The “spousal problem” in this context refers to the problem of finding a partner who is as frugal as yourself, preferably not too frugal (crazy frugal) but also not not frugal enough (relatively wasteful). Many have expressed frustration over this in the forums.
Fact 1: The majority of readers on this site are women.
Fact 2: The majority of people who say they can’t retire extremely early because their [potential] spouse would never go for it are men.
How do you explain that? Lets find out.
I’ll post the results here as soon as the sample is statistically “significant”, that is, 1/sqrt(N) for any given category is a small number.
Okay, here are the results.
12% prefer to stay single while 26% are interested in men and 62% are interested in women. This conflicts with fact 1 above.
Out of those who prefer to have a partner, 61% have already found one. Out of those who are looking and think they will have a hard time finding someone, 79% are looking for women. Out of those who have already found someone or think it would be easy to find someone, 62% are looking for women. This suggests cause for optimism for the frustrated. The ratio of trying hard/found for people looking for men is 1 to 2.92. When it comes to looking for women, it’s 1 to 1.24.
The raw percentage numbers for the questions in order of appearance are: 26%, 6%, 33%, 20%, 12%.
To make some real conclusions as to whether frugality plays a role, I’d need control data from a nonfrugal sample which would be hard for me to get.