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Book Review: Tightwads and Spendthrifts

Book Review: Tightwads and Spendthrifts

Couples can find themselves on opposite ends of the financial spectrum. When one partner is a saver and the other a spender, challenges and disagreements often arise when managing their finances. 


But the financial spectrum stretches farther than savers and spenders on opposite ends of the spectrum; it is tightwads and spendthrifts who are stretched farthest apart. 


Tightwads hate to spend, unlike those who are highly frugal and simply love to save. On the other hand, a spendthrift is a person who spends money in an extravagant, irresponsible way. As you can see, these two types of folks are clearly at odds with each other.


Are tightwads and spendthrifts compatible? 


Regarding financial decisions, Rick says "yes," but not before asking whose opinion matters most. Tightwads and Spendthrifts can attain a happy life together by creating a game plan for navigating financial decision-making.


Dr. Scott Rick is the nation's leading expert on the subject.


Dr. Rick is an award-winning Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Rick received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Decision Research from Carnegie Mellon in 2007, and he then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Wharton. 


Rick's research focuses on understanding the emotional causes and consequences of consumer financial decision-making, with a particular interest in the behavior of tightwads and spendthrifts. 


Rick has published in marketing, psychology, management, neuroscience, and economics journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, Consumer Psychology, and others.


Dr. Scott Rick has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, NPR, and Harvard Business Review. His experiences making his research understandable and useful for everyday people likely played a heavy hand in his book.


What became clear after reading Tightwads and Spendthrifts: Navigating the Money Minefield in Real Relationships is that he has a gift for simplifying complex research into simple messages that are fun to read and easy to understand. I highly recommend purchasing the book.


Tightwads and Spendthrifts offer a science-based approach to transforming how individuals and couples manage money. Through his original research and a wide range of interdisciplinary work, Tightwads and Spendthrifts offers insights into your financial psychology. 


Here are five fun facts or ah-ha moments I picked up reading Dr. Rick's book.


  1. The highly frugal are generally much more at peace in their relationship with money than tightwads, according to the author of Tightwads and Spendthrifts.

  2. Choosing a bank account structure early in a marriage will shape conversations about money for years. 

  3. In a famous study that tracked married couples from 1980 to 1992, Paul Amato and Stacy Rogers found that thinking in 1980 that a spouse "spends money foolishly" was an excellent predictor of being divorced by 1992. 

  4. Couples can use the Spendthrift Tightwad Scale to see where they stand on the financial spectrum of spending and saving. 

  5. Using Psychological Money Laundering for the Yours, Mine, and Ours system for spouses to manage money in a marriage. 

Book Review: Tightwads and Spendthrifts

Modern Husbands Podcast


Dr. Scott Rick was a guest on the Modern Husbands Podcast.



Winning ideas from experts to manage money and the home as a team. 2023 Plutus Award Finalist: Best Couples or Family Content


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