Doing money better

A place to come together and share thoughts, opinions, wonderings and musings about doing money better.

Using the Kin app to keep track of a household budget Follow

My first experience with housemates was in my third year of university. One of the most important lessons I learned was to always keep a spare toilet roll in my cupboard - if someone had forgotten to do their turn at shopping, we didn’t need to knock on a neighbour’s door for loo roll. (As an aside - this is kind of like having an emergency savings fund to see you through unexpected events.)

We didn’t really have a solid approach to managing the money side of things, although we kind of had a cash kitty for groceries. But what could have made it easier would have been to use something like Kin. We’ve got lots to add to make Kin even more useful, but here is how you can use Kin in a houseshare.

I’ve excluded rent from this example, and focused instead on using the Kin app for the day to day parts of a houseshare.

Create a group and start adding expenses

To start with, I’ve created a group - Duncan Street digs - and have invited my housemates, Jason and Jules. Now we’re ready to add the things we’ve paid for.

I did a grocery shop at Spar, so I’ve entered the amount, and since this is for all of us, I’ve left the split to be equal across everyone.

Custom split for things shared by only some of the people

Jules also bought some wine recently for the two of us to share (Jason has a different taste in drinks), and she’s added it to our expenses. Because Jason isn’t going to have any, Jules and I split the expense between just the two of us. We can keep the expenses in the same group, but change the splitting. This means that Kin can still be used to work out the contributions.

We’ve now got a few more things added. We have a Netflix account that we share, but Jason pays for it, so he’d added it to the list. And we were running low on toilet paper, so I picked some up on the way home.

I can go into the balances and see where we are as a group, and how much I owe and others owe me based on our expenses to date.

Request to settle up

I can see that Jason owes me some money, and it’s easy to request him to settle up with me through the app. I can send a message with the details, and a quick link to settling, using many of the apps on my phone. I send an email to Jason as a little nudge asking him to pay me back.

The email reminds Jason that we all went out for burgers to Spur a while back and he paid, so he goes to the Kin app and adds the details. This goes into our expenses tracking. 

Now, when I check in again, I can see that the amount that Jason owes me has changed. It’s R2.60, so I’ll leave the “settle up” requests for now - but I’ll also remind him to try and keep better track in future!





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