4 Unusual Ways To Save Money

BusinessWeek has put together one of those accursed slideshows of 25 ways to save money, and while a lot of them are things you’ve heard before (use credit cards wisely! buy generic or used!), there are a few less common tips that you might not have considered. Here are four that caught our attention.

3. Cut out investment charges and fees
BusinessWeek notes that “many investors end up paying 2% to 3% off the top each year for investing costs. Lower-cost mutual funds and index funds can slash that bill, savings that compound over several decades of investing.”

7. Make sure you don’t have too much insurance
Don’t have dependents? Cut back on life insurance. Are your auto and home deductibles very low? Look for cheaper coverage with higher deductibles. They also recommend shopping around for new insurance every 2 to 3 years.

13. Lay down the law with your free-spending friends
It’s harder to save if you hang out with big spenders. “Some financial planners advise cash-strapped clients to seek out social companions with similar budgets. However, if you’re honest about your spending limits, true friends should be willing to adjust their plans by, for example, choosing a less pricey restaurant.”

18. Annualize your expenses

“Realizing how much things cost over the course of a year can really help put things in perspective,” says Bob Nusbaum of Middle America Planning in Pittsburgh. For example, if you spend $10 for snacks and lunch each weekday, that adds up to $2,500 in a year.

“Let’s Get Cheap” [BusinessWeek]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Wally East says:

    Nothing like going to dinner with acquaintances (people you don’t know well) and when the check arrives have them announce “Let’s split the check 10 ways, it’s just easier.” No, you steak-eating, appetizer-inhaling, cocktail-guzzling jerkwad, it’s not “easier.” It’s me subsidizing your meal.

  2. caveman1428 says:

    @Wally East: ha last week i went out with some friends and the bill ended up being $450. Naturally someone said lets just split it its easier! Awesome said I, now i just spent $140 for steamed clams and 3 beers!! (there was four of us and i second the term jerkwad)

  3. Quilt says:

    What happens when your friend, who has a lower spending limit, is the one always suggesting to do things that will cost money?

    “Let’s go drive to that pub I heard about in Calgary. It’s only an hours drive. Hey…you want to drive?”

    Next thing I know I’m paying for all the fuel. Never again.

  4. dakotad555 says:

    Splitting checks has got to be one of the most frustrating things about eating out with friends. I now simply tell people at the beginning of the meal that I, or I and my wife, will have a separate check. Some places won’t let you split a check, and in those instances, I will total our bill up if there’s an obvious discrepancy in how much our portion would be compared to the total bill. (My wife is a vegetarian, so we often have a much lower total than two people eating meat entrees). Sometimes this can be awkward, but frankly, I’ll take a little awkwardness to save sometimes as much as $50-$100.

  5. Necoras says:

    When I started working downtown I was buying lunch every day. That came out to about $50 a week, or $200 a month. With my wife doing the same thing, it got expensive real quick. I’ve switched to canned foods and ramen and cut that down to a fraction of the cost. Sandwiches from home would be similar in cost, but I’m to lazy to make one every day. I still get to eat out occasionally and get it paid for, because my company pays for lunch about twice a month.

  6. Drowner says:

    I don’t know how well this works with men, but when I get that vibe I usually set my cash for my beer & spring rolls on the table & excuse myself to the bathroom. When I come back, even if they announced that everyone’s splitting the bill evenly I can just go “well I already paid”. Not part of the decision, therefore, not a part of it. AND I paid my fair share. Volia!

  7. Sudonum says:

    I recently went out to dinner with an old friend in Miami that I hadn’t seen in years. I let him select the restaurant, he lives there. The bill for 4 of us, with tip, was $800. Since he selected the restaurant I let him pay. If he had chosen somewhere more reasonable I would have offered to pay or at least split the bill with him. Great meal!

  8. Drowner says:

    @Sudonum: 800 dollars? Jesus Christ.

  9. Necoras says:

    I’ve never split the check with friends. The closest I’ve come is when I’m eating with extended family (my parents, wife’s family) and the parents split the check that way. If I’m out with my friends we all assume everyone’s poor and will order what they can afford. I’ve footed the bill for an appetizer for everyone, but that’s about it.

