Saturday, March 15, 2008

S.O.’s Salaries --- A Drive Down Peachtree Dunwoody Rd (Part 2)

So yesterday, I told you all about the conversation Fashionista and I had while driving down Peachtree Dunwoody Road on our way to lunch, now for the even more interesting conversation on the way back from lunch.

We had just come from a good girl gossip lunch and had discussed Fashionista’s latest beau who’s she down right giddy over – I’m most excited for her, she needed a guy she could get giddy about (she and her fiancé ended their relationship of over 5 years about 8 months ago). We were driving back down Peachtree Dunwoody Road and we passed the 7 bedroom house again and I commented that I still can’t imagine what their salary is to be able to obtain these homes. We started talking a little bit more about this and then we passed another McMansion with kids in the yard and she made the comment that she’d like to be like the mom who lives in that house.

Fashionista started talking about how she hopes to be with someone (as in married) who can support her if she chose to stay home with or without kids. She then proceeded to tell me dollar values of latest beau’s salary and bonuses. I couldn’t believe it, she and latest beau have only been dating for about a month and a half, plus its not like she’d ever even told me her salary information. I really like latest beau and I just can’t see him salary dropping without being prompted.

I was totally shocked and told Fashionista how surprised I was that she new his salary. (I was also shocked that she told me, and shocked with how much latest beau made, I think I’m going to become a consultant too. j/k about becoming a consultant) I asked her if she’s asked him that information and she said she had in a round about way. They both have talked about their salaries and their future salary potentials especially since they are in the same field.

I joked with Fashionista about what she does she do on the first date say “so what’s your salary so we can go ahead and schedule this second date?”

Fashionista said “No, that’s not it, we just talk about stuff and it would work its way into the conversation. Come on you can’t tell me you don’t know salary.”

“Umm…no we’ve never discussed salary, I could probably take a good guess because of the type of work he does and the fact that he works for the government but I’ve never asked and he’s never volunteered.”

Fashionista was shocked, how could I be dating him and not know his salary. I told her I knew the more important stuff, like the type of person he was, his life goals, how compatible we were and financial goals (not in terms of dollar amounts).

Even though we haven’t talked about salary I guess we have crossed a little into “taboo” IMHO financial items such as net worth. I have a ballpark idea of that his net worth is, but that’s because we talk about investments, savings vessels, and future goals. He’s never told me a dollar figure and I’ve never told him a dollar figure. I’m sure he has a ballpark idea of what he thinks my net worth is but I bet he’s deflated it a little. In fact I think he’d be shocked to know what net worth I do have, I’m sure he’s thinking I probably have a net worth of half or a quarter of what I have because I’m only a few years out of college and he knows I put myself through school where as he’s been out of college for about seven years.

I’m not sure if I’d even want to know his salary. At this point, how would that change our relationship if I new his salary. I suspect he makes a good bit more than me (I’m guess around 20% more) but I really don’t know. What if I make more? I’m not opposed to that, I know if Mr. Be-Mine and I have a future that eventually I’d probably make more than him, just because I work in private industry and I still have a lot of room for advancement where as Mr. Be-Mine after his last promotion topped out and has no where else to go on the career ladder without changing jobs.

What do you think? When should you divulge salary and net worth? After you know does it change things?

PS Check out Living Almost Large’s blog, on the right hand column she has informal poll results as to when you should divulge this info.


Mom said...

I think you should know before you move in together. I guess before that it would depend.

"Future Millionaire" said...

@ mom - I'm in full agreement. Before a couple is going to be jointly responsible for expenses they need to talk finances. I also think they should talk about goals and general feelings to finance as a relationship progresses just like you'd talk religion and life goals but I just don't know if they need to talk hard numbers. It could just be that its never been an issue for me. Before Mr. Be-Mine I dated a guy for 3 years - almost 4 years and we were both in college so it never entered my mind to talk about salary and before him there would have been no need to know my high school boyfriends salary - I mean seriously how much can you make working at Pizza Hut or Kroger? Now that I've been dating Mr. Be-Mine for over a year I guess it could get more important to know, but I can't help but wonder if it would change the dynamics of the relationships to know hard numbers.

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