Single? How to make yourself financially attractive
Wednesday, 2 October 2019
Many people find the thought of marrying for money crass and distasteful.
But becoming partners for life with someone will affect your finances, so many people do take a potential partner's money habits into consideration. That's how a site like CreditScoreDating.com, “where good credit is sexy," can exist. According to a survey by FreeCreditScore.com, 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men won't marry someone with a low credit score. But don't worry — when it comes to dating, few people establish a hard cutoff like a lender would.
“Being financially attractive can mean a variety of things, but one thing it does not mean is perfection," says Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and CEO of Workable Wealth. Making your habits and attitudes around money appealing to a mate can mean anything from not having any college loan or credit card debt to saving for retirement. Even those with debt or a low credit score can be financially pleasing as long as they've turned a new leaf. There's nothing more attractive than knowing that you're working toward something," says Storjohann.
More importantly, being on the right path with your money isn't just about attracting a mate. It's about being able to take care of yourself, and that will make you confident about what you need in a significant other.
“Being responsible with your bills, knowledgeable about your cash flow, and proactive with your savings will set you up to know not only what you have but also what you seek in a partner," says Storjohann. “You'll know your limits, what you can say yes and no to and you won't have to stay in any unhealthy or toxic relationships because you feel financially dependent on that person."
3 Tips to Become Financially Responsible
Here's how to make yourself financially attractive to a potential mate
- Figure out your money story.“Understand the money habits and beliefs you have," says Jacquette Timmons, financial behaviorist and the author of "Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship With Money and Your Mate." Making sense of your own emotions, motivations, and patterns around money will give you empathy for your potential partner, even if your story is different. And, she adds, “Being attractive is not just about someone asking you questions and you providing them answers but also about you being comfortable asking them questions. If you don't feel comfortable initiating conversations around money with the other person, then you'll never feel confident exposing some of your own vulnerabilities and mistakes."
- Create a plan. Don't beat yourself up about past missteps, says Storjohann. Learn your lesson and take steps to correct your actions. Set mini goals, like saving $500, and celebrate every time you reach one. Making finances fun and honoring your accomplishments will make you feel more irresistible all around. “To be financially attractive to someone else begins with making sure you're financially attractive to yourself," says Timmons.
Here are some ideas on how to do it in each of these major areas of money:
Savings: Have an emergency fund of at least three months' worth of living expenses (or, preferably, six), or make sure to put aside money for emergencies; plus, sock away money for goals and retirement consistently.
Spending: Know your triggers, and have strategies in place to keep your spending from going overboard.
Debt: Leveraging debt into a business or to further your education is different from carrying a balance on your credit card. “It's when you're using it to generate a lifestyle that it becomes a problem, but when you're using it as a growth strategy, it's not," says Timmons. Either way, if you have debt, pay more than the minimum and don't add to balances.
Retirement: Take advantage of your company 401(k) match so you're not leaving money on the table, and/or contribute each month to a Roth IRA.
3. Put it on paper. "Writing your plan down helps you gain more clarity, makes it easier to shift direction when needed, and makes it easy to measure and benchmark progress," says Timmons. "It also helps you acknowledge and celebrate successes and recalibrate when the mark is missed." So, hold yourself accountable on paper, which also makes it easier to know – and celebrate – when you reach major milestones.
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