Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
thrifty++
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Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:40 pm

Last night I went to see a film with a group of new friends and acquintances. Afterward we went to dinner. The bill came to $75 each for drinks and dinner. They were all going how cheap it was. I was cringing from the moment I set foot in the restaurant as I knew it would be expensive and a bill split. These were a group of wealthy people. Middle class at least but a couple who are rich as in porche and bently driving, champagne drinking multiple property owning rich.

But I had a fun time. Strengthened new friendships and it was really enjoyable. So I just rolled with it and was flexible rather than trying to insist I pay separate or that I cant come to dinner or that we need to go somewhere cheaper.

The issue I guess is that its pretty rare for middle lass people to be frugal and certainly almost non existing for upper class rich to be frugal. But also being around these people provides networking opportunities, career opportunities, business and entrepreneurship opporunities and things to learn. So I find it hard to disconnect those income side things by divorcing myself from being able to socialise with such people.

So is this a networking cost? An income generation cost?

What do people think of this and how do you deal with it? How to optimise these dynamics?

James_0011
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by James_0011 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:13 pm

I would consider if the networking explanation is really just a way you’re rationalizing your behavior.

I don’t have much work experience, but everyone I’m aware of at my current company got the job through applying on a job board. This includes me.

My parents also got both of their current jobs through a job board.

Maybe it’s different in your country (I’m in the us), but I’m not aware of many people getting career benefits from “networking”.

Although, if you’re in an industry that has a small circle like academia it’s probably different.
Last edited by James_0011 on Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Colibri
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Colibri » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:55 pm

As long as it doesn't happen every week, I guess. If you have fun but think that it is a waist of money don't do it too often. If you end up with new meaningful friendship or get some unexpected opportunities, why not. Eat salad instead of steak. Drink cranberry juice, not a bloody mary. And ask for splitting the bill.
If these people become real friends to you, then they will accept that you want to split the bill or even eating at someone's place instead of eating out.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:31 am

Algorithm

Did you want to/enjoy doing this?

If yes: Continue with acceptable moderation to maintain web of goals

If No: Why did you do this?
Peer Pressure? Stop, reexamine personal relationships (are they worth it), are there alternatives if they are worth it?
Personal/profession gain (ie to please a SO or personal/professional networking, etc)? If activity is providing the positives you expected see "yes". If not see "peer pressure".

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vexed87
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by vexed87 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:12 am

I have attended the odd £50 meal with close friends, DW and I haven't made a habit out of it, we tend to cook every night, so its a novelty when we do eat out, though we would usually opt for a £10/head plus bring your own bottle type place if it were our choice. I only cringe when someone suggest overpriced venues that don't serve good food. In those circumstances, I may make an excuse to get out of it. I won't be charged £££ for rubbish fare.

There's always a couple in the group that come along for the freeish-ride, ordering more drinks than everyone else and the desert and expecting everyone to subsidize their night out when the bill gets eventually gets split 6 or so ways, they are usually the same ones who don't tip the waiters. That annoys me a little as I wouldn't treat friends that way, but then I remember their lives are financial wrecks and I won't miss the extra £5 or so and get over it pretty quickly. :lol:

So long as you don't make this a regular thing, I wouldn't worry. If you are in a big enough group, there's bound to be one or two on the table who don't want to split the bill evenly, so suggest it. Most people don't have a problem with going 'Dutch', likely those that do are just along for the free-ride and you are better off pruning from your social circle. However, there's something to be said about splitting the bill, even when it's a bad deal for you, as the generosity can be paid back at a later date when you need something they can give.

Scott 2
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:41 am

I wouldn't try to make the experience something it's not. I think if you want to play their games, you need to pay.

You can offer some of your games and see if anyone bites.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:49 pm

Life is short. Sometimes it’s nice to eat the filet and have the good wine. Or whatever. I’m not sure I see the problem. It doesn’t sound like this is going to be a weekly thing, and you said you enjoyed it. The connections may present opportunities, but if they don’t, $75 once in a while isn’t going to break the bank if it’s something you enjoy and these people turn into true friends. And if they do, they’ll probably be okay with coming over to your place occasionally for homemade pizza to watch the game or whatever. I’ve known a couple of fabulously wealthy people and they are actually pretty down to earth.

I wouldn’t sweat it, I’d just enjoy it if you do, in fact, enjoy it. And not do it so often that it’s not so enjoyable over time.

Did
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Did » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:10 am

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

Also, during the accumulation phase, sometimes this involves a certain lifestyle, and indeed, this can be a perk. Dropping this side of things post R comes naturally.

The Old Man
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by The Old Man » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:15 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:12 am
...they are usually the same ones who don't tip the waiters.
You are in the UK. I thought tipping was just an American custom. Are we supposed to tip when in the UK? I never do. Am I making a mistake?

