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Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Discussing Salary With Friends: Would You Do It?


When it comes to friends, we share everything, right? That juicy piece of gossip, the last slice of pizza, experiences we’ll always remember... but what about salary?


The benefits

The importance of discussing salary amongst friends or even colleagues has always been an awkward subject. However, if you and your friends happen to be in the the same industry, knowing their income could help you leverage your own salary, should you get a raise or find a new job. In other words, it's important to know what the market is paying for a particular position. It'll give you an idea of whether you are underpaid, overpaid, or fall within the average range.

You make how much?

While it's an informative task to find out how much your pals are earning, there are obvious downsides to knowing how much they make -- one of the clear reasons why it's such a taboo subject in our culture. Discovering someone's pay can spark resentment and jealousy -- or your friend may lack discretion and share this information with others. Whatever the reason may be, reluctance to talk about money amongst friends is common.

On the other hand, knowing how much your friends make can be inspiring, or even shocking.

Our poll

When the subject of salary is brought up, it seems as if people want to be open to discussing it so they don't seem uptight, but realistically, how easy is it to have this conversation? To find out, we conducted an in-house poll with the MyBankTracker team and our parent company AD60, asking about 25 employees if they would be comfortable discussing how much they earn with their friends.

Here are the results:

  • Yes: 29.41%
  • No: 23.53%
  • Maybe: 47.06%

The majority was unsure. Out of curiosity, I decided to reach out to 16 of my friends and asked if they’d feel comfortable discussing it, without giving them a “maybe” option.

Here are the results:

  • Yes: 25%
  • No: 75%

Clearly, it doesn’t look like I’ll be having a salary discussion with my friends any time soon, which I'm okay with because I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing my salary with anyone either.

If you're uncomfortable...

If you fall within the "maybe" or "no" range when asked to share your salary, you do have a few options. You could simply say, "I don't feel comfortable sharing that," or give them a salary range. More likely than not, they'll get the hint and change the subject.

MyBankTracker readers, vote in our poll!

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