PDA

View Full Version : Splitting a gas bill-please help-sorta long



Fred Voorhees
10-22-2006, 7:01 PM
Gentlemen, I need some help here with something completely and utterly not having anything to do with these forums. BUT, I need some confirmation, either way mind you for the sake of fairness. In short, I want your opinions. Here is the deal……and please, I know it is a stupid argument, but it’s what I have had to put up with for years. I leave it up to you guys, you tell me if I am right or wrong here.

As some of you may or may not know, every November, myself and a handful of other guys take an annual salmon fishing trip which encompasses maybe 300 miles one way to Oswego,NY from our general area here in central New Jersey. The motel room bill and gasoline bill for the vehicle to get us up there has always been split in the sense of fairness to all as far as equitably splitting their total costs.

The problem here is the gasoline bill. I have tried to explain this to my fellow fishermen for years and have gotten basically nowhere. I know, I know, it will be fairly self explanatory when I tell it to you and pretty easy to understand, so I know it might say something about those who are not “getting it” – but I’m tired of explaining until I’m blue in the face.

Here is my take on how the gasoline deal should be handled for complete fairness to all. Basically, the trip starts at my home. With that in mind, I opine that whomever is driving that year (we take turns driving each year so that the “wear and tear” issue of driving ones vehicle is spread out amongst everyone evenly) whomever is driving should start the trip with a full tank of gas that that person – the vehicle owner – has paid for out of his own pocket. Now, that is plenty of gas to get us to Oswego,NY, but when we get there, or soon thereafter it really doesn’t matter, we then fill up the gas tank because of all of the shuttling between the room and the river and going out to eat and such. This is usually enough to get us through the few days of the trip and maybe even home. If not enough for home, we fill up before we leave to come home. Either way, any fill up during the trip is equally split between those riding in that vehicle. Because the tank was full when we left my home at the beginning of the trip, the only gas used and subsequently paid for, is gas that was used for the trip, thus, needing to be split amongst those in the vehicle. With me so far?

Now, when returning home and we are a few miles from my home, I say we again return the tank to full with each of us again splitting the cost of the fill up and the owner now has the original full tank of gas that he began with before the trip started. This way, everyone has split the cost of ONLY the gas that has been used on the trip and the vehicle owner has the full tank of gas he paid for out of his own pocket before the trip started. It’s all very, very simple really to understand the theory behind it, but as I said, I won’t go into what it says about the extrapolating abilities of my associates.

Listen, if I am wrong here, and I seriously don’t think I am on the wrong track with this theory, tell me. If you think there is a more fair and equitable way to divide up the exact cost of the gasoline bill among everyone, please, explain, but I doubt there is since if you left with a full tank and completed the trip with a full tank and split the gas that was used during the trip, it is being split exactly evenly among everyone there. But you tell me, because the only way I am going to convince these guys is to have some impartial input from others. I will print out this posting and also the replies in hopes that this will end this annual PITA discussion.

Mark Rios
10-22-2006, 7:13 PM
Sounds reasonable to me. The driver starts out with a full tank. That is the "zero" mark as far as fuel usage. While on the trip and when you get back, any fuel used, including whatever amount to get the vehicles fuel level back to pre-trip level, is the total amount used on the trip and the amount that is to be split.

No offense here but...maybe this should be discussed before all the beer gets drunk on the trip. Sounds like some brain cells are being rendered inoperative. :D :D :D (Just teasin'. Please don't hurt me. :eek: :D )

Frankie Hunt
10-22-2006, 7:22 PM
Start with a full tank, then end with a full tank. What was used is.... well... what was used.

Art Mulder
10-22-2006, 8:05 PM
Of course you're right, Fred. It's pretty obvious.
But a tank of gas is also not worth straining a friendship over.

But perhaps this helps... surely your friends have figured out their gas mileage (MPG) before? This is basically the same thing. You measure from full tank to full tank.

Joe Pelonio
10-22-2006, 8:10 PM
Your method is perfect, but if they have a hard time understanding it,
maybe you should start close to empty. Then they all have to pitch in upon leaving, and again before returning, or they will have to walk.

Funny that fishing buddies should have this problem. Every year my wife takes 2-3 others from here in the Seattle area to Sisters, for the quilt show, and takes my Explorer since it has the most room. The others always insist on paying for all of the gas and for her food and coffee while on the 6-7 hour road trip each way to make up for her having to drive and the wear and tear, and they always fill up in Tacoma at dinner on the return trip so she gets back with 3/4 tank or more.

Brett Baldwin
10-22-2006, 8:14 PM
You borrow a car with a full gas tank, you return it full. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Even if it wasn't full, its still a good thing to return it full.

