How To Deal With Awkward Situations Involving Money And People

Problems encountered when splitting checks can sometimes split friendships. When money gets in the way of relationships, things get uncomfortable quickly. But you can make things easier for yourself and others by sticking to generally recognized rules of financial etiquette.

Kiplinger identifies potentially off-putting financial conundrums and suggests ways to defuse them.

If a coworker asks you to donate to a charity you’re not interested in, your best bet is to politely decline rather than delay your response. If the coworker has donated to a cause of yours in the past, you may want to return the favor as a form of repayment.

The post also recommends dealing with the check-splitting problem in advance by asking the server to give each member of your party a separate check before you order. If the restaurant has a policy against such a service, you and your companions can make an agreement beforehand that you’ll split the check equally before you order.

Click on the source link to see the post’s suggestions for turning down a loan request from a loved one and refusing to contribute to a group gift for someone you don’t like.

4 Money-Etiquette Questions Answered [Kiplinger] (Thanks, Tara!)

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  1. Cat says:

    Now would be a good time for a story.

    Tell us a story, please, Dr. Ned?

  2. Sarahlara says:

    I don’t want to split the check equally at dinner. I want to pay for what I ordered, which is almost always half the cost of what everybody else ordered. The last time my husband and I wound up paying a couple hundred at a dinner party when we actually spent $30. We wanted to pay for our own shares, but the table had already taken a vote on it and the majority ruled.

    I like buying a friend a drink from time to time, but I don’t want to be told to.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I was going to say much the same thing. I want to pay for my share, not my share plus a bunch for others who spend more money. If I’m going out to lunch or dinner with a group, and my money is limited, I’ll often order something inexpensive and get water to drink. I don’t feel it’s right that I should have to help pay for someone who orders mixed drinks and pricey entrees.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That was rude of them – you could of course refused however, explaining your uncomfortableness.

      Or say, “Oh really? Let’s order some expensive wine. The other 8 of you will pay 80% of the cost for us.”

      • HSVhockey says:

        This is a great idea. Though I’m not sure if I would get more satisfaction from doing this or from telling the people who expected me to pay for them to screw off.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      This. Splitting the check equally is bullshit because people like us get screwed.

    • Starfury says:

      This happens when my wife/daughter go out with friends. The friends tend to order a drink or 2 and my wife doesn’t. When the bill shows up hers is usually $10+ less than everyone else but she ends up having to put more money in than is owed.

    • Emerald4me says:

      My husband and I are friends with 2 other couples who, when we go out together, all order within a dollar or two of each other and therefore we feel very comfortable splitting the bill equally instead of asking for seperate checks. We also have the understanding that if someone wants a drink they go up to the bar, order it and pay for it and it stays off the group’s bill. Now my sister-in-law and her family is another story. We were burned once and learned our lesson. If we go out with them it is to the local salad bar where we all line up and pay each one for themselves.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        It’s the same way for us. With close friends, those types of situations usually just come out in the wash.

        • sponica says:

          i remember that from one of my psych classes…when we have a reciprocal relationship with friends, money doesn’t matter too much. when the person is merely an acquaintance or distant relative, money gets us all uppity.

          my friend has picked up our meal tabs in the past year because I have traveled to visit her AND I’m unemployed. but she knows that somewhere down the line, I’ll be able to pay for stuff and will return in kind.

          my rule of thumb is that the poorest friend should choose where the dinner location is…

      • sponica says:

        going up to the bar isn’t always an option…at the place I frequent, if you’re sitting in the lounge the bartenders need you to order from the cocktail waitress (who if you inform at the beginning you need separate checks, will separate them for you).

    • clippy2.0 says:

      Paying a couple hundred when you only spent 30? I can imagine some fantastic ways in which everyone else ordered that much more, but I like to imagine the most likely scenario would have been that everyone else had a full course meal and drinks, and you each had a cocktail and app. I know in that situation I would have explained that we had already had dinner and were simply coming to enjoy the company, and then slipped someone the 30 bucks to cover your food.

