An Open Thread About Keeping Your Income Private

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash.

This week, Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary explains why she doesn’t like to tell people how much she earns:

Money or the knowledge of it can change the dynamics of a relationship. When people know you have a high income, they’ll make judgments on your unwillingness to spend the way they might. Your frugality can seem miserly to them.

She also writes about the difficulty of hiding her income from her college-bound daughter as they filled out the FAFSA together — but when she finally revealed what she and her husband made, the conversation helped her daughter have a better understanding of how much money it took to run their household.

Her question opened the door to another conversation about all the ways my salary and her father’s are chopped into pieces, including saving for her college education for the last 17 years.

She got it. And, she immediately said, “I won’t tell anyone.”

We’re pretty open about what we earn and spend, within the relative anonymity of The Billfold — so I’m curious whether you keep your income private in your non-Billfold life, or whether you’re as open with everyone else as you are with all of us.

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