Talking with friends about your salary might seem like an obvious thing to do; they are your friends after all, so why not share this important aspect of your life with them?
As we all know, no one will judge you for talking about money with friends and family, oh wait, it was the other way around, everybody will actually judge you for that.
So in this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of telling your friends your exact salary or how much money you make from what you do.
Should you tell your friends your salary?
Yes, you should tell your close friends your salary since that will help strengthen your friendship. Yes, I’m aware of all of the negatives that can come from those talks, but most people tend not to see the positives, so I encourage you to see the pros I will list below before listening to anyone that has good reasons not to talk about money with your friends.
You should not talk with everyone about money since most people don’t care, but with people you consider close or best friends, I believe you should. Also, you should be careful not to be perceived as bragging about how much you make. If your intention is good and you just want to share with your friends because that will strengthen your friendship then it’s fine. Check this article about bragging vs. sharing to better understand the difference.
It is a very sensitive topic, but it is one that I personally believe is dragging adult friendships down a lot.
I have a hard time writing this article after seeing the overwhelming number of people on forums who believe it is a bad idea to talk about money and believe it from the bottom of their hearts.
And I get it, there are a lot of bad things that can happen when you talk about money, but at the same time, most of those bad things will show you what people you have around, so you might have a chance to dodge a bullet.
Another thing I noticed is that people say things like”it is not their business” or “privacy matters for me.” which makes them look smart when in reality, deep down, it is about trust issues and ego.
I know my opinion on this topic is not the most popular one and it doesn’t make me look cool, it also might make me seem naive but I’m here to help as much people as I can to make real friendships that will last long, not just surface-level ones.
So let’s get to the most important part of this article.
Pros and cons of talking with friends about salary
I will list here all the pros and cons that come to my mind right now, for sure, there are more on both sides but those are the ones I consider the most important.
-Strengthen your friendship
Openly talking about money with your close friends without bragging will strengthen your friendship and make it easier to open up on other personal topics. Yea, money is personal, as many people will argue, but we have a lot of questions about money and a lot of things we don’t know. Talking about them with friends in a constructive way it’s great for friendship also, being a topic that most people avoid will show your friends that you trust them that much more. You don’t have to be annoying, don’t talk only about money, but you should let them know your honest thoughts about money. You might see money differently than your friends, but that is fine, don’t we see a lot of things differently? Knowing how other friends manage their money will put things in perspective and give you another angle rather than having only your experience.
I can’t stress this enough, real friends should open up to their friends and be honest about it, having in mind that work is a big part of our life and we work for money, not talking about this topic is like hiding half of your life from your friends. Why do we expect to have real friendships with this mentality?
-More topics to discuss and more opportunities
This is related to the first one, being open with your friends about your salary will open up more discussions about opportunities, negotiations, advancing in your career, changing the job for another one that pays better, and so on.
If your friends don’t know how much you do, they will not recommend you to other jobs because they don’t want to put you in a situation where you have to say how much you make or why you would or wouldn’t accept another job. So you might lose some opportunities.
When you add that we all want to make our friends believe we make much more than we do, hence”social media”, your friends will not want to insult you with other job opportunities even if they actually pay better than your actual job.
-It helps to have realistic expectations
When you start, your career is hard to know how much money you deserve for your job and how much money your friends deserve or make. You don’t know what to expect, what means a good salary or a bad one, especially since everybody seems to do more than you if you look on social media.
So it’s easy to get a bit upset and discouraged, but the reality is that you don’t have a benchmark or realistic expectations. If we were more open with our friends about salaries, everybody would be able to know where they are and if it’s good or bad without guessing. Also, this will open other discussions to know what we can do to get where other friends are if we want that and to encourage and help other friends that one more with real advice, not only with quotes from personal growth books.
Those are just a few pros of talking with your friends about your salary. As you might have noticed, for all of these to be real pros, you must have friends who will not take advantage of you or gossip with other friends.
As I said in the article about talking with parents about money, there are many cons when talking about money, but at the same time, those cons will show you who your friends really are, and you might dodge a bullet. So even the cons are kind of a good thing in the long run.
This one is the biggest fear of most, the fact that you talk about your salary can make your friends have some unfair expectations from you if you make more than them.
We all have friends or people we know that are taking advantage of other people making more than them, expecting them to pay more than a fair share at a party, dinner, and other events.
But you can set some boundaries when it comes to those things to make sure they will never happen, my friends and even my family know that my wife and I don’t land money, so they are not coming to us to borrow money if it is not a health issue or something urgent. That doesn’t mean I don’t help them or I don’t pay for dinner with my family from time to time, but no one ever implied that I should pay because I have more money or stuff like that, and most of the time, everybody pays for themself which I consider fair.
As I said before, if you see that your friends are taking advantage of you because you shared with them how much you make, you should take that as a red flag for your friendship.
-Perceived as bragging
Talking about money without bragging is difficult, so you have to be careful not to be perceived as bragging. This is a real concern; sometimes, we might have a different understanding of what bragging means, making the situation a bit more complicated.
-They will envy you
Most people will envy you because you make more than them, it is also one of the main concerns when people don’t want to talk about how much money they make.
Two things I have to say here. Can you hide this forever? Wouldn’t you buy a house, a car, or other things that will show that you make more than them?
And second, doesn’t this show you that you have toxic friends?
-They will judge you for how you spend your money
Of course, most people think that they will manage money better than other people around them, but they don’t have the same circumstances and principles.
You can’t satisfy everyone, but how much money you spend or what you spend your money on shouldn’t be their concern. And again, do we really believe that us not sharing our salary will make the people that will judge us stop judging?
Read Also: Close Friends Vs Casual Friends
I would say that we can make a change, a little one, but we can make it by being open with our parents, our family, and our friends about money and how much we make.
So, talking about your salary with friends is okay if you consider them good friends and you trust them. If you are open and they don’t perceive you as bragging, they will have an easier time being open about this topic as well.
Good luck, and I hope no one will take advantage of you for talking about money.