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Redditor Balks After They’re Asked To Split Vacation Food Bill Evenly With Brother’s Large Family

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Spending a vacation with a large group of people can be a memorable experience, but it’s not without some minor drawbacks.

When it comes to figuring out expenses, Redditor Luna20x007 found it to be anxiety-inducing.

Her group consists of five households, and all parties agreed on fair housing arrangements.

But after seeing something they thought was unfair when considering other expenses, they visited the “Would I Be the A**hole?” (WIBTA) subReddit and asked:

“WIBTA if I insist we split the vacation food bill by person rather than by family?”

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“I’m about to go on a vacation with my siblings, our kids, and my dad and stepmom. We got a big house for us all the stay and just put in a grocery order to have some food at the house so we don’t need to eat out the whole time.”

“We agreed to split the grocery bill.”

“There are 17 of us and the family split up is: 1 – Me, my husband, our daughter (3 ppl); 2 – my sister, her husband, their daughter (3 ppl); 3 – my brother, his girlfriend, and their combined five children (7 ppl); 4 – my dad and stepmom (2 ppl); 5 – my stepsister and her son (2 ppl).”

“Whenever we do things together, we always end up splitting things by family (5 ways). The house we’re staying at, for example, was split 5 ways – each family paying the same portion.”

“However, I find it completely unfair for us to split the grocery bill 5 ways. I think it should be split per person, i.e., myself paying 3/17 of the amount, as there are three people in my immediate family. Whereas my brother should pay 7/17 of the amount, as he’s feeding more people.”

“We never split that way. But, money is super tight for this vacation, so will I be the a**hole for suggesting we pay for food per person?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors sided with the OP, but others provided intersting insights regarding the situation.


“if it was maybe one more child I could see them saying what’s the argument, but 5 children? they should be paying more. they should know that, too.” – windyafternoon

“They DO know that.”

“They are willfully ignoring it because that means they can make everyone else subsidize their grocery and lodgings bill.”

“NTA, op. TELL them, don’t ask.”

“Hey, due to tight finances this year, we will only be able to put 3/17ths towards the grocery bill this trip. Thank you SO much for understanding, we really appreciate it!”

“The ‘gratitude’ makes them come off as a**holes if they dare argue against it.” – littlegingerfae

“Why should the stepsister and one child pay the same as the family with 5 children? And if one family buy expensive stuff? It is easier that every family buys personal stuff for themself and if you cook together, you pay per person.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the family with five children is against it. Or who always buys more personal stuff and the most expensive one.”

“NTA You don’t need to finance the others.” – EvilFinch

“Honestly I’m surprised none of the two person households have said anything! OP is 3 so it’s a smidge better, but honestly this is super unfair to everyone except the family of 7. I don’t know how anyone agreed to that in the first place.”

“NTA, you should definitely say something OP.” – SabrinaB123

“I get that it sounds more unfair than it actually is (i.e., for $1000 in groceries OP is only paying about $25 more when dividing by 5ths) but I completely understand the unfairness of it and feeling like you’re being taken advantage of. 3 people take up less space and use less than 7.”

“As the usually only single person when family travels I’ve learned to REALLY put my foot down and not allow things to be split by families when it is just me in comparison. Especially those times when I don’t get a bedroom to myself but somehow should still pay the same as those who do. Uh, nope!”

“EDIT: Thought about the math some more and realized even though it isn’t a big difference for OP, it is for the brother and his family. In my $1000 grocery scenario he would go from $200 to nearly $400.”

“So it is really that everyone else is subsidizing HIS family. Now, they might be okay with that and willing to pitch in to help out BUT, this should be discussed. Is this subsidizing going to happen on EVERY vacation???” – One_Ad_704

“If the extra cost is a factor for the bigger family it could mean the bigger family chooses not to go. It changes the vacation for others too. Consider the kids, they will notice having 3 vs 8 of the cousins together.”

“Also if the bigger family splitting a place that rents for $2500 for the week doesn’t go, then the 4 family’s left would need to look for a place that is cheaper than $2000 a week. If you don’t cut the price by that much then you may pay more than the extra $20 for groceries per family in a rental.”

