I’ve heard grumblings about titles that include “sexy” in the same line as saving. But finally, it appears as thought the term has some justification being used as a financial adjective.
According to a recent Today Money article, Jenny Olson — a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and co-author of the working paper, “A Penny Saved is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers” conducted an experiment “…where participants had to evaluate dating profiles, savers were deemed the better catches. On a scale of 1-7, savers ranked roughly at 5 in terms of attractiveness, while spenders lagged behind at 4.”
The article goes on to note that, “”If you are talking about a short-term fling, it does not really matter what your partner’s spending habits are,” says Olson. “But over the long term, it becomes a question of self-control: Can your potential partner take care of themselves and inhibit their bad impulses, in terms of money, of diet, of exercise? Those things matter.””
Personally, I enjoy saving, and in the process, I have taught my wife some very valuable financial habits. Here are some of the benefits of being with a “sexy” saver.
Safety and security
The Today Money’s article notes, “In the world of dating, there is one common assumption: That a fancy car, a pricey dress, and a willingness to splurge are all things that will help you impress and snare your ideal partner.”
However, it goes on to say, “Those things can also be perceived as wasteful and lacking in self-control,” says Olson. “And self-control is a very desirable quality in a potential mate.”
Sometimes I feel a little guilty about being the financially responsible one in the household. It’s like I’m the voice of reason ruining everybody else’s fun. But my wife supports Olsen’s findings. She enjoys living a debt-free existence, letting someone trustworthy and reliable handle our finances, and likes the sense of security that comes with things like having a mortgage paid off and an emergency fund available for those unforeseen expenses. While she might not define it as “sexy” per se, she says that it is definitely an attractive attribute and one that supports other trustful habits that are attractive in a long-term mate.
Budgeting and forecasting
As the financial planner of the household, there can be a variety of duties when it comes to keeping the family finances on track. Two such activities revolve around budgeting and forecasting.
Creating a budget isn’t necessarily a terribly tough duty, but creating an accurate and useable budget by forecasting future expenditures can require a bit more effort. There are several ways to go about doing this. Tracking previous and current expenses is probably the most useful. In this way, you have a general idea of what expenses occur, when, and in what amounts. By using these numbers as a guide, it can help to better forecast if or when they will reoccur, helping to form a more accurate budget.
By doing this in our family, I can typically keep our overall budget within a range of 5 to 10 percent of actual expenditures.
Dealing with personal finances
A sexy saver can be a huge help in dealing with regular finances. Beyond the budgeting aspect, there are things like paying bills, expense and income tracking, maintaining contracts and policies on things like vehicle and home insurance, maintaining account reconciliations, organizing and retaining paperwork, securing documents like birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, etc., and accumulating and even filing tax information.
My life loves that she doesn’t have to deal with any of these facets of our financial life, and while I involve her in the decision-making process regarding such items, I personally handle their execution.
So the next time you are feeling like a dork for being financially responsible, bear in mind that the guy or gal who has some wits about them might be viewing you in a completely different light than you are viewing yourself.
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The author is not a licensed financial or relationship professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.