Financial Traits Women Look for in a Partner
Try these five things to increase your appeal to the ladies.
Poll a group of women about what most attracts them to a partner and you'll probably get a lot of different answers. But when you ask them about the financial traits they'd like to see in someone they're considering settling down with, a few things consistently rise to the surface.
A recent study by The Ascent looked at the financial traits that women most want in a long-term partner and found five that were must-haves for nearly every woman. If you're trying to attract a special woman into your life and your financial game is a little weak, here are a few things to target.
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1. Full-time employment
Full-time employment was the most commonly desired financial trait, with 76.1% of women saying this was important to them in a partner. It's not difficult to understand why. It's challenging for any person -- man or woman -- to support a household on a single income, and having a partner with a steady job can ease that burden. Plus, the ability to maintain a full-time job indicates a partner who is responsible, committed, and driven.
Another reason full-time employment may be especially important to women is because many women take some time off of work when they have children, and some may only go back to work part-time, or perhaps not at all, once they become mothers. Having a partner's income to fall back on ensures that the family's financial situation remains secure.
2. Clear financial goals
Someone without financial goals is less likely to save and may be more prone to spending money on items they don't need. This can create friction in a relationship, especially if the partners don't agree about how money should be saved or spent. Having clear financial goals that the two of you can identify and work toward together can smooth out some of these difficulties and eliminate future arguments about money.
Think about some of your financial goals, if you haven't already. You probably hope to retire someday. Maybe you'd like to buy a home or a new car. Make a list of these things and identify a rough timeline for when you would like to accomplish them by. Then, determine how much you need to save each month in order to reach those goals. The final step is the most difficult -- following through. You might have to reduce your spending on discretionary items or work a little extra to save enough to hit your goals. It might not be easy, but if your financial goals are important to you, it'll be worth it in the end.
3. A budget you can stick to
Creating a budget goes hand in hand with setting financial goals, and nearly 72.8% of women listed it as a desirable trait in a partner. Sticking to a budget keeps you on track for those goals while still leaving you enough money to cover your basic living expenses and have a little left over to spend on things you enjoy. A budget can also curb impulse spending, which is often a source of financial conflict with couples.
The first step in creating a budget is to total up your monthly expenditures. These include your mortgage or rent payment, utilities, groceries, and monthly subscriptions you pay for. Next, subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income and decide what you're going to do with the amount left over. Put some toward debt repayment if you're carrying debt, especially high-interest credit card debt, and put some toward your long-term financial goals if you can afford to do so. Save some money for fun activities and purchases too, but make sure you've prioritized your financial goals and obligations first.
4. Financial independence
Financial independence is a broad term that encompasses many of the other factors on this list, including a steady source of income, enough money to meet monthly obligations without taking on debt, and financial goals to help prepare for the future.
Over 72% of women surveyed stated that this was an important trait for them in a partner, but each individual may have slightly different ideas about what financial independence entails. Some may not see debt as an issue as long as their partner can afford the payments, while others may see this as a red flag. But if you've got a steady job, a budget that you stick to, and a lifestyle you can comfortably afford, you're off to a pretty good start.
5. A savings account
Nearly 70% of women said it was important that a potential partner have a savings account. Presumably, many of these women would also like their partners to have some money in their savings accounts. This indicates that saving is a priority and that their partner is thinking about the future. If a partner already has savings, it can help a couple achieve their financial goals more quickly.
You most likely already have a checking account with a bank or credit union that offers savings accounts as well. A high-yield savings account is worth considering if you want your savings to grow more quickly. These accounts can have annual percentage yields (APYs) in excess of 2%, whereas the average savings account has an APY of just 0.09%.
When you look at these five traits as a whole, you see they all revolve around a similar theme: Women want a financially responsible partner with an eye on the future. If that doesn't sound like you right now, don't worry. With a little practice and a willingness to change a few financial habits, you can check all those boxes too.
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