Matt Meiser
10-22-2006, 8:24 PM
Sounds right to me too. Theoretically its still working out since you each end up buying an extra tank of gas on your year to drive, but since gas prices are so volatile, it really doesn't. Also as Art said, its not worth fighting over in the long run.

Fred Voorhees
10-22-2006, 9:24 PM
Thanks guys, and to make things straight, it's not really creating hard feelings. It's just that I have had this same problem year in and year out for maybe ten to fifteen years. The main deal is making it fair and equitable across the board for everyone on the trip. Not everyone on the trip is on the same plain monetarily and with gas prices, I am simply looking for everyone to pay only what should be paid. The irritating point in all of this is that I know the system I have laid out will correctly pinpoint exactly what everyone should pay out for the gas, yet, there are those among our fishing party who refuse to understand, beer or not - although the beer definitely has a clouding effect.

Fred Voorhees
10-22-2006, 9:27 PM
Your method is perfect, but if they have a hard time understanding it,
maybe you should start close to empty. Then they all have to pitch in upon leaving, and again before returning, or they will have to walk.

Funny that fishing buddies should have this problem. Every year my wife takes 2-3 others from here in the Seattle area to Sisters, for the quilt show, and takes my Explorer since it has the most room. The others always insist on paying for all of the gas and for her food and coffee while on the 6-7 hour road trip each way to make up for her having to drive and the wear and tear, and they always fill up in Tacoma at dinner on the return trip so she gets back with 3/4 tank or more.

Joe, this does sort of come up as one or two of the guys do not have a vehicle that will accomodate all that take the trip. In that instance, the person with the lack of vehicle space is asked to spring for dinner at the local Ponderosa for the guys every fourth year or so when it would have been their turn to do the driving. With that, we call it even.

Tim Morton
10-22-2006, 9:31 PM
How about if you drive you buy the gas....then on the years you don't drive you don't buy the gas....I mean you are talking about less than a hundred bucks I assume.That way its one less thing NOT to have to think about when you should be thinking about cold bear and great fishing:D

EDIT: Never mind...I see that some do not drive....sorry!!!

Fred Voorhees
10-22-2006, 9:36 PM
Sounds right to me too. Theoretically its still working out since you each end up buying an extra tank of gas on your year to drive, but since gas prices are so volatile, it really doesn't. Also as Art said, its not worth fighting over in the long run.
Actually not Matt if you are thinking of the tank purchased by the driver just before the trip. That full tank is the full tank at the end of the trip after the final fill up that everyone splits. It is just paid for before the trip and theoretically used after the trip.

Fred Voorhees
10-22-2006, 9:38 PM
How about if you drive you buy the gas....then on the years you don't drive you don't buy the gas....I mean you are talking about less than a hundred bucks I assume.That way its one less thing NOT to have to think about when you should be thinking about cold bear and great fishing:D

EDIT: Never mind...I see that some do not drive....sorry!!!
Well Tim, that could still theoretically work since the non-driving person would spring for dinner every time his driving turn comes around, but with this method, there would always be one person which the trip would cost that much more than all of the others. Yes, it would be a workable solution, but it is just not the way we have tried to do it since we started, oh, maybe fifteen years ago or something like that.

Matt Meiser
10-22-2006, 9:46 PM
Actually not Matt if you are thinking of the tank purchased by the driver just before the trip. That full tank is the full tank at the end of the trip after the final fill up that everyone splits. It is just paid for before the trip and theoretically used after the trip.

I meant that it was working out year over year, but not if some guys aren't driving.

Jim Becker
10-22-2006, 9:56 PM
Fred, you are correct. Start with a full tank. End with a full tank. Whatever it cost to "end with the full tank" is the cost to be split.

donnie wood
10-22-2006, 10:42 PM
What happens if you have six people going and have to take two cars? To make it more interesting, what if one car can only run on high test? And, what if the driver is one of those drivers that drives wide open and gets bad gas milage? Your trip is very simple. I agree with you 100%, but now how do you splitup the fish cleaning?

have fun and have a good time, that is what the trip is for.

Al Willits
10-22-2006, 10:50 PM
I do the same thing with our yearly trip to Canada, only we all kick in at first with what we figure the gas will cost plus a few extra bucks, that goes into the envelope and its used as needed, if there's a few bucks left over, the owner of the vehicle keeps it for wear and tear.

Sounds like you need to set all this up before you leave, if they don't like paying for all the gas used, either just live with it, or find new friends.

Hoping its just a lack of communication and not your friends are just cheap.

Good luck...:)

Al

Kevin Herber
10-22-2006, 10:56 PM
That's the way it works if you rent a car. Leave the barn full and return it full. Try renting one year. Split the cost of the car plus the gas from pickup at full to return at full. No splitting hairs then.

You are probably talking just a few dollars but I would feel the same way were I in your shoes. True friends will understand.

