It is often said that ‘It’s rude to talk about money’. Are there exceptions to this?
Dear EvH and Readers
It is considered rude to talk about money, and any such conversations outside the walls of a bank are best avoided. Unless it serves a purpose, refrain from discussing money even with family, relatives and your closest circle of friends. Talking about money often leaves people feeling either short-changed or lavish.
Never ask people how much they earn or what their house is worth or how much they paid for something. If for instance, you like your friend’s crystal vase and would like to get one yourself, the most you should ask them is, ‘Is it expensive?’. But as Nanny would say, ‘If you have to ask, you probably couldn’t afford it’.
Some occasions when financial discussions are permitted:
1. In a new relationship and it’s time to book your first mini-break. Money can be an obstruction to romance, but it’s important to know what the other can afford.
2. If you hold on to the vestige of tradition and would like to know your future son-in-law’s net worth and prospects.
3. Talking to the executor of your own will, in case some things have been made unnecessarily complicated.
4. If you are The Wolf of Wall Street, achingly rich and successful, and do not care at all what other people think.
Since I am none of the above exceptions, until next time,
We would be delighted to answer all your etiquette-related questions. Send your queries, worries and dilemmas to our Ask Dear EtiKate section. Alternatively, you can get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.