(Closed) When did Money issues become taboo?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
14181 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think money is a very open topic around here.

Personally I’m quite open with how I handle money with my closest friends. It’s how we get ideas on what works and what to change. We’re all sort of in the same boat, so we may as well float together =]


Post # 4
277 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Talking about money isn’t taboo, but assuming anything about another person’s finances is something that shouldn’t be done.

I don’t think people say you should stay away from discussing money or how to save, etc. but one certainly shouldn’t tell other people how to use their money.


Post # 5
3586 posts
Sugar bee

All my life, I’ve never known people to discuss their finances with people in general. It’s like asking someone asking how much they make at their job. WHO does it benefit? Unless that person is a college student and going into that field, it benefits no one. It may help some peopel to discuss, but I know what’s in my account and I’d rather have ppl assume it’s a certain number (I teach) than telling them what it is.

I just don’t like discussing money. It’s personal. People assume things about others, people will say you act a certain way if you do have a certain number in the bank, people will assume you are supposed to spend your money on them. I’ve seen how people get when money comes into the picture…and I don’t mean the people with the money.

I don’t believe in getting money from family either. If they offer, cool, but don’t ask someone to give you money. That’s just tacky. Seriously. If you’re getting married and can’t afford what you want…WAIT and save, or scale it down.

People need to stay out of others bank accounts. That’s just my personal opinion.

Post # 6
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I agree with EJS that on this board people seem to be pretty open about it… although I agree in real life it is taboo. 

IMO though… it is more taboo when you have more than less. For example, I’m having a pretty low budget wedding (19k for everything including rings, honeymoon, etc), so I don’t really ever feel awkward talking about my wedding budget because I think most people’s budgets are higher than mind. However I would feel uncomfortable talking about my salary because I think its probably higher than a lot of my family/friends and I don’t want to be seen as bragging or get feelings/comments like “oh she makes x so she should be able to _____.” Because yea, i have a high salary but I also have freakin crazy student loans, a mortgage, lots of other stuff my friends don’t have. 

Post # 7
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Bailzoe: I totally agree. If you ask me about our finances I will tell you point blank where we sit. We aren’t rich by any stretch, but we do have our ducks in a row. My parents are paying are paying for most the wedding and I have picked up the tab on the little extras whereas the Future Mother-In-Law isn’t paying for any part of the wedding. Honestly though I didn’t even consider being upset about that because I don’t expect people to just hand money over to me. In fact, when I first started planning I looked at our finances and figured out how much we could afford ($5k). Then my parents told me they had been saving since I was 18 and had $10k for me to use. Instead of having a $15k wedding though, I decided my wedding could be everything I wanted for $10k and we could use our money for the honeymoon.

I think you can have a very nice wedding on any budget, whether that is $500 or $1 million. I just don’t understand where brides feel entitled to money so they can have a wedding. We all have our dreams of the perfect wedding, but we also need to realize we live in the real world and sometimes it just isn’t realistic to spend $12k on a gown when $300 would do.

My Fiance and I really aren’t ones to go out and spend money for the sake of spending money. We internally justify every purchase we make. That also gives us time and money to take part in our hobbies though which are pretty expensive (travel, scuba diving, martial arts, golf, salt water aquariams, etc.). We had no problem giving up our $100 cable subscription and using that saved money for plane tickets to The Keys. It is just about priorities.

One thing I strongly believe though is no one owes you anything. Not their money, their things, or their time. There isn’t anything in this world you can’t do by yourself. That gives me automatic appreciation when people do give me their time or money. When you feel entitled to those things, that can breed bad feelings towards people.

Ultimately if you are in control of your own money then you make the choices. The Fiance and I don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings when we say “You aren’t invited because we can’t afford to have you there.” I also didn’t worry about hurting my FMIL’s feelings when she tried to invite 50 people and I limited her to 20. I said “We can’t afford to feed your guest list, but I reserved 20 spots for you.” She felt slighted, but that really isn’t any of my concern. My Fiance feels the same way and we are a united front when it comes to our finances.

Post # 8
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I know that with many people in my family it is taboo. They are very private and its almost like talking about sex. They wont tell you that they are broke even when they are, it may be a pride thing. My mom feels its only her business about anything dealing with money and she wont discuss it unless it includes you. Thankfully, my Fiance and I are open for the most part about having a wedding without going into debt.

Post # 9
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

It’s taboo because it’s the most personal subject. If your group of friends discusses money openly with you (each others salaries, raises, bonuses, wedding budgets, etc.) then you are not the norm. Most people prefer to keep it under wraps because they prefer not to be judged or categorized or worse, ‘ranked’.

