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Scots Are Spending A Penny to Dodge Paying the Pounds Top excuses for bill-shy ‘shirkers’ revealed for the party season

Posted: 14th November 2018

-One in three (35 per cent) Scots say they have a bill ‘shirker’ in their friendship group, with their penny-pinching friends owing an average of £52 in the last 12 months

-Nearly one in ten (7 per cent) pretend to be too merry to split the bill, and shirking is considered more annoying than a friend who always turns up late, the research by Pingit reveals

-Friends in Scotland get moody when IOUs reach £35, although 16 per cent start getting twitchy at £5

-More than a third (39 per cent) of Scots have fallen out with friends because they haven’t paid their share, even though 14 per cent admit to have ‘shirked’ the bill themselves

One in three (35 per cent) of people in Scotland know a ‘shirker’ – the friend who has to take the ‘very important phone call’ when the bill arrives. And more than a third (39 per cent) have fallen out with a pal because of their stingy ways, with one in ten (12 per cent) holding a grudge for several months.

More than half (52 per cent) think ‘shirking’ is one of the most unappealing traits a friend can have, and mates who are tardy with paying back money are considered more annoying (26 per cent) than those who are always running late (25 per cent) or those always on their mobile on nights out (24 per cent).

The research from Pingit – the app that allows for fast, easy payments and bill-splitting with just a mobile number – comes just in time for the party season. The findings reveal that so-called shirking, or the avoidance of paying your fair share of the bill, is taking a toll on our wallets, too: more than half (54 per cent) of Scots claim they have lent money to pals, never to see it again, and on average, they’re down £52 over the past 12 months due to their frugal friends

Whilst Scottish people are happy to let go an average debt of £38 – £25 more than the UK average – friends tend to get moody when ‘forgotten’ funds hit £35. As a consequence, nearly four in ten (44 per cent) have avoided nights out with friends who never pay their share, whilst one in ten (11 per cent) have ended a friendship altogether – all of this despite 59 per cent having been called out for shirking themselves.

The research has revealed the most-used bill-dodging tactics and our most common tactics to fight back. When it comes to avoiding the bill, Scots are most likely to:

-Say “I’ll pay you back later” but never return the cash (23 per cent)

-Drink so slowly that someone else buys a round first (21 per cent)

-Say ‘I haven’t got much money’ (16 per cent)

But Scots aren’t a ‘grin and bear it’ lot. When asked the best way to sidestep a shirker, responses included:

-Not inviting them out again (21 per cent)

-Gently teasing them for being tight in front of everyone (19 per cent)

-Putting them on the spot in front of all your friends (17 per cent)

Pingit released the findings to highlight the ways the app, with bill-splitting capabilities for up to 20 people and the ability to request and track payments, can help nudge shirkers into contributing to the bill this festive season.

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Pingit, said: “As we head towards the party season, it’s inevitable that we’ll end up sharing rounds, meals and taxis with our loved ones – and sometimes settling up is not as easy as we’d hope. The research shows that we have a variety of ways to get mates to pay their share, but the last thing we want is to spoil the festive cheer. Apps like Pingit offer a simple and easy way to split the bill, which means you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the night.”


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