aibu to expect that if I'm sharing a bill for something I've attended with my children, I should pay child prices for them and not a per-head split?!

(43 Posts)
Notmyidea Wed 02-Jan-13 15:23:34

have had this twice recently. At a Christmas meal where the dds ordered from a children's menu while adults had several alcoholic drinks and now mil is trying to arrange a family holiday cottage per head; same price for adults and the grandkids who will range from twenty year-old students to babes in arms.
I'm pretty sure I'm nbu but if anyone would like to help me formulate a diplomatic response I'm all ears.

BOFingResolutions Wed 02-Jan-13 15:26:02

No, you pay for what your family cost, when there are children involved. It's daft to do an equal split because there aren't equal prices.

To be charitable, perhaps the organisers can't do sums easily. To be cynical, they are trying to get you to subsidise them.

Lovecat Wed 02-Jan-13 15:27:16

Whilst I agree with you on the meal front, I don't see how you can argue it for a cottage - unless they're co-sleeping with the parents/in a cot in the room, they will require a bed and a bedroom, and that needs to be paid for - if the owner doesn't specify a reduced rate for children then the money is still due for the bed they're occupying.

So in your latter example I think YABU. Sorry!

Sirzy Wed 02-Jan-13 15:28:46

For the holiday it should be split per person needing a bed.

For the meal you pay for what you have eaten

We go away a lot with my brother's family and we always split depending on size of family. So when he had one child and we had none he paid 3/5 of the cost. Now we've got 2 and he's got 3 we'd probably just split 50/50

Meals out are different.

Notmyidea Wed 02-Jan-13 15:30:10

to be fair a childless person was sorting the restaurant bill and another guest spoke up for me. Going to have to be brave myself over the holiday, though.

parakeet Wed 02-Jan-13 15:30:21

Re cottages, we have always shared the bill based on the number of bedrooms you occupy - which is logical because the price of a cottage tends to go up with the number of bedrooms.

So if you have a babe in arms, they would normally share the parents' bedroom and so are effectively free. On the other hand if you have two children who need their own bedroom, then it's only fair you pay for the extra bedroom.

To put things diplomatically to your MIL, how about saying you're up for it in principle but can't commit to it until you know the price - and that you're willing to have your children share your bedroom to help keep down your share of the costs.

mercibucket Wed 02-Jan-13 15:30:22

Well for xmas meals just pay the child price, pointing it out if necessary, but for a cottage, pay per bed or per room so babies pay for a cot or go free, but children probably cost as much as adults

Notmyidea Wed 02-Jan-13 15:31:53

the babies will be in cots in their parents' rooms.

Yama Wed 02-Jan-13 15:33:00

For the holiday, I would suggest that children are .5 of a person. We have done this and all in the party agreed.

When out for a meal, roughly tot up what people had and round up for a tip. Wouldn't dream of suggesting a head count split with children in the equation.

Yama Wed 02-Jan-13 15:33:24


SaraBellumHertz Wed 02-Jan-13 15:33:35

Re the cottage how are you being charged by the rentor, per person or for the cottage as a whole?

Presuming its the cottage as a whole the appropriate way is to split by rooms so if it's £1000 with 4 bedrooms that is £200 per room and so a couple sharing pay £200; a single adult in a room pays £200 and if you put four kids in a room together the appropriate fee is £50 each.

If the rooms vary enormously e.g double en suite v single with bunk beds then you either draw straws for rooms or agree that some rooms attract a premium.

HairyPotter Wed 02-Jan-13 15:33:54

Fair enough to not charge for babies in a cottage, but yes, any other children in a bed should pay the same as an adult. The price is usually per accommodation not the amount of people going.

GreenShadow Wed 02-Jan-13 15:35:35

Similar to Yami - we tend to have two prices when sharing self catering accommodation - one for adults and children over 11 and one for primary age and below.

Then again we don't have babes in arms anymore, so would think there should be an exception for those in cots.

BackforGood Wed 02-Jan-13 15:36:10

Agree with everyone else - at a meal, I'd expect to pay less for the childrens meals, but for a holiday, then it's a 'per bed' - or, if applicable - per plane seat division.

maddening Wed 02-Jan-13 15:38:05

I would suggest doing it by the rooms occupied rather than per head.

