Thursday, June 5, 2008

Are You Ready to Budget? A Quiz

1) How do you feel about giving up your morning Starbucks?
a. Uh, no.
b. Can I just get a regular instead of a venti?
c. OK, they are really expensive.

2) Do you think you have money you don't realize?
a. Are you crazy? I wouldn't be in debt if I had extra money.
b. Maybe, but wouldn't I already know that?
c. Probably, but I don't know where to find it.

3) Can you go without recreational shopping for a month?
a. I'm just stopping this quiz. That is an unrealistic and cruel question.
b. Can I go just once?
c. It would be hard, but I'm willing to try.

4) Are you willing to give up other luxuries, for the sake of your budget?
a. Life's not worth living without regular luxuries. Period.
b. Depends. I'll have to choose which ones to give up.
c. For the sake of my budget, yes, I think I can do this.

5) Your favorite author/musician has a new book/cd out. You:
a. Rush out and buy it immediately in a bricks and mortar store, at full price.
b. Watch an online store like Amazon.com for a used copy.
c. Get it from the library/get it from a friend/wait until paperback and then buy it used.

6) You just blew your budget for the week, taking a friend out for their birthday. You:
a. Don't change your budget at all for the next couple weeks. Didn't pay cash anyway, because that's what credit cards are for, right?
b. Try to spend less this week.
c. Adjust your spending money for the next few weeks to offset this.

7) It's grocery shopping time. Do you:
a. Grocery shopping? I only eat out.
b. Shop wherever is convenient, though this sometimes means spending a bit more than planned.
c. Shop in a store that has the consistently lowest prices, and try to remember to use coupons.

8) Do you think it's possible to live your lifestyle on less money?
a. My lifestyle on less money? HA! No way, Jose.
b. I'd like to believe that's true.
c. I suppose it's possible, though I wouldn't know where to start making those changes.

9) What does this statement mean to you: "I have an emergency fund"?:
a. What's that?
b. I wish I had one.
c. I have a little money in my savings, but it wouldn't cover me if something big happened.

10) Do you save for retirement?
a) I expect my spouse to do that/I expect to win the lottery/I expect to inherit money.
b) I saved a little before, but I haven't contributed to an IRA or 401k in a few years.
c) I save a little, but I'm far from maxing out my contributions.

If you answered mostly As: while you're not ready to start following a budget, you probably need one. Suggested reading: Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier and Financial Lessons I Learned Early.

If you answered mostly Bs: you're already taking some budgeting steps and you're conscious of doing so. If you're in debt, you could probably find more money to put towards your debt. Though since you might not know where to start, getting a book (like Get A Financial Life) would probably help tremendously. Suggested reading: Debt Reduction Strategies That Work.

If you answered mostly Cs: you are definitely ready to budget. You are already pretty keenly aware of how you spend your money, and you look for deals. You probably just need a good nudge to adjust your weaker habits, and to improve your better habits. Be careful to not step over the line of frugality and into cheapness. Suggested reading: Frugal vs Cheap.

1 comment:

Tris said...

Great post, I've just written a similar post about How To Get Out Of Debt which talks about budgeting and how to set up a monthly budget.

I would have thought that the older the reader the more likely they would be to answer mostly c's...