Spending and Debt Quiz

It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits. -@ChuckJaffe tweet

Moving from Ignorance to Knowledge

When we ignore our spending and debt habits, we choose ignorance. In this age of information, ignorance is a choice. Not knowing the truth isn’t what makes us ignorant, but not wanting to know the truth is what makes us so. However, given a choice between ignorance and knowledge, I believe everyone prefers knowledge. Today’s spending and debt quiz will allow you to understand the truth of your current financial situation, accept it and give you a starting point for changing it. Whenever we accept then we can begin to act.

Spending and Debt Quiz

For each statement below rate yourself 1 (less true) to 5 (more true). When finished, total up your score and use the key below to determine your course of action.

  • This month’s bills come in before I have paid last month’s bills.
  • Receive at least one cutoff or past due notice per month.
  • Have a stack of unopened bills or notices.
  • A negative running balance in my checkbook is normal.
  • Search for products I can buy with minimal down payment.
  • Knowing how much credit line I have left excites me.
  • I get at least one cash advance per month from my credit card.
  • Frequently short a few dollars and borrow from others.
  • I get high from telling the clerk to “charge it”.
  • Always interested in getting new charge cards.
  • Feels inordinately good when I pay routine bills like the phone or the rent.
  • I am reticent to discuss the subject of money and walk away from social conversations about it.
  • Have had an account closed in the last six months and am angry about it or have blamed others.
  • When my paycheck or loan money comes in, I experience a great sense of relief.
  • I rarely keep a running balance in my checkbook.
  • My credit card balances run near the maximum credit line.
  • There is little or no savings, investments, or assets; nothing is available for contingencies.
  • Bounce more than three checks per year.
  • I have only a vague idea of my various financial obligations.
  • Money is tight, but there is always someone I keep turning to who won’t let me starve.

 Scoring Key

20-35 Congratulations! Doesn’t look like there is a problem.

36-50 Time to increase your financial knowledge before unforeseen problems arise and finances take a turn for the worst

51-75 Only a step away from difficult financial problems. Time to learn about and implement a budget.

76-100 Clearly a problem.  Seek free financial counseling in your local area.

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow

Take a few moments and reflect on the individual questions in the quiz

  1. Where are you doing well? Acknowledge the areas where you are doing well. Be proud of yourself. Use those areas as fuel for improving areas that need improvement. What skills are responsible for the positive scores and how can those skills be used to improve the less than positive scores?
  2. Pick one of your lowest scored questions. What actions can you take to improve your knowledge in that area and improve the score?
  3. Keep quiz handy and repeat #1 and #2 until spending and debt are no longer a problem for you.


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