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Tracking bills that you split while you are on a trip or travelling with friends can be difficult. In this post, we will walk you through some simple stuffs that you can do using Beezang which will make tracking trip expenses easier.

  1. Link your twitter id to Beezang. You can learn how to do it here. This will enable you to enter bills via sms. In case you will have internet access and would prefer to enter bills via email, know more on how you can go about entering bills via email here
  2. So while you are on the go just enter the bills as and when they happen or whenever you are free via sms or email.
  3. Once you are back, create a group for your trip. Say you went out on a road trip name it “Road Trip” and invite your trip mates too
  4. All your bills will be in the notes tab.
  5. Save them as group bill with the group ‘Road Trip’.
  6. Once you have made sure you have entered all your bills, settle the group and all your friends will be notified how much they owe each other.

And thats all that you have to do. Now you have one less reason to worry about when you are travelling with friends

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Mail in your bills

Last week we released a new feature using which you can send your bills via twitter direct message. The idea was to make it easier for entering bills. Today we release another feature that will make your life easier. Now you can email your bills to bills@beezang.com. Enter the bill details on the subject of the email. Once you have sent the email, your bills will appear on the Notes tab. Next time when you sign in just save the note as appropriate bill type. Turn your email client into a bill entering machine thats fast and easy. We hope you enjoy using this feature

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Hi everyone,

Recently we released a new feature of sending you an email with your account summary. The first batch of emails was sent yesterday. Unfortunately we discovered a critical bug due to which some of you might have received incorrect/garbage data. We have fixed this bug. We are sorry for this mistake.

Regards

Team Beezang

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Tweet in your bills

Lets face it, keeping track of expenses and bills is something we don’t enjoy. Its not something you would call a fun activity. Thats why here in Beezang we are trying our best to make it easier for you to stay on top of your expenses. We launched today a new feature which allows you to send in your bills via Twitter. Now you can send those bills as simple notes to Beezang, we will save it for you and when you got time you can sign into Beezang and save those notes as bills. To give you an example, how we recently used this feature. Last week Shivul went out of station with a couple of his friends from his undergrad school to attend their friend’s marriage. Now like any other trip that you take with your friends, this one also had a long list of bills that were split and paid by different people. He didn’t have access to internet on go. So what he did was send his bills as direct message via Twitter from his mobile. When they returned from the trip, he had all those bills waiting for him on Beezang.

Sending a direct message on Twitter hardly takes seconds either from phone, twitter web site or a twitter client. So now you don’t have to procrastinate on entering bills, its easy and fast. We hope you enjoy using this feature.

P.S

How to get started on this feature

1. Follow beezang on twitter.
2. Sign in to beezang, go to settings and add your twitter username.
3. Send your bills as direct message to beezang from twitter. e.g.
……….“lent 400 bucks to Sam”,
……….“spent 100 bucks on grocery for group home”.
4. Next time when you sign into beezang, you will see your direct messages in Notes tab. Click there and save the notes as appropriate bills.

To know more on how to use Twitter from your phone visit http://help.twitter.com/forums/59008/entries/14014-twitter-phone-faq

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Before Beezang, we used a Google Spreadsheet to keep track of our apartment bills. So when we were ready with the first version of Beezang, we started using Beezang. The first thing we did was create a group for our apartment. Then we took the current standings of the group from the spreadsheet and entered it as a group bill into Beezang. As per the latest standings on the spreadsheet, Viru (our roommate) owed me say X and Shivul owed me Y. I created a group bill saying I made a payment of ‘X+Y’ and Viru’s share of the bill was X and Shivul’s ‘Y’. So, if you are using a notebook or a spreadsheet to manage your expenses and want to migrate to Beezang, thats all you need to do to get started.

One of the advantages of using Beezang is you can manage multiple groups. For us there were two groups. The first was the apartment which we shared with another roommate and the other was Beezang itself. We use the second group to keep track of bills related to Beezang that I or Shivul paid for. So we have these two groups “Roommates” and “Beezang”. All apartment related bills go into “Roommates” and all work related into “Beezang”.

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Ever since we launched, we had people asking for a feature to track personal bills.  Some of you even devised workarounds to track such personal expenses like the money you spent on petrol, your daily pack of cigarettes or eating out.  We took our time but it is here finally.

You can now enter your personal bills by clicking on ‘Add Bill‘ tab on your side navigation bar and then clicking ‘Add Personal Expense‘. You can enter the bill by filling in some simple details and assigning a category.

