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?