How Much Money Do You Make?

When I was in eighth grade I was assigned a project on budgeting.  We were told to go home, ask our parents how much money they made, and come up with a budget based on those numbers.  I remember at the time I was too shy and also knew better than to ask my dad how much money he made.  I knew that was a taboo subject.  I ended up making up a number I thought was a good salary and went with that.  A few years ago, my dad shared some financial information with me and told me not to tell my mother.  I laughed, listened to what he had to say, and then kept it to myself.

I’ve turned to my parents for financial advice many times.  What’s really funny is that they don’t know how much money Mr. Money and I make.  However, my “adopted parents” do because they help us every year with our taxes.  It doesn’t feel weird at all knowing that they know how much money we make, but I almost don’t want my parents (or my inlaws) knowing how much money we make.  I guess it’s as though I feel like they assume that we make more money than we do and I don’t want to disappoint them.

I think it’s interesting to try to guess peoples’ salaries.  I honestly don’t think I’d want to know how much money people made, especially friends or family members.  I think when you know too much about someone’s finances sometimes it can cause jealousy and problems.  For instance, if I had $2,000 in my emergency fund and my friend knew it and was going through a hard time they may ask to borrow money.  If I decided to turn them down because I think you should never let friends borrow money, then the friend may think I am cruel and heartless because I’ve denied them a loan.  If they didn’t know how much money we had in the first place that wouldn’t be a problem.

I’m proud of how much money I make but I also don’t think it’s that great of an amount.  My husband makes more money than me, and we can definitely live off it, but by no means are we rolling in the dough.  He’s worked very hard to get where he is and I’m very proud that he loves what he does, so I think that’s worth more than him working a job he hated but making $20,000 more a year.  I’d rather have him happy than rich and miserable.

I think it’s funny how money can be such a taboo subject.  I prefer to keep our salaries to ourselves but many others don’t mind sharing how much money they make each year and that’s fine.  To each their own. I’m curious whether I’m in the majority or the minority.  I know my family is very private when it comes to the numerical details of their finances, but I know that’s probably not the case with all families.

Do you keep your salary and financial life private? Would you share your financial info with family and friends?

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The Craziest Job I Ever Had

cute horseFive years ago Mr. Money and I lived in Colorado. We were both working for a RadioShack store and Mr. Money was also teaching snowboarding. While we worked at RadioShack, we met this very nice woman who bred miniature horses. She was so sweet and kind, and the pictures of her horses she brought in were beautiful. She knew that I had grown up riding and training horses, and one day she asked me if I’d be interested in working with the horses.

I couldn’t say yes any faster than I did.

So I quit my job (with health insurance) and we moved out of our condo into a house on her property. We agreed that she would pay us $10 an hour each for our work. I would be responsible for cleaning barns, breeding horses, doing paperwork, and any other things she wanted me to do. Mr. Money would be the handyman. Fine and dandy, right?

We thought that because we weren’t paying any rent (she said that the house was worth $500,000 and would rent for $4,000 a month so that was included in our “salaries”) that we would come out ahead. Well, after a few months of working there and realizing that we wouldn’t be able to live on $10 an hour and no health insurance, we decided that we needed a change. We decided Mr. Money would attend culinary school, and set forth on searching for a school. We had considered moving to Denver, but in the end decided we’d rather move to where we live now. We probably should have just stayed there.

Thankfully, Mr. Money enjoyed culinary school, we ended up liking where we live, settled down for awhile, and just have been living life ever since. At times, I miss being around the miniature horses and working with them. I also miss the peace that was living out in the middle of nowhere on the ranch. It was quite the experience! I’m thankful that I’m still not picking up poop everyday though!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

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Current Unemployment Rate? 17.5%

sad.jpgSeriously? 17.5% unemployment? Yes, if the government would measure unemployment as they did 80 years ago.  The government’s calculation of 7.2% unemployment does not take into consideration millions of Americans who could not find a job or could not get full time employment.  So, if you’re that person with the master’s degree that’s working part time at your local grocery store, you’re not included in the calculation.  Technically you have a job.

The government also tracks the “U-6” rate, which includes discouraged and underemployed workers.  Right now it’s 13.5%.  Currently we’re at a 15 year high for unemployment.  The number of Americans filing for unemployment is at its highest level in a quarter of a century.

During the Great Depression, unemployment hit 25%.  But that wasn’t until 4 years after the stock market crash.  1 in 4 Americans was out of a job.  We think 7.2% (or 17.5%) is bad?  Hopefully we won’t see 25%.  That would be devastating.   My advice?  If you’ve got a job, thank your lucky stars.  Keep saving all you can, and be as thrifty as possible.  You can never have too much money saved!

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