What do you think about sharing salary details with your friends?
In my twenties, I knew what most of my friends were making. That was because we were all in the same boat – or rather the same entry-level dingy. We were all making anywhere from 22k to 45k in our starter jobs, with some outliers of course. But because we were in a similar salary range, it was easy subject to talk about in our twenties. In fact, it brought us closer – we commiserated by finding the best happy hours in the city and living in shitty apartments with roommates we found on craigslist.
Now that I’m in my early 30’s, I don’t know a single friend’s salary except Laura’s, but even that’s a rough estimate because it changes every year because of the nature of her job. I know Laura’s salary because we enjoy talking about money and saving together. We even have an informal “money club,” where we talk savings ideas and salaries. Maybe it works because we made about the same amount (before I left for graduate school; now I’m just diving into savings constantly). But aside from Laura, I don’t know the salaries of my closest friends.
From around 27 and up, salaries of your peers diverge greatly. Some people choose to go the way of the artist and take day jobs while they spend nights and weekends working on their side projects. Others choose the more corporate path and get their MBAs or law degrees, likely making six figures and up. So it becomes awkward when the disparity is so large.
What would happen if we did share our salaries? Are we afraid of the jealousies that would creep up? Or the divides that would suddenly appear? Is salary information simply just not that important anymore? Or are we too polite?
For those curious, here is some interesting salary information:
- New York Magazine Article – “$alaries in the City” http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/bizfinance/finance/features/4086
- Research by Payscale.com shows that women’s salary peaks at age 39 at $60,000 (according to their median data).
- Time Magazine Article – “Are You Making As Much Money As Your Friends?” http://time.com/3433296/salary-calculator/#2/4/5/2