• Alfred

Avoid "Splitting-the-Bill" Anxiety

DO NOT feel like you are being stingy for only paying for what you have eaten.

One of the simple pleasures in life is catching up with friends and family over a meal. It’s even better when there’s no clean up afterwards - who doesn’t love a bougie dinner out!? I once went out with friends to a pretty fancy place. I was in the process of saving up for a house, so I didn’t want to splash a lot of cash on dinner. I picked my main meal and stuck to water, while my friends ordered entrees and mains along with a couple of chic cocktails. We were all having a great time until the bill came and someone suggested that we all split it evenly. Come again!? So I naturally did what 99.99% of other people do - I gulped and paid an equal share of the bill (even though I did not eat and drink an equal share of the meal!). I am still dumbfounded that my friends didn’t realise or consider that I had eaten and drank a lot less than them. Look, I don’t mind equally splitting a bill if it’s a few dollars off. But if it’s a situation like in my example, then it’s a no from me!

If you’ve been there too, then here are a few suggestions to avoid paying for much more than your fair share (or what you were prepared to pay!) in the future:

Pick the place

If you can, try to be clever with where you go out to eat. Pick a place where you know they will split or itemise the bills for you. Even better, go to a place where you know you will have to order and pay BEFORE you eat. This way, you can choose exactly what you want and be reassured that you are only paying for what you are going to eat. Pubs are a good option for this, as a lot of them have this pay-as-you-order model where you order at the bar. Even better, many restaurants and pubs have a QR ordering system where you can each order on and pay on your phone.

Offer alternatives to the banquet

I love eating different cuisines and at the moment I’m really into Asian Fusion. I’ve noticed on a lot of menus that there is a banquet option. These are a fabulous way of trying a variety of meals, however they are often exxy! Banquets also have a lot of dishes and more often than not, I get so full that I can’t finish or even eat the last few courses. So, if someone in your group suggests to get a banquet (and you don’t want to), you could suggest choosing a few entrees and a few mains to share instead. This will also mean that everyone will get to try what they want rather than being restricted to what’s offered in the banquet. If the group still wants to go with the banquet, you can opt out by saying you want to order a particular item on the menu (that’s not included in the banquet) or that you really feel like eating a specific meal item.

Bring cash

These days most restaurant menus are available online, so you can look ahead and try to figure out what you’d feel like eating. You can then estimate how much your meal will cost and bring that amount of cash with you. This is very handy when restaurants don’t split bills.

Offer to transfer If you don’t have time to get cash out or if carrying cash just isn’t your thing, you could transfer the cost of your meal to whoever is settling the full bill. These days, with Osko and Pay ID, transfers are instant so you can settle what you owe to your mate or friend then and there.

Lose the guilt

DO NOT feel like you are being stingy for only paying for what you have eaten. Repeatedly paying for more than your share of your meal really adds up over time - not to mention how unfair and disrespectful it is! Everyone has different budgets and spending habits, so some people may not mind splitting the bill evenly - however, they should still be considerate of you and your situation! Be empowered to say something if your share of the bill is significantly less than the “equal” share. You’ve worked hard for your money and you should be able to choose how you spend it!

We hope that these suggestions will give you the confidence to avoid paying for significantly more than your portion at a meal out!

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