We all want to be sexy, right? It is empowering to feel desired, admired, and confident AF. We all know that being sexy isn’t just about how you look and dress. Sexiness is a nuanced, shifting, and tricky thing. Just because one person finds something sexy, doesn’t mean someone else will. The same can be the case when it comes to financial sexiness.
Some people think that flaunting your money is damn sexy. Fancy clothes, nice cars, an extravagant night out throwing down that black card… If that floats your boat, we get it. Money is power and power is sexy. But there are some other, deeper factors that can make you truly financially sexy, not just superficial and flashy.
Ultimately, we think confidence is sexy. You know it’s true. Looks and status are great, but we’ve all met people who are damn sexy without all the trappings. And just like with any other kind of sexiness, financial sexiness is about being confident and secure. True financial sexiness comes from setting up a game plan that puts you on track for everything you need, want and wish for.
It’s about balance. We aren’t suggesting you never indulge. Hell no. Life is here to be lived, right? But our tips for financial sexiness are more about substance than appearance.
Here are the top 4 financial sexiness factors for H.E.N.R.Y.s™
1. Know Your Credit Score
No excuses. If you don’t know already, it’s time to find out. And, frankly, if you don’t know, you haven’t been paying attention. Almost all credit card statements display your credit score these days, and most popular credit card companies proudly offer credit checks on the homepage of their online banking portals. Cut the excuses and check your score. It’s sexy to know your health status, and it’s sexy to know your credit status.
Not sure what a sexy credit score is? Above 750. Especially if you hope to buy a place anytime soon. Even if you’re just renting, you aren’t going to get a great place in a city like New York or San Francisco without good credit. When the time comes for you to get a place together, you don’t want to be the one whose credit is holding you back from your dream home!
2. Have An Emergency Fund
In our experience, nothing destroys wealth faster than being unprepared. When people ask us how much they should be investing, our first question is “Do you have an emergency fund?” We won’t even talk to you about investing until you’ve got this first piece squared away. This isn’t because we don’t want you to invest, it’s because an emergency fund is just that important (and that sexy).
Once couples are on the same page with their finances, we’d imagine the sex is better, too!
So what exactly is an emergency fund? It’s three months worth of your fixed expenses, aka rent, utilities, gas money, subway cards, etc, that you have on hand, and only three months. We differ from some financial advisors here who recommend six or even eight months of fixed expenses. Three really is enough. An emergency fund is for a true emergency. It’s so you don’t have to tap your credit card, 401(k), other investments, or travel fund if something unexpected happens. Medical emergencies and layoffs happen, even if they feel like they’ll never happen to you. And unless you have a super solid safety-net provided by your family, an emergency fund should be your first financial priority.
But what if I have kids or a super expensive pet? Still three months! Just factor your kids’ and purebred English bulldog’s expenses in, their daycare, tuition, and fancy food are part of those fixed expenses we mentioned above. Your emergency fund is your first line of defense, not your only line of defense.
3. Keep Your Debt In Check
Spending within your means isn’t always possible. We get that. Many of us are still paying off our student loans, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. A good education is priceless, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have to pay for it. Paying off loans is one thing, but if you’ve made it a habit to impulse buy high-price items on credit without being able to pay it off at the end of each month, that is definitely not financially sexy. Pay off your credit card each month. Period. It will help with that sexy credit score of over 750 we mentioned above, too.
For debt like student loans, mortgages, etc., the number to know here is 35%. At any given time, your debt should be no more than 35% of your income. FYI, this number will be taken into consideration when you’re applying for a mortgage.
4. Save 15-25% Of Your Income
You’ve probably heard that you should be saving 10% of your income, which is a good place to start. But if you really want to be financially sexy, or if you want to retire comfortably, 15-25% of your income is the target you should aim for. You might not be able to hit that target yet, 25% if a big chunk, but it’s a good number to strive for. If you get a raise at work, rather than calculating how many more brunch mimosas and weekend trips you can sip and take, why not take yourself from 10% to 15%? Since you haven’t had time to get used to the higher income yet, you won’t miss what you never had.
Plus, showing off your cash can seem sexy, but saving is where real financial sexiness is at. Beauty and bottles of Cristale are both fleeting, a healthy retirement account is long-term sexiness.
Keeping up appearances often leaves you with nothing to show for it in the end. Get your financial house in order, and don’t be afraid to share it with your partner. Once couples are on the same page with their finances, we’d imagine the sex is better, too! Just saying.