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Old 05-17-2011, 08:16 AM   #101
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My wife recently had a conversation with her father about whether or not she should take a summer job. She did last year and made about $5000 in 3 months cleaning house. He says if Doug (me) wants more money tell him to get a second job. She replied that I already make more than her. Her father just about did the classic Johnny Carson spit take. Started ranting about how could we always be worrying about money like we dont have any? She has always told him each year what her new salary is so I guess he just assumed that she was the primary bread winner. Kinda made me laugh. He really is a great guy and very cautious with money and money conversations.

My father on the other hand; that's all he wants to talk about. must be where I get it from
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:57 AM   #102
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Actually I regularly pay more than my "fair share" for dinners. And probably "overpay" for many things. This does not bother me as I can well afford it and often am with people who can't. There is nothing that ruins a good meal faster than people who try to split the bill based on consumption or who complain about the food, service, prices, or whatever. They often use this as a reason to go cheap on the tip. Life is too short. If an extra $50 bucks makes things good-well worth it as far as I'm concerned.
Keith: your millionaire friends give a bad name to the group.
Jay: I can assure you most wealth is not the result of checking the restaurant bills closely. Certainly wasn't for me.
There is a huge difference between being generous (voluntary) and being expected to pay more just because you can afford it (involuntary).

You're right about ruining a good time by complaining about having to pay for more than what you ordered. When I was younger, I used to pay only for the food and drink that *I* consumed, which didn't sit well with other people who consumed more (but who wanted to split the bill evenly). Today, I don't go to dinner with people who drink heavily or seem to order the most expensive thing on the menu, so splitting the bill evenly doesn't bother me anymore.

As for building wealth, it's often saving a little here and a little there when you're younger. This includes restaurant bills (or not even going to restaurants). Once you're wealthy, scrutinzing restaurant bills and leaving a small tip are just signs of being cheap.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:31 AM   #103
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I have learned, admittedly sometimes slowly, not to discuss money with relatives. What it's really about is personal values and priorities and "living for the moment" vs. "planning ahead", and being "optimistic" vs. being "pessimistic".

I'm reminded of an old aviation joke about the difference between an airplane pilot and a helicopter pilot. The airplane pilot is an optimist, feeling sure that as long as the engine(s) keep running everything is fine, for indeed that is generally the case.

The helicopter pilot is a pessimist, constantly on the alert for any variation in rpms, pressures, temperatures, speed, and the like, for he knows that a helicopter is a complex machine made of many precisely-machined parts rotating at high speeds and that it is inevitably self-destructing. Even if everything is running smoothly, the helicopter pilot knows that all that means is that something is about to break and he'd better be ready when, not if, it happens.

So financially, DW and I are helicopter pilots. Everyone else in our families are airplane pilots.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:52 AM   #104
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I had a friend who went to diner with his rich buddies. They ordered several $100+ bottles of wine then wanted to split the bill.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:35 PM   #105
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Wine is the killer when you are splitting bills. I love good wine but I won't pay for the high end stuff at restaurants. Luckily most of my friends are like minded but I have gotten stuck at a table with spendthrift wine snobs -- no fun.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #106
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Wine is the killer when you are splitting bills. I love good wine but I won't pay for the high end stuff at restaurants. Luckily most of my friends are like minded but I have gotten stuck at a table with spendthrift wine snobs -- no fun.
Yep. The markup on alcohol at restaurants is almost criminal. I've seen them charge $40 for a $10 bottle of wine.

You're better off buying a glass of wine, though you may get one from a bottle that was opened a day or two earlier. Definitely not worth paying for something like that. Unfortunately, most people know nothing about wine or how it's supposed to taste. DW and I occasionally have friends over to taste a few "good" wines ($50 bottles or so). They're amazed at the difference....
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:17 PM   #107
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Makes me glad I don't drink!! When we eat at restaurants, the total bill (including tip) for both of us together runs $10-$25, but then we drink iced tea or diet cola, not wine.

