Author Topic: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?  (Read 28572 times)

YTProphet

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I met with a good friend for drinks the other day. He wanted to get some career/life advice. An inextricable part of his career choices, though, are financial. He got a late start in life on his career path but right now it's a good one. However, he's only making now what he should've been making 5 years ago and that's tough because he's got a few young kids and his wife doesn't work. So, budgeting is tight and he's tempted to switch jobs since he could get an immediate $10-20k pay bump. In doing so, though, he'd give up a job which has a higher ceiling long-term with regard to pay.

In talking about his dilemma, he disclosed to me how much he made. He was very hesitant to do so, but told me. He's my friend, so I wouldn't care if he made $10,000 or $10,000,000, but it was crazy to me how hesitant he was to put a number on his current job and potential job(s) even though we're pretty close. It just made me realize yet again money-phobic our society is. No one wants to talk about it.

Does anyone here take an open book approach with their finances? Like, you talk about it without regard to whether people will judge you one way or the other for it (i.e. think you're bragging, think you're rude, or think it's cool that you're open, wish more people would do the same, etc)?

cjottawa

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I've run into trouble with this, with people who don't share my value-set...and even people who shared 99% of my value set but differed on money issues.

I'd confine the discussion to generalities or percentages. ("...saving 10% of take home" etc) and even then, be cautious if your savings rate is high (20%? 40%? 80%?) lest people make assumptions that you're either loaded or making sacrifices they'd consider nuts. (whatever their version of nuts is - never dining out, scratch making bread, whatever)

Tread-carefully.

rocksinmyhead

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I don't. I guess it would be cool if people were more open, but I think I make more than a lot of my friends (and I really don't deserve to, just a fluke of industry) and I would kind of feel like a dick if I ran around talking about it even though it's not that hard to guess. If someone I was reasonably good friends with asked me, I would probably tell them, but I would also worry that they would judge me or something.

alleykat

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I wish I had the type of people around me that I can discuss these things with.  I just dont and keep all my information to myself.  Either they think you are bragging, hold it against you, become jealous and then you dont hear the end of it, etc.  It is amazing.  It is often with little things as well.  I have learned over the years not to say too much.  This goes with both friends and family.   

Although, I do not talk about this stuff with anyone at work. It is bad enough they think certain things all on their own. 

It is sad really. 

AlwaysBeenASaver

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I don't tell people what I make and what I have saved up because I'm pretty sure they would mock me for the areas I choose to be frugal in. For example if I don't buy something because I think it's over priced, they would say things about how I can easily afford that. I just don't want to get into that with people. I also don't want family asking for handouts, and I don't want co-workers comparing my salary to theirs. I talk openly with my parents and partner, and would with my best friend if she asked. I'm new on this forum and have not yet posted my finances for much the same reasons - afraid my identity will be discovered by people I know in person.

pzxc

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I'm a government employee so my salary and all of my coworkers salary is public information anyway, there's a website that lists all of our titles/classifications and what we make.

That said, there are some worthless people here that make quite a bit more than I do. Yes, I resent it and don't give my employer as much loyalty as I otherwise would because I think the pay setup is unfair.  Mostly because these worthless people with high salaries cannot be fired as long as (1) they show up to work on-time and leave on-time, and (2) they don't commit any crimes.  This is because, as a state employee, my entire office is unionized. I also have to pay about 60 bucks a month to the union whether I want to or not, because state law says that since I benefit from the collective bargaining the union does, every employee has to pay for it whether they're a union member or not.

I still think having salaries be public is good, though. I'd rather know I'm getting slightly screwed (relative to others, though not in an absolute sense), than be screwed and not know it.  I know a couple private sector companies that are open with salary information (one going so far as to keep it all on a spreadsheet that everyone sees), and it works well for them. It actually forces management to be more fair.

