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OT, talking about money

I used to work in finance and seem to always bring up money matters. Like how much things cost, things being too expensive, etc. I don't brag, never, but I feel like I discuss money or financial matters a bit too much.

What are some social guidelines on talking about money? I guess, what's the etiquette? I'm used to people divulging everything to me regarding finances that I guess I'm a little jaded.

Help :)

Thu. Jun 21, 4:04pm

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Funny, I hardly ever talk about money and I wonder if that is normal. We would have a great conversation OT! #;-)

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 4:58 PM

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I can't stand it when people ask what things cost, "oh, how much was that?" I had a friend who came through my house and asked what everything cost over and over. Tacky.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 5:56 PM

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Ooooh my niece is like that. Every time I see her - everything she sees. You can literally see her tallying up the worth of everything around her. It's really, really offputting.

I do and don't talk about money. I like to talk strategy, tracking and investments, but I don't usually talk about how much things cost or ask what someone makes, etc. Knowing these things really has no value to me and seems nosey and a bit too personal.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:08 PM

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That's a fun one...there aren't any sweeping generalizations, but here's how I handle it:

Rent/Mortgage: Usually a crass question, but here in Manhattan rent is something to commiserate over, and asking is just about the only way to figure out what a real market value is. However, I would never ask anyone in another town/city what their rent was. Mortgages, well, I don't ask but a lot of people are happy to brag about their great refinancing deal.

Salaries - I have a few friends/family who are open about it and a few who are reticent. I follow the other person's lead on that.

Clothes and home contents - I'd never ask. Besides, I've read studies about how we lie about what we paid because we feel guilty or don't want to appear foolish/shallow for paying $300 for a pair of shoes.

Electronics, cars, art - yes, I'd ask if it was something I was thinking about getting, and cost would not be the only question. I don't normally ask directly, it's more like "do you think it was worth the price tag", and that lets the person tell you what they paid if they want to.

Portfolio, investments, pension - nope, too private. Don't ask. Anything beyond "gotta love the Dow these days, my IRA looks healthier than I'm used to" is usually more than anyone wants to - or should - know about another's finances.

Debt - Of course I never bring it up with anyone, but friends and family often talk to me about this issue.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:26 PM

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How about this: stop talking about it. Don't bring it up.

I'm pretty detailed with my money (tracking receipts, budget spreadsheets, etc.) and a lot of my friends come to me seeking advice, but I would never ask them flat out how much they're spending on clothes, food/alcohol, rent, etc.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 8:37 PM

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