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    • Sweetcake
    • By Sweetcake 8th Sep 18, 10:24 PM
    • 184Posts
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    Sweetcake
    What is your attitude to discussing your finances generally?
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 18, 10:24 PM
    What is your attitude to discussing your finances generally? 8th Sep 18 at 10:24 PM
    Hiya. As MSErs I’m sure many of us, may feel more comfortable talking about our personal finances (not necessarily in-depth details, but at least comfortable talking about it to some extent), but I wondered if that how you are generally, or just here on the forum which is a designated space for it, or are you more cautious about discussing any /certain aspects of your finances outside of this space? Even if it’s not necessarily a bad thing or lack of money that’s being discussed, but someone asking for advice or your experiences for example? I’m now saving to buy and have quite a few friends who have bought which is great, whilst most of them are really open with how much they raised, how much their place was, their experience generally, and any hindsight tips, another person might not feel so comfortable doing so, so was just intrigued. I know the community here isn’t really representative as a whole, but as a MSErs forum person myself, I would definitely feel comfortable being open and giving tips on my journey buying or saving journey , and savings etc, but would feels less comfortable talking about my personal debt outside of student loans and overdrafts...


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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 12-09-2018 at 9:22 AM.
Page 2
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 12th Sep 18, 6:26 AM
    • 333 Posts
    • 2,580 Thanks
    Teacher2
    My other half and I are frugal and, though we could not save a penny when we first started out in 1979, we had a mortgage and then saved whenever we could. We never spent much on ephemerals like meals out, holidays or experiences but salted our spare cash away. We had a very tight period when the kids were young as we decided to leave then in the prep parts of the nurseries they attended and then when they were older, paid their accommodation at university.

    Our income has been hit by my being forced to take early retirement and having my pension actuarially reduced by a quarter and my other half being made redundant. We have a pittance between us. But we own our house and have savings, otherwise we would lose everything.

    What has shocked us over the years has been the bitter way others have treated us as, while they were spending up to the hilt and borrowing, they have cast us in the role of ‘rich villains’ as if we had been given the money we earned. (Between us we have worked and paid taxes for 76 years!) The jealousy is palpable even though we have never had the holidays, experiences and things that they had.

    I think that this is a common thing in the country now. People are encouraged by politicians to envy others so they can divide and rule. Because of this I would never discuss my finances with anyone else. Our friends with substantial pensions would despise us and everyone else would resent us.

    It is an odd position to be in. The person who identified the difference between wealth and income hit it on the nail. We have some wealth, I suppose, but little income. Asset taxes would tip us over.
    • EJS_Superted
    • By EJS_Superted 12th Sep 18, 2:46 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    EJS_Superted
    I am comfortable to talk about my finances, I just don't think I know anybody who I can talk to about them with the exception of a couple of friends who work in finance and would understand. I feel that the people on this forum are a rare breed - people who put managing finances in the same category as keeping their house clean or arriving at work on time (or not!)

    I think if I told most people about my savings, investments, mortgage overpayments etc. the response from most would either be jealousy or just seeing it as an opportunity to take the high ground by saying something like "i'm not that interested in money."


    I am currently in the odd situation (like others) of being misunderstood for the sensible way I manage my finances. My partners mother is of the opinion that my finances are a risk to my partner. She bases this is on how reluctant I am to spend money on expensive holidays, meals out etc. and therefore I mustn't have much money. She doesn't understand that I don't have much money because I choose to spend most of my money on assets and so my wealth is far greater than my lifestyle implies. I don't see how I can ever explain this without risking causing offence.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 12th Sep 18, 3:11 PM
    • 8,300 Posts
    • 29,037 Thanks
    Primrose
    There,s an old saying if you divided all the wealth in the world equally amongst the population, within a year you would have rich and poor people again.

    I think this is probably true. Everybody manages their money differently and many of those who sit in judgement against the better off are those who are not necessarily from a poorer background but who are less good at managing their finances efficiently.
    • klew356
    • By klew356 12th Sep 18, 3:51 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 1,789 Thanks
    klew356
    None of my friends know how much I get paid per hour, is that strange? I know how much a couple of my friends get paid but its because they have disclosed the information – I wasn’t brought up to do that. My parents know.
    I don’t discuss hourly rates at work, none of us do?
    My parents also know approx. how much I have in savings, I wouldn’t disclose this with friends? In other news Id rather they thought I was skint, as I have seen situations before when friends have lent money to not so close friends and haven’t got it back, im in a situation at the moment where I am travelling soon with 2 other friends, one I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for her ticket as she would sit on her phone and transfer there and then the other one I wouldn’t dare pay for her ticket as she is renowned for not paying people back
    • Ray Singh-Blue
    • By Ray Singh-Blue 12th Sep 18, 7:59 PM
    • 400 Posts
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    Ray Singh-Blue
    I'm very open here & find this helps people to offer relevant thoughts and advice, for which I have been really grateful.

