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Study Shows Spendthrifts and Tightwads Tend to Marry

Here's one case when birds of a feather often do not flock together, but they probably should. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern University rated married individuals on a Tightwad-Spendthrift Scale based on surveys that asked each partner about their personal feelings toward spending money.

The results show that many people end up marrying someone with opposite money behavior. Professor Stephanie Coontz commented, "I can see how this might be one of those kinds of seductive differences in the early stages of courtship. Maybe you say to yourself, ‘This guy makes me feel so free,’ or ‘This gal reins me in.’ " I never thought of money habits as a seductive element in the kindling of a relationship, but I do see Coontz's point.

Unfortunately, the initial attraction to another's differences in the way they handle finances could lead to big trouble down the road. Relationship experts think people end up with opposites because they don't spend enough time discussing money before they walk down the aisle. Eli J. Finkel, a Northwestern psychology professor, said, "People may not think about these things when they first get married. But a bad economy serves as a crucible for complementary marriages."

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
My husband and I have pretty similar spending habits, which is really nice. We don't blow money on useless crap and we try to live comfortably but frugally. If we need something, we buy it, but we don't just go out and spend money on things like huge TVs and furniture and expensive clothes. On the other hand, my sister (who has my tightwad tendencies) is married to a spender. It's rough on her, I can tell. When my brother in law wanted to buy a HUGE white leather sofa for their tiny little condo, she said OK, but I could tell it was stressing her out because she thought they could spend money on better things.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Interesting article.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I could not be with someone who spent so much money and was frivolous. Luckily, I have my BF. We never buy items for the house, or even ourselves (like clothes and stuff like that) for the sake of it. I will wear all of my jeans until they have holes in them. I don't buy things I do not need to buy. I come from a very well-to-do family. We're talking, lawyers, celebrity doctors and huge fashion company designers. have always been surrounded by multi-million dollar properties, boats, fancy cars, nice things, vacations -- and it was so stupid. My dad would come home with 10,000 dollars worth of music, or clothes or guitars. What the hell is the POINT in all of that? I will never adopt that kind of lifestyle. You can have money, just spend it wisely...and SAVE.
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