RyleDup Wed 02-Jan-13 15:38:20

When we stayed in a cottage we worked it out per bed.

Notmyidea Wed 02-Jan-13 15:38:35

It's the counting babies as whole people that's bugging me. Quite happy to pay for a bed for the bigger kids.

Viviennemary Wed 02-Jan-13 15:38:49

I don't think you should split the bill if children eat of the children's menu and the meals are a lot cheaper. And absolutely not when alcohol is included. As for accommodation. Doesn't sound right that babes in arms should pay the same as 20 year olds. If I came up against this kind of thing from family I think I'd be arranging my own holiday. I couldn't put up with it.

BackforGood Wed 02-Jan-13 15:59:55

Mind, if you (as an extended family) can't agree on something as basic as this, I don't think I'd want to go on holiday together anyway - what will you do every time you nip to the chip shop, or someone fancies an ice-cream? How will you split the grocery shop, etc., etc. ?
Have you thought about maybe getting cotaages / apratments / caravans together on the same site, but maintaining your own boundaries, as a compromise?

BackforGood Wed 02-Jan-13 16:00:27

cotaages cottages
apratments apartments

mercibucket Wed 02-Jan-13 16:33:59

If it's just the babes-in-arms that you object to paying for, and I agree with you on that, you're just going to have to point it out. Can you look at the property online and see the charges? Often it says free/low cost cot, so just tell mil that babies are either free or x cost.

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 02-Jan-13 16:41:52

Get your DH to talk to his mother and say 'great idea - we just need to sort out the principle by which we work out a fair share of the bill, could we do it by bedroom needed or full sized bed needed? Otherwise we're paying a big whack for the babies'.

Icelollycraving Wed 02-Jan-13 17:16:34

When we went away last year there were 4 couples,3 kids & a baby. We did it between 11,so baby was free as not needing own room.
I know one person felt a bit put out that when it was suggested to be between adults,leaving out the kids. One person insisted she got the best room as she paid more for the holiday (she paid more as she had 2 children).
Tbh it was a pain in the arse,from shopping costs to taking it in turns to cook. One couple scoffed themselves silly with all the treats so other people didn't get a look in. Not to be repeated!!

ModreB Wed 02-Jan-13 17:25:15

When we go out for family meals, we split the food cost per adult head and buy alcohol on an individual basis.

If we go out with childless friends, and our children are with us, we pay the food cost of our family group and they split the rest depending on what they want to do. And again buy alcohol individually.

Labradorlover Wed 02-Jan-13 18:16:42

Depending on the rental, babies can count, as for insurance purposes there can be a maximum occupancy number. So a baby may not be a free extra even though they are in a cot rather than a bed.

Isityouorme Wed 02-Jan-13 18:41:25

Babies don't count! We share the cost per adult. if there are specifc costs, such as £50 for cot then we ould pay that. It sounds quite strange OP in your situation but YANBU. Could you ask to split the costs differently. Eg If a family group goes to cottage costing £800, group consisting of a) PIL, b) SIL, DB and DC aged 12 and 5, and c) OP, DH, baby under 1, then PIL should pay £250, SIL plus DH and kids £300 and you £250.

3smellysocks Wed 02-Jan-13 19:40:23

I think it would be better to charge per room or per bed in regards to a holiday cottage. Of course a baby in a cot in it's parents room shouldn't count at all. Can you email this suggestion around.

Child should only pay for child sized meal.

CandyCrush Wed 02-Jan-13 19:43:28

I find this a lot and not only that but I am a single parent with one child and often end up paying the same as the other "families"- often 2 parents and 2 children. sad

3smellysocks Wed 02-Jan-13 19:44:28

I'd also email MIL and say they need to split the meal bills more fairly, as the kids have cheap child sized portions and no expensive alcoholic drinks. Suggest working out a standard cost for a child's meal/drink and times it by how ever many kids are eating child portions. The remaining bill left after this is the amount to be split between the adults. Say you are happy to work if out.

gordyslovesheep Wed 02-Jan-13 19:45:09

baby is still a person sleeping in a room though - seems fair to me if your family are going to occupy 2 rooms you pay for it

SantasENormaSnob Wed 02-Jan-13 20:07:12

Re holiday cottage we always pay per room.