  10. Sudonum says:

    Yeah, that’s what I said. I had estimated around $500 when I saw the cost of items on the menu. I was shocked when the bill came. He grabbed it, like he always does. I said “what, about $500?, he said “no, $800, but that includes tip”.

  11. gibbergabber says:

    I once had dinner with friends who later wanted to split the bill. I flatly refused. I’d had a hip-friendly salad. They’d had crab cakes and lobster. Hell no, I’m not paying for your $40 meal when I ate a $5 salad. My friens have since learned not to ask me to join in on splitting the bill. It’s each man for himself.

  12. ltlbbynthn says:

    This is why I don’t hang out with the people from my work. I am on a very tight budget and so I don’t like to go out to bars or anything, and that’s what they do. It’s hard when you don’t know someone real well and want to do something very cheap.

  13. themikebrown says:

    Man, I guess I’m lucky to have broke friends, because on the off chance we do go out to eat together, it’s usually someplace cheap. Everyone’s smart enough to order only what they know they can afford and pay their own portion of the bill. There have been a few times where I’ve offered to pay for an appetizer or something, but the day I get stuck paying for someone else’s meal (especially when the bill’s close to $800) and we aren’t dating is the day they leave the circle of friends.

  14. PunditGuy says:

    When I was poorer, I relied on the kindness of friends when dining out. Now that I’m no longer poorer, I treat less fortunate friends when dining out. That leads to some expensive evenings, but I don’t keep a ledger in my head when it comes to true friends.

    When it’s just acquaintances, I don’t mind splitting a check either evenly or by what was ordered — whatever the table decides. In either case, I make sure that it’s not a bread-and-water evening for me and a steak-and-martini night for everyone else. If you’re out, have a good time (within reason and budget).

    If you feel that there’s a good chance that you’re going to get screwed at dinner, and you just don’t feel like paying, you can 1) pick better friends to hang out with, or 2) decline to have dinner with them and meet them for drinks afterward.

  15. kable2 says:

    $800 for food LOL

    are you saying he gave a $300 tip. RETARDED.

  16. GreatCaesarsGhost says:


    Anyone who eats more than you and wants to split the bill knows exactly what he’s doing. If money were no issue, he would pay the whole bill. Anyone poor enough to need to split will notice he’s saving money.

  17. mbz32190 says:

    I think the OP meant the $500 was just his own estimate based on the menu prices

  18. RandomHookup says:

    If you have no dependents, why have any insurance (other than enough to bury you)? I figure I’ve got more than enough in my estate for a cremation and an urn and a reception after the toasting.

    On spliting dinner — I hate to go with large groups that don’t know each other really well. You either end up way over (..a 42% tip?) or under. Seems that people can’t do math in the presence of strangers. And someone always leaves early, throws a $20 on the table and really owed about $30 with tip. Restaurants would do really well if they could guarantee separate checks with no hassle.

  19. StyckyWycket says:

    “true friends should be willing to adjust their plans by, for example, choosing a less pricey restaurant.”

    My good friend does this to me all the time and it pisses me off. I have a substantially different budget than she and anytime we go out it’s always to the most chi-chi place in town. I feel like a heel if I bring up that wherever we go is way out of my price range.

    It’s tough, sometimes, trying to balance being frugal without seeming like you’re a wet blanket.

  20. They recommend vacationers to stay with friends and family. Please don’t do that in New York City. New Yorkers spend a lot of money for little space and get an average of 10 visits a year from friends and family, which gets really annoying after a while. If you can’t afford $400 a night for a hotel, go somewhere else. Like Orlando.

  21. Benny Gesserit says:

    @Drowner: My thoughts EXACTLY! What did you eat? Sliced Koala braised in baby Seal sauce?