In discussions with coworkers, however, most of them avoid the topic despite the fact that everyone knows that everyone knows. I personally am open, but that's because I'm proud of the work I do and the fact that I've gotten 2 promotions in a year. But I'm careful not to broach the subject - I only talk about it if someone else brings it up first.

boarder42

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i'm pretty open about mine ... most if not all of my friends konw i plan to retire before 40.  to me i use it as encouragement for them hoping they see the light. 

Zikoris

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I'm fairly open if people ask, plus I post a LOT of stuff on my blog, which many people I know read. If our income was very high or we'd won the lottery or received massive inheritances or something we'd probably stay more on the down low.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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I wish I had the type of people around me that I can discuss these things with.  I just dont and keep all my information to myself.  Either they think you are bragging, hold it against you, become jealous and then you dont hear the end of it, etc.  It is amazing.  It is often with little things as well.  I have learned over the years not to say too much.  This goes with both friends and family.   

Although, I do not talk about this stuff with anyone at work. It is bad enough they think certain things all on their own. 

It is sad really.

I feel the same way, it would be nice to have someone to talk to without any strings attached.

Philociraptor

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I'm an open book. I talk openly with friends, family, and even coworkers about income and expenses, debt and investments, etc. I don't go shouting out how much I make and such unprovoked, but if the conversation goes that way (or to debt, investing, etc.) I like to get specific; I feel like it's more powerful that way. Never had a bad reaction.

netskyblue

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 10:30:11 AM »
My husband and parents know what I make, and I told my sister recently when she left her job to be a SAHM.  She was asking whether I'd be interested in her position once she left, since she knows I don't like my job.  I said I make X now, but I'd only be willing to move on for Y much more, do you think they'd offer that?  And she said how much she was making, which was just slightly less than I make now, so she said she doubted they'd offer that much more.  It's not like it's a secret how much we make, it just never came up before.

My employer has written in the handbook it's a fireable offense if they catch us disclosing our compensation to anyone within the company.

johnny847

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 10:38:23 AM »
I'm open about mine if my friends share theirs. I recently advised one of my friends on how much money she'd have after taxes, projected her spending from mine (because she doesn't track spending at all and has never lived by herself), and how much money she'd have left over. After that discussion, I shared how much I make.

I generally don't share that information with my friends though, simply because a good number of my friends are grad students like me, and I'm in a special situation where I get paid far more than they do. And that's just not a conversation that I want to have with them.

EDIT: As for my net worth, I've never shared that with anybody other than my parents (and they already know how much I make and how I strive to save a lot, so they'd probably know ballpark based on that). But I do try to encourage my friends to start investing.

My employer has written in the handbook it's a fireable offense if they catch us disclosing our compensation to anyone within the company.
If you're in the United States (and even if you're not, those who are may find this information useful), that is generally speaking illegal for the company to do.
http://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/301989789/pay-secrecy-policies-at-work-often-illegal-and-misunderstood

« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 10:40:53 AM by johnny847 »

dunhamjr

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 10:44:33 AM »
i am pretty open about my finances, even online.  doesnt matter if it was a financial success or failure, i am pretty fine with talking about it.

with close friends and family, i dont see the reason to be secretive about things.

coppertop

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2015, 10:48:37 AM »
I prepare payroll for the firm I work for - and believe me that employers do not want anyone to know what anyone else makes because that would breed discontent and even angry feelings.  I look around me and see how unfair it all is - those who are paid more money are not necessarily those who deserve it.  It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay. 

JLee

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 10:50:40 AM »
I met with a good friend for drinks the other day. He wanted to get some career/life advice. An inextricable part of his career choices, though, are financial. He got a late start in life on his career path but right now it's a good one. However, he's only making now what he should've been making 5 years ago and that's tough because he's got a few young kids and his wife doesn't work. So, budgeting is tight and he's tempted to switch jobs since he could get an immediate $10-20k pay bump. In doing so, though, he'd give up a job which has a higher ceiling long-term with regard to pay.

