As a child I was taught that it’s considered rude to talk about money. Specifically, that it was in bad taste to bring up what you spent or what other people spent.
Then as I grew older I found that in some circumstances people do find it acceptable to talk about what they paid for things. (This is especially so among women bargain-hunting for good deals ; ) Even though the rules on money conversations seemed more relaxed than I was taught to believe, I was definitely taken aback when an acquaintance asked me point-blank how much James and I paid for our condo unit.
Now I’m firmly on the side of caution when it comes to such conversations. Topics concerning money only come up when among good friends. And while I’m on board with the culture of showing off one’s purchases on Facebook, Twitter and the like, I still think it’s déclassé to openly discuss the price tag.
But I’m starting to feel like there is a reverse snobbery taking place in some circles when it comes to money conversations. I know people who go on a bit about how frugal they were or how little they spent on something, by way of contrasting other people’s spending habits. E.g. “My $20 pair of shoes serves me so well, people who spend $200 on shoes are ridiculous and extravagant.”
I don’t understand how this is more socially acceptable than someone bragging about her $200 shoes. Is it just me?