On a personal note, outside of this website I never admit or even hint at my wedding budget to anyone. Because the second someone hears that my flowers alone were $17K, they immediately get angry and say things about me behind my back (I know this because some family members have unfortunately snooped in my wedding documents and betrayed my trust by spreading the info around). Just like someone with a very small budget who is afraid of guests saying the wedding looked ‘cheap’ or there wasn’t enough food. It goes both ways.

Post # 10
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

Mom always taught be that you don’t discuss money, politics, or religion.  Money is a highly personal topic and people also get very competitive about money…so it’s best to just not discuss it, it can put a real strain on relationships.  Around here I think it’s not as big of a deal because we don’t actually know each other.  But even here it’s a competitive and polarizing subject.. think of all the threads written by girls with lower budgets who admit they are jealous of those with higher budgets… people shouldn’t be made to feel that way, but sometimes they just do.

Post # 11
2820 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve found money to be pretty open on here.  It’s just that a lot of times people are talking about other people’s money, not their or their Fiance, but parents or In-laws or guests or whatever.  And while I think you should talk about wedding budgets with family and registries aren’t a bad thing, other peoples $$ is other peoples $$ and so people need to realize they don’t have a right to that $$ (unless there was some kind of verbal agreement like mom or dad saying I’ll buy flowers and then changing their mind after flowers are ordered).

Post # 12
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think your post has two different parts. One is asking why it’s taboo to talk about money, period. And the other is asking why it’s taboo to expect people to give you money for your wedding (parents, in-laws, etc). Those are totally different. I agree with pps that WB is pretty open when it comes to discussing money, budgets, etc, although like @moderndaisy  said, there is a bit of judgment I think when people have larger budgets (or jealousy, envy, whatever) and like @Moose1209 said, I think it can also lead to a sense of competition. Much more so in the real world than here on WB, tho. I think people are pretty open and respectful when talking about money, as long as it’s THEIR money.

As to why many people feel that you shouldn’t expect other people to pay for your wedding or part of your wedding, I think that if you’re old enough to get married, you’re old enough to pay for your own wedding if necessary. Now, having said that, my parents and FI’s parents ARE contributing significant amounts. But we didn’t ask them to do so–they offered. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bringing up the budget to your parents/in-laws and saying, this is what we can spend, the # of guests WE can afford, etc, and seeing if they step in to help. But they don’t have an obligation to do so. You have a right to be sad/disappointed if they don’t, I think, but you can’t do anything about it. I don’t think it’s taboo so much as rude to expect people to give you money for things.

Post # 13
14181 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

When i say “how i handle money” we talk about joint/personal accounts and what sort of savings accounts we use or where we invest our money (everybody knows Darling Husband invests in gold, for example. no surprise) and that kind of stuff. 

But like corgi, I would feel uncomfortable divulging my salary to my friends, knowing I do make more than them, based solely on the fields we are in. It just feels rude to do so. Although when a friend of mine started at this company, she wanted to know if she should bargain for a higher salary, and I told her what my starting offer was because I knew it was an “across the board” type starting salary at this company–all new engineers start out at that salary, no matter their discipline, and she was very grateful for the help.

I’ve had people comment to me, “of course you can afford that, you’re an engineer!” or “your parents paid for your school, you have no loans, why are you bitching about money?” and it just pisses me off because they are making ASSUMPTIONS about our money and nobody really knows the whole story, so assuming things is just plain wrong in my opinion. Makes an ASS out of you, lol =]

Post # 14
1154 posts
Bumble bee

People usually talk about their own intimate lives not their friend’s or parent’s intimate lives on here.  Same with money, I don’t think anyone minds if someone posts about their own financial situation and we see posts like that (almost exclusively from people who have a very tight budget – people with more money tend to be more cautious probably worried about judgement). 

I did loove the Bee’s real budgets series.  I wish several other favorite blogs would talk more frankly about money.  But I don’t blame them.

I wish bloggers would talk more frankly about problems in their relationship and their relationships in general, I get annoyed at how perfect blogger’s relationships are always described (and then sometimes you find out they broke up for about 100 reasons) but I realize my annoyance isn’t fair.  Being open about something so intimate is really dangerous.

Post # 15
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I don’t think budget is taboo on these boards. 

I do think that people get upset when posters complain that their family isn’t contributing enough, and advise the poster not to ask for money etc.  I’m not sure if  it is predominantly people that have higher budgets that give that advice or not.  I see a lot of posts where people tell the poster that she is being rude, shouldn’t expect anything etc. and then add a disclaimer to the efefct of “I am lucky, my parents are paying for everything” etc.

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