Clarice
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Clarice » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:12 pm

@OP: I can totally relate as I find myself in situations like this quite often. Here what has worked for me:
1. Pause and ask yourself if you REALLY want to go. Sometimes you'll say "Yes" and sometimes, "No". Just asking it will filter out some events and increase you enjoyment of "Yes" events.
2. Once inside the place with others, order cheap stuff - you are there for friendship, not food. You are contributing to lowering the overall bill, even if you split it.
3. Go with the flow, blend in, don't insist on paying separately - you are there for friendship, not money.
4. If your portion of the bill is significantly less than other people, they sometimes offer you to pay separately at the end of the meal, often AFTER a waiter brought a bill. Have a ready and convenient solution for them - cash in small bills. Example: 5 people go to a restaurant and get a huge bill. Your part of this bill is just $20 with the tip. You offer each of 4 people a $5 bill and they split the bill between 4 people, not 5. You've already paid each and everyone of them your share.
5. Have a tally as you go through a month - how much you've spent this far. Ask yourself, what would be a reasonable amount in your situation to spend on such events in a month. Don't go over the limit set by you. If invited come up with an excuse not to go this time, while expressing your willingness to participate in such events in the future.
Good Luck!

JennyH
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by JennyH » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:18 am

I personally have a budget for expensive nights out. And it is not very large. I often go for the non-alcoholic drink or one glass of wine while my friends go for two.

In order to retire sooner as most people you have to be willing to live a different life than most people. You just have to know where your prioties lie

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cmonkey
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by cmonkey » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:28 am

It takes seeing this kind of thing in person to actually believe it happens. I went to CO on a business trip last month and we all went out to eat and had drinks, paid for on company tab. The restaurant bill was north of $500 and the drinks tab was over $400 I believe. It was pretty normal to everyone as well. This was for 6-8 people. My portion was about $20 bucks.

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vexed87
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by vexed87 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:52 am

The Old Man wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:15 pm
vexed87 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:12 am
...they are usually the same ones who don't tip the waiters.
You are in the UK. I thought tipping was just an American custom. Are we supposed to tip when in the UK? I never do. Am I making a mistake?
Sorry just logged in for the first time in a while. Err, yeah, it is customary to tip in the UK, (source: I worked in as a waiter during my time as a student). Although here it's not expected that you tip as much as in the US. 10% is the yardstick.

ducknalddon
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by ducknalddon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:20 pm

On the other hand I never tip in the UK, mainly because we have a minimum wage that puts a base on how much staff are paid.

Did
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Did » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:51 am

I never tip in Ireland. But I guess if I was somewhere flash I might.

Smashter
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Smashter » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

cmonkey wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:28 am
The restaurant bill was north of $500 and the drinks tab was over $400 I believe. It was pretty normal to everyone as well. This was for 6-8 people.
As someone who is forced to do a lot of these dinners in NYC, those numbers look quaint to me.

My company, which is not very big, once rented out the backroom of a restaurant for a dinner. We invited a lot of potential business partners to swing by.

The whole thing was thrown together ad-hoc, and it showed. A lot of people took us up on our offer of free top-shelf liquor and tasty food, but very few of those people were the ones we actually wanted to come. The whole thing cost north of $25,000, and we got exactly 0 new business deals out of it.

The consensus amongst the management team was "oh well, no biggie, we'll get em next time."

Obviously that is not a typical business dinner, but it's indicative of the general lack of conscientiousness with regards to spending that I see all the time. It's pretty mind-blowing.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:12 pm

cmonkey wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:28 am
It takes seeing this kind of thing in person to actually believe it happens. I went to CO on a business trip last month and we all went out to eat and had drinks, paid for on company tab. The restaurant bill was north of $500 and the drinks tab was over $400 I believe. It was pretty normal to everyone as well. This was for 6-8 people. My portion was about $20 bucks.
We had a VP take out my group of 7-8 people for dinner/drinks in December in downtown NYC.

Our food bill was $1600 and booze was $1800, paid for by Megacorp.

When SO and I go out for dinner, we usually use a Groupon or hit a happy hour. 90% of our meals are cooked at home from mostly scratch.

We may go out for an expensive night out on our own dime with a group of spendy friends 2-3 x a year, and at $100 a night, it is not even a blip in our overall budget.

Clarice
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Clarice » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:51 pm

@OP:
I would like to reflect on the avoidance strategy... Me girlfriends and I went on a 7-mile walk today. We spent 2 hours just walking and talking in a very nice place - forest, deer, water... After that, they assumed that the 3 of us would go and have lunch. It was kind of hard for me... They went for lunch. I went home. I know their lunches. I've saved $40. It's a learning process for me. :geek:

enigmaT120
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:02 pm

Would they consider picnics?

Clarice
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Re: Expensive dinners and drinks with friends

Post by Clarice » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:54 am

@enigmaT120:
They would never consider a picnic (why bother if you can go to a restaurant?). I know that. They know that. I would look weird just for bringing that up. I didn't mention any money motivation at all. I knew it would be odd in this circle of people. I just looked at my watch and said,"Gotta go". That's the way I manage this particular situation - I like these people, but in certain areas of life I'm different from them.

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