Etiquette about Financial Planning

In August, I’m attending two weddings.  Fortunately, two very different sets of friends, so if I wanted to, I could wear the same outfit and no one will know!
The first one is down in Maidenhead, Berkshire, where one of my friends from university is getting married.  
I graduated 23 years ago and have kept in touch with quite a few of my uni friends. We meet up every few years and it’s great to catch up, reminisce about our student days and to see how different our lives have turned out since we were all innocent little 18 year old Freshers!  These friends are also the ones who gave me my nickname, ‘Weenie’, due to my petite size and stature!
The second wedding I’m going to is more of a local event and it’s my friend from work who’s getting married.
I’m looking forward to both, despite how much it’s costing me – hotel and travel down to Maidenhead, outfit (only one needed!) and gifts all add up. However, I love going to weddings, despite never wanting such a thing for myself.  
I expect the music played will be contrasting – my uni friend is the same age as me, her husband-to-be in his late 40s, so ‘golden oldies’ will probably be music from our youth, ie 80s.  My friend from work however has only just turned 30, so music from her youth will be 90s/00s! Whatever is played, I’ll be dancing to it anyway!
Being Social at Weddings
I’m not great at mingling at social events – I tend to end up just talking to people I already know. However, I mingle quite well when I go somewhere where I don’t know anyone at all, so maybe the key here is to try to not linger too long with people I do know!
At the Maidenhead wedding, I’ll be chatting mostly to my old friends to catch up so probably not a lot of mingling there, but there’s more of a chance at the second wedding.
So when the champagne and wine is flowing and I end up chatting to a complete stranger sitting next to me, when asked what I do, should I start talking about how I’m saving up for early retirement/financial independence, that I’m trying to live frugally, trying to save 50% of my salary, looking to make the most of my investments and that I blog my progress and am part of a wonderful PF blogging community? 

This is after all what I’m currently ‘doing’ so I’d be telling the truth. Oh wait, they want to know what I do for work…?


There will be no mentioning of numbers, since social etiquette dictates that people don’t talk about how much they earn, ergo it’s the same with pension/investment pots, but will I come across as somewhat smug that I’ve got a plan at all (no matter how small), that I’m getting my finances under control and that I know what I’m going to do in the future? 
If it’s a stranger who I’m not likely to see again, it probably doesn’t matter what they think but I would absolutely think twice about mentioning it to my friends. I’m not sure if anyone not on their own journey would understand or am I wrong in this?

Is the only good time to talk about financial planning when the other person mentions it first?? What if they’re in the same boat as me and are waiting for me to mention it first? What a quandary!

Perhaps I’ll just try to keep the conversation to safe topics such as World Cup / football / tennis / holidays / weather then, I guess!

I only personally know of one person who has some plans in place to retire early and that’s my best friend, who’s been pretty much investing since she left university and has carved out a very successful  IT consultancy career, enabling her to maximise her pensions. This is also despite a rather expensive divorce (she was the chief income earner). Once her youngest has finished university, I reckon she’ll call it a day – she’ll be 55/56.
My other friends are at various stages of their lives, including getting married, up-sizing their houses, paying off debts and raising young children. Most are younger than me so ‘retirement’ is still a foreign word to them (never mind ‘early retirement’!) but if I could ever get them to read the likes of Mr Money Mustache, it needn’t be! How to mention it first though?

Anyway, I’ll let you know if I do end up blabbing about my plans at the weddings!

6 thoughts on “Etiquette about Financial Planning

  1. I hope you have fun at those weddings! That's good that you can wear the same outfit to both if you wanted to! 🙂 I know what you mean, I often want to tell people about my financial goals but as you say, some people are on different paths.

  2. Hi Hayley,
    Thanks! Yes, different outfits can work out expensive, especially when you have to factor in matching shoes, accessories etc! And yes, people are on very different paths, so I'll be trying to keep my mouth shut! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I never mention that stuff. If it's someone I don't know I tell them my paid profession, if they ask what else I do outside of that for fun then I once again avoid the topic and mention sports or friends… If I ever got to a third open ended question like that I would probably bring it up.

    With friends it's a little different, they know what I do, they might ask about the job and all. If they ask what else I've been up to then unless I've actually gone on a vacation or something recently I'll mention that I started a blog.

    It's strange not talking about what we do in our spare time, but for me I have a could of friends that are either interested in it or just good enough of friends to pretend they occasionally read my blog so that's nice. I usually let them ask the questions and guide that conversation though, if I just start talking about what is on my mind then my guess is they will zone out.

  4. I went to a wedding in April where I didn't know anyone – my fiance was the best man so I wasn't even seated with him, and I was surprised at how the conversation naturally flowed to be about my aims with making money, living frugally, etc. It seemed to really interest the other guests – hopefully the guests at these weddings will feel the same. If you talk with passion then you could be talking about anything at all.

  5. Hi Zee, it's funny, while I want to tell my friends, I'm not sure my friends are ready for my plans and I certainly don't want them to read this blog, a bit too much info I think, especially as I work with some of them! We're on similar grades but probably on different wages, so that could be awkward! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Emma, now that's the sort of conversation I would like to have at the wedding, just to talk about some of the things I'm trying to do here. I guess I'll just play it by ear and try to find out what people are up to,what stage in their lives they're at. Thanks for stopping by!

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