When a group of people decide to go Dutch on a trip or a visit to the restaurant, one person may take the responsibility of paying all the expenses for the entire group (usually out of his/her own pocket, but they can also collect budget from the participants in advance) so as not to engage each group member in payment processes and save time. After the event, members of the group compensate by paying their share to this person.

What would this person be called?

If it helps, there is a word for this in Persian, 'Madar-e- Kharj' (literally mother of expenses):

"You don't need to pay money now; John is [the group's / the trip's] Madar-e- Kharj. We will all reimburse him later."

  • 1
    Never heard the term "go Dutch", I assume that means share the costs equally?
    – Tim Foster
    Nov 26, 2018 at 14:06
  • 3
    @TimFoster I don't know what it's like that end of the M40, but this end, I would say it's the standard way of expressing the idea of sharing the bill.
    – Strawberry
    Nov 26, 2018 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Strawberry It's also common in the US, though maybe not "the" standard.
    – user91988
    Nov 26, 2018 at 18:20
  • 3
    Technically going Dutch would mean paying for yourself, not necessarily sharing the bill equally. Nov 26, 2018 at 19:23
  • See Going dutch
    – JeffC
    Nov 26, 2018 at 22:07

7 Answers 7


The official answer would be treasurer. From American Heritage:

One who has charge of funds or revenues, especially the chief financial officer of a government, corporation, or association.

That said, general usage is only when this is in an official capacity. So you are the treasurer for a club or society, and there may be an official bank account associated with this.

On a ship or a plane, the word purser could also be used:

The officer in charge of money matters on board a ship or commercial aircraft.

Both treasurer and purser are somewhat official sounding, and would sound playful at best a group of friends paying for a meal through a delegate. In your example, I might just say "John is paying for now and we'll pay him back later" or "John is handling the money/cash, so pass your cash to him".


Alternatively, as suggested by @ChrisH in the comments, you might say "John is looking after the kitty". A kitty is defined as (Collins via TFD:

any shared fund of money, etc

A kitty, though, is usually decided before the meal/drinks/event. It's usually used as an alternative to buying "rounds" of drinks. Everyone contributes a specific amount up front, so the bill is self-limiting. Left-over (or even negative!) kitty can be shared equally among participants.

  • 5
    Interesting to note that there is also "bursar" with a similar etymological root to "purser", which means someone who manages the finances of a school or college.
    – Tim Foster
    Nov 26, 2018 at 14:15
  • 3
    In the last paragraph, John may also be looking after the kitty
    – Chris H
    Nov 26, 2018 at 15:11
  • 2
    Thanks @ChrisH, I've added an edit (and credit) because "kitty" is the right term in some circumstances, even if it doesn't explicitly answer the original question.
    – Pam
    Nov 26, 2018 at 15:24
  • Never heard of the "kitty" one before Nov 27, 2018 at 6:41
  • 1
    @AzorAhai it's common in the UK but most often it's at the start of a night out drinking rather than a meal. Instead of taking turns to buy rounds, everybody puts a tenner in the kitty (probably more these days!), and then all drinks are bought using the money in the kitty. It saves arguments over "round" avoidance, "cheap rounds" (where someone's round coincides with most people still finishing their previous drink) or people alternating soft drinks with alcohol. Don't do too much maths, though, a kitty is more about convenience than perfectly equal money sharing!
    – Pam
    Nov 27, 2018 at 11:34

The Bank

Within my group of friends, we call this role The bank. It would be easily understood by those who have never used, nor heard, the term in this context.

John, would you be a dear and be the bank for today's lunch? We'll all settle up with you by the end of the day. Thanks!

The term comes from the traditional role of a bank as a primary lender of (other people's) money. With the modern credit-based society, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that a bank is somewhere behind each of our credit cards and accounts.

From Merriam-Webster:


noun (2) 
Definition of bank (Entry 3 of 5) 
1  a : an establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue of money, 
       for the extension of credit, and for facilitating the transmission of funds
  • I have heard the word "cashier" used. Indeed I have been the cashier more than once.
    – JeremyC
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:00
  • I first heard and used "The Bank" when playing games, in particular, Monopoly. Nov 27, 2018 at 13:46
  • Also the banker
    – Chris H
    Nov 27, 2018 at 16:38
  • @JeremyC - Unfortunately, the 'cashier' would be the one that the 'bank' settles up with -- the one often behind a cash register, in fact. May 28, 2019 at 6:41

The word that springs to mind for me is "treasurer". The definition of treasurer in the Oxford English Dictionary is:

treasurer - A person appointed to administer or manage the financial assets and liabilities of a society, company, local authority, or other body.

Most societies -for example, a University sports club - will have a treasurer that looks after the finances of the group.

However, it may be a little formal for a group of friends going on holiday or going to a restaurant.

  • 1
    Treasurer could be acceptable in a casual setting if the speaker is aware that it's too formal, and is intentionally using it in a situation it isn't suited for to be funny.
    – Cooper
    Nov 26, 2018 at 17:49
  • 2
    My problem with this answer is that no one would actually use it for the situation OP is asking about. That, in my opinion, makes it a poor answer. How about "the money guy" or "Tom is going to handle the money". There's not always a single word that fits for every situation, and good answers should explain that. The other answer does a better job of this.
    – user91988
    Nov 26, 2018 at 18:21

If the payor settles with other members after paying then I would say he is the "funder".

Otherwise, I believe all the terms offered so far sound somewhat for a permanent role. I would just maybe offer for consideration "escrow agent" or "trustee" or just "agent" because it sounds more transactional, a non-permanent role.

  • Welcome to EL&U. Note that an answer on this site is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. You might like to edit your answer to add a published example or definition for each of your proposed words, as supporting evidence for this being the right answer. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the Tour :-) Nov 27, 2018 at 5:41

In the UK and where drinks are concerned, you might also refer to "the whip" and someone "holding the whip" - at least in my experience this is more common than "the kitty" or "the bank".


It's not a noun, but someone who does this "fronts" the expenses.

7 : to give (someone) the money, material, etc. needed to do something

She fronted them a loan to get the start-up going.


Or perhaps this usage is more "slangy" then I was aware of:

to give someone something of value, expecting that they will compensate you later, as they can't right now.

I'll front you the money if you'll buy me those tickets.

(Online Slang Dictionary)

You could say:

You don't need to pay money now; John fronted the cash/fees/whatever. We will all reimburse him later.


A closely related term is Sponsor, an entity responsible for a group, which generally includes paying their expenses.


  1. a person who vouches or is responsible for a person or thing.
  2. [...]
  3. a person who makes a pledge or promise on behalf of another.

Merriam Webster:

  1. [...]
  2. one who assumes responsibility for some other person or thing
  3. a person or an organization that pays for or plans and carries out a project or activity

English does not have a direct term that corresponds exactly with the idea of someone to whom others in the group reimburse payment. Treasurer and trustee are close, because they handle or manage money or resources on behalf of others, but those terms carry a more formal and official tone than I feel is expressed in the question.

Kitty, pot, or sometimes hat refer to the collected money itself.

  • A sponsor would not, typically, be reimbursed. When a bar or restaruant 'sponsors' a little league team, it pays for the expenses of uniforms and equipment, never expecting reimbursement. Nov 27, 2018 at 15:25

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