Could You Pass This $$$ Quiz?

by J. Money - Published May 2, 2016[Edit]

money quiz coffee

If you ever wondered if you’re more like Warren Buffett, MC Hammer, or Macaulay Culkin, you’ve come to the right place today :)

I stumbled across this “2-Minute Financial Assessment” by the folks at co-opcreditunions.org, and it basically gives you a general look at how you’re doing with your finances right now. Pretty basic stuff like you would have learned in Personal Finance 101 if such a class ever existed (and if you’d had paid attention which you probably wouldn’t have since they’re ALWAYS SO BORING and not cool like they should be!), but regardless it’s a fun way to start the week because, well, we’re nerds like that.

Come on, give me a fist bump:

nerd fist bump

(that’s a real tattoo)

Anyways, this quiz came out of celebrating Financial Awareness Month which was April, but since EVERY month is Financial Awareness Month here the spirit continues on :)

Now let’s take the quiz and see how we score!

My answers are next to each question, and the three options you have are “Always, “Sometimes” and “Never.” Here we go!

  1. I pay my bills on time. (Always! Easiest thing we have in our own control.)
  2. I save 10% or more of my income each month. (Always, though fluctuates throughout the year)
  3. I keep three months net income in a “rainy-day fund.” (Almost always – currently not that hot)
  4. I plan ahead and save for large expenses. (Sometimes – this is my weakness…)
  5. I set and keep financial goals for myself on a regular basis. (For the most part, yeah. I only ever have two main goals – Max out my retirement accounts every year and don’t go in debt :))
  6. I follow a set budget each month. (Kinda… I don’t track every last penny like I used to, but we’ve gotten good at spending roughly the same amount each month which is kinda like budgeting?)
  7. I shop around and compare prices before making a major purchase. (Always! So easy to do with the online world now – I just click my honey button before checking out!)
  8. Regularly check my credit report. (Of course ;))
  9. I examine my checking account statements each month. (Yep – and credit card statements too since we put a bulk of everything there for easy tracking and getting rewards (which we pay off in full each month))
  10. I look for ways to become more financially aware and educated on a regular basis. (Everyone should answer this one with flying colors! You’re on a personal finance blog! :))

Here’s the answer key: Always = 2 points, Sometimes = 1 point, and Nevers = 0 points

  • Get 15 points or more and you’re channeling Warren Buffett – woo!
  • Get 10-14 points and you’re like MC Hammer (Boo?)
  • Get 9 or less and you’re rockin’ Macaulay Culkin, haha… Because “you have no idea what has happened since the 1990s, which might be the last time you checked your credit score.”

How’d you fair? Beat my 18’ish score like a Buffett? Anyone a Culkin? :)

I’d hope most of you are doing well or else I’m sucking at my job here, but what matters most is that you CAN answer them regardless of whether it’s a positive or negative answer. You have to know what you’re dealing with in order to improve upon it (which is why I’m always stressing net worth tracking up in here), and these questions are a great starting point to wrapping your head around things. Especially if you’re new to the $$$ world.

With that one wrapped up, though – how about another? Or even two? Who needs to work today? ;)

Here are two more quizzes by the same group (CO-OP), but more on the fluffier side with lots of pretty pictures to click on and insights regarding your partying style, haha… True story.

I was a “Gazer” on that first one – always “dreaming big” and having an idea of how I want to live my life (about 75% accurate), and then a “Late Bloomer” on the grown-up one which pegged me dead on:

“You’re no financial wizard and have had your share of lessons learned. But these days, you’ve come into your own when it comes to budgeting, saving, and spending. By adopting good habits and sticking to them, you’re on your way towards building financial security. Keep up the good work, and remember that you’re setting yourself up to have and enjoy the things that are important to you.”

Yup! Took me 27 years to finally have my epiphany, and then another 7+ more to get things humming along nicely… And life’s still a work in progress! But what matters most is that we keep pushing forward and are incrementally getting better with each passing day. Despite having our “moments.”

