Would You Share Your Financial Information With a Friend?

Cash

A lot of personal finance bloggers openly write about money. They place their pretty little pictures in the sidebars and include their real names. I am not one of them.

Despite maintaining this blog for nine years and openly writing about many personal aspects of my life I’ve never revealed my identity.

A few very close friends know about this blog, but I don’t think they subscribe to it or keep up to date on the things I write about.

I’m not worried about the general population seeing into my bank accounts, but there are certain family members I would prefer to keep out of my business.

How about you? Would you be willing to share financial information with your friends or family members? Would you let them see inside your bank accounts and wallet? Would you tell them how much you earned and how much you spent each month?

I’m surprised by the number of people who seem open to sharing their finances with me. When a good friend wanted to buy a beach house she provided me with a run down of all of her finances. When another friend wanted to refinance his house and figure out how to save more money each month he was more than willing to share his financial outline with me.

In both cases my friends didn’t think twice about talking to me about the specifics of their financial situations.

How about you? Would you be open to sharing your financial information? Would you share everything or are there certain aspects you’d prefer to keep secret?

I share most details with those who ask, but I am always hesitant to share my net worth. Ask me anything else and I’ll give you an honest answer.

22 thoughts on “Would You Share Your Financial Information With a Friend?”

  1. I live in fear of certain people finding out our financial info! Thank goodness my husband and I do not work in positions where salary info is freely available. I have a relative (that I’ve probably mentioned in comments before) who was trying to guess our income, I wasn’t biting, and she had the nerve to say “well if it’s more than 200K you better start stepping up and doing more around here for us.” Umm, ok?

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    • Oh income is a good one. How could I forget that? I never wanted to mention salary information while I was working, but now that I’m staying home it doesn’t bother me as much to say how much I earned. Having said that I would never want to tell anyone how much my husband earns. It would change a lot of things between us and my husband’s family. I think my brother-in-law would receive the keys to the kingdom if my in-laws knew how much we earned as a family. They are always trying to give him stuff anyway.

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  2. I am a personal finance blogger who is very open with their finances and I post a monthly income report. One thing I don’t share is my net worth – I guess I want the tiniest bit of privacy haha!

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    • It’s interesting how much we’re willing to share. I was surprised my friends were willing to share every single detail without even a bit of hesitation. I’m always afraid to share my net worth because it’s relatively large for our age. Quite large really šŸ™‚

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  3. I don’t mind sharing my financial info with my immeditate family. The one thing I don’t share on my blog (but have shared with friends and family) is how much I make at my job. Not sure why that’s someone I want to keep secret.

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    • I completely forgot about income! I guess that happened because I quit working šŸ™‚ I’m willing to share my old salary, but not my husband’s current income. It would definitely cause waves in the family!

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  4. TOTALLY happy to talk spending. Not so much income, at least not online.

    I too am surprised by how open IRL people are to sharing money details – specifically salary, with some of my coworkers (around similar ages, similar jobs). Knowledge is power.

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    • Interesting. I have also noticed that younger employees tend to discuss salary a lot more than older professionals. After years on the job salary can really differ greatly. I suppose starting out most employees would be in a similar boat.

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  5. I won’t share any financial details with family, actually. A few friends who I consider family, yes, but not actual family for various reasons but mostly because their propensity to make spending plans based on zero knowledge is already bad enough, if they knew what our net worth was, they would ignore our many responsibilities and assume we had money coming out of our ears, and act accordingly.

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    • I think I would have this same problem on my husband’s side. I think my side of the family could know without any issues, other than maybe jealousy.

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  6. I will share net worth on my blog, but not in person. I somewhat talk about how much I save with some friends offline, e.g. I max out my retirement accounts, I’m paying down my mortgage, etc. or about how I made the rent vs buy decision and why I picked the type of mortgage I did. But I will only share that information in the context of friends who I know have similar incomes/net worths. I told a friend once that I save 70-80% of my income and their response was that their rent was like 50%, so how can they save 70-80%? Someone could extrapolate that I have a reasonable sum saved by the fact that I didn’t have student loans, but probably not in the ballpark of what I actually have saved.

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    • I agree 100% about sharing information with friends and family. I have fallen into similar scenarios where I feel bad about providing details when I know the situations of others are very different from my own. I am often guarded in my responses in order to protect those I love from feeling bad about their own situations.

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  7. My income is online for anybody to see because I’m a state employee. Now that DH and I are officially high income (since DH left academia and got an industry job, literally doubling his salary), it’s harder to share information about our financial status with people who make less because it seems like bragging.

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    • Thanks for the comment. I don’t typically share the details, (unless someone specifically asks), but I do provide general personal finance related advice. That way it’s less about what I have and more about how I can help my friends or family gain greater control of their own money. I think it’s all in the way you present it šŸ™‚

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    • That’s interesting. People in your own industry would know what ‘your worth.’ I’ve never thought about it that way, but I do tell people that my career in software development led to my financial success. A social worker, for example, is clearly not going to be in the same situation.

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  8. I think sharing at work, preferably by the institution, is crucial to crushing the gender pay gap. That being said, it’s not always comfortable.

    I’m okay with sharing sweeping generalities, but down to the penny not so much.

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    • When I was working I found that only the closest coworkers ever discussed their salaries. It was typically those coworkers who were quite unhappy with their jobs and I always wondered if the discussion was a starting point to ask for more money in the hopes that it would improve their outlook on the jobs they held. You raise an interesting point about the gender gap, but I find it so difficult to compare apples to apples. A man and woman in the same job do not always bring the same experience or knowledge.

      Discussing generalities seems like a healthy compromise between not discussing money and providing too much detail.

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      • I completely agree, and think that’s the inherent value in salary audits. Women who bring the same credentials and/or equivalent experience as their make counterparts (or more) should be paid accordingly, but often are not. Discussing it with your peers at work does bring some spirit of mutiny, which is why I prefer the audit route. Getting an employer to do one, though…

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