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Would YOU split the bill with in-laws?

Mother is left furious after being made to split the bill after a boozy dinner even though she only drank water – but do YOU think it was unfair?

  • Mother was furious when she was made to split the bill despite not drinking
  • She explained the extra cost meant she paid far more than she would have done  
  • Mumsnet users were divided on how restaurant bills should be divided in groups

A mother was left furious after she was made to split the bill following an alcohol-fuelled dinner even though she didn’t drink. 

A British Mumsnet user bemoaned the fact that she and her husband were forced to share the cost of the meal equally, despite racking up a fraction of the cost of the four other diners – their daughter, son-in-law and his parents – who all had cocktails.

She explained it meant she and her husband both ended up paying more than double the cost of the food they ordered.

The problem divided fellow users, with some claiming it was unfair – while others pointed out it was a family meal and accused her of being ‘petty’ for complaining.  

A mother divided Mumsnet users after asking if it’s fair to split the bill evenly when dining with family despite choosing items that cost less than others (file image) 

The mother outlined in her post that she and her husband chose to drink only water throughout their family meal meanwhile everyone else had multiple alcoholic drinks 

A user speaking under the handle ‘E20mom’ said: ‘If you’re not happy to just split the bill then I wouldn’t go on the meal. It ruins it when someone gets all funny about the bill at the end.’

Another added: ‘It’s a family event, it seems petty to add up whose pudding cost more. 


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‘Think of it as paying one sixth of the bill each for a good night out with good company rather than individual items off the menu. 

‘Or dine by yourselves so you can be sure it can’t happen again.’

A flood of responses to the thread accused the mother of being unreasonable and claimed it ruins the occasion if someone makes a fuss over the bill 

Others argued it’s unreasonable to be expected to cover the cost of alcoholic drinks as often the beverages can be just as pricey as the food. 

One person wrote: ‘My husband is a non drinker, always has been. I haven’t drunk for years. I would not be impressed to be expected to subsidise others.

‘Also that kind of thinking (evenly splitting) doesn’t make it very easy on people who would go out and order the cheapest item on the menu so they can afford to spend the night with friends and family.’ 

Another said: ‘Non drinkers should not subsidise drinkers. Often the alcohol costs as much as the food. It’s up to the drinkers to insist on paying their fair share.’

Others agreed with the mother, arguing it sours the night having to pay more than necessary and non drinkers shouldn’t be expected to pay for alcohol 

A number of people told the mother to suck up having to split the bill on this occasion but to make an effort to avoid the situation happening again.

One person wrote: ‘In future ask for separate bills, it can be done. I cannot bear penny pinching over bills, I have watched people tip out their purses to get enough 2ps and 1ps to pay for what they had… then refuse to tip the waitress claiming they have no money.

‘If you can’t afford to go for a meal… don’t go. I would have spoken up actually about the drinks, because you only drank water so should have had to pay for their drinks.’ 

A number of Mumsnet users told the mother to suck it up but to voice their thoughts on splitting the bill before dining next time 

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