The Aphrodisiac Quality of a Couples Spending Plan
Yes, you’re reading that headline dead-on. Having a Spending Plan for the two of you is an absolute, mind-blowing aphrodisiac. It’s what? You say. What on God’s green earth does money have to do with our sensual life?
I say, it has everything to do with sex.
You’ll think I’m blowing smoke about this, but I’m not. I’m straight-up about the incredible power of money clarity in our relationships and what it will do for our intimate life.
First, let’s get down to it. Does the stress of overspending, credit card binges, high monthly balances, over-shopping or hording have an effect on you both when you sit down to pay your bills?
Do you chronically opt out of the bill-paying process and try to dump the stress on your partner? Do you both spend mindlessly, wielding your credit cards like basement-printed counterfeit cash, praying your partner isn’t out there doing the same thing?
So, let’s be honest and look this thing in the face: Does all that money angst affect the two of you intimately? You bet it does.
Here’s how the nasty cycle works. You both have a lack of clarity about how much you can spend, so you’re both out there racking up high-priced boutique grocery bills, unlimited coffee bar tickets, sporting goods, no-clarity-about-how-much-you-can-afford clothing buys, event tickets, expensive dinners out, vacations and more—maybe even front-loading your rent or mortgage payments on credit lines. Maybe every dental bill or set of new tires or Costco buy goes on your cards.
Then, over dinner—let’s say on the day the bills arrive—you’re looking over at your partner. You’re slightly annoyed because you think he or she isn’t making enough money—that he or she isn’t ambitious enough or responsible enough—and God help you, if you’re honest, you think you’re not either. It depresses you, annoys you, and maybe even makes you spin into some I’m-checking-out-on-you-dear self-hatred.
Then, you’re a little short with your partner—just slightly p.o.’ed in that low-level, daily way that has you sniping at one another.
And it’s not even about the dishes or the lawn or texting at the table—it’s about the money issues that neither of you has the courage to talk about. You know you’re both digging yourselves a debt-hole, and it’s starting to pressurize your daily thoughts and sensations in more than a monthly bill-day way.
Push the setting a little further—a job loss, a big ticket loan to your parents that’s due but you can’t pay because of your debt—and the landscape starts getting darker. You feel trapped. Coming home to your partner at the end of the day is not so sweet. You find that you’re avoiding having sex with your partner instead of moving towards it.
So what’s a debting couple to do? Here’s what: Get a Spending Plan. Divide up the bills, make each partner responsible for paying some of them, and set aside monthly amounts for Daily Needs—that’s food, fuel, drug store items, clothes—everything you need to live. Don’t have too many categories. Keep it simple and easy. Look at what you have after bill-paying, then divide up the money fairly, setting aside some cash each month for meaningful savings—things you really want, in other words.
When you have clarity in your spending you feel more responsible. And who knew that being more responsible—and seeing your partner be more responsible, too—would make you feel more amorous? Somehow, though, it does.
When my partner and I live within our means and stop debting and running up credit balances, we can relax. When we’re both being accountable to our coupleship for the amounts of money we’re spending, we feel better about each other and ourselves. When we create a Spending Plan and use it, we have our own autonomy in our daily spending and we don’t micromanage each other’s money, and we breed trust in each other. When we give up credit card spending and live on our cash, we build love, contentment with each other, and openhearted willingness to create something good together.
That’s an aphrodisiac. Believe it or not, your couples’ money clarity will get your sex life kick started ten times faster than new V.S. lingerie on your credit card or a swanky credit card dinner will.
Stopping the credit-life pressure cooker will get you back to basics—back to the simple, stress-free pleasures of being alive, being in love and being hot for each other. Don’t wait!
Find more detailed couples advice read ‘The Debt-Free Spending Plan,’ chapter 7, entitled, “Our Aphrodisiac Spending Plan.” The Debt-Free Spending Plan: An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All