This is the final quiz in our savvy saver series! It’s the “B” word and it can be a volatile word to use in many households. My hubby was a born spender and I’m a born saver, so we had plenty of “discussions” about this topic. Eventually, we got on the same sheet of music and we’ve been able to reach most of our financial goals as a result. This is coming from a place in our early marriage where we had $40,000 in credit card debt and wondered where our next bag of groceries was coming from! A little budgeting goes a long way when it comes to meeting your goals. What kind of a budgeter are you?
Q. How often do you stick to or live by a household budget?
a) every day, baby!
b) frequently, but not every single day
c) occasionally, I have a hard time with the “b” word!
d) never, I just don’t do budgets!
Q. How often do you review and/or adjust your budget to keep up with your current financial situation?
a) twice a year or more
b) once a year
c) once every 2 to 3 years
d) are we still on the budget thing? (rarely)
Q. When you have a set amount, weekly, to spend on groceries, how well do you stick to that amount?
a) I come in under my set amount fairly regularly
b) I spend my set amount
c) I seem to spend $10 to $40 (or more) over my set amount each time
d) I don’t have a set amount, I just spend whatever
Q. How much of your family income are you able to put into some kind of savings account (regular savings, allotment, IRA, Mutual Funds, 401 (k)s, etc.)
a) we save or invest at least 10% of our income
b) we save or invest 5% to 9% of our income
c) we save or invest 1% to 4% of our income
d) we never seem to save or invest anything
Welcome to the scoring section of the Budgeting category – Give yourself the following points: every “A” answer = 4 points, every “B” answer – 3 points, every “C” answer – 2 points and every “D” answer – 1 point
16 – 20 points: Thrifty Taylor – Well done, you’re a SUPER SMART BUDGET BUDDY! When it comes to budgeting, you get the prize for being a smartest person on the block! You are well prepared for financial issues that arise in today’s economy and are in a great position to pay down debt, make ends meet and stretch your dollar in a crisis because you have a plan—and it’s called a budget! You may want to use also my free budgeting tool at www.elliekay.com You’re doing GREAT!
11-15 points: Low Cost Logan – Good Job, you’re a SMART BUDGET BUDDY! – You are doing a good job at working on a budget and making good use of your efforts in this area. You may not stick to budget every single day, so there is room for improvement. It’s obvious that you have the basic skills to continue to be smart with budgeting concepts and you can even help your children learn to have fun kid budgets as well.
6-10 points: Moderate Morgan – Nice Work, you are a BUDGET BUDDY! – There are some areas where you’re doing better than others and budgeting just may not be your primary forte. However, at least you know what a budget is and there’s always room to improve. By going to a budgeting tool online at reputable money sites such as moneymagazine.com or msnmoney.com, you’ll find the resources to set up a practical budget that your family can live with and modify as needed. By putting a little more effort into this area, you can learn to become a smart budget buddy!
5 points: Extravagant Emerson – You are a one who NEEDS A BUDGET BUDDY! – You may have scored smarter in every other category but this one—not everyone has the desire to budget. You need someone to come alongside you and help set up a budget you can tolerate. If you’ve tried the online tools we mentioned previously for budgeting and they don’t work, then you may want to speak to a live person. Get free help by going to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at www.nfcc.org . Once you have a plan, which is basically what a budget is, then you can pay down debt, make ends meet and have a new level of financial freedom!
Let me know how you are stretching your budget!
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)