Good Luck!! - Kevin

Norman Hitt
10-23-2006, 1:54 AM
Fred, your Method is EXACTLY CORRECT, and as others have said, that theory is proven by the Rental Car Companies, because that is how they do it, because it includes EXACT amount of gas used on the trip. Good luck with the "Math Tutoring" of your friends.:D (Maybe you should give the ones that don't WANT to understand this, a copy of an OLD 7 th Grade math book for Christmas).:rolleyes: ;) :D

Dennis Peacock
10-23-2006, 2:07 AM
I agree with the others Fred. Start and end with a full tank and split up the cost of fuel that was used on the trip.

Ray Bersch
10-26-2006, 8:32 PM
I was never really very good at word problems in High School.:confused:

According to an article in today's newspaper, Americans are wasting a lot of gas because they are over weight - seems that millions of dollars are being wasted because we are hauling around those excess pounds - so, to be truly fair, I think you need to alter your formula a bit, especially if there is one or two really large guys - Say there are 4 guys at 175 lbs and one at 250 lbs - you should multiply 175 times 4 which is 700 then add 250 which brings the total to 950 lbs. Each time a gas bill is split each person must pay 1/950th of the bill times their individual weight - only seems fair to me. And I guess if you bring fish back, you really need to add the weight of the fish to the total - in proportion to what each man is bringing back, of course.

Steve Clardy
10-26-2006, 8:41 PM
My take. Car owner starts out with a full tank.

Put a GAS FUND can on the dash, visible to everyone, and then let it go.

Eddie Watkins
10-27-2006, 11:23 AM
Fred,
I agree with the approach you take on this in the name of fairness. You didn't say what the other side of the discussion was. Does somebody show up with less than a full tank or do they not want to do the final fillup or not want to pay their share of the intermediate fillups? Are they just not concerned about it being exact?

Eddie

Bill Grumbine
10-27-2006, 2:04 PM
Fred, I think I would go fishing by myself. I get real impatient with people who cannot grasp simple concepts like this, unless they have demonstrated that they are truly handicapped. Without knowing more about the situation, it sounds to me like someone is trying to get something for nothing, even though that person (or persons) is apparently not perceptive enough to know that he will eventually be on the receiving end. Most of the people with whom I have done things like this tend to over contribute, which makes things even easier. I just take the surplus and give it back.

Good luck. If you have not gotten people to understand this in the amount of time you describe, you are beating the proverbial dead horse.

Bill

Aaron Koehl
10-27-2006, 2:36 PM
Ray,

I like your line of reasoning based on Laura McLay and Sheldon Jacobson's findings. The only problem is that the scenario you've described makes the assumption that extra gas usage and weight are linearly correlated (which, they might be!).

I've emailed Laura to see if she can shed some light the relationship between combined driver weight and gas consumption. I'll let you know if I find anything out. ;)

But, to the topic poster. Usually, folks don't fret about common sense, which makes me wonder if there is a deeper issue that you might be missing..?


I was never really very good at word problems in High School.:confused:

According to an article in today's newspaper, Americans are wasting a lot of gas because they are over weight - seems that millions of dollars are being wasted because we are hauling around those excess pounds - so, to be truly fair, I think you need to alter your formula a bit, especially if there is one or two really large guys - Say there are 4 guys at 175 lbs and one at 250 lbs - you should multiply 175 times 4 which is 700 then add 250 which brings the total to 950 lbs. Each time a gas bill is split each person must pay 1/950th of the bill times their individual weight - only seems fair to me. And I guess if you bring fish back, you really need to add the weight of the fish to the total - in proportion to what each man is bringing back, of course.

Bruce Volden
10-27-2006, 2:39 PM
Fred


I got it!!! How 'bout the vehicle owner NEVER has to buy the refreshments~(adult type that is). He gets to drink for free!! And if you play it right you will come out way ahead!!! Why, your head will ache, your liver will grow fatty, you'll have hotdog breath the next day.....just kidding. Whatever is the solution, just enjoy the good friendship and time away from work fishing.


Bruce

Rob Bodenschatz
10-27-2006, 2:42 PM
Fred, you are right. Your friends are idiots.

Print that out & show it to 'em.

Aaron Koehl
10-27-2006, 5:32 PM
Ray,

I like your line of reasoning based on Laura McLay and Sheldon Jacobson's findings. The only problem is that the scenario you've described makes the assumption that extra gas usage and weight are linearly correlated (which, they might be!).

I've emailed Laura to see if she can shed some light the relationship between combined driver weight and gas consumption. I'll let you know if I find anything out. ;)

But, to the topic poster. Usually, folks don't fret about common sense, which makes me wonder if there is a deeper issue that you might be missing..?

Update:

Response from the author of this study (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061025183256.htm)..
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Aaron,

..snip..

