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Do you hide your finances?

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  • Do you hide your finances?

    Outside of this forum I really don't talk about money all that much with coworkers, friends, or even family.

    It seems that especially at work, it is almost acceptable or cool to be in debt and be broke. I often hear people in the hallways and break room talking about how much they are struggling or behind. I get the feeling that if I actually told people what I have achieved I'd be ostracized. I remember one day when one of the secretaries borrowed her brother's Camaro for the day. A bunch of the managers thought that it was her car. They were grumbling all day over it saying that she must be making too much money. I find it so strange. Jealousy really seems to boil over whenever someone is able to achieve any form of financial victory.

    I also am finding it increasingly more difficult to hide what I have. While everyone else is anticipating payday I'm sitting back relaxing. People have actually asked me why I am not looking forward to payday. It's getting harder to come up with lies.

  • #2
    I have never been an environment where people in my business about money.

    They may talk about money or things in the lunchroom a bit, but it is personal, and if you want to share, you do, if not, you just stay quiet.

    I would respond with a very courteous but firm, "I don't wish to discuss my personal finances with anyone outside of my immediate family" line or some similar comment.

    And really, why lie? A simple, "Payday is always great!" would suffice.

    Now, DH is an accountant and they are much more apt to discuss finances, but they don't directly ask personal questions. They may talk about a home purchase or car purchase with each other, some of the newer/younger accountants will discuss student loans. But noone is pressured to share anything.


    • #3
      Yes because there are two types of SAHMs I know. One is the super rich and never has to worry buying million dollar homes, million dollar trusts, and million dollar earnings. They never have to talk money because it doesn't matter.

      Second type is the struggling SAHM. The mom who isn't sure where the money is going to come from for college, retirement, buying a bigger home, newer car. They don't work because daycare will eat up more than they make. They make enough to survive their chosen lifestyle but not enough to save.

      I've had a lot of moms say to me "its so hard to save, you understand why we can't save for retirement right now. When I get back to working". I nod and pretend I understand. Nope I don't. I never did. But then we always tried to live off of one salary.

      So just nod and pretend you get the struggles. If they ask why you look relaxed say "oh the money is already spent. Cause like Dave Ramsey says you already named every dollar." They'll think your in debt and can't spend anymore.
      LivingAlmostLarge Blog


      • #4
        I wouldn't say I hide my finances, but I rarely discuss finances with co-workers or friends. Certainly I never discuss details.

        We are the millionaires next door. If I'm able to retire in 3 years as planned, I think many people are going to be shocked.
        seek knowledge, not answers
        personal finance


        • #5
          I don't deliberately hide my finances but it isn't really something I discuss either.

          My situation is a little different though because I earn significantly more than everyone I work with. The office is me, my partner, and our staff - so 2 doctors and 4 office workers. The 2 doctors earn a good income and the 4 workers earn clerical salaries so it isn't like we're all on an even playing field. My finances aren't going to be the same as theirs no matter how careful they are. It has never been a source of trouble though.

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


          • #6
            I dont share my income, but if a close friend asked and really wanted to know I would likely share a rough budget outline with them, along with the approx range.
            Last edited by bigdaddybus; 09-23-2013, 03:45 PM.


            • #7
              I'm retired now, but when I was working folks were surprisingly open. Several of my co-workers were thrifty to the extreme. I had a lot of admiration for the way they managed their finances. Some of the outward signs were some folks were driving really old cars. It almost became a competition. I learned from them.


              • #8
                This is a very sore point for me.

                My spouses family and coworkers think we are in debt. We keep it this way for a very good reason!

                My family and a few friends know we are not.

                Sorry deleted the rest as I realized it was too ranty!
                Last edited by Blessed; 09-24-2013, 05:26 AM.


                • #9
                  In general, I hide my finances from friends/family/coworkers or anyone in person or that I know personally that has a curiosity. It's better that way.


                  • #10
                    I tend to work with people who make about the same as I do, if not more. We don't openly discuss finances at my new work, however we did at my old one as our salaries were public knowledge.

