Awkward: A Study on Splitting the Check

Millennials eat out at least five times a week, a 2017 study conducted by Bankrate.com revealed. The study concluded that this habit is particularly responsible for the generational lack of a savings habit. Whether they’re doing it for Instagram or they genuinely want to connect with friends over a lavish brunch spread, almost everyone can agree that eating out five times a week on a not-so-great salary can be a bit too much. But I digress. Splitting the check is common practice among millennials but can get awkward at times.

Splitting the Check: A Study

It turns out that this expensive habit has brought to light another social customs issue: the uncertainty of splitting the check. It’s a common conundrum. A group of friends meet at a hip new restaurant and enjoy catching up on each other’s lives over avocado toast and mimosas. And there is always that one friend who happily orders seconds and consumes most of what was ordered.

splitting the check, stockpile

At the end of the meal, those who ate more than their fill are only all too happy to split the check evenly. But what about those who drank water instead of mimosas? The polite and easy thing to do in this situation is to divide the check evenly. However, not everyone can afford to pay for more than what one has consumed. And raising this concern can get awkward pretty quickly.

So, what should a Millennial do?

The good news is that you don’t have to develop an aggressive personality just to split the check fairly. There are a lot of ways to tackle this conundrum, but it all boils down to being graceful about dealing with the cheapskates.

  • Download an app

Wondering how you should split the check among your friends? There’s an app for that! Go to the App Store or Google Play and type ‘split the check.’ You’ll see that there are a lot of apps available that can help you split the bill minus the headache that comes with itemizing and computing the amount everyone should pay for.  No need for awkward conversations!

  • Carry cash

We know that there are a lot of advantages to carrying only a credit card with you when you go out. But if you’re meeting friends over lunch or dinner and you know that you’re going to order less than your friends, it’s best to have cash on you so you can easily pay for your share.

  • Ask for separate checks

At the beginning of the meal, make sure to mention to the server that you’re going to need separate checks. This is an easy way to ensure that everyone pays for what they ordered.

  • Electronically send your payment

More often than not, you’re confronted with the problem of splitting the bill among different credit cards. If your group has that one friend who’s willing the foot the entire bill, you can send your exact share later through apps like Venmo or PayPal.

With these tips, you can now get over the pain of paying more than what you consumed or the guilt of letting your friends pay for the extra food you ate. However, being overly strict over splitting the bill evenly might take a toll on your relationships. After all, not everyone enjoys hanging out with a Scrooge. So, play it by ear. There are times when you have to let it go, especially when you’re celebrating in honor of a friend or if you don’t see that particular group often.

But sometimes, if finances are tight, the best thing about dining out with friends is that you can be honest and tell them that you’re on a budget or you’re trying to save money. The best ones will understand.

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/meghan Gardler