What Type of Consumer Are You?

When it comes to spending, we’re all fairly predictable. According to a study conducted by Decitica, the recession has produced four kinds of consumers. Find out which category fits your personality by taking the following quiz.

1. Before a trip to the grocery store, you:

a. Make a list of all the items you need, clip coupons and shop at the discount store across town. Why spend an extra $0.15 on celery?

b. Plan your meals for the week and stretch your dollar by using the same ingredients for multiple dishes. You’re going to use all of that celery.

c. Stick to the basics and choose sale items when available. You’re not too concerned as long as you stay within your budget.

d. Don’t tend to make plans. You’ll improvise once you start shopping.

2. The idea of visiting multiple stores to price compare:

a. Excites you. You’re going to score the best deal no matter what!

b. Comforts you. Options help you keep costs low.

c. Suits you. You’d rather save money if possible (but you’re also not willing to waste an entire day for a $100 discount).

d. Bores and irritates you. You know what you want—what’s the point of going somewhere else to get it?

3. In general, your utility bills:

a. Are exactly the same each month. You have perfected the art of using the minimal amount of water and electricity (and you’re not above bragging about it).

b. Are similar. You know how much is too much, and you work hard to stay within a certain range.

c. May fluctuate a bit, but are still well within your budget.

d. Are paid a few days late. You also don’t keep track of the exact amounts. The lights are still on, so, “Eh, good enough!”

4. Your savings account:

a. Has enough cash to sustain you for at least six months. You think savings is important regardless of income level and you try to stash at least 20 percent of every paycheck.

b. Has some cash, but not nearly enough. Unfortunately, your expenses prevent you from saving as much as you’d like.

c. Has enough to comfortably pay for your expenses for at least three months. You also invest in a 401(k) and a personal IRA. You definitely save more than you spend.

d. Is also known as your credit card. You don’t have any liquid cash per se, mostly because you rely on your Visa more than your bank account.

5. Your installment debt (e.g., mortgage or rent, car payment) and revolving debt (e.g., credit cards) account for:

a. Less than 20 percent of your income. You don’t like credit cards and avoid too many financial commitments.

b. Less than 25-30 percent of your income. You have other commitments such as childcare costs and other bills to attend to. When it comes to debt, you have to keep your bills low.

c. Less than 30-35 percent of your income. You have healthy amount of debt, but you don’t let it overshadow your other commitments.

d. More than 35 percent of your income. You’re probably in over your head, but who isn’t?

6. Interest rates:

a. Are a challenge. You enjoy getting the lowest possible rate in order to save even more money.

b. Are the bane of your existence. You hate paying interest, especially when it takes a few extra months to pay off your credit card balance.

c. Are annoying but not stressful. You secured a low fixed mortgage rate and you always pay off your credit cards before interest can accrue.

d. Are just numbers that appear on your credit card statement. You haven’t formed an opinion about interest rates, mostly because you don’t know much about them.

7. Your car payment:

a. What car payment? You bought your car outright to avoid paying interest for the next five years.

b. Is low. You bought a practical pre-owned car that meets your needs and your budget.

c. Is moderate. You may have opted for a nicer car, but you still bought a practical model based on its class.

d. Is high. You like a fancy car and a higher monthly payment is part of the package.

8. When it comes to self-control and spending:

a. No one can hold a candle to your will-power.

b. You like to window shop, but you’re smart enough tighten the purse strings when necessary.

c. You might indulge every so often, but you’d never buy a big-ticket item without considering the budget implications first.

d. You have none. You like to buy and can’t seem to stop yourself from making hasty financial decisions.

9. Buying name-brand items:

a. Is ridiculous when there is an affordable alternative. You refuse to pay a “luxury” premium.

b. Is something you’d like to indulge in on occasion.

c. Is worth the additional cost as long as the quality is superior.

d. Is your motto. You love the luxury lifestyle and all that it implies.

10. You hope to retire:

a. 10 years earlier than the average person.

b. At the average time and with enough money to make ends meet.

c. Maybe a few years earlier than average, as long as your investments pay out at the projected rate.

d. Eventually. You’ll start planning for it in a few years.


Steadfast Frugalist
(Mostly A’s)

You elevate savings to an art form. Living simply is a lifestyle choice for you, and you probably don’t enjoy splurging, paying full price or spending money in general. One in five consumers falls into this category, placing you among the minority. Good for you for keeping your cash close at hand. Just remember to loosen the purse strings every so often to keep your credit report active. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional expenditure.

Involuntary Penny-Pincher
(Mostly B’s)

You would love to spend more money—you just can’t afford it. The last few years have been tough for you, and you’re probably unhappy with your bank account. Whether you’ve dealt with unemployment, medical bills or a low-paying job, you wish you had more cash on hand. You’re not alone—more than one-fourth of the population is in the same boat. Consider making some career or lifestyle changes this year. Learn more about how to find a new job and overhaul your budget. The results will reduce your stress and help you keep more money in the bank.

Pragmatic Spender
(Mostly C’s)

When it comes to money, you are as well-balanced as it gets. You understand how to strike that perfect balance between spending and saving, realizing that it’s possible to be responsible and have fun. You have a healthy income, but that doesn’t mean you burn through your money on payday.  Kudos to you—keep it up!

Apathetic Materialist
(Mostly D’s)

Savings? What’s that? You live in a world of sunshine, apparently because creating a rainy day fund never occurred to you. You can’t be bothered with little details like price or quality either. For you, spending money is just too much fun. Unless you are blessed with a source of endless wealth, it’s time for a wake-up call. Commit to changing your spendthrift ways before you land in serious financial trouble.