payment amounts for everyone at the table.
5. Pay with Dash: iOS, Android
If you’ve ever been stuck waiting, and waiting – and WAITING to pay your bill or tab in a restaurant or bar, Dash is the app for you. Dash allows you to establish a tab at participating establishments, calculate the bill, split it fairly and pay up.
Then you and your crew get to leave while everyone else is trying to wave down the server. All versions of Dash are free.
6. SpotMe Payments: iOS
This app allows you to keep running tabs on payments that you split with friends, family members or others on a regular basis. In addition to letting you split bills, SpotMe lets you lend and borrow money and send out friendly reminders to pay up.
Best of all SpotMe is free.
7. MyCheck: iOS, Android
MyCheck lets you calculate and pay your check right from your smartphone at participating establishments, no cash or credit card required. It allows you to split the bill and the tip evenly right at the table.
Both the iOS and Android versions of the app are totally free.
8. Billr: iOS
At $1.99, Billr is a relatively pricey iOS app. But the app is also powerful, good-looking and easy to use. Billr can accommodate groups of up to 16 people, allowing you to calculate separate entrees as well as shared items such as wine.
Tips and taxes are calculated automatically and each person can have a text or email receipt sent from the app.
9. Receipt Ninja: Android
This handy app isn’t just for splitting the bill but does it just fine. You can calculate various types of expenses – including restaurant bills and bar tabs with friends and family.
Receipt Ninja allows you to split tabs evenly or right down to the penny and share info with other diners by email, SMS, Dropbox or Google Drive. And you can’t beat the price, which is free!
10. Divvy: iOS
Not to be confused with the bike-sharing program of the same name, Divvy allows you to convert paper receipts into electronic records by snapping a photo. After that, simply swipe each item to the appropriate person and Divvy calculates the total.
The ease of use makes Divvy worth its 99-cent price tag.
11. Trip Splitter: iOS
The name might throw you off at first, but Trip Splitter splits the costs of transportation, accommodation, entertainment, and oh yeah, food. Simply establish the name of the “trip” – e.g. Ye Olde Greasye Spoone, add the names of everyone splitting the tab and the amount of the bill and the app does the rest.
A paid version for 99 cents allows you to split bills for up to 6 people, the free version only 2.
12. Tip N Split: Android
Tip N Split lets you split the bill and calculate the tip for either two people or for a large group. Changing the bill amount or bill percentage allows you to calculate the proper amount each person should pay on the spot without complex adjustments.
Audrey Henderson is a Chicagoland-based writer and researcher. She holds advanced degrees in sociology and law from Northwestern University. Her writing specialties are sustainable development in the built environment, policy related to arts and popular culture, socially and ecologically responsible travel, civic tech and personal finance.