How many times have you gone out to lunch or dinner and ended paying for something that you didn’t eat? Loaned someone money, and was never reimbursed?

Problem: The check arrives, and while you had a salad, everyone else had steak.

Solution: If there’s just a few dollars’ difference, consider splitting the bill evenly. If you’re really in a money crunch―or the house wine you had doesn’t exactly compare with the three $100 bottles the rest of the group shared―just say up front, “We’re all paying for our own meals and drinks, right?” Make it plain and simple. If it’s a large group, you can also ask your server for a separate check when you order. Most restaurants have software systems that can easily print multiple checks. If you don’t get a separate check and one of the pricey wine drinkers moves to split the bill evenly, it’s OK to be pleasantly assertive, says Post: “Try, ‘Hey, guys, I figure $30 will cover my meal, glass of wine, tax, and tip. Can I throw that in and let you split the rest?'” Your message is clear (“I owe less”), but it’s not the least bit confrontational.


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