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Splitting the bill

(254 Posts)
Fallingovercliffs Tue 02-Dec-14 13:47:26

I know this topic probably comes up every Christmas but how do people feel about this?
I was out with some friends a couple of nights ago and we all had more or less the same amount of food and drink, but when the bill came someone took out their phone and started calculating who had what and how much each person owed. A couple of us said 'Look, we'll just split it. Less complicated' but they insisted on doing the 'Susan didn't have a starter. John had a beer before the rest of us got here' stuff.
AIBU to think this is incredibly petty?
Obviously if someone wasn't drinking I'd make sure they didn't pay for any of the wine. Or if I ordered a very expensive main course I'd insist on throwing in a few extra quid. But otherwise, just split the bill!!

Aherdofmims Tue 02-Dec-14 13:49:40

Unless someone/some people had vastly more or less than others I would say just split it.

If someone is driving or otherwise not drinking it is not polite to make them split the cost of booze, which is usually the biggest expense/rip off. (I do drink but just acknowledging this is where the big mark up is).

But the lack of a starter or similar wouldn't bother me.

Fudgeface123 Tue 02-Dec-14 13:52:59

Agree with Aherdofmims first point, if you've all had about the same then just split by how many people.

I don't drink and recently went out for a meal with friends, the drinks bill came to over £300 alone and I refused to pay a share as I was drinking tap water. Now 3 of the people who were at the meal are no longer talking to me because I'm tight apparently

Writerwannabe83 Tue 02-Dec-14 13:53:16

I believe in people paying for what they have. I don't expect to have up pay towards other people's alcoholic drinks and I don't expect them to fund my huge appetite (I always have 3 courses and a side).

Different people have different incomes and what amount one person is happy to pay in a 'split the bill' scenario is maybe more than another one can afford to pay.

shakemysilliesout Tue 02-Dec-14 13:55:41

Vegetarians often do badly out of splitting the bill. I'm not veggie- just saying!

AMumInScotland Tue 02-Dec-14 13:57:34

If she wanted to just pay for her own, I think that's always a fair choice on her part.

But it's not up to her to decide that everyone has to do that and give out itemised amounts for each person. Not her job to decide what others ought to do, only for herself.

Fallingovercliffs Tue 02-Dec-14 13:58:53

I remember having to contribute a massive amount towards a drink bill one night, when I actually had the car and only drank one glass of wine.
When someone realised this the next day, after everyone had sobered up, he went around and took extra money off everyone and gave me back what I'd paid.
Fudgeface I can't believe your friends are so rude.

railwayworker Tue 02-Dec-14 14:00:56

Assuming all else equal-ish but one person not drinking, deduct alcohol then split food equally. If someone in my group of friends was absolutely skint and said they'd only be able to afford a main course and tap water then of course I wouldn't expect them to sub others but in the general course of things I can't be doing with remembering whose main was a quid more and whose dessert was 50p less.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 02-Dec-14 14:02:25

We went out the other night and did the "shall we just split it" and someone said no, we will pay for our own - workes out best that night as the cheapest tab was 22, and the priciest 65. It was the 65er who insisted we split grin which im sure the 22er was happy about!

FluffyMcnuffy Tue 02-Dec-14 14:04:29

In my friendship group the one who drives doesn't pay (they don't drink obviously) as a thank you for ferrying the rest of us around. The bill is split between the rest (all drinkers).

Mammanat222 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:04:59

For the most part I have no issues splitting the bill and when I go out with good friends that is what we do. It's unspoken and we've been doing it for well over a decade (good we're old it's actually closer to 15 years we've been doing dinner!!)

I am not drinking at the moment so if there are a few bottles of wine on the bill I will do a quick calculation and I will pay a bit less but no big deal.


FluffyMcnuffy Tue 02-Dec-14 14:05:29

Oh and we take it in turns to drive so it pretty much evens out.

Maroonie Tue 02-Dec-14 14:05:42

I dont think it should be always one way or the other- it depends on how big the difference would be and on peoples circumstances.
When I was a student in a part time job our Xmas meal was always divided into who had what because several of us chose according to budget (we also deliberately chose somewhere with a range of prices to suit all) and even an extra £5 would probably mean walking home as taxi money was gone!
However a group of working adults disputing a few pounds is totally unessessary.
Also depends how often you are out together and whether this will even out over time or leave some people continually subsidising more expensive meals!

mewkins Tue 02-Dec-14 14:06:23

It's always the person who has had three courses, a steak and drink that wants to split it ;)
As a veggie who normally drives I do very badly out of bill splitting!

Writerwannabe83 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:06:35

It's like that episode of Friends where the three without much money were ordering water and soup because that's all they could afford and then they were expected to pay out for the fancy expensive meals the other characters ordered when the bill was split.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 02-Dec-14 14:07:25

It's petty if there's only a couple of quid difference in splitting or paying for what you had.

