Who Pays For Dinner With Family? Parents, Siblings And Extended Family

Who pays the bill for dinner with family is a good question and doesn’t always have the same answer. A dinner with your parents differs from a dinner with your siblings or extended family.

In this article, we will talk about different situations and who is expected to pay the bill in each of them. That doesn’t mean that you should do it exactly this way since every family is different. How much each member earns matters; you might be the kid, but a 16-year-old has way less money than 25 year old. So you have to think about what would be the best for you, considering the situations I will give you.

Who pays for dinner with family?

Usually, the person who invited the family to dinner is the one that people expect to pick up the check and pay.

As I said in the article about who pays the bill for dinner with friends, this is the way most people do those things, but it is not the best, check the article to see more details about this method and why it can lead to awkward situations.

If it is not a birthday party or a celebratory reason, the best would be for each family member to pay for what they consume.

Read Also: Who Pays for a Bachelorette Party?

Dinner with parents

Parents will be parents no matter what age you are, my wife and I earn more than our parents, but we rarely get to pay the check when dining out. We paid a few times, but it was a real fight to convince them that it was fine for us to pay the check. They gave us money afterward with a different pretext, so it’s impossible to win in this case.

dinner with parents

When going out with parents, especially if you are a couple, you should offer to pay at least your part but simultaneously expect to be refused.

When you go out with your parents, and you are not a couple, it is fine not to even mentioned to pay your part.

I know this may sound like you are taking advantage of your parents, but my experience tells me otherwise. All the parents I know pay the bill when they go for dinner with kids and are glad to do it. A small caveat here is that we don’t go out for dinner with parents too often, so it might differ if you go out every week or so.

If it were a rational decision, paying for what you consumed would work best, but when you go out for dinner with your parents is not about finances, rationality, and things like that. It is more emotional and wanting to have a good time with your family.

I’m the guy that has lists and tables with where the money goes. I don’t like owing anything to friends and family, so you can trust me when I say that expecting and letting your parents pay the check is not about taking advantage of them. They most likely will feel bad if you pay the check and feel good if they do.

Read Also: How To Open Up With Your Parents

Who pays for dinner with siblings?

Dinner with siblings is a bit different than dinner with parents.

If the siblings are of close age and similar social status, the best way is to pay for your part when you go for dinner.

This can differ if you invite your sibling to go for dinner and they can’t afford it or in other situations like this. But they can refuse it or let you know that they don’t afford it, so you can offer to pay for their dinner. It is not a good idea to expect someone to pay for your dinner because you generally have less money.

My wife and I usually share the bill with my brother and his girlfriend. It is just two years between us, and we both have similar financial situations, so this works best for us.

I only paid for their dinner a couple of times, I had more money, and I insisted on going out to show them a restaurant we liked it was also the fact that they visited us(in a different city). So, there are situations where sharing the bill might not be the best idea, but they should come to you naturally.

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Dinner with extended family

When going for dinner with extended family, the best way to pay the bill will be for each of you to pay for what you consume.

In those situations, it’s very easy to appear a lot of discussions and gossip in the family if someone pays the entire bill. 

One thing I noticed is that people expect the person who invited them to pay the bill, which might sound right but in practice is not that easy. Keeping in mind that we talk about extended family means that there are more than four people, and paying the bill for all of them might be very costly. This will easily lead to no one inviting the extended family to dinner because they can’t afford to pay for all of them, leading to family members distancing themselves from each other.

Paying for all family members is acceptable for your birthday dinner party or a celebration you want to share with them, but not for a casual dinner.

Now, if we talk about two generations at the table, most of the time, parents will offer to pay for their kids, but this is still like everybody paying for themself.

Read Also: How To Set Boundaries With Parents After Marriage?


Who pays for the dinner with the family can be tricky and a reason for fights in the family. So it is best always to offer to pay for what you consume. If someone insists on paying for everyone, it’s fine, but you should not expect anyone to pay for your dinner if you don’t want to pay for theirs when you invite them. 

Only the parents can be an exception, but even with them, you can offer to pay for your part.