Have you ever been asked a question about your finances that makes you uncomfortable? There used to be a time when asking such questions was taboo, but for one reason or the next this seems to be making a comeback. More people than ever are digging deep by asking questions, despite the fact that they have no right to receive the answers.
From family and friends to complete strangers, it always amazes me when somebody takes things one step too far as they dig in hopes of learning more about my finances.
The Disrespectful Financial Questions
Before we go any further, it is important to note that everybody has their own stance on what is and is not appropriate. Just because I don’t feel that others should pry for information doesn’t mean that you have to agree.
Without further delay, here are five questions I have been asked, along with an explanation on why it irked me:
1. How much money do you make? You had to know this was going to be the first point on the list. Additionally, this is probably a question you have been asked in the past.
I understand that some people are curious, but this is one of those things that is nobody else’s business. The real question here is this: why do others want to know how much money I earn? Are they jealous? Will it make them feel better about their salary? My guess is that everybody has their own reason for asking this question.
2. What is your mortgage payment? Believe it or not, I have been asked this question several times from a variety of people. Even my neighbors have had the nerve to inquire.
A house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. It is also likely to be your largest monthly bill. I don’t think this information should be shared with anybody and everybody who builds up enough courage to ask.
3. Did you buy or lease your car? Although I don’t buy a new car often, as soon as I do you can be rest assured that this question will be asked several times over. The strange thing is that this seems to come from my friends most of the time.
Maybe they are simply curious because they like the vehicle. Or maybe they are digging around for information that is none of their business.
4. Did you buy your car new or used? This may not be a direct inquiry about my finances, but deep down inside this is what the person is getting at. Simply put, they feel that a used car costs less than a new one. Some people take things one step further, thinking that this means I am too cheap or too poor to buy new.
5. Where do you keep your money? Excuse me, but this is none of your business. I cannot believe how many times somebody wanted to know if I keep cash in my home, all my money in the same account, in an online account, etc.
Of all these questions, this one takes the cake in my book. It can make for an extremely awkward exchange.
How to Answer
At this point, you realize that I hate when somebody asks me one of the five questions above. The way you deal with this is your decision. Here is what I do:
- Tell the person I would rather not discuss the topic
- Deflect the question, bring up another topic and move on
Either way, the end result is the same: I don’t have to answer and the other person gets the point.
If the questioning persists, which I have faced in the past, you may have to become more aggressive in letting the person know you are uncomfortable with the subject.
It does not matter if you have millions of dollars in the bank or are just starting your career after college, your financial information is personal and you have the right to keep it that way.
There is nothing wrong with answering the above questions, as long as you are comfortable with the person you are having the conversation with. On the other hand, you should never feel pressured to share information regarding your finances.