The Secrets To Splitting The Bill

Going out to eat and then splitting the bill with anyone but your immediate family can be a colossal pain in the rear. Between figure out how to divvy up appetizers, the tip, and the tax, splitting the bill can be a super big headache, especially for those who are less math-minded. Add in the fact that money can sometimes be a bit of a sensitive subject and you’re in for a pretty awkward situation. When it comes to splitting the bill, there are a few things to keep in mind: making sure you don’t get ripped off, making sure you don’t rip anyone else off, and making sure you’re not being that table that every wait staffer hates. Here are some methods to make sure that all goes smoothly:

Split the tax and shared meals first.

Things like a pitcher of drinks or some appetizers plus tax should be split evenly first. Usually it’s best to keep these things in mind before ordering them – get something everyone wants so you’re not awkwardly splitting it amongst just a portion of the table. Simply add up the total of these things on someone’s phone calculator and divide by the number of people at the table. Make sure everyone knows this mutual cost and tacks it onto their total bill.

Make a note on the back of the receipt with everyone’s total.

Carry a pen in your purse or ask the waiter/waitress for one to make a note of how much everyone who’s paying on a credit or debit card is being charged. Use people’s last names and write it in all caps so the wait staffer is crystal clear on how much to put on each card. This method is pretty clutch because it allows each individual paying on a card to determine how much they want to tip.

If you’re paying cash, be clear on how much you want back.

Paying cash is totally cool, but be sure to be super clear with the wait staffer how much you want back. The amount you ask for should include the tip to lessen confusion.

Get on that Venmo game.

Venmo is the gift from the bill-splitting gods. While it’s totally cool and pretty normal for you to do the receipt note method, using Venmo is definitely the best option if you’re comfortable with it. Venmo is a phone app that lets you connect your bank account totally securely and send money to friends or even request it if they haven’t paid you back for something huge.

When going out to dinner with the gang, you might want to have someone put the whole meal on their card and have the rest of the party Venmo you back. This saves such a massive burden on the wait staffer.

Evenly split the bill.

While teens and college students definitely have their empty wallets to think about, young adults working full-time in the real world sometimes have more room to compromise while splitting the bill. If no one got anything outlandishly more expensive the someone else, think about just dividing the entire bill by how many people you dined with to make things nice and simple.

If things get awkward, just talk it out.

Like we said before, it’s never fun to talk about money, and we know not everyone’s financial situations are the same – that’s totally okay. When you enter the real world and all of your friends start getting full-time grown-up jobs, you’re going to see that some people are making more money than you and can throw it around more, and some people won’t be making as much. This can lead to some awkward situations.

When things like this arise (like, for instance, everyone wants to evenly split the bill, but your budget really can’t swing that) just be honest. Offer to organize splitting the bill on the back of the receipt or lead the charge on the Venmo front. This way you won’t be putting anyone out, but your finances are still respected.