Published On: Mon, May 9th, 2016

How to Split the Bill, Cover Taxes AND Tip When Going Out with the Girls

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Retro LadiesA ladies night out can be a blessing. Whether you’re grabbing drinks, appetizers or dinner with your friends, the topic of how the meal will be paid for will always come up. Don’t let it be awkward.

Some people prefer to pay for their own individual meal while others find it easier to split the bill. In some cases, it can be difficult to split the bill evenly and overpaying for food and drinks can cause stress.

No one wants to be considered that ‘broke friend’ who can’t pay for their share. Alternatively, no one wants to be the person who picks up a majority of the tab each night. Neither of these are fun positions to be in. On the bright side, dealing with friends and money doesn’t have to be stressful.

Here are some tips for splitting the bill with friends.

Bring Up Your Intentions to Share Costs Early On

It’s important to briefly discuss with your friends how you will pay the bill beforehand to eliminate any confusion. If you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to tell them. They may actually even share your intentions to spend less on food and drinks. After all, there is such a thing as positive peer pressure.

Some restaurants will allow separate checks while others may not. By determining how you will split the bill before placing your orders, everyone will be on the same page. Food tastes better when the issue of money has been settled.

Volunteer To Do the Math

If you want to make sure everything gets split up evenly, you might want to volunteer to do the math by splitting up the purchases and calculating the tip. Everyone can throw in the amount of money owed when the check comes. Your friends will appreciate you taking on this responsibility.

When you’re divvying the bill up, remember to include a suitable tip based on the entire table’s meal total. Add each person’s portion of the tip to the amount they need to pay. To help you split the bill and calculate the tip accurately, use a bill splitting app. Some helpful bill splitting apps include:

Ask For a Separate Check

Asking for a separate check is something I do. It’s simple and I’m only responsible for myself. If this is how you prefer to split the bill among friends, be sure to let your server know ahead of time that your group will be splitting the check individually.

Asking for a separate bill can actually help save money. Otherwise, if you ordered something small like, chicken and a salad, and another friend ordered a large dinner, you may get the worse end of that deal. A 50/50 split would be unfair.

Take Turns Paying

If you and your group of friends go out regularly, you may want to take turns paying.

If you go out for drinks with two or three friends one night, you can take turns buying rounds for the group and contributing a tip. If you dine out at a restaurant the next time, the person who bought drinks last can only be responsible for something smaller like the tip. This method allows you to alternate paying for each outing while making the bill-paying process simpler.

When you establish a bill-paying method that works best for you and your group of friends, the awkwardness will be eliminated. You’ll finally be able to enjoy your time out together without having to worry about who will pay.

What is your favorite method to use when splitting the bill with friends?
Source: Young Finances

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Did you know?

African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study