Eating out with friends at university

If you have any sort of social life at university, but also have any sort of money problems (both of which are highly likely) then there will be occasions where you want to keep costs down when going out for a meal. But how can you do this without looking stingy and mealy mouthed?

Well, the key is that, if you are hard up for a meal, you say to everyone beforehand that you are deliberately going to have cheaper stuff than everyone else so that you end up paying less.

Once it gets to the meal people won't really notice what you are having so if you suddenly pipe up at the end that you are paying half as much then you might get some dodgy looks, so make sure that everyone knows up front, and then make sure that you do pay for what you order and not less.

If everyone is going for a set meal and therefore an equally split bill, then you should ensure that you are happy with the cost beforehand - set meal prices at Chinese restaurants etc are usually quite constant so you should have a good idea beforehand of what you can and cannot afford.

If people go somewhere particularly expensive and beyond your tastes then simply don't go that particular meal.

Finally if everyone goes out for drinks but you are a much slower drinker and consume less, it is fair for you to pay pro rata and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no reason why you should subsidise your friends' beer gut is there!

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