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.
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.
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…
Download bill-splitting apps
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.
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.