Ensure that your relationship doesn’t sour over splitting money while travelling or taking a vacation with your friends.
Going on a holiday with your friends can be one of the most enjoyable experiences. Yet, when it comes to managing money and splitting it after the vacation, it not only turns into a cumbersome exercise, but can also create a rift among the best of companions. While some may feel they have paid more than the others, others may feel shortchanged as they could not do things or visit sites that they wanted despite contributing for it. How does one ensure that everyone gets their money’s worth and pays equally for the trip without affecting their relationship? Here are some tips to follow.
1. Have an open discussion
Even before you start planning the trip, have an informal discussion about where everyone wants to go and what each one wants from the trip. More importantly, find out the financial capacity of every group member and how much each one wants to spend on the trip. Check if they want a budget outing or a luxury one, the place(s) they want to visit, the number of days they want to spend, the type of accommodation they want, the modes of travel they can afford, the type of food they want and the sightseeing they want to accomplish. This exercise is best conducted by one person, who can act as a coordinator. Arrive at a consensus about who will plan the trip, make the bookings and be in charge of all the spends and financial transactions.
2. Prepare an estimate
Once you pool in the requirements for every member, prepare a financial estimate about the trip, including every likely spend, be it on stay, travel and eating or sightseeing and local commute. Pass it around the group to check if it is acceptable to everyone and make any suggested changes before starting with the actual planning. Also, make sure the dates of the trip suit everyone because if someone backs out at the last moment, your calculations may go haywire as each one may have to bear an additional financial burden for the trip.
3. Plan in advance
Once you have a consensus, make the bookings for hotels, flights or trains, and sightseeing, where possible. Let everyone know how much has been spent by sharing the booking mails and messages to everyone.
4 Use smart apps to split
Instead of one person keeping tabs on every spend or each member noting down their financial transactions during the trip, an easy exercise is to download apps like Splitwise, SuperSplit, Splid, Settle Up, etc. These apps make it extremely easy to create groups among friends and keep track of shared expenses and bills while travelling. They help calculate how much each one owes and to whom, as well as make payments. While most such apps are free to use, some require a small subscription fee. Some apps even allow the users to convert money into different currencies for those who want to travel abroad.
5. Split as soon as trip ends
If you are not using apps and have kept track of all the payments manually, it is important to split these and make the required payments the moment that the trip ends. If the payments are delayed, it is likely that some member will forget to pay, making it awkward for everyone who is owed.
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All of us have been in a financial dilemma when it comes to relationships. How do you say no to a friend who wants you to invest in his new business venture? Should you take a loan from your married brother? Are you concerned about your wife’s impulse buying? If you have any such concerns that are hard to resolve, write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Wealth Whines’ as the subject.
The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.
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