But if one person had a main and a soft drink and the other had multiple courses and alcohol, it's fair to pay for what you had.

What I don't get is that people that object to splitting in these circumstances are seen as more petty/rude than those who expect others to subsidise their larger consumption.

Plenty of people will be able to afford a meal out if it is a main and one drink, but not lots of courses and lots of drinks.

FluffyMcnuffy Tue 02-Dec-14 14:08:14

I don't tend to get worked up over subbing other's alcohol on the very rare occasions I don't drink.

My MIL is even worse than this as she insists DP pays for the whole family every time we go for a meal. Don't worry I have absolutely put a stop to this. wink

Lucylouby Tue 02-Dec-14 14:18:00

Our group always pay for what we have had. Our financial situations are all so different and we all tend to pick things to eat based on our own situations that it is the only fair way to do it for us. We are doing ok financially at the moment, but there are times we have been really short and going out was a massive treat, to be told you are subsidising someone else's big 3 course dinner is quite hard to deal with when you are skint.
If everyone is truly happy to split the bill equally, that's fine, but I know in our group that wouldn't be the case so we pay for our own.

MadHattersWineParty Tue 02-Dec-14 14:29:41

I was out with workmates last Christmas. My meal was taken off the final bill because it was not edible (lamb that they admitted was a horrible fatty cut that shouldn't have been brought out) I didn't have anything else as we were going on somewhere else and I didn't want to hold everyone up. I had one small glass of wine out of a shared bottle and had skipped a starter when nearly everyone else had one. When the bill came they still wanted to split it and insisted I put £27 in! When I reminded them that I hadn't actually had a meal but was happy to throw in a tenner to cover service charge and a glass of wine they told me off for quibbling and throwing a dampner on the Christmas spirit!

whois Tue 02-Dec-14 14:43:19

That's shit MadHatters

I can see it both ways. One the one hand, your paying to attend the event really. On the other hand, it's so annoying when you have been careful and someone else orders steak, three sides and guzzles wine like there is no tomorrow.

Theshedofalfredogarcia Tue 02-Dec-14 14:45:07

We live about 40 mins from town/cinema.DS2(19) doesn't drink but just told me that ,when he goes out with his mates .the one who drives doesn't pay and the passengers split the bill between them.This usually means cinema and giant sub! Now I know why he always drives grin

Lovetheleaves Tue 02-Dec-14 14:46:15

Mad hatter and fudge I am astounded at both your stories. I had similar in the past where my boss gave me £300 for the Xmas lunch on the day we broke up along with a half day. The lunch was a set price and there was enough money for about 3 bottles of wine. Anyway I was down the other end of the table and didn't notice but some of the crew ordered more wine , think it ended up being another 7 bottles altogether. The job I had trying to get money out of them and later on I went to the loo and there was a huge q , I stood at the back and had to listen to my colleagues bitching about me . I was furious . I let a few coughs to let them know I heard them. Getting annoyed thinking about it now.

Mammanat222 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:52:21

I think the important thing is to make sure it's agreed beforehand how things are going to be split?

I've been out before and ended up with a £60 drinks bill when I had 3 glasses of wine (they weren't cheap but it was £20 Max). I'd made the mistake of joining a few pissed friends at a leaving do and got included on the tab somehow? I didn't cause a fuss but did point it out to my friends a few days later and they gave me the money back.

I've been at a horrible dinner many years ago.... A friend decided to have a Birthday meal and invited lots of people who hadn't met before, it was an odd dynamic to begin with. I was sat at the end of the table with someone I did know well and another girl who was to be a frank a bit odd. I'd never met "odd" girl before and we tried to engage her but she wasn't very forthcoming. Anyway there were about 15 of us in total. Most people had at least two courses and wine (if not 3 courses) but "odd" girl had tap water, no starter or dessert and just a cheapish salad for main. It was quite a posh place but her meal was no more than £10 at best.

When the bill came we were all looking at £55 each, which I thought was pretty steep but some of the ladies had been caning the wine. "Odd" girl went to person organising the bill [one of the wine caners] to explain she had eaten little and had nothing to drink but this ended in an almighty row. I actually had to step in and say that "odd" girl should be kept out of the bill - it only added like another £3 to the rest of our bills? To which the wine caner started on me??

We were all relatively young (early 20's) but it was horrible and put me off big groups?

wowfudge Tue 02-Dec-14 14:53:21

It's a pain all of this - better to say beforehand how you are going to do things.

Once, on holiday in the States we saw a group of female friends having dinner together on a Friday night. They each got separate bills at the end of the evening. What a good idea!

Now I know that could be a pain if you wanted to share a bottle of wine, but sometimes it's a good idea to buy drinks separately from the food - so go to the bar rather than ordering at the table. If several of you are sharing bottles of wine, you take it in turns to go to the bar. That way the person who isn't drinking doesn't have to argue the toss over what they should pay for.

TravelinColour Tue 02-Dec-14 14:55:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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