You Won't Believe the Salary That Makes You 'Undateable'

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  • The minimum salary Americans say they're looking for a partner to make is $29,878.
  • If you want to make more money, options include getting a promotion, job hunting, or developing profitable skills.
  • Even though income matters, financial stability and work ethic are more important.

Maybe love doesn't quite conquer all.

While people usually don't start pulling out paystubs on a first date, it'd be naive to pretend that income doesn't matter at all to potential partners. A massive salary certainly isn't a necessity. But a low salary could be a dealbreaker, and where people draw the line may surprise you.

Americans say that the minimum salary they're looking for a partner to make is $29,878, according to a survey by Western & Southern Financial Group. That's not far off the median personal income, which was $37,522 in 2021. So, if that's the median, it's safe to say that a sizable portion of the population is below that "undateable" threshold.

This doesn't mean you should feel bad about your salary or that your chances of finding someone are doomed. But it never hurts to raise your income, especially if it's currently on the low side.

How to make more money

Making more money may seem like a daunting task. It's actually far more achievable than many people realize. There are all kinds of ways to earn more, so let's look at some of the best options.

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Ask for a raise

Often, the simplest option is to ask for a raise at your current job. That doesn't mean it's the easiest option -- asking for a raise can be nerve-wracking. But if you do a good job, you deserve to be compensated for your hard work. Keep track of your achievements, present them to your manager, and request a higher salary.

Get a promotion

Another option that involves moving up with your current company is to get a promotion. Big earners are always looking for opportunities to make more. Talk to higher ups about what openings are available and apply for anything you qualify for.

Go job hunting

If you feel undervalued where you work, start looking elsewhere. While some workers have success getting a raise, often, the best way to increase your salary is to change jobs. Get your resume ready, start browsing job boards, and look for networking opportunities.

Launch a new business or become a freelancer

Another great way to make more is to add a new source of income. Starting a small business is one option, and there are some that you can launch online with minimal startup costs, such as buying and flipping products. You could also become a freelancer offering a service you're good at, such as graphic design, photography, or teaching a second language. With either option, you can build it around your work schedule, and then potentially make it your main source of income after it grows.

Develop profitable skills

If you're in a low-paying job that doesn't offer advancement opportunities, consider working on skills that you can leverage into a high income. You could pursue higher education and get a degree or complete a certificate program. But there are also career paths you can enter with classes and other resources that are available online. It's easier than ever to build your skill set, so make sure to take advantage.

Does a low salary really make you undateable?

It may be disheartening if your income is below or near the minimum salary Americans said they wanted a partner to make. Keep in mind that $29,878 is just the average minimum number based on survey responses. It doesn't mean everyone has the same salary expectations for a partner.

The average income varies quite a bit depending on factors such as where you live and your age. It stands to reason that people in areas with a low cost of living, as well as younger adults, have lower salary expectations than people in high-cost-of-living areas and older adults established in their careers.

Last but not least, it's usually not so much your income that matters when dating. Most people are primarily concerned with their partner's financial stability and work ethic more than the exact amount they make. The concern if someone has a low salary is more that they may also have money issues or a stagnant career.

If someone has a low salary, tons of credit card debt, and puts in no effort to advance their career, that combination of issues can certainly be a turnoff. But your salary alone doesn't need to be a dealbreaker. If you still manage your personal finances well, don't have any big money problems, and are working hard to move ahead in your career, that all goes a long way.

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