Even when you dine out with your closest friends, it may still feel awkward at times to talk about how to split the bills. However, this is an important thing to consider since not everyone may be in the same financial situation. Furthermore, not everyone in the group may be ordering the same meal, so the cost may not also be the same. So what’s the best way to pay the bills when eating out with friends?
There are no specific rules to be followed when it comes to this. People handle this situation differently depending on various factors. However, here are some of the possible ways on how to handle this concern. See which one would suit you.
Be Open About Your Financial Status
To avoid spending more than what you can afford, it’s best to be honest with your friends at the very beginning. If they are really your friends, they would understand, so you can go somewhere that would also fit your budget, or maybe they would be willing to shoulder part of your share for that time. This may not be an easy thing to do for everyone, but this is the most effective way to prevent overspending.
It would be more difficult if you go with the flow and end up paying way over your budget. If you really don’t have the money, it would be better to pass on the dinner and just make it up once you have extra cash for this.
Pay Your Own Meal
One way to pay the bills when going out with a group of friends is to let each individual pay for what they have ordered. You may ask the waiter at the start of the dinner to have your orders billed separately. This is fair for everyone since each will only be paying for what they consumed. For instance, if you ordered a cheap meal and your friends ordered expensive ones, it may not be fine with you if you share the same amount.
Split the Bill Equally with the Entire Group
You may also split the bill equally to each individual. Although some people don’t mind paying the same amount even though they ordered a much cheaper meal, not everyone may be fine with this. This could be more appropriate if the whole group ordered meals that are in the same price range. This way, everyone would feel like they are paying a fair share.
Let Someone Pay for the Bill then Pay Him Back
Another way to pay the group’s bill is by letting one pay for the meal and then let each person pay him back, either equally or based on your individual orders. As long as each member of the group know their responsibility of paying back the person, this would be convenient, especially in restaurants that do not give separate checks on groups. Computing what each person would pay can be awkward while the waiter is waiting for the payment. Plus, it can also be time consuming doing the math. It would be easier to divide the bill accurately afterwards since no waiter will be there and you can focus on the process.
Pay Bills Alternately
If you often go out with specific friends, especially if it’s only a small group, you may pay the bills alternately. For instance, you would pay for the dinner today, then it will be the other person’s turn next time. This is applicable if you always dine out with those friends, but if not, this may not be the best option for you.
Cover the Other Person’s Share But Asked to Be Paid
There could be a time when you or another friend may not have the money to pay for the share. One friend may pay for the share, but be clear that he should be paid back, unless it’s okay for him to give it as a treat.
There’s nothing wrong to talk about splitting the bills so everyone would be comfortable paying for their share. It’s better to be honest with your friends than pay for something that’s over your budget; and worse, you didn’t order for it. You’ll have more fun knowing that what you’ll spend on your night out would not be over your means.
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