In talking about his dilemma, he disclosed to me how much he made. He was very hesitant to do so, but told me. He's my friend, so I wouldn't care if he made $10,000 or $10,000,000, but it was crazy to me how hesitant he was to put a number on his current job and potential job(s) even though we're pretty close. It just made me realize yet again money-phobic our society is. No one wants to talk about it.

Does anyone here take an open book approach with their finances? Like, you talk about it without regard to whether people will judge you one way or the other for it (i.e. think you're bragging, think you're rude, or think it's cool that you're open, wish more people would do the same, etc)?

I try not to say much if it could come across as bragging (unless it's a way to do something, not necessarily saying 'X a year income', i.e. I pay for mortgage with roommates), but I'm used to a government job where my pay was public information. I don't care at all if people know what I make.

johnny847

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 10:50:54 AM »
It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay.
Which again, generally speaking, is illegal for a US company to do, as I linked above.

Luck12

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 10:51:18 AM »
My best friends and some of my siblings know how much I make and that I'm on the MMM plan.  Some know my net worth and if the rest asked, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them.  No reason to hide such things from close friends and family. 

It is funny how, at least in the US, how taboo it is to discuss personal finance, but people will tell you all kinds of salacious details of their sex life before they tell you how much money they make.       

eyePod

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 10:52:26 AM »
Yep. Told a friend. I think he spit out his drink. He is a state teacher and I'm a chemical engineer with a masters. The difference in pay was very large. But then I thought about it more and realized that he was just as good in the classes I was. He chose a different route and seems to enjoy his job more than I do. I'll take the pay for now though.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 10:54:05 AM »
I don't tell anyone what I have nor what I make.

This is especially true with family, as I have heard my mother say stuff like "so and so makes this, so and so makes that..."

dunhamjr

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 10:59:06 AM »
I prepare payroll for the firm I work for - and believe me that employers do not want anyone to know what anyone else makes because that would breed discontent and even angry feelings.  I look around me and see how unfair it all is - those who are paid more money are not necessarily those who deserve it.  It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay.

i have seen this on the team i manage, people making $20-40k more for the same job as others... and the higher paid person is not even the top performer in many cases.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 11:20:11 AM »
I am more than happy to disclose my salary to my coworkers and friends (although our company discourages us from discussing this). I think that the pressure not to disclose this is something that benefits only employers.

Once upon a time, I was working at a firm where I discovered that a coworker with the same level of experience as me, but better qualifications was being paid 60% of what I was. She was extremely competent, but foreign and from a culture where women tend to be pressured to be submissive. Frankly, I was really put off that the firm was either actively discriminating, or was purposely taking advantage of her cultural "weaknesses" by not paying her a fair and competitive wage.

I do not disclose how much I save or what assets I have. I used to be pretty shameless - but as the numbers grew larger, I found that it was perceived as bragging or putting others down for not having as much.

justajane

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2015, 11:31:31 AM »
I prepare payroll for the firm I work for - and believe me that employers do not want anyone to know what anyone else makes because that would breed discontent and even angry feelings.  I look around me and see how unfair it all is - those who are paid more money are not necessarily those who deserve it.  It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay.

i have seen this on the team i manage, people making $20-40k more for the same job as others... and the higher paid person is not even the top performer in many cases.

My SIL was accidentally cced on an internal e-mail discussing the salary offering of a potential new employee. It was for the exact same job she already had, but the pay was twice as much! Shortly thereafter she received a message to disregard and not discuss the prior e-mail. But the cat was already out of the bag. She found another job shortly thereafter.

I was interested in how this type of pay discrepancy occurs even in the higher up echelons and many time falls along gender lines. The recent Sony hack revealed how A-list female actresses were still paid a fraction of what male actors were in films.

TerriM

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 11:31:36 AM »
We are probably more open than we should be, but it is clear we have to be careful.

My mom knows what my husband makes, and we are fully open about money discussions.  We can do this because she is also pretty clear that she isn't helping us with anything, so there's no judging to be done.  It's my life to live (or mess up).

