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    Former MSE Lee
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we stop splitting the bill?
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 10, 12:32 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we stop splitting the bill? 14th Jun 10 at 12:32 PM
    This is a real life MMD so please bear in mind the MoneySaver in question will read your responses:

    Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...

    Should we stop splitting the bill?

    We regularly eat out with another couple and split the bill. While my wife and I stick to one main each, they order two each and enough sides to feed an extra table adding 30 to the tab. Yet they never eat it all and always ask for a doggy bag for leftovers. I feel like I'm subsidising their food shop.


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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 15-06-2010 at 7:14 PM.
Page 1
    • Robothell
    • By Robothell 15th Jun 10, 10:36 PM
    • 469 Posts
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    Robothell
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 10, 10:36 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 10, 10:36 PM
    The friends are, perhaps without realising, being unreasonable with this. I think you should tactfully address the issue and pay for what you order - either that or ask your friends to order only what they intend to eat there and then.
    Life in this world is, as it were, a sojourn in a cave. What can we know of reality? For all we can see of the true nature of existence is, shall we say, no more than bewildering and amusing shadows cast upon the inner wall of the cave by the unseen blinding light of absolute truth, from which we may or may not deduce some glimmer of veracity, and we as troglodyte seekers of wisdom can only lift our voices to the unseen and say humbly "Go on, do deformed rabbit again.....it's my favourite". Terry Pratchett in "Small Gods"

    Founder member of the Barry Scott Appreciation Society
  • pooh_bear17
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 10, 10:51 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 10, 10:51 PM
    I agree with the comment above - you need to address this or you're going to find yourself resenting your friends and spoiling the friendship. This is one of my pet hates - I usually get around it by totalling up what I've had and putting cash for roughly the right amount into the middle of the table rather than making an issue of it. Most people usually volunteer to add extra money if they know they've had more. I wouldn't split hairs and total up to the exact penny but its totally unfair to split the bill evenly if someone has an extra course, or if they add expensive drinks to the bill while you've paid for yours at the bar or are on soft drinks, no-one has money to subsidise others!

    Failing that perhaps you should suggest you go to one of those all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets instead next time!
    • 1ipstick
    • By 1ipstick 15th Jun 10, 11:01 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    1ipstick
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:01 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:01 PM
    This happens to me all the time yet I've not worked out a way of being tactful about it (and I'm shy!). Two mains sounds a bit ridiculous though, and in my experience people ordering a whole extra dish will usually offer to make up the difference (less common with drinks, which is my main bugbear as I'm usually on soft drinks while friends can down several cocktails).

    Maybe one week say you are on a tight budget (beforehand) so can't chip in more than X amount. See if this affects what they order...
    • 2giraffes
    • By 2giraffes 15th Jun 10, 11:02 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    2giraffes
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:02 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:02 PM
    Absolutely you should! I agree with the above post, you'll start to resent your friends so talk to them about it now so you can enjoy your next meal out! Either that, or order the same as them and ask for doggy bags too and see what reaction it gets, though that is not the money saving way to sort it out!
    • flossy_splodge
    • By flossy_splodge 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    • 2,386 Posts
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    flossy_splodge
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    This happens to me all the time yet I've not worked out a way of being tactful about it (and I'm shy!). Two mains sounds a bit ridiculous though, and in my experience people ordering a whole extra dish will usually offer to make up the difference (less common with drinks, which is my main bugbear as I'm usually on soft drinks while friends can down several cocktails).

    Maybe one week say you are on a tight budget (beforehand) so can't chip in more than X amount. See if this affects what they order...
    Originally posted by 1ipstick
    This happened to my poor DD at the weekend.
    She went down to the smoke to visit her DS as she is leaving to live abroad shortly.
    She was included in a group with a particular person who is oblivious to the fact that not everyone has the money they have or wants to drink to the extent they do.

    Anyway the outcome was my poor DD ended up spending about 60-80 as her 'contribution' to an assortment of bills all because she didn't want to upset her sister by speaking up.(This was on top of a cost of about 60 for fuel to get there!).

    The person who caused the problems was utterly oblivious to anyone not being comfortable with his grand gestures (oh lets get some more Champagne)etc etc and then he stated how much all should pay to cover what were basically HIS choices.

    So definitely speak up as these sorts of selfish unthinking people would benefit from a lesson in reality.
    Last edited by flossy_splodge; 24-06-2010 at 11:38 AM.

    "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
    ― John Wooden
    • rcherryuk
    • By rcherryuk 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    • 17 Posts
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    rcherryuk
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:17 PM
    Yes, And you should have done this the 1st time!
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 15th Jun 10, 11:20 PM
    • 476 Posts
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    tallgirld
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:20 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:20 PM
    If I was in that position I would.....
    a) stop splitting the bill
    b) stop eating out with the gluttons!!