      That being said, myself and my wife, usually order whatever we feel like when out with friends, unless we specifically know that we will be doing something like splitting the bill equally or everyone just chipping in 10 bucks. In which case we order to price, and if we want anything else, get a separate tab. Awkward dining situations are almost 90% people deciding not to ask for a separate check, or simply not asking anything at all and then complaining afterwords

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      I’ve typed and retyped my response to this because I really don’t want to be snarky, but you could’ve refused. Granted, that would essentially brand you the cheapskate couple who might not get invited out again, but if that’s the case, do you really care? Do you really WANT to spend more time with people that don’t get your discomfort with that?

      If you do care, and if you genuinely like this group of people, and you know this is going to be standard operating procedure on nights out, learn the lesson to enjoy some things that night that you ordinarily wouldn’t, given that you’re going to pay for them. Or, enjoy your normal lower-priced fare, and think of the extra money that you chip in as a donation to your “Good Company/Good Times” fund. Sometimes it’s worth it to me to spend a little more if it means getting together with folks I don’t see all too often.

      • clippy2.0 says:

        Heh, I had the same problem of having to tone down the snark. I understand there is a reason to not want to split the check, but using an example of someone who ran up a $30 bill paying a few hundred is more of a case of blame the OP. Friends would not do that to other friends, and co-workers are called co-workers and not friends because they exist for business and not pleasure. I have co-workers who are friends, but they are not all!

        • pinkbunnyslippers says:

          Yeah – when the delta between what you ate and what you end up paying is over $100, that is a bit ridic. Sarahlara, REFUSE THE INSANITY NEXT TIME!

          Honestly though, I think a lot of people choose to divvy it up evenly because nobody wants to sit at the table with a 4 foot long receipt and a calculator for 20 minutes deciding who owes what. It ‘spoils the mood’ if you will – especially if you’re in a 4+ people scenario like this seemed to be.

          • maxamus2 says:

            Except restaurants today have your bill on the computer and it is very easy to print out seperate bills for each person.

            It only gets tricky when people start splitting bottles of wine, appetizers, meals, etc…

        • tooluser says:

          Snark is good.
          But you have to be able to withstand the residual heat.

    • Geekybiker says:

      Some people take “splitting the check” as an invitation to order the filet migon, apps, dessert, coffee, cocktails, the works. I don’t get it. Some of the family on the wife’s side is like this. We don’t split checks with them anymore.

      Sometimes its just people in the group have very different income levels and what one may not see as a big deal, the other sees as the difference between making rent or not.

      • BorkBorkBork says:

        You’ll find this wikipedia page interesting:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diner%27s_dilemma

        • Geekybiker says:

          Yah, I’ve seen that in other contexts.

        • hoi-polloi says:

          I guess I’m an exception to the rule. When I go out for a work function or if I know someone is treating me to a meal, I order exactly what I’d get if I was paying my own way. I’m not going to be more generous with your money than I’d be willing to be with my own.

      • Sarahlara says:

        In my case, we also had a very generous last-minute “the birthday girl doesn’t pay anything!” decision made by her best friend, and the birthday girl had ordered a very expensive bottle of something.

        But I do feel some others took advantage. We were probably among the wealthier people there and I am not sure some could have paid their fair share, actually. It was better to pay and not see them again in that context.

    • Kate says:

      I’ve never been in a party where the check was split equally, and it’s not like I never go out with others or groups.

      Literally, no one has ever suggested it.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        Equally dividing the bill is not uncommon with some of my friends, but conditions have to be right. It tends to be with relatively small parties (6 or under) and when the menu items are pretty close in cost. At least in our case, it’s done after the bill arrives and when we know it’s just a few bucks this way or that. We don’t hesitate to get separate checks if the server asks, but I’m fine doing the math and paying according to our orders if the difference is sizable.

