I live with a house mate, and we split our grocery expenses 50/50 between us. Everything is done in cash.

I use GnuCash to manage my finances, and I'm not sure how such a situation can be recorded:

I go to first supermarket, buy stuff worth $40. Second day, I go to supermarket, buy stuff worth $30. He goes to a supermarket and buys stuff worth $30.

Basically, the total is $100, and now he owes me $20, which he will give me in few days.

How do I handle such situation in GnuCash?


  • Can you just add him as an income account, the same way you would for your employer or other sources of income?
    – BrenBarn
    May 3 '14 at 18:06

There are a couple of ways to do this. I am not sure if this the best, but I say try this way first and see how it goes.

Create an Asset (or Cash) account called "Roommate Split" or something similar.

I am going to assume that you already have the following accounts:

  1. "Cash in Wallet" Current Assets Account (or whatever bank account your cash comes from)
  2. "Groceries" Expense account

Transactions: Open "Cash in wallet" or your similar account

  1. Hit Split, Record $40 Spend on $20 Groceries Expense and $20 Roommate Split enter image description here]![enter image description here

  2. Hit Split, Record $30 spend on $15 Groceries Expense and $15 spend on Roommate splitenter image description here

Open Roommate Split Account 1. Record $15 Decrease in Groceries Expense account from "Roommate Split" Account

If you look at your balance sheet report (Reports -> Assets & Liabilities -> Balance Sheet) , you should have $20 in the Roommate split account.
If you look at your Profit & Loss report for the period described (Reports -> Income & Expenses -> Profit & Loss), you should see $50 in Groceries Expenses. You might have to hit report options, and change start/end date on report for it to be correct time period. I believe it defaults to current years P&L, so most likely have more than $50 in groceries for the year.

When your roommate gives you $20 for groceries, Open "Cash in Wallet" and record $20 received from "Roommate Split" Account. After that transaction, the "Roommate Split" Account should be zero.

I hope this helps.

  • If you need to see total expenses?
    – GorillaApe
    Sep 5 '17 at 13:49

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