Are You a Financial Rock Star or in Serious Danger? Take This Quiz to Find Out

Hello and welcome fellow debt haters. Being that it’s Monday, you are either broke from the weekend and can’t wait until payday, or you are refreshed and ready to return to this weeks business at hand. I remember what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck and believe me when I say I NEVER want to go back.

One of the best decisions I ever made, besides marrying the most beautiful woman in the world and being a dad, has to be improving my finances…hands down! I look back and wonder what I could have possibly been thinking to have wasted away so many financial opportunities all because I was too stubborn to look at the danger in what I was doing.

Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you are past the stubborn phase and are looking for real solutions to better prepare yourself financially. Congratulations! Now the question is: Where are you at right now?

Recently, I had the honor and privilege of being mentioned in the LA Times in an article titled; These financial blogs are worth your time, written by Kathy M. Kristof. Since then I have been trying to keep up with her work and came across the quiz below published on her blog at CBS Money Watch. As soon as I finished the quiz, I immediately contacted her to get permission to share it with you. Kathy Kristoff, the National Foundation for Consumer Credit and Clearpoint Financial created this quiz to help you figure out where you are financially. (Subscribe to Kathy’s blog)

I believe this quiz not only shows you where you are, but it also gives you a basic understanding of where you should be in order to gain control of your finances once and for all. Don’t procrastinate any longer. The time is NOW, to get your financial mess in order. You’ll be so glad you did.

Be sure to check out my BEFORE and AFTER results at the bottom! 😀

TAKE THE QUIZ

1. The amount I have socked away in savings to handle emergencies could pay all of my living expenses for up to : a. three months; b. six months; c. 8 months or more; d. about an hour and a half, if I cut back.

2. My spouse and I fight about money: a. frequently; b. sometimes; c. never; d. through court-appointed lawyers.

3. Payments on my consumer debts–that’s auto loans, student loans, credit cards and home equity lines of credit–amount to less than: a. 20% of take-home pay; b. 15% of take-home pay; c. 10% or less of take-home pay; d. way more than 20% of my monthly paychecks.

4. When it comes to saving for retirement, I’m socking away: a. 6% or a little less of income to get the company match; b. 10% of my income; c. the maximum allowed by the company plan; d. change in a jar. Seriously, who can afford to save for retirement?

5. My housing costs, including property tax (when applicable) and insurance, amounts to less than: a. 30% of my take-home pay; b. 25% of take-home pay; c. 20% or less of take-home pay; d. more than 30% of take-home pay.

6. I make more than the minimum required payments on my credit cards: a. sometimes; b. most of the time; c. actually, I pay off the balance in full; d. never. If they demand $29.50, that’s what I’m paying and not a penny more.

7. I spend less than I make: a. unless there’s a sale; b. except in cases when I’m investing in something long-term, like education or a car that gets me to work; c. always; d. when I manage to work enough overtime.

8. My finances are: a. an occasional source of concern; b. largely in control; c. good–never a cause of worry; d. give me cold sweats.

9. I have enough insurance to cover medical costs: a. as long as they’re not catastrophic; b. for both me and my family; c. and I have money set aside to cover co-payments and deductibles; d. only if I never get sick.

10. I know my net worth and: a. while it’s not what I want it to be, I’m working on it; b. it’s good and growing; c. I’m the typical millionaire next-door; d. and that tells me I’m insolvent.

HOW DID YOU SCORE?

Give yourself 5 points for every A answer; 2 points for each B; 1 point for each C; and 10 points for any D answers. Add ‘em up.

75-100: Danger, Will Robinson! You are in the economic red zone. Get yourself to a credit counselor, pronto!

50-75: Teetering: You may be making your payments now, but you’re on the razor’s edge of trouble. It’s time to get serious about budgeting and saving. If you can’t do it alone, get help.

25-50: Healthy and Happy: You’ve got adequate savings and good habits. Keep it up and you’ll be comfortably rich in no time, if you’re not already.

0-25: Rock Star: You only took the quiz to gloat, didn’t you? Congratulations. You deserve it. But, try not to sprain your arm patting yourself on the back.

How Did I Score?

