How do you split up a dinner bill? How do you answer nosy financial questions? Here are some tips on how to handle these and other money-related issues. This comes from the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute, and we found them in the Bottom Line Personal.
- The nosy questions. If someone asks you about your bank account, like "How much money do you make?" - try a touch of humor. "My boss thinks it's plenty." Or, "Not enough to buy me that house in the Hills, that's for sure!" If you don't answer them directly, they should get the hint that you don't want to talk about it.
- Dining out. Let's say you have a friend who always wants to split the bill down the middle when you eat out. But they usually order an appetizer and dessert with their meal while you just get an entree. Most friends don't do this on purpose, they simply think that splitting the bill is easier. So next time you go out, tell them "My budget is a little tight right now I'm not going to order very much. Let's get separate checks this time". Even if the waiter won't split up the check, this should encourage your friend to pay closer attention to the bill.
- If you get lousy service in a restaurant, is it OK to skip the tip? Survey says - it's better NOT to do this. Cutting back on the amount is the best way to show your disapproval. If you have a problem during the meal, let the server or the manager know immediately. If the problem is resolved, tip the full amount between 15 and 20%. If they do a so-so job of trying to make you happy, tip 10%. And if they don't handle your concern at all, tipping just 8% is the "fairest" way to show your dissatisfaction. According to the IRS, most restaurants make servers report at least 8% of their income as tips. So tipping any less may cost them. And leaving no tip may cause them to think you just forgot, and your point will be lost.