Quiz: What's Your Money Style?

How you handle finances can affect your health and relationships. Take our quiz and identify your spending type.

Are you a miser—or wiser? Do you feel the urge to splurge? W hile many of us can describe our fashion style or our decorating style, self-knowledge often fails us when it comes to our financial habits. But knowing how you tend to handle money is a key to financial success, and it’s important for happy marriages too.

Judith Gurfein, Ph.D., director of Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy in Paramus, E nglewood and Manhattan, sees it all the time. “The two biggest issues for couples I see are sex and money—and I think money is bigger,” she says. “People come into marriage with different concepts of what is important.”

Getting a handle on your money style is critical for any long-term financial stability, says M ike Savino, a certified financial planner with Certified F inancial Services in Paramus. “When I consult with clients, I try to help them understand their feelings about saving and spending,” he says. “It often becomes a discovery, an awakening.”

To determine your money style, take the quick quiz below. It may help you get a fresh look at your life with money and chart a new course, if need be, to make sure the dollar is your servant and not the other way around.


Out shopping, you see a great pair of shoes on sale. They’re not in your week’s budget, and you’ll have to put them on a credit card, but you do need shoes.What do you do?

  • A Resist the impulse and stick to the budget.
  • B Buy the shoes and makea note to pay off that credit-card bill as soon as you can.
  • C Simply buy the shoes and worry about yourcredit-card balance later.


You’re shopping for a new TV. The high-definition set looks fantastic, but it’s more than you planned to spend. Do you:

  • A decide not to buy a set till you can determine what kind best fits your needs and budget?
  • B buy the high-def TV and hold back on another planned expense to make up the difference?
  • C just go for it, figuring that a TV is a long-term investment?


Which best describes your use of credit cards?

  • A  I never—or hardly ever— use them.
  • B I use them regularly but pay off balances promptly to avoid high interest charges.
  • C I have significant balances on them that I can’t pay off right away.


Your uncle just left you $25,000, but things also seem shaky for your employer. What do you do?

  • A Deposit the inheritance in a money-market account and forget about it.
  • B Spend a few grand on things you’ve been wanting—home improvements, a nice vacation—and put the rest in a savings account.
  • C Take this chance to trade in your car for a fancier one to lift your spirits.


How do you budget your money?

  • A I write down every expenditure and deduct it from amounts I’ve allotted monthly for various categories.
  • B I know generally what I need to spend on different items each month and try to keep within those limits, but I don’t keep exact written records.
  • C I spend it if I’ve got it, use credit if I don’t, and deal with the totals only when I have to.


Which gives you the most pleasure?

  • A Seeing the balance on my 401K account rise.
  • B Having my financial affairs in order so that I can concentrate on other things.
  • C Buying myself an impulse gift.


Which statement best describes how financially ready for retirement you are for your stage of life?

  • A  I’m right on track for the amount I need to save.
  • B I’m saving, but not as much as I should.
  • C I’m way behind or I don’t even know quite where I stand.


Related Article: How to Save on Your Vacation

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