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Please choose a screen name. Every step of the way if that was what I wanted to do to make a better life for myself and my children. Be humble. Be gracious. Be smart and intelligent and invent a better life for yourself and your children. Live below your means. Take all the money you save and take a great vacation and set-up a decent IRA. If someone says, what are you doing with your money? That will stop the conversation.
Tell them how much you spent on your college education and the jobs they should take to get them on a career path so they can make as much as you do. After working on the path for a long long time. Want they may need is good financial planning and some sound financial advice. Give them advice! By all means. LOL, i can help but think that you are Peter in disguise. Someone asking you how much money you make is a double edged sword.
If you refuse to tell them, they get bitter. Only buddies that occasionally golf. Which, by the way, Samurai never agreed to be his mentor. That was only a request from Peter. And all the blame is put on the Samurais. Complete privacy is always the best answer. Then, maybe.
I think the hardest thing was becoming successful and financially solvent while my friends did not and seeing how well I was doing made them resentful relative to their own successes. So much so that it strained and in some cases ended our friendships. A decade ago a group of friends decided to make it big in LA.
I was a big fan of movies and always liked movie vfx so I put in a lot of sweat and tears into that sort of gig. After a couple of years it panned out better than expected. That is something I admire very much. Some of my friends just wanted that Hollywood lifestyle which is really easy to fall into and with the other aspiring XY or Z entertainer types doing the same sort of nothing it can go on forever or until the money runs out. Another friend and I were the more successful of the bunch 2 of us out of 7 friends actually and we noticed that we would cover expenses more and more on outings.
I just felt stupid. My other successful friend felt the same way. And that ended a toxic relationship with childhood friends. That was probably 5 years ago now and since then I keep my mouth shut about finances or my financial well being. I choose not to discuss my income or net worth with anyone in my personal circle. Just too much potential downside.
I am open, though, to sharing anonymously online. As a female professional, I am sensitive to pay equity. I once was accidentally sent pay information for hundreds of employees in the company where I currently work. You can bet that I checked for gender discrepancies thankfully seemed to find none. I work in a large corporation with structured pay bands per job level, so that helps. My last employer was a smaller, with all male co-founders and a mostly male senior leadership team. Of course, you are too dim to realize that your full financial state is disclosed by law during a divorce.
Not surprising for someone who believes in the wage gap. News flash men work different jobs and different hours… OH, why do I bother be ignorant it will help anyone not insane from ever making the mistake of marrying you Haha. Would it be a good idea to let legal guardian know net worth so they can take care of children in case of death? We have substantially more net worth than they do. Opposite side of the issue: What do you do when people constantly brag about what they are buying and how much they are spending?
A good, safe place to raise our 2 kids. This Steve guy annoys the hell out of me since sometimes my wife and I dont have alot left over after the bills are paid. We pay 2 mortgages the other house we are trying to sell , have student loans, etc. Question is: why do people brag about what they spend and how much everything costs?? I recall one of the first times I ever saw my Dad loose his cool in front of family in when his brother-in-law had the nerve to ask him his salary.
Most people will talk politics and religion before divulging that info. Being successful is as simple as paying off debt and living within your means, no matter what you make. I love this article! It totally validates how I feel. I just graduated law school and got my first job in a firm so friends and family often ask me what my salary is, which I feel extremely uncomfortable revealing. Personally, I would never ask someone that question. But I am prepared to accept those awkward and obnoxious moments :.
I won a contest that was featured on espn, fox sports and the associated press. It is similar to the chris moneymaker WSOP situation. Every person at my job knows now and I have to take a picture with my prize that will be featured on many websites. I know that this pub will die down but how do I practice stealth wealth from here on out.
What could be the options for getting insurance? Unfortunately I cant be stealth with it because as part of singing up for this contest and winning it, I was featured on espn the associated press and my local paper and tv station. What can I do now to practice stealthiness? Is it even possible? How the Hell can you write a post and tell everyone not to reveal how much money they earn; but you do just that at the end of your post!? In addition to encouraging readers to start their own website or business.