  22. Sudonum says:

    No, I’m saying that he left an appropriate 15% tip and the total of the bill with tip was approximately $800.
    Exactly, and I was not the OP. I was merely commenting on a recent evening out at an expensive restaurant. If my friend had chosen a more reasonably priced venue, then I would have offered to pick up the check, or at least split it. Since he chose the place, and had been there before, he knew what the cost was going to be and had no reason to assume that I would be “fine” with paying that kind of money for dinner. One other thing that played into my decision NOT to offer to assist with the bill was that the other 2 diners were members of his family.

  23. ohiomensch says:

    My best friend and I take turns, one time she pays the bill, the next time I pay. And if we go to an expensive place one time, and a cheap place the next, we will usually pay again till it evens out, as with Seinfeld, it always seems to even out.

  24. startertan says:

    F*ck all that. I will never ever just split a bill X ways unless everyone pretty much owes the same amount within a buck or two. I won’t pay for anyone else’s meal and I don’t expect anyone to pay for mine, unless they are treating of course. If you’re splitting an intended 6 person meal or you’re at a sushi place and you all order rolls and share then ok but if everyone orders their own drinks and entrees then just pay what you owe.

    My gf went to a girls night once and this one b!tch was ordered multiple grey goose and tonics and extra dessert. The main course was a 10-person prix fix tapas meal. The bill comes and all my gf had was the food for the prix fix and water. The grey goose b!tch says, let’s split the bill. It would’ve cost my gf an extra $30 for nothing but she flat out refused.

    @Drowner: I understand where you’re coming from but why not just say, I didn’t order $50 worth of food so I’m not paying for it. If they are your friends they’ll respect your decision and if they’re just acquaintances then they’re not worth keeping around.

  25. Sudonum says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One):
    The food was well prepared with generous portions, and we had 2 bottles of wine that ran about $125 each, but no, we weren’t eating anything exotic. I think the price mainly had to do with the location, some tony place on a private island on the south side of downtown Miami.

  26. Snarkysnake says:

    I used to always get a kick out of reading advice from these financial experts that basically boiled down to cutting back on latte’s at Starbucks. So this DOES represent some progress. That said, be careful on the switching insurance companies every couple of years (especially for car insurance). The big spending advertisers (GEICO,Progressive etc…) are in the business of making money,not paying claims or making your life better. When you have a claim, you become an unprofitable customer and they dump you pretty quick. This also sets the clock back to zero for any good driver discounts or other longevity based incentives when you have to shop around to replace their coverage. A friend of mine that is in the insurance business also says that the biggies are much snarkier about finding ways to deny,delay or “shave” claims. They have all of the power and their relationship with you is transactional,so they don’t care if you stay or leave.Also, if you get dumped and don’t replace your insurance in time, some states impose a penalty fee for your registration or suspend it altogether. There goes those “savings” . Just my two cents…

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    @postnocomments: Or, if you’re visiting friends who have the good taste to live someplace worth visiting, scope out a rough approximation of what the hotel costs would have been. Then take that amount and make sure to spend about that much taking your hosts out, buying them thank you gifts, etc. And, obviously, become their temporary maids so they don’t have to lift a finger your entire visit.

    > You’ll be heartily invited back, and they’ll sleep w/ the damned DJ if they have to if it means getting you into the best clubs the next time around.

    To do otherwise is to advertise that you were raised by wolves.

  28. huadpe says:

    With my friends I am known as the check divider. I always pick it up and give everyone a number that they owe based on what they ate plus tax and tip. Everyone pays for what they got, but tip is per person.

  29. Indecent says:

    Hmm…I’ve never been to a place that didn’t allow checks to be split up. I never, however, go anywhere if I feel someone is operating under the assumption that I’ll pay for them -.- If I decide to foot the bill, it will be out of generosity, not some undue obligation.

    If there’s ever any question that I feel the person is going to get me to pay, I simply say, “Well, yeah, we can go, but I only have like 10/15/20 dollars (approximate value to feed ONLY myself) to spend until my next paycheck.” It will either lead to a silence where they say “nevermind” or they’ll fish out their own wallet.

  30. anatak says:

    @Sudonum: That’s awesome! Great to splurge from time to time, when you can afford it. Also nice to be able to share that time with friends.

    But I had no idea you could eat gold!

