Monday, December 12, 2011

Alpha Move: It’s Not Always About How Much Money You Have . . .

. . . sometimes it’s how you spend it. Like on emergency chocolate.

It’s well-understood that a significant portion of a man’s Sex Rank depends on his perceived ability as a provider. Since we can’t all be CEOs, or otherwise thunder our way to riches on the backs of our talents and drive, how much we can actually improve our Sex Rank with increasing our income is limited. Let’s face it: for most of us, if we could make more money at our jobs, we would.

But a middle-class income doesn’t have to keep you from using money to improve your Sex Rank to your wife or girlfriend. Sometimes it’s the display of your ability that counts for more. Sure, a $100,000 sports car is going to impress her . . . for about five seconds, until she starts asking questions about the house payment money. But whipping out your credit card for a surprise trip to the lingerie store, for instance, can be a DHV no matter what your income level. Likewise springing for a surprise run to the sushi bar, concert tickets, etc.

You see, it’s not just about how much you can provide – that’s a strong Alpha bonus, sure. But if you can’t afford diamonds and emeralds (and let’s face it, who wants to?) then providing small luxuries or securing an extra hundred bucks for an unnecessary luxury at a strategic time can seem like jewelry.

The secret is the “surprise”. Any old happily married dude will tell you that you need a pile of money your wife/girlfriend doesn’t know about. No matter how forthright you are about your mutual household finances, and how tight your budget is, in order to be perceived as a generous (!), gracious (!!) and thoughtful (!!!) provider you need access to monies your wife/girlfriend can’t spend before you do.

This is liable to cause some resentment, of course, once it becomes known that you have a separate checking account, or a secret cigar box full of twenties she doesn’t have access to. Let it. But stand your ground. The ability to suddenly manifest something necessary or desired at an opportune moment increases your perceived Alpha in her eyes, and it grants you a feeling of satisfaction that you can easily build on.

Ah, you ask, but how do I get this mysterious pile of money? Especially when I’m considering selling my kid’s kidneys to make the mortgage?

First, don’t go into debt for it. Debt sucks. Avoid unnecessary debt like the plague – it’s the responsible thing to do. In fact, secretly paying down your debt is a huge bonus to your Alpha provider stat, once it becomes known.

The secret is what the Good Ol’ Boys in my neck of the woods call the “Working 50” or the “Working 500”, depending upon how ambitious you are. That’s the amount of money that lore says should “always be working for you.”
Remember that there’s more than one way to make money. Working for it is the usual way, of course, but it’s always better when your money works for you, not the other way around. Your Working 50 is the $50 (or $500, depending on your capabilities and your ambitions) that you have out there making you more money. You do that by buying and selling stuff. It takes five minutes to set up Ebay, UPS and Paypal accounts, and once you do have those, the rest is easy.

Look around your house for crap you don’t want, won’t use, and would probably donate before you’d go to all of the time and effort to put together a yard sale. Take a couple of pictures of the ones you think are most valuable. If it doesn’t look valuable by itself, group it together in one lot. Then post it on ebay. Crawl through your attic, your garage, that box of crap your ex-girlfriend left at your house, the shed, you name it. Miscellaneous items of dubious value are everywhere. All you need to do is find out who wants them, how much they’re willing to pay, and then complete the transaction.

Got a junk car in the backyard (in the South, it’s traditional for Agro-Americans to display their wealth thus)? It’s probably worth a fair amount just in scrap. If you have the inclination to strip it and sell off the parts first, even a crappy old heap can be worth a couple of hundred dollars.

Ever stop into a thrift shop or yard sale and seen a bargain? Buy it. Sell it. Make a profit. Do you have old books laying around that you will never, ever read again? Amazon. Have an interest in, say, millitaria, collectibles, or comic books? There are booming on-line marketplaces for just those sorts of things. No telling what your old toys are worth. Have a bunch of antiques that you inherited but are just not your style? Liquidate them. Know how to fix lawnmowers and chainsaws? Do that in your spare time. Know far, far too much about sports memorabilia? Weed out your coveted collection and take the cash.

