Conversations about money

Happy first day of fall! Although here in the Northeast, summer barely appeared. I only got in two beach days, boo.

Yesterday was technically a no-spend day for me, thanks to my pre-paid Visa card. At the grocery store, though, I discovered I cut out the wrong week’s $5 off the order coupon, which made me sad. I wonder if I go back there with the receipt and the right coupon, if they’ll give me my 5 bucks back!

Today is also a no-spend day. I’m wondering if it’s worth counting them, as I try to make every day a no-spend day (except for gas for the car — kinda need that to get to work).

J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy had a discussion yesterday about talking finance with family and friends. It’s not something I do on a regular basis, other than to say, oh, I can’t do XXX because I need to use that money to pay off bills. Some people do talk too much about their finances, and it’s more than I really want to know. But why do we shy away from conversations like this? Sure, it’s an uncomfortable topic, especially for those in different socio-economic classes. I’ll be the first to admit I have a hard time relating to someone who has more “stuff” (rather than saying “money”) than me, because I don’t have the material things or social lives that they do. Part of it is by choice, because I refuse to live above my means. But I also know I’ll never have a fancy sports car, a nanny, or weekends in the Hamptons, and I’m okay with that. I do enjoy my time down the shore in the summer, BBQs with friends, and an occasional concert. And sushi. We can do sushi!

I am lucky in that I can easily talk about my finances to my dad and brother, since our father has always been overly conscious about money. Mr. Saver will listen to me, but offers minimal input — he just lets me handle everything, long as he gets his cigarette money (Note to self: Must get him to quit). Even on this blog, I don’t get into the nitty-gritty of our finances. That’s because 1) I blog using my real name and 2) We’re not in dire financial straits, trying to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. It’s more that we’re trying to live the American dream (house, kids, white picket fence) and be relatively debt-free while doing it. I’ve eliminated my credit card debt before, and once we finish up the balances we have, we will be CC-debt free again. The car (financed at 0%) and the mortgage — well, those are bigger fish to fry.

Differences in spending habits can also lead to interesting situations when you go out with friends. I touched on this topic in a post last month, How Do Your Friends Influence Your Spending Habits?

So how do you start talking about your finances to others? How much do you reveal? I know even with my closest friends, it’s not something we talk about in absolute figures. It’s more of a dance around the subject.

Do you dance, or are you a straight-shooter when it comes to talking about your finances with others?

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