Five Money Etiquette Questions | SunTrust Resource Center

Friendships

Five Money Etiquette Questions

Answers to Life’s Tricky Situations

 

Here, five thorny scenarios and their solutions from Lizzie Post, etiquette expert (and Emily Post's granddaughter) and author of How Do You Work This Life Thing?

1. Is it ever okay to ask a coworker what she makes?

Never. "That's information that should only ever be volunteered," Post says. "How much you make and how you choose to spend your money is nobody else's business." If someone asks you, try brushing it off with humor: "Not enough for that yacht I've been saving for!"

2. If a friend buys you an expensive birthday gift, do you have to reciprocate in kind?

Absolutely not. It's your friend's choice to buy it, and it's also your choice to accept it or not. "You're allowed to spend exactly what's in your budget, whether that means homemade cookies or diamond earrings," Post says. "It needs to come from you."

3. How do I say no to all my acquaintances running charity 5Ks and wanting a contribution?

Tell people that you've already made your charitable donations for the year. And don't feel bad about offering a smaller amount, such as $10, if that's all you can afford. If you're the one doing the asking, make sure you aren't pressuring people to contribute. In other words, don't bring your daughter to work with her catalog full of holiday candles and lead her from cubicle to cubicle. Post order forms for Girl Scout cookies in a public place, or send out an email and let people know where to find you.

4. A friend of mine is a horrible tipper. Do I say something? Slip a few more dollars into the bill when she isn't looking?

If you can get away with sliding more money onto the stack, maybe. But it's risky. "You don't want to embarrass your friend," Post says. If you're splitting the bill, it's okay for you to say, "I really appreciated X, Y, or Z, I'm going to leave a little extra." If you're feeling really guilty, grab the name of the server and make it up to him later. "I've heard of people sending money in an envelope to the restaurant," Post says.

5. My friend broke my digital camera and offered to replace it. Weeks later, nothing. Do I say something?

It's acceptable for you to contact your friend, but do it soon afterward. "Say, ‘I'd like to take you up on that offer, do you want me to send you a link to the camera I had?'" Post says. Give him a week to respond, and if you don't hear anything, try once more. Then move on. "If you've contacted him two to three times, you've done all you can," Post says. "After that, it gets awkward." If you're the one who did the breaking, never offer to replace something if you can't afford it. Instead, apologize and offer to pitch in as much money as you can.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

Related

Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at www.suntrust.com/investmentinfo.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.