  31. corinthos says:

    I had friends who always did the split check thing. Twice we went and I ended up loosing about 40 bucks by doing so and they wouldn’t listen to me. After that I did 2 times of racking up 8 dollar drinks and got my way.

  32. samurailynn says:

    @Snarkysnake: I’ve never heard of anyone being dumped by the larger insurance companies if they have a good driving record. Most of the people in my family never get tickets, and have only been in 1-2 accidents (that weren’t their fault) in 40+ years of driving.

  33. syndprod says:

    One good idea that I’ve heard (that doesn’t annoy servers as much as separate checks for each person) is one check for food and one for drinks. This makes it much easier on the people who are too broke to drink fancy-expensive cocktails all night and spent the dinner drinking water when it comes time to pay.

    And I’ve also become more assertive in speaking up when someone says “oh, lets just split the check X ways”. Also – having small bills with you helps so you can leave exactly what you owe.

  34. Sudonum says:

    Sure you can [en.wikipedia.org]

  35. stephdmonkey says:

    I hate splitting the check evenly. I’m a vegetarian and one of my boyfriend’s best friends loves fancy steakhouses. We go, I get a salad and a glass of wine, everyone else gets apps, steak, sides, and the best friend orders a bottle of wine he read about in one of his pretentious wine snob magazines (frequently in the $100 range). My meal $70.

  36. stephdmonkey says:

    @stephdmonkey: Should say My meal $70. And we split evenly.

  37. Ragman says:

    If you have no dependents, you don’t need life insurance. Young children don’t need life insurance, either, unless they’re making money and supporting YOU. I wonder how much Gerber makes on that racket.

    The purpose of life insurance is to provide your dependents with financial support in the event of your passing. The amount should be selected based on what costs they would have and how long they would need the financial coverage.

  38. I don’t think I’ve ever been out with people who’ve suggested splitting the bill, and I wouldn’t accept the suggestion anyway.

    As for “laying down the law with your friends”…too f’in’ right! My husband thinks its tacky to tell our friends we can’t afford something, but I’m usually the one who ends up paying his share of the bill, so screw him. :)

  39. @Ragman: Life insurance for children is usually used to cover the cost of funerals. Parents don’t need MUCH, but a little can help when its too hard to face the loss AND going broke because the funereal industry is so evil.

  40. mwshook says:

    A single person might want life insurance, depending on their plans. If you don’t plan on having a family until your 30s or 40s, you still might want to lock in a policy early on. There’s always the chance that you develop a chronic disease before you have dependents, making it impossible/costly to get life insurance when you need it.

    I’ve seen it happen to someone who developed diabetes in his early 30s, got married and had kids a couple years later, and life insurance became prohibitively expensive.

  41. pollyannacowgirl says:

    I have absolutely NO SHAME about telling someone that I can’t afford to dine at a certain place. And I am not ashamed to announce to a table that I have only budgeted a certain amount for the meal and that’s all I can contribute and that I will order accordingly.

    There is nothing wrong with that. And if people think I’m cheap, so what?

  42. whitecat says:

    I second what Snarkysnake said. The savings on premiums is worthless if your insurance co. isn’t going to take care of you or is going to drop you for making a claim.

    I’ve heard horror stories about all of them, including mine (State Farm), but they’ve always stood by me. Once I bought a car and hadn’t added comprehensive on it to my policy before it was struck by another driver (within five days of buying it). They backdated the policy. Then, the other driver’s insurance co. refused to pay for new parts (on a brand-new car!) and my insurance company fought them and won. When a car hit my open car door and kept going, they agreed it was not my fault and covered the repair. My rates did not go up for any of this. When a neighbor’s tree came down in my back yard, they backed me up against her insurance co. (who said it was my problem). They’ve earned my loyalty by being loyal to me.

    Of course it probably helps that I pay my premiums in full and early.

  43. battra92 says:

    A true friend will hang out with you at Denny’s and not bat an eyelash when you pack half your $6 meal in Styrofoam for tomorrow’s lunch.

  44. mrgenius says:

    Seriously, those who whine about a $10 difference amongst your friends when splitting a check should seriously consider staying home, or better yet, get different friends if you feel you are being taken advantage of.

