Dividing The Bill With A Couple


Should Single People be Expected to Split the Bill 50/50?

There are many potential money inequities that can arise when a single person shares an expense with a couple.  For example… Our single friend Lori just came back from going to a wedding in upstate New York.  The reception was just late enough and the distance just far enough that it was totally necessary to stay overnight.  Lori’s married friends Staci and Charlie asked if Lori wanted to save money and go in on a room with them (the hotel only had double rooms available). So that’s what she did.  When they checked out the next day, Charlie paid for the room with his credit card and then asked Lori for her HALF of the bill.  Although a little surprised, she gave him 50% of the total cost.

Do you think it was fair for Lori pay half the bill, or do you think that the bill should have been split into thirds?  Was Lori cheap or frugal for expecting to only pay for a 1/3 of the room?  Were Charlie and Staci cheap or frugal for expecting Lori to split the bill in half with them?  What would you do?


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4 Responses to “Dividing The Bill With A Couple”

  1. Aimee says:

    Does frugality cloud chivalry?

    In this case, I think Lori should have gone in assuming she would be paying for her share (which in all fairness would be 1/3). Charlie, however, as a gentleman should have offered to assume the cost of the hotel room because it is an expense he and his wife were paying anyway. Lori, recognizing her friend’s generosity, should have then offered to invite the couple out for a couple drinks or over to her place for dinner; something that isn’t necessary monetary compensation but still an acknowledgement of a friend’s generosity.

    I think a “friend” who demands on-site reimbursement is CHEAP. Lori is clearly not cheap or frugal because she paid an additional 17% to avoid an uncomfortable confrontation. I would have done the same thing and written-off the additional expense as a lesson for the future.

  2. carol says:

    I definitely think Lori should be responsible for half the bill. If they were all single, then i’d split the bill in thirds. But I feel the couple represents one half of two separate “families” so to speak. In the future, all parties involved should make sure they are all on the same page before sharing a room.

  3. Rachel says:

    If each half of the couple earned a large paycheck and were not responsible for extra expenses such as children, then it would have been nice of them to offer to pay 2/3 of the cost. However, the couple was only paying for one bed, and so was Lori, if they had each payed for separate rooms the price would have been the same. The couple was nice enough to offer to share in the first place, without which Lori would have been stuck with the full price anyway.

  4. Marge Sato says:

    My nephew and I shared an apartment with his parents (a couple). They shared a room with twin beds; I had a room with a double bed and my nephew slept on the couch in the living room. My sister-in-law insisted that the hotel bill be split three ways instead of four ways. My nephew and I wished to avoid a confrontation so we did as she asked, however, I think he should have been left out of the equation as he didn’t have a private room.

Any Thoughts?