Paying your way

Denise’s daughter never offers to pay or contribute when they go out. What can she do?

Paying your way

Whenever Denise and her daughter go out together, her daughter fails to pay or contribute. How can Denise suggest it would be nice if she offered to split the bill?

Q. Denise
I love my daughter, but she can be quite oblivious at times. Whenever we go out together she never offers to pay or contribute, even if we have lunch. Both she and her new husband work, while I am living on a part pension. I didn’t mind paying when she was younger and still studying, but recently I have been trying to budget my money and these get-togethers are eating into my ‘going out’ allowance. How can I suggest it might be nice if she offered to split the bill without worrying her about my finances?

A. No matter how old our children get, we are still the parents. It’s often hard to shift the parent child dynamic. I hear many parents of adult children complain that they still do all the nurturing and receive very little in return. I’d suggest that your daughter is totally unaware of the need for the dynamic to change and she will remain oblivious until you mix things up a bit. Stick to outings that don't cost anything for a while. Invite her over for a meal instead of going out. Pop into her place every now and then. When she proposes dining out or seeing a movie, suggest going on a cheaper day or eating before or after you go out. If you change the dance steps of this relationship, she has no choice but to respond. She will hopefully start to offer to shout you lunch, coffee or a movie ticket if you don’t automatically put your hand in your purse.

Jo Lamble


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    3rd Nov 2015
    Mums and Dads provide ... Children think ... 'For ever'. You could say that you are struggling with bills and hope that the message gets through, otherwise you have to wear it! Alternatively, can you handle the potential trauma by saying at the end of a meal, 'Your shout today!' If cash is tight THEN make her worry about your finances!!!!
    3rd Nov 2015
    The answer is in the question...Simply ask your daughter to split the bill.
    3rd Nov 2015
    Stop beating about the bush. Next time say, "yes I would love to go to lunch but I'm on a fixed income these days so it will have to be your treat. Unfortunately (sigh) my days of being able to pay for both of us are over." After that message sinks in, you can either alternate with home-cooked meals at your place or say "yes, let's go out but it will have to be dutch treat". Free your daughter to grow up and start being responsible for herself and introduce her to the idea that the days when she may need to start being a little responsible for you have started. You now have a new rule in your life: 'I may pick up the bill only if I am taking someone out for their birthday'. Good luck on finally allowing your daughter to finish her transition to adulthood and becoming the generous caring person you can justly boast about to all your friends.
    3rd Nov 2015
    As good ole Dr.Phil teach people how to treat you!

    The Mother has a voice use it!
    When I hear my children (grown up) and their friends talking about what they are going to do with the money when their parents die etc etc., I am appalled, why are they so greedy and refuse to understand how we had to live during and after the war, struggle just is not on their radar!
    3rd Nov 2015
    Level with her, tell her that you can not afford to pay all the time -- or even eat out much on a fixed income and that it would be nice and much appreciated if she took you out for a meal sometimes.
    3rd Nov 2015
    I agree with the posts already made. Another strategy would be at the end of the meal take some cash out of your purse whilst still at the table, hand it over to her and tell her that is your share. This worked and still works for us. Sometimes they even say it's OK and pay the lot!!

    3rd Nov 2015
    Quit taking the daughter out if she is so tight she squeaks. She will soon get the idea, unless she is as thick as a brick. Easy. Problem solved.

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