I work for the government, everyone's pay is regulated and public information, so everyone know's what everyone makes. So naturally people talk about money more openly, and it just so happens that I am frequently finding people talking about their lack of money as well as their spending habits, I don't go out of my way seeking out everyone's financially lifestyle it's just common for people to be more than open about it. so for example I went on a vacation recently and people ask about it and then it leads to "oh must be nice to afford to go on vacation", that's generally how finances come up. Or if people see me in my 2 year old truck it's always, oh MUST be nice... or HOW do you possibly afford that... I don't go around bragging by any means.
Not to drag this off topic but in Fed land not all agencies rate the same job equally. When they are the same building the DEA counter person can be a GS-4 while at OPM down the hall GS-3. Same applies for customer service reps and many other fields.
I work for the government as well and I know what you mean about the pay. You won't know EXACTLY what the person makes but you can just about figure it out. At least with the pay scale we're on where I work you can.
I can attest to the fact that for some reason ppl that work for the government are always discussing money, salaries etc. ESPECIALLY if they are retired military then they want to talk about how many "checks" they get.
I can see how finances always come up because it happens where I work as well! I'm telling you it is a government thing! DON'T GET SUCKED INTO IT!!
I also know what you mean about what happens when you go on vacation. First of all everyone knows you're going on vacation (obviously) then ask where you're going and make comments: "Must be nice! Hawaii is expensive!" I really think it is just the nature of govt employees to constantly discuss finances.
We go on 2 vactions a year because my husband makes great money, travels alot with his job and gets lots of rewards & miles. What my co-workers DON'T know is I'm in the process of a credit rebuild. They don't know because I don't tell them! It is none of their business!
They just see me go on vacation (which is obvious) and ASSUME based solely on that, that I'm financially sound. I commute to work so they don't know the car I drive and have never been to my home. I hear them talk about lack of money as well and hear credit horror stories (that interest me now that I'm rebuilding) but I offer no advice.
When it copmes to finances it really is best to keep it private.
Speaking about finances can be tricky and is a very personal subject. As someone else said, it’s only appropriate to offer advice if someone asks for it. People will only change if they are open and receptive to it. Otherwise it comes off as judgey, and that you know better than they do, and that’s never welcomed (even if it’s warranted). 🤷♀️
Giving financial advice even when it's asked for can be tricky. Sometimes people ask hoping for validation of their decisions. It's not always easy to determine the reason for the request. I speak of finances only with my CPA and refer anyone with question to him. It's just not worth the potential hassle.