The unspoken rules of money etiquette

NNatalie September 4, 2023 2:01 PM

Money — a topic that's often considered taboo, yet invariably has a significant impact on our day-to-day lives. Whether it's deciding who pays on a date, navigating money discussions with children, or figuring out how much to tip, it's important to know the unspoken rules of money etiquette. It can help smooth many a potentially awkward situation, and foster healthier relationships.

Splitting the bill

When it comes to dining out, splitting the bill often becomes a point of contention. The key is to discuss it upfront. Traditionally, the person who invites pays the bill, but it's perfectly acceptable for everyone to pay their share. If you're sharing a meal with a big group, consider splitting evenly to avoid the hassle of itemizing each dish.

Tipping etiquette

Tipping is a way of showing appreciation for good service. In the US, a tip of 15% to 20% of the pre-tax bill is customary in restaurants. For services like haircuts, massages, and taxi rides, a tip of 10% to 15% is considered standard. Remember, tipping is not mandatory. It's a personal choice and should reflect the quality of service received.

Asking for money owed

Asking someone to repay a debt can be awkward. Try to approach the situation with understanding and patience. It's okay to remind them gently, but avoid sounding confrontational. If you're not comfortable discussing money directly, consider using a personal finance app that sends reminders for you.

Discussing money with kids

Talking about money with children is crucial to impart financial literacy early on. Start with simple concepts like saving and spending, and gradually introduce more complex topics like investing and taxes. Remember, it's not just about imparting knowledge, but also fostering responsible financial behavior.

Here's a simple table to guide you:

Age Money Matters to Discuss
4-6 Introduce coins and notes, saving and spending
7-9 Discuss allowance, simple budgeting
10-12 Talk about banks, introduce the concept of interest
13-15 Discuss jobs, introduce basic investing
16-18 Talk about taxes, loans and credit cards

Handling money in relationships

Joint finances can be a tricky terrain to navigate. It's essential to communicate openly about your financial goals, savings, debts, and spending habits. Whether you choose to have joint accounts, separate accounts, or a combination of both, ensure that both parties are comfortable with the arrangement.

Money etiquette at work

Discussing salaries with colleagues can be sensitive. While it's not illegal, it can potentially create conflict. It's better to focus on your own worth and negotiate your salary based on industry standards and your qualifications. If you're unsure, there are plenty of online resources to help you determine what you should be earning.

These are just some of the unspoken rules of money etiquette. Remember, money matters can often be subjective and what works for one person may not work for another. The key is to approach each situation with understanding, respect, and a willingness to communicate openly.

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