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Always paying for friends.....

Occasionally I am ok with splitting the bill at a bar or restaurant with friends when we all had pretty much the same drink and food cost.  But it seems that more and more when I go out with friends that they order more drinks and order more expensive food than I do but they always suggest that we pay an equal amount/split the bill and tip.  How do I go about without making waves or bad feelings to say that I only want to pay for my part? I got totally "hosed" again last night when this happened.  One person at the table didn't even pay enough for her multiple drinks and food because we all split the bill evenly so I ended up paying much more than I wanted to or should have.  But I stayed silent because I didn't want to look like an a$%. Any thoughts or suggestions to keep the peace but not have to pay more all the time?

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Re: Always paying for friends.....

  • When the waitress comes to take your order, immediately tell her that you would like a separate bill.

    If anyone makes a big deal about it, just reply "Unfortunately after last week's outing, I am not going to be able to continue to pay for more than my own share."

    And if they still give you a hard time, ask yourself if you really want to hang out with people who would rather fixate on splitting the bill vs worry about you. 

    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • Ask for a separate bill or put your money in first and refuse to pony up when you come up short.
  • I like the PP that suggests saying "After the last outting, I cannot afford to split the bill."  That's just slightly b!tchy (my kind of response) and gets the message across. 

    If you don't want to ask for a separate bill, I'd just casually announce that you won't be paying for anyone but yourself at the next outting.  Something like "Now that DH and I are saving for our trip, I'm only getting one drink and a sandwich so I don't spend more than $20."  That way everyone understands from the beginning of the dinner that you're watching what you're spending.  They can all still split the bill but you've already established that you're only willing to throw in a certain amount. 

  • I think that the separate bill is the best idea.  Do you always pay by cash?  If someone asks why you can say "I might have to pay by credit card" which is hard to do if you're chipping in.

     

  • That is crap. I am sorry. You should be able to say "hey I am only paying for my sprite and meal. I don't think I should contribute to food or drinks I didn't ask for."

    And like others have said tell the server. I am a server and when people do this I pay a lot more attention and make sure they only pay for what they eat. 

    Plus if your friends get mad that is pretty petty on their part. 

    I went out for a friends bday for sushi and I just ordered a drink. And when the $200 bill came I just said I would pay for my drink. My friends understood. They didn't get upset. I didn't eat the sushi so why should I split the bill? 

  • Oh, I thought of another solution- Go to the restaurant and say "I'd like to start with your big martini and please make that with the most premium spirits.  For an appetizer, oh, I can't decide between the shrimp cocktail or the crab legs- what the hell, bring both!  For dinner I'd like the surf and turf with the Caesar salad, the loaded baked potato and asparagus.  For dessert, I'd love your special tiramisu for two." 

    When the bill comes, insist on splitting it- cite last night's dinner as the reason why you thought it would be fine to do it that way.  They'll learn their lesson the hard way!  :)

  • rori11rori11 member

    Last night a group of 4 of us went out for dinner/drinks (we do this monthly.)  1 of us is newly pregnant and the other 3 aren't and we had plenty to drink.  When the bill came we all put our debit cards to split the bill evenly as we always do.  Pregnant lady said - I didn't have any liquor...

    The rest of us said - oh crap, you're right!  Pay whatever you want and we'll split the rest 3 ways.

    No issue, no complaining, nothing.  We weren't trying to screw her, we honestly just didn't think about it.  I am very happy that she said something because she would have paid more when she shouldn't have.

    I don't know why responsible adults who are friends can't say something like this in these situations and it not turn into a big deal.   

  • I don't understand your reluctance to speak up. Why not just say "My total is $25" or whatever. I can't imagine your friends would get huffy over that.

    On a side note, when I got my master's degree two of my professors offered to take me and another grad out for a drink to celebrate. The three guys each got a pint of beer and a burger. I got a root beer and a kid's sized grilled cheese. When the bill came, one prof said we should just split it evenly, even though he invited us out for a celebratory dinner and my bill was much less. I just said, "no, I'll put in $10 for my meal." End of conversation. 

  • My friends and I always ask for separate checks before even ordering when we go out to dinner.  It's NEVER a big deal.  We're mature and we're friends.  You should be able to do this too. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    Bring "exact change" (including singles, etc.) and when the bill arrives, put in whatever you have ordered, plus tax and tip.  When they say "it's $40 pp" just say "I'm putting in $20.  I only had the salad and diet coke."

    I wouldn't ASSUME your friends are trying to screw you, but that doesn't mean that you should always pay for more than you ordered.  With some friends, a few dollars here or there get balanced out over time.  But if you're always ordering smaller meals / no drinks, then it's not fair for you to subsidize everyone's meals.  Just speak up.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • If it were me, I'd say "Hell no, we're not splitting the bill - I only ordered one drink and some fries!"  But then, maybe this is why I don't attract the kind of friends who expect to split the bill equally no matter who orders what.
    image
  • I would either say, "Oh, and a seperate check please" to the server before I placed my order, or when the receipt came around, I'd look at the receipt and say, "Okay- my chicken and soda were 10 dollars, so with tip my share is 12." I think this falls into the category of, "If you don't turn it into a huge deal, no one else will either."

