Budgeting Is Sexy | YNAB

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...