Evaluate your financial performance
Many are asked to complete job performance reviews, but it’s beneficial to extend the idea of personal evaluation to home life. For instance, you might want to ask yourself (but doubtfully your spouse) how well you’ve been managing your family’s financial goals.
In compliance with The Paperwork Reduction Act, I’ve taken the liberty to provide you with a copy of my own short-form test to assess year-end financial and budgetary progress. Two people have taken this test, and it took them approximately three minutes to complete (but they’re still arguing over the results).
With luck, you’ll find this questionnaire ever bit as helpful as your job performance review.
Place a check mark next to each statement that is true:
A.___ You summon the courage to read your IRA or 401(k) statements without crying.
B.___ Your investment advisor has stopped calling to ask about trading inactivity.
C.___ Your home has retained at least 80% of its original value.
D.___ You’ve held a garage sale this year.
E.___ You’ve sold at least one item on eBay.
A.___ You haven’t yet spent your government economic stimulus check.
B.___ You have on hand at least two week’s living expenses.
C.___ The coins in your change jar include more than pennies.
D.___ You haven’t had to borrow money from your children this year.
E.___ You’ve no more than twice searched underneath the sofa cushions or car seats to collect emergency funds.
A.___ You buy generic canned goods when you don’t have a coupon for name-brand
B.___ You limit gourmet coffee purchases to no more than three Grande cups per week.
C.___ You only eat out in restaurants that provide unlimited servings of chips, bread,
crackers or take-home Splenda packets.
D.___ You take advantage of fast-food value meal pricing.
E.___ You skip breakfast most days in favor of scrounging coworkers’ cubicles for
A.___ Your home includes two or more ceiling fans—and you use them.
B.___ You’ve managed to keep your water bill in the double digits.
C.___ You’ve limited your cable service to no more than two premium channels.
D.___ You call your neighbor and ask them to look up phone numbers before dialing
E.___ You almost never double-flush.
A.___ You run regular gas in your high-performance car engine.
B.___ You’ll drive more than six blocks to find the cheapest gasoline price.
C.___ You consolidate trips to the salon with those to the mall.
D.___ You drive your riding lawnmower when traveling short distances.
E.___ You’ve considered walking to neighborhood activities and events.
Scoring: Give yourself 5 points for each A, 4 points for each B, 3 points for
each C, 2 points for each D, and one point for each E answer.
How well did you do?
51-75 points – You’re on track. There’s a place for you in Congress!
26-50 points – With a little more effort you’ll soon be less dependent on credit
card advances and “convenience checks.”
1-25 points – Consult with a bankruptcy attorney.