WASHINGTON—According to a recent Pew Research Center analysis of household finances, the average American loses roughly $5,000 in wealth per year from splitting checks. “When taking into account the most common check-splitting scenarios, from dividing up restaurant bills after a dinner, to sharing bar tabs following a night of drinking, we found that most Americans experience a net loss of between $3,500 and $7,000 in a typical year,” lead researcher Steven Brannard said of his team’s findings, which noted that the average American loses $2,000 alone when attempting to pool the correct amount of money from friends to pay and tip pizza delivery drivers. “Every time a person asks, ‘Can someone spot me? I’ll get you back later,’ or puts in a twenty and declares, ‘I think that’s good,’ it costs the rest of the table hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. Compounded over an entire year, these losses have a significant negative impact on Americans’ net worth and standard of living.” In contrast to the vast majority of citizens, the study noted that about 5 percent of the population made $95,000 a year from splitting checks.
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