Let’s Split the Bill…

My husband cringed when he saw the title of this post. He HATES when I talk about this stuff, but I say this is my blog and I can talk about what I want. I have said it before and I will say it again. I am a frugal person. I make efforts to save money, and many times I make choices and act on things based on my thrifty lifestyle. This is where one of my biggest pet peeves comes in…SPLITTING THE BILL!

My Meals Are Less Expensive

I know to most people this seems like such a small thing. It just makes sense. Why sit there and decide who owes what? Well I’ll tell you why…because more often than not, I make choices that would make my dinner MUCH less expensive then everyone else’s. I don’t eat much in one sitting. I very rarely order or eat an appetizer. I am a very picky eater and therefore, most of the time, I tend to order the most inexpensive thing on the menu. I rarely order alcohol with dinner because I think it’s insane to pay that much for a drink when I can just have it at home after the meal, and I never save room for dessert. So those long winded statements say that I pretty much only have the entree.

Most of the time, when my friends go out they order all 3 courses on top of alcoholic beverages, and that is more than fine and dandy, but I just don’t want to have to pay for it. My husband gets so mad at me if I even begin to mention that I should owe much less than everyone else. So mad, that we rarely go out to dinner with friends anymore because of this. I feel that if I choose to eat less than everyone else, and make a conscious effort to make my dinner be less expensive, then I shouldn’t be forced to pay for everyone else’s meal. He feels that if we are going out with others that I just have to accept the fact that that is how it is, and suck it up. So we pretty much are at a stalemate, and won’t give.

An Example

Here is a real life scenario….One night we go out to dinner with a rather large group of people (about 10) to a reasonably priced steak house. The table orders a very large seafood appetizer (I don’t eat seafood), and lots of alcoholic beverages (I chose to drink water). Everyone places their order. Most people order steak meals, some order surf and turf. I ordered an $18 steak sandwich. After that everyone orders dessert…I of course do not. When the bill comes around what happens??? Does anyone at the table notice that I did not eat everything that everyone else ate? Does my husband speak up? NOPE! Do I speak up? NOPE  So what are we left paying? $40 per person! 

Now I know what a lot of you are thinking, “Jen, you’ve just gotta play the game!” “If you can’t beat em join em right?” RIGHT! I am now forced to order just as much as everyone else. If we do end up going out I order the wine, and the appetizer. Why not? I will be paying for it anyway!

I will admit that when going out with another couple it makes perfect sense to split the bill. Normally, in this case everyone is pretty equal. I can admit this. I really enjoy going out with one other couple. But once you start adding more than that, things start to get a little more uneven, and this happens more often than not with our group of friends. Don’t get me wrong. I love that we have great friends who want to get together a lot…that’s wonderful…but my crazy brain can’t wrap around the idea of spending that much on dinner. Especially when I am very happy spending very little.

So, go ahead friends. I have opened myself up to be made fun of here, but I just had to write about this topic!

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13 Responses to Let’s Split the Bill…

  1. I won’t split a bill if it is unfair to parties at the table. It is one thing when it is family style and everyone’s taking part of basically the same amount of cost but individual orders? Heck no. Sorry but I am not doing it. Fortunately my friends agree and never split the bills equally. Unfortunately for me I am usually designated as the person responsible for figuring out the individual today but its worth it. I don’t think it is fair for you to eat only 20 bucks worth of a meal and end up with a $50 tab at the end.

    • Sol- When you say your friends agree do you mean your girlfriends…or even if you go out as couples. I feel that when girls go out they tend to make sure they only pay for what they eat…guys go out and don’t want to be bothered. My girlfriends are normally good about that. The problem is when it comes to couples for me…thats when the men step in and just pay…

  2. When we go out with couples it tends to be pretty even. Mostly cause when we go out with a couple it seems that one person of each couple will get a drink, and we may split an appetizer. There have been times though when the bill has come and it was clearly unfair for us to split it. Like the other couple split a bottle of wine among themselves. Those times we haven’t split it evenly.