    But in real life, I say nothing about money. I socialise and work with people who I suspect have a very different sort of financial set up and world view. Well maybe they do, maybe they don't - I don't want to know. Can't see any good coming from starting that sort of conversation in real life, just judgement. I also try to live a lifestyle which does not give too much away.
    Last edited by Ray Singh-Blue; 12-09-2018 at 8:02 PM.
    • longleggedhair
    • By longleggedhair 13th Sep 18, 11:59 AM
    • 330 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    longleggedhair
    None of my friends know how much I get paid per hour, is that strange? I know how much a couple of my friends get paid but its because they have disclosed the information – I wasn’t brought up to do that. My parents know.
    I don’t discuss hourly rates at work, none of us do?
    My parents also know approx. how much I have in savings, I wouldn’t disclose this with friends? In other news Id rather they thought I was skint, as I have seen situations before when friends have lent money to not so close friends and haven’t got it back, im in a situation at the moment where I am travelling soon with 2 other friends, one I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for her ticket as she would sit on her phone and transfer there and then the other one I wouldn’t dare pay for her ticket as she is renowned for not paying people back
    Originally posted by klew356
    I absolutely agree with this. I often gently give the impression I'm struggling, as it prevents awkward situations.
    • klew356
    • By klew356 14th Sep 18, 8:41 AM
    • 302 Posts
    • 1,789 Thanks
    klew356
    I absolutely agree with this. I often gently give the impression I'm struggling, as it prevents awkward situations.
    Originally posted by longleggedhair
    totally! nahh im skint is an answer im quite happy to give sometimes!
    • tara747
    • By tara747 14th Sep 18, 11:07 AM
    • 10,202 Posts
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    tara747
    my husband,a side of the family had a very poor record of managing finances and because we were always very frugal with our finances there was a continual sense of entitlement that we would always be there to bail them out financially. We quickly decided that our finances would be kept to ourselves. I think that was resented but many subsequent incidents
    proved that to be a wise move.

    My OH and I are the only people who know what our assets are, apart from a financial advisor and that,s the way it's going to stay. These days there are too many people out there with a begging bowl. Also over the years, there seems to be a growing divide between between the "haves" and the "have nots ". Some of it is due to bad luck, a poor start in life or misfortune but there are also a lot of people who are poor at managing their income and choose to live a more extravagant lifestyle than they can afford.

    We accumulated our savings by making a deliberate choice about how we wanted to live and were prepared to sacrifice some luxuries in earlier life for a comfortable retirement. I don't think people can have their cake and eat it but being too open about your finances could end up with you being put in an uncomfortable position by friends or family members who automatically think that their close affiliation with you entitles them to an automatic bailout.
    Originally posted by Primrose
    This 100%!!!!!

    We all earn money and pay income tax on it. The rest is ours to do with as we see fit, we make free choices. Some of my acquaintances choose to spend all their money on stuff, I choose to spend mine on experiences that enrich my life and I also save a fair bit.

    The number of times I've heard envious remarks about "going on ANOTHER holiday" from those same acquaintances!!! Some of whom are colleagues who earn the same as I do!

    If they knew I had significant savings, I dread to think what their reaction would be. So I don't talk about it. But, if challenged, I'd point out that I've made choices and so have they. I haven't been given or inherited a penny - it's all savings. I have deferred consumption in the present to have a more secure future.

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    • Vet
    • By Vet 14th Sep 18, 11:15 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Vet
    I absolutely agree with this. I often gently give the impression I'm struggling, as it prevents awkward situations.
    Originally posted by longleggedhair
    totally! nahh im skint is an answer im quite happy to give sometimes!
    Originally posted by klew356
    I'm the same to be honest. I am financially in a very lucky position that I can save most of my salary as my job gives me accommodation with bills mostly paid. However, my friends are unfortunately not in such a lucky position. I don't brag about my savings. I'm not a flashy person, so it looks like we are all on the same boat - and therefore stops any awkwardness when it comes to the end of the month.
    A couple of times i've given money because one of my best mates is skint and needs money for food at the end of the month - but thats not lending it. I wouldn't expect it back.
    • droopsnoot
    • By droopsnoot 14th Sep 18, 11:48 AM
    • 1,176 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    droopsnoot
    What has shocked us over the years has been the bitter way others have treated us as, while they were spending up to the hilt and borrowing, they have cast us in the role of ‘rich villains’ as if we had been given the money we earned.
    Originally posted by Teacher2

    It never stops disappointing me just how many people think this way. I am on Facebook for various reasons, and some of the people that I know through shared interests sadly display this kind of thinking.


