“If you’re looking for love, show your thrifty side. It will reassure that potential mate that you’re responsible, sensible and healthy. Plus, they’ll find it sexy, new research suggests.” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pinching-pennies-makes-you-look-hot-2013-09-04
I rode my bike home after a day of work at McKell’s chicken farm: feathers caught in my ponytail, chicken dust clogging my pores, cash in my pocket.
Arriving home, I hurried to my bedroom and locked the door; the flimsy hook-and-eye lock wouldn’t withstand a sibling’s determined thumping, but it would give me time to conceal my cache. Working a Mason jar from its hiding place between my bed and the wall, I emptied the contents, added the day’s earnings, and began to count.
Life didn’t get any better.
As long as I can remember, I’ve saved things: candy for an eventual binge, good deeds for when I had more time, clothes for special occasions—some of which became outdated while I waited for an event worthy of them—and money for things I wanted to buy: Christmas gifts for my family, a transistor radio, a college education, vacations, a house.
Now I’m told that my frugality made me more attractive as a potential mate. Researcher Jenny Olson at the University of Michigan found that both males and females find savers more attractive than spenders. When she showed people the same pictures of two people she randomly identified as either a saver or a spender, the saver was always seen as “more sexually attractive and hot.”
According to another study at Northwestern University, savers are also likely to have better mental and physical health than spenders. People with a high debt-to-asset level have more stress and depression, worse general health, and higher blood pressure than people who saved for major purchases and security.
I had no idea that saving money made me such a catch. Initially, I saved because I wanted things my parents couldn’t provide. Then I found I liked anticipating a purchase and the pleasure it would provide as much as having the item, sometimes more. Later, I began to enjoy the sense of security that saving gave me—whether in a Mason jar or a retirement fund. I wanted to know that, barring major catastrophe, I’d have money for what I needed and, if I were willing to wait, for what I wanted as well.
I also had no idea as I stood in line to add to my college savings account that any potential partners in the building were watching and thinking, “Wow, she’s hot.”