    I do remember on one particular occasion splitting it evenly and being so pissed when I got home that I didn’t say anything. We ended up overpaying nearly 50 bucks! That is money I can definitely use elsewhere, you know?

  3. I think it is funny that it has come to the point where Evan is embarassed to take you out with groups of friends.

    I agree that it isn’t fair to split when it is obviously not even. However, I think it is completely ridiculous that you are frugal about what you order. Isn’t that the whole point of going out to dinner? To enjoy yourself? I think some people can be the opposite too, they order a lot knowing they are splitting the bill and it will work out for them. That is bad too.

    I am usually fine with splitting the bill but I am also normally the one that enjoys the drinks and appetizers with everyone.

    • Kelly-I don’t get something I don’t want because it’s expensive. It’s that I like that stuff just as much. Like at Friday’s i’m happy with 8.99 chicken fingers just as much as I would be with a steak from there. So why would I pay for something more if I am just as happy with something that is less? and to me it’s really not less it’s what i want!
      Messy Mom- I don’t think it should be all or none either. I think that I would be annoyed with that also!

  4. I complain about people not splitting the bill at all. When we go out with another couple or family it is a toss about who is going to pay for everything, it’s almost never going dutch. I am thinking “why does it always have to be that we pay or they pay. Why not we all pay for our own?”. In that case I am with you %100! HAVE THE WAITER SPLIT THE BILL or figure it out, but never divide evenly. They had a friends episode once that was on this exact topic. Obviously I get riled up about the topic too 🙂

  5. It doesn’t make sense for you to have to pay for someone else’s meal. Why on earth would anyone want to fork out money for someone else’s expenses? It’s much more confusing to try to figure out what everyone owes after the bill has arrived. It’s much easier to ask the waiter before anyone has ordered if you could all have separate checks, this way each person has their own bill and will PAY for their own bill. At least, that’s how we do it and by we, I mean ME! 🙂

    • I would LOVE to do separate checks! I think that is a perfect answer to the problem…but my husband says no, and since no one else ever offers that we are back at square one. I personally love those restaurants where the bill is separated and added by seat. I think that’s great…that way each person gets a total of what they ordered! Not many restaurants do that though.

  6. I agree! I was actually out with a group of ten. Everyone was drinking and I did have a couple literally and a small appetizer of $9 as most of us were eating that way . However some ordered $25 dollar meals and drank pitchers of Margarita’s. The bill was over $400! I knew it would be high but that seemed like quite a lot for 10 women who mostly ate appetizers for the meal . I flat out said I would pay for my portion after they said it was going to be 40 each plus a tip. I didn’t feel it was fair for those that ate little to pay for the ones that ordered big and drank big. I cant help it I just think its common since. We shouldn’t be Democratic about our meal expenses too!

  7. Rena,

    I would’ve totally done the same thing in your situation. When it’s just me with my friends I will definitly open my mouth. It’s when I am with my husband he makes sure I don’t speak up b/c he says it embarrases him…but when i’m flying solo?? I certainly will pay for what I eat!

  8. You should ór stand up for yourself and say you think it isn’t fair to pay the same as the others ór you should be quiet and just pay for the food and drinks the others ordered. It’s just a small price for you on top on what you should have paid anyway.

    Sorry for my bad language, I’m Dutch.

  9. I totally agree, I usually have the cheapest thing and don’t have much else. I always try and take cash so I only spend what I can afford. I’ve been to meals where people have wanted to split the meal, in some cases I’ve had something that cost £8 and have ended up with a bill that costs £40! It’s ridiculous, in Britain it’s not as common to split the bill.
    I pointed out that all I’d had cost £8 and that if people wanted to pay less they’d need to order less. I’m a student and my income is really small, so I always just work out what we owe.
    Some people were pretty peeved because their bill ended up being much higher, but (as I pointed out) they shouldn’t have ordered so much.

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