3 Great Tips for Sharing Expenses
You’re planning a group trip. Maybe it’s a girls’ trip, a golf trip, or a trip with your travel buddies. Spending time with the people you love hanging with the most can be a dream. But paying the bills can be the stuff of nightmares! If you want your favorite people to remain your favorite people, you should know how to share costs on a group trip.
You know the scenario… everyone is hanging out at the hotel lounge and suddenly the appetizers appear. Followed by more appetizers. And drinks. The tab gets bigger while the group gets smaller and people disappear to their rooms. Suddenly, there are just a few stragglers left to pay the bill!
Avoid the awkwardness with these great tips for sharing expenses.
Decide on a budget and a plan before you leave. This sounds so simple, but it’s really important. We all have that one friend with Tiffany tastes while the rest operate on a Walmart budget!
Find some common spending ground as you plan your itinerary. Everyone has a different pain point with money. Determine how much each person is willing to part with on group activities like meals, drinks, Ubers, shows, and activities.
Discuss options for paying – like splitting evenly or taking turns. Consider creating a “community chest” for expenses. Collect a pre-determined dollar amount from each person that can be used for food shopping, delivery tips, impromptu outings, and whatever else pops up.
Everyone has contributed to the general fund equally, so no one is stuck holding the bill. If there’s anything left at the end of the trip (ha!), it can be split evenly between contributors.
There’s An App for That!
There are lots of great apps tailor-made for group travel. Here are a few designed to make sharing trip costs simple and efficient.
Splittr lets you ditch the spreadsheets and split your group’s trip expenses. It works anywhere, in any currency, and allows you to keep track of who’s paid what.
Splitwise keeps a running total of who’s paid what and integrates with Venmo to settle up at the end of the trip. The app does not adjust for currency, so it’s ideal for domestic travel.
Billr.me is great for groups of up to 16 and allows each person to pay for individual orders. It also calculates each person’s portion of shared items, tax, and tip!
Carry Some Cash
Most of us are cashless these days. We rely on debit cards, credit cards, and apps to pay our bills. However, it’s a good idea to keep some cash on hand when traveling with a group.
There are still some places that won’t take card payments, especially when traveling abroad. Think mom and pop stores or local marketplaces! Keep a little local currency on you just in case you (or a friend) get into a tight spot or want to test your bargaining skills.
Cash is always a good idea in the event of an emergency. You don’t have to carry wads of it, but a few extra bucks might come in handy when you DO want to leave the party without stiffing the group!
Focus on the Fun!
When you plan an adventure with friends, remember that figuring out the finances can be uncomfortable. It’s important to know how to share costs on a group trip. Remember to plan ahead, make the most of today’s apps, and carry some cash.
A little advance prep means you can forget about money and focus on the fun!