Our research provides an aggregate analysis that quantifies how the obesity epidemic is impacting oil consumption. The key word is aggregate--you can't take our results down to an individual level. There are many factors that affect fuel economy (whether the tires are inflated, if the engine has been properly tuned, how aggressively you drive, etc.). See http://governor.ky.gov/fuelconservation.htm (http://governor.ky.gov/fuelconservation.htm).

We take into account driver and passenger weights (on average, there are 1.58 total people in a car and 1.73 people in a truck/SUV). With extra weight, the change in fuel economy is very small, but not quite negligible. Since there are so many cars on the road, it adds up. You probably won't even notice the change in fuel economy when you're driving to your fishing trip. Everyone should chip in the same amount for gas. I'm glad you're carpooling!

best,
Laura
-=-=-=-=-=-=-

There you have it, folks! Take the total gas consumed, divide equally among the number of people! :D

Jude Tuliszewski
10-27-2006, 8:02 PM
What Keivin said, treat it just like having a rental car, or truck for that matter. Where it is when you get it (most times full) is where you put it back to when you return it or you pay a hefty mark up if the rental co. has to put the gas back:mad: . It is simple. When I was in the Marines and was the DD the guys would pay for the gas and I would drink (cokes) for free all night:cool: . Not to beat the dead horse, full at the start, full at the end.

Jude T.

Mack Cameron
10-27-2006, 8:12 PM
I'm interested to know what those that don't agree with this split: how do they see splitting the cost?

Richard Wolf
10-27-2006, 8:37 PM
You are a very lucky man that your are going fishing and not hunting. I would not want to be in the woods with guns with those idiots.

Richard

Rob Littleton
10-27-2006, 10:00 PM
Fred,

How do they explain it differently? I can't see any other way than the way you are saying it.

I guess the other soluton might be rent a van and see if they can pay the rental fee and gas. That way, you are on an equal playing field with transportation.

I feel your frustration coz I wouldnt do it any other way than the way you say...........strange

Doug Shepard
10-27-2006, 10:11 PM
Your logic makes sense to me. The whole dialog you have to go into with your buddies sounds like a script straight from a King-of-the-Hill episode.
Course your logic depends entirely on whether you're talking about an ASHRAE, BIA, or OSHA tank.

Fred Voorhees
10-28-2006, 12:05 PM
Fred,
I agree with the approach you take on this in the name of fairness. You didn't say what the other side of the discussion was. Does somebody show up with less than a full tank or do they not want to do the final fillup or not want to pay their share of the intermediate fillups? Are they just not concerned about it being exact?

Eddie

Their line of thinking is that everyone chips in at the beginning of the trip to fill up the gas tank. Then, during the trip, if more gas is needed, we again split the bill. THEN, and here is the problem, when we are near home, we fill up again and split the bill. Now, there will be guys who show up to drive with an empty tank of gas. Using their theory above, by everyone filling up the tank a few miles from home on the return trip, the driver now has a full tank of gas that he didn't have at the beginning of the trip. In essence, everyone helped pay for a tank of gas that the driver never had in the first place.

The whole thing revolves around determining how much gas was used during the trip. The ONLY way to determine to an almost exact amount would be for the owner of the vehicle to start out with a tank FULL of gas that he had paid for himself. Then, and only then, would ALL gas used for the trip, be paid for by those doing the splitting. By topping off the tank when you are near home coming back from the fishing, you would be giving the vehicle owner the full tank of gas back that he had paid for to fill up before the trip. It is a very very simple concept that I simply can't fathom a relatively intelligent person not being able to understand. It absolutely baffles me.

Of course, I could just go along with their line of thinking and show up with an empty tank of gas when I do the driving. Hell, I'll pull into the gas station running on fumes. Then, when they fill it up at the end of the trip, I'll benefit by a full tank of gas. These days, that is saying something. Their method, if you really want to call it that, would only serve to make the trip slightly more expensive for everyone for no benefit other than the driver. This whole thing came about because I suggested this method due to its being the best way to do the dividing. Hell, it isn't like we divy up the bill and if it comes to $28.87 per person, we have each guy come up with 28 dollars, three quarters, a dime and two pennies. We throw $30 at the driver and call it even. My whole disgust with this deal is that these guys can't understand a simple concept. To their benefit to boot!

Fred Voorhees
10-28-2006, 12:07 PM
Fred, you are right. Your friends are idiots.

Print that out & show it to 'em.

Rob, I have been trying to explain this concept to them without having to get to that point, but you said it just fine, thank you.

Ray Bersch
10-28-2006, 4:18 PM
[quote=Aaron Koehl]Ray, I like your line of reasoning based on Laura McLay and Sheldon Jacobson's findings.]

AAron, For the others who don't notice your wink or my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, here is another way to look at this :rolleyes:

Ray