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  • FIRST POST
    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 3
  • auntyclarry
    It just depends how much you want the 'pac man' couple as friends and to share an evening out.
    If you start complaining about what they order (regardless of whether they clear it up or not) you might lose them as friends and then the relationship between you will never be the same again.
    It's the 0ld saying that MONEY SPOILS EVERYTHING to be taken into account here.
    I suppose you could tell them you are a bit short of cash, but do not wish to forego your great night out. Hand over to them, roughly what yours comes to - say 20 if it's a tenner each, and ask them to pay the bill. Cite the forthcoming budget for the cutback and tell them you are having a spending review, - you never know they might do the same!
    This should not offend them and will leave you having a good night out with friends whilst paying only for what you had.
  • BubbleFrogette

    The easiest and least confrontational way around this is to choose a set meal type restaurant (like an all you can eat buffet or lunch-for-7 type affair) - that way the bill will split itself fairly automatically. If drinks are included you can quite politely say when you first order "shall we just get our own drinks at the bar as we want them so we don't waste anything?"
    Originally posted by brokeinwales
    That's what I thought a few years back when our uni ski club went out for Xmas dinner. Myself and my good friend were social secretaries and we had chosen a set meal, so there could be no arguements about paying up the right amount. There were 60 of us, so a large group. We agreed the previous week that all drinks would be paid for at the time of ordering.

    This went out the window on the actual evening and most people left their 25 and moved onto the next bar before we had even got the bill. When it came we were over 300 short, with just my friend and I and the club chairman left to deal with the situation. As students, myself & my friend were totally unable to cover this. It was a nightmare, with the restaurant threatening to call the police! In the end, the chairman paid using the club's slush fund. I was so angry I nearly had a heart attack, I can tell you.

    Life lesson - never be responsible for other people when it comes to money, whatever the situation.
    The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.
    • jamespir
    • By jamespir 16th Jun 10, 10:33 AM
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    jamespir
    id say something but be nice about it
    Replies to posts are always welcome, If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
  • petdom24
    Sounds as though your friends are taking advantage of your friendship. Suggest you politely suggest that in these difficult times, each should pay what they order.
  • Tinabs1
    Ouch, me too.
    This sounds pretty outrageous, but I completely understand why you have been paying well over your share.

    I was brought up not to talk about money in that way and to always be generous. So infact in my country of origin, people fight over the priviledge of paying all the bill. The reality is I can't really afford to pay the whole bill, but that is what is expected.

    Having said that I have lived in the UK since I was 5, and am completely British, so in this country I try and split bills, but usually end up paying more than my share because I don't drink.

    But recently I went out to eat with some friends who are very well off, first of all the restaurant they chose was over my usual budget. Second of all they came with their partners, so there were 2 couples and then me with my 6 year old daughter. They all had starters and mains and alcoholic drinks, I had a main and a diet coke and my daughter had a children's meal and drink. I had bought a large M&S chocolate cake as it was a couple of their birthdays, which we all had for dessert. During the meal we discussed an operation that one man needed but was on the NHS waiting list, another friend asked how much it would cost privately to which the man replied 12,000., the friend laughed and said 'I expect you've got twice that amount sitting in your current account right now!' The man's partner asked her how she knew, and they all joked about knowing each other that well. They are all very well off, I am not! When the bill came the others all agreed that the easiest thing would be for each of us to pay a third - ie each couple to pay a third, but I wasn't in a couple I was with my small child eating a kids meal and a main and nonalcoholic drinks, plus I had already saved them money for dessert by buying a 12.00 cake. I was outraged but too embarrassed to call them on it, so I was seriously short changed, I haven't gone out with them since, and I will probably make an excuse next time.

    I totally get how difficult it is to challenge friends about this sort of thing, but I am constantly upset that these friends of mine don't care enough about my welfare, despite knowing I work for a charity and am very much their 'poor' friend. That they care so little, wish I had the guts to challenge them.
    • oldtrout
    • By oldtrout 16th Jun 10, 10:57 AM
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    oldtrout
    It really isn't fair. However, you are allowing them to get away with it and presumably they will continue being unfair for as long as you let them.

    I would explain that the next time you eat out, you would be in a position to pay only for what YOU actually have, and they would have to pay for their own.
    • redglass
    • By redglass 16th Jun 10, 11:00 AM
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    redglass
    If it happens every time, and to that extent, then they are not playing fair. It sounds as if they are economising at your expense and yet you end up feeling selfconscious and anxious in case you are being mean. I would stop splitting and tell them why (you don't have to be nasty about it, just say you are trying to cut back but you don't want to cramp their style). Or you could play them at their own game: order lots of expensive nosh, put most of it in doggie bags and see how they like that. They might start looking round for less expensive company. Depends how much you want to keep up the friendship.
    'Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin now.' Goethe



    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 16th Jun 10, 11:06 AM
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    Flickering Ember
    To be honest, I avoid going out in groups where bills are going to be split as I've also been left shortchanged every time. Money's always been tight for me, and I won a secret scholarship to a private school, so even going to lunch every day was too much for me as the others just had no idea I wasn't able to afford the extravagence they took for granted. On the rare occasion, a special occasion like end of term or a proper friend's party, I'd save up and go along, and the bills were always insane. I remember we went to a Chinese place on Queensway in London and one girl ordered a 30 lobster noodle dish and I almost died!! I just made do with a special fried rice.

