Budgeting Is Sexy

Hello, fellow YNABians! Alex here.

You read the title right. Just like J. Money tells us, budgeting is sexy!

See, I signed up for online dating a couple weeks ago. After all, I spend my working days alone at home, writing things like annual reports, middle school resources, books and, of course, blog posts. It’s not like I’m working for a corporation, networking and meeting new people on a regular basis.

I wanted to see what’s out there.

Well, let me tell you what’s out there. A hella lot of great guys, is what! I have now solidly disproved the dismal claptrap that there are “no good men” in my city. I have found so many lovely people online (okay, six, but still: that’s six for six*!) that it makes me wonder who people think these “good men” are?

Hmm. Let’s make an educated guess. Tell me if you think I’m wrong. I suspect wider society’s idea of a good catch, for a woman, is as follows:

  1. He makes more than $100,000.
  2. He spends like he makes more than $200,000.
  3. He drives something new, preferably very large (i.e. a Range Rover) or very small (i.e. a BMW M3).
  4. He has all the new gadgets and talks about the expensive places he’s been.
  5. etc.

While I’m being a little facetious – I know women consider more than just money when they’re sizing a guy up – I suspect that a guy’s income is a deal-breaker for what many people consider to be a “good man”.

I think that’s kind of crummy, especially for guys.

Whether you agree with me or not, here’s something interesting. YNAB has changed what I find attractive in a man. Whether he earns a mittful or a mountain, the way a man spends his money has become one of my key indicators of whether he’s partner material. I’m not saying we should drink water and stand outside the fence to watch the ball game (if I even liked ball games). But I am saying I like a dude who knows the value of a dollar.

A guy who throws down $80 on dinner with a woman he’s only just met while paying thousands in support per month for his ex and juggling his own mortgage, two cars and two fledgling overseas businesses on top of his original business looks more to me like a fat mess roaring down the track than a guy who’s financially prepared for life’s curveballs.

I don’t know. Maybe they’re not all as thinly stretched as that. (And anyway, I chipped in my monthly restaurant budget for this date – all twenty dollars of it, sob – so he didn’t have to actually pay the full amount for dinner.)

But still. Here’s what I know: to me, a man who saves, resists the urge to squander, and knows where all of his dollars are going is infinitely sexier than a guy who can’t make money fast enough to meet the pace at which he spends it.

So in a way, this is only good news for Alex: all the other ladies in town can wrestle for the golf-course-hopping, mansion-dwelling Range Rover guys. The “good men”. I’ll be going for quiet walks in the forest with the balanced, modest fellows who have their houses 80% paid and their retirements well in hand.

So sexy.

* Despite his insane relationship with money, this one still qualifies as a lovely man – gentlemanly, considerate, articulate, funny, caring and prepared to use what he learned from his first marriage to improve his next one. I suppose I *could* introduce him to YNAB…

10 Responses to “Budgeting Is Sexy”

  1. Ruth

    I agree with the sentiment, but disagree with the wording. A well disciplined man is very “attractive” not “sexy”. It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with virtue.

  2. Stacie

    I introduced my boyfriend to YNAB and he recently budgeted to buy a pair of sunglasses. I went with him, and he only spent half of what he budgeted for, so he bought me a pair too! Yup, budgeting IS sexy ;)

  3. Steve

    Budgeting shows that testosterone is not the guiding factor in a man.
    So uncommon I can only agree with what you say… :-)

    • alexblogsforynab

      This is such a good point, Steve. In many species, nature selects against males who don’t “show off” their resources. In much of the natural world, the males who do the best job of showing their assets generally can mate with the most valuable females. So I really feel for guys, because they’re living in a world where our human behavior is still – like it or not – driven by deep-rooted, evolutionary-based pressure to perform/acquire/accumulate. It takes a *truly* strong man to resist this pressure, especially given the media messages they’re constantly pounded with.

      • Ray

        I think most men know that “flash” only attracts certain women, to attract a smart one you have to be much more subtle, and let her discover you on her own. The women who are attracted to whiz-bangs and sparkles are fun to date, but they aren’t the ones you choose to raise your future children.

  4. Terri

    Does he have a brother? :) Wise words Alex. Thank you.

  5. christy

    So true! I loved this post Alex! I married a responsible “penny pincher” who is made even more sexy by the fact that he puts up with all of my financial weaknesses. (But I’m getting there- thanks to YNAB!) ;)

  6. Beth Anne

    I loved this post and it made me think of a few things.

    1) I once read an article about not using a coupon on a first date (I say go for it b/c it shows that you are at least trying to look smart with your money).

    2) I once read about an online dating site where you had to have either SUPER good credit or no debt or both. While okay this is sorta good I feel like basing your whole relationship on money is weird.

  7. Hannah

    This was one of the attributes that initially attracted me to my now husband of 5 years. He has always been good about budgeting, saving up for things, and staying out of debt. When we were dating he was driving an old car and living in a basement. I thought that was awesome b/c he was saving so much money!

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