Who knows how much you make?

I was reading a thread like this on another message board I go to, and I was curious as to what the SDMB would say. On that board (an early retirement board) the vast majority never told anyone their annual salary with the exceptions of accountants, financial advisors, etc. But that message board is composed of people very into savings and living below their means, etc and I am not sure how representative they are of the general population.

Typically, on that board it was accountants, financial advisors, and/or the spouse. Rarely their children, rarely their parents and very rarely their friends.

So Dopers–who knows how much you make? Or what your net worth is?

As for me–my wife knows obviously. My kid knows my annual salary but not my net worth. My accountant knows my annual salary but not my net worth, but my financial person knows both. My wifes salary is public knowledge as she is a government employee.

So how much do ‘you’ make? :smiley:

Anybody who knows my name IRL can know how much I make, and it makes me sick to think of it. For reasons I don’t fully understand, my employer is included in a database maintained by the local newspaper of city and county employees.

I say I don’t understand why because we are neither city nor county employees. The library gets the vast majority of its funding from the county, but we are a separate entity run by our own board.

More specifically, my ex-wife has a real good idea of how much I make because I haven’t had a raise since before we divorced. My girlfriend should have a pretty good idea, as I’ve mentioned it before. That’s about it.

For starters, all the other grad students in the department, since the faculty have an agreement to all pay their research assistants the same amount as the department pays for teaching assistants, so we’re all paid exactly the same amount.

The bit I’ve never understood is when someone’s at Career Day in a school, and one of the students asks “How much do you make?”, and the teacher hushes up the student saying that that’s a very impolite thing to ask. The whole purpose of Career Day is to give the kids some ideas of what they might want to be when they grow up, and knowing how much a job pays is certainly relevant to that decision.

Tax information is public in Finland, so in theory everybody could know how much money everybody else is making. In practice people usually don’t seem to care enough to find out. The big newspapers like to print out lists with the biggest earners and how much some famous people are making, but its trickier to find the information about your average Joe.

I’ve told quite a few people how much I make (not much at all - I am “officially poor” if you just look at my income) and I’ve heard how much a bunch of my closest friends make. The fact some of them do twice the hours and make barely 10-20% more than I do makes me perfectly happy with my meagre income.

My wife. My accountant. My parents and MIL (sort of… I’ve kept it vague). My best friend. My kids are still too young to care (11 and 7 yrs old) but if they ask, I’ll tell them.

I do.

Like AeM said, it’s technically public information in Finland… but that applies to personal taxable income… of which I have none.

My wife, my employer and my tax guy know how much I make. Only my wife knows how much our net worth is. My brother and sister kind of try to guess every now and then.

I’m a private person. I don’t discuss many things with many people. But to me there’s nothing special about discussing finances. If I’m comfortable discussing my shoe size with you, I’d likely be comfortable discussing my income.

As far as I can tell, the taboo against discussing finances benefits only employers.

My husband and daughter know. As a federal employee, if I told you my grade and step and if you knew where I work, you’d know exactly what I make.

I was brought up to consider income to be personal information - not for general consumption. I don’t want to be judged by my W-2. Nor do I feel it’s anyone’s business what I make and what I do with it.

Just my bookie.

As many people as want to. Due to recent California legal rulings, as a government employee ( not just state, but any government entity in CA ) my annual renumeration with my name are publicly available to any and all who wish to view them and know how.

But even before that fairly recent change, in a general sense pretty much any other employee. Internally pay schedules for all job classifications are regularly updated and fully disseminated, so it’s easy to get a general idea ( you do have to guess at things like overtime and management bonuses ).

But even beyond that, the culture of my particular job is such that pay stubs are frequently compared on payday. How much vacation do you have on the books? How much sick leave? How much have you made so far? etc. It’s such an ingrained habit with me now, that I have to remind myself, and sometimes forget, that a lot of you “normals” ( :wink: ), find such discussions crass or even actively rude.

That’s an admirable attitude but you left out some things in your post. How much do you make? Break it down by benefits and any bonuses if possible. We want to know.

I hardly ever tell anyone how much I make. My wife didn’t even know most of the time when we were married. The only person that knows now outside of HR and payroll is my father but that is for a very specific and legitimate reason. He never knew until a few months ago either.

My employer, my accountant, and I know. I guess my husband has seen the figure as he signs the tax returns, but it’s not something we discuss.

I was raised to believe that discussing sex, religion and income were beyond rude. I’ve eased up a bunch on the first two and a bit on the last, but it’s still nobody’s bidness but mine.

In what way is that an admirable attitude? I don’t see how it’s either admirable nor repugnant.

Did you read the part of my post that said I’m a rather private person? I’m assuming you were being sarcastic when you say that “we want to know”, but let me know if you’re seriously curious.

A fair number of my peers know how much I make, as I know how much they make.

As an IT contractor, pay is incredibly random, and subject to the economy and millions of other things. So it’s pretty common to talk amongst ourselves to see what others make for a job, to see how we are doing. It’s kind of rude to ask someone you are currently working with, because that can lead to hard feelings either way. People can sometimes make more than twice what someone else makes for the same job depending on their contract company and negotiating skills. And that’s why we talk, You simply can’t negotiate well without knowing where the market stands.

But as people are leaving they will usually say what they were making, and what the offer at the new place, if any is.

I am an IT contractor as well and that is true. I never give a specific amount that I make to people that ask though. I will help them figure out a range of current rates and benefits if they want to know especially if they are leaving the company which comes up a lot in IT contracting. Pay scale doesn’t tell you everything in some industries anyway. Some people want raw cash, some negotiate for telecommuting time and others for more vacation or even a shorter work-week. I can’t tell them how to play the game so that it works out best for them so I don’t give hard numbers.

Makes you sick?

I don’t mind talking about how much I make although hardly anyone asks me about it. My accountant knows, and if my husband is paying attention to signing the tax returns then he obviously would know (although I don’t think he does). As a self-employed person, my income goes up and down a good bit.

I don’t think any of the kids has a good grasp on it either. That’s probably a good thing 'cos they’d be lined up asking for money! :stuck_out_tongue:

None of my other family (Dad, brother, sisters) has any idea either. That’s not something we really talk about - not that it’s taboo, but… I guess we just don’t care how much anybody makes.

Just my wife. I don’t have an accountant (do all my taxes myself).

My wife. I do my own taxes and do not have an employer.

Metaphorically, mostly, but yeah, there’s a certain amount of general-purpose anxiety that comes with it.

Working with the general public always presents challenges related to one’s salary. It’s one thing to have a person who finds themselves on the wrong side of the rules try to redirect and personalize their complaints by claiming that their taxes pay my salary. It’s a frustration of a different level to know that the next one could quote my salary at me to the dollar and then complain that I am not giving them every penny’s worth, as though their $600 in property tax somehow made them my own personal sponsor, and I was beholden to satisfy their every whim.