    These are the kind of people who, if they read about someone who has worked hard, had a responsible job and managed to get themselves into a position where most people would regard them as "rich" (think of stories about company CEOs, MPs with prior successful businesses, that kind of thing), their immediate thoughts and comments are how it's "obscene" that the person gets paid so much, or has so much of a bonus, or whatever, and then talk about how it should be taken away from them somehow. My thought on reading the same stuff is "good on them, I wonder how I can do something similar, even on a fraction of the scale."

    I don't really talk about finances, mainly because I don't really have anyone to talk to about them. Sure, I have the odd conversation about interest rates and so on, but it doesn't go any further than that. But then I have a very small social circle, don't work in an office with other people any more, so conversation of most kinds is quite limited.
    • MoneyGeoff
    • By MoneyGeoff 14th Sep 18, 12:29 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    MoneyGeoff
    I enjoy discussing finances but find that there are very few people who want to listen. I'm reminded of this blog post by RIT:

    http://www.retirementinvestingtoday.com/2016/08/naive-victim-or-just-plain-irresponsible.html
    • Prism
    • By Prism 14th Sep 18, 1:09 PM
    • 469 Posts
    • 384 Thanks
    Prism
    This thread has made me realise that maybe me and the people around me (friends and family) aren't typical. We are open about how much we earn and have, everyone is generous with their money (even the ones that have little). I have never had the impression that anyone is envious of what I have and equally I don't feel that about others. Members of this extended group are on vastly different amounts of money and wealth.
    • fudgecat
    • By fudgecat 15th Sep 18, 11:01 AM
    • 221 Posts
    • 460 Thanks
    fudgecat
    differeing opinion
    Interesting post. One of the problems my husband and I have had is his reluctance to discuss finances. He doesn`t like to tell me what he earns, doesn`t want to discuss saving, long term strategy - anything. Now you might think this is because he is bad with money, a secret gambler or a spendthrift. You might think we are heavily in debt or just making ends meet. Neither! I take care of the money, on the whole, (because he won`t deal with it and is happy for me to) and keep a spreadsheet to show where we are. I like to tell him the state of our finances and where to find all the information. It is like dragging him to a torture chamber. He gets tense, avoids eye contact, becomes aggressive. If I want to open a new account, change the destination of money for a better deal, you`d think I had asked for a divorce. Rows: " I don`t want all this complication" " You`re always going on"etc, I only talk about money once a month, when I just check to see if we are up or down.

    He would be so easy to rob blind! I pointed out to him that if I went under a bus tomorrow, he would be able to find everything and know where we were - IF he had been listening...
    Is this unusual?
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    • frugalmacdugal
    • By frugalmacdugal 15th Sep 18, 11:08 AM
    • 6,334 Posts
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    frugalmacdugal
    Hi,


    tell nobody nothing.


    I don't need to know what you earn or what you owe.


    I don't need 2 cars, a camper van, a yacht (all on HP) in front of the house to impress the neighbours.
    Y'all take care now.
    • MisterMotivated
    • By MisterMotivated 15th Sep 18, 4:00 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    MisterMotivated
    I don't go into much personal detail when talking about money, but will happily discuss broader interest rates, mortgages, regular savings accounts, utility deals, etc. Some of my friends know I own rental property (mainly because they've been to them at some stage), but don't know anything about how much I have in savings. I feel like I'm in an unusual situation, as most of my friends come from wealthy families and are likely to inherit substantial sums, yet they themselves are barely scraping by month to month, spending a fortune on takeaways, etc, while I grew up in poverty on a council estate (we never went hungry, but couldn't afford holidays and our cars were always old bangers) and have made decisions about my lifestyle to help secure my financial future as I don't have any inheritance to fall back on.


    I don't flaunt my money and generally only buy things I actually need (though I often stop buying small things I need around my birthday and Christmas so they can be used for gift ideas, as I don't want people buying me useless tat just because they feel they have to get me something). I got tired of pretending to be skint at the run-up to payday though, so I do get the odd comment along the lines of "we don't get paid until Friday, how are you not skint?" I decided that pretending I have no money just further normalises overspending; instead, I'd rather try to persuade colleagues to consider saving a little or easing up on the £19 coffees from across the street when there are perfectly good coffee making facilities in the kitchen.

