Finance: How do you split the bill at the Christmas party?

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Each December the pressure of Christmas can get to all of us. It doesn’t take much for the financial strain to show and it all culminates in the big split. That’s right – splitting the bill.

Picture the scene – it’s the work’s Christmas do. Three courses have been consumed and the drinks have been flowing freely. Then the bill arrives. What comes next depends on what type of bill splitter you are:

A. Divide it equally – Never mind that Terry from Accounts has had a supplement choice on all three courses or that he drank a whole bottle of wine by himself. After the bill has been presented an a head count done everyone then needs to cough up £33.63 each. Nobody has the 63p except for one person who seems to have saved up their one pennies especially for tonight. Some give over and some under. What do we then do with the ones who haven’t brought enough cash?…I’ll pay you back Monday.  You just hope you’re not the last person in the restaurant trying to sort it all out.

B. Pay for exactly what you have had – I have to admit this is me. The primary reason for this is that I don’t drink alcohol and in fact I don’t drink much of anything. I’m a one drink will last me all evening kinda girl. Secondly, I’m a financial journalist and I know exactly what comes in and what goes out money wise. The cheapest thing on the menu? Yes, please. So I baulk at the thought of paying for someone’s starter when I have sat there watching them eat while I have nothing. I don’t want to contribute to your bottle of Pinot Grigio or a round of shots. I calculate exactly what I have had and I’m not prepared to pay a penny over. Good job for everyone concerned I’m now self employed.

C. Leave early – Don’t get involved, make an excuse to escape and throw down a selection of notes hoping it will be enough to cover your share however it is worked out.

What method do you prefer to split the bill? Of course once the bill has been settled there’s the small matter of the tip even if the food wasn’t what you ordered and the waiter spilt red wine over your favourite white top!

Happy New Year everyone!


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About Ness Charles

Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.