Not sure if you wanted reactions and pissed peeps or what? Brian, thanks for your comment. The graph is used to show the possibilities. Never tell. People who ask this question always have selfish intentions. These people deserve a lie. Take my case for example. I work as a bus driver. All the companies are different unions. He got very, very, very butt hurt. But who cares. Get lost. Worst case scenario, you tell enough of these people how much you make, and a strike could happen. I like the attitude Jim! Why not just be honest and tell the truth.
What would some of the headaches and consequences be for playing up? I still would never reveal my full income. The problem was not that you told him how much money you make. The problem is that your friend was a jealous scrub. If a friend of mine is doing better than me, I congratulate him and learn whatever I can from him to see if I can use it to do better for myself.
It works both ways. Only idiots and bums get bitter when they find out their friends make more than them. Smart people will observe and find out what they need to do to better their own situation. Now you have one less scrub in your life. Go make some winner friends :. You know what?
Get this edition
A true friend would be happy that I provided the information he wanted, and be happy that I made what I made. Joel…you make everything feel right and positive. And I wish I had more friends that had the same point of view as you do. People can rave about how hard and unfair it is that they have no money.
But when you talk about money and you have money it can be a sticky subject. I agree with you Joel. A friend should be happy for your success.
Lesson 1. Why people work | Employment First Florida
I had a friend early in my career who shared with me how much she made and benefits. This helped me know that I had a low ball offer and take a pass on a job.
My husband started his business 5 years ago. First, k…second, k…third k goes on and on we are in the Bay Area. When money first started rolling in the first year, it was exciting more for him than me. I came from a normal mid-class income family. My husband came from poor…dirty 2 bed apartment living and single mother raising 7 kids. Unless you are really good at hiding things. The first 3 years were exciting, fun and new shine new things my husband bought.
Year 3 and 4 you realize people asking for money and expecting you to pay for everything and just want to hang out with you for no particular reason. Year 4 and 5…you start noticing the haters in at least one corner of the room. And now I recognize the others that really could care less about US. When the subject comes up I shut my mouth and watch what I say. Then again when I am around the rich people in our neighbor they are just as worst if not worst. The rich people act like they are better than you!
Who has nicest car, biggest house, vacation homes. I am super duper grateful to be blessed like this. I like this article. I think it is always best not to reveal how much money you make or if you get a bonus or any extra money to anyone. If you must share with someone,go online and share anonymously. I recently had to learn that the hard way,when I was supposed to get some financial help from someone and I told a couple of friends about it and how I was glad that I was going to get that financial help.
Well anyway about a week later,the individual who I was supposed to get financial help from,said that they can no longer help me,and did not give me a good reason why. If just going to avoid those questions or say I got a second job to pay for this or that and not say exactly how much I make. I think it is wise not to reveal how wealthy you are to strangers. You would welcome unwanted dishonest friends who can be best avoided. However, I do not find any harm in revealing how much you make, to friends. If your friend envies you or hates you for this, then that friend is not worth having, in my opinion.
It is always good to make friends who share common interest than make friends in the same wealth bracket we are in. However, revealing a salary to co-workers is a completely different issue. Companies and corporations want you to believe that it is in your best interest to not reveal your salaries. This scenario is only in the best interest of the corporations. By sharing salary number with your peers you make sure that on an average you are not being underpaid and overworked.
People will always pick up on little clues about your income level just by you living your life, no matter how humble you choose to live it. In a game of poker who has the power? I strongly dislike such types of people and would be rejoiced to rid them out of my life. When it comes to money, materialistic things, relationships, etc. I HATE competition. Its better not to reveal because you never know who will knock on your door in the middle of the night with knife in his hand..