I have a friend who is very tight lipped about what her husband makes (actually, she doesn't mind, but he won't let her tell anyone).  I think it's for the best.  It is entirely possible that with both of our husbands having the same degrees from the same college, they could be making 25% difference on salaries.   I'm glad we don't know honestly, but since we talk about other financial details, I'll be able to make a good guess when she finally goes and finds out how much of a mortgage they can get, but I will not let her know that I made a guess.

We have another friend who we are close to who knows what my husband makes.  I mentioned that we are planning to apply for financial aid for my older son applying to an expensive private school and he was upset because he knew that my husband was making a lot more than him.  I found it really awkward.  Whenever I talk to school moms about it, they always say "Just apply and see," so I was not expecting his reaction.   :/

I have another friend who I am close to.  We worked for the same company, and she knew what I made going in which probably helped her to get a higher salary--knowing what was reasonable to ask for and to accept.  We also know approximately what our respective husbands make which has a big disparity, and we are both in high COL areas, but she bought a house first, so I hope she doesn't feel bad.    When I finally buy a house, it'll be crappier than hers, so I don't think she has anything to feel bad about. :)


I think talking about net-worth is ok, but not with your kids.  My parents talk to me a lot about what I'll inherit when they die, and I find it VERY VERY awkward and difficult since I could really use that money now, and I don't want to be wishing for anyone's early demise.  I've wanted to ask them to stop talking about it, but I've come to realize that they're trying to offer me a gift but they can't give it to me yet, and I need to find a way to thank them and express my gratitude while they're still alive without making it sound like I'm looking forward to them dying or anything.  I'm not quite sure how to do that.  The irony here, though, is that since I'm open about our finances with my mom, she knows what I'd spend the money on when she dies (a house in a high COL  area), and she doesn't really approve.   I told her she's free to put it in a trust if she cares, but she doesn't want to do that. 

TheDude

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2015, 11:41:35 AM »
I am so what open. I have a couple of friends that i have been open with. At one timeI knew his salary but then got a big raise (due to me leaving the company we both worked at) and now he wont say anything. Not sure if its 10k less than I make or 10k more but its in the ball park.

I really hate when employers tell people cant talk about that shit. Its against the law. This crap happens because all employers know the NLRB has no teeth.

I do think everyone should use glassdoor.com. Open salary data is good for everyone.

Timmmy

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 11:52:22 AM »
I prepare dozens of my friends and family members tax returns every year.  I know exactly how much they made and have a pretty good grasp on some of their debts (student loans/mortgages), their retirement savings (W2 info or IRA) and taxable accounts (brokerage statements).  As a result, I feel it would be pretty weird if I wasn't willing to share the same with them.  I don't mind at all.  I don't ,however, share without prompting as I feel that can come off as boasting.

JLee

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2015, 11:53:01 AM »
I am more than happy to disclose my salary to my coworkers and friends (although our company discourages us from discussing this). I think that the pressure not to disclose this is something that benefits only employers.

Once upon a time, I was working at a firm where I discovered that a coworker with the same level of experience as me, but better qualifications was being paid 60% of what I was. She was extremely competent, but foreign and from a culture where women tend to be pressured to be submissive. Frankly, I was really put off that the firm was either actively discriminating, or was purposely taking advantage of her cultural "weaknesses" by not paying her a fair and competitive wage.

I do not disclose how much I save or what assets I have. I used to be pretty shameless - but as the numbers grew larger, I found that it was perceived as bragging or putting others down for not having as much.
Absolutely.

It's pretty well-known in the IT world that a new hire will likely get paid more for any given position than someone internally promoted into it.

justajane

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2015, 12:03:51 PM »
Absolutely.

It's pretty well-known in the IT world that a new hire will likely get paid more for any given position than someone internally promoted into it.

