How To Answer “How Much Money You Make”

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So, how to answer how much money you make? Do you give an accurate number, or do you dodge this question?

Overall, different situations mean the standard etiquette is different.

Therefore, telling your significant other, other family members, friends, coworkers, other workers in the field, potential employers, and strangers all follow different rules.

However, with every question, there’s always an underlying intention.

Sometimes these intentions are harmless and less about you personally. However, also realize that these intentions can be downright unkind and harmful.

So, how you answer this question really depends on two things, who is inquiring and your perception of the person’s underlying intentions.

The Intentions Of Those Who Asks How Much Money You Make

In terms of the intentions of those who ask how much money you make, four groups of people come to mind.

The first group includes people who are innocently curious – they just want to know, usually friends and family members.

The second group includes people who want to know the standard pay in the field or are looking for salary information to increase their salaries, typically coworkers or others who work in the field.

The third group includes people who are looking for data to make a hiring decision, typically employers.

The fourth group includes people who are judgmental, greedy, arrogant, and materialistic, this group can include just about anyone … and I mean anyone.

For people who are innocently curious, or just looking for salary information about the field, you are welcome, to be honest with them.

However, realize if you would prefer your salary information remain confidential, there’s no guarantee the person won’t share this information with others.

In regard to employers, your willingness or unwillingness to answer this question can hurt your perspective with some employers.

For instance, an employer may decide to use this information to pay you below the market value for the position based on your current and/or past salary.

Or your unwillingness to provide that information may automatically disqualify you for the position.

Over the years, employment laws have been changing to discourage this practice.

Now in some states, employers are banned, from asking about your current and/or past salary.

Therefore, as a potential employee, it’s important to know your rights and act accordingly.

Now, for those who are judgmental, greedy, arrogant, and materialistic you definitely don’t owe them an answer – feel free to dodge the question.

In fact, troll them if you may.

Firstly, you don’t owe them an accurate answer.

Secondly, it’s none of their business.

Thirdly, it’s an inappropriate question in most cases.

Lastly, you don’t have to lie about how much you make just to impress them … remember, it’s none of their business.

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How To Answer When A Materialistic Person Ask How Much Money You Make

  1. Why are you asking?
  2. I make between …. and …
  3. Wow, what an inappropriate question
  4. None of your business and this question is too personal
  5. Me, Nah … but your numbers, must be impressive
  6. Are you hiring because I am looking for a raise
  7. Not enough to give you an impressive number or trust me the numbers won’t impress you
  8. I get by
  9. Good enough for what I do
  10. Too much for what I do
  11. Not enough to dodge this question
  12. I am satisfied, that’s all you need to know

Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Why are you asking?

Asking someone why is a good way to annoy someone with bad intentions.

If this annoys them enough, they might even lose their cool a bit.

However, in any case, don’t hold your breath for a valid response because most likely you won’t get one.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: I make between … and …

Give them a range. Hopefully, that’s good enough.

If that answer isn’t good enough for them, don’t worry about it – they will live.

Remember, you don’t have to bend to their request.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Wow, what an inappropriate question!

This flat-out lets the person know this question isn’t appropriate.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: None of your business and this question is too personal

This response may be considered rude to some, but it really gets straight to the point!


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Me, nah … but your numbers, must be impressive

yOuR nUmbErs MuSt bE iMpressive … Most ask this question because their goal is to out-stage you, so I say let them.

Let them have that ego boost they are desperately searching for.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Are you hiring because I am looking for a raise

This is low-key, really asking, “Are you in a position to even get me paid?” Well, if not, buzz off.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Not enough, to give you an impressive number or

Me: Trust me, the numbers won’t impress you

This response lets you keep your salary information to yourself and also lets them assume the numbers are low.

This is good either way because your goal has been achieved.


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Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: I get by

This response is simple and classy.

So if you want to “keep it cute” this is a good answer.

However, don’t be surprised if they ask, “how much, though?”

Yes, some people just can’t read the room even if it’s on fire.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Good enough for what I do

This is probably the nicest response here.

It’s the perfect, response if you don’t want to rock the boat.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: Not enough to dodge this question

This answer lets them know you would rather not answer this question or continue talking to them as a matter of fact.

Now, is this response rude?

Yes, it is.

However, if you decide to be polite, they will continue to ask other inappropriate, impolite questions.


Them: How Much Money You Make?

Me: I am satisfied, that’s all you need to know

This lets them know you are happy with your current rate or at least satisfied without giving them a direct answer.

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