Who should pay next? Group Balance is for everyone who needs to record expenses on a group event and share costs among participants. Now you can easily balance payments on your next group holiday, skiing vacation, sailing trip, ...
See this video for basic features and usage information.
Installation and Upgrade
When you upgrade to a new version, all your activities, expenses and other data will be preserved. You'll find the full version history at the end of this page.
Group Balance consists of four main areas, available through the navigation drawer in the upper left:
- Activities where you maintain different activities, e.g. trips or events, and select the current activity,
- Participants where you enter the people or parties who join the selected activity,
- Expenses where you enter all your expenses, fees, tickets, etc., and
- Balances, where Group Balance shows a real-time list of who owns how much to whom, and where you record balance payments between participats.
When you first start Group Balance, you need to create an activity, e.g. a trip or an event. You can manage multiple activities at the same time, and easily switch between them just by tapping on the respective activity name. The currently selected activity is shown in small print below the title. Tap on an activity to display details, like the total cost or a general note, or to delete an activity.
To back up or export all activity data, select Export from the menu of the details screen. You can import the generated file into the Group Balance app on another device by selecting Open In..., e.g. when tapping on a mail attachment. If the imported activity already exists, it's data will be merged with the imported data. You can also import/export data from/to Group Balance for iPhone and vice versa.
Switch on Group Sync on the activity detail page to synchronize expenses or payments for an activity with other Android or iPhone devices or users. Once Group Sync is active, use Send Invite to create a special link which you can send to yourself or another user. On the other device, tap on that link to open the Group Balance app which will then synchronize the shared activity with all data. There is no login or registration required: anybody who has the link can view and edit expenses and payments for the shared activity.
To protect your data, you can optionally choose a password when you activate the Group Sync. All data is end-to-end encrypted and can only be decrypted with this password (don't send the password in the same mail as the Group Sync link!).
Note: If you do not have the Google Play services installed on your device (e.g. on Amazon Fire tablets), you need to manually refresh the app after someone elses makes a change, e.g. by putting the app into the background and back into the foreground. With the Google Play services, the changes are automatically pushed to the device.
Each activity has one more more participants. Don't forget to add yourself to the list of participants.
Tap on a participant to change the name or enter more details like the email address (used when sending payment reminders) or the number of people in a participant group (e.g. a couple or a family). Note: you can enter fractional digits for the number of people, i.e. party of 1.5 for an adult with child. From the participant details page you can also quickly see expenses or payments for the current participant.
Most of the time, you'll be adding expenses for an activity. Tap on the + button in the upper right or on a suggested name at the bottom to record a new expense. Each expense has a name (title), an amount, and a payer.
If not everyone of the group participated in the expense (e.g. at a dinner or an entrance to a museum), you can choose the participants by tapping on All. There you can also set different weights, e.g. if every party should pay the same, or if only one from a couple participants joined the dinner.
If one or two trip participants are behind with their contributions to the activity, Group Balance will suggest them as next payers.
To delete an expense, select it in the list, then tap on Delete menu item.
Group Balance supports maintaining expenses in multiple currencies, e.g. when you're travelling in a foreign country. To change the currency, tap on the cost field, then tap on the three letter currency code button next to the amount.
The app will automatically retrieve up-to-date currency exchange rates. You can also manually adjust the rate by selecting Edit in the upper right of the currencies list. If you want to work with fixed currency rates instead, switch off the automatic update in the Settings (available from Activities menu).
All internal calculations and the final balance payments use the home currency of the device (based on Android Settings - Personal - Language).
The Balances view lists the payments between participants that need to be made to balance costs for the whole activity so that everybody contributes the same amount. Group Balance uses an optimized algorithm to minimize the number of payments between the participants. Payments that have already been done are marked with a checkmark.
Tap on an open payment to send a reminder to the payer or mark an entry as paid. You can also enter partial payment amounts. After a payment has been made, you can continue to add expenses. These will in turn generate additional payment entries.
You can choose from various rounding options in the Settings. Note: if you select rounding, the total balance will still be correct, but there might be small random differences in the individual suggested payments even if payers have the same share on the total amount.
Do you have a feature suggestion? Is something not working as expected? Please let us know.
- fix for Group Sync
- Group Sync with other Android or iPhone devices
- search for expenses
- various fixes
- First public version