Does this apply across the board? My husband works for a major financial institution and has been internally promoted numerous times over the past decade. I'm pretty sure he is underpaid somewhat for his position, although the company has pay scales to be sure it isn't overly egregious. On the one hand, that would frustrate me if he is underpaid. On the other hand, we live very comfortably on what he makes. Is there any chance that being an underpaid but good worker (which I'm sure my husband is, he gets praised all the time) would contribute to job security? In that case, I wonder if he would be tempted to let sleeping dogs lie.

dunhamjr

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2015, 12:09:09 PM »
It's pretty well-known in the IT world that a new hire will likely get paid more for any given position than someone internally promoted into it.

unfortunately so... because now i am locked in at a MUCH lower rate for a new manager hire into the company... even though i have proven performance in the company, know the politics, have the contacts etc..

its pretty ridic to think that i can dump 11yrs with my company because i would likely make another $20-40k/yr elsewhere while not knowing a single thing about how to get the job done that i would jump into. :(

pzxc

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2015, 12:09:22 PM »
Quote
I think talking about net-worth is ok, but not with your kids.  My parents talk to me a lot about what I'll inherit when they die, and I find it VERY VERY awkward and difficult since I could really use that money now, and I don't want to be wishing for anyone's early demise.  I've wanted to ask them to stop talking about it, but I've come to realize that they're trying to offer me a gift but they can't give it to me yet, and I need to find a way to thank them and express my gratitude while they're still alive without making it sound like I'm looking forward to them dying or anything.  I'm not quite sure how to do that.  The irony here, though, is that since I'm open about our finances with my mom, she knows what I'd spend the money on when she dies (a house in a high COL  area), and she doesn't really approve.   I told her she's free to put it in a trust if she cares, but she doesn't want to do that. 

Interesting. I am the opposite. My parents never discussed anything with me.  I was 3 years into college in the year 2000 when my parents surprised me with, "Well your college money was invested in the stock market, and as you know it just tanked, so we can't contribute anymore" and I had the choice to get a ton of student loans to fund the last year or drop out.  (I dropped out)

By the way, my parents sold everything at the bottom because the crash taught them what a risky thing the stock market was.

Maybe parents shouldn't repeatedly mention things like inheritance to the point it makes you uncomfortable, but I definitely think keeping your kids in the dark about your financial situation is a bad idea also.

sol

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2015, 12:12:47 PM »
Our salaries are publicly searchable, but nobody knows what we're worth.  Not our closest friends, not our parents, certainly not our kids.

sheepstache

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2015, 12:31:59 PM »
I'm open. Like you, I get irritated by money being a taboo. I think fewer people would have problems with money if it were discussed more.

But I might vary how open I am depending on context. Like if someone makes a lot less than I do or they have kids or something, I don't bother going into it so much or stick to generalities because people will just make excuses about why they can't do what I do.

Since so many people are open about what they spend, I think it's a good counter to be able to tell my peers what my net worth is, that I max out my 401k, etc. Positive peer pressure.

TN_Steve

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2015, 12:39:35 PM »
I wish I had the type of people around me that I can discuss these things with.  I just dont and keep all my information to myself.  Either they think you are bragging, hold it against you, become jealous and then you dont hear the end of it, etc.  It is amazing.  It is often with little things as well.  I have learned over the years not to say too much.  This goes with both friends and family.   

...

This is us.  DW and I make a lot and save a lot.  My entire family have always had normal blue collar jobs, and still do.  So too, although her sibs went to college, they have more typical earnings.  Everyone assumes that a doctor/lawyer couple makes a lot, and they know we save a lot.  BUT, we are careful to not flaunt it--and discussing numbers can easily cross that line.  As for friends, we have 2 or 3 who we might discuss this type of thing with--but they are similar in their spending/saving and make even more money than us.

(Notwithstanding this reticence, I remain the "go to" guy for financial inquiries/discussions in our extended family, and am always happy when I can help my mom, brother, sisters, and nieces/nephews to analyze things.)

rubybeth

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2015, 12:49:48 PM »
I also wish talking about money were less of a taboo in the US. I think it would really open some people's eyes that it's possible to make a decent salary but live well on much less than you make. I think that's part of why MMM is so interesting--he just tells you how much he made, how much he saved, and then how much he lives on now.