        One thing I tend to avoid is going out with large parties unless we really know each other. I find there’s usually at least on person who takes advantage. I usually rounded way up in those situations, throwing a 25-30% tip to cover anyone who tipped less. Those managing the bill would often find that there was barely enough to cover it, and you’re left hassling everyone at the table to kick in more or coming out of pocket yourself to make sure the server gets an appropriate tip. Nothing sours a good meal more than that.

    • Portlandia says:

      This happened to me, group of 10-12 friends out for some unnamed friend, and I’m invited but arrive a little late after cocktails and appetizers and I order a salad and soda for dinner. They all have expensive meals, they pass the hat around and the per person total is over $100. I quietly slip in my $25 bucks (which is generous considering what I ordered) and let them deal with the rest. They did mention they were short and people chipped in more, but fuck them. I refuse to pay for their over indulgence. ALSO, when it comes right down to it, the people that benefit from this split the bill arrangement have to know. So, let them chip in a few extra bucks.

      My only problem with doing this in small groups is usually the waitress is who gets stiffed but I knew that the bill had an automatic gratuity added on so nobody was leaving until they anted up for the bill.

    • kobresia says:

      You know, that sounds an awful lot like the version of democracy that has a bunch of foxes and a chicken voting on what to have for dinner.

      Yeah, fuck that. I don’t care –what– the table votes, I’m paying my way and not subsidizing others’ expensive tastes. It’s not worth quibbling if everyone is within $5-10 of that average, but more than that and it’s “separate checks” (at least for me) time.

  3. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    Whenever some scum…and it is always scum… comes up to me in a parking lot or gas station looking for a free hand out, I put my hand in my pocket and place it on the handle of my legally carried .357 and politely but firmly tell them I cannot help them. For some reason this happens to me once a month and it’s not like I am going anywhere seedy or at odd times. Thank goodness for Florida Concealed Carry Permit Laws. It’s getting to the point where I don’t like stopping at any type of store unless I am (legally) carrying.

    • Dieflatermous says:

      This has so much to do with the original article. Please keep telling us what you like to do with your hand down your pants.

      • Major Tom Coming Home says:

        “How To Deal With Awkward Situations Involving Money And People”: Aggressive pan handlers are an awkward situation. I deal with it by being ready to defend myself if it becomes necessary. I’d much rather it not escalating to that point, but I’m not getting stabbed in from of a Target by some meth head if I can avoid it.

        • Cat says:

          “Pardon me, squire. Could you spare a few shillings for…”

          BANG!

        • Kate says:

          I deal with it by saying sorry and moving on. It’s not hard, and I’ve never felt threatened by anyone.

          I have had to deal with a man who collected guns. His doctor messed up on his meds and he ended up standing in my yard shooting the windows out of his own garage.

          • hoi-polloi says:

            I’ve even dealt with it by buying someone a sandwich or giving them a buck. I don’t have an expectation that the person is being honest, and it’s not really putting me out much. I won’t give money to aggressive panhandlers, but I’m not generally frightened by them.

      • neilb says:

        To be fair, he did come up with an incredibly awkward situation involving money and people. Few social interactions can be more awkward than those that involve disclosing a concealed weapon.

    • Greg Ohio says:

      I turn down panhandlers all the time, completely unarmed.

      As a bonus, no one in my household is going to commit suicide with it, no kid is going to shoot his sister with it, no drunk is going to murder his wife with it, and no burglar is going sell it to someone who shoots a cop with it.

      And, no “scum” is going to shoot you with it as you reach into your pocket.

      • Major Tom Coming Home says:

        Not all gun owners are irresponsible, just the ones that make it to the newspaper. Personally, I’d rather be able to defend myself than to wait 10 minutes for the cops to shop so that they can call the coroner to drag me and my family away in plastic bags after a home invasion.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Wow, your police department responds within 10 minutes?

          • catgirl4276 says:

            I’ve found that a can of Mace in an under-the-arm holster is effective enough. I’ve never once had to draw it -panhandlers and pervs just assume I have a gun there when I reach for it. Discovered this once when just scratching a random itch and decided to run with it.