    Like many others on here, I've chosen to take an interest in managing my finances through spreadsheets, etc, and am constantly looking for ways to improve my already considerable spreadsheet (I also have a secure document that close family could access to see all my assets if I ever suddenly stopped living).
    Last edited by MisterMotivated; 15-09-2018 at 4:03 PM.
    • Sweetcake
    • By Sweetcake 15th Sep 18, 8:00 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    Sweetcake
    I got tired of pretending to be skint at the run-up to payday though, so I do get the odd comment along the lines of "we don't get paid until Friday, how are you not skint?" I decided that pretending I have no money just further normalises overspending;
    Like many others on here, I've chosen to take an interest in managing my finances through spreadsheets, etc, and am constantly looking for ways to improve my already considerable spreadsheet (I also have a secure document that close family could access to see all my assets if I ever suddenly stopped living).
    Originally posted by MisterMotivated
    YES. Particularly the pretending to have not money part
    • RichyRich
    • By RichyRich 16th Sep 18, 7:04 AM
    • 1,823 Posts
    • 2,225 Thanks
    RichyRich
    Interesting post. One of the problems my husband and I have had is his reluctance to discuss finances. He doesn`t like to tell me what he earns, doesn`t want to discuss saving, long term strategy - anything. Now you might think this is because he is bad with money, a secret gambler or a spendthrift. You might think we are heavily in debt or just making ends meet. Neither! I take care of the money, on the whole, (because he won`t deal with it and is happy for me to) and keep a spreadsheet to show where we are. I like to tell him the state of our finances and where to find all the information. It is like dragging him to a torture chamber. He gets tense, avoids eye contact, becomes aggressive. If I want to open a new account, change the destination of money for a better deal, you`d think I had asked for a divorce. Rows: " I don`t want all this complication" " You`re always going on"etc, I only talk about money once a month, when I just check to see if we are up or down.

    He would be so easy to rob blind! I pointed out to him that if I went under a bus tomorrow, he would be able to find everything and know where we were - IF he had been listening...
    Is this unusual?
    by fudgecat
    I don't know how unusual that is - but I would certainly posit that it's usual for one partner to be more interested in finances than the other. My wife, for example, really doesn't have any interest whatsoever. I sort out our joint finances, bills and the like and she's happy for me to do it. I try to engage her but she loses interest very quickly - she couldn't tell you who supplies our electricity or broadband for example. I do worry, because if anything were to happen to me I don't think she'd know where to start, but multiple attempts to involve her fall on deaf ears.

    I am at least trying to bring her round to the idea of drawing up a budget so we know where we are but she doesn't see the point because we spend less than we earn (and she has no interest, which FWIW is probably the more proximate reason). So our solution is that all the household stuff goes through the joint account which I look after and tell her how much she needs to put in each month. Then we can each spend from our own accounts so we don't accidentally withdraw something without the other knowing.

    We both know what each other earn though and I try to make sure that neither of us pays more than an equitable share - but it's a lot of trust she puts into me to do it fairly! Obviously we wouldn't have married each other if we didn't trust each other but I still don't understand why she wouldn't want to understand where the money we both work hard for is going!

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
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    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 16th Sep 18, 8:54 AM
    • 442 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    crv1963
    I think it depends who you are with. In my office we all know what each other earns approximately as we are on set pay scales, know what we can roughly get as a pension, so the topic never comes up unless it is about which pension scheme they are in- then there is sometimes a bit of joking about "how lucky you are" towards me, I simply say it isn't my fault it was changed and I can go at an earlier age than some others. If asked how I'm planning our retirement I am open about using different ways of saving for us but never the specific amounts. I suggest savings types- pension, ISA, LISA etc, but don't push any particular one if someone asks how they can do the same.


    Interestingly at home Mrs CRV sorts the running of the household bills, I simply transfer to her account my share of them each month. I wouldn't have a clue the specific amounts the different bills are. She on the other hand has no interest in savings types- good with money but she'd have it all saved as cash. When we sit down every now and then and I go through how we're saving for retirement her eyes glaze over and she just wants to know the bottom line, how much and when.


    I'd discuss how to save with my sons but not what we save- that's private between my wife and I.


    I wouldn't discuss our income/ plans with other family, they already sometimes get jealous because we both earn reasonable sized wages (but not what I'd call large- I work extra shifts because I need to for us and our plans), if they knew pension pot sizes they'd probably ask for a loan.


    We're late converts to saving and having retirement planning as our goal so I suspect my siblings probably think we're a bit tight.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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