For me, if someone close to me brings up money, I will discuss things in a more general way. My parents and sister know our incomes and that we've reached some big financial goals (like paying off our student loans) and that we plan to retire early. I also know some of their details, since my sister has asked me to be her "financial advisor" (her words) so I helped her with a budget, her employer's retirement plan, etc. and I will likely help my mom with finances if my dad dies before her.

DH's family just know that we are okay, that we make enough money to live on and do some traveling, but we don't share details for a variety of reasons already listed.

When I blog about finances, I also stay somewhat vague about our incomes.

netskyblue

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2015, 12:52:27 PM »
It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay.
Which again, generally speaking, is illegal for a US company to do, as I linked above.

It's a rare employee who's going to risk their job on principle, though.  Because we would get fired, illegal though it may be.  I'm not willing to fight out a settlement in court over it.

Beric01

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2015, 12:57:41 PM »
The only person who really knows is my Dad, because he's helped me with my taxes in the past. I don't want to share too much with my friends, as I make more than them and (IMO) don't particularly deserve it. I generally discuss in terms of saving/spending percentages, if I discuss at all.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2015, 12:58:13 PM »
Personal finance blogger J. Money wrote a blog topic a while back on a similar subject... what if everyone's net worth was hanging on a sign around their neck? I think it would be really interesting to see whether that guy driving the shiny Beamer can actually afford it, etc.  Would it change society's perceptions of money? Who knows... interesting to think about though.

I'm an anomaly (high net worth compared to my peers) so I don't name figures.  I do talk about money, business, finance, investing if a friend is interested and I'm happy to point them to resources.  I don't mind disclosing my salary either.  But I don't talk about net worth.  I just prefer it this way.  I just don't want people looking at me differently because of my financial circumstances... I want them to know me for me.  Cause if you have money but "lose sight of what's important when depositing those checks into your bank account" as T. Pain says, what's the point?

Besides my family and my CPA, there are only 2 people who know exact figures of my NW.  They are kind of my adopted parents so I trust them implicitly.  That's all.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 01:02:11 PM by thedayisbrave »

Beric01

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2015, 01:02:46 PM »
It's pretty well-known in the IT world that a new hire will likely get paid more for any given position than someone internally promoted into it.

unfortunately so... because now i am locked in at a MUCH lower rate for a new manager hire into the company... even though i have proven performance in the company, know the politics, have the contacts etc..

its pretty ridic to think that i can dump 11yrs with my company because i would likely make another $20-40k/yr elsewhere while not knowing a single thing about how to get the job done that i would jump into. :(

It's called a gamble. Employers hire people and don't raise their salaries much. Some will leave, but the people who stay will stick around forever, and the employer will eventually be getting their work for a steal. The people who leave due to salary would have left eventually regardless.

This is why job hopping is the only viable strategy if salary is one's main goal. I'm 2.5 years at my first company and I need to begin looking if I want an increase.

BonBon

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2015, 01:05:39 PM »
I'm not going to talk about it unless asked but I have always been willing to tell people my networth and salary, both of these are still relatively low though. My sisters and I pretty openly talk finances and my partner and I talk pretty openly about it with both of our sets of parents. I doubt however we would discuss it very much with my partner's brother though. He is fairly irresponsible with money whereas everyone else I mentioned is fairly good with it, despite having many differing views on investment strategies, what is enough, and what is necessary to spend on for a fulfilling life.

falcondisruptor

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2015, 01:19:15 PM »
I have a few friends that know everything about our finances.  But, it's a two way street.

