'Girl Money': The Viral TikTok Obsession About Exchanging Favors With Friends

In dating, there has been an unspoken traditional rule that, in heterosexual relationships, the man is expected to pay for the date. These days more people believe that the person who suggested the date should pay for the meal. That means, yes ladies, if you asked him out, you should foot the bill. While that romantic hot topic rages on, similar discussions are happening in platonic friendships. If "Sex And The City" has taught us anything, it's that ladies love to brunch and have a boozy gabfest. Sometimes, after a few hours of dishing about your love life, or your favorite new Sephora magnetic eyelashes, a few margarita pitchers have gone down between all of you. So, as in dating, the awkward question inevitably comes up: who's footing the bill for this?

Sure, you could whip out your calculator and attempt to split the bill evenly down the middle, but then one of your besties might get their back up over having to pay for alcohol that they didn't drink. Luckily, a viral TikTok video seems to have the answer to this. User Evie Del Campo's #GirlMoney hack, which merges economics with friendship, has been liked over 250,000 times on the platform, and according to her, there are no financial boundaries and "numbers don't exist" when it comes to paying for things with her friends. 

Take turns covering the bills

There are entire Quora threads of people wondering what to do when it comes to splitting the bills amongst friends. When you and your bestie are spending a weekend together, going to the club, going to concerts, having dinner and drinks, it would be easy for one person to cover it all, and the other to just e-transfer their half via Venmo. But in her viral Tiktok, user Evie Del Campo writes in a text overlay, "Ya'll got it wrong. Girl money is not Venmoing back and forth." On the contrary, when it comes to you and your pals, you should just take turns footing the bill, rather than counting everything down to the penny, according to Del Campo. "I paid for coffee? Bestie pays for Sonic later that night. She paid for dinner? Breakfast is on me. If she drives, I cover Starbucks. Numbers don't exist, we just trust everything will even out over time."

She's not alone in thinking this. If her comments section weren't indicative enough that people absolutely love this idea of reciprocation, it's also considered good manners according to the Miss Manners column. Answering a letter in The Spokesman-Review, Miss Manners writes, "Strict accounting is unseemly, and splitting each bill leads to pettiness along the lines of 'You had dessert but I didn't,' 'But you took bites from mine,' which is conducive to neither friendship nor romance. Also, people have different resources, so the style and cost needn't be equivalent."

Your friendship is about experiences, not dollars

What we love about this girl money idea is that it doesn't feel petty or penny-pinching, especially with your closest pals. Those feelings of needing to split everything down to the last penny or only paying for what you ordered can be socially tacky. This idea of, "You got the last one, so I'll get this one," just emotes more generosity, compassion, and kindness. And like one of the comments under Evie Del Campo's video attests to "It's about trading experiences, not numbers."

Professor and author Dr. Dan Ariely agrees, writing in his best-selling book "Predictably Irrational," that "one person should pay the entire bill, and that the people involved should take turns paying over time. Here is the logic: When we pay — regardless of the amount of money — we feel some psychological pain, which social scientists call the 'pain of paying.' This is the unpleasantness associated with giving up our hard-earned cash, regardless of the circumstances" (via Barking Up The Wrong Tree). He concludes, "The general point is this: we all love getting our meals for nothing, and as long as we can alternate payers, we can enjoy many free! dinners and derive greater overall benefit from our friendships in the process..."

So the next time your bestie buys the drinks at the bar, be sure to pay for the taxis home and remember it's not about who paid more for what. It's about sharing experiences with those you love most.