            In fact, on the rare occasions when I must carry, I keep my gun in an ankle holster, because it is more comfortable when one likes flared trousers and has a figure which makes more conventional methods of carrying difficult. The day someone makes a good holster for a larger handgun that fits busty ladies well will be a grand day indeed.

        • Chmeeee says:

          Someone who feels the need to put their hand on their gun just because a bum asked them for money sounds an awful lot like an irresponsible gun owner to me. I can’t imagine any justification for that that doesn’t start with them threatening you in some way, and a request for money is not a threat.

          • El_Red says:

            +1

          • dolemite says:

            I concur. Although…in many videos I’ve seen of crime, the criminal usually approaches in a non-threatening manner….usually asks for a light, or a dollar, or directions, then flies into an attack on the victim. Although I’d say 90% of the people approaching you for something on the street are probably panhandlers, the other 10% might be planning something.

          • jenesaisrien says:

            I wouldn’t pre judge the gun carrier, depends on where you are and some panhandler is actually a would be mugger panhandler .Not making eye contact,clever excuses,etc to put them off won’t work for those.Some have had to develop more street sense than others ,ymmv.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        …and always remember, when you have only seconds to live, the police are only minutes away!

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I have turned down panhandlers unarmed many times but I have known people who were assualted. And to Greg Ohio, there are lots of responsible gun owners and most of the what you cite is very rare. http://www.guncite.com/gun-control-kellermann-3times.html

    • sponica says:

      i just usually tell them I don’t carry cash….or I only have a quarter today. usually that works…

    • Geekybiker says:

      You seriously brandish a firearm to keep panhandlers away? You’re exactly the sort of person who should never be allowed concealed carry. The only time someone should know you have a gun on you is if there is a life and death situation. And this is from someone who supports CC and 2a.

      • HSVhockey says:

        Look up the meaning of the word brandish. Its not what you think it is.

        • Geekybiker says:

          Its exactly what I think it is. Putting your hand on your weapon with the intent of scaring people is brandishing. You don’t have to be waving it around in the air. Unless he really thought he was in real danger he shouldn’t be doing that.

          • HSVhockey says:

            Every single definition on the internet is some variation on “to wave or flourish (a weapon) in a triumphant, threatening, or ostentatious way”

            In no way is putting his hand “in [his] pocket” around a gun anything like that. TRY AGAIN. Maybe try 6th grade again too.

            • Geekybiker says:

              Ahh, but the legal definition and the general definition differ. Basically if you have a weapon and use it in a way that a reasonable person would consider threatening, that’s brandishing unless you’re in a situation that warrants it. Threatening is the key aspect, not waving it around or being “ostentatious”. Granted you’d probably have find a DA with a grudge against this guy to prosecute for what he’s doing, but most people would probably considering grabbing your gun in a way that lets you know you have one threatening. If you buy the bit about the panhandlers immediately backing off, this guy is making it obvious what he’s doing. If he’s just sticking his hand in his pocket and not making a big deal out of it because he’s feeling threatened, no its not brandishing. However from his tone and their supposed response he’s being threatening with a weapon in a situation that doesn’ t warrant it. So no, I don’t need to go back to the 6th grade. You need to read up a little more on what brandishing is rather than rely on websters.

              • GOInsanity says:

                Maybe its the blonde in me showing, but I can’t find where they say that the panhandler immediately backed up. Sounds to me like he just puts his hand on the gun in his pocket in a non-ostentatious way. You know, not brandishing it.

                So, maybe you should take the advice and go back to 6th grade. Work on the reading compreshension and not just assume that something happened so you can make a point.

              • Buck Flintrock says:

                How is putting your hand on your gun (which is concealed in your pocket) when dealing with a potential threat considered a bad thing? There is nothing Major Tom said that indicates he is reckless with firearms. Perhaps you could explain why being prepared is undesired?