You should never tell… I have friends always using different tactics to try to gather information about how much I make, how much rent I pay, etc. I always avoid the answer, sometimes in a very obvious way. Why do people need to know? There really is nothing useful they can do with that information. I grew poor, I had a baby when I was 18 in highschool. People told me I would fail. At 19 I got a job at a company making over , a year gross.
That same year I bought rental property. I have continued to expand, and make money off different things. Because I never went to college, when people ask how much money I make at 25 I told them. People think the opposite, I love to prove them wrong. I sure wish I would have seen this advice at some other point in life.
I have issues with family and friends over money, I am an Entreprenur spirt. I talk about money constantly. Big mistake. I filled a 13 to keep my estate because I lost my career. Its all ready said enough for however your living. Family should not know either. They make a lot of passive aggressive comments to me about it as they apparently think I should be making less than them. Thanks for the article Sam. I feel like I made a mistake, I told my best friend that I make a six-figure salary. She used to work until she decided to go back to school, where her international student fees are pretty high.
While trying to take a decision and explaining to her my situation, about wether to jump ship first and follow my dreams or wait it out, I blurted out that I make a six-figure salary. She sounded a little surprised but took it in stride and we discussed the dilemma. Is it terribly wrong for me to have done that? She keeps things in confidence and I trust her, I just feel bad about how I said it.
For example, I had a friend long ago who dropped out of high-school and immediately started making k a year. Our lives became drastically different as well as the people we associated with. I was a poor engineering student while he was a well off 17 year old entrepreneur. This feeling of inadequacy compounds on itself, and salary plays a huge role.
This train of thought quickly leads a person to feeling inadequate, which nobody likes to feel. It even causes some to give up completely if it goes on for too many years. This can result in people giving up their career entirely as they see no correlation between the effort they put in and their salaries. I just wanted to add my 2 cents as a lot of successful people do indeed some to lose touch with basic human emotion and empathy.
In the case of a regular job, it certainly can feel hopeless if your peer is significantly out-doing you. But in a lot of cases, the peers dont have jobs at all and are involved in various entrepreneurial endeavors. Its just that their strategy has implicit control, leverage, and higher profit margins depending on which market , and your strategy sucks in comparison. There are many profitable business opportunities that require low startup costs. It comes down to your willingness to learn, experiment, grind, and do something outside the box. People have made millions selling bug spray and paint remover.
Insightful comments, Ben. What I find most frustrating is when you know, for certain, you have more talent than a more financially successful peer, yet sometimes, by just by the sheer quirk of fate, they are raking in the dough while you are not. I did very much appreciate the observations on moderate living in the article. I quite happily drive a 13 year old Dodge pickup.
Dandy rig, and looks nice, runs beautifully, has plenty of horsepower to meet my needs and my payments are super low. This is so true. But I learnt that life itself is like that. It is unpredictable and unjust. There is also someone out there who was born, just like you, working just as hard if not more but not having enough to even buy food to eat especially all those, living in third world countries. Did you notice that one person gives so much attention to their spouse, so much affection and care and money and devotion, and yet their spouse cheats on them. Why is it like that?
The most unjust situations you see is when one person never smokes, always exercises and eating healthy all their lives only to end up with a fatal incurable disease at the age of 35 and end up dying at 36; while someone else who is smoking and is overweight ends up living with no any kind of sickness until 80 and dies in their sleep with a smile at 82…….
Why is that?
Lesson 1. Why people work
When I saw with my own eyes a talented and extremely emotionally mature 13 year old girl, who got brain cancer and had only less than one year to live, while staying in one-room apartment with her poor single mother, I felt how unjust the world was. But the dying girl was so smart.
She did youtube videos, encouraging others to love life and to love present moment. In her last year of life, she started doing her hobby — photography — through pain and chemotherapy side effects. In spite of losing strength and in spite of losing her life, she did what she loved, and she found various people to be her photo shooting models and made a beautiful gallery of her pictures of those different people before she died at the age of Life is not worth being wasted on this.
Find what you love and do what you love while you have time. And that will be your true happiness. She died so happy and brought tears to all her fans. She had no money, no rich house, no father, not even a chance to grow up. Yet, dying so early and so unfairly, she was happier than most of us. When you see those kinds of people in your life, you realize jealousy is more of an illusion.
You see reality only half way. Accept the reality that there is ALWAYS someone who has more of something else no matter how rich or successful you are. Also, understand that you never know the whole picture. Someone might have more money much easier than you, but do you know how long their life is? May be you are the one to live to years of age and not him — your friend-millionaire?
May be you are the one who will survive an airplane crash but not your rich friend? Jealousy never sees the whole picture. It only imagines how one specific thing is unjust. But life is not just one little specific thing. Life is multidimensional. In summary, when you are jealous, remind yourself that it is just an emotion that is not in line with reality. In reality, there are probably more people who have things worse than you and some of them are actually happy anyway.
If you want to compare, compare yourself to those who unjustly have so much less than you and yet they are the happiest people in the world. I have been in my field for many years and through continued education and hard work I have found myself in a very blessed position. Well, one is that I come from a working class family and have greatly outpaced my surroundings. For example, my wife and I still live in the same starter house as we did years ago. The tricky part is that as my career has grown, we are starting to exude success even though we speak little of finances.
Personally, I have only disclosed my income range with close relatives. I correct these comments and they accommodate, but not without jibes. They rationalize this by saying they are proud of me, and that I should be proud of my accomplishments and so on. I guess? As a note, I am not arrogant or extravagant in the least, but my career life and obligations do put some pressure on my personal life. You are right. There is likely an embedded assumption how well off someone is by their age, experience, and occupation. Life just happens and will only be rectified if the pain is bad enough.
I agree with everything you wrote. For example, one colleague of mine 56yo feels compelled to pay for his kids education in full. Two are already in Ivies, one a senior, the other a freshman both seeking advanced degrees. The youngest — a junior in HS — is also bright and wants to attend a top school as well. Yikes, talk about financially burdensome!
However, it still comes with the cost of restricting retirement savings at an age when this is wildly important. Point is, if he subsidized payments or passed this full obligation on to his kids, they would be able to rebound with time on their side, and hopefully great future jobs. My coworker on the other hand will be in his sixties by the time this is said and done, and will have missed out on potentially hundreds of thousands in savings. Heaven forbid he loses his job or has a major life event. He would then become one of the people you describe seeing in the paper.
Maybe it would be admirable if they were helping other peoples kids, but their own kids are their own personal responsibilities. These are burdens the parents chose to take on. Very few people conceive unwillingly. American parents are driving nice cars and living in big nice houses, but many of them just refuse to help the kids out. I do not understand why. I am a Chinese. And my parents saved every penny through the past 20 years to send me to good high school high school is not free in China and college and paid my tuition, dorms, food and everything. Most American parents are drowning in debt themselves.
Add multiple kids into the equation, and the problem gets even worse. Anyhow, the end result is the same. Corporation owners have a guarantee of an endless supply of slaves who have no alternative but to get a job, and the middle class stays enslaved generation to generation.
As teenager students, many of them do not have enough knowledge of society yet and nor can they make good decisions. Indeed, parents should guide them while they are choosing school and majors instead of letting them do whatever they want. This was MY idea. A couple days ago he told me about 2 of his friends who are now in college in Az. We live in California. Attending college out of state is just ridiculous imo, unless you have a full ride, like his friend has to Missouri to play Football.
They attended daycare,preschool,grade school,hs and graduated together. If so, that is ridiculous if you can pay in-state tuition! Or if they go to college and change there degree a few times and then ending having a job in something totally different. That will break the parent pockets!! I think that parent should help in someway but no necessarily paying the whole college tuition no matter what their economic situation that they have, cause nobody gonna save money for their retirement but them selfs. So everybody just have to plan accordingly.
Sometimes there is scholarship that students can apply, some scholarships take into consideration the parents income which I think is dumb considering that not everybody depends in their parents income and there are many resources now a day that can help with tuition. College can be expensive but there is colleges out of state like in Puerto Rico where u can expect to pay half of the cost if not less. But my point is that is good to help your kids within your mean whenever you can but not spend all your retirement money and spoils them f you are not financially capable of doing it.
But the questions are still coming! Have a frank conversation after you read this post why you must remain Stealth! Just tell them. I know this is a shocker to you, but they are not your family. Unless you married your sister? I get annoyed every time she tells everyone how much money they spend on everything. She is the type of person who judges others by what they have to show.
She has tried a few different tactics to try to get me to tell her how much I make. Because I choose to downplay what we make by not showing her what we have, she thinks we make less than her and leaves us alone. I was pursued by him. He asked me to guess? I said no thanks it ruins the person from knowing if a person likes them for themselves or what they are getting from them..
He was single for ever!! He wore me out. You will understand after reading he never asked me either, not once after we got together? I was being used for sex, and as a cover! I was late by the 4th and he actually asked me for the rent by 5pm on 5th? I did offer to pay it back as well during my asking him. He says I should go find happiness that I want if I could not find it living there! I see both sides of this. If anything, it is nice to have a hard figure to attach to blog income because it might help motivate people to stick at it for years at a time, especially when it is far from lucrative for most!
I just started my career and have expectations of going to senior exec. Starting off is easier because income is less and we all know how much folks make for the first years more or less. But after the initial training phase, things get much more touchy as some people are superstars and achieve rocket income levels. Why withhold information from people? If someone asks, why not tell them? Plus it lets you know who your real friends are. Plus open discussions about money allow you to find out what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right with your cash. When I made less than everyone else I knew, they treated me like I was a little inferior.
When I started making more than everyone else I knew, they either became angry or expected me to pay for everything. I do not like revealing my compensation at all, but I recently have for my last job and current one. I taught in Japan last year, and fellow English graduates wanted to know how much it paid. I did disclose this information to people I fully trusted or who were considering pursuing that role.
I currently work as a technical writer, and in this area, not many English graduates are fortunate enough to land such a role. So, a fellow English major was curious about my pay. I hesitated and said that I did not wish to cause tension or comparisons. He has a steady job recently received a promotion , and he wanted to know what a writer here could make. I reluctantly revealed my salary to him, and he congratulated me and said he was very happy that a fellow English major was doing well even better than most we know, in regards to compensation with our degree.
Others have asked me, and I told them politely that if they are curious, they can research the average salary for technical writers. Maybe not, but she surely knows how much I make due to all my colleagues makes the same amount. I think it is just as well. I would certainly expect my fiancee to discuss finances, and in detail. Marrying a financially irresponsible individual for love is the height of stupidity. Your spouse will eventually drag you down into a pit of hell if you permit it.
To believe that marriage is solely about love is incredibly naive. Never settle for less. I think you did right by telling him. I think it was his fault for not evaluating the information correctly. If he was reasonable with the counter he could of got a foot in the door with that company, and then worked his way up to what he is worth down the road. Just my IMO. I agree with what you said. I feel frustrated whenever my mum or my relatives ask about my salary. I scared if I were to tell my mum about my salary, she will ask for more despite I have other obligations like car loan and study loan.
It gives me nerve-wrecking moments and total anxiety! Hope you can advise! From time to time, I share my compensation, I am an IT consultant, with three of my close friends. One of them owns IT business and the other is physician and third one is colleague strange right. First two of them acknowledged that I make more money than most people.
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Strangely, physician who is in internal medicine told me that I make more than him too. Other than occasional remarks, both of them treat me well and none of the past relationship changed. The third one who happens to be my colleague happened to have lesser compensation than I did.
So, we sort of planned in a way that he could get more compensation so it is almost on par with mine. To me friendship or relationship is give and take. I am always of the belief that the information you have should help so others in particular close ones and hopefully they leverage it constructively. My belief is that you should be share such sensitive information with close friends though my wife disagrees to the point that I am a fool.
So far my openness with my friends and relatives worked for me. I am open about everything not just financial stuff. They all appreciate my openness and it has served me well. I guess, it all depends on how you put it across so you do not come across as intimidating or arrogant. Sure, the relationship while strengthening, there could be some transition period where it could be little unsettling.
In the end, it should work out fine as long as you choose right people as your friends. You will amazed. It is lot of stress if you keep sensitive information to just to yourself.
It is a great stress reliever too if you are open about things to your close friends and relatives. If at all, my relationships strengthened not that they were weak before. And worrying about what kind of information you share based on the actions of an idiot is also foolish. There is no benefit to having people like that in your life. Iron sharpens iron and people that are worth having around will only be strengthened by your success.
All others can quickly hit the curb. Some people ask. Management leaks. It can definitely cause problems even though the industry is mostly thick skinned people and radical differences in compensation are the norm. So did your buddy buy a Maserati or an Aston Martin?
I generally agree with your thoughts, but that is probably because I have the sort of income that would mark me for death at an OWS encampment. Conspicuous consumption is frowned upon and it is nice to be able to fly under the radar as much as possible. In the overall discussion of personal finance there are one or two close friends that I do share income figures with when discussing goals and planning, if they are really your friends it should not be an issue. He bought a one year old Aston Martin DB9 convertible. I might be a little bit above average for my blue-collar profession, but less than average as compared to my white-collar counterparts.
One of the early posts on my money blog talked talked precisely about my specific income. I figured folks out there might be curious about the income level of an average trucker. When my income increases though, due to investments and other ventures, I can definitely see the benefits to keeping it secret. Great post here and great advice! I also reveal my exact income from my day job and my online business on my blog. I would never come to my friends and family and tell them upfront how much I make… This would be seen as arrogance.
However, I share my income with one of my friend as a source of motivation and because we always feel happy for him when he gets a raise, and vice-versa. If this guy was really your friend, he would not reconsider his friendship over a dollar sign. This has showed you how he values friendship. What great ideas they had. How they have built a successful company. Being jealous of someone because he is making more than you is just stupid. You just have to do what he does e.
It is as simple I reveal my exact income every month since I do make it online, my readers got me there and seem inspired by knowing, and it keeps me going — like a kick in the pants to do even better. Would keeping my mouth shut be simpler? I think knowing your peer group salary can be very useful. That said, I have childhood friends like you and I actually occasionally write about them. By family I mean cousin and maybe even direct siblings…. Yes sir Don! Closet rich indeed! I had one friend, who when negotiating her latest new position, was given two offers, higher base salary vs higher commissions.
She called me and I ran the break even for her. Do I remember any of the numbers? Is she making significantly more than me? Do I care? But part of my attitude about money might be because my group of friends is, for the most part, still people I met in undergrad. Some people are bank tellers and some people are lawyers, some work in manufacturing and others are game designers.
My friend is only about 5 years older than I am, and does make much more than I do. There are trade offs everywhere. It also means I know about layoffs way before they are announced, re-orgs and all that sort of thing because of the need to to financial planning around it. Sometimes it really sucks to know these things and ethically not be able to speak about it. Besides, headhunters tell me straight up what the competition is making. When I bought a house, I hesitated to tell my friends.
I seriously contemplated acting like I was renting my house. I made the same mistake and told friends I bought a rental. Never again. I could say it without any underlying meaning, it it will just come across as boasting. Great post Financial Samurai! This is so true, some people freak out when they realize how much you make especially when they make less. The same is true for net worth. I never disclose that amount to family or friends. Had to change the link on my comment above. It still points out to my old site. Family yes. But friends tend to borrow money if they know you make more than them.