If you and your partner (or roommate) both pay for different monthly expenses, how do you keep things square? This spreadsheet handles the math for you.

Do you share monthly expenses with a roommate or significant other but pay for them from separate bank accounts?

For better or worse, that’s how my wife and I split up our monthly expenses for the years we lived together before we got married and combined our finances. We had a joint savings account and credit card, but we didn’t get around to joint checking until after we tied the know.

We used to use a simple Excel spreadsheet that we emailed back and forth to figure out who owed whom—and how much.

By replacing the Excel version with Google Spreadsheets, we could both access and edit the same document from anywhere. That means it’s no longer just one person’s job to update the bills every month—with a Google Spreadsheet either of us can update the file as soon as we pay the latest bill.

This system doesn’t just work for couples, it’s perfect for roommates, too (who, arguably, will be more concerned about equally dividing living expenses than cohabitating lovebirds).

I’ve created a free, sharable version of this Google Spreadsheet for splitting joint monthly expenses. You’ll need a free Google Drive (formerly Docs) account to access it.

Important instructions

By default, you can’t edit the spreadsheet (lest you want all of us to see your monthly expenses). To start using the spreadsheet, you must save a copy first! Then you’ll be able to edit your copy. (You DO NOT need to request access to edit the spreadsheet. Just save a copy, and have at it.)

How it works

The joint expense tracking spreadsheet is very simple. For each month, you simply enter what you paid for in one area and what your partner paid for in another. The spreadsheet adds it all up and tells you who owes who what.

This spreadsheet is only setup for two people splitting expenses evenly, although with a little finessing it could easily accommodate any number of roommates.

To use it, simply change the expense categories to reflect your monthly expenses, enter what you spent on each category. The other person enters what her or she spent in each category and the spreadsheet automatically calculates how much you owe the other person or how much he or she owes you.

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About the author

David Weliver
Total Articles: 353
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

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8 comments
Craig says:

I need a spreadsheet similar to this for cost sharing for my softball team. I need to be able to add an expense; uniforms, tournament fee’s, etc and divide it among the team. I need to be able to exclude someone from a shared fee in instances such as they couldn’t play in a tournament, they don’t owe for it. It needs to be able to calculate what each person owes in a grand total. When a person pays their share, I want to be able to put ‘paid’ for their share and then that shared amount would be subtracted from their owed grand total. I’ve seen some spreadsheets where the sumif formula is used, but it always has the column of who pays. This isn’t an instance of who pays…everyone pays and they are either caught up on fees, behind on fees, or in some instances ahead on fees. Can anyone point to a spreadsheet like this or have a suggestion on how to make one?

Hollie says:

Do you have an easy way to calculate when it’s not a 50/50 split. For instance our cell phones and car insurance are not equal divisions.

ShayC says:

Thank you for sharing this! I was previously calculating expenses that I and my fiance share manually and it was a really long and exhausting process. This will save me hours of time!

Lindsay says:

You should check out Wepay.com when you get the chance. It allows you to automate a lot of that stuff by linking your bank accounts to a group profile.

kathy says:

I have been using google docs for my personal budget for about 9 months now and it has changed my life! When we purchased our home I immediately set up a spreadsheet for our shared expenses. This was so much easier than the random slips of IOUs. We have categories for home improvement projects (lowe’s, home depot, etc). Thanks for the post!

David Weliver says:

Nice work, Brian. Thanks for sharing. The income-sensitive allocation is definitely something that could be useful for a lot of people, I’m sure. I like that it calculates an 8-month emergency fund, too.

Brian says:

My wife and I use to do a sort of “ad-hoc” method of dividing up who pays for what (similar to your spreadsheet), but we came up with a different way that makes it so each person pays the appropriate amount of the joint expenses dependent on their actual income. I haven’t switched it to google docs, but I thought you might be interested in checking it out anyways – http://hurstwebdev.com/JointExpenses.xls

Caroline says:

Just came across this post – Brian, your link doesn’t work anymore. Any chance you could share it again with a working link? Would love to see what you came up with!