11 Money-Etiquette Issues, Solved
How to finesse sticky financial situations involving friends and family.
Problem: A nosy friend asks how much you spent on your car, your clothes, or your house, and you think it's none of her business.
Solution: When someone asks an invasive question, you're never obligated to answer, says Laurie Puhn, a relationship expert in New York City. "If she asked about your favorite sexual positions, would you feel you had to tell her? Probably not," Puhn says. The next time this friend asks the price of a new leather handbag, Puhn suggests saying something like: "I have a new policy that I'm not going to share prices or salaries. It's nothing personal. I've just found it's easier not to discuss finances with friends." Or try what etiquette expert Anna Post, author of Emily Post's Wedding Parties ($23, amazon.com), calls the "gently evasive" approach. "If your friend asks what you paid for your new house, say, 'Well, probably a little more than I should have, but I am so happy with it.' Then immediately change the subject: 'Can I give you a tour?'" suggests Post. "Your answer indicates that the issue is not open for discussion."