Last night my good friend, M, and I went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant in between my office and her home. M and I went to college together back in the mid 90s. When we first graduated we both made very little money. Those first few years were so tight that I knew exactly how much money I could spend at dinner. Whenever I went out I’d choose one of the most inexpensive items on the menu, add up the tax and tip in my head, and then order. Of course, sometimes we paid exactly what we owed and sometimes we split the bill equally. I hated those nights when we split the bill, because some of my friends would choose really expensive meals, and I just didn’t have a whole lot of pennies to spare.
Fast forward to last night. The bill arrived and M and I both passed our credit cards forward. When the waiter brought back the receipts M apologized for letting the waiter split the bill, because her dinner was more expensive than mine. I laughed because the difference was less than $3. We are both in very different financial circumstances than we were just after college. Thankfully we can now split the bill and no longer need to pay only our share.