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Scred: Look after shared expenses, pounds take care of themselves

Scred is a new service that tracks shared expenses between groups of friends, taking the maths and the headache out of splitting a bill, a meal, a holiday, a visit to a strip club... we've said too much

If you've ever shared a house, you've probably had a few of those headache-inducing house meetings: "I owe you £43.57 for the gas, you owe me £28.20 for the water, but we both owe Jerry £63.42 for Tanqueray." Scred is a new site that aims to cut out the stress of shared expenses by tracking money between groups of friends.

You sign up for a free account at the secure Web site, create a pool, and invite friends to join. Once they've signed up, each member simply adds their expenses -- a bill, say -- and other members can add their own expenses and payments to keep track of the money going back and forwards.

This could be handy in all sorts of situations. Scred also offers a Java client at scred.mobi for mobile users even when offline, or a stripped-down version of the site: handy for when you've been out for a meal, but you don't want to fund Jerry's three bottles of Tanqueray. If you're off to a festival, you can keep track of who paid for the petrol, who bought the food, and who shelled out for the Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodles, multi-coloured jester hats and six bottles of Tanqueray.

Other similar shared-expense trackers include iOWEYOU or Billster. iPhone users can download Shared Expenses.

Where Scred gets even more interesting is in the MiniCorps feature, currently in beta. This allows you to set up a pool for people in business together, which creates a shop and tracks income, expenses, profit and loss through a PayPal account.