Eating out then the children shouldn't be counted as a head but nor should they be completely excluded from the bill.

When eating in a large group we often find it easier to pay for what our family has. We have 3 children so prefer it that way as we know we are neither scrimping on the bill nor paying over the odds.

Hulababy Wed 02-Jan-13 20:09:20

For anything where there is a specific child cost - pay what you owe

For a cottage - it's normally a per cottage booking, no child prices. So spit according. We normally pay per room. So if going with grandparents - we would pay for 2 rooms and them one room - so 2/3 of bill.

peaceandlovebunny Wed 02-Jan-13 20:10:42

you are right. they are children. if you pay full for them you are subsidising the adults. pay your own.

honeytea Wed 02-Jan-13 20:13:06

I think yanbu about the meal, a kid's meal is much cheaper than an adult's meal.

I do think that after the age of maybe 1 a child should be counted as a full adult in holiday bookings. Even if they are going to be in the parent's room to sleep they will take up lots of the comunal space with toys and running around, also the noise a small child will make will affect the rest ofthe group much more than an older child/adult.

Winterwalk Wed 02-Jan-13 20:18:51

Candycrush, do you mean you find this with holidays? If the couple with 2 kids are using two rooms and you are only using one by sharing with your DC then it's unfair to charge you both the same. However, if they are using two rooms and you are also using two rooms then an equal split is fair.

ihearsounds Wed 02-Jan-13 20:22:12

Holidays we pay per room, or half room if say one of my dc's was sharing a room with someone elses dc we would pay half that room each.

Meals, always pay for my own. Gave up years ago splitting because its never fair. I don't think I should subsidize other peoples 3 course meals and copious amounts of booze.

freemanbatch Wed 02-Jan-13 20:35:11

I think I must be being spoilt when I go on holiday with family because we always split by family so three families go and we each pay a third which means that mum and dad pay the same as the three of us and the four in my sisters family. I suspect its our parents trying to make sure we can afford a holiday though.

For meals I would always pay for me and the kids rather than an even split.

AppearingDignified Thu 03-Jan-13 11:56:42

Always by room! We share houses for 4 weeks a year and ask for contribution on a room basis.

We then tend to share shopping per adult couple and don't worry about the kids. None of our kids are over 9 tho.

houseelfdobby Thu 03-Jan-13 12:04:27

We pay for the whole house when we go away with friends/family then there are no arguments. Not always possible for everyone, of course. When we have been invited away by friends to their holiday cottages, we have not paid. Food: we tend to do a kitty - split in whatever way people agree is reasonable.

If this house party is being organised by your MIL then she should offer to pay for everyone. If she can't afford that then perhaps she should find something cheaper. Presumably, over time, other members of the family will return the favour and everything will work out.

Simplest solution for splitting the bill evenly when out with kids is to drink copious amounts of very expensive alcohol yourself. grin You may find that their attitude changes very suddenly.

I have never considered going away and sharing accomodation with anyone else because it all strikes me as too complicated. I would always advocate staying in the same area/ camp site/ hotel or wherever, but have your own space and also pay for what you choose. Value/ luxury caravan, tent, ensuite/ basic room etc. I think that you need to sort out some way of paying that everyone agrees with but if you can't then you have to decide whether you want the grief.

In my own family, we would always work out payment depending on how much people can afford, rather than what something actually cost, but that's us and I know that many people couldn't cope with that. It doesn't make us right or wrong, just what suits us and that's what you need to do with negotiation among your family. Good luck (sounds like you might need it wink)

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:29

For cottages when sharing we split by number of bedrooms. however next summer we are going away with SIL and family and they will use 3 bedrooms and us 2 but DH plans to split costs in half because we can afford a bit more and I am happy enough with that.

Not fair that meals split per head as you say childrens meals are cheaper and they don't drink alcohol. Having said that though although we do shared holidays, we don't do a lot of shared meals as it ends up being complicated but when we do I think we just pay for what each family ordered.

poshfrock Thu 03-Jan-13 12:41:41

Went away with my family 2 years ago - 15 of us ( 10 adults, 5 children aged between 6 & 14). We did it on a per head basis. Worked fine for everyone. BTW we paid the most as we had 4 kids but couldn't think of a fairer way to do it.

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