Tuesday, November 09, 2010

FISCAL ATTRACTION: When it comes to love and money, OPPOSITES really DO attract

We've all heard it. It is safe to say that many of us have experienced it. But if you have ever wondered why money and financial issues make up the #1 “hot spot” between couples, check out the research.

The research*—in this case, by assistant professor Scott Rick of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business—suggests that people who are tight with their money often end up marrying those who spend more freely.

"Generally speaking, birds of a feather flock together," says Rick, assistant professor of marketing at Ross. "We tend to be attracted to mates who share similar demographic characteristics, similar attitudes, similar values, even similar names. But our surveys of married adults suggest opposites attract when it comes to emotional reactions toward spending.

"That is, tightwads…and spendthrifts… tend to marry each other."

Sounds like a good balance, yes? Well, not always.

As Rick explains: “This complementary attraction…is associated with greater conflicts over money. The more spouses differ on the tightwad-spendthrift dimension, the more likely they are to argue over money.”

There you have it, folks. Not only is it normal; in some ways the differences of perspective in how couples approach money matters may be inevitable. The question is how to deal with it effectively?

For the answer join us on November 13th and 14th for the “$pend Your Life with Me” weekend getaway at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

This exciting weekend workshop teaches insightful and useful communication and conflict resolution skills with a timely focus on the biggie “hot spot.”

This is not a workshop about finances. Or even how to handle your finances. It is about how you deal (or not!) with financial issues as a couple.

The bottom line is to help couples learn how to:

· Talk about financial matters constructively;
· Reduce conflict and increase understanding;
· Work together as partners toward more productive solutions.

With a thought-provoking, non-judgmental and fun approach, the "$pend Your Life With Me" workshop identifies some of the most common roadblocks and examines the emotional connection couples have in handling financial matters; PLUS provides valuable insight into your individual “Money Habitudes.*” It is a great way to begin a real --and constructive conversation about the habits and attitudes that affect your financial decisions and actions …both individually, and as a couple! (*Habit + attitude = habitude)

*Three separate studies -- surveying more than 1,000 married and unmarried adults--were conducted by Rick and colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. To read the entire article: /www.bus.umich.edu/NewsRoom/

Postscript: If you are unable to make the retreat, check out the “Money Habitudes” cards available in the thinkmarriage.org online store. (thinkmarriage.org/store/storefront/printed materials.) This non-threatening card game will give you an intriguing sense of your own (and each other’s) thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior about money matters. You may learn as much about yourself as you do about each other!

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