Dear Dan,

I’m organizing a long weekend of skiing with 10 friends who have very different financial situations. I’d like everyone to be able to pay what that they’re comfortable with, and I also want to avoid creating an awkward social dynamic. I considered charging everyone a low base amount and then asking the wealthier friends to pay extra, but that doesn’t seem quite right. What’s the best way to divide up the cost?


There are three considerations here. The first is to make sure that the amount people pay covers the cost of the trip. The second is to get everyone to feel that the payment is fair. And the third is to make sure that the payment procedure doesn’t harm your relationships and hamper the fun. My guess is that if you approached a few of the wealthier people and asked them to pay extra, this wouldn’t seem fair and would change the social dynamic. If the wealthier individuals paid more, they would probably want to get the better rooms in the rented house, they might not feel the same need to help with meals and cleanup, etc. I would try to overcome these challenges by setting up a rule that said: If your annual salary is X or less, please contribute Y; if it is up to 1.5X, please contribute 1.5Y. This isn’t the same fairness rule as equal pay, but it is still a fair rule. I would add some social framing to this, reminding your friends that you all value the shared experience and the joint company, and it is important that everybody participates and isn’t stressed about the trip. I would also make the payments private, so that no one knows how much other people are paying. The challenge with this approach is that you probably don’t know your friends’ exact incomes, and some of them might not pay what they should under your scheme. I suggest that you take this into account by adding an extra 10% to the price. And if your friends surprise you by being honest, have a nice party on the last day of the trip.

Read More:




Long weekend

a weekend when you have one or two extra days free in addition to the usual Saturday and Sunday


skiing   /ˈskiːɪŋ/   N

the sport or activity of moving over snow on skis


awkward   adjective uk /ˈɔː.kwəd/ us   /ˈɑː.kwɚd/

​​causing ​problems, ​worry, or ​embarrassment:

“an awkward ​position/​situation “

“There ​followed an awkward ​silence while we all ​tried to ​think of something to say.”

“ The ​police ​asked some awkward ​questions about where the ​money had come from.”


Social dynamics

Social dynamics can refer to the behavior of groups that results from the interactions of individual group members as well to the study of the relationship between individual interactions and group level behaviors.

پویش اجتماعی


Charge   /tʃɑː(r)dʒ/   V

demand (an amount) as a price for a service rendered or goods supplied.

“wedding planners may charge an hourly fee of up to £150”


Base amount

It is the fundamental numerical assumption from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained, e.g. base pay.


Wealthy   /ˈwɛlθi/ Adj

having a great deal of money, resources, or assets; rich.

“the wealthy nations of the world”


Divide up

same as divide

“The money will be divided up among five different charities.”


Consideration   /kənˌsɪdəˈreɪʃ(ə)n/  N

something that you must think about carefully before you make a decision or judgment

“For most people, the most important consideration in choosing a mortgage is the cost of repayments.”


Make sure

to check something so that you can be sure about it

“I think I locked it but we’d better make sure.”

make sure (that):

“I just wanted to make sure you knew where to go.”


Hamper uk   /ˈhæm.pər/  us   /ˈhæm.pɚ/

to ​prevent someone doing something ​easily:

“Fierce ​storms have been hampering ​rescue ​efforts and there is now little ​chance of ​finding more ​survivors.”


Approach   /əˈprəʊtʃ/  V

come near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance or time.

“the train approached the main line”


Individual   /ɪndɪˈvɪdjʊ(ə)l/

a person of a specified kind.

“the most selfish, egotistical individual I have ever met”

synonyms:       person, human being, human,


cleanup N

the ​act of making a ​place ​clean and ​tidy:

“It’s ​time you gave ​your ​bedroom a good clean-up.”

“ Residents have called for a clean-up ​campaign to ​keep ​their ​streets ​free from ​rubbish.”


Set up  

to organize or plan something such as an event or system

“I’ll set up a meeting for Thursday.”

“The programme will set up a regional library system.”



to give money, goods, or your time and effort in order to achieve something, especially when other people are also helping

“taxpayers had contributed £141.8 million towards the cost of local services”

“Many local businesses offered to contribute to the school rebuilding fund.”


Up to

indicating a maximum amount.

“the process is expected to take up to two years”


Fairness  uk   /ˈfeə.nəs/  us   /ˈfer.nəs/

the ​quality of ​treating ​people ​equally or in a way that is ​right or ​reasonable:

“He had a ​real ​sense of fairness and ​hated ​injustice.”



formulation of the plans and important details; the act, process, or manner of constructing anything.

“the framing of judicial decrees”


Value    /ˈvaljuː/ V

consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.

“she had come to value her privacy”


Company    uk   /ˈkʌm.pə.ni/  us   /ˈkʌm.pə.ni/

the ​fact of being with a ​person or ​people, or the ​person or ​people you are with:

“ I just ​enjoy his company. “

“It was a ​long ​trip and I was ​grateful for his company. “

“I ​enjoy my own company (= I like being ​alone).”


Stress   informal

become tense or anxious; worry.

“don’t stress—there’s plenty of time to get a grip on the situation”


Scheme  /skiːm/ N

an official plan or program of action; the way that something is arranged or organized


 Take sth into account

to ​consider or ​remember something when ​judging a ​situation:

“I ​hope my ​teacher will take into account the ​fact that I was ​ill just before the ​exams when she ​marks my ​paper.”