    Or, honestly, I'd just speak up about the problem beforehand, as many others have suggested, especially since it's already become a problem for you. ?In the rare cases I've been in situations where people wanted to split the bill evenly, it was because either a) they didn't think to split the bill from the beginning and it looked like a hassle to try and do so after it came, or b) we had ordered appetizers for the table that everyone had shared or something. ? I can't imagine any of those folks thinking, "And, ha! I won't even have to pay my full share while Chicken and Coke girl gets hosed!"?

    I guess my bigger question is why you fear saying something will make waves or cause bad feelings? Are these friends people who tend to have bad feelings over things like splitting the bill fairly (in which case, do you really want to be spending so much time with friends like these?) Or is this more insecurity on your part, and you generally fear speaking up for yourself? ?

  • My friends and I treat each other and pick up the whole check quite often, so I don't feel we are cheap at all.   But still, when we aren't treating each other, one of us will usually just say, "And seperate checks, please," to the server, either when we order or when we ask for the check.  I do not think that is awkward at all.  I prefer it to the awkwardness when you are splitting the check up table-side and have to discuss who is paying for what.

    So, next time you go out, just say, "And I'd like a separate check, please!" at the begining. No reason for hard feelings there, unless your friends really ARE moochers.

  • image Ilumine:

    When the waitress comes to take your order, immediately tell her that you would like a separate bill.

    If anyone makes a big deal about it, just reply "Unfortunately after last week's outing, I am not going to be able to continue to pay for more than my own share."

    And if they still give you a hard time, ask yourself if you really want to hang out with people who would rather fixate on splitting the bill vs worry about you. 

    In these economic times I wouldn't care if I looked like an a$$ or not. You can't afford to pay for one of your loafing friends food and alcohol. They need to get over it.

  • You must have wonderful friends if you don't feel comfortable telling them you don't want to foot the bill for their portion of dinner/drinks.

    Either get a separate check, tell them no, or get better friends.

    image
  • Ask for separate checks that way everyone pays their own way, then you are only responsible for your food/drinks/tip. Let the waiter know when you first walk in that you want it separate or you may end up with one check at the end.
  • i have had this happen, usually with my crappy co-workers, and said "normally I would split, but tonight I only ordered a cup of soup and a diet coke. I'm just going to pay separately." Like PP, there was no fuss. In fact most of them say "oh, you're right! yah, just pay your part." It's almost always an oversight, and not tha people are trying to screw you, but like i said, my co-workers suck and try to pull that crap all the time. The other situation where this happens is when you split for the "birthday girl/bride-to-be/special person" and i usually just suck it up in that case. I've been treated by most of them on occasion, and when it's my turn, i just flip off my cheap-o switch and pony up the cash.
  • I think people usually split the check because it's easier.  Whenever I've gone out with a group of friends and we've split it by who got what, it's always awkward if the pot comes up short and we have to go around the table saying "my total was $15, and then I added $5 for tax and tip" and so on.  I highly doubt anyone's trying to take advantage of you.  For me, splitting the check is always a "you win some, you lose some" situation--sure sometimes I might pay for more than I ordered, but sometimes it's less, and sometimes it's dead on.  If you don't want to split, just ask for a seperate check.  I really doubt anyone would even inquire as to why.
  • image busygourmet:

    Occasionally I am ok with splitting the bill at a bar or restaurant with friends when we all had pretty much the same drink and food cost.  But it seems that more and more when I go out with friends that they order more drinks and order more expensive food than I do but they always suggest that we pay an equal amount/split the bill and tip.  How do I go about without making waves or bad feelings to say that I only want to pay for my part? I got totally "hosed" again last night when this happened.  One person at the table didn't even pay enough for her multiple drinks and food because we all split the bill evenly so I ended up paying much more than I wanted to or should have.  But I stayed silent because I didn't want to look like an a$%. Any thoughts or suggestions to keep the peace but not have to pay more all the time?

    get some friends that aren't pieces of sh!t.  problem solved.
  • Honestly, I'm surprised by all the b!tchy comments suggested here. 

    If someone suggests splitting it why can't you just ask to see the bill and then tell them that your share comes to $x.  Give them the portion for your bill, including tax, and then either leave the tip in cash on the table as you are getting up to leave (so it doesn't get rolled up in the cost of the bill) or add it to the CC receipt.

    Assertiveness gets you farther than bitchiness.

  • I go through the same thing all the time, my friends dont make at all as much and me and DH do, so we always gotta pay for most or all for us to go out with our friends. Our friends are so broke we would only be at their house or ours if we ever wanted to see them. Which is what we do most of the time anyway. What sucks is that when we go out my BF usually gets the most expensive things in the menu and she clearly knows it. And I have a hard time saying anything and my husband does too. I dont want to ruin anything and we have all been friends for about 8 yrs. I would love to go "Can we have a seperate bill" but thats means the bill would never get paid and we would leave them hanging.
  • We must hang out with the same people.  All of our friends are heavy social drinkers at restaurants, and my husband and I never were.  Now that I'm pregnant, alcohol is a non-factor.  The final straw for me was when a bunch of us went out for my husband's b-day two weeks ago and ended up kicking in $20 more than we should have because one of the other couples shorted (not accounting for the tip).

    As everyone else has said, ask for separate checks immediately when you are seated (that is what we do now).  If anyone questions you, simply say, "We don't plan on drinking (much) tonight."

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