What happens when we stop putting what’s really important in our lives first? Our relationship with our spouse or family, our hobbies, and our friends?
Over time our emotional bank accountants get withdrawn and who knows maybe we might even go bankrupt, ouch!
I recently read Profit First by Michael Michalowicz and how he revolutionized small (and big) business practices in helping make them profitable entities. Many people often forget that running a business is similar to running a family.
Profit First suggests that before doing anything (paying bills, upgrading services, etc.) in your business, always take your “profit first” (hence the name). It’s a different way of thinking and mindset shift.
Most people think:
Income – Expenses = Profit
Income – Profit = Expenses
Think about your own relationship and consider whether or not you take your “profit” first.
- How often do you prioritize spending time with your spouse over doing the dishes, cleaning, laundry, working, or running errands?
- How often do you feel drained when you give your all at work to come home to destress, eat and fall asleep after watching TV?
- Perhaps you are running around doing things that you feel obligated to do and not what you enjoy.
None of these behaviors on their own are bad. The problem becomes when you spend your all and have nothing left over for your relationship. When it comes to our relationship we are most often giving it the sloppy seconds, who wants that! That just doesn’t feel good for anyone!
While reading Profit First, it identified 5 bank accounts necessary for your business, and I began thinking about how couples might utilize these bank accounts in their relationship.
Have you heard of the saying “pay yourself first”? Most people pay themselves last after they have spent money on all there expenses and half tos.
If you start by paying your relationship first what do you think the quality of your relationship would be like? What does paying yourself in your relationship look like to you and your spouse?
Maybe first thing when you come home you greet your spouse with a hug or kiss, or first thing in the morning when you wake up, you make your spouse coffee, engage in conversation, take the kids to school because your partner wants to sleep in.
The profit is what you put aside to do fun things in your relationship, whether that’s take a vacation, go out to dinner together, etc.
It is important that your relationship “be rich” and “profit” in order for you and your spouse to be happy. Most importantly the “money” you allot for each account should not be moved to others!
For relationships, this means no canceling plans with your spouse when something else comes up, unless it’s an absolute emergency. While this might seem scary at first, it will help you really get a handle on enriching your relationship.
- Operating expenses
This is how you keep your relationship going. It might look like the “Business” of the relationship: organizing meals, scheduled home maintenance, going to and from work, scheduling activities for children, etc.
The most important thing to remember about operating expenses is you should NEVER take these first over your profit. This is where people in business, and relationships, get tripped up. They spend far too much time, energy, and money, on the operating expenses and not enough is put into their profit.
- Owner’s Compensation
This one is often the most fun for couples because it’s when you put a percentage in every month in order to then give yourself a “bonus” every 3 months. You take half of the money out and spend it on your relationship. Imagine every 3 months looking forward to a BONUS with your partner or spouse. How fun!!! I am planning things in my head right now!
The other half stays in the account for emergencies. A relationship emergency could be the need to go to couples counseling, you forgot your anniversary and now you have to do something special for you partner.
How do you file taxes (jointly or separately)? How do you save up for big purchases of things that you need to pay (taxes, repairs, remodeling, etc.) Since you only do your taxes once yearly and you either get a refund or you have to pay, set up an account where those things will already be taken care of for you from the money you put in. While this might not seem like the most romantic way to go about things, it helps to delineate financial goals, which can often be the number one stressor for couples.
Sounds like a lot? Trust me, it isn’t. When I first started using Profit First for my business, it transformed my business and it’s my hope that approaching your financial and relationship goals will be transformed too.
If you are in business I highly recommend reading Profit First for is true financial meaning and plan, great stuff!
If you’re ready to begin profiting from your relationship and trying out a new approach to connection with your spouse and need a little guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Katie at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or 954.401.9011.
Katie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Coral Springs who specializes in affair recovery, marital counseling, and helping couples love again