I think if I had to pay $40 for just my meal and drink, I'd choke. Even on special occasions I dont' recall paying that much. Maybe it's a regional thing - - most restaurants here are not too pricey, other than a handful that cater mostly to tourists.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:02 PM   #108
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@Jay. Agree with most of what you said. I must say though that other than my deadbeat relatives, I have never felt that my friends expected me to pay because they thought I was wealthy. Also, it may be difficult to know before hand whether the people you are dining with are "big spenders". Specific bill splitting is much more common with young people I agree. However, the last guy in always pays more it seems.
The amount we pay for eating out is outragious when compared to some of these posts. You guys have actually embarrassed me a bit. That is usually quite difficult
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #109
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I had a friend who went to diner with his rich buddies. They ordered several $100+ bottles of wine then wanted to split the bill.
Did your buddy drink his share of the wine? It is good manners for the person who choses the wine to consult with his friends before ordering or offer to pay.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:15 PM   #110
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Makes me glad I don't drink!! When we eat at restaurants, the total bill (including tip) for both of us together runs $10-$25, but then we drink iced tea or diet cola, not wine.

I think if I had to pay $40 for just my meal and drink, I'd choke. Even on special occasions I dont' recall paying that much. Maybe it's a regional thing - - most restaurants here are not too pricey, other than a handful that cater mostly to tourists.
About twice a year we splurge at a top-rated restaurant - in the top 100 in France, say. The "tasting" menus at these places (5-9 courses, plus little "amuse-bouche" extras) typically run €90-120 per head, and there's no point in trying to go cheaper à la carte because the portions aren't huge. We'll probably have a bottle and a half of wine and drop €100-€120 on that; add in apéritifs, mineral water, and coffee, and we expect to spend €400-€450 for dinner for two. (At today's exchange rate that's close to $600, but that's another discussion.)

On the plus side, nobody expects you to add a tip.

Wine markups are high in France, too - typically 3x the retail price. I don't mind too much if it's a nice bottle which has been in the cellar for a few years, costing interest, but on one occasion I saw a bottle which was this year's vintage from the winemaker who was literally next door, with the same markup, when the restaurant didn't need to keep more than 2 bottles in stock as they could walk 50 feet at any time get more.

Wine is marked up much less in Italy (at least, wine seems cheaper there) and, perhaps surprisingly, the UK. A drinkable bottle of wine in a UK restaurant runs no more than a similar bottle in France, possibly less, and that's with several $ of tax on each bottle at the point of importation.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:36 PM   #111
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I've always thought that a good measure of the company you keep is to go to a restaurant and have everyone give money for what they had to someone paying the bill.

When that person consistently has extra money that they need to return to people because they overpaid, you have good quality friends.

When that person consistently comes up short and has to start dragging more money out of people, you are with a group that is not worth associating with.


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Actually I regularly pay more than my "fair share" for dinners. And probably "overpay" for many things. This does not bother me as I can well afford it and often am with people who can't. There is nothing that ruins a good meal faster than people who try to split the bill based on consumption or who complain about the food, service, prices, or whatever. They often use this as a reason to go cheap on the tip. Life is too short. If an extra $50 bucks makes things good-well worth it as far as I'm concerned.
Keith: your millionaire friends give a bad name to the group.
Jay: I can assure you most wealth is not the result of checking the restaurant bills closely. Certainly wasn't for me.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:11 PM   #112
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Makes me glad I don't drink!! When we eat at restaurants, the total bill (including tip) for both of us together runs $10-$25, but then we drink iced tea or diet cola, not wine.

I think if I had to pay $40 for just my meal and drink, I'd choke. Even on special occasions I dont' recall paying that much. Maybe it's a regional thing - - most restaurants here are not too pricey, other than a handful that cater mostly to tourists.
I was in New Orleans in the mid-80s attending a petroleum geology short course. I had very good meals at workaday places at prices that I would not have been able to touch anywhere else. Here, I can get a good meal for myself only at a down to earth French place at lunchtime for $40 or so, without wine, but I won't be full at the end. Pleased, but not full. And I like to be full

Ha
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #113
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I was in New Orleans in the mid-80s attending a petroleum geology short course. I had very good meals at workaday places at prices that I would not have been able to touch anywhere else. Here, I can get a good meal for myself only at a down to earth French place at lunchtime for $40 or so, without wine, but I won't be full at the end. Pleased, but not full. And I like to be full

Ha
The wonderful everyday restaurants here are a big advantage to living in New Orleans. We were talking about that today while eating lunch at one of them.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:18 AM   #114
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I can tell from this thread that people will consider me to be selfish and cheap but I never go along with "split the bill". I fell into this one day at a restaurant when I was in my 30s or early 40s. I don't drink and I data mine the menu for something I will enjoy that doesn't cost too much.

