Imagine that an incredibly rich uncle offered you the choice of two, very generous, gifts. You can either choose the gift of one-million dollars today, or the gift of a penny a day, doubled every day, for the next thirty days. Which choice would you make?
If you’ve heard this before–or if you took the time to do the math–then you know to go for the penny. The gift of a penny a day, doubled every day, for thirty days, starts small. The first day, you only receive $0.01. Then, $0.02 on day two, and $0.04 on day three. However, by day thirty, you would receive $5,368,709.10. And, when you add this to what you collected over the previous twenty-nine days, you will have received a grand total of $10,737,418.23. If your an intellectual, who would like to see a complete breakdown of what the penny a day, doubled for thirty days, looks like, you can find a find a chart posted here.
There can be no doubt that choosing the penny a day, doubled for thirty days, is the better financial investment.
Penny Investments and Relationship Advice
Now, let’s take this idea of penny investments and apply it to relationships. In fact, what you are about to read, is some of the best relationship advice I know. First, picture someone you care about deeply. Now, imagine this person has a love bank attached to his or her heart. Every time you do something nice for this person, you are making a deposit into his or her love bank. And, every time you do something that annoys, frustrates, or wounds this person, you are a making a withdrawal from this person’s love bank.
Of course, the goal of the love bank exercise is to fill up the love banks of those closest to us. This isn’t an easy task since life has a lot of ups and downs, and withdraws are always happening. During relational down times, the goal is to never allow our significant other’s love bank to reach a zero balance.
Now, let’s connect this to the concept of penny investments. When it comes to relationship advice, there are two very different approaches. Some people people like to offer million dollar relationship advice.
Million Dollar Relationship Advice
Million-dollar relationship advice could also be referred to as the Hollywood approach. It’s what we see in movie theater love stories. Million dollar relationship investments include:
- Exotic vacations
- Luxury hotels
- Breathtaking marriage proposals (The kind that go viral on You-Tube).
- And, risk to life and limb in order to prove one’s unending love.
Million-dollar love bank investments are flashy and fun to talk about. There is nothing wrong with these larger investments. However, they do have a drawback. The problem is that most of us are not millionaires.
If you try to save up for the million-dollar love bank investment, you spouse will end up waiting a long time before he or she feels loved. Instead of saving for the million-dollar investment, I like to offer penny investment, relationship advice.
Penny Investment, Relationships Advice
Now, let’s look at the relationship advice of making penny investments. Here are three important facts:
1) Penny investments start small.
2) They add up over time.
3) Penny investments often lead to million-dollar payoffs.
Penny Investments in Action
Our relationship started simply. Jenny and I met though eHarmony. Our first date took place at Village Pizzeria, a tiny, inexpensive restaurant with a breathtaking view of Coronado bay. Jenny was sweet. She had a sweet smile, laughed at my jokes, and her compassion for others was evident in the way handled herself throughout the evening.
After dinner, the two of us strolled along the bay. Jenny shivered. Her arms were covered in goose-bumps. “You’re cold,” I said. “Would you like to go back?”
“No, I’m fine,” Jenny replied. Glancing out of the corner of my eye, I could see that she was still shaking. It was a simple, penny investment, but it meant a lot. Jenny refused to turnaround. It was as if she was saying, “I’d rather be cold than have this date be over.”
It was nearly a month before I asked Jenny out on a second date. Jenny still teases me about this. She tells me how she would carry around her phone, waiting for me to call. And yes, I made her wait. After our first date I went into work–I was working an overnight job at the time. All night long, Jenny was on my mind.
- Her warm smile.
- Gentle, soft-spoken, manner.
- Compassion for others.
- Love for God.
- Ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
- Her willingness to push though the chill in the night air in order to spend time with me.
All of these penny investments added up. I knew that if Jenny and I were to go out again, there was a good chance that I’d eventually ask her to marry me. That thought made me nervous at first. And it is exactly what happened. A month later, Jenny and I had that second date. Almost two years later, I proposed. We were married a year after that.
Penny investments matter! They are what drew me to Jenny, and they are what make our relationship strong to this day.
This year, Jenny and I had the Joy of spending two, glorious, uninterrupted days together at a Palm Springs resort. It was a million-dollar, love bank investment. Jenny and I have been fortunate enough to take a luxurious getaway–or at least semi-luxurious getaway–about once a year. I love these times. Yet, I’m so glad that I don’t have to wait all year for these times of connection.