The Dinner Bill

posted 1 week ago in Relationships
Post # 2
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

beedot :  Agree that you should talk to him about it at a time other than when you’re out to dinner. I’d be completely honest and say that because you’re a student and on a limited income, you’re on a very strict budget and would prefer that each of you pay your own way. 

Post # 3
14987 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Don’t treat it like a fuss and it shoudn’t be.  Just be straight and tell him you can’t really afford to keep doing expensive date nights out and if things are going well, it shouldn’t be an issue.  Money issues are a big deal in relationships, so might as well tackle it head on and see where it goes.  Perhaps suggest getting separate checks if going out to eat is a big thing for you two?  Or maybe rather than saying you want to cook dinner or whatever when it’s your turn to pay to save some yourself some money, what about just suggesting more budget dining or activities in general whenever you guys go out (implying to save him money too)… so it doenst look like you’re just happy to enjoy fine dining on his dime, but want to skimp out when it’s your turn? 

Post # 4
620 posts
Busy bee

I would just talk to him about it and say you’d love to cook for him because your finances are tight and you cant be eating out all the time right now.  Try and reserve eating out for special occasions! 


I think you’re making this a bigger deal than it is, just talk to him 🙂

Post # 6
568 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

beedot :  Definitely have a conversation about your finances and how that affects your ability to pay for dinners out, cooking is a great compromise! I did not pay for any dates the first couple of months of my relationship with my now husband, except that I did take him out for his birthday which was a month into us dating. I did start picking up checks, making dinners, and paying for dates that I organized after about 6 months though. 

Post # 8
1027 posts
Bumble bee

beedot :  I’m surprised he lets you pay his alcohol tab when you don’t drink. He knows you’re paying more than your share—any one of us who drinks knows how much alcohol adds to a dinner tab. Going forward, I would explain your financial situation to him exactly as you’ve explained to us. I would also suggest paying your own way, from now on, and let him pay his. 

Post # 9
12635 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I feel he ought to be mindful of the obvious discrepancy in your finances without having to be told. You are simply not in a position to afford it and expecting you to pay for his alcohol is particularly tone deaf.  I’d explain the situation and reciprocate in other ways and within your actual budget. If it’s that important for him to go out to expensive dinners it’s going to have to be on him or a lot less frequently. 

Post # 11
3168 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

4 beers at dinner seems excessive to me.  Be honest with him that you can’t afford these dinners.  

Post # 12
1281 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

beedot :  I second just cooking for him. It’s what Darling Husband and I are doing for VD even now we both earn good wages and can afford to go out. It’s hard to justify spending money on food at a restaurant, when you can cook for less at home, and booze costs a fraction of the amount.

When Darling Husband and I first got together we would go out all the time and we both racked up stupid credit card debt because of it. We simply couldn’t afford to go out as often as we did, but we wanted the clout of doing it anyway. Don’t make our mistakes!

If you can’t afford it, tell him. No bullshit. I so very very much wish I did when I went through the same thing.


Post # 13
3817 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

beedot :  If you’re serious enough about each other then you need to have a conversation about your finances and expectations. We were in a similar situation when my husband and I were dating. I was a full-time student (wrapping up my undergraduate degree then did a master’s during engagement/early marriage) and only worked part-time until my last semester of grad school. My husband was finishing his PhD but had steady income from teaching and the business he owns. It was never an expectation for me to pay for much of anything because he was clearly in a better position to do so. I of course gave him nice gifts and paid for groceries when I could, made dinners for us, etc. but he covered all of the dates barring his birthday, which was always my treat. We never really had to talk about it, he just naturally took on that role because he was aware that I didn’t make much just working part-time.  

Post # 14
79 posts
Worker bee

The other bees seem to have it covered – I just wanted to pitch in with some easy recipes (as you mentioned you’re not the best cook).

  • Homemade burgers – super super easy, stick a small cube of cheese in the middle of the mince for a decadent surprise and you can both assemble your own burgers (keep some cut onion, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup out)
  • Beef chilli or sweet potato chilli (take a longer amount of time but not hard)
  • Risotto (labour intensive but easy for it to taste good)
  • Steak (always easy)
  • Gnocchi with sausage ragu (first cook sausage meat with onions and garlic in a pan, then stick in a couple of tins of tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and let it all simmer. Then fry some gnocchi in a pan with a tiny bit of oil so it crisps up then pour the sauce over and serve) – this one is a favourite


Post # 15
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

If you aren’t a great cook, and you have the budget for it, those meal kits from Blue Apron, Plated, Home Chef, etc, might be something to look into. Plus, it could work for date nights as you could prepare the meal together.

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