Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Tightwads and Spendthrifts in Marriage

Scott Rick, University of Michigan, USA
Deborah Small, The Wharton School, Unversity of Pennsylvania, USA
Eli Finkel, Northwestern University, USA
Although most attraction research suggests that “birds of a feather flock together,” surveys of married adults reveal that opposites attract when it comes to emotional reactions toward spending money. That is, “tightwads,” who find the prospect of spending money painful and thus tend to spend less than they would like, tend to marry “spendthrifts,” who find spending painless and thus spend more than they would like, consistent with the notion that people are attracted to mates who possess characteristics dissimilar to those they deplore in themselves (Klohnen and Mendelsohn 1998). Unfortunately, spendthrift/tightwad differences stimulate conflict over money, diminishing marital satisfaction.
[ to cite ]:
Scott Rick, Deborah Small, and Eli Finkel (2010) ,"Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Tightwads and Spendthrifts in Marriage", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 36-36 .