21 Polite Ways to Say Everyone Pays for Themselves

Ever found yourself in an awkward situation at the end of a group meal, where everyone is fumbling with their wallets and trying to calculate their exact share of the bill?

Or perhaps you’ve been on a date where the check arrives and there’s that uncomfortable pause, with both of you unsure who should take the lead? Enter the concept of ‘Going Dutch.’

In our society today, where individualism and fairness are highly valued, the idea of ‘Going Dutch’ has gained popularity.

This term, which may sound foreign to some, simply refers to the practice of each person paying their own way.

It’s an approach that originated from a Dutch concept but has now found its place in various cultures around the world.

This blog post will delve into the meaning of ‘Going Dutch’, its origins, and why it’s more about fairness than frugality.

So, the next time you’re out with friends or on a date, you’ll know how to suggest ‘Going Dutch’ without skipping a beat.

Going Dutch Meaning

Going Dutch” is a term that originated from the concept of a Dutch door.

Similar to how a Dutch door is divided into two equal parts, going Dutch implies an arrangement where each person involved pays their own share of expenses.

It’s a practice that emphasizes fairness and individual responsibility, often used in contexts such as dining out, where each participant pays for their own meal and drinks.

This term can also extend to other situations involving shared costs, such as group trips or shared accommodations.

It’s a way of ensuring that no one person bears the brunt of the expenses, and it also reduces the potential for disagreement or discomfort over financial matters.

While some may associate “going Dutch” with a lack of chivalry or tightness, it is more a matter of fairness. It prevents individuals who consume less or have a tighter budget from being taken advantage of by those who consume more.

The term “going Dutch” is not exclusive to the Netherlands and is practiced in various cultures, including the UK. It’s also common to ask for separate bills at the start of a meal to simplify the process.

Although the exact origin of the saying “going Dutch” is unclear, it’s speculated that it may have originated during the Anglo-Dutch wars in the mid-1600s.

The term has stuck around and is widely understood today, demonstrating the enduring value of fairness and equality in social and financial interactions.


Polite Ways to Say Everyone Pays for Themselves

  1. We’re doing a Dutch treat.
  2. It’s a potluck.
  3. We’re splitting the bill.
  4. We are all paying for ourselves.
  5. “BYOB.” This stands for “Bring your own beverage.”
  6. We’re on a tight budget.
  7. We’re going 50/50.
  8. We’re keeping things casual.
  9. Shall we all just get separate checks today?
  10. We’re just having a few friends over.
  11. We’re happy to provide the food and drinks, but we hope you’ll bring a little something to share.
  12. Tonight, we’re practicing financial democracy.
  13. Dinner is on me, but dessert is on you.
  14. We’re celebrating [guest’s name]’s birthday, so we’re asking everyone to chip in for their meal.
  15. We’re having a casual get-together, so we’re all paying for our own meals.
  16. We’re all in this together, right down to the check.
  17. We’re all chipping in equally.
  18. It’s a ‘pay what you eat’ kind of night.
  19. We’re having a ‘pay-as-you-go’ party.
  20. We’re going for a ‘budget-friendly’ gathering.
  21. Since it’s a large group, let’s have them split it by seat.


Tips for Properly Communicating That Everyone should pay for their own

  • Be upfront when inviting people so they know to expect separate checks from the start. You can say something like “We’ll be getting separate checks for this meal.”

  • On the invitation, note that it’s a “Dutch treat” or that guests should plan to pay individually. This sets clear expectations.

  • When you arrive at the restaurant, discreetly tell the server you need separate checks before ordering. This prevents any confusion.

  • Avoid singling people out by saying something like “Let’s all pay our own way tonight!” Address it to the whole group.

  • Emphasize it’s purely for simplicity with a large group and not because you don’t want to treat others. You can say “It’ll just be easier with separate checks since there are so many of us.”

  • If you know some guests can’t afford their own meals, consider covering them discretely or choosing an inexpensive restaurant. Quietly tell the server ahead of time.

  • Mention it on the invitation. Including a note on the invitation can help set the right expectations from the start. You could write, “Please join us for a birthday celebration at [restaurant name]. Each guest will be responsible for their own bill.”

The key is giving guests advance notice and handling the separate checks in an understated manner.

As long as you communicate it politely and with sensitivity, people should understand.

Final Thoughts

As societal norms continue to evolve, the practice of ‘Going Dutch’ is becoming increasingly common.

It is a simple, practical approach that encourages fair sharing of expenses, reduces potential disputes, and promotes individual responsibility.

While the term ‘Going Dutch’ might sound unfamiliar to some, its meaning is universal and widely accepted in many cultures today.

It’s a concept that reflects both fairness and respect for individual financial circumstances.

So, next time you’re planning a group meal or outing, consider ‘Going Dutch’.

It’s a straightforward solution to a common problem, and a great way to ensure everyone enjoys the experience without any financial worries.

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