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Friend annoyed that I wouldn't split the bill

999 replies

notonyournelleee · 09/08/2021 09:48

6 of us went out for a nice meal for DFriend's birthday.

I was the only one who didn't drink alcohol. Just a few lemonades. At the end one person said 'Should we just split the bill then?' But she didn't say it as a question, more of a leading statement. She then got her phone out and split it 6 ways. Came to just over £40 each!

I said 'Sorry, no. You've all drunk quite a bit and I've had no alcohol at all. Would you mind if I pay separately?'

They said yeah fine... and the atmosphere was a little odd after that. We all went our separate ways after that. It wasn't a particularly expensive place but not cheap. Food very reasonably priced but of course the alcohol stacked up the bill significantly

Ive been messaged my birthday girl this morning to say I was really out of order and should've just split. Everyone was a bit upset.

AIBU to not have split?!

I felt like I was being fair there. She also said she was opening her gifts from me in the evening but I've had no words in a way of thank you Sad

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NotMyselfWithoutCoffee · 09/08/2021 10:33

Very cf to do that especially with someone they've not been out with before.
I never agree with splitting, always pay my own way. Someone wants to spend 100 on fine dining that's fine but they can pay themselves.

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CarnationCat · 09/08/2021 10:34

You have not been unreasonable at all. The birthday girl has been really rude. She's tight and obviously annoyed that because you didn't split the bill, she had to pay a bit more. Also not saying thank you for her presents is awful. Depending on how long ago the meal was, she may still thank you but if she hasn't said anything after a few weeks, I think that's really bad.

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80sMum · 09/08/2021 10:35

This has happened to me too. Very often, my meal is much cheaper than everyone else's because I don't have alcohol and usually don't have dessert.

I always just cough up when the bill is split equally and accept that I have partly paid for other people's food and drinks.

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LobotomisedIceSkatingFan · 09/08/2021 10:35

I think given the degree to which a bill split disadvantaged you and benefitted them, you're not being unreasonable at all; had it been a few quid, it'd be different. I remember once at uni splitting a bottle of vin ordinaire with a friend at dinner and we paid significantly more than the non-drinkers before belatedly realizing their 2-3 cokes were roughly the same price as half a bottle of plonk.

I think you should point out as a PP suggested that you'd have been 21 quid down on their deal, while they've only had to pay a few quid more as a result of splitting it five ways. I'd add that not leaving a tip is completely classless and that it is you who is shocked at their selfish and penny-pinching behaviour.

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HackAttack · 09/08/2021 10:35

I think for a normal meal I'd agree with you but I think for a birthday meal commenting on others drinking and fussing over £40 is tacky really.

I over pay at people's birthdays when they order shots/desserts/bottle of something even if I am not partaking I split cost, it's their celebration. I am sure you are going to drip feed she only bought you a potato for your last birthday though.

I wouldn't for ordinary meals out but for a birthday you'll be remembered as the mood hoover now.

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Kokosrieksts · 09/08/2021 10:36

I think it’s fine not to split the bill on this occasion. Years ago I went out for a Christmas meal with people I didn’t know too well, had the cheapest meal option and lemonade as on budget, others were having cocktails, shots and deserts. I ended up paying £50 and to this day I feel annoyed that I didn’t stand up for myself.

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Arepeoplereallycoolaboutthis · 09/08/2021 10:36

YANBU OP. I've been in a similar situation and said no. I don't "think" anyone was annoyed... oh well!

Have you told her that you don't think it's fair that you was expected to literally double your bill for the sake of contribution towards everyone's booze? Maybe she needs to hear it like that.

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SarahAndQuack · 09/08/2021 10:36

I think when this happens it's usually because people are a tiny bit tipsy and get embarrassed they can't do the maths. They want to do a simple sum rather than squiffily adding up all the bits on the bill that belong to them. I had a mate who used to get to this stage then interrogate the staff over bits of the bill - asking what this 5.50 for 'cab. s.' was when she'd had a glass of red or getting all suspicious about why her chips cost more than someone else's when she'd ordered a different size portion. It was horrible and eventually I stopped going out for meals with her because it spoilt the evening. I suspect other people just split and subsidised her to avoid the drama!

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ACPC · 09/08/2021 10:37

We always split the bill in my group for easiness but if someone isn't drinking they pay less. Ywnbu

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notonyournelleee · 09/08/2021 10:37

@HackAttack

I think for a normal meal I'd agree with you but I think for a birthday meal commenting on others drinking and fussing over £40 is tacky really.

I over pay at people's birthdays when they order shots/desserts/bottle of something even if I am not partaking I split cost, it's their celebration. I am sure you are going to drip feed she only bought you a potato for your last birthday though.

I wouldn't for ordinary meals out but for a birthday you'll be remembered as the mood hoover now.


She didn't buy me anything for my birthday last year but that's because we weren't as friendly etc. Nothing personal but hey, you know best Hmm
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Auxiliary016 · 09/08/2021 10:37

I only EVER suggest a bill splitting if the group of friends I'm with have all had almost equal amounts of food and alcohol. Otherwise, it's utterly unfair for those people (sometimes me!) that don't order an expensive meat main, loads of sides and then several glasses of wine. I've never had any problems with my friends. Unfortunately, it sounds like yours were utter dicks to you yesterday. Good job you don't know most of them - you can walk away carefree! As for the birthday girl, I would construct a message like this:

"Hi Birthdaygirl, I already explained that I didn't drink any alcohol last night, so I'm unsure as to why you thought my request to simply pay for what I ordered was unreasonable. May I also point out that I paid for the tip? I hope you can now see my point and we can move forward".
Absolutely no apology necessary!

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MMMarmite · 09/08/2021 10:38

Yanbu.