    Of course, we all know about those chronic underpayers, and I have no problem confronting someone about it after the fact. I just think it’s very tacky to insist on paying for everything with seperate cards. At least bring some cash for goodness sake, so you can pay what you owe and be done with it.

    I guess it tends to even out for me because my friends understand the concept of “I’ll get this one, you can pick it up next time”. If your regular dining companions can’t get this basic concept of fairness, it’s time for a change of dining companions.

    It’s like giving a friend a ride to the grocery store and presenting an invoice for estimated fuel usage. I don’t want to rant here, but I get so frustrated with people who say, I only got the XYZ and I refuse to pay a penny more, even if it takes an extra 20 minutes and tarnishes the whole dining experience. I’d rather just pay it all than be embarrased by this kind of behavior.

    If you’re too poor to pay for the check outright, you probably are eating at a restaurant out of your budget. If you only have $500 till payday, you shouldn’t be eating out ANYWHERE.

  45. Zimorodok says:

    @mrgenius: Of course, you have to acknowledge extraordinary circumstances, such as the time we split a 12-way bill at a steakhouse and my spinach-soup-broth and glass of milk (broken jaw = liquid diet) cost me $85 after subsidizing everyone else’s porterhouses and filets.

  46. Pink Puppet says:

    @mrgenius: …why would one need five hundred dollars to go out to eat?

  47. RandomHookup says:

    @mrgenius: Of course, lots of these dinners probably happen with the sorta on-the-fringe friends we all have that we aren’t that close with. I used to hate the birthday dinners with 18 people, 3 of whom I know, and we are trying to divide everything including the guest of honor’s meal (which we didn’t pay attention to the cost of). When it’s people you only see a couple of times a year, the back-and-forth of really good friends doesn’t work.

    And no one likes to announce that they are on a budget and aren’t willing to subsidize their friends’ meals. If you ordered with that in mind and your friends didn’t, it’s like playing the ‘credit cards in a hat’ game without knowing you had opted in.

  48. Jevia says:

    The other thing about buying life insurance early on, even if you don’t have a family, is that some places will pay you back all your premiums after 30 years. You lock in a low rate, and get it paid back.

    Tipping should be at least 20% on large groups or a large bill.

  49. scamps says:

    I’ve been lucky enough to have never been in a situation where anyone suggested splitting the check equally. It seems like everyone I know always knows to pay their own share.

  50. econobiker says:

    Snarkysnake is pretty well spot on about car insurance companies. I imagine you have never lived in a place with auto insurance “problems”.

    “I’ve never heard of anyone being dumped by the larger insurance companies if they have a good driving record. Most of the people in my family never get tickets, and have only been in 1-2 accidents (that weren’t their fault) in 40+ years of driving. “

    Try moving from Albama, Iowa, Wisconsin etc to New Jersey and you will hear the auto insurance customer service rep say ” I am sorry we don’t service that area. Please find other insurance. Have a nice day.” (I heard exactly this after 5 years of no claim on time payments to a major insurance company.)
    “Here is the number of our high risk insurance subsidiary company which services New Jersey. Your policy will be switched to that company immediately and you will receive a new bill for the increa$e in cost.”

    Insurance companies truely do not care whether you stay or go just how much profit you bring in…

  51. jdmba says:

    Separate checks are awkward but sometimes necessary. My wife has friends who drink and drink and drink and then the try for the “credit card roulette” (credit cards in a hat, drawn by the server, losing card pays it all). When that offer fails to gain acceptance, they want to split. My wife knows when we go out with her friends, a separate check is needed.

    I also recently was about to go out with a few people to lunch. When I was asked, it was 3 others going to Daphne’s (a fast foodish greek restaurant, where you order and pay at the register and then they bring you the food). I said yes. I was then told that the plans had changed to add a 5th person and they wanted to go to “M Cafe”. A quick internet check on the restaurant showed that this would be at LEAST a $20 meal. I passed. I felt not at all bad about passing after my initial yes. I always ask ‘where are we going’ before saying yes. It’s just common sense.

