It's a dilemma. You go out with co-workers or friends and you order something inexpensive and drink iced tea and they order steaks and beer or wine. How do you split the bill?
#1 Who ever does the inviting pays. If you invite a colleague, friend or relative to a meal YOU PAY.
#2 A group of your co-workers decide to go to dinner after work. You split the bill evenly and you only had a small salad and water and they ordered steaks and wine or beer. You're out of luck. Bring plenty of money.
#3 You invite friends to celebrate a birthday luncheon for a friend or co-worker at a restaurant. Let them know ahead of time that you're all splitting the bill evenly. You can do several things:
* Let them know the menu ahead of time and figure out the cost so you can tell them exactly how much money to bring. Collect it graciously as my sister-in-law says. Don't call attention
to the bill paying. If you're the guest, just keep talking and pretend you don't see the money received. It's inappropriate to collect money in front of your guest. Have them give it to you BEFORE the meal. When the bill is presented, excuse yourself from the table and pay at the front desk.
* If the above doesn't work, excuse yourself and go to the front desk to calculate how much everyone owes. Write it on a slip of paper and when you return to the table you pass it subtly to the people. Then they have to give you the money. This is awkward and not recommended.
* Entertain at your club so no money is exchanged and they send you a check. The problem is if you're not a member of a club it will cost you a lot of money to join. It's less expensive to take care of the situation at a restaurant.
* Always bring extra money because no one is good at math and you always end up short. Don't count on that vacation to Hawaii.