Monday, June 22, 2020

Dividing Money

I have found a few situations that require taking an amount of money and dividing it up as evenly as possible, to the nearest cent or whole dollar, such that the individual parts exactly add up to the original amount.

Here are a few examples of when I've needed to do this:

Example 1:

Apportioning an Operating Expense to Multiple Real Estate Properties

As a real estate investor that owns multiple properties, I sometimes have operating expenses that are not associated with any individual property.  Since the Schedule E tax form requires all expenses to be listed on a per-property basis, it is necessary to take the expense and divide it up across the properties.  As an example, let's say I spent $1025.95 on tax preparation and I have 7 properties.  I would split that expense as follows:

 Property Amount
 A $146.56
 B $146.56
 C $146.56
 D $146.56
 E $146.57
 F $146.57
 G $146.57
 Total: $1025.95

Notice that in this case I use a precision of cents.

Example 2:

Distributing Cash Tips at a Gig

As a band leader, at the end of a gig, I often need to collect the cash tips we received, total them up, and split them with the rest of my band.  For example, if my jazz trio earns a total of $113 in tips, I would pay each musician as follows:

 Musician Amount
 myself $37
 bass player $38
 drummer $38
 Total: $113

In this case, I use a precision of whole dollars since we typically don't receive any coins.

These are just 2 examples, but similar division logic can be used when friends need to split the bill at a group dinner and other similar situations and the amount of money cannot be split evenly.  It's not rocket science to make these calculations, but I do it often enough that I decided to make a simple web-based tool to do it for me.  The tool can be found at:

In this tool, simply enter an amount of money, how many parts you want to divide it into, and the precision (cents or whole dollars), and then click Divide to get the resulting amounts. Feel free to use it for all your money splitting needs!  And let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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