  52. thebluepill says:

    Man.. I need to start selling $500 Toilet paper to clean up the back end of those $500 meals! hehehe

    Actually, fine dining is quite a treat when done right and when the expectation is there.

    Which the whole meal question falls in to, social skills and social expectations.

    Etiquette states that the person or persons that offer the meal invitation get to choose the restaurant and by etiquette, must pay the entire bill as well.

    Etiquette also states that the person that calls a large group to meet and dine is to pick up the tab as well.

    In cases where the group meets mutually, an agreement must be made prior to ordering on the arrangements for paying the check.

    The most common, and acceptable method is split the check up for each person or couple, based on what they individually ordered, each paying the gratuity.

  53. fonetek says:

    I agree that splitting the bill evenly sucks. However, if you go out to eat often and with the same people one day you’ll order a hamburger and the next you’ll order lobster. One way or another it always comes back to you. If you can’t spend an extra 5 or 10 dollars for the sake of hanging out with friends, Stay home.

    Nobody wants you to subsidize their meals. It’s just easier to split the bill with a large group of people. Nitpicking over a couple of dollars is a sure way to ruin a great evening.

    If the restaraunt you’re eating in does not offer separate checks, don’t go. We have not invited a friend on occasion because he pulls this kind of crap. It’s easier to go out with people who don’t mind the few extra dollars just to have a great time.

  54. UnnamedUser says:

    I’ve been retired since 2001. However, when I was last working my colleagues and I seldom went out for lunch or dinner because the company cafeteria was better, and cheaper (the evening meal was always free) than any of the commercial establishments around.

    Similarly, after work we never went out for a drink. Our tradition was that on Friday afternoons we’d commandeer a conference room. Everyone brought his own single malt and we’d share a beverage and stories of the week’s work. Even the T-totalers often showed up with soda pop or the like because we always had a pleasant time. The meetings, and the booze, were ok with management on the presumption that we were all adults and were responsible for managing our own consumption.

    Much, much cheaper that way.

  55. meefer says:

    My solution: have less friends =)

    Seriously, if they offer to split it, I just say “Ok because you thought of this place, I’ll pay the whole thing this time, but next time, I choose and YOU pay.”

    Usually that gets them in line.

    And to a previous poster, sometimes the difference isn’t $10, what if it’s $100? $200? I had a friend who liked wine. I don’t drink. If you’re not going to raise a ruckus about $100 for a good you didn’t consume, then I don’t think you need this blog.

  56. Syrenia says:

    @Zimorodok: I’m always the tab-splitter when my department goes out to lunch. We typically all order meals within $2 of each other, so I add tip and split evenly or n-1 (if it’s a birthday). But when I see that one of the plates is significantly cheaper — someone had just soup or something, I’ll say “Joan just had a salad, so call hers $x, and everyone else $y.” It really isn’t that hard to figure it, and everyone appreciates it.

  57. thisisfortoday says:

    I must speak up for GEICO.

    My wife had an accident, a little on the costly side, and GEICO handled it superbly. They were EXCELLENT. Handled everything nicely.

    As a result, I feel very comfortable with them and will likely stay with them forever.

    I’m not a suckup. I did have an issue with their goofy adjuster for a situation when someone damaged my car trying to steal it years ago. It was a minor hassle.

    Anyway, nothing pays like peace of mind. So credit where credit is due.

  58. bwcbwc says:

    @Mikebrown: “…the day they leave the circle of friends.” Well, give them a second chance to pay you back in some way, but yea.

  59. elisa says:

    When my friends and I go out, we always pay for our own meals, plus a certain amount for tax and tip. We usually calculate and evenly split the tax & tip, since that’s just easier and it’s usually a dollar or two difference anyways from if it was calculated separately.

    If I’m out with acquaintances, I”ll do the same thing – calculate my food, plus evenly split tax + tip. If someone says something, “oh you owe more, we’re splitting evenly,” I have no shame in saying that I’m a poor student, and I didn’t order the expensive items or a drink. I say this with a laugh, and I don’t get bothered about it.