“I would suggest keeping the food simple and all alcohol separate from the split groceries to save money. Its understandable that you bring it up, but I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it until after the trip to not make things weird.” – TheLumberJacque

“NTA, but this situation usually makes people uncomfortable. Some people don’t really understand how splitting the bill your way works, the mentality usually stems ‘Well it’s always worked this way, why are you saying we should change things now??’ or ‘No way because that means I’m paying a fair share!!'” – KimonoMom

“NTA but I would say it depends the age differences of the kids and how much they will actually eat. Definitely NTA for making that a suggestion. It also doesn’t make sense for the parties of 2 to be paying more either.” – allieerincoop

“I’m not going to argue the math with you, that’s logical of course.”

“However, nickel-and-diming on expenses for a group vacation typically creates more bad feeling than the monetary worth. Start going down this road and what’s next—arguing about which person takes ‘seconds’ and who doesn’t? Who likes soda and who drinks water? It’s never-ending.”

“How much is the total grocery bill? Is 1/5 vs 3/17 really the breaking point for you? How much money exactly is this?”

“Going NAH. But I don’t recommend you make this move.” – RB1327

“Yeah, I can see asking for separate checks at a restaurant, because two adult meals and one kid’s meal may be vastly different than two adult meals and five kids’ meals depending on the restaurant, but stocking a house with chips and hotdogs and sandwich fixings and whatever? Nah.”

“Unless Mr. Seven Kids is insisting on seven fillet mignons while everyone else is eating hot dogs and ramen, I don’t think it’s worth it over a couple of percentage points.”

“It also kind of comes down to perception. Also also, It really doesn’t matter what a bunch of internet randos think, it matters 1. What their family thinks and 2. What is most important to OP.”

“If OP is potentially willing to alienate his family or cause hard feelings and vacation tension over $20 in groceries, by all means, go off. Whip out that calculator. Be technically correct.”

“In my experience, 20 family members in one vacation house are going to end up driving each other up a goddamned wall over something anyway even without quibbling over percentage points, so it’s not worth it.”

“Counter point: I once went on an extended family vacation similar to what OP is describing with extremely well off relatives. Right before the trip, my spouse got laid off because the economy sucked. We had prepaid for accommodations, so we figured ‘f’k it,’ and just cut every corner humanly possible while preparing for the trip.”

“Like, we packed our own generic baloney and peanut butter, scrounged up the mismatched leftover paper plates from old birthday parties, brought the salt and pepper from the kitchen table, that sort of thing.”

“When we got there, my in laws bought us dinner one night. We had been planning on splitting checks and paying for ourselves, but unbeknownst to us, the in-laws paid the whole bill in advance. We were super grateful. The next night the cousins invited us to the fancy beach house they had rented and served everybody steak.”

“We had been under the impression that it was a BYOB BBQ situation and had hot dogs ready in the cooler in the trunk. Nope. Again, we were super grateful.”

“We were then informed that surprise! the next night was our turn to feed the entire extended family and were presented with a shopping list that included specific wines and other things. We had come prepared to feed our toddlers peanut butter sandwiches and store brand chips from home, not buy a luxury meal for eight other adults.”

“And like, we did it because we didn’t feel like we could say no, and also it was kind of humiliating to say ‘…actually, we can’t afford it,’ after unexpectedly being the recipients of the generosity of others, but it fucking napalmed our budget for the rest of the trip and we were caught in a situation where everyone else wanted to go to expensive theme parks and we were like ‘Uh, actually, maybe we’ll just hang out here and play cards, but you guys should totally go and have fun!’ and everyone acted like we were being antisocial dicks. It was awesome.”

“As God is my witness, I will never go on another extended family vacation.”

“So if OP is in this situation and counting every nickel and dime they can shake out of the couch cushions, by all means, explain that and ask for a revised division.”

“If they can easily absorb the 2% difference, though, it doesn’t seem worth it to look like That Guy during a family vacation.” – CaptainBasketQueso

Overall, a strong majority of Redditors thought they wouldn’t be the a**hole here.

But many commenters also suggested the OP consider the urgency of their sitation before having a discussion with the brother to avoid creating potential awkwardness and tension during the vacation.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo