Navigating social boundaries on your way to financial freedom doesn't have to be awkward. Today, I am going to fill you in on how to split a bill when eating with friends without experiencing peer-pressure.
Whether single, an introvert, passive or aggressive, it can be difficult to speak up for one's self when eating with friends. Quickly, you find yourself regretting the effects of your social financial decisions for the sake of being social. But, have no fear. Let me share with you six methods for navigating the most common social situation–splitting a dining bill.
This is hard to do upfront but, if you are clear on your goals, it can be the simplest too. Hanging out doesn't have to mean eating out! And, if it does, you can still tag along for the fun with none of the food.
From the beginning, just make it clear to your group you will be getting a separate check. Intercept the server before the meal begins during a "quick trip to the bathroom." Personally, I prefer to tell the server discretely as they take my order. This can be slightly difficult when eating with friends–no matter how large the group. The point is to be brave, try something different each time, and you will find your groove.
Don't immediately agree to split the bill or share an appetizer. You never know, speaking up may empower someone else who lacks confidence.
Opening yourself up to other possibilities may even create opportunities. Sometimes eating with friends who are generous may yield perks from their appetizers, but don't assume either.
You'll be surprised how many of your friends will respect and even find motivation in your effort to take control of your money. If not, maybe they aren't the right friends. Be honest. Even if you can spare the few dollars, you are focused on a goal and taking responsibility of your financial decisions. You need to take ownership and gain control first before you start sharing in others' expenses. If you are already in the situation and things get out of hand, simply say, "I agreed to split this but it is going to be way more than expected. I'll catch you next time" or "Can we get separate checks?"
There is nothing quite like the power of cash. Not only will it keep your own spending in check, but it gives you a finite amount to work with.
"Sorry, everyone. This is all I have, so I am sticking with a separate check tonight." Blame your limits on a dead president!
The next time your friends invite you to go out to eat, suggest something different. Maybe it's a different activity than eating out or maybe it's a food place you already have a coupon to. It could also be something simple like a potluck which provides food with minimal cost as well as the benefit of added activity. Even better, have a plan that's a win-win before they ask you. Take charge! Your financial future doesn't have to become a victim to peer pressure, no matter how gentle or overt.
Question: Have your efforts to stay social pushed your eating-out budget over the edge? Or do you have additional tips that allow you to stay social and still stay under budget? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Come join my FREE Facebook community, The “Strong Together Money Community.” to stay informed and encouraged on your financial journey. Eating with friends doesn't have to break the bank, but it doesn't have to break relationships either. Instead, think creatively so you can enjoy eating with friends and find more money to fund your dreams! I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to check out my free e-book to help you save in five major expense areas.