              • Bsamm09 says:

                The OP never once said he even took it out of his pocket. Not even close to brandishing, actually the opposite.

                “The only time someone should know you have a gun on you is if there is a life and death situation. ” — I agree and the OP never said he pulled it out. No way to know if there was even a gun in his pocket.

              • HSVhockey says:

                You definitely need to go back to law school then instead of 6th grade, this is covered in at least one common sample case 1L crim law. The OP didn’t say he put his hand in the pocket then turned the gun to the panhandler (which one can assume would lead the panhandler to believe there is a gun there and therefore it would be considered brandishing.)

              • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

                Perhaps you need to brush up on reading comprehension. At no point does he say he even removes the weapon. It remains concealed in his pocket. Just because his hand is on it does not mean the panhandler even knows the poster has a weapon at all. Quit responding to people and digging a deeper hole. You’re wrong, deal with it and admit defeat.

              • Major Tom Coming Home says:

                When the guy approached me while coming up with some BS story about running out of gas and looking for money, I took two steps backwards towards my car and put my hand in my jacket pocket after unzipping it. I politely but firmly said I couldn’t help him. As far as he knew, I was grabbing my keys or wallet since what was in my pocket was never visible (and was therefore legally carried at all times). If panhandlers don’t want to be “victimized” by people putting their hands in their pockets, then they should not walk up to random people who are alone in a parking lot trying to load groceries. I don’t want to use a firearm on another human, but if someone pulls a knife on me I want to defend myself before I get stabbed and not after.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        “I put my hand in my pocket and place it on the handle of my legally carried .357 and politely but firmly tell them I cannot help them.”

        Yeah, that sure sounds like brandishing to me.

        FAIL

    • HSVhockey says:

      It was pretty bad in Orlando. Luckily being a very big guy, I don’t tend to get fucked with too much. But one of them almost lost his head when he approached my wife at the time while I was putting the shopping cart into the cart stall.

    • Dr.Wang says:

      I always found that not making eye contact and walking far around beggars keeps most of them from speaking to you. I have also had good luck with playing deaf, this works in stores with high pressure sales people too. I can fake a good foreign accent so pretending not to speak english works too.

    • Dr.Wang says:

      I always found that not making eye contact and walking far around beggars keeps most of them from speaking to you. I have also had good luck with playing deaf, this works in stores with high pressure sales people too. I can fake a good foreign accent so pretending not to speak english works too.

    • maxamus2 says:

      You sound like an internet tough guy.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Standard response to someone wanting money for “food” is “I’ll buy you a sandwich”. This makes them back off quickly unless they are truly hungry and want something to eat.

    • Arctic Snowbot says:

      I had a homeless man walk up and ask for change. I told him I only had my debit card. He grabbed my hand and tried to pull me with him while telling me there was an ATM inside the mall. Downtown Seattle is where this happened. He had one eye, and I thought he was trying to shake my hand.

    • RenegadePlatypus says:

      I support concealed carry, but I certainly don’t feel the need to fondle my .380 and prepare to draw & fire whenever somebody attempts to ask me for a handout at a gas station “that is not seedy or at odd times”. You’ve got issues.

    • JennQPublic says:

      You know, women and children walk around unarmed every day, and yet the vast majority are not the victims of crime. When a grown man like you sees everyday life as so fraught with danger that he can’t handle that he needs to have a firearm in reach at all times, I can’t help but wonder…

      Aren’t you kind of a pussy?

      /Supports OC, on the fence about CC, definitely not on board with this guy carrying anything beyond pepper spray. Someone who busts out gun stories on an article about splitting the bill is too trigger-happy for me.

  4. Dallas_shopper says:

    I don’t split the check equally when I order at a restaurant; my order is almost always one of the cheapest and I’m not going to subsidize someone else’s indulgences. That’s why I bring cash when I go out to eat. I kick in for my drink, meal, tax, and share of the tip. That’s as fair as it gets.

