“Is that dress new?” he asks.
“This old thing? I’ve had this for years,” she slyly replies.
If this exchange sounds familiar, I hate to break it to you, fellas, but your wife is probably lying.
OK, maybe that’s not exactly breaking news, but it happens a lot more than you think. A 2022 study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that 90 percent of people have lied to their partners about their shopping habits.
Statistics aside, I know this because I was a wife who lied about purchases and who kinda-totally abused the joint bank account I shared with my first husband. Now that I’m on my second marriage, we keep our finances separate. And it’s strengthened our relationship, juiced up our sex life and helped us save more money than ever.
Don’t believe me? Here’s how (and more importantly, why) we did it.
It keeps things sexy
Money is the number 1 topic couples fight about, and the number 3 cause for divorce. My husband and I don’t fight about money — ever. Less fighting equals more sex. And resentment and guilt, two other boner killers, are eliminated by not having to worry about any extracurricular spending or whether one of us isn’t pulling our weight.
We compete playfully
Though we could buy whatever we want when we want, we don’t. Why? Because we like to play a sexy little game called “Hey, babe, how much is your savings now?”
This might sound cringey, but we compare our accounts monthly, sometimes even weekly, and the playful competition we have is fun and sexy, and a bit of an endorphin rush, which, you guessed it, leads to more sex.
Science backs us up. Studies show that play can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemicals, and endorphins can lead to increased libido. But we don’t need science to tell us that when we’re feeling happy with ourselves or our partner, we’re more likely want to want to have sex.
It keeps the mystery alive
Mystery normally goes out the window once cohabitation starts. We don’t need to see each other’s personal care product purchases on a shared credit card statement. It makes my random lingerie shopping a sexy little surprise, and we’re never buying each other gifts from mutual funds.
It builds trust and respect
We’re both moving equally toward shared goals (e.g., saving for retirement, fixing up the house), and it keeps us honest. We’re saving more and spending less, and we prove to each other every month that we can be responsible without being told to be. Each time we compare those account totals, no matter who is up more, we’re proud of our progress. It feels good and like a true partnership, and, yeah, feeling good leads to more sex.
The fairness of our arrangement also plays into it. “A sense of fairness is important for couples’ sex lives, because a lack of fairness breeds resentment, and resentment leads to dissatisfaction, and when couples are dissatisfied with their relationships, they withdraw from each other and from sex,” reports Psychology Today.
It’s made us more successful
A little healthy competition has indeed gone a long way for us. We’ve saved more money in six years together than we’d saved in our entire lives apart, and we’re both thriving in our careers.
If your New Year’s resolution revolves around money at all, try this: Have a “spend less, save more” challenge with your partner. Separate those accounts and cards for a month and see what happens. Maybe you, too, will have more money in your account and more action in your bed.
Why Having Separate Bank Accounts Can Lead to Better Sex
One woman’s tale of how staying out of her husband’s finances saved her marriage
“Is that dress new?” he asks.