    Alternatively take your calculator out next time you eat with them and pay for what you had.
    The cheek of it is they are taking home left overs. LOLLLLLL

    THEY ARE TAKING THE MICK!!
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 15th Jun 10, 11:29 PM
    • 6,298 Posts
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    pineapple
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:29 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 10, 11:29 PM
    I honestly can't see any way out other than to say you are on a budget and can you get your own. Frankly it's a bit thoughtless of them. Some of us do think to put in more if we've had more expensive options.
    But I've had similar problems when out for a drink with friends, when it's customary to buy rounds. I'm sitting there nursing a half of something and my mates are downing shorts! You look like a scrooge if you don't join in.
    • gailsmum
    • By gailsmum 15th Jun 10, 11:41 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    gailsmum
    Of course you should stop splitting ALL the bill, just split the cost of the mains, the rest is up to them!
  • secgirl
    Taking the mick just a wee bit methinks! I would say cannot afford to do this any more and will pay for our own food/ drinks and they can do likewise. No dilemma. And if they do not take it well, then perhaps they are not the friends you thought they were!?!
    • PRINCESSKERRY
    • By PRINCESSKERRY 15th Jun 10, 11:52 PM
    • 835 Posts
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    PRINCESSKERRY
    I agree with all the above comments, I am teetotal and one of my pet hates is people assuming if you go out as a group then I am going to sub other peoples drinks.Thankfully I have always spoke up since one particularly embarassing time, it was several days before pay day and we had hardly any money but work had planned a work night out for a long time so I still went taking 10.
    I ordered a main and we had jugs of water on the table and my 10 more then covered what I ordered with a 10% tip, but others on the table ordered bottles of wine aplenty a red and white each time until there were quite a few empty bottles on the table.
    When it came to the bill everyone chirped up we will split it, my share would have come to about 25.
    I feel it's very insensitive to expect people to split without consulting them all anyway and even more so if you have all had starters, desert and wine etc and others have only had a main.
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  • Littlemissteapot
    I mostly agree with those who have posted so far.
    Your friends do not know that splitting the bill equally has this affect on you. So, you need tell them before everyone orders that you and your wife will pay only for what you've ordered. You can ask the waiter/ess before everyone orders to make separate tabs for each couple which deals with any issues that generally occur when its time to pay the bill.
    I must admit to be curious whether they would change their ordering habits in the future?
  • yorkshirepud
    I will pay for what i have had and up to a couple of quid more.

    If a friend is skint i have no prob offering to get dinner as i know they will do the same for me.

    I do not however put up with people taking the Mick.


    You should not have to feel awkward about discussing financial matters with friends, although i know we do.

    • julie777
    • By julie777 16th Jun 10, 12:22 AM
    • 303 Posts
    • 246 Thanks
    julie777
    This would make me really MAD. With "friends" like this, who needs enemies? They are self-centred and mean and don't deserve you!
  • rosgrech
    Well, they can't be very good friends if they don't realise themselves what is happening across the table while they feed their faces.

    Pay only for what you order - give whatever excuse you feel comfortable with if you are having difficulty but stick to your guns.

    They are being very insensitive. Choose your friends more carefully!

  • JFD10
    A similar thing actually happened to me before. A friend and I ordered a takeaway and he decided to order a large bottle of coke, a more expensive and an extra side-dish all for himself!

    As he collected it, he paid the total and, after showing me the receipt, requested half of the money. I'm not a shy person and I don't like people taking advantage of me so I spoke up, pointing out that my total only came to 7. He then argued with me for about 20minutes (for the sake of 5!) that he had gone to collect it in his car (even though the place is only about 10minutes walk away and I had even offered to walk with him to collect it) and used his petrol.

    In the end, I relented and 'compromised' by giving him 10. However, next time he wanted to get a takeaway, I said that I wasn't going to have anything as I'd already eaten. Needless to say, when he picked it up, there wasn't a drink and he'd chosen much cheaper food. I've always politely refused to go out for a meal or order a takeaway with him ever since.
    • Sooler
    • By Sooler 16th Jun 10, 1:00 AM
    • 2,898 Posts
    • 2,107 Thanks
    Sooler
    They're no friends - they're greedy freeloading pigs.

    Just go up to the till, pay for your own food on the bill. Go back to the table, say you went to pay your half of the bill but they did it a bit wrong and charged only for your food. Brush it off and leave the other couple to pay for what they owe.

    See if they try to argue that you should pay any more, and justify it

    Say you didn't realise there was such a difference in the share of the bill, and you'll stick to that new arrangement in future.
  • 1d2a3d4d5i6o
    splitting the bill
    a recent birthday get together consisted of 2 familys, one family had special offer half price pizza's the other family had rib eye steaks, one family had tapwater, beer and coke to drink the other had bottles of wine at 21 a bottle, at least 2 followed by a port after the meal, then cognacs and coffee to follow, With the saying put it on the bill put it on the bill, needless to say I blew a fuse, which didnt go down well. But at least the bill was fairly divided one familys ( 6 persons in each family) total bill was 120 the other was approx. 300. I did overhear the person who was ordering the bottles of wine panic and say they didnt think they had enough money to pay their bill !!!
    to all people here who think they are being taken for a ride, YOU ARE and your so called friends know exactly what they are doing, so tell them before you start 'im a bit skint lets pay for our own meals OK' and I think you will find those extravigant meals a thing of the past.
    • Brightness
    • By Brightness 16th Jun 10, 1:46 AM
    • 292 Posts
    • 1,099 Thanks
    Brightness
    We had this done to us on two occasions. There was me, hubs and youngest son who had a kid's meal. The neighbours we invited themselves along turned up with their two kids (one child portion) and daughter's boyfriend. They all had 3 courses, wine and loads of drinks and we had one course with cokes.

    When it came to the bill he just said to my hubs 'splitting it are we?'. Hubs being the gentle soul that he is agreed but I was furious. The next time they invited themselves along I asked the waitress after they had ordered if we could have a separate bill but same table number. It wasn't a problem at all to the staff but they were very quiet during the meal - funny but they never invited themselves along again

    We occasionally go out with other neighbours and split the bill but we are good friends with them and do things for each other. For instance, the hubby came over the other week with free rugby tickets for my hubs and sons. He'd been given 6 at work but only wanted 3 so they all had a good day out and he even insisted on giving my hubs half the petrol money.

    True friends think before they act, fake friends and free loaders don't!
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