    I don’t give to charities at work ever, no exceptions. I don’t solicit donations for charities either. It’s just never a good idea.

    As for family members and loans…it’s never come up. It would depend on the circumstances, I suppose, though I don’t think I should expect to be paid back.

    • CharlesFarley says:

      “I don’t give to charities at work ever, no exceptions. I don’t solicit donations for charities either. It’s just never a good idea.”

      Well said.

      • failurate says:

        Our whole company gets shook down by United Way once a year. It started out as a one week drive, now it spans over two months of endless berating with e-mails from top level executives. I don’t really like the fact that my employer keeps track of whether or not I am donating to their selected cause.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        That’s not to say that I don’t give to charities…I do! I just don’t engage in that particular activity at the office. :-D

      • maxamus2 says:

        The only charity I give to is strippers, and that usually does invovle some sort of solicitation.

  5. hoi-polloi says:

    My general policy is to not hit people up for cash at work. For the most part, my coworkers do the same. There may be the occasional candy sale for their kid’s school trip, but those are few and far between. People are there to earn money, not to give it away.

    If you’re out to eat with friends and you notice one or two people are not ordering as many drinks/not ordering as expensive an entree/not ordering appetizers or desserts and you don’t give the option to do some simple math, you are a jerk. If you don’t want to do the math, pick up the damn check yourself. Why expect someone to pick up part of your tab if you’re not willing to do the same for them?

    Some people may be ordering less because they’re on a budget. They may not want to sacrifice going out entirely or draw attention to it, but being asked to pony up twice the amount they were expecting may really hurt. Some people may not drink. If you’re having a few imports while they’re drinking water or a soda, that price difference will add up fast. A few bucks between friends generally isn’t a big deal, but that scale does tip eventually.

    • j2.718ff says:

      About selling kids’ candy, there is definitely a right, and a wrong way to do it in the office…

      Wrong way: Walking from person to person, directly asking them to buy. (annoying, high-pressure/guilt)

      Right way: posting a note in some visible location, or sending an e-mail to your group, telling them to come you if they’d like to buy (low pressure, only those who want to buy will approach you.)

      Note: if you’re the boss, this should be avoided entirely. Even the low-pressure method can have implied pressure if it’s coming from the boss.

  6. clippy2.0 says:

    Just take off your pants. Nothing says “this will fix any social situation” like dropping your pants around your ankles

  7. conquestofbread says:

    Asking for donations at work… I hated it when someone would pressure everybody to donate to a school fundraiser with overpriced junk I didn’t want or need.

    I feel like it’s OK to sell some candy for the sports teams uniforms, or even girl scout cookies (which are overpriced, but only a few dollars more than a box of cookies at the grocery store), but anything that costs more than a few dollars is asking too much.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      My problem with buying charity goods is that too much of the money ends up going to the manufacturer of the products and not to the charity. I usually offer a cash donation in lieu of a purchase. It’s cheaper for me, I don’t end up with crap I don’t want, and the charity gets 100% of the money.

      BTW, if you live in my neighborhood then your kids will always get a donation from me. I have not refused a single one in nearly 30 years.

  8. josephbloseph says:

    Here’s some reading too far into the linked article, why is the hypothetically generous co-worker collecting for a charity a male, but the family member in need of a loan and whose ability to pay back money suspec a female? Gender neutral words could have been used.

    As far as splitting checks goes, that’s going to vary. Discussing things ahead of time is always the best way to go, just so there are no surprises when the check comes. And usually you’ll only have to have that conversation once if you’re eating with the same people. Most restaurants will be able to split checks without trouble if you are really that concerned. Of course, my friends and I used to just sort of take turns picking up the check. We weren’t going out often, or to really high end places, just sandwiches and a few beers, coming to $15-20/person. It would more or less even out over time.

    • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

      Probably because they were deliberately trying to reverse the stigma of “The females are always pushing people for charities and the males are always begging for money” in an attempt to ward off people like you that read too far into it.

      Guess it backfired.

