Monday, June 6, 2011

Upcoming redesign

Ryan has been hard at work for over a month redesigning the SplitTheRent expense tracker. We're hoping to launch it sometime over the next few weeks. Here's a preview of the current draft:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Introducing the furniture calculator: a "blue book" for furniture

 Value my furniture now!
Because we love nerdy fairness
even more than you do.
Let's say you and your roommate Nathan split a new $500 couch when you moved in together 2 years ago. The couch is currently in "very good" shape - the pillows are a bit flattened and there are some very minor signs of wear and tear, but not much else.

Now you are both moving out, and Nathan wants to keep the couch. You want to keep the $300 TV that you split around the same time (the TV still works fine). You should be paid back for your share of the couch, and Nathan should be paid back for his share of the TV. But what is the value of the couch and TV now, 2 years later?

Just like splitting rent, it's awkward and tricky to just "make up a number." We wanted to create a simple calculator to value used furniture shared by an apartment, so that it's easy to sell to friends. The idea is kind of like the "blue-book" for used cars. (Our answer for the above example: the couch is still worth $329.00 while the TV is worth $197.40, and since you split both originally, Nathan owes you $65.80 - half the difference.)

How the furniture calculator works

The new furniture calculator is an awesome tool for helping you move out of an old apartment. As we mentioned in the introductory post, the calculator takes three things into account:
  • The purchase price of the furniture
  • The change in condition/quality of the furniture
  • How long the furniture has been in use since it was bought
It uses this information to calculate the current value of the furniture so that you can sell it to your housemates, or split up furniture fairly when moving out.  But how does it work?

Monday, April 25, 2011

New features survey and launch

Welcome to our blog! Today is our official launch for the beta, and we're really excited about the new platform and the new homepage. We've been wanting to add bill-tracking since we launched the original rent-splitting calculator. The coolest new features:
  • Quick-add: You can type expenses (and payments) in plain English.
  • Email reminders: Because everyone forgets.
  • Tracking: We keep track of who writes the rent check when it gets paid. No emails necessary.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And... we're back

The beta of SplitTheRent is back online - woot!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heroku is down

Amazon EC2 is having issues which has taken down our web-host, Heroku.'s beta will be down until this is resolved, but until then, you can still use our rent-calculator at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our new blog

Welcome to the new Split The Rent blog! We're going to post new survey results, fairness tools, articles about the economics of sharing, and SplitTheRent features and development notes here. We hope you enjoy reading. Here are some ways you can look out for updates.
Follow SplitTheRent on Twitter Add to Google

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does it really work? Feedback on the Rent Calculator

Thanks to interest from readers and responders like you, I have had a lot more opportunity to check my original work and the calculator is holding up quite well under public scrutiny. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback or wrote notes of congratulations - it's made this whole project really, really fun!

Right after launch, I started collecting voluntary feedback from people using the calculator. Originally, I simply asked people to rate the calculator on a 1-5 scale. Here are the results from the first 1,338 respondents (before I switched the feedback system to the present one, which is still collecting data).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survey results - Split the Rent accurate to within 10%

Fairness is a funny thing. One person's fair is another person's rip-off. So it is important for a rent-splitting calculator to jive with a broadly intuitive sense of fairness. It can't just be what I think is fair - or what any one person thinks - or it won't be useful.

In order to validate and calibrate the formula I used for the rent-share calculator on this blog, I did a rather in-depth survey on "apartment sharing fairness" with my friends. Here are the results - enjoy!