General Question

El_Cadejo's avatar

Why is everyone so uptight about how much money they make?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34455points) March 18th, 2008

It seems as its almost a faux pas to ask how much someone makes. Like I have no problem telling people how much I make, should I?

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34 Answers

hairypalm's avatar

40k a year…... In bannanas.

cwilbur's avatar

It’s one of those things that other people rarely have a need to know.

iceblu's avatar

19K =\ weaksauce

El_Cadejo's avatar

I realize its something that i dont really need to know. But im a very curious person, so i often ask people how much they make in different the different careers they have and often get an answer of “enough” or “none of your business”. Like seriously what the hell are you trying to hide? Am i really going to do something with the information of how much you make?

guesswho's avatar

I don’t make crap for money

cornman's avatar

I made $500 today in 2 hours.

iSteve's avatar

@cornman: Legally?!!

cornman's avatar

With an hour commute total I might add.

El_Cadejo's avatar

ok so cornman are you a drug dealer or a prostitute?

iceblu's avatar

if so, do you make house calls? =]

hairypalm's avatar

do you smuggle little kids from Mexico?

cwilbur's avatar

@uberbatman: people put a lot of unnecessary emphasis on a person’s wealth. I have a friend who’s a multimillionaire trust fund baby, and he makes a point of not even dropping a hint about his net worth until he knows someone fairly well. He’s found that people either resent him for having so much or they try to take advantage of him.

I think it’s rude to ask if you have no need to know. If you’re curious about someone’s career, a better way to find out is to ask what someone might make in that career—make it about the career rather than the person you’re asking.

hairypalm's avatar

@cw has your freind ever given you a good gift? I want to meet him. Hahha. Just kidding don’t kill me.

cwilbur's avatar

@hairypalm: yes, he has, and he’s happily partnered.

hairypalm's avatar

I just wanted a 16 gig iPhone LOL . I’m going to hell.

eambos's avatar

Im only 15, yet in my job as a caddy I can make $300 or more in a weekend(even more during the summer)

eambos's avatar

Caddying is the best job for students, retirees and those who need a little extra money (an intrest in golf helps greatly)

squirbel's avatar

Yes, asking someone what they make is a social faux pas, especially in our free market society. Even though you, as an individual may not give a hoot what the next guy makes, most people base their judgement of you by your income.

It is shallow, but that is a quirk that almost all cultures have…

isb3's avatar

because what you earn is considered a reflection of personal value in a capitalist society

Riser's avatar

when I got into a good job I didnt even let my partner know for awhile. Partially because, beforehand I was making $7 an hour at Starbucks and my new job was “none of your business” and I had fears if it might change something in our relationship because of the importance society has placed upon monetary worth.

trainerboy's avatar

I have not asked everyone so I don’t know that it is true that everyone is uptight about revealing how much money they make.
We are taught that it is nobodys business to tell them how much we make. I don’t care if people know. It doesn’t change how much I make nor how much they make so I don’t know why SOME people have an issue with it.

hairypalm's avatar

40k a year. I’m not shy. Its not going to effect my bank account any if I hide it or post it.

iceblu's avatar

@hairypalm as we speak, hackers are doing a reverse lookup of you IP to get your home address, and from there they are going to get all your information and steal the 40k from your bank account…

hairypalm's avatar

Okay, they can have it. I’ll make another 40 next year. I and by the way my ip changes every 15 seconds. :)

iceblu's avatar

tu shea…. Mr. Hairypalm tu shea….

squirbel's avatar


hairypalm's avatar

LOL she’s got my back. And I also switch iPhones ever 15 seconds. :)

simone54's avatar

You used faux pas incorrectly.

squirbel's avatar

faux pas: a violation of accepted, although unwritten social rules.

Poser's avatar

Seems a little rude to me. It’s personal information. I don’t even know how much my parents make, and it’s never crossed my mind to ask them, much less someone I’m not that close to.

Of course, in my profession, everyone knows exactly what everyone else makes.

trainerboy's avatar

I use Colgate toothpaste by the way.Personal I know, nobody’s business but I don’t care.

Captain_Tetanus's avatar

wow hairypalms, how do you get your ip to change every 15 seconds?

Anyway if people find out you make more than them they treat you weird, and when the find out you make less they start giving you toilet paper and judging how you can afford those new shoes but you can’t pay your light bill. I used to think everyone should share how much they made until I became an artist. I’m one of the ones you see at art shows, you know white canopies, set up on streets or in parks, maybe you stop, maybe you drive by wondering what’s going down. Anyway, from this I learned that sharing too much info about income can be a bad thing. For one thing, it’s amazing how fast news travels. I’ve made the mistake of telling another artist when I was having a good day how much I’d made and artists all day who weren’t having a good day kept showing up to say how busy I’ve been and how jewelry (or whatever I sell) is such an easy sell while pottery (or whatever they sell) isn’t. Some people take it as a personal offense if you make more, especially if you’re younger. On the other hand if the show is bad and you tell people how little you’ve made then people start trying to console you ans assure you, or they come and try to tell you what you’re doing wrong and how you should be running your business. I’ll tell good friends in the same profession if they ask, but everyone else doesn’t need to know. Also, if people find out you make a decent income they treat you according to how much they make. They can be defensive or greedy or treat you like you’re doing so well and talk of how they can’t afford gas. Money, religion, and politics are subjects I am learning to avoid with friends. I wish we were a society of learning and even tempers but we are not.

joli's avatar

Our money is equal to our worth in the eyes of societal collusion. This makes it a personal issue. Personal issues are not to be shared lightly for the very reason that they evoke emotion in others, and judgement usually follows. People at my current employment all seem to feel like they’re not making enough, which makes them interested in what the others are making, while at the same time making them feel inadequate. It’s the wrong way to go. We should base our merit on our merit, not create tension and conflict within our group, pointing fingers saying she does less and makes more, etc. It’s best not to know what anyone makes unless you’re trying to break into a new field of work, and the information is relative to your situation. Even then, ball park figures are the way to go, high end and low end of the scale. In my opinion, of course!

jackfright's avatar

depends on context;

i’m not saying it’s right, but how else are we to form a snapshot of one another quickly if not through a value as easily quantifiable as money?

i dont talk or ask my friends or relatives about how much they earn, but it’s a different story when it comes to a bunch of strangers/acquaintances/potential clients or customers. this just boils down to the practical.

hey, that girls cute, i might want to say hello and ask her if she’d like a drink.
(only issue with money here is that i know my chances are better if i make more than my competition)

that guy who’s older than me looks relatively weathy and established… wonder what business he’s in, if he needs any services i can provide. he looks the part, i wonder how much he can afford, and if he’s worth my time.

that young guy looks decent, but isn’t likely to be able to afford my company’s services. but what if he’s talented? would he be useful to me? if he is, i wonder how much he’s making, because i could potentially make him an offer better than his current or last.

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