There are websites where they give away stuff – valuable stuff – for free. Freecycle, for instance. And Craig’s List has tons of stuff “Free To A Good Home – You Pick Up”. Yard sales, thrift stores, bankruptcy auctions, surplus auctions and self-storage auctions are all great places to find odd and valuable crap that other people are willing to pay money for. The key is knowing the value of something, and that might take a little homework.

It might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the system down, and start understanding how to do it, the returns can be high and it can be fun, too. For example, at a trip to Virginia Beach a couple of years ago, we were digging around in the sand and came across an old WWII era bayonet that someone had left in the sand (nearly impaling my 5-year-old – not happy about that). Instead of chucking it into my toolbox or throwing it out (like my wife wanted) I sold it on Ebay for $120, because of the year and model. Of course not ever transaction is going to yield that kind of result, but if you work on the part-time-entrepreneur thing consistently and evenly the law of averages says you’ll make a profit unless you’re a complete idiot.

But the key is to have this Working 50(0) out there in the background, off the books, out of her reach, and under your control. If you have a crafty hobby like woodwork, consider trying to sell a few pieces. Or art. Most of us have some sort of talent that (with a little development) can be turned into a money-making avocation.

It’s undeniable that some dudes just have a natural knack for trading and dealing; it’s possible that yours has just not had the right opportunity to flourish, or that you haven’t found the right financial hobby yet. Other dudes can’t get their heads away from the idea that the only way to make money is to work for someone and have them give it to you. But the fact is that incredibly stupid people make their entire livings off of Ebay . . . so if you’re smart enough to take the Red Pill, you’re smart enough to figure out “Buy Low, Sell High”.

It’s equally important to keep your efforts concealed from her. If you spend all of your time talking about all the money you’re going to make in order to get premature credit for your ability to provide, then you look like a wuss when you can’t produce, for whatever reason. Your failures count against you doubly that way. But a secret success that yields a profit that you can turn around and, say, spend on your wife’s birthday or on a hotel sex weekend or to get the power turned back on in an emergency, those things shower you with glory and Alpha goodness – as well as aiding your Beta ability to provide comfort as well as resources for your mate. It displays your Grace and Generosity, two qualities many women find instantly appealing. And the unknown origin of the sudden generosity lends an air of mystery and excitement to your relationship.

It's also important that you reserve this fund mostly for expenditures that will add to the comfort and prosperity of your household, not, say, just on electronic gadgets that will make you happy while she sits around in K-Mart underwear wondering what happened to the best years of her life. Some women can fixate on the smallest things as a tangible sign of success. Sometimes if you can discover and hit that note, you give yourself a DHV far in excess of the intrinsic value of the expenditure. Knowing your wife/girlfriend's tastes and perspectives can add a lot to this.

Yes, she’s going to be resentful that you were “holding out” on her. Claim it as your husbandly male prerogative. Yes, she’s going to want access and control over it. Don’t let her touch it, or know how big your Nookie Fund is. Yes, she’s going to be pissed that you resist her womanly attempts to control you – and it – when you’re supposed to be in an equitable relationship. Let her. Your steadfast resistance is actually going to be a long-term gain for you, as she understands that you have some modicum of control and willingness to say “no” to unreasonable demands.

The Working 50 has been the safehaven for menfolk for decades, but too many young men and new husbands don’t understand it. Just remember, after you start making a little extra money, that you should always keep $50 (or $500) on hand as seed for your next microinvestment.


  1. Excellent post and important. My wife and I merged bank accounts when we married and all my income (she's SAHM) goes in the pool. The past few years I've been buying and flipping underpriced bikes off of Craigslist. Made a few hundred bucks with just a few hours of spare time and I enjoy the hands-on tinkering (I work a desk job). It's nice to be able to tell your wife "no sweat, I got this" in a pinch and be the hero.


  2. I'm 31 and have never heard of the 50 before. Already prowling the house for sellables and found boxes of books and geek-toys. Should be a fun weekend.

  3. You might be qualified to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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