Financial Opposites Attract

by mike on January 10, 2013

5336630424_731b2b9e88There is an old adage about “opposites attract”.  However, studies have found that most of the time this is not true.  There is one area, though,  in which opposites do attract: spending habits.

Scott Rick of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and his colleagues analyzed surveys of more than 1,000 married and unmarried adults and found that people who spend very freely often marry people who are tightwads.  I have been talking about this for years.

It seems that many of the married couples I work with have one spender and one saver.  The advantage of this is that the spender will make sure the saver lives a little.  The saver will make sure the spender will be able to retire someday.  It seems like this is a great counterbalance that would help prosper a marriage.

The interesting thing is that their research found that when savers and spenders marry, there is greater marital conflict and lower marital satisfaction.  I believe this makes for an interesting situation.  If you are a spender: should you marry someone who is a saver even though you will fight about money more and have less marital satisfaction?  OR Should you marry another spender even though you may rack up piles of debt and have nothing saved for retirement?

What do you think?

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