“Hey, how much do you make?”
Heather and I have been married for 18 years, and still there are a few things where we don’t see eye-to-eye. This week however, while adding goals to MoneyMinder, we reached an agreement on the topic of income. We were raised in families where our parents never talked to us about their income, and instructed us that it was impolite to ask anyone else about theirs. Since we were both raised this way, we assumed it was the norm that everyone follows. The thought of asking a family member, friend or professional acquaintance, “Hey, how much do you make?” still feels wrong to this day.
So we asked ourselves, why is income such a taboo subject to discuss?
I would ask the question about someone’s income today, because I often wonder if we are actually using our income wisely. Having a discussion about how much is a realistic amount to put away for savings could be useful. Knowing how someone managed their income to afford a new car or a family vacation, would also be very helpful. So again, why do we not talk about income?!
Sitting down with our coach Laura, who at this point was basically a stranger and discussing all of our finances, was the first time we thought, why does no one talk about this? Discussing our income and how we use it, with someone outside of the two of us, has been one of our first eye-opening moments of Project Money.
So, we’d like to know:
- Do you talk about income with your children, family and/or friends?
- Is someone else’s income something you think about, but just don’t ask?
- Are you more comfortable talking about what you make per hour vs. overall income?
- If you do talk openly about your income and how you manage it, do you find benefits in doing this?
Next week we’ll share how we are budgeting for two of our daughters’ ice skating demands. Until then, onward Horse Cents rides! (Horse Cents…our common sense approach to sharing how we are minding our cents so they grow into dollars).