My financially clumsy Clark Kent phase (prior to becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired)

90! Ummm…hides head under the sand in total shame. Were we ever that blind to reality that we completely ignored the importance of planning for our future? Doesn’t being 10 points away from the worst possible score on this quiz answer that question? I look back and I do feel embarrassed, but I feel something else too. I feel excitement! I am excited because I can look back and see that we are no longer there anymore. We’re no longer blissfully lost in a place that society deemed normal for far too long. We said bye-bye forever, and if you’re smart you will gleefully join us!

My financially heroic Superman phase (two years after exiting the phone booth)

32! In the words of my son’s favorite cartoon character, Lightning McQueen; “Kaa-chow!” Not Financial Rock Stars yet, but we are financial super-heroes, because we saved the day and our future. We have adequate savings and building, NO DEBT (except for our house), and are socking away some money towards retirement. Once we build our emergency fund to $15,000 (6 months of expenses), which is a 2010 financial goal of mine, we will not only be increasing our retirement savings to 15%, but we will also be investing money towards our kids college fund by building the Educational Savings Accounts (ESA). Take a hike Sallie Mae!! There…I said it. 😀

photo credit

What did you score on this quiz? Share your results below, and don’t worry about being embarrassed you are in good company. Most of us have done stupid with money and have no room to criticize you. What’s embarrassing is if you realize the truth and DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Welcome to the moment of truth and accountability—let your voice be heard! Don’t look back and regret this day, change your financial future and become the Rock Star you deserve to be!!

About Brad Chaffee

18 Responses to “Are You a Financial Rock Star or in Serious Danger? Take This Quiz to Find Out”

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  1. Jan says:

    I scored 35. We are not out of debt, but we have one heck of a shovel now and we’re not digging ourselves in anymore, just out.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      That is great news Jan. 35 isn’t bad at all. We both are in the same ballpark, and things can only get better from here since our mindset is forever changed. 🙂

  2. KelsaLynn says:

    Although I scored a 20, the test is a good reminder of what I need to make sure I do this year- like contribute 15% to retirement and improve our net worth. We’re doing a lot of things right but there’s still a lot of things we can do even better. Good quiz!

  3. I scored an 18, but it brought my attention to our emergency fund (as usual).

    We only have a $10,000 emergency fund (3 months of expenses) since we could live off of my husband’s salary if I lose my job and he has a guaranteed contract (he signed a 5 year contract with his ISD last year…they can move him around will-nilly, but he has a guaranteed teaching job).

    But, I’m reminded on a regular basis that we need to have 6 months or more, so we’ll probably work on that once our current car loan is knocked out.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Great job!! Our issue was our house being more than 30% of our income and not having 6 months of expenses or more. Oh and retirement savings for us is very small right now. Keep up the great work!!

  4. Beckey & Jeff says:

    We are at 39! I’m sure if we would have had this quiz a year ago, it would have been horrible. I’m actually happy with 39, it shows that we are working hard and are on the right track.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL, I know. That’s why I decided to go through and answer the questions as if we still had all of that debt and lack of savings. It is really scary to see where we were but so refreshing to see how far we’ve come in only two years.

      This quiz is awesome thanks to Kathy Kristof. I think it is very accurate which is why I had to share it.

  5. Forest says:

    I’m no rockstar but I will be for sure :)…….. It’s not delusion either, I am heading in the right direction. Just lack of savings right now being me down, just getting the emergency fund together… PS: really enjoying Total Money Makeover, will be through it in another week or two and will do a short review.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Yes you will forest I know it to be true my friend. Rock star status is right around the corner. Glad you liked the TMMO book too. I loved it and recommend it to anyone struggling with how to grab the process by the horns to get out of debt.

  6. Working on It says:

    Well it was a tough to see 46 but I think that is a realistic picture. I know what we need to do to get out of debt but it will be a long process as my student loan debts are massive.

    Reading this blog is inspiration though so we’ll just keep chugging away.

  7. Brad Chaffee says:

    Sorry everyone for the late and slow response time, I had an exam today that I spent all day studying for. Today I took my exam and out of 50 questions I missed only 2. Had I got them two right I would have got an A though so it’s kind of a bummer I didn’t ace it. 😀

  8. Bucksome says:

    I scored a 39 which is way better than last May when I started Financial Peace University.

    Thanks for the ongoing encouragement!

  9. Len Penzo says:

    Eleven – and I didn’t look on anybody’s paper either! LOL

    Best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

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