Tips for Sharing Expenses When Going Out with Friends

06 Jul, 2016 / By

Even if you and your group of friends are financially savvy professionals, it’s all too common to be reduced to bumbling incompetent consumers when it comes to splitting the expenses of your outing. It could be the taboo of discussing money in public or it could be the avoidance of social spending. On top of this, if you’re not careful you can end up spending more than you intended to. Luckily you can have a great time with your friends without stressing about how to split the bill. Here are some effective tips when it comes to sharing expenses with your friends.

Pay For Your Order

If you are sharing a meal with a group of friends such as a pizza then it makes financial sense to divide the total bill by the amount in your group. However, this can get a bit stickier when you are out with a large group of people, as there is bound to be a variation in prices between meals.  For instance, one person orders more than one drink and a filet mignon while the other simply orders a salad and water. It wouldn’t be fair if they both paid the same amount, and so it makes more sense in this situation to separate checks from the beginning in order to avoid confusion.

A Tip is a Percentage

If you’ve ever gone out to eat in your life than you probably already know that the tip is a percentage of the total cost of your meal. This doesn’t change if you are in a large group, however just like the cost of your meal, tips shouldn’t be split evenly if the meals are unequally priced. Instead, tips should be planned as a percentage of the total cost of your meal. Once again, by splitting the checks it can spare your group of friends any confusion on how to split the tip. However, if the restaurant you eat at refuses to accommodate you then it is recommended that each person in your group calculate what they owe based on their order and then add the proper tax and tip to it.

Speak Up

No matter how close you are with your friends, it can be tricky to deal with splitting expenses when your income and spending values begin to vary. You may feel peer pressured to spend more money than you can afford to. It can be tempting to spend more than you should, but this can be extremely dangerous to your finances. Instead you should not be afraid to declare yourself frugal to your friends. Once they know your spending priorities they will be more inclined to choose low-cost activities when you are involved.

Find an Alternative

If you aren’t able to afford splitting the cost of a group activity than you can always offer an alternative that costs less. For instance, putting on a potluck instead of heading out to a pricy restaurant. This allows you to still have social time without breaking the bank. Even if the more expensive activity is already planned you can always see about group rates, promo codes and coupons. By putting in a little bit of effort you may be able to save everyone in your group money including yourself.

Just Say No

There’s nothing wrong with saying no every once in a while, and sometimes it is the best option. If you go on a trip with your friends then don’t be afraid to opt out of some group activities and meals in order to save money. It can actually be quite fun to go do something on your own instead.

Jennifer Hamilton

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