We have added a new tab on the Home Page ‘Personal Expense‘ . This tab shows you a nifty pie chart which gives you an idea about where you have spent your money in the current month. If you want to dig into the details , just click on “More Details” and you will be able to see the data and your spending pattern of the last three months.  We hope you find these data useful. Give it a spin and let us know how you feel about it.

Cheers

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We had earlier blogged about some simple protocols to manage expenses with your room mates. Now, you need a tool to keep record of such expenses and stay on top of them. This is where Beezang comes in. You can follow the simple steps to get started:

  1. Setting up your group in less than a minute: You can create a group for your room mates. Go to ‘Add Group’, select friends with whom you share an apartment. If you have not yet added your room mate as friend, you can add them in this page itself by clicking on ‘Add Friend’ in the drop down menu.Add Group
  2. Reporting Group Bills with ease: Now, once you have setup the group you can start adding bills associated with the group. Lets say you paid for the house rent. Go to summary tab, click on ‘Add Group Bill’ link displayed in the group table and enter the bill details. You can split bills unevenly by clicking on Split unevenly in the Share Details column.Summary TabAdd Group Bill
  3. Viewing Group Details: The group table in summary tab displays the current standings of the group members i.e. who is supposed to get money back and who are supposed to pay money. To view details of the group, click on the group tab in the Home Page. This tab shows your group standings, how much each person has paid for the bills till date and whats each person share of the total expenses incurred. The tab also displays all the bills reported associated with the group.Group Tab
  4. Settling up group: Probably once in a month or once in two weeks you guys will decide to settle up and pay each other. When you want to do that, click on the ‘Settle group’. A simple form is displayed which by default shows how you can settle up in minimum number of transactions.  Once you settle up, the settlement amount is reflected on the Friends table in the Summary tab and the group members are notified about the settlement.settle group

Hope you find this post useful on getting started. Ping us anytime you have any questions. Cheers

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We got the opportunity to present Beezang at Startup Saturday Bangalore on November 14, 2009.  It was attended by over 100 entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, investors and other startup enthusiasts. You can get a very informative summary of the meet up here

There were some interesting questions regarding our revenue model and user acquisition strategy. Well, we are still evolving and trying to figure out those things. We have some ideas though how we are going to go about it. We also got suggestions to build a iPhone App which makes sense.  Its not always possible for people to have access to internet or a desktop. Making entries on the go is an important requirement. Overall, it was a great experience.

Please find below the deck we used.

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When you and your friends decide to move in to an apartment, you will have two options. Either you will rent a furnished apartment or take up an unfurnished apartment and buy your own furniture and other essential house hold items. Renting an already furnished apartment has the advantage that you don’t have to bear the hassle of moving your stuffs to a new place when you shift or figuring out how to handle the situation where one or more roommates are moving out. But if you have a good understanding with the people you are moving in and are likely to stay in the same city for say at least a year; it usually comes out more economical to buy your own stuffs. However, this is from our own experience in Bangalore. We are not sure how it works out in other places.

So you and your roommates have decided to buy your own stuffs. Now the next step is how to go about it. It is quite a big move to invest in things for a property and depending on where you purchase the stuff from, can be rather expensive. Some people choose to withdraw money from their savings accounts to fund such a venture. You want to get stuff that is good quality but at the same time obviously you don’t want to break the bank. Before you invest in those items, have a candid discussion and reach an agreement on the following points:-

  1. Items to buy: Make a list of household items you are going to buy. Some essential items that you will definitely need are beds/cots (you may consider buying some extra cots for guests), chairs, Washing Machine, Refrigerator and a Television Set (You need something to relax after coming home after all)
  2. Budget: Reach an agreement on the total amount you are going to spend on such items. Research on the internet about the best deals you can get. You will be surprised to discover how the price of same item can vary across multiple dealers.
  3. What to do when someone leaves: The stuffs you are buying today will not have the same market value one year down the line. Agree among yourselves what should be a fair depreciation you can put on each item when someone leaves and the rest of you folks have to reimburse the person’s share. Some items will have higher depreciation than others. To figure out a fair rate, just go through the classifieds and find out how much the same items fetch in second hand market.
  4. Personal Items: If there is something that you want to buy for yourself, say like a study table get in our own personal tab.
  5. Next start shopping

Set up a home, not just a place to live in.

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A New Look, a new feel

We have refreshed Beezang with a new look and feel. This is as part of our continued efforts to give the best possible experience to our users. This is what had been keeping us busy last few weeks.  We have also added the feature via which you can add a transaction directly from the summary tab be it a debt/loan or a group bill.  Do let us know how you feel about the new interface.

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