Usually I just stick to generalities.  I finally broke down and shared our budget with my blog, and I'm pretty sure our income and net worth are out there but I feel like I want to keep that closer to my chest for a while.  Not really sure what's holding me back though.

ambimammular

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2015, 01:29:07 PM »
I love talking finance with anyone willing to listen, and will talk about spending/savings, but I try to avoid income. Especially if there is a disparity.

Everyone is on a different place on their saving journey. Some friends are just a few years behind us, and I wouldn't want that difference to come between us. I've got friends a few years ahead of me and I will get jealous of their ability to make use of multiple income streams. I try to use them as inspiration, but it doesn't always work.

As a SAHM too often I feel like I'm watching from the sidelines.

Jack

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2015, 01:45:57 PM »
I'm more open here on the Internet than I am in real life, because it's at least pseudonymous. (I'm not so naive to think that someone determined couldn't figure out who I am, but at least it would take some investigating.)

It's fear of being fired at work that keeps people from discussing their pay.
Which again, generally speaking, is illegal for a US company to do, as I linked above.

The trouble is, they'll fire you for that but tell you they're doing it for some other bullshit made-up reason, and the burden is on you to prove otherwise.

Beaker

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2015, 01:50:31 PM »
Now that I think about it, I have a self-contradictory approach. I generally don't discuss salary, but when I'm doing contract work I'll tell people my bill rate with no problem. Seems to be a common dichotomy, in my experience.

I will volunteer our total amount of debt sometimes. If someone starts thinking we're rich I just tell them we're "reverse millionaires" and it's good for a chuckle. Of course, most of that debt is for cash-flowing rental properties, but whatever.

I had one friend, who tends to be very open about a lot of things, volunteer his salary at happy hour with the coworkers. He was suffering from the lack of IT salary increases syndrome mentioned upthread, resulting in him making ~65% of everyone else at the table. He got a lot of "Go ask for a raise, right now" type comments and did get a bump as a result of it, so I guess that was good. Though post-bump he was still only at 80%. Sad state of our industry, I guess.

jopiquant

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2015, 03:09:56 PM »
I'm of two minds on this. One part of me would like to be more open, mainly because people misunderstand - we own a house in the Vancouver area, purchased relatively recently, and got our university educations by working through school, no debt. Because it's so costly to live here in terms of housing, and because it's not uncommon, people assume our parents helped us out. In reality, we were just major savers. We'd be much further along in terms of money saved if we hadn't bought our house, but we don't regret the decision at all.

It would feel super weird to be more open with family, as we have done better financially than our parents and our siblings. My family members have low skills and poor money management skills. If they get a bit of of extra money, it quickly finds a new home in some corporation's pocket. It's obvious to them that we don't worry about money, even though we are frugal, and they don't always have that luxury.

My husband is also very private about this, and I'm not sure where it comes from exactly, but is not interested in having anyone know what we make, what we save, what our plans are, etc. Put more succinctly, he doesn't want it known. In the past few years he has started his own business and has only recently begun to take a salary, of about 50% what he would earn on the open market, so there's that odd dynamic as well.

In some cultures people are more open, and occasionally I'll meet someone who asks flat out what I make, and I'll admit it's uncomfortable instead of a conversation starter. I think this is also partly because I have a high salary compared to many people and I don't want to change the dynamic of relationships with people based on how our incomes relate.


TerriM

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2015, 03:39:32 PM »

Interesting. I am the opposite. My parents never discussed anything with me.  I was 3 years into college in the year 2000 when my parents surprised me with, "Well your college money was invested in the stock market, and as you know it just tanked, so we can't contribute anymore" and I had the choice to get a ton of student loans to fund the last year or drop out.  (I dropped out)

By the way, my parents sold everything at the bottom because the crash taught them what a risky thing the stock market was.

Maybe parents shouldn't repeatedly mention things like inheritance to the point it makes you uncomfortable, but I definitely think keeping your kids in the dark about your financial situation is a bad idea also.