    I would only pay for what I had now though. I can barely afford to pay for myself, certainly not able to subsidise others.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
  • BYLSW
    When we go out with friends we either pay our own bills unless we go somewhere that has a set price. It is always best to make sure you understand the arrangements before you go. It is usually those who do not feel the need to look after the pennies who offer to split the bill, probably because they either do not have to think about money or because they have the attitude of pay now worry later. If they are real friends they will not be offended.
    • qetu1357
    • By qetu1357 16th Jun 10, 11:14 AM
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    qetu1357
    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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    Originally posted by MSE Lee
    Next time you should order THREE mains each and twice as many sides as them

    Losing friends is easy, getting new ones can be hard.

    Half the time when people are being unreasonable they don't realise they are.

    Approach the more reasonable one and just say that you can't really afford to pay half as and could the bill be split fairly.
    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 16th Jun 10, 11:25 AM
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    warehouse
    To allow this to continue would be a mistake, you must draw a line in the sand next time you go out. You will then discover if these are friends or !!!!!!!!!!s.

    Before you order, make it clear that you will only be paying for what you eat and drink, no more split bills. They will react in one of two ways:

    No problems, carry on as normal = friends
    An atmosphere at dinner and suddenly order single mains = !!!!!!!!!!s

    Take cash so it's easier to pay your own part as well.
    Pants
  • lamp
    Here's a bizzare thought that just occurred to me...

    Perhaps the couple in question have it ground into them the habit of ordering two mains, something they've been doing for years, and want to raise about contributing more money but feel a bit funny about offering?

    Maybe it hasn't even occurred to them... I think people tend to focus more on when they're being 'wronged' to when they're being treated well...

    Nevermind friends, even a reasonable aquaintance will not take offence to you asking to cover your own bill when there is a big difference in what is being ordered.

    Simples
  • meher
    The only thing I'd refuse sometimes is to pay their share of drinks and I just declare it before we set out; specially if I don't like them so dearly - you see, these sort of wheeling and dealing should be used as expressions
  • Marco12452
    Without a doubt !!!
    Pay for your own, or don't go to restaurants with them.
    • faineant
    • By faineant 16th Jun 10, 11:34 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    faineant
    As this is clearly spoiling the nights out I suggest taking a break and then after while suggest a night out for old times sake but with everyone paying for what they order. If that works then take it from there otherwise no need to pursue any further.
    If money saving starts to involve irritation or frustration the fine line between thrift and greed should be examined.
    • minerva_windsong
    • By minerva_windsong 16th Jun 10, 11:44 AM
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    minerva_windsong
    I'd just stop going out for meals with them, and if they are people that you want to stay in touch with suggest going for drinks or invite them to yours for dinner, saying you can't really afford to go out for dinner any more (use the Budget as an excuse if you have to).
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

    Married my best friend 1st November 2014

    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
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  • Streethawk
    Probably best to avoid having friends. Much easier in the long run.
    I thought I was a Money Saving Expert - then someone pointed me at Martin Lewis! Now THERE's an expert!!!
    • redux
    • By redux 16th Jun 10, 12:14 PM
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    redux
    There is someone I know who has become infamous amongst plenty of people who know him for a rather worse variation

    The bill comes, he takes charge, right how many of us are there, he counts round the group starting on his left and ending on his right, divides that into the bill, rounds up a bit for a tip ...

    and nobody notices he doesn't put his share in

    well, that's what he seems to think.

    (Just think about that count again ...)

    I remember being stunned on an occasion in Hungary in 1992, this happened even though the bill was only something like 13 between 11 people, I saw it but nobody else realised.

    People have got wise, and promise themselves not to get taken in, but there can still be a variation like a group go to a cafe for tea, and someone has no money, I'll pay next time, we can all do it once in a while, but some more than others ...
    • Wings of Ambition
    • By Wings of Ambition 16th Jun 10, 12:16 PM
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    Wings of Ambition
    Just order three mains each when they order two each. See how they like it.
    • newkitchenfund
    • By newkitchenfund 16th Jun 10, 12:20 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    newkitchenfund
    with friends like these...
    They know they are taking advantage of your very British embarrassment. My advice would be to find nicer friends who do not just see you as a walking wallet.
    if you want to continue the friendship, I would tell them BEFORE you order next time that you are only going to pay your fair share (plus tip) - tell them you are on a diet or already had a big lunch if that makes it easier. And only bring enough cash to cover that.
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