Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Money and Friendship

I write about this topic in my book; money is a touchy subject - that's a fact.  I often hear women complain about birthday dinners or other types of events when everyone "goes in" and ends up paying for alcohol or food they didn't even have.  Um, not cool! 

Here's the scenario: it's your best friend's 30th birthday dinner.  There's about 20 of you going to a somewhat decent restaurant.  Many of the guests order appetizers, drinks (a couple of rounds), dinner and dessert.  If no one has asked about split checks, one large check goes to the table and oftentimes, one person takes the bill and decides that it'll be split up 20 ways (or 19, if someone doesn't want the birthday gal paying). 

I've been in many of these situations, so I tend to ask the waiter/waitress if it's possible to do split checks.  Maybe it's obnoxious to other people or maybe they are secretly relieved because they, too, have been in this situation and feel awkward about asking.  On the other hand, I've been to a dinner where everyone ordered at least 1-2 drinks and lots of food and I didn't, and I had to pay a huge chunk of money towards the rather large check.  I went home slightly angry and felt that wasn't fair.  In this situation, I didn't feel comfortable speaking up because there were a lot of people I didn't know and come on, if it's people you're not close with, it sounds a little nutty to make a big deal about it.  But, it IS a big deal!

Unless your boss or partner is paying, it's challenging to figure out how to maneuver around seeming stingy, yet not wanting to shell out more than $50 if all you ate was a salad or small entree.  Here's what people don't want to say: it's not fair.  Here I am, saying it for you!  It's not fair!

I believe that if you are good enough friends with someone, it's okay to pull her aside and say something - especially if she's the one who orchestrated the event.  Or maybe ask the table if it's okay if the waiter/waitress does split checks.  I'm fairly sure you wouldn't be told no - in this day and age, who wants to shell out more money for what she didn't order?!  However, if you're too timid to say something to your friend, that may be a sign of the friendship - and not a good one.  In a healthy, positive friendship, we should be able to be honest with our friend about our financial concerns.  In my mind, it just seems logical to be fair and have everyone pay for what they ordered. 

Have you been in this situation?  If so, how did you handle it?


  1. Hi, Nicole,

    Great post. I have to admit, I usually just pay without complaining because I would rather lose a little money than risk an uncomfortable argument with a friend. You bring up a great point, though, that simply asking a server to split the bill before the meal is a great way to avoid awkwardness after the meal.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Nicki! This topic is definitely controversial but I think it should be addressed with close friends - especially if it becomes a habit.

  3. Oh man this is my PET PEEVE. I'm not really a 4 course meal person so this OFTEN ends up being me. Here are the different things I have done:
    #1- loudly declaring at the beginning that I am saving money and therefore am only getting ___ (this works sometimes haha)
    #2- confronting the person if it's a small group or someone I am close with- I'll just take the bill first and be like okay so I got ___ and ___ so i"ll pay...
    #3- ask the waiter for separate checks like you do
    if it seems like all those plans are going to fail, I'll just order at least an extra drink or a more expensive meal so that it makes up for it haha
    the good thing is, most of my friends at this point know this is a pet peeve of mine so it doesn't come up too often anymore haha

  4. Lol - thanks, Kelly! I think it's a lot of people's pet peeve, but they don't say anything. I like all of the different ways you handle it!