Being a saver is more likely to make you attractive than being flash with the cash

Being a saver is more likely to make you attractive than being flash with the cash
19 September 2013

A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business indicates that savers are viewed as more attractive partners than spenders.

The study, titled A Penny Saved Is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers, explores the theory that “saving behavior may be diagnostic of broad self-control.”

The thinking goes that someone who is disciplined and has a high degree of self-control with money will also have the self-control to commit to something (like a relationship) and to not impulsively say hurtful things or cheat on a romantic partner. The researchers indicate people with good self-control may also be more physically attractive because they’re capable of sticking to diets and fitness regimens.

After reviewing existing research and conducting a series of experiments asking volunteers to do things like rate the desirability of different characteristics for potential dates, the researchers concluded that so long as the urge to save isn’t extreme, e.g. no hoarding, as the authors say: “Savers are naturally viewed as possessing greater general self-control, which increases their romantic and physical attractiveness.”

Greater self-control

Often we may think lavishing fancy presents on a partner is the best way to woo them, but Jenny Olson, a Ross School Ph.D. candidate and co-author of the study, told Reuters that these tactics can backfire. “You would think that spending would be more attractive, because things like flashy watches or purses are so visible,” she said. “Those things can also be perceived as wasteful and lacking in self-control.”

Tightwads and spendthrifts

The authors write: “Our work sheds new light on how savers are generally perceived. Although saving can be taken to extremes, causing unhappiness (e.g., among tightwads or hoarders), our work suggests that savers are not naturally viewed through this lens. Rather, savers are naturally viewed as possessing greater general self-control, which increases their romantic and physical attractiveness. It is notable that we observed this pattern in the shadow of the Great Recession, a time in which people who chronically spend may be viewed as especially irresponsible.”

As UAE Saves Week starts could there be a better reason to save than to show our loved ones we really care by being responsible with money?

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Head of Behavioral Finance
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