Etiquette Questions, Answered: Tricky Conversations
My Boyfriend's Mother Butts Into Our Financial Life. How Do I Make Her Stop?
Q. My boyfriend’s mother wants to know everything about our financial situation—from what we make to the size of our debts. How do we explain to her that it’s none of her business?
Greensboro, North Carolina
A. You’re right—it is none of her business. But take a moment to ask yourself why she wants to know. Is she just nosy? Or is she fretting that you and your boyfriend spend more than you can afford? If the two of you have recently bought a house or another big-ticket item or if one of you has lost a job, you shouldn’t be surprised. Her questions might be grounded in legitimate worry.
I suggest that your boyfriend sit down with her (she’s his mom, after all) and say, “We both appreciate your concern, and we want you to know that it has made us look closely at our finances. We understand that managing our budget is our responsibility, not yours. And we assure you that we have everything under control, so you don’t have to worry in the future.”