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Take The Spending Habits Quiz
Spending Tips

 

1)  Its payday, your salary has just been deposited in a savings account. Do you:

A. Rush out at lunchtime for an expensive meal and a splurge at the shops
B. withdraw a set amount of cash, leaving the rest aside in the account for bills and other expenses
C. Transfer some money into a check account to cover bills, put some into a regular savings plan, leaving the balance in a savings account for everyday expenses

2) The end-of-season sales are on and you need to pick up a few things for around the home. You:

A. Peruse sales catalogues and brochures, comparing costs and sizing up whether or not the discounts are actually competitive enough to make a purchase
B. Pop into a department store just for a look and end up leaving with a new lounge suite, coffee table and bookcase — all on deferred interest credit
C. Pick up a few items on sale, conscious that your credit card limit will only stretch so far

3) A group of friends or family are thinking about heading off to the beach for a couple of weeks later in the year. The lure of the sun and sea is very tempting and you agree to go too. How do you pay for the trip?

A. Mostly by setting aside a certain amount of cash from each pay packet, with a bit of help from a credit card during the trip
B. Pay in advance out of a general savings account and you save for any other expenses by setting aside some of your pay
C. Rely on your credit card and start to pay the bill after the trip

4) Suddenly, the postal worker is not welcome at your letter box anymore — the electricity, gas and telephone bills arrive within 2 days of each other. Does it cause much of a headache in the household?

A. Yes, but most of the money is sitting in an account set up especially to look after bills
B. Yes, no one has any money and you have to strike up a payment plan with two of the companies to pay off the bills
C. Yes, but you have anticipated these amounts would fall due during the month and will just have to forgo a few nights out to meet the costs


5 You win $1000 cash in an office sweepstakes. What do you do with the money? How easily do you let your hard-earned dollars slip through your fingers?

A. Spend it quickly so you do not have time to think about more practical financial demands
B. Pay off a round of bills that happen to arrive within 2 days of each other and take your partner out to dinner with the remaining cash
C.  Add it on to your next home loan repayment — when compound interest is taken into account you save thousands of dollars by paying off the loan sooner

Scoring

Question 1 — A - 0 Points,    B- 2 Points,        C- 5 Points
Question 2 — A - 5 Points,    B- 0 Points,        C- 2 Points
Question 3 — A-  2 Points,    B- 5 Points,        C- 0 Points
Question 4 — A-  5 Points,    B- 0 Points,        C- 2 Points
Question 5 — A-  0 Points,    B- 2 Points,        C- 5 Points

Spending Tips

How you fared

Score 0 to 9

Your definition of budgeting is probably setting aside $5 to buy lunch. Unfortunately, there is a bit more to financial responsibility than a savings account and the hope that you can meet the bills each month.

Learning the basics behind budgeting will bring about results quickly. You may also find that with a bit of organization you will be able to indulge yourself with some regular ‘guilt-free’ spending sprees!

Score 10 to 19

Cash flow can be a bit of a problem for you now and again, but you usually manage to sidestep major financial obstacles. However, the endless cycle of scraping through each payday with enough money to meet expenses and a little held over for savings and miscellaneous spending means you will never really get on top of the financial roller coaster. More than anything, a well-constructed budget will curb the money worries that come with some of the larger living expenses like rent/mortgage payments and household bills.

Score 20 to 25

Congratulations on understanding the importance of drawing up strong budget goals. This booklet may well reinforce your financial practices and may offer a few suggestions to improve weaker areas. Just remember, however, that even the best budget must offer some flexibility. A budget should never be set in concrete and sometimes it is important to indulge yourself with a new book or pair of jeans.

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