                    My friends mostly know how much I make, and other than a few, it's significantly more than their salary. But they also know I work harder than they do, or have more in-demand skill sets. Some of my friends make minimum wage or a bit better, but they'd be the first to tell you they're too lazy to work at a higher-pace job.


                    • #11
                      Was very open in our 20s, which was probably fine. (Didn't really have a lot). With time and age and more assets, I think the less said the better. Particularly living in a litigious area. (I doubt we will tell *anyone* when we pay off our mortgage, for example. Best not to broadcast that kind of info).

                      That said, I have a lot of very frugal and financially sounds friends and family members, so tend to be pretty open with them. We *get* each other and none of us would ever ask for any money. For whatever reason, our parents have been very open about their retirement. We really appreciate the perspective. In a time when retirement is very feared, their open-ness has removed a lot of fear of the unknown. (Both our parents were forced into unexpected/early retirement with the economy, but are doing extremely well. I Feel like we have started out with much more advantages, in comparison, so doesn't seem a lot to worry about).


                      • #12
                        I don't hide my finances, but I also think they aren't anyone's business. Most things I keep to myself (except here, where I blab all ).

                        However, I am happy to give info when someone is looking for info (as opposed to just being nosey).

                        Two weeks ago a co-worker was having a bit of a crisis. Her kids' school had called. Both of her kiddos had overdrawn lunch accounts, and the school wanted a payment that day. Apparently, the school had been sending home notes and was done extending credit. It was 2 days before payday and neither she nor her husband had any money (they do separate finances). She was having a bit of a panic attack when I casually mentioned that I would be happy to lend her some cash until payday. She was shocked that I would have ANY money 2 days before payday. She refused at first because she assumed it would be a great hardship for me. So, I shared a little bit about having a savings account, budgeting, etc. I did lend her $60 which she promptly repaid.


                        • #13
                          I definitely keep them on the down-low at work and try to in my personal life. I've had a few awkward moments where a close friend or family member ask me about my mortgage rate or school loans for my kids. I don't have either. I am truthful with family and try to change the subject if it is a friend. I would never disclose the amount of my savings/investments to anyone other than my kids, and my spouse, I guess . I have a few relatives that are always bragging about how much money they have (without giving specific amounts), and it not attractive.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
                            While everyone else is anticipating payday I'm sitting back relaxing. People have actually asked me why I am not looking forward to payday.
                            Originally posted by Petunia 100 View Post
                            She was shocked that I would have ANY money 2 days before payday.
                            This is what really shocks and saddens me - how many people truly live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes worse than that. Being unable to afford your kid's lunch because you don't get paid for 2 more days ought to be a wake up call to folks that they're doing something wrong, but the message just doesn't seem to get through.

                            I've told this story before but my wife used to be a manager at a sporting goods store. She had direct deposit so most of the time didn't even know when it was payday. Everyone in her department, however, anxiously awaited payday. As soon as they got their check Friday morning, they ran out at lunchtime to cash the check so that they could afford to eat lunch that day.

                            While they were all out buying lunch at the local fast food emporiums and spending probably $4-5 each (this was almost 20 years ago), my wife was in the break room eating her brown bagged lunch that probably cost no more than $2 and probably less than that. They'd also use the vending machine at work during the day to buy $.75 sodas while she used the refrigerator at work to bring in $.10 sodas from home. Then on Monday, all they'd talk about is what club they went to or which bar they hung out at over the weekend. It wasn't too hard to figure out why they were broke by the time the next payday rolled around.

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


                            • #15
                              Like DS mentioned, I am also shocked at how many of my coworkers use the vending machines and soda machines at my work every single day. We have energy drinks, caffeine infused gummy bears, a smoothie stand that will add a shot of energy booster.....anything to get that last ounce of productivity out of people.

                              I bring 12 packs of diet Mt Dew to keep in my desk and use company cups and ice. I imagine the savings just from that over a 30 yr career would be a pretty big number vs buying at work.