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Dining out - bill paying
in MoneySaving dads
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Similarly we have in laws that are not well off at all. They used to eat out regularly with an older sibling and their young adult children and the sibling would split the bill 50/50 so they were essentially paying for one of their kids. Really unfair as far as I'm concerned but in laws we're too proud to say they were struggling to afford it. Needless to say they don't go out together very often any more.
Drinks can be a bit of a grey area, depending on what soft drink and what alcoholic drink (J20 versus half a lager??)
My daughter has recently had this twice when dining out. She's vegetarian so most of a menu isn't available to her, to cut costs she ordered a margarita pizza and water only to find her dining companions who had ordered far more wanted to split the bill to make the calculation easier. At 18, she didn't have the confidence to state she didn't want to do that.
The situation is different for myself as I tend to dine with the same friends so happy to split as we're all aware over time it will even out.
My advice is if you know you are out with someone who orders more and wants to split, is to let them order first and then place your order to match theirs in price, then when it's halved you know you're still only paying for your share.
It can be tricky though and I feel guilty if I fancy something expensive so I tend to let them order first and choose accordingly re: price range.
I try not to give an exact calculation of my food as I think it can cause tension, but perhaps that's just me.
With another couple we see very frequently (they're like family to us), we will take it in turns so we pay one evening, they get the next.
When it's a group of individuals that I don't see very often, it depends on how even the spending has been between everyone. If everyone has had roughly the same number of items (for example a starter, a main and a drink) I would suggest splitting it to make it easier. Not bothered about quibbling between a salad for 10 and a steak for 15, personally. But if it's clear one person has had significantly less or more than the others, then I would suggest itemising and just do it.
I can personally afford to eat what I fancy when I go out for a meal, but I have had times where going has been a bit awkward as for example I've had a £15 budget in mind and ordered within that. So I'm always conscious that splitting evenly might put someone in a tight spot and they may feel unable to speak up.
I been much more careful after my bad experience. Its the principle not just the money.