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Splitting the Bill – What’s the Big Deal?

Hey readers. I have a question for you. When you go out with your friends, do you split the bill? I have seen so many debates about this topic and honestly I'm torn myself. The other day I went to a birthday brunch. There was a prix fixe menu for this party and you could order extras if you wished. Some members of the party decided that they wanted to order additional drinks outside of what was on the menu. I was totally fine with that because for one it's their money and two they just came to have a good time. But, when the bill came some of us insisted that we would pay for the birthday girl and split the bill. Because they had ordered extra drinks (well actually bottles), the bill added an additional $150 to the overall tab.

Half of the party was okay with splitting the bill, while the other half wanted those who had the extra drinks to pay for that separately. It caused a bit of tension because for one we were trying to figure out the best way to divvy up the bill without making the birthday girl feel uncomfortable, and also some people were just not comfortable with paying for something that they didn't actually drink. So readers tell me, what would you have done?

Personally, I was willing to divide up the $150 for the extra drinks just for argument's sake. I didn't want the birthday girl to feel uncomfortable that her friends were arguing over the bill and when divided amongst the ten of us, it only came to about $15 per person.

But, I do understand the concern of the others who had to foot the bill. They stayed within the prix fixe menu and did not order extras. While there were others who wanted to have additional add-ons, they should be responsible for them. Had this been a $1,500 bill instead of $150 bill I would have felt differently. I would have insisted that those who purchase the additional drinks should pay for them. But because the price difference was minimal, I didn't push the situation.

I think in a setting where it was established that it was a birthday party, it's fair to split the bill as long as people stay within the parameters of a certain budget. We all understood that a prix fixe was provided to alleviate any issues of cost at the end of the brunch. When people go outside of that, they do need to be considerate of other people who may not have allotted extra funds to additional add-ons.

It's important that you're not petty about the situation, like if it's an additional $5 and you know you can spare it then why fight tooth and nail over it. But you also have to be considerate of other people's financial situation. Maybe $15 was not a lot for you, but maybe your friend needed that $15 to pay for their child's school trip or maybe they were saving it to buy groceries after brunch. You never know what someone's financial situation is like, so it's important that if you are the person in the situation who's ordering more that you are vocal about making sure that you cover your portion of the bill. If it's established that everyone is getting extras , then it's totally fine to split the bill.

What are your thoughts about this readers? Would you go dutch or split the bill? Let us know in the comments!

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