The day I drew the line several people I was eating with were ordering cocktails and several wine. The bill for the liquor was 2x the bill for the food. My consumption at that gathering was about $15, my share of the bill was more than 2 1/2 that amount. My knee jerked and I blurted out that the drinkers could share their bill but I was going to pay my own amount.

Yes, people were shocked and embarrassed but they never put the bill on "even split" again.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:23 AM   #115
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I can tell from this thread that people will consider me to be selfish and cheap but I never go along with "split the bill". I fell into this one day at a restaurant when I was in my 30s or early 40s. I don't drink and I data mine the menu for something I will enjoy that doesn't cost too much.
Not at all. I think separate checks is often appropriate depending on the setting and, unless there's a chance that it's a date, the waiter should offer up front.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #116
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I can tell from this thread that people will consider me to be selfish and cheap but I never go along with "split the bill". I fell into this one day at a restaurant when I was in my 30s or early 40s. I don't drink and I data mine the menu for something I will enjoy that doesn't cost too much.

The day I drew the line several people I was eating with were ordering cocktails and several wine. The bill for the liquor was 2x the bill for the food. My consumption at that gathering was about $15, my share of the bill was more than 2 1/2 that amount. My knee jerked and I blurted out that the drinkers could share their bill but I was going to pay my own amount.

Yes, people were shocked and embarrassed but they never put the bill on "even split" again.
It was rude of the people with whom you were eating to expect you to pay for their alcohol - particularly since you didn't drink. That said, their opinion of you is probably that of a cheapskate. Personally, I simply wouldn't go out to dinner with such folks again, thereby solving two problems at once.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:37 AM   #117
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I can tell from this thread that people will consider me to be selfish and cheap but I never go along with "split the bill". I fell into this one day at a restaurant when I was in my 30s or early 40s. I don't drink and I data mine the menu for something I will enjoy that doesn't cost too much.

The day I drew the line several people I was eating with were ordering cocktails and several wine. The bill for the liquor was 2x the bill for the food. My consumption at that gathering was about $15, my share of the bill was more than 2 1/2 that amount. My knee jerked and I blurted out that the drinkers could share their bill but I was going to pay my own amount.

Yes, people were shocked and embarrassed but they never put the bill on "even split" again.

Where I used to work a big group would always go out to lunch together.... when I arrived they had a split the bill mentality... I went along for a week or so and then said 'I am drinking water, everybody else is drinking tea or coke, I should not have to pay for a drink'... so, the boss came up with a 'tea tax'.... if you had a drink you paid extra... it worked well... then, the few times we went to a place with vastly different prices, he charged extra for the extra food... IOW, if you got a $10 item and everybody else got an $8 item, you paid an extra $2 or $3... everything was rounded to a dollar to make it easy...

It was interesting to see that a number of other cheapskates started to drink water
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #118
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Where I used to work a big group would always go out to lunch together.... when I arrived they had a split the bill mentality... I went along for a week or so and then said 'I am drinking water, everybody else is drinking tea or coke, I should not have to pay for a drink'... so, the boss came up with a 'tea tax'.... if you had a drink you paid extra... it worked well... then, the few times we went to a place with vastly different prices, he charged extra for the extra food... IOW, if you got a $10 item and everybody else got an $8 item, you paid an extra $2 or $3... everything was rounded to a dollar to make it easy...

It was interesting to see that a number of other cheapskates started to drink water
Count me in...I don't drink soda and disagree with the outrageous markup on alcohol, especially wine. So I order water with lemon by default. That way I don't get sucked into the "split the cost of drinks" nonsense. I am not shy about reaching for the check first, figuring out my food + tax + tip total and placing the cash in the check holder. I am a generous tipper.

Alternatively, if I am out at a bar, i.e. not sitting at a table, I always buy a drink for the people in the group that I am sitting with.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #119
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When I was working we would occasionally go out for Happy Hour . I decided to buy a round since mostly they were drinking beer . You guessed it they changed from beer to top shelf margaritas and I got stuck now I keep my mouth and wallet shut .
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:44 AM   #120
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At least your coworkers had good taste!
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