Are you game enough to have your money skills judged by the financially ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ Christmas rules?
‘Tis the season where children around the world are judged on whether they are “naughty” or “nice”… and their reward from Santa is based on the result.
The threat of Santa’s retribution is always a great stick for parents in the months leading up to Christmas to demand better behaviour from their children.
But are you game to be judged by the same rules when it comes to managing your money? Have you been financially ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ over the last year? And what sort of behaviour do you need to change to get a better reward? If you’re game, take our 14 question quiz to find out!
Have you been financially naughty or nice?
Q1. When it comes to my credit card, I…
- Can’t seem to pay off the balance each month.
- Heavy user but always pay it off by due date.
- Switched to using a debit card so use my own money.
Q2. My savings routine…
- Is non-existent.
- I put something away when I can afford it.
- Every pay day I transfer part of my salary to a separate savings account.
Q3. When I go shopping…
- I buy what I need.
- Go with a plan in my head.
- Make a list and stick to it.
Q4. If there is a financial emergency…
- I borrow to cover it.
- Will do without other things to get over it.
- Dip into my emergency fund which I’ve built and is equivalent to 6 months salary.
Q5. In terms of estate planning…
- Who cares, I’ll be dead anyway.
- I have a will which I made years ago.
- Have a will which I review every 1-2 years.
Q6. Insurance is…
- Way too expensive and I can’t afford it.
- Necessary on important assets like house and car.
- Essential to protect assets, income and life.
Q7. I think about my money…
- Rarely. It’s too scary and I have better things to do.
- Whenever I pay any bills or am asked for information.
- Every month for about 20 minutes to make sure I’m meeting my budget and financial goals.
Q8. When it comes to investing…
- I’d rather spend it as you only live once.
- I like taking risks because I want to be rich quick.
- Trying to build a diverse portfolio of quality assets.
Q9. My financial goals are…
- Trying to make ends meet with what we’ve got.
- Set every year for the short and long term, with clear steps on how to get there.
Q10. My job…
- Sucks and the boss is a bit dodgy, but I’ll stick with it.
- Is okay. but I’m looking around for something better.
- Offers great opportunities and I’m trying to improve my skills to grow my potential.
Q11. My superannuation is…
- Limited to the compulsory contributions from the boss.
- Growing fine because I’m in the right fund option.
- Boosted by extra age-based contributions.
Q12. My property holdings…
- Don’t exist.
- Are currently just my house and I’m paying down the loan.
- Are a good balance in my overall portfolio.
Q13. My share holdings…
- Don’t exist.
- Consist of a handful of speculative companies.
- Are a good balance of quality stocks in my portfolio.
- Starts and ends with me.
- Is basically a World Vision sponsor child.
- Means donating a fixed percentage of my income each year.
Time to find out how financially naughty or nice you are!
How did you go? Hopefully it made you think. If you got…
Mostly 1s … YOU’VE BEEN NAUGHTY
You are most likely in a financial mess and you need to get your act together. It isn’t hard. It’s just common sense and a bit of discipline.
Start by doing a boring old household budget because you need to understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going. That budget will point out obvious areas to cut back and focus you on maybe earning extra income through a second job or turning a hobby in to a side hustle.
The next step is get that debt under control. You should have no savings if you can’t meet credit card repayments on the due date. All savings should go in to getting that debt under control because it’s just too expensive to keep.
Also spend some time each month (it only needs to be 15 minutes) thinking about your money and financial situation.
That’s enough to start off. Look at answer C to each question above for hints on how to change your financial behaviour for the better.
You can also join my online money course to help you get your finances in shape and we’ll work together for Santa’s approval next year.
Mostly 2s… YOU NEED WORK
Hey, that’s not a bad result. You’re basically neither financially naughty or nice. You’re a sort of financial Goldilocks… things aren’t too bad, but you’re certainly not cruising.
The danger is you could be content with that position when a few minor changes could improve your financial situation considerably.
You’ve done all the hard work on the basics, but that extra couple of steps could put you on easy street.
Everyone’s different, and it’s hard to generalise, but you’re probably the type of person who gets the basics right, but are bit scared to go to the next level, That level takes you from simply being a good money manager to investing and building wealth.
Make sure you keep control of any decision making and only commit to what you understand and are comfortable with.
Mostly 3s… YOU’VE BEEN NICE
Santa is very pleased with you… great work. It looks like you’ve got most of the essential financial bases covered and should be fairly comfortable.
But such a good score doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. None of us can.
The world is changing pretty rapidly, so the biggest challenge for you is to keep abreast of the investment cycle and that means continuing to build your knowledge.
The thought of learning about money shouldn’t scare you anymore, so broaden your knowledge base.
Start buying investment books, reading websites like this one or subscribing to investment newsletters.
Maybe touch bases with your financial planner, broker or accountant to check on how things are going.
Hopefully Santa’s gift to you this each is financial peace of mind.