To have and to hold, in cash and in charge...


If you think you butt heads often with your spouse or significant other when it comes to money matters, you're probably not imagining it. Science has confirmed what many people have already suspected: When it comes to viewpoints on spending and saving, opposites really do attract.

This New York Times article discusses the result of new research proving that the frugal and the free-spending tend to attract one another. Unfortunately, this difference in outlook can lead to marital friction (if you've ever been on either side of a tiff resulting from an ill-planned impulse purchase, you already know this).

Here's what the studies found: Spendthrifts and tightwads (yes, those were the actual terms used by the researchers) tend to gravitate toward partners on the opposite side of the spend-save spectrum. Psychologists speculate that people unconsciously seek out a yin to their yang, since other studies have shown that people have the intention of seeking like-minded mates, although they don't follow through.

Why do people do this? Well, over-spenders might like having a built-in check in the form of a partner who says, "Honey, do you really need a $500 espresso machine? You don't even drink coffee!" Cheapskates, for their part, might appreciate a partner who says, "You've worked hard all week. Why don't you go out with the boys/get a massage?"