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Give me Numbers!
Old 07-02-2008, 01:08 PM   #1
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Give me Numbers!

I have found it interesting that in all the discussions that take place regarding money, very few posters (or anyone in a discussion) will ever divulge just how much money they have or are talking about in the discussion. Not always, but most always. There was a post the other day by someone asking what to do with a large sum of money she was receiving but she never did respond to how much “a lot” was. That was an important aspect to her question too!

As an example of this in my own little world: We were discussing retirement in my office and my colleagues were slamming the “new” retirement system. I disagreed and stated I felt the new system would be better and if someone really worked it there would be many more millionaires retiring in this system than ever would/could happen in the old system. I used my own case in point. Talk about the discussion dying. It was like I had just made everyone feel bad OR I had just revealed my own inadequacy and impending doom but they were being too nice to tell me the truth! I’ll never know because everything went back to generalities and non-specifics.

Why do you think that most people don’t go there? Is it for fear it would be construed as boasting? Is it fear that they would be looked at differently…be it better or worse? Or is it just something “not right” to discuss in our current day culture? Am I committing a social error by even asking this?!!

I almost feel bad for asking the question. Sort of like the kid who says something and his parents inform him it is “not proper” to ask that sort of thing! Oh, well. I always got into a lot of trouble anyhow! Why change now!
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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So how much you got?
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #3
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Dont ask dont tell
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:23 PM   #4
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"So how much you got? "

I gave that info day one I introduced myself!
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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Why does it matter? A "lot" depends on the person who states it. Maybe the posters think it helps with anonymity.......
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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At a different angle from what the OP might be asking, it seems to me that money in our society has profound associations with emotional self-worth, successfulness in a generic sense; triumph at the game of life, and on and on. Money is the currency of success in every sense to many Americans.

Problelm is, a capitalist society like our is so good at what it was designed to do that money readily becomes not only the metric of success in other pursuits, but rather the very essence of success itself.

So maybe some are reluctant to spew their personal numbers for fear that they will be judged harshly or that their worthiness will be questioned by others. It's not a bad strategy (withholding the numbers), really.

It's Not About the Money by Kessel focuses on our relationship with money and success. He takes kind of a Buddhist approach, pointing out that the problem for many relates to an excess of superficial "want" rather than a money deficiency.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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Fine its a number between 10 and 10000000
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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I gave that info day one I introduced myself!
That was seven month ago so you will excuse me for not remembering...

When it comes to money, I feel like it is OK to talk about specifics if people volunteer the information. However, I find it very rude if someone asks me how much money I have.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:50 PM   #9
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I think most people feel that it just isn't anyone else's business how much they have. I don't readily share my net worth with people I "know", although on this board I have stated my net worth once or twice in response to a poll, I think. My father knows it, because we discuss finances together. My closest friends know how much I make, and other friends have a general idea, but there's really no reason for them to know.

The only reason it might come up is that I help some of them with financial planning, so I use myself as an example to show them what I am doing to prepare to retire early.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
That was seven month ago so you will excuse me for not remembering...

When it comes to money, I feel like it is OK to talk about specifics if people volunteer the information. However, I find it very rude if someone asks me how much money I have.
Has it been 7 months! Trust me. It hasn't gown very much!! Made you check though!

But your answer typifies my question : why is that rude?

And before anyone offers up their numbers...that was not my reason for asking!
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:59 PM   #11
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My goal is a million dollars and a mobile home. I'm halfway there - I have the mobile home.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #12
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Looked in my pocket $0.00 in change. Got $140.00 in "Paper" in my wallet (1-$100 bill (hidden-mad-emergency money) and 2-$20 bills. Oh yes I got 2-$25 Gift Certificates for Olive Garden under the visor of the car. Specific enough?
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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Has it been 7 months! Trust me. It hasn't gown very much!! Made you check though!

But your answer typifies my question : why is that rude?

And before anyone offers up their numbers...that was not my reason for asking!
You are a goof............
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:05 PM   #14
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A couple of reasons I wouldn't discuss hard numbers:

- We've had lots of posts here lamenting the strife caused within families and between friends when one person is perceived as "having enough" and others believe these people should give some of it up. Why invite that kind of animosity/friction?

- It invites judgment. If two officemates have been in the workforce for about the same time and earn the same amount, but one has twice as much in savings, what will be the result? We aren't robots, we have emotions. One of us will feel self-satisfied and maybe a little superior and smug (you might catch a whiff of that on our board from time to time), while the other person will certainly sense this (or believe he does) and things spiral down rapidly.

The hard numbers generally aren't needed in person, and it's an area of discussion that seldom ends well except in very special circumstances. Online (where the interpersonal issues are perhaps less important) the privacy/security issues argue against providing details, at least in my opinion.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
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money talk is gauche. instead shouldn't we be publicly discussing something much less intimate, like our personal relationships with god?
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:07 PM   #16
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Pastafarian?
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:08 PM   #17
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money talk is gauche. instead shouldn't we be publicly discussing something much less intimate, like our personal relationships with god?
I'd be willing to if you are..........
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:13 PM   #18
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Depending on the lifestyle one chooses, to them I may be poor...or wealthy.

My figures change on a daily basis. I will say on this board that I am over 1 million....at this point.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:49 PM   #19
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But your answer typifies my question : why is that rude?
Well for me I can trace it back to my upbringing. Money had been a total taboo in my family. I had no idea what my parents' income or net worth was until recently, when they reached retirement age and started planning their estate. Still, my wife and I keep our "numbers" for ourselves. Part of it is fear of resentment and part of it is fear that people will start asking for money (we have reasons to be careful, our parents and siblings tend to see our money as the "family's" money). We don't share our dreams of FIRE with anyone and we live a relatively simple lifestyle with few outward signs of wealth to throw people off. The only place where I feel comfortable talking about specifics is right here, hidden behind a screen.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:53 PM   #20
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We could say whatever we wanted on this or any board and it might or might not be true. Signed, Melissa Gates.

In real life I can't imagine sharing real financial information with coworkers, even to make a point. I don't think it's boasting, it's context.
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