Quiz: The Ultimate Staying on Budget Quiz: HowStuffWorks
The Ultimate Staying on Budget Quiz
4 Min Quiz
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About This Quiz
In these difficult economic times, it is important to know how to set up and keep to a budget. Planning, executing and staying on course are all necessary stages for a successful result -- and it can be a very creative and gratifying experience. Take this quiz and learn how you can a plan a budget, stick to it and even earn some extra money in the bargain.
What is the purpose of creating a budget?
If you make a budget, you know exactly how much money you have coming in and how much is going out. Without a budget plan, you don’t have a sense of your finances and may be tempted to borrow money rather than trim your expenditures
How can working on a budget help a couple’s marriage?
As arguing about money is one of the major causes of divorce, managing a budget together can help a couple reduce the financial stress on their marriage.
What are the two most common major purchases?
The most common major purchases are homes and vehicles. If you're buying a home, you'll probably have to make a 20% down payment and take out a mortgage to cover it. If you can make the down payment without taking out a loan, you'll have a much lower monthly payment. The same goes for a car.
If you can manage to save some money every month, where should you put it?
Once you figure out how much you can afford to save every month, have the money direct-deposited to your savings account or mutual fund. Be consistent and make sure to put the money in every month.
On a budget, why is it better to use cash than a debit or credit card?
Using cash instead of credit or debit cards makes it easier to control your spending habits.
When living on a budget, how much cash should you take out at a time?
Take out enough cash to last one week at a time. That amount will have to cover everything you need to buy that week and will make you think twice about buying things on a whim.
How can cutting out smoking and drinking save you money?
If you stop the expensive habits of smoking and drinking, you can use the cigarette and/or alcohol money for your other expenses. What’s more, your health will undoubtedly improve, so you’ll also save on health care expenses.
In a household, who should be responsible for sticking to the budget?
The entire family should share the responsibility for the budget. Sit down together and figure out how much money each one should have. If everyone cuts back a little, it can make a big difference.
If you have debts on several credit cards, how should you pay them?
Take the card with the highest interest rate and pay as much as you can on it every month. Pay the minimum balance on the other cards until you've paid off the first card. Then do the same process with the next highest card.
Why should you keep your receipts?
Keeping track of your expenditures can help you stick to your budget. If you save your receipts and write down the places you spend money, you'll be less likely to overspend when you realize how much you actually have spent.
How does balancing your checkbook help you stay on budget?
A few small errors could incur overdraft charges and insufficient funds in your account. If you balance your checkbook every time you get a bank statement, you can ensure that your ledger is accurate.
Where can you look to find expenses you can cut?
To see where you can cut expenses, look through all your receipts. You could bring your lunch to work instead of going out to eat; or you could save on gas by organizing a carpool.
What can help you refrain from dipping into your savings?
If you tend to dip into your savings, set up a CD or other account that has a penalty for early withdrawal. Your money can earn higher interest in this kind of account the longer you agree to keep it in.
What are discretionary expenses?
Discretionary expenses are things you could live without. On a budget, when you take out enough cash to last one week at a time, it may curtail your temptation to spend money on things you don’t really need.
What could help you save on health care expenses?
If you give up expensive and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking, not only will you save money by eliminating those expenditures from your budget, but when your health inevitably improves, you could be eligible for lower insurance premiums.
Is it economical to pay the minimum on your credit card every month?
Although it may seem like a good way to stay on budget, it is not a good idea to pay the minimum each month, as you will be racking up more interest in the long run. Systematically pay off the credit cards with the highest interest as quickly as you can.
To track your expenses, what should you do in conjunction with saving your receipts?
As you save your receipts, write down the places where you spend money. Seeing what your spending patterns are will help you cut down on some of your expenditures.
When should you balance your checkbook?
It is important to balance your checkbook on a regular basis, so tally it up every time you get a bank statement – and make sure the numbers match.
What is the first step in balancing a checkbook?
The first step in balancing your checkbook is to list every check you write in your register. To be sure you don't forget any, you can get checks that have carbon copies. To help you master the task, there are Web sites that can guide you through the process.
In financial parlance, what is a CD?
A CD is a certificate of deposit. To have your savings make money for you and to keep you from being tempted to spend it, you can put your money into an interest-earning CD.
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