The Ultimate Personal Budgeting Quiz

The Ultimate Personal Budgeting Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/ariadna de Raadt

About This Quiz

Whether you have money flowing out of your pockets or you're barely scraping by each month, it's essential that you have a personal budget. Take the time and energy to devise and revise a monthly budget plan to help with your spending and increase your savings. Take this quiz and learn more about how you can become money savvy.
What is the purpose of a personal budget?
to figure out how much you earn
to figure out how much you spend
both of the above
A effective personal budget requires you to make an honest financial assessment. This will help you determine how much you earn and how much you spend.

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How much should you save each month?
as much as you can
If you can save only $20 a month, that's fine and a good start. As you earn more and learn how to trim back expenses, you will be able to save more.
at least $50
at least $100

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At what age do most Americans first begin thinking about saving for retirement?
30 years old
40 years old
According to a 2008 survey, most Americans first think about saving for retirement a little late in the game, at age 40.
50 years old

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What is the average age that working Americans think they will retire?
60 years old
65 years old
On average, working Americans predict they will retire at age 64. This age is older than in previous generations.
70 years old

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Why should you consider using personal finance software for creating your monthly budget?
Keeping track of earnings can be difficult.
Keeping track of spending can be difficult.
Most people find personal finance software, such as Quicken and Microsoft Money, helpful because it makes it easier to track your monthly spending.
both of the above

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What two categories should you divide your spending into?
fixed and discretionary spending
Specific categories -- such as rent, groceries, credit card payment, coffee habit, etc. -- should all be put into the two broad categories of fixed expenses and discretionary spending.
essential and miscellaneous spending
priority and secondary spending

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The goal of a good budget plan is to save ____ percent of your earnings each month.
5
10
Make yourself the goal of attempting to save 10 percent of your earnings each month. This means that your spending must be lower than your earning.
15

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How will you know where to make spending cuts if needed?
Personal finance software can provide suggestions.
Personal finance software can actually do an analysis on your spending habits by comparing your monthly spending to others within the same demographic. The software will inform you if you're spending more in certain categories than what would be expected for your demographic characteristics.
Always cutback on eating out first.
Reduce spending money on poor habits like cigarettes.

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What are cash culprits?
coffee, tobacco and alcohol
restaurants, taxi fares and gasoline
both of the above
Cash culprits are things that typically cost a lot of money over the month and are easy to cut back on, such as: coffee, tobacco, alcohol, eating out, taxi fares and gasoline. Make coffee at home rather than buying a latte every morning, quit smoking, cut back on alcohol and eating out and take public transportation more often.

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Besides cutting back on discretionary funding, what other areas can you reduce your spending?
taxes, if you are self-employed
refinancing your mortgage
both of the above
If you are self-employed, see if you can increase your itemized deductions. If you own a home and your mortgage rates have dropped more than two percent in your neighborhood, see if it's worthwhile to refinance your home.

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How can you stay on track with your new personal budget?
keep track of all your receipts
write down all your expenses in a notebook
both of the above
Probably the hardest part about maintaining a new budget is keeping a good record of all your spending. Keep track of your daily spending by holding onto all receipts and writing down all expenses in a handy pocket notebook.

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How often should you review your budget goals?
every month
every few months
Finance experts recommend reviewing your budget goals every few months. As you get older, your spending habits and earnings change, and an updated budget should always reflect these changes.
every year

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What is the most important thing to do with your extra money?
Pay off credit card debt.
Most experts recommend paying off high interest credit card debt before you begin saving in a low interest savings account.
Save the money in a bank account.
Keep cash stashed in the house.

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How do you stay ahead of inflation?
Save at least 10 percent of your income.
Earn at a greater rate than inflation.
Your income should increase at a faster rate than inflation. Generally, if you're income grows by two percent per year, you're keeping up with inflation rates.
both of the above

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What expenses typically are not factored into a budget plan?
seasonal expenses and property taxes
car registration and maintenance
both of the above
It's important to remember that your budget plan is flexible, as you likely have overlooked some expenses. Typical expenses that people forget to factor into a budget plan include: seasonal expenses, property tax, car registration and car maintenance.

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You Got:
/15
iStockphoto.com/ariadna de Raadt

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