Don’t Be a Financial Damsel in Distress

By Mary Schwager

Ladies, if you’re going out on dates with guys talking about your money woes and then wondering why Mr. Right isn’t coming along, here’s why: You may be perceived as Miss Wrong!

Money expert and certified financial planner Wes Moss warns that women who appear to be careless, irresponsible and reckless with their money, or give off the vibe they’re in the midst of a financial crisis aren’t the ones for whom men are looking. “Most men don’t want to assume responsibility for someone else’s bad decision-making. If this is what you think is going to happen to you, then you are living in fantasy land.”

  

In fact, Moss says many men think it’s sexy when women understand finances. Even having a general knowledge of credit scores, mortgage rates and investing is a plus. “This isn’t the 1400’s. Men don’t expect you to show up with a dowry, but what men do look for is someone with a good head on their shoulders. It doesn’t matter what your salary is as long as you are responsible and realistic about your financial situation.”

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If you’re struggling financially right now, if you’re in debt, if you have a money mess, Moss says here are some tips on how to take control of your financial destiny and communicate the situation to prospective partners.

  • Don’t be needy: Women have different expectations of themselves at every age. If you are not taking responsibility for your financial health as an independent working woman, then it makes you seem needy. 
  • If you have debt, make sure it is debt with a purpose (ex: student loans): People that have debt without purpose can appear to a potential mate to be superficial and it shows your potential partner that you lack self-control.
  • Instead of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, try keeping up with your bills: If you haven’t already, start putting a percentage of your paycheck in a savings or retirement account. In fact, the Kardashians just started a line at Sears, so try shopping at discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls where you can still dress well without breaking the bank. 
  • Don’t hide your financial shame. If you are going to get married to your partner, you need to start the relationship off with honesty: They WILL find out about it sooner or later and it is MUCH better if they hear it from you and also hear that you have a recovery plan in place.

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What many men take into consideration when looking for someone with whom to walk down the aisle is that your financial baggage becomes his financial baggage. Moss says, “If your credit score is terrible or you have tremendous debt, that impacts your financial future together. It makes it hard to buy a house, a car, or any other major purchase. If you are able to move forward in purchasing something together, just the interest rate alone will be overwhelming.”

Of course as Moss said, this isn’t the 1400’s, so the reverse is true as well. Now, many women are rightfully looking past men’s looks and their biceps and are evaluating their credit scores, too!