Domestic Financial Matter and Anti-Matter

Interesting results from a recent paper showing a species of domestic fatal/fiscal financial attraction:

Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Spendthrifts and Tightwads in Marriage

Scott Rick
University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

Deborah A. Small
University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School; Carnegie Mellon University

Eli Finkel
Northwestern University – Department of Psychology

February 27, 2009

Although much research finds that "birds of a feather flock together," surveys of married adults suggest that opposites attract when it comes to emotional reactions toward spending. That is, "tightwads," who generally spend less than they would ideally like to spend, and "spendthrifts," who generally spend more than they would ideally like to spend, tend to marry each other, consistent with the notion that people are attracted to mates who possess characteristics dissimilar to those they deplore in themselves (Klohnen and Mendelsohn 1998). In spite of this complementary attraction, spendthrift/tightwad differences within a marriage predict conflict over finances, which in turn predict diminished marital well-being.