A Financial Education Event
 

Savvy Saver Quiz – part 5 – Budgeting

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?

 

Budgeting

 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!

Ellie Kay

America’s Family Financial Expert (R)

Savvy Saver Quiz – part 4 – Transportation

 

Transportation

 When I was a teen, I always wanted a little roadster. It only took 30 years of clipping coupons, but I (finally) got mine after years of driving mini vans and suburbans. But  even though my “baby” is small, it loves to guzzle the gas, so I have to be careful. How well do do when it comes to saving on transportation?

Q.  How many individual trips do you make to the grocery store, department store, discount store, electronic store, the mall, or other shopping venues each week? (Count each individual trip as one and count combined trips as one.)

a) 0-3

b) 4-6

c) 7-9

d) 10 or more

 Q.  If the speed limit is 65 mph, how fast do you normally drive?

a) 60 mph to 65 mph – I’m a cautious driver

b) 66 mph to 70 mph – I push it just a little

c) 71 mph to 75 mph – I like to keep up with traffic

d) 75 mph or more – I like to live in the fast lane, baby!

 Q.  How often do you have the air pressure checked in your tires?

a) at least every other week

b) once a month or once every two months

c) once every three to six months

d) Am I suppose to check the air?

 Q.  How often, per week, do you carpool to work, to the kids school or to other events with friends (meetings, out of town trips, shopping, etc.)?

a)  5 or more – I regularly carpool

b)  3 to 4 – I try to make the driving count

c)  1 to 2 – I’m a taxi mom

d)  never – I like to drive!

 

Q.  How often do you shop around for the best price on gas (using an app like TripTik or gasbuddy or going to www.gaspricewatch.com)  before you fill up?

a) every time – Gas is too expensive to pay top price!

b) frequently – I pay attention to who has the best prices

c) occasionally – When I can remember

d) never – Who has the time?

Welcome to the scoring section of the Transportation 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 DRIVER! When it comes to making sure you get the most bang for your driving buck, you are routinely aware of gas prices, make sure your tire pressure is accurate, carpool to work or school and check out sites like www.gaspricewatch.com or www.gasbuddy.com to get the best prices! You’re not only saving on fuel costs, you’re saving our environment with your conscientious ways—well done! 

 11-15 points:  Low Cost Logan – Good Job, you’re a SMART DRIVER! – You are doing a good job at keeping driving costs down by combining trips on errands. You probably have also figured out that you don’t have to go to five different stores when you can come to your local Walmart Superstore and get everything you need in one place, this saves time and money. There is slight room to improve, but you are in a nice place when it comes to wisely using transportation dollars.

 6-10 points:  Moderate Morgan – Nice Work, you are a DRIVER! – You might be good at combining errands to save on time and expense and you might shop around for the best gas prices when you have the time. However, there’s always room to improve. By minimizing your trips to a lot of different stores, trying to carpool when you can, making sure your vehicle is well maintained and driving the speed limit, you can save more and become a smart driver!

 5 points:  Extravagant Emerson – You must love to DRIVE! – If you don’t drive for a living, you might just live to drive! Transportation may be an expensive area because you may be a “taxi mom” whether you like it or not! By slowing down your speed, becoming more strategic in trip planning and checking the air pressure in your tires, you could cut fuel costs by 25% or more!  Since gas prices may be on the rise again, now is a good time to make some modifications to your transportation habits to set yourself up to be a one who drives and saves! 

Let me know how you save on transportation!

Ellie Kay

America’s Family Financial Expert (R)