  9. chrisAPu says:

    So, is it the standard to pay the prostitute before or after services rendered? You don’t know awkward until you’ve asked a hooker what the down payment is.

  10. ianmac47 says:

    If when you divy up a check among friends you are consistently feeling that the check is a little bit light, maybe its time to find new friends.

    • j2.718ff says:

      … or find different activities to do with these friends.

      • ianmac47 says:

        No, anyone who is willing to short change the bill and stick you with paying their share isn’t really worth the friendship. They’ll shortchange you in other ways too.

  11. j2.718ff says:

    If you’re the one picking the restaurant, call ahead and verify they can split the check. If they can’t, find somewhere else to go!

  12. shibotu says:

    Sorry about the gender stereotypes but how about people who act like their manhood is at stake if they don’t get to pay the bill. You can always give the other person a bigger Xmas gift or something if they insist on paying. Or take care of the bill in advance.

    • Tiercelet says:

      Or consider that you’ve satisfied all obligations by allowing them to treat you to expensive meals in exchange for feeling like Manly Men.

  13. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    This episode of Friends was on last night (syndicated, obviously). The three poorer friends ordered cheap salads and apps, but the other 3 wanted to split the check evenly. Of course they resolved their issues within a half hour, but sometimes a discussion is all it takes.

    I tend to kick in cash for my portion, not going to subsidize anyone, but don’t expect anyone to subsidize me either! Luckily, most of my family and friends all pay attention and make sure they at LEAST cover their part of the meal.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      that’s how I do it.

      I make sure I carry enough cash, different denominations so when the bills comes, I give my cost (round up the the dollar) + tax + tip to whoever received the bill.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I watched that too, and I was thinking the same thing while reading the post. Just speak up; sometimes people don’t realize that you’re actually a little strapped.

  14. Not Given says:

    I’m not eating a cheeseburger with a glass of water and paying for half a steak and lobster dinner with a glass of wine. If the table decides to split the check evenly I’ll tell them what I think and sit alone or leave.

  15. Not Given says:

    I’m not eating a cheeseburger with a glass of water and paying for half a steak and lobster dinner with a glass of wine. If the table decides to split the check evenly I’ll tell them what I think and sit alone or leave.

  16. INsano says:

    Charity? Why I’ve actually already donated this year to the Human Fund.

  17. maxamus2 says:

    I heard a great one about the bill at the table and coupling it with how people get upset when people at their table talk or text at the table non stop.

    When your group sits down, have everyone take their cell phone out and put them on the table. The ones that use their phone during dinner, THEY ALONE have to pay the entire bill. So if half use it, the other half pays zip.

  18. maxamus2 says:

    Throw this one in to the mix. What if I buy one of those restaurant.com $25 or $50 certificates for just a couple bucks and throw that on the table? People seem to think that isn’t as good as cash, even though the restaurant treats it like cash.

  19. Xero says:

    Consumerist hive-mind:

    What’s your stance on splitting bills for a long-term (not quite married) boyfriend/girlfriend situation?

    • kobresia says:

      Keep it simple & easy and just alternate who pays if each is roughly as well-off as the other. No point in splitting the check because that’s just petty, and a committed relationship should be a point where there aren’t the games that involve food, putting-out, or any of that kind of thing.

    • Errr... says:

      Before my husband and I were married, we’d just take turns paying the bill. We’d take turns based on the night (if I had just gotten paid, I’d pay for the whole evening). Or we’d take turns for each segment of the night (he’d pay for dinner and I’d pay for playing pool and drinks after).

    • Sad Sam says:

      I think person who earns more should pick up bill more in a long term relationship, that was me and my now husband had no problem with that arrangement.

    • JennQPublic says:

      Whoever has the money handy in that situation pays. It shouldn’t matter who that is. If it does, you’re probably not ready for the kind of partnership marriage should be.

  20. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    This confuses me. I don’t hang out with people like that. Over the course of ten years or so I must have been lucky. My friends just didn’t act that way.