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Who knows how much you make? (outside of work)
Old 07-26-2010, 08:09 AM   #1
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Who knows how much you make? (outside of work)

Who do (or did) you share your salary and other compensation with?

Children? When do you tell them? At certain age or maturity level?

Parents? Siblings?

Other relatives? Aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, etc.


Were there cases when you shared this info with others but then were sorry that you did?

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:17 AM   #2
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My wife.... one of my kids if he heard me tell my wife...

nobody else...

Now, I have told my mom that I make over a certain amount... but did not say how much over....

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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When I was in the Air Force I shared it with the entire world! After that I never paid much attention to who knew.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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Just my wife knew how much we made.

The kids did get to know at one point when applying for scholarships (over 10 years ago now).

I've told some family members that my pension doesn't cover all our expenses which is why we saved hard for many years, but no one has asked about actual numbers and I'm not going to volunteer any specifics but I would if asked (we both have always got on extremely well with our siblings and parents).
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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DW and I are the only ones who know how much we make. I believe that sharing income information with other family members would create more problem than it would solve.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by smjsl View Post
Who do (or did) you share your salary and other compensation with?

Were there cases when you shared this info with others but then were sorry that you did?

My DW signs our tax returns every year, so she does know gross income, for the two of us.

She really does not care what our income is, since I cover all normal expenses, for both of us. What she earns is her's to do with, and we never included her income in our normal budget requirements (that's another story).

As for others, other than my DW? See the first line of my response...
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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I never told anyone (not married, so no spouse to share that with, otherwise I definitely would have) how much I made when I w*rked as I feel one's salary is no one but one's own business.

However, to satisfy other people's curiosity, I would lead them to a ball park range if they chose to look it up. They knew what type of j*b I did, so I'd tell them, if they wish to, they could go and look up what general salaries are for that type of occupation.

Now, this thread has got me thinking, how many of them actually went that far to do a lookup?
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:43 AM   #8
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Military compensation is posted on a website for all taxpayers to examine (Military Pay Tables) although I can't remember my parents or relatives ever showing any interest in that. Spouse's brother (a CPA) has asked occasionally, but mostly because he was curious about the taxed & untaxed aspects of it.

I think we started talking specific pay numbers with our kid when she was 10 years old. Before then it was usually in terms of whether we were paid enough to afford something, or whether it was in the budget. At this point in her life she thought $5 was a fantastic sum of money to earn for washing a car.

When she got her first job (at age 14) we started discussing how many hours of your life it'd take to afford something (both before and after taxes). She thought an ensign's pay was pretty spiffy until we suggested that she divide it by 10-18 hours per day, not eight.

Last week she was making up her college spending budget. (Those of you without kids can refer to Bill Cosby's classic scene helping his son figure out what he'll spend his money on when he gets his "regular people" job.) She did a thorough job of listing all her expenses, both mandatory and discretionary, and felt pretty good about it... until she realized it added up to $260/month on a $250 stipend.

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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The wife. Kids are 5 and under, hence $100 a year is the same as $100,000 a year to them at this point ("a really big number"). I'll probably share it some day when they are older. Definitely will share it if they are curious about careers and what Daddy does all day. Both kids already understand the money supply chain. Work/sacrifice/not spend time with kids --> money --> satisfying wants/needs --> save what is left.

I will discuss general round numbers with close friends in the industry to get an idea of where I am and where they are. One of us could hire the other if we like the other and their salary isn't up to market. I like to remind people that I'm a corporate whore and will go with the highest bidder offering the best terms. I have told maybe 3-4 people exactly what I make, but that was basically a predecessor to salary negotiations - as in "I make X, I would need at least X+6000 to make me move to your firm. Do you think it would happen if I came in for an interview?". Helps prevent wasted time for me and for the other person if there is no way they can match my salary demand.

Extended family - bros, in-laws etc have no idea what I or DW make. I think one BIL may have seen our salary info on some immigration forms for financial sponsorship. But those were W-2 salaries, hence didn't include a lot of pre-tax deductions like 401k, health ins, child care, etc.

My general rule of thumb is that I keep the level of detail appropriate for the situation. I have no problem telling people our household income is in the very low six figures. But usually don't get more specific than that unless there is a reason.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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A long time ago I told my father. The only living person who knows my salary is my SO.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:05 AM   #11
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We filled out financial aid forms and mailed our tax returns to several colleges. So my daughter and many other people have an idea of our income and assets.

My relatives do not have any idea as far as I know. I am semi-retired and work part-time. My SIL and her husband rib me because my spouse is still working. They believe that my spouse supports the whole family and I am just a bum. They don't know that my part-time income is about double what my spouse makes working full-time. I am happy to go along with their assumptions.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
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My wife, our accountant and the IRS.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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Frank and my brother George knew exactly, and all of you out there in internet-land had a pretty good idea (hint: it never exceeded 5 figures).

Oh, and any co-workers or others who really wanted to know my exact salary could easily look it up, since my salary was public information.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
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My late husband always knew my salary since he did the taxes . It pissed him off that an RN could make as much as a high grade government employee . My daughter and SO know my approximate net worth but not the actual figures . They really are not interested. My daughter & SO have letters that tell them what do if I die and where to find what . The importance of this was brought home recently as my brother in laws brother dropped dead at 62 without a will and the wife knows nothing of the finances .
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
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Our sons (23 and 26) know our income. I don't know if they care or pay attention to it. Now that DH is retired our older son's salary is now substantially higher than DH's monthly pension payment! Good for him, he's already saving and investing more than we ever could at that age.

When they were teenagers we started being open about household income. We celebrated raises and talked about what it costs to run the household and how controlling expenses enables you to save or pay off debt. Family financial info was available on my desk without having to go into the files. No big secrets.

My sister does not know any of our details except that we've always been able to live off far less than her and her husband. Different professions, very different lifestyles.

DH's family does not talk about money at all. They may talk around (not about) expenses but discussing income would just not be done. To some of them his recent job loss/retirement situation is just a mystery. They'd be very surprised at how little we can get by on.

My father and I can talk money very easily but he's never asked about our numbers. He knows that I think and act like him so he understands. A few years ago he showed me an overview of his finances because I am the executor of his will.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:35 AM   #16
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I talk about it with my SO, my sister and close friends. Mostly I'll only discuss it with others I'm close to who also earn a higher "professional" wage.

I won't disclose (or will downplay) my earnings with relatives and others that I don't think make much money. I'm not sure if it's because I'm embarassed of my success. Maybe I just don't want them to think any different of me. Despite earning 3 or 4 times what some other's make I probably spend the same per year as they do.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:37 AM   #17
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I told my father how much I made and my net worth before he died anumber of years ago. Other than that, only my wife and tax accountant and the IRS and my boss and the employee that I hired to fill my job when I retired (boy was she happy).
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #18
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Just DW and me know our income and savings. She is very much "in the loop" on fiances but in practice I handle most of it. She does write some pretty cool spreadsheets anticipating future expenses though. DW is more "financially conservative" than I am.

It's become somewhat of an issue with other family members, particularly those deep in debt or broke. I mentioned that we didn't have any debt and got some strange looks from the Spendarina SIL. So now we avoid mentioning it at all.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:01 AM   #19
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I don't think even my DW ever knew exactly, as in $xxx,471.76 per year, nor did she care that much. Most of my co-w*rkers knew within limits (+/- 5-10%) as it's not hard to figure out in a mega-corp environment. Most of our friends could make an estimate based on life-style (they were probably low by 20-30%).
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
(hint: it never exceeded 5 figures).

I thought gubmint folks earned more than that ...

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