Splitting things with roommate

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Splitting things with roommate

elysian-2
Hi,
I'm sorry if this is a silly question, I've never posted on anything before and I'm not even that familiar with accounting software.  Specs: I use GC for personal finance, running GC 2.2.5, Windows XP

I've recently moved in with someone and there are a lot of purchases that we split the cost of (food, rent, utilities, furniture, insurance...).  Every once a week or so we sit down and figure out who payed for what and even things out.
I would love to be able to keep track of these in GnuCash, but I haven't found the best way yet.
What I would really like to do is to add some kind of query to my register where I can indicate somehow that this purchase is one that we should split, and then be able to run a report or something that would total them all up and make them look nice for me to figure things out.

What he is currently doing (we both use gc) is making all of the things split transactions and splitting them into a "Personal Loans" catergory.  I've been just taking whatever money he ends up giving me and putting it into a catch-all "Income:Reimbursements" category, but I don't find this to be very efficient or informative.

Is there a better way to do this?  

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Re: Splitting things with roommate

Jason Ahrens
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 8:03 AM, elysian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've recently moved in with someone and there are a lot of purchases that
> we
> split the cost of (food, rent, utilities, furniture, insurance...).  Every
> once a week or so we sit down and figure out who payed for what and even
>
<snip>

I had a similar situation with the need for a 4 way house split. Short of
creating a new account hirarchy for the "house", I found the most efficient
way to deal with it like this (note: I was the sole bookkeeper in my
situation. I also paid the rent from my chequing account and most of the
bills). For this reason I used Asset accounts as I was pretty much
guaranteed to be 'owed' money all the time. You could also use a Liability
account if you knew you were going to be on the 'owing' side. Both achieve
identical end goals. If it's split more 50/50, it really doesn't matter.

I created an Asset:Household account. Under each of these I put a sub
account one of the roommates.

Every time I paid rent or a bill, I would enter it as a multi-way split as
follows. For example, a typical gas bill during winter might run us $200.

Asset:Bank:Chequing - $200 withdraw (the payment)
Asset:Household:Roommate1 - $50 increase
Asset:Household:Roommate2 - $50 increase
Asset:Household:Roommate3 - $50 increase
Expense:Utility:Gas - $50 increase

Then every month I'd run a report on each of the Roommate accounts to show
them where their money went and how much they owed me. In the situation
where one of the roommates paid something, it was similar. He got a 'credit'
from everyone else. For example, a $80 phone bill would be:

Asset:Household:Roommate1 - $60 decrease (he gets back 3/4 of what he paid)
Asset:Household:Roommate2 - $20 increase (everyone else pays me 1/4)
Asset:Household:Roommate3 - $20 increase
Expense:Utility:Phone - $20 increase

Payments from a roommate were pretty simple. Just a transfer of funds
between Asset accounts:
Asset:Bank:Chequing - $200 deposit
Asset:Household:Roommate1 - $200 decrease

If you want, you can treat the house as a separate entity having it's own
account structure, etc... but I found the above more than sufficient for my
own needs. :)

Jason
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