Some people like to assess net-worth before entering into friendships and relationships, or it could be that they are just plain ole’ nosey. Don’t start jumping into a frenzy sending me emails telling me that this is not true, not everyone is like that. I said ‘some people’, so keep those knickers on that you were about to toss.
Nothing infuriates me more than a person that walks into my personal space, gets too comfortable too fast, and inquires about the state of my finances no matter how much they declare their intentions noble. My biggest pet-peeve* is when someone asks me how much something was, how much I paid for an item, what I earn and so on. I don’t care if you’ve known me for a gazillion years, (and if that’s the case you would know better) I just cannot be stoic about the fact that finances are private, well to me anyway, and I find it more than crass to delve into conversations that discuss another individual’s personal finance. In my head I am screaming ‘If you’re not paying for it, don’t ask!” or “I’ll tell you when I’m comfortable, if I am.” If someone keeps asking despite you telling them that it makes you uncomfortable, then they are not respecting your feelings. Period.
I contemplated for some time with a bag of pecans, (my favorite snack of contemplation) wondering if these people are aware that this monetary intrusiveness and trench coat opening shamelessness causes discomfort? Exactly how personal should we be getting? The obvious answer is if someone is invested in you financially, whatever private way it may be**, then it’s all right and downright appropriate to ask and answer. If a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover or acquaintance is not monetarily invested with you then it is absolutely not ok, unless you want to involve that person. For myself, there is no gray area; no: ‘We’re headed in that direction so lets talk about it now.’ Simply no-no. When we get there, then we will chat.
Here are a few personality types related to the topic. Yes, I’m calling it out. Happily: (keep your vomit bags ready)
Purse-Pincher: Someone that needs a forklift to take his or her wallet out. Hates shelling out cash, yet wants the finer things and is fine letting someone else pay for them. When it comes time for them to pay up or give a gift- off to the dollar store they go. Lucky you.
The Hinter/Dreamer: A person that hints for the things that they would want, like or need someone to do for them. They actually dream that you will do it for them. (Insert hearty laugh here). They’ll go on about something they have that’s broken, that they don’t have, or are running out of. Pearly advice: You want something? Ask. Easy peasy.
Lifestyle Wannabe: Someone that likes your lifestyle and expects luxury from you, doing little in return and happy to be in your social space 24-7. (All the while they live in a little shack with an empty fridge) Most cases, they like your ‘moula’ more than they like you. Aka: Classic GD (gold digger)
The Promiser/Pretender/Braggart: Someone who elaborates wonderful stories about all the things they will do for you, even show you pictures and then never do them; probably the worst on the list. No one likes some pompous dolt that can’t keep his or her word.
The Dyson: (Yes, like the vac): Always in your personal space, hanging at your crib, demolishing your groceries, and never replacing any of it. It’s like an unwanted houseguest I once had that took ten showers a day, using up all the hot water. Totally infuriating and not at all ‘spa-like’ to take cold showers. Aka: Taker, Mooch,
The Manipulator: A person that guilts you into doing things for them, making you feel that their meager gestures are grand enough to make you succumb to their subliminal wishes. These manipulators will also make it a point to tell you that they are going to buy you a gift (so that you can do the same) or tell you how much they have spent on you.
The Magician: A person that hides or backs away when the bill arrives or if there is a scenario where they have to cough out the cash, they disappear. Poof! Gone. A friend of mine met her date at the movie theatre and when it came time to pay for the tickets, just like Houdini he disappeared only to reappear once the tickets were in her hands. Amazing magic no?
Once again, I’ll repeat the magic words: “If you’re not paying for it, don’t ask.”
*Mini pet-peeve: Whining about money you don’t have, or bragging about how much you do. It’s just gauche. Keep it to yourself please.
**Family excluded. Parents and siblings will always think they have the right to inquire. No loopholes for that.