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Lain SalteriGroup travel may be a great way to strengthen relationship bonds and share formative experiences, but it isn’t without its annoyances. A recent survey of 1000 Australians aged 18-35 has revealed that money issues are a regular tension when travelling in a group, especially when others are slow to pay their fair share.

Commissioned by bill-splitting app Kttipay, the survey found the most annoying issue with group bills is that Aussies are being left out of pocket by people who either don’t pay them back or take too long to pay. Forty percent of young Aussies said they disliked being left hanging by friends, travel mates or acquaintances when they fork out for shared bills.

More than half (53.6%) of young Aussie travellers prefer to pay for their expenses as they arise when travelling in a group, 26.6% will use an app where one person pays and is reimbursed by others, and a further 18% choose to divide everything equally, no matter the cost.

With close to one in five opting to pick up the slack for their mates no matter how much they spent, it’s no wonder that 36% of those surveyed complained they always end up paying more than their fair share. Nearly 17% of group holiday makers bemoaned having to pay for everyone and 28.6% resented not having any control over how money is spent by the group. To make matters worse, 14.8% have experienced arguments over what people owe after the money has been spent.

In light of these issues, 98% of respondents rated transparency in group spending situations as important – like having the ability to access receipts. Sixty-eight percent of young Australians go as far as to label transparency in group spending situations as either ‘important’, ‘very important’, or ‘extremely important’.

With data showing that appetite for travel in 2023 is higher than ever, finding a way to manage group bills fairly and equitably is at the top of the list for many young travellers. More than half of survey respondents (52.4%) indicated they’d be willing to pay for an app that takes care of group spending in advance to save themselves the hassle of constantly chasing people up for money.

Kttipay founder and CEO Iain Salteri says the dominant preference is that everyone pays their own way, but failing that, there needs to be a fairer way to manage group spending than to split it equally. He points to the survey findings, which show that one in three Australians (31%) are owed money by someone in their social circle.

While most Australians (57.5%) are owed under $100, one in five (22.5%) are out of pocket for $100-$250. Similarly, most young Aussies (72.2%) owe their friends and family under $100, but 15% owe others up to $100-$250.

In a calendar year, 30% of Aussies will spend $200-$500 on shared expenses like dinner with friends, weekends away/holidays, and housemate expenses. Another one in four (25%) spend between $501-$100, and one in five (19%) spend a considerable $1,001-$5,000.

“As much as we may love our friends and family, paying for their luxury tastes when we prefer cheap and cheerful travel is a quick way to ruin holidays. As Australians embark on their summer vacation, the time is ripe for a versatile platform that will take the stress out of managing group spending so that they can actually relax and enjoy their trip,” Salteri says.

“Travelling in a group can be great fun, but a trip can quickly go sour if boundaries aren’t put in place to maintain accountability for shared bills. Bill-splitting apps are excellent for helping keep the peace so that everyone can check their expectations and ultimately enjoy each other’s company while on holiday.”