Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is Your Spouse a Tightwad?

The answer to this question might depend on whether you and your spouse share the same attitude toward spending. Rick, Scott, Deborah Small, and Eli Finkel, "Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Spendthrifts and Tightwads in Marriage." Using a questionnaire with a tightwad/spendthrift scale they find that, “people tend to marry spouses with opposing emotional reactions toward spending.”  As probably expected, the more unhappy you are with your own spending habits, the more likely you are attracted to a mate with the opposite characteristics. Moreover, this attraction does not seem to be conscious; most persons state that are searching for others with similar spending habits.

You might expect that these opposing spending habits cancel each other out and put the marriage on an even keel, leading to marital bliss. Although the evidence is not conclusive, the authors state that divergences in spending behaviors have a negative impact on relationship quality. Sometimes you don’t get what you want and  you don’t get what you need.

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