Ever felt awkward about asking your friends to split the bill when you’re out at a pub or restaurant? Well, these simple tips could help you!
Do you often find yourself covering for your friends whenever the food bill arrives at the dinner table? While this is fine up to an extent, paying for your buddies every other time can naturally deprive you of cash. Sure, some of your friends may give you their share as and when they can, but what if you’re in need of money before that? You’ll be in a bad situation unless you have a Credit Card to fall back on. Besides, any delay in recovering what your friends owe you can send your saving goals out of the window!
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Most of us wish to build a financial cushion to seek comfort on a rainy day, and as trivial as it sounds, making this cushion fluffy enough starts with little things such as splitting food and drink bills. When it comes to a social scene like a bunch of friends eating out, going Dutch may not be everyone’s choice. It entirely depends on each person’s situation; for instance, you may feel bad to suggest the idea of going Dutch if you already know that one of your friends has been facing some money trouble. Whether someone’s reason to not be gung-ho about splitting bills is legitimate or not, you need to establish the idea of sharing collective expenses at some point and time.
Now here comes the hard part…how do you do it? Well, it can be awkward as hell; (we know) but here are some tips that could help you master the art of ensuring all’s fair in food and fun!
Take turns to foot the bill
If you don’t want to deal with the idea of bringing up the going Dutch concept every time you catch up with your friends, you can always take turns in paying the bill. As a nice gesture, you can voluntarily treat your friends the first time; note that it’s key here to state what you’re establishing. A casual mention of what you have in mind is always suggested. Say something like, “Hey guys, this one’s on me. One of you can pay the bill next time around!” This usually gives your friends a pleasant feeling about the deal, because they have no immediate expense.
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If needed, ask for individual bills
We’ve all been there; you’re at a table with five of your friends. Four of you have ordered for food that pretty much falls under a similar price range. The fifth person, on the other hand, eats as if he’s just got out of prison. He devours a five-course meal that’s sure to cost a bomb! Now, it’s not fair for the rest of you to pay three times your actual expenditure, do you? In such cases, you can always dodge the awkwardness by asking the waiter to produce separate bills for each of you – when he sees your gourmand friend’s shenanigans, he’s bound to feel for you!
Use an app to settle expenses
In most cases, you may have to cover for your friends after a few drinks. What you can do in these cases is set up a record of it on a splitting app; there are many that are openly available for a free download. The app will send them reminders of exactly how much they owe you – that’s sure to help. In any case, they’re bound to be much soberer when they read reminders later and not at the pub while you’re paying your bill! The app will also give you a reminder of how much you have spent, in case your tipsy mind doesn’t register it.
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Identify the escapist
Now, we’re not trying to offend any of your friends, but this does happen with friends or even colleagues for that matter. Let’s take a scenario to help you understand what we mean by ‘the escapist’!
Let’s say you’ve been going for a drink with your colleagues every Friday after work. Over time, you notice this one smooth operator who inevitably finds a way to vanish whenever the bill appears or works up a good enough excuse to avoid paying for what he or she drinks. This person, ladies and gentlemen, is the escapist.
Beware the escapist, for this fox feeds on your good nature and thrives on those who are incredibly tolerant and not vigilant about recovering what they’ve spent for someone else.
Now let’s say you’ve identified the person; how do you deal with the situation? Well, for starters, you can try reminding him or her politely. If you still don’t see your money coming back anytime, then it depends on how good a friend you’re dealing with. If it’s a friend who’s just ashamed to admit his or her bad financial situation, you can always discuss the situation in a positive, open manner. If it’s someone who’s just plain forgetful but means well, you’ll surely see your money back with you once he or she realizes the inconvenience caused by him or her.
What if the person’s no good news? Well, this is simple – just stop hanging out together!
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Bottom line – don’t let someone have fun at your expense – literally!
We’re all aware of the fact that staying in touch and having a great time comes at a cost, and it’s only natural to expect each adult to understand this. The hurdle of introducing formal conversations amongst your friends can be a little weird, but it’s something you ought to do if you’re the one who’s been bearing the brunt of all the expenses. As with anything else, talking to your buddies about splitting the bill or taking turns can really sort out all these issues.
At the end of the day, each of us has our unique goals when it comes to how much we want to save and how much we wish to allocate for fun and entertainment, so it’s necessary for us to look at these little but important aspects of life and establish a financial routine that works well without compromising on the fun elements!
Savings on your mind? Start with a Savings Account!