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Turning Water into Wine - About Group Finances on the Road

We are staying in a large house in a small village. We eat most of our meals in - so we do a lot of food shopping in markets with the occasional run over to a nearby HyperU in Pertuis or the Auchan supermarket in Cavaillon about 20 minutes away. We started out by putting some money in the "pot" and buying from it, but now we keep track of our individual "group" purchases. We have a treasurer whose job it is to keep track of all our expenditures and bring each of us more or less in line with the group. "Doug, you're falling a bit behind. Can you give me 10 Euros?"

We have a Kitchen Rule for wine. Any wine left in the vicinity of the kitchen is Community Property. If you bought some wine for yourself, keep it in your room.
"Has anybody seen my bottle of white wine that I bought at Chateau La Canorgue? I brought it down to chill while I was out for my walk."
"Oh, we drank it while you were out. It was in the fridge."
Tough, but Kitchen Rule applies.

However, a can of beer in the fridge is regarded as Private Property.
"Carol, can I borrow a can of Heineken. I'll pay you back when we go to the HyperU."
"OK, Liz, but I'll need it back by Tuesday. I'm running low."

Allocating expenses on l'addition at a restaurant is usually a simple matter for a couple of reasons. First, all taxes and service charges are included in the price on the menu - no need of a calculator to determine the tip. Also, most restaurants offer a fixed price menu - so we only have to divvy up the liquid portion of the bill. However last evening, it got a bit more complicated. There were 2 fixed price menus - 4 ordered from one, and one from the other. The 6th person ordered à la carte. We ordered two bottles of mineral water and two different priced wines. Two of us had expresso at the end. The problem came with deciding the wine costs - 5 of us had a glass from one bottle, while only 4 drank from the second bottle. I suggested we allocate wine "shares", similar to the scene in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World when the group is trying to decide how to divide up Smiler Grogan's loot when they find it. However, we were getting down to trying to divide small numbers among 6 people. At one point, trying to be helpful, I suggested, "If we turn the water into wine, it might work."

Time to give up and go home.

Comments (1)

Kim:

Doug I'm so enjoying your insights and comments on the group travel.

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