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Couldhavebeenme2 · 09/08/2021 10:38

@CounsellorTroi

Would they have asked you for £20 to pay towards their wine etc??

This exactly. No one would have asked the OP to put £20 in a drinks kitty before the meal knowing she didn’t drink, so why is it acceptable to expect her to pay after the meal?

Exactly this - I don't do rounds if I'm not drinking booze, nor would people I choose to go out with expect me to put in a kitty if I'm drinking soft drinks (and probably playing taxi to at least 2 of the group). Not tightness on my part, and greedy cf-ery from them if they expect me to sub their night out!
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Carycy · 09/08/2021 10:38

I am happy to do this generally but sometimes it annoys me when people refuse and don’t count their soft drinks either which are often quite expensive.
I find it odd she made a big fuss of it. Generally most people fall over themselves to make sure the none drinker isn’t paying.

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Baggingarea · 09/08/2021 10:38

I have been in that situation before (ie where I haven't been drinking and others overlooked). I'd say in most cases you are right to stand your ground. I think when it's a birthday though it would have been nice to just swallow it and accept to an extent you are subsidising the birthday girl/boy.

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MurielSpriggs · 09/08/2021 10:39

@CutePanda

YANBU. It is always the people who choose the most expensive dishes and drink alcohol that insist the bill be split.

She's not being unreasonable, I agree. But you're wrong. I'm a no-alcohol vegan, and I would always prefer that we split the bill. It's not always about money.
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CharityDingle · 09/08/2021 10:39

@CutePanda

YANBU. It is always the people who choose the most expensive dishes and drink alcohol that insist the bill be split.

Saw this exact situation on another forum. A group from work had started going out on Friday evenings. A junior staff member confided in another colleague that they couldn't afford the bill splitting so had stopped going.
The other colleague went along the following Friday and took the bill when it arrived and suggested people pay for what they had. There were two people who had become used to having the best of everything on the menu, plus cocktails and wine.

Their share when the bill was split by what people had, was waaaaaay more than anyone else's. And they had been happily getting away with this, at the expense of younger, less well paid colleagues. The poster said that the shock on their faces was worth seeing. That put an end to the bill being equally split.
OP you were absolutely right. It may bring out something in your friend, a not very nice side, that you hadn't noticed before. Time will tell.
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Rubytoos · 09/08/2021 10:39

@TooWicked

Splitting between the six of you made your bill £11 more.

No it made her bill £21 more.

6 people splitting equally £40 each, so total bill £240. If OP's share was £20 (using round numbers to keep it simple) the others should share £220 between 5 = £45 each. That's a very sizeable fucking difference.

YANBU!!!
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StoppinBy · 09/08/2021 10:39

^^wouldn't cover part of their costs, not would ....oops.

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LookItsMeAgain · 09/08/2021 10:40

I don't believe that what you said/did was wrong.
Are you planning on replying to the person who texted you to say you were being unreasonable @notonyournelleee?
I would have to say something to them as they were being very unreasonable expecting you to essentially subsidise their drinking.

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mrsm43s · 09/08/2021 10:40

I'm a bill splitter, but within my group we would always account separately for someone who had drunk vastly less than everyone else.

In the situation OP describes, whoever was working out the bill would say "notonyournelleee you didn't drink, so if you want to chuck in what you think is reasonable, we'll split the rest between the 5 of us", or we might even say "we'll just split the whole bill between the drinkers" if the reason someone wasn't drinking was due to being the designated driver.

In general, I can't be faffed with separate bills and bill splitting seems more sociable. That said, I don't recognise the one person eating fillet steak/bottles of champagne whilst one is eating a £8 pasta dish with a glass of tap water scenario - generally we all tend to eat and drink to a similar level. It's only people who are non drinking due to pregnancy/driving/illness etc that would have a vastly different bill, and we would pick up on that. Plus, we're fortunate enough to be reasonably comfortable, and I can't really imagine anyone I eat out with being that bothered if they ended up paying an extra £20 or so. We're friends, we enjoy each other's company, and if we pay a few quid over on one occasion, its no big deal.

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Lostinthemail · 09/08/2021 10:41

You’re totally right here OP and I would find myself friends who respect me if I were you, not some (ab)users who expect you to subsidize their alcohol use.

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WTFuckery · 09/08/2021 10:41

@notonyournelleee

Really? Didn't know that was the form, to say 'I'm not splitting the bill today'


It's not where I'm from. I've never been out where someone announces at the start they're not splitting. Maybe it's because among my family and friends it's not assumed we'd be splitting anyway.

99 per cent of the time people pay their own among all my family and friends unless it's like a birthday and then it's asked at the start if people want to split and cover the birthday person/family cost too and in those cases the people who usually order the expensive foods, don't do so when splitting because they know that some of us have different incomes and that splitting makes theirs cheaper but others much higher.

The one an only time I had a cheeky fucker suggest splitting the bill at the start per household I declined because our household was two and everyone else's was five, the place we were at charged separately for drinks at the bar and without telling anyone he was ordering expensive whisky and having it added to the table bill. If I'd split our £30 with tip would have gone up to £70.
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ChunkySloth · 09/08/2021 10:42

@pinkyredrose

No but you should have said you weren't splitting at the beginning.

Why?

So people could adjust their drinking on having to pay for it themselves?! Confused
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Flutteringwings · 09/08/2021 10:44

YANBU. I don't know why the most expensive drinkers and eaters always can seem to expect everyone to subsidise that by splitting the bill equally and get offended if they don't.

By all means have exactly what drinks you want and have exactly what food you want. But if you choose fillet steak at £24 and your preferred wine at £25 a bottle, it's unreasonable to expect the £12 pizza eaters and £5 soft drinkers to split the bill equally.

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