4 Ways To Dine With Friends If You're On A Budget
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Be realistic and manage expectations

Inform your friends that you’re on a budget, and can only spend a certain amount on dinner. Then offer to pick a place that suits everyone’s wallet.

This requires only a little bit of work, but most restaurants have updated menus on their website. And fortunately, Singapore has no shortage of bloggers and writers who have candid opinions on whether or not a place is worth your money.

4 Ways To Dine With Friends If You're On A Budget

Photos (Screengrab from Quandoo and Chope)

Make reservations online

While you’re choosing where to go, you may as well offer to make the reservation. But instead of calling the restaurant directly, make your reservation through websites like Chope and Quandoo.

Each time you make and fulfill a reservation, you earn points, which you can redeem for vouchers and use to offset your next meal out.

4 Ways To Dine With Friends If You're On A Budget (2)
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Use credit cards with dining privileges

Discounts and dining privileges benefit everyone – you get more food for less money.

Some restaurants offer dining privileges with banks and a straight-up discount, while others offer rebates. Either way, a good dining credit card lets you keep up with your friends without spending a fortune.

The UOB YOLO card does both: 10 per cent off restaurants like Naughty Nuri’s, &Made Burger Bistro and Creatures (all good spots for a gathering), and gives rebates of up to 8 per cent on dining and entertainment expenses on weekends.

Unfortunately, most restaurants in Singapore don’t split bills into individual checks (that’s an American concept), so you’ll have to offer to pay on your card first – which is a generous gesture, and takes us to the last tip…

4 Ways To Dine With Friends If You're On A Budget
(Photo: Pixabay)

Download bill-splitting apps

Technology is also making it easier to split the bill and chase for it. Free apps like Splitwise and billy (available on both Android and iOS) can do the calculations and chasing for you.

Both apps allow different calculation permutations (you can split by shares on Splitwise; and by items on billy) and alert via phone notifications. billy has the technology to scan the receipts so you won’t have to input the amounts yourself.

If you prefer doing the calculations the pen and paper way, you can still do the money transfer via banking apps: OCBC has the Pay Anyone app, and DBS has the Paylah app. Try not to use third-party money transfer apps as they often have hidden fees.


For more tips on managing your money, read 5 Easy Expert Tips To Save Money, 10 Life Hacks To Save You More Money This Year, and 7 Secrets To Saving Money On A Luxury Hotel Room.

Text: Celine Asril / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew

This article first appeared on SingSaver.com.sg, Singapore’s #1 financial comparison platform for credit cards and personal loans.