  60. mac-phisto says:

    @mrgenius: i don’t think the “$10 difference” is the common problem. i know personally, i’d much rather divide a check evenly just so the math is easier if the problem was $10, but it’s usually not.

    it’s the shenanigans you encounter – like 6 people go to dinner & 2 are a couple, so the check gets split 5 ways instead of 6 (“but he’s paying for both of us” <-actual quote), or padding the bill so a guest can pocket some cash (has happened more than once), or the guy who pulled up in the porsche conveniently forgets his wallet AGAIN (ok, it wasn’t a porsche, it was a new honda accord – but we were all poor college kids & he did it every time, so it’s relative).

    why do people feel the need to take advantage of people they know? that’s my question. i’ll gladly foot the bill for someone that wouldn’t come out otherwise, or chip in more for someone that legitimately made a calculation error when they hit the atm, but i’m no fool. i know when i’m being conned.

  61. deadspork says:

    Ugh, I hate bill-splitting with a passion. Many times if it’s within my price range I will pick up the entire tab, or the (shared) appetizer or whatever, if I can. But really, if I’m wanting to pay only my share, it’s because that’s all I can afford and I’ve budgeted my meal to fit into what I can handle.

    If I have $10 for dinner, that’s a $6 entree, water, and a $2 tip, with $2 reserved to cover tax.

    I think my friends can tell when I’m broke by what I order. If I’m getting alcoholic drinks, sodas, appetizers, etc. – I’m probably doing fine. But if I’m drinking water…

  62. mrgenius says:


    I’m totally with you here… I think the worst is when a “friend of a friend” tags along and pulls this stuff. I think a lot of these money things could be avoided if people used common courtesy. For instance, if you aren’t invited, don’t invite yourself! I tend to be old school, but I think if you invite someone for drinks, the host pays, though the guest should offer to pay. I guess my friends are more egalitarian when it comes to this stuff because I’ve definitely eaten/drank for free, and I’ve definitely covered a fair amount of whole checks. Again, with quality people, I think it will always even out.

    I just hate cheapskates, however one chooses to phrase it.

  63. mrgenius says:


    Of course I need this blog; how else will I learn which places have unacceptably high levels of rat excrement in their food!

    On a more serious note, I too wouldn’t like to pay an extra $100 or $200 all the time. I was just saying that good friends shouldn’t put you in that position. I happen to be a vegetarian and I go out with carnivores frequently, and one friend in particular likes to drink bottles of Veuve every time. He also knows to put in fair share at a minimum (and more often, he will just pay the bill).

    I guess my main thesis here is that its probably easier to find less jerkoff friends than it is to make a cheapskate pay his fair share.

  64. mrgenius says:


    I was saying not only should you not spend $500 on dinner out if that’s all you have; I am saying you shouldn’t spend $1 on eating out if that’s all the money you have. It just seems irresponsible to me to spend money on frivolities if one doesn’t even have emergency savings.

  65. Pink Puppet says:

    @mrgenius: Ah, I see. It was, perhaps, phrased oddly. I completely agree that one shouldn’t spend outside their means.

  66. Boulderite says:

    I think if you and your group decide before you order your drinks and meal that you are going to split the bill 6 ways, then that is fine.
    However when I order and choose items that are within the budget that I have set for myself, I refuse to then split the bill 6 ways. I’m not paying for someones Filet Mignon and King Crab Legs, its just not going to happen. Especially when after I ordered I planned on paying for just my husbands and my own meal not someone elses.

  67. trujunglist says:


    Man, if I ever ended up ordering more than my fair share, I’m sure that they would refuse to split. Anything that comes out ending up with the person who suggests the split getting a bad roll of the dice means that they won’t suggest it.
    The absolute worst is when couples think of themselves as one person and ask you to split. Not only are they asking for you to foot part of their bill, but they’re forgetting that they’re two people, not just one.
    People can be so lame most of the time, it’s pretty sad how often this happens.

  68. trujunglist says:


    Agreed. If your friends are constantly asking you to hurt your bottom line to help theirs but they never get you back, then how good of a friend are they?