Almost every week the topic of conversation in this country changes. Just a month ago, everyone you ran into was talking about how much their houses were worth on the open market.

Now it seems, no matter where you go, they're talking about money. The trouble with talking about money is that it can become pretty boring after a while.

In case you're one of those people who doesn't like to talk about it, here are a few put-downs to cut off the conversation.

"Guess how much interest I had to pay on the new house I just bought?"

"I never talk mortgages at a party. Call me at the office if you'd like to discuss it."

"Do you know how much cash I have to come up with to pay my taxes on April 15th?"

"I don't. But I'm sure someone in the IRS does."

"I went to the supermarket today and bought eight items. They hardly filled a small brown bag. What do you think it cost me?"

"I'm terribly sorry. I heard the joke before."

"So I went into the showroom and there's this little car no bigger than that table, and I said to the salesman, 'How much is it without any options?' Guess what he said?"

"If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."

"How much do you think it is costing me to send my kid through college?"

"I wouldn't know. My son is on an athletic scholarship."

"I figure this is no time to be in the stock market. So do you know where we're putting our savings?"

"Is it bigger than a bread box?"

"Four of us went to a simple French restaurant in New York. We had one round of drinks, a bottle of Beaujolais, soup, a main course, and no one had dessert. Do you know what the check came to?"

"Deux mille quarante francs?"

"I never think about money, but the other night I took the kids to see 'Breaking Away.' Do you know what the evening cost me including the parking?"

"Yes, I do."

"I figure that the way things are going, you might as well live it up while you can. Why save money when it won't be worth anything in 10 years? So guess where Becky and I are going this summer?"

"Pittsburgh."

"What are you doing with your money these days?"

"We're putting every nickel into the 'March of Dimes.'"

"How much was your heating bill this winter?"

"We didn't have one. The gas company cut us off in October."

"I think the country's in an economic mess and Carter doesn't know what the hell he's doing."

"I disagree. If he didn't know what he was doing, he'd be unqualified to be president."

"When's the last time you bought a good suit at a reasonable price?"

"Friday."

"I went into the hospital for three days. How much do you think my bill was, excluding doctor's fees?"

"What difference does it make? Blue Shield paid for most of it."

"If I knew then what I know now about what the dollar would be worth, do you know what I would have bought with my insurance money?"

"Rockefeller Center."

"We'll never lick inflation until the government stops spending more money than it takes in."

"I'd rather have a deficit than tennis elbow."

"How do you manage to keep up your standard of living when the dollar is worth less every day?"

"My children don't know our unlisted telephone number."