IOU 2.0
January 23, 2006 9:25 AM   Subscribe

BillMonk is a new way of tracking informal debts with your friends. Web 2.0 nonsense or a viable solution to those awkward 13-way restaurant bills? Not to be confused with Zopa, another social money project...
posted by runkelfinker (24 comments total)
If you can't figure out your portion + 20% of a restaurant check, then maybe you either need to A) stop going out with people or B) take remedial math courses. Stop worrying about your dollar or two and just pitch it into the pile - think of it as payment for everyone's services because they put up with you.

(This is the universal "you," not you, the handsome, beautiful literate MetaFilter reader.)
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:39 AM on January 23, 2006

Um...I vote Web 2.0 nonsense.
Back to the show...
posted by Thorzdad at 9:47 AM on January 23, 2006

I hate bill splitting. I always adopt an, "I'll pay this time, you pay next time" approach.

If next time they don't pay, I don't share meals with them again.

With good friends, on the other hand, alternation (with the occasional error) has been going on for almost a decade.
posted by orthogonality at 9:51 AM on January 23, 2006

It's got a white background and tabs... therefore it's Web 2.0, therefore it's nonsense. No mention of Ruby On Rails though.

BTW, This months WIRED ran a graph of "Web 2.0 businesses" with a wibbly line pointing upwards. From my experience of last time that sort of thing happened i;d say it;s time to run for the hills.
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on January 23, 2006

Afwul crap for the petty and innumerate.
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 AM on January 23, 2006

This is a bit pathological. If I knew somebody was studiously tracking such restaurant debts I'd stop eating with them.
posted by nixerman at 10:11 AM on January 23, 2006

"Social money \so·cial mon·ey\, n.

Informal debts between friends, traditionally noted on scraps of paper affixed to the refrigerator door. "

But why go with the simple solution when you can use BILLMONK™?
posted by fire&wings at 10:13 AM on January 23, 2006

I used to have a friend who would keep track of every meal, cigarette, drink and sundry that passed between us. He would love this.

Yup, used to have a friend like that.
posted by crunchywelch at 10:14 AM on January 23, 2006

*high fives nixerman*
posted by boo_radley at 10:14 AM on January 23, 2006

I think this guy should focus his Web2.0 skillz on allowing users to remotely remove the poll from his ass.
posted by mkultra at 10:23 AM on January 23, 2006

It's fair enough to be casual with social things like dinner and drinks. But I certainly have a couple of people in my life with whom I do things like, "Let's buy these tickets together and save on the booking fee. I'll put it on my card -- you can give me the £50 later." Or, "Can you lend me a twenty, they only take cash."

With stuff like that, which is essentially a business transaction, I don't feel that keeping track of it makes you a mean, petty person. I could see the value in something like this. Not so that I could keep track of every single penny, but just to have a rough idea of where the balance lies, and to make sure I don't forget the bigger items.
posted by chrismear at 10:39 AM on January 23, 2006

Seem facile. I'm the poor one in my group of friends and they chip in greater than their fair share (unasked for) when we go out. I put up a fuss, at first, but now I just try to make up for it by picking out thoughtful birthday presents for them. Seems to work out well.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:23 AM on January 23, 2006

Traditional tightwad + Web 2.0 nonesense.

You might as well stop the whole "friends" concept altogether and start a blog about people who owe you money, transgressed on you, plotted your downfall/demise...

I have a sister like that. I'll forward her the URL.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:43 AM on January 23, 2006

If only their mascot were a sock-puppet monk...

I fear the day someone says to me "I'll BillMonktm ya for dinner." It will not end well.
posted by shoepal at 11:51 AM on January 23, 2006

In other news, I'm creating a site that will let you track how many of your friends wash their hands after using the bathroom. This Web2.0 stuff rules!
posted by Spatch at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2006

Not to be confused with Billmon, either...
Why is Billmon called Billmon?
posted by Aknaton at 12:30 PM on January 23, 2006

The functionality is kind of neat, with the SMS interface and whatnot, but it does seem a bit like a solution in search of a problem. One circumstance they suggest, which I could relate to, was a group vacation where we quit trying to split everything. We just took turns paying for meals and activities of wildly different values according to who had more money left, understanding that we'd balance it all out later. Traditional notepad & pen technology served surprisingly well for this.
posted by Tubes at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2006

I'm creating a Web 2.0 site about Web 2.0 news. I'm now accepting funding.
posted by keswick at 12:39 PM on January 23, 2006

I'd like to have a BillMonk account with line items

- hookers
- blow

I mean, we can split the hookers, but you totally bogarted the blow!
posted by anthill at 12:41 PM on January 23, 2006

I will stiff you all with the bill at the next meetup.
posted by srboisvert at 1:32 PM on January 23, 2006

At first, I thought I could write an objective post about this asinine new online service and then walk away. But I can't.

BillMonk team: your idea sucks.
posted by runkelfinker at 3:27 PM on January 23, 2006

Yeah, I'd probably stop eating with someone this anal.

Heck, I'd probably stop eating with someone who actually looked at the bill and tried to split depending on who ordered what. When I eat with friends I figure we're all getting more out of the company than the food. So long as someone isn't working up a huge alcohol bill (while nobody else is drinking) then I'm all in favor of splitting equally.

There is a couple my wife and I have dinner with a few times a year. We just swap on paying the bill in whole. To keep track, we just pass back and forth and old business card one of us had in our wallet years ago. Whoever has the card when next we dine together pays. It must bring joy to the heart of some long-forgetten copier salesman that she continues to be involved in our lives.
posted by obfusciatrist at 3:48 PM on January 23, 2006

obfusciatrist, there's a short story in there somewhere.
posted by shoepal at 5:56 PM on January 23, 2006

This brings up a really interesting new social issue. If your friend uses this site, are you supposed to laugh at them first, or do the punches come first?

The world did not need Web 2.0-enabled bistromathics.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:08 PM on January 23, 2006

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