When DH’s parents (who are comfortably middle class with excess income that they funnel into 6 grandkids) come to visit, we’ve settled into a habit of mostly going places where we order at the counter and buy our own stuff, they pick up a meal or two that’s sit-down or take-out, and we pick up a meal or two especially if we go someplace expensive. It used to be that they paid for everything. For a while it was awkward with DH having to be aggressive about taking the check (and me having to remind him to be aggressive because he didn’t think about money), but we’re now at a place where the money is trivial for all of us so it’s no big deal who pays.
With my parents, we just buy everything because by myself I make 2x what my mom makes. My mom occasionally treats for coffee or hot chocolate. Again, it used to be that she’d pay or we’d take turns.
My sister and I tend to take turns treating (with 1 time for her for every 3-4 times for us), or we’ll buy her dinner and she’ll buy coffee or ice cream after. She makes about my salary.
I just noticed a weird gendered thing– with DH’s family DH is the one who needs to whip out the credit card. With my family it doesn’t matter if it is me or DH. Generally I let DH pay for everything because I’m lazy but I feel especially awkward whipping out my card for DH’s parents. When DH doesn’t get his card out quickly enough, I’m happy to get mine out. (Our finances are 100% joint, so it doesn’t actually matter who gets the card out.)
Usually whoever has more money pays. So my partner will take us all out to dinner if it’s me and my siblings and my mom. My dad will take us all out to dinner if he’s with us/my siblings.
I usually won’t let my mom pay for dinner. I will occasionally let my sis & her husband pay for ONE of my meals, or infinite coffee, but I won’t let them pay for all of my meals. Usually I might pay for them or we might all pitch in. Sometimes one of us would pay for everyone’s lunch and the other would pay for everyone’s dinner.
What about you? Who pays and why?