Three Ways to Deal with Nosy Money Quest
Three Ways to Deal with Nosy Money Questions--Without Looking Cheap
By: Bean Jones
Precious Words. Money talk need not be cheap--as long as you know the right things to say.
Money talk often makes us uncomfortable. However, there are times when you can't avoid questions about your finances--like when your adorable but nosy aunt or uncle corners you near the punch bowl and conducts a "pricey probe" on you.
Finance columnist Laura Rowley, author of Money & Happiness, lists down the top three money questions you'd rather not hear and gives advice on how you can deal with them without looking cheap.
Check out her tactful retorts to three nosy money queries:
1. "How much do you make?"
"If someone is being nosy, a polite 'I do well enough' is fine," says Rowley. Unless you're obliged to reveal it in a job interview, you should just keep your current salary to yourself. However, you can disclose the amount to a trusted friend who isn't working in the same office. After all, comparing salaries is a way to ensure that you're getting what you're worth or that you're at par with the industry standard. To be safe, just give a range, not an exact figure.
2. "How much did you pay for your house or apartment?"
As Rowley explains, discussing housing prices with a real estate professional or others who are on the lookout for property is more a matter of comparison than snooping. Besides, the price is often public. "Anywhere else it may be considered intrusive," she says. Thus, if it's your cousin pestering you for your house's price tag, just say, "I bought it at the right time."
3. "What's your ATM PIN?"
The answer to this one is pretty obvious, but a lot of people still make bad decisions when it comes to keeping their personal identification number (PIN) a secret. For instance, many of us just unwittingly blurt out our PINs when we're out with friends--not caring that strangers could be eavesdropping. Then again, a 2005 Javelin Strategy & Research study found that most identity theft is perpetrated by people that the victim knows. If someone else must get cash for you, change your PIN afterward. When it comes to money, it pays to panic.
Hopefully, the people around you wouldn't keep trying to talk cash after you've given your tactful answers. If they persist on asking money questions, that's your cue to "withdraw" before the scene becomes as agonizing as a bounced check.