Archives for category: tips

If money is recognized valuable in America, the subject is totally taboo in France or rarely evocative.



An American person is very attracted at the idea of earning money and he admires people who has become successful and wealthy because of their progression in business.

On the opposite,making money for French people is not their first priority in their job.Most of them would prefer a reduction of their incomes in order to :

  • being less stressful
  • supporting better the competition
  • getting a healthier life
  • Dedicating more time to their family and or hobbies.

Furthermore, a French person usually doesn’t choose his job in function of the wage but in function of his interest.

An another surprising fact : nobody in France talks about his success or salary.

Why Money Is Such A Taboo Subject?

Well that’s because in France, being wealthy is badly seen by others even though you may have earn your success. Cultural and Historical events that happened in France may explain this particular behavior.

Until 1789 in France, only 3% of the population, the nobles, were wealthy. Nobelty was a right transmitted at birth for generations. They had privileges such not working to get money since the 97% of peasants were working for them.

French people also think that one who has a comfortable situation probably earn it in a suspicious way or that it is unfair for other people. For example: a specific question was asked at the department of economy of the Bourgogne University in France

“What do you do ?”

“ You are a small stockbroker and you have a very modest way of live. Your neighbors are in the same case. However, one of them start to plant potatoes and 6 months later, he is driving a luxury car, re-building his house and building a swimming pool.”

Naturally we are attending the answer “I plant potatoes too.

But the answer was : “I BAWL ! Because it is always the same : there are people who get everything while others get nothing!“

In United States, Business Success Is More Welcome.

French people feel rarely inferior to someone wealthier and have a tendency to mark anti-economic borders, criticizing those who brag about their economic success, on the opposite of American where the “level of comfort” is a mark of success envied and admired.

Finally the way of using money differs:

While French people economize every time they can, in the case they would have an economic problem or if they want to buy something new, most Americans would make credits over credits and spend their money as fast as they have it and then pay back the banks later.

Have you ever live, visit or think about going to a foreign country?

Then this blog may be useful for you:

For example:

If you are a french person going to the United State or an American going to France

then there are probably 15 main things you should know in order to survive the cultural shock =)

Photography by quinn.anya/flickr.com