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Preserve friends and money: Split the check

When splitting a check with friends, don't quibble

When splitting a check with friends, don't quibble over the small stuff, experts advise. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/GeorgeRudy

You go out with your best buds and you put the entire bill on your credit card. You feel chuffed about racking up rewards points. 

Trouble is, how smart a move is it if not everyone pays you back or you end up quibbling over whose share was less or more than the average?

First off, it’s a bad idea to chase reward points, but that aside, here’s how to keep your relationships and your wallet intact.

Speak up appropriately

“When splitting a tab with someone, when the bill comes and you already know that your portion came to less, then just offer to split the check. If not sure, don't take a calculator out as that would be crass. Do the math in your head. If it ends up your portion is more, point out that you need to put in more, and round it up higher,” says Brian Cohen, an investment advisor with Landmark Wealth Management in Melville.

Make use of technology

Many restaurants are installing pay-at-the-table technology that allows guests to split the bill in many ways, or to pay per item. Fortunately, if someone needs to reimburse later, it’s simple with apps like PayPal and Venmo.

Remember what matters most

 As for paying more when your portion is less, while you may be "cheating yourself," odds are it is not a big difference in money, and hopefully it will balance out over time.  “It’s a small price to pay to continue a solid friendship, at least on your side!” Cohen says.

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