We all have our weaknesses. What’s yours?
1. You receive a $250 electric bill, much higher than average. You:
a. Call the electric company to complain, but lose patience when they put you on hold. You finally give up and pay the bill a week later.
b. Call the electric company but struggle to assert yourself.
c. Shrug and pay it.
d. Worry about keeping the lights on. You charge the groceries this month in order to pay the bill.
2. An expert says they can provide five easy ways to improve your credit immediately. You’ll participate if:
a. It doesn’t impact your lifestyle too drastically
b. Someone is willing to walk you through the entire process
c. It doesn’t require too much work
d. You can afford to alter your budget
3. A financial planner advises you to begin saving for retirement immediately. Your first reaction is:
a. Rejection. You don’t want to lose your cash to investments. Retirement planning can wait, right?
b. Fear. You don’t know anything about mutual funds or risk tolerance. You don’t want to make the wrong decision.
c. Apathy. Retirement planning sounds like a lot of work. Can’t you postpone it till later?
d. Dread. Your budget is already stretched too thin. You probably can’t afford to invest right now.
4. Your kids have been begging for a Disney World vacation, but your savings is almost gone. You:
a. Charge the entire trip on your credit card. You only live once, right?
b. Say “We’ll see” and try to find a safe way to plan the trip.
c. Go for it anyway. You can always earn more money.
d. Say no. You have too much on your plate already.
5. You were recently hired at a large company that offered you a $10,000 signing bonus. You:
a. Go on a shopping spree. You’re celebrating the windfall!
b. Spend $100 on a fancy meal and put the rest in savings. You aren’t sure what to do with the rest.
c. Avoid unpaid bills and spend carelessly. Who doesn’t love free money?
d. Pay off as many bills as possible. You’d like to invest or celebrate, but your monthly burdens are killing you.
6. Your credit card debt has ballooned to $13,000. You react with:
a. Indifference. Who cares as long as you make the minimum payments?
b. Panic. You keep making the minimum payments but are too embarrassed to talk to a professional about your problems.
c. Little emotion. Debt is part of life. There’s no use worrying about it.
d. Defeat. You are trying to make ends meet but can’t get ahead. You feel overwhelmed and lost.
Results Mostly A’s: Spendthrift
It’s not that you don’t care about credit. In fact, credit is a vital part of your lifestyle. You use it daily to fund shopping trips, meals and anything else you can think of. While you may love your credit, there’s a good chance your score doesn’t share the same admiration. Overextension will inflate your credit utilization ratio, damaging your score and leading to bigger problems. Your savings account probably doesn’t boast a large number, either. Take a hard look at your habits and think of the future for a change. It’s time to alter your perspective.
Mostly B’s: Intimidated
You’re a timid one, and money management is no exception. While you may want to improve your financial life, you are too intimidated by the process to ask the hard questions. Unfortunately, your caution may prevent you from enjoying life and using credit wisely. Learn more about the basics of credit to gain confidence. Education is the first step.
Mostly C’s: Bored with the Process
Yours is perhaps the toughest vice to overcome. Why? You can’t be bothered to face the issue! You pride yourself on a laid-back attitude, but you can’t afford to adopt the same mindset when it comes to credit repair. Dismissing your problems isn’t a long-term solution. At the very least, it’s time to force yourself into the habit of budgeting. Use this task as a starting point for continued credit health. Take an active role in your finances before it’s too late.
Mostly D’s: Underfunded
You aren’t careless with money or distracted by outside forces, but you’re still spending more than you earn. Maybe you’ve been burdened with medical bills or lost wages. Maybe the cost of living has increased and your salary can’t keep up. Whatever the reason, it’s time to free yourself from the worries of too much debt. Take the first step by talking to a professional about your struggles. They can help you identify immediate changes and offer lasting support.