"My friends and I discuss our finances, but we don't discuss salary."
"Parents, I am totally open with. Partner, I share pretty much everything as well, especially because we are in the same financial ballpark. We're also both trying to make it all work now that we are on our own, so it helps to talk it out.
"My friends and I discuss our finances (usually when we are struggling), but we don't discuss salary. We will also give advice on bigger purchases, or complain about the price of bills, car payments, etc."
"I'm completely ashamed of how much I struggle every month to make ends meet."
"I generally only talk about money with my one best friend. This is because I'm completely ashamed of how much I struggle every month to make ends meet. I think most people, my family included, think I'm doing great, and I'm on track to buy a house. But really I'm drowning in debt from trying to look like I'm not drowning in debt. Yearly beach trips, weekly clothes and makeup shopping, cabs everywhere, and not bringing my lunch are some of my horrible habits.
"I tell myself I deserve nice stuff because I'm a single mom who works full-time and was recently in school, but really I have a compulsive shopping problem. My best friend is the only one who I feel won't judge me because she is also a hot mess financially. We bond over how hard it is to keep our heads above water."
"I'm happy with my setup but I know some of my friends would judge me for how much I spend."
"I talk to my parents and my family about money all the time. My dad owns several businesses and does a lot of real estate investing, so I always ask him questions. I'm really open with my siblings, too, even going so far as sending my brother a copy of my budget spreadsheet so he can see how I breakdown my expenses and track my savings.
"While I'm happy to be open about money, I find it much harder to discuss with my friends. I make more than some of them, but I'm also much more willing to spend it on certain items than they are. I regularly up my 401(k) contribution. I have six months of expenses set aside, and I allocate a set percent of my paycheck to savings each month. I'm happy with my setup, but I know some of my friends would judge me for how much I spend compared to them. Living alone is a luxury I willingly pay for, but some of them would think I'm insane to not have a roommate. I only shop at the 'fancy' grocery store, but I cook almost all of my meals and quality matters to me.
"I just bought a designer one piece swimsuit that I'm in LOVE with and coveted for months; I know some of my friends would never dream of spending that much on a single item, but they could easily drop that much or more in an H&M spree. As far as I'm concerned, it all evens out. I don't rack up crazy bar tabs or buy my lunch five days a week, but I've found that people are much more likely to balk at a single, large number than they are at a bunch of small ones that add up to the same total."
"I try to talk to my significant other about money, but he seems reluctant."
"I definitely talk to my parents about money, especially my dad because he's the one who's in charge of finances and credit card tracking in the family. He's told me to talk to my uncle about investing because my uncle has his own financial business, but he just gave me a bunch of books and won't talk about it because it's 'too complicated.' Apparently, the only way I can get him to talk is to maybe intern with him. My cousin is super knowledgeable about travel deals and credit cards, so ever since I turned 18, I've turned to him for advice on which credit card I should apply for and strategies for getting the most rewards and paying minimal fees.
"My college has graduate students serve as RAs, and mine are super into getting the most bang for their buck and investing. They've given us lectures on budgeting, IRAs, the best sale times, etc. They haven't talked about stock trading yet, however, and while I ask for general advice, I don't really give them too many details about my situation.
"I try to talk to my significant other about money, but he seems reluctant. When we started dating, I insisted on paying for half on dates, which made him a bit uncomfortable. Now we take turns paying for dates, which feels less awkward and seems to work out better because there's no more trying to peek at the total amount. We've talked a bit about retirement accounts, salary negotiation, joint bank accounts, and credit cards. I have a feeling my credit score might be higher, but he definitely makes more."
"My parents mostly grew up outside of the American financial system."
Los Angeles, CA
"I sometimes talk to my parents, but they mostly grew up outside of the American financial system, and they've [always] been self-employed. They used to flip houses, so the thing they're best at is assessing properties and knowing the ins and outs of real estate, which is very valuable but limited in scope, certainly.
"For work-related financial things (401(k), Roth IRAs, etc.) and the actual financial industry, I talk to two of my best friends who are savvy about finances. One of them is a CPA and the other does the budgets of the HR department of a huge Fortune 500 company. I'm a physician, and physicians stereotypically make terrible financial decisions, so I've learned to rely on a few niche money blogs (White Coat Investor being one of them) and my best friend's — the CPA's — mom, who is a physician and very financially adept, for information and background research.
"When I was in training, I'd go to a ton of free seminars from CFPs that were targeted at physicians-in-training, just to make sure I was directing myself in the general right direction. However, I refuse to pay money for someone to be my financial advisor or investor. Nobody cares about your money as much as you do, so I delegate all final say-so to myself only."
"I have embellished my parents' financial situation to various friends, and even long-term boyfriends."
"My parents struggled with money when I was growing up, therefore it feels extra taboo to me, and that's shaped the way I talk about money now.
"I have embellished my parents' financial situation to various friends, and even long-term boyfriends, just because the friend or S.O. clearly grew up in better circumstances. I am comfortable enough around my current boyfriend to share an unedited version of my childhood finances, but I still don't disclose my full monthly paycheck to him even though we split the bills down the middle. I often lament stupid spending with friends ("I just spent way too much at Zara, WHYYYY!"), but we don't get into specifics. I have only one friend with whom I talk about struggling to pay for unforeseen expenses, dipping into savings, and living (sometimes) paycheck to paycheck. But even so, I still have no idea how much she makes or anything too specific.
"It's funny, though: I know a lot about the debt of my friends, specifically their student loans, because we're all in that same boat. It makes sense — sharing stories of your debt with other people (usually) makes you relatable as you find a common bond; sharing your financial situation at large is only alienating."
"I try not to complain about salary. My best friend is a teacher and I think she's underpaid."
"I do talk about money with my parents. I trust them to help me make better choices with my money because they know more about finances and managing them responsibly.
"As for my friends, I only talk about money with my closest friends. I try not to complain about salary because my best friend is a teacher and I think she's substantially underpaid. I firmly believe teachers should make so much more than they do, so I consider myself lucky to make what I do, even if this isn't the career path I want to take. I also consider my friends who have part-time jobs or are struggling to find work, and remind myself to be humble and thankful that I do have a job. I'm very lucky for that."
"I don't want judgement from anyone."
Salt Lake City, UT
"I talk to my friends about looming student loan debt, and they understand because they are in the same boat as I am. It's a little uncomfortable because I don't like to talk about finances. It's really personal for me, and I don't want judgement from anyone about how I decide to spend my hard-earned money."
"My friends do not know anything about my finances."
Los Angeles, California
"Only my parents and my fiancé know exactly how much I make and how much I spend. It's always been easy for me to open up to my parents because they were so honest about their finances with me growing up.
"My fiancé and I share joint checking and joint savings accounts. My friends don't know anything about my finances. We're not direct with each other when it comes to our salaries."
"Conversations with [my parents] about money usually end in a fight."
New York City
"My best friend is the person I talk to the most about money. She and I are in the same boat financially, in that our parents have just about stopped supporting us as we finish up college. We both work two jobs, so there have been plenty of late-night sobbing phone calls while we complain about the grind. The complaint is usually that it seems like everyone else is on vacation or shopping or having an amazing time, and we're stuck working all. The. Time.
"It's hard to talk to my parents about my finances. They feel guilty they can't provide more, and I feel guilty that I'm not doing more. Conversations with them about money usually end in a fight, so it's not worth it. As I've gotten older, I've learned to be less embarrassed about my finances. Most people are struggling just the same!"