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Splitting the bill: a divisive dinner experience

Last Updated on October 27, 2019 by Mr. FightToFIRE

Bill splitting, it can be a source of annoyance to me for what otherwise is always an amazing time with friends. This happened to me a month ago.

I go out with ten friends. We have a blast and head into a restaurant to finish the day with an excellent dinner. Me being my conscious self keeps it simple and cheap and steer clear of anything too expensive. Just a few days prior I spend a good amount on delicious but pricey sushi. It’s my way of trying to prevent an even heftier restaurant expense when this month was already pricey (yet again).

That sentence

I got pretty ticked off when a friend uttered one of the most infuriating sentences at a restaurant table near the end of the dining experience.
Having relinquished any thought of ordering that drooling steak and only pay attention to something delicious yet relatively cheap. I turn down the marbled temptations of a “Dame Blanche” and extra (sort) drinks after having a spicy curry, only to have some cheery-faced friend down the other end of the table shout, “So, shall we keep it simple and simply split the bill?”

Dining with friends

Bill splitting: keeping tabs

I tend to keep a bit of a mental tab on how I and my fellow dining compatriots dine. If it’s all well aligned, I’m all for simplicity and splitting the bill.
What grinds my gears though is when it’s stated upfront that we will each pay our part but then at the end throw it out there to split it. If in the end we all ate the same thing, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue to change. What causes me to get annoyed is that some get 3 (expensive) beers and a bottle of wine, a €30 steak, a €10 dessert, and a €4 coffee. As a result, their part is closer to €50. On average, most ate for a total amount that is closer to €40 than my €20.

AITA (am I the asshole)?

In the end, everyone was willing to pay their part (aka going Dutch) and do a bit of extra effort at the end of the night. I realise this makes me seem like that one douche who always wants it his way.

Funny enough though, I never asked that either. I was fine with paying my part and everyone else could split evenly. Of course, the others weren’t up for that; I wonder why.

I’m just done with always having to pay more than what I got because I’m always the only one that doesn’t drink alcohol and keeps his restaurant expenses in check.

Am I the asshole here for trying to stick to my budget? How do you handle the inevitable question at the end of a dinner with friends or family?

Do you split evenly, or spit it according to consumption? Do you have another method?

Please share it in the comments below.

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

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Yes, you are an AH. Its funny to read an article where you are bothered about splitting the bill when it is against your odds, but at the same time you have an article posted where you are flying in business class (!) to the US because you want to start your vacation “relaxed”. Sorry, but guys who fly business don’t have to start whining at my dinner table because the split is not 100% in their advantage and for sure can’t be taken seriously when writing blogs around maximizing savings….

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