I had a conversation with my mentor about improving my sales strategy to better position myself to help my Frugal Feminista community solve their biggest and ugliest financial problems. In our conversation, he shared the backend of his business operations with me.
He was able to pinpoint one of his best customers; let’s name him “Mr. Love”—what he bought, what videos he clicked on, what newsletters he read, and what events he attended.
He said that if I’m going to be successful at building a business, I would have to know the names and faces of my most loyal customers.
Since my mentor focuses his business on helping couples improve their marriages, I made the observation, “Wow, this man spends a lot of money on his marriage.”
But then I realized I was wrong.
This man did not spend a lot of money on his marriage. He invested a lot in his marriage.
While I don’t have this man’s phone number or his wife’s phone number, my mentor shared with me that Mr. Love has been married to the same woman for well over forty years.
So, there you have it: the answer that you’ve been looking for; those that invest in their relationships create better relationships, not the other way around. There is a tendency to look at a happily married couple and assume that they didn’t put in the work to get them there. Since they were “soulmates,” their love needed no nurturing, cultivation, or development.
But it’s actually the opposite. Those that work at their marriage create happier marriages. I often hear that couples invest in their marriages by planning romantic getaways, but there are a lot of other ways that you could invest your money to improve your relationship. Here are a few others:
- Childfree retreats
- Marriage Conferences: virtual or in-person
- Informational Products like CD and DVDs
- Marriage courses
- Classes around a shared passion (i.e. cooking, book clubs, personal training, foreign films)
After You Open Your Relationship Account
After you’ve opened up an account specifically earmarked to improve the quality and strength of your marriage, you have to decide what percentage of your income will go into this account. If you are low on discretionary income, starting with a small percentage like 2% would do.
If percentages don’t work out for you, consider focusing on a specific number. Perhaps this number will be directly linked to the cost of a marriage activity that you both want to experience: a marriage retreat in Mexico. If it is, compile all of the related costs (transportation, food, materials) and make that your shared financial focus.
Keep Your Options Open
If you notice that, as a couple, you spend a lot of your relationship funds on recreational activities, consider introducing intellectually stimulating ideas like a lecture or conference or vice versa. The novelty of the activities is also part of the success formula.
I don’t know about you, but after I’ve reached a goal, like losing 10 pounds, I begin to pay less attention to my diet and exercise plan, which is counter-intuitive. To keep the pounds off, I have to establish a maintenance plan.
The same thing holds for investing in your marriage. When you notice that all of your efforts to improve your marriage begin to show, don’t press the breaks on the amount of money and investment that you’ve been making.
The continued value and investment that you pour into to your marriage is the secret sauce of its strength, not the absence of it.
BMWK, how much money can you invest in your marriage?