Friday, September 21, 2012

Debt Transfer: Don't include me!

Hey all,

Have you tried debt transfer yet? It's a cool feature that minimizes the number of payments to settle up with your friends (read more about it here). Here are some tips & new additions:

Tips when creating debt transfers

  • Make sure it's beneficial to everyone involved and not just you: sometimes there're huge benefits to creating a debt transfer, minimizing payments from 20 to 5. Sometimes, there is benefit to you but little benefit to the group
  • Make sure everyone evolved knows each other: the debts are transferred around everyone involved. If you pick people who don't know each other, they may end up having to settle up with each other (possible blind date idea? well we're not a dating service).


Not so good:

Getting out of debt transfers

Some of you wanted to know how you can "get out" of a bad debt transfer. We've just added some features that allow you to do that:

  • Everyone in the debt transfer now has the ability to delete it, just click on the debt transfer and click Delete. Use this carefully because it affects everyone in the group.
  • You can opt out of all debt transfers in the settings page. We don't recommend this because debt transfers can be useful at times, and you can always delete a debt transfer you don't like! However, by request, here it is :)

Why would debt transfer create debts with people I'm even with?

That's because debt transfer moves debts around people involved in it to minimize payments for the entire group.

Here's a simple example, let's say:

  • You owe Alan $50.00
  • Alan owes Bonnie $50.00

If you perform a payment-minimization debt transfer between you, Alan, and Bonnie, the optimized result would be:

  • You owe Bonnie $50.00
  • You and Alan are even
Notice that you did not previously have a debt with Bonnie, but now you do. That's the whole idea of debt transfer, it moves debts around :)

-Billsup team

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shared Groups and labels

Hey all, lots of changes to groups, which we hope would improve your experience managing your various bills among different groups.

Not forced to create groups

We know that you do not always pay bills in groups, or in the same groups. While upgrading the groups experience, we made sure that we continue NOT to force you to create groups. We want groups to help and not hinder your bill sharing experience.

After this upgrade, you would still add your friends and see your total debt with an individual friend - this has not changed.

For existing groups

Groups are now shared and visible to all of its members: so when one person creates a group, everyone in that group would be able to see or make changes to that group, and also see its related bills. When someone is added to a group, they also get a nice email notifying them that they were added.

If you go to your my groups page, you would see your groups as well as your friends' groups (that involves you). We tried to make this upgraded experience as seamless as possible, but since this is a new behavior, there may be a few overlaps between the groups that you created and those that are created by your friends. If this is the case, group creators can click on a group and choose "delete group" to clean up any duplicates.

Group details page

The group details page also had a few additions: all members are now able to edit a group: like adding new members, or modifying the existing members.

There is also a preference setting called "show this group in the list...". If this checkbox is checked, this group would be available for you to pick when you are adding a participant to a shared bill. Currently, this preference is unchecked for all existing groups created by your friends so that those who don't care so much about groups would not be affected by this upgrade.


We've pushed out a first release of "labels". You can now label your bills to help you organize your various expenditures.

How to label:
  • When you add a group to a shared bill, the bill would be automatically labelled with that group.
  • OR you can add or delete labels in the labels dropdown button on the top right of each transaction.

What labels provide:
  • Quick sharing: A bill that is labelled to a group would be visible to that group (and its members). For example, if I want to share my gas bill with my "ski trip 2012" group, I can add the label that transaction with "ski trip 2012"
  • Quick organization: ability to filter, and find bills by labels quickly.  Currently, labels is only available for groups, and you can see the bills labelled with your group in your group details page.

Wow that's a long post - props to those who endured the whole way. Hope that helps,
-Billsup team

Upgraded UI

New-ish UI , and hopefully easier to use and more optimal for wider screens

Let us know if you like/dislike it :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Edit bills together

Hello, this week we've added some features that would give you more control as you share your bills with your friends.

Let your friends update your bills

Sometimes we make mistakes (in bill adding or in life), but good thing we have friends who've got our backs!   Here is the settings section that you would see when you create a bill:

  • you can now allow the other participants edit the bill: anyone involved in a bill can change its details, such as update an item's amount, change the split amount, add another participant, or add some notes to a bill.
  • By default, we allow your friends to see the bill through a special link (from "Show Link") without logging in. This makes it easy for them to see the bill or share it with others. If you want more security, you can enable "Participants must log in to view" so that your friends would have to log in before seeing the bill.

Notify your friends

When you save a transaction, you now have the option to notify your friends (or not), and add a comment with the notification.

  • Save and notify: saves the bill and sends a notification email to your friends regarding this update: this is useful in letting your friends know what you've changed.
  • Save but Don't notify: saves the bill but would NOT send a notification email to your friends. This could be useful for quick updates, but use this option carefully.

Turn off notifications

We've also added an option to turn off your email notifications. This is NOT recommended, as you'll miss out on important updates and such! However, we feel that you should have the option to receive emails or not.
You can find these settings in your profile: by clicking on your name next to "logout".

Go ahead! Collaborate with your friends!
Billsup team

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Transactions page updated

The transactions page now shows the total amount of the bills!

As well, you can do a "quick view" of a transaction without navigating into its detailed page. When you click on a transaction, you can quickly see its impact on you, as well as other participants that are involved.
As before, you can still click on the title of the transaction to directly view or edit the bill/debt/payment/transfer.

That's it for now - hope that helps, enjoy!
Billsup team