I'm sorry to hear that pzxc.  I think though, the situations are different--your life depended on what they did.  My life should *not* depend on what I might inherit.  I think the Millionaire Next Door made a clear case for living your life as if your financial security rests on you alone and that people who think they will inherit money don't make the wise financial decisions.  And in the end, it's not my money--they could spend it all and live another 30 years doing it. 

I think it's sufficient to know that they are financially secure and will not need my help in retirement.

daymare

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2015, 03:52:05 PM »
I am totally an open book about finances - I blog about it (plus have a journal here), down to our net worth numbers and income.  I want money to be a topic that people can talk to me about, and I'm thrilled whenever people do talk investments/budgets/CCs/money with me.  A reputation as a finance nerd is one I cultivate.  I think it's easier because I'm only 25 and starting out, so it doesn't really sound like I'm bragging.  Plus now that my husband and I make less than we ever did, and easily save a higher % than we ever did, I feel even less like any success we have financially is due to luck (except the huge luck of the many privileges we have, that many friends share too).  I am just really interested in finance and behavioral finance, so talking about money and especially about people doing 'wrong' things and how to change that, is interesting to me.

Cassie

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2015, 04:12:53 PM »
Only with my close friends or on here where no one knows me.

pipercat

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2015, 04:24:31 PM »
With a close friend who was asking for advice, I would probably be pretty open.  I work in a school, so my salary is available on-line, but saving and spending habits are obviously not.

I am far more open with my friends than with my family.  With family, particularly my mom, I feel like there may be certain judgments that wouldn't be there with friends.  For example, just because we make around $150K per year doesn't mean we have the desire to buy every third cousin's teacher a birthday gift!

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2015, 04:40:55 PM »
I wish people were more open about money in general.  I have a friend who probably makes 1/3 what I make.  Yet she wants to do a lot of things that I do, or that are too expensive for me.  I outright told her what I make, because I kind of wanted her to see that, yes, I have a 5yo car, but I can easily afford it.  I take vacations, but they represent a very small %age of my annual income. 


MrMoogle

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2015, 05:40:44 PM »
The better I know you, the more I will tell you.  Most of my friends have similar professions.  My dad has the same one, although he had a PhD and I just have a Bachelor's.  We're all savers, although I'm much more extreme.  My close friends and family knew my net worth a few years ago, and know how much I make and save, so I'm sure they could ballpark it.  I was specifically asked while I was talking about something finance related.

My company offers the Mega Backdoor Roth, and I want to scream it to everyone, even though 90% wouldn't use it, I don't know who the 10% would be.  But I've only mentioned it to a few people, and hope that those who are interested in it will mention it to others.  I would feel like I'm bragging if I told everyone, and I hate to brag. 

I've thought about offering a personal finance seminar after work, and have an "advanced topics" section and put it there.  I live overseas, in a very small community, so things like that aren't available in person.  Someone did a course maybe 5 years ago, and it's been suggested by a couple people that I do one...

So basically, I love to talk about it, and if we're friends, and I trust you, I'll give details, but otherwise it's %'s and what not.

SteveR

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Re: Do you every say "Screw it...I'm gonne be an open book about my finances"?
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2015, 05:47:03 PM »
I have one close friend who I am relatively open with these things about, if only because he's at least slightly into the early retirement thing too and I just have to have *someone* I can discuss this with or I'd burst. I try to avoid giving him any overly concrete figures but if he wanted I'm sure he could reverse engineer some of my statements about "I could retire now if I did X" to get a fairly accurate picture.

Otherwise I'm fairly cagey with people. If it would seem outright rude to not tell a close-ish friend my salary (e.g. if they disclosed theirs first, unasked) I'll give them a figure towards the low end of the going range for what I do. Similarly, I might admit to having enough savings to live for a year or two on, but no more than that.

It would be lovely to be super open about it - and it reminds me of Harry Browne's advice in How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World, which I found a fascinating read even if I haven't bought wholeheartedly into his philosophy yet - but I have to be practical about it. Or maybe I'm just making excuses and I should engage in a bold experiment. :-)