When it comes to money, I’m not sure if there is actually a guideline for money etiquette or if it is just personal preference. From how to split a bill to when it is appropriate to use e-mail money transfer.
Is there actually an appropriate time and place for each of these options? Or like most things, does it depend on the person?
Splitting the Bill
For me, it seems like a no brainer to ask for separate bills, whenever possible. It just makes things so easy. There is no need to worry about whom owes whom later, or count out change, or my least favourite – trying to figure out change when everyone only has a $20 bill.
Most of my friends and I prefer to have separate bills, but recently in a work outing, a co-worker made the comment that it was “tacky” to be requesting separate bills at a restaurant. Coming from a culture where my relatives would (practically) fight over who pays the restaurant tab, I can sort of understand where my co-worker is coming from.
On the other hand, with more and more electronic transactions and my ever losing battle with my “eating out” budget, I think it’s much more convenient for each party to pay their own bill. If I order water, I don’t want to be paying for someone else’s beer!
Acceptable Payment Methods
If someone is paying me back for something, any payment is fine, as long as I receive it sooner rather than later. Even if it’s $10, I would much rather have that $10 in my account now than later. So I am totally okay with people wiring over money to my account instead of getting cash when I see them. 🙂
Aside: Having said that. Usually the money owed to me doesn’t make or break me, and I wouldn’t want the individual to incur fees for sending money. So, if it’s just $20, no biggie, pay me next time. Just don’t forget about it ;).
Also, I know there are many people out there who do not use online banking (like my parents), and would much rather have cold, hard cash over numbers via cyberspace any day.
Since online money transfers are especially useful when transferring large sums of money, is there a “minimum limit” before sending money via e-mail transfer when one could just as easily use cash? I was recently called out on money transfer for $20 because the person I was transferring to thought the amount was “too little to justify an e-mail transfer.” 😦
Please share you “money etiquette” guidelines or suggestions in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinions.