A few thoughts re: the social injunction against talking about money. She chastised me for asking someone about their rent in a city I was considering moving to. I asked her why it was rude, since I needed the information.
But recently, when a friend said that, even though she was moving to New York City with its notoriously high rents, her southern manners prevented her from asking people what they pay for their apartments, Machado had an epiphany: “The idea that money shouldn’t be discussed is just for someone for whom money doesn’t matter,” she says.
people are going to get cheated over and over, and it tends to be women, people of color, people in more marginalized positions. If people are silent about problems, things can be perpetuated.” While some of that may be true, etiquette expert Smith says that not all people who decline to talk about money should be assumed to be wealthy or snooty.
“It put me in such a strange position,” she says, since she didn't want to downplay the gift to the host. ’” it’s not so much you want to know because you want to know how much that person is making and can afford, but for your own information: ‘Am I getting a fair deal for my apartment? One suggestion: Ask HR to put down the range of salaries at each level in your department so you can see where your salary falls.
“I didn’t want to lie, but I didn’t want to divulge where I got the dishes, so I said, ‘I know. When asking someone a potentially more personal question about money, do so in a private setting.
What you don’t want to do is put people on the spot in very social situations, such as at a party.
So, don't ask them what they paid for their car, the amount of the down payment on their home, how much they paid for their engagement ring, or any other specific and personal financial question in front of others.For instance, if you’re wondering about the rent of a friend who lives in a city to which you’re about to relocate, catch her when you two are alone and say, “I’m thinking about moving to Boston and considering a two-bedroom, one-bath in Cambridge.Do you have any sense of the range for an apartment like that?Still, in old money communities, it is considered gauche to talk about money, which is why someone with that background might say, vaguely, “yes, it was a good year.” In contrast, people with new money would be more comfortable throwing around numbers like million.“Knowledge was power, and knowing how much things cost would lead to movement among the social classes, but even so, you had to be careful in the way you talked about it,” she says.One commenter asked the poster if she remembered the time they walked into a restaurant with menus that listed no prices.