People don’t like talking about money. Period.
Whether it’s speaking to their life partners about finances, asking for a raise, or talking to their friends about how much money they earn, people just don’t seem to want to do it.
In fact, more than half of people don’t know a thing about their colleagues’ finances, and nearly two-thirds don’t even know how much their friends make, according to a new survey conducted by Stash.1 Worse still, the survey found more than a third of people have lied about their finances to family, friends, colleagues, or partners.
The lack of knowledge about others’ finances could have big implications for things like wage suppression, where employees earn less than they should simply because they are prohibited from sharing basic salary information, and for a phenomenon known as the pay gap, where women typically earn only 80% of what men do for the same work.
Talking about money with friends, family, and colleagues potentially can help people become more financially knowledgeable, manage their finances more intelligently, and could even help address things like the pay gap.
Gen Z affected most
And as it turns out, only 19% of women survey respondents said they know anything about their colleagues’ incomes and salaries, compared to 23% of male respondents. Even when it comes to close contacts, only a third of women reported knowing anything about their friends’ incomes, compared to 37% of men. Similarly, only one-third of both genders said they know anything about their siblings’ incomes.
Ignorance about incomes appears to affect millennial and Generation Z women more than other generations, with only 23% of the latter having ever asked for a raise, compared to 42% of men from the same generation; Similarly, 65% of millennial men say they’ve ever asked for a raise, compared to 43% of millennial women.
Generation Z is defined as those who are currently between the ages of 18 and 24; Millennials are people who are currently 25 to 38 years old.
Across the board for all generations, including the Baby Boom generation which the survey defines as people 54 and older, men reported being more satisfied with their level of pay than women.
Baby Boomers talk the least about money
In some instances though, ignorance about the finances of family, friends, and acquaintances appears to go up dramatically with age, with older generations generally suffering in silence more than younger generations.
For example, nearly two-thirds of Baby Boomer men say they rarely or never talk to friends about finances, compared to 54% of Boomer women. In contrast, less than a third of Generation Z men say they rarely or never talk about finances with friends, compared to 39% of women from the same age group.