DAD SANDALS Cost Sharing
Track and split expenses between friends, roommates, travel buddies, or more
JY
Jordan Yoon-Buck
This doc can help you track and split expenses between friends, roommates, travel buddies, or more. Feel free to have a look around! We’ve put in some example data to get you started.

Quick Start

💡 Before you set up your doc, make sure you make a copy!

1. Get a clean slate

If you’re looking for a fresh start, you can wipe out all our example data, or just clear specific sections.
Clear Everything
|
Clear All Expenses
Clear All Users
Clear All Categories

2. Add some friends

Use the
Share
button in the top right to add your cost sharing buddies.
Then, have each user press this button to start tracking their balance:

Add me!

Or, add everyone yourself on the
page.

3. Log your expenses

Every time someone buys something for the group, log it in the
.

If you need help, check out the
section below.

4. Track your balance

Keep an eye on your personal balance to make sure it doesn’t get too low or too high. You can use the group balance to help decide
for large group items.

To see your spending by category, check out
.

More tips

Logging a purchase

To log a purchase, go to the
and click
Add new expense
. A window will open where you can enter the details:
Cost:
how much did the purchase cost?
Category:
what kind of purchase was it?
💡
Start typing to create a new category!
Note:
what did you buy?
We usually just write a short description here. But it’s up to your group how much detail you want to add.
Purchased by:
who made the purchase?
This will be whoever is entering the purchase by default, but you can change it if you’re entering the purchase for someone else.
For:
who is the purchase for?
Add multiple people to split the cost.
Be sure to include the person who purchased it if it’s for them, too
💡
Turn on “notify when added” in the column formatting options if you want people to get a notification when you log something purchased for them.
Purchase time:
the date and time when you made the purchase.
This is set to the current time when you create the entry by default, but you can change it if you’re catching up or anticipating a future purchase.
Images:
photos of the receipt or even the item itself.
We don’t use this column! But it might be useful for you. Feel free to delete or hide it if you don’t need it.
💡
If you use the coda app, you can capture photos straight into the doc!


What’s my balance?

Your balance is always displayed at the top of the
. If you want to see someone else’s balance, you can look in
.

A
positive
balance means that you have personally spent more money than has been spent by other people for you.

A
negative
balance—indicated by a number in parentheses, e.g. “$(20.00)”—means that more money has been spent for you by other people than you have personally spent.

Don't worry too much about whether your personal balance is negative or positive. It’ll go back and forth as different people make purchases.


Who’s buying?

Underneath the group balance you can see a listing of who’s ahead and who’s behind in the ledger. People listed as
ahead
have a positive balance, and the first person listed has the highest balance. People listed as
behind
have a negative balance, and the first person listed has the most negative balance. You can hover over a person in either list to see exactly what their balance is.

We’ve found that this is useful when deciding who should pay for large group purchases. The person who appears first in the “behind” list will typically pay, since they have the lowest balance, and that way the group deviation stays fairly low.


Ledger status

In the
, you can also see the ledger status. Normally, you’ll see a green indicator if everything adds up properly. If the counts come out of balance, the indicator will turn red and a message will tell you how large the error is.

This is probably caused by an entry where the "Purchased by" or "For" column is empty by accident. Make sure you fix this!

You can also see the
Group deviation
. When this is high, there is a larger imbalance in spending among the users.


Settling up

At some point you may decide that it’s time to cash out. To minimize confusion, here’s our recommended strategy for settling up:
Pick one person to handle all the money.
Each person who has a
negative
balance should pay their remaining balance to the money holder.
Then, the money holder should pay out all
positive
balances to those people.
Once you’ve done this, be sure to
Clear All Expenses
if you’re going to keep cost sharing.

Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.