On a recent girls’ trip, a dear friend gave me some sage advice about money. She said, “Money screams, wealth whispers.” No matter how much money you have, when you scream, “I’m rich,” you share in ways you may not be aware of, or perhaps because you want others to know how important you are. It could be an Instagram post at a lavish restaurant or not raising an eyebrow at the price of something extravagant such as a home or a car. Either way, talking about money, in general, is inappropriate because it makes people feel uncomfortable. The most important rule of etiquette is to make others feel comfortable no matter the situation.
1. What’s the etiquette for talking about your pay at work?
The subject of money is impolite and with good reason. Your salary is between you, your boss, and your family. There will always be someone who makes more or less than you; this can easily open up a can of worms. A good rule of thumb is this: If it doesn’t affect you directly, stay in your lane.
2. What’s the etiquette for talking about your pay outside of work?
Talking about one’s salary is rare practice and largely depends on the circumstance. Say you work for a large grocery store chain. If you’re in sales, chances are you will be compensated based on your performance, and everyone’s performance will be different. In this case, almost everyone will know the pay structure.
3. Is it ever OK to ask someone how much money they make?
Like politics, religion, and vaccinations, the subject of money is a taboo topic. We live in a “quick” to share generation, but your salary only affects you and is very personal. It’s the equivalent of asking somebody how old they are or how much they paid for their home. It’s simply not done.
4. How do you delicately tell someone that you’re not comfortable “talking money?”
It’s natural to be curious, but for many people, the discussion of money is cringeworthy because it crosses social boundaries. If the subject comes up and you’re uncomfortable with it, try saying this – “The only person I discuss money with is my boss. “You don’t owe anyone an explanation, especially when they’re interested in your personal affairs, which is just plain nosy.
5. What happens when a coworker asks you for money?
There is nothing wrong with saying no. If it’s to pool your money for a group gift or dine in a group, that makes perfect sense. But don’t ever be afraid to say no, depending on your budget. These types of pop-up expenses can creep up.
Every penny counts!