Welcome to another Financial Awareness Month :)

******
Big thanks to Money Ning for pointing out these beautiful quiz makers

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Green Swan May 2, 2016 at 5:26 am

Killed the first quiz, I’m a Warren Buffett! The other quizzes sound fun too. That’s funny the response you got said “you’ve really come into your own…”, it’s like they know you! :)

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2 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 6:48 am

Morning, fellow Buffett :)

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3 Brian @DebtDiscipline May 2, 2016 at 6:04 am

Nailed it! Just call me Mr. B. I’m a Warren Buffett. :) I got the “Late Bloomer” too on the 3rd quiz which is dead on. Better late than never and passing the knowledge on to my kids.

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4 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 6:49 am

Haha yeah! Let’s see if our kids catch up a lot quicker than us ;)

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5 Mrs. Mad Money Monster | @madmoneymonster May 2, 2016 at 6:45 am

Fun way to start my Monday. Thanks! I roll with the big W.B. Yes! Had my parents taken this quiz when I was growing up, I’m sure they would be Home Alone-ing it up. SMH. I love knowing that the stuff I’m doing has already changed future generations of my family. :)

Mrs. Mad Money Monster

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6 PhysicianOnFIRE May 2, 2016 at 6:59 am

I scored a 15. Lost points on #s 3, 6, 8, and 9. Scored a zero on the budget question. We spend mindfully but there are no set limits.

How does Hammer end up in the middle of the road on this scale? On a 1 to 10 scale of financial responsibility, I would rate him a negative eleven.

Cheers!
-PoF

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7 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

Maybe got better on round 2? :)

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8 superbien May 2, 2016 at 7:41 am

Buffett! I know that Hammer went bankrupt and then became a preacher. What did McCaulkin do that was worse than that?

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9 superbien May 2, 2016 at 7:53 am

American actor, Macaulay Culkin has an estimated net worth of $15 million.

The most successful child performer since Shirley Temple, Macaulay Culkin first stepped onto a New York stage at the age of four. His parents eventually divorced, but this just created new problems for Culkin when both of them started fighting for his custody just so they could exploit his fortune, allegedly worth over $30 million at that point. Culkin entered into a full-blown legal dispute with his manager cum father in 1995 over control of his finances, which he won – an action that would subsequently lead to his father never speaking to him again. He later went on to spark up a romance with That 70’s Show star Mila Kunis, whom he ended up dating for nearly nine years.When his longterm relationship with Kunis broke down, Culkin began to descend into a debilitating drug addiction, with rumours emerging that he was dabbling in heroin use and spending hundreds of dollars a day on prescription medication. But since then a much healthier-looking Culkin seems to only ever be spotted spending time with his girlfriend of two years Jordan Lane Price and working with his comedy rock band The Pizza Underground. The group cover songs by The Velvet Underground but with a pizza-based theme. They have toured extensively around the US. His latest acting job came in the form of lending his voice to Adult Swim hit, Robot Chicken where he played a character called Kevin McCallister, a role based on the iconic part he played in Home Alone and its sequel. He will next be seen in Adam Green’s Aladdin sometime this year, opposite Zoë Kravitz, Orange Is The New Black’s Natasha Lyonne, Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgeley and Green himself.

So he wasted money on drugs but got straight, still with half his fortune, and seems to be doing well these days. So I think, financially, he’s better than Hammer.

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10 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 11:21 am

The power of the internet!

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11 superbien May 2, 2016 at 9:44 pm

I know, right? I’m glad he’s doing ok now.

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12 LIsa O May 2, 2016 at 7:48 am

Looks like I am on the way of being Mr. Buffett! Thanks for the positive on this Monday morning. I have to start working on #2 and not let things in get the way….I feel this will be my year!

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13 Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor May 2, 2016 at 7:54 am

If only being responsible with money made us all as good as Buffett at making money! We’re with you in the budgeting camp. We have a monthly budget implicit from our annual one, but stopped fussing over the monthly budget since we are meeting our goals and spend about the same amount most months.

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14 Mrs. PIE May 2, 2016 at 8:16 am

Well, apparently I’m Warren Buffet – who knew. What’s scary ids that if I’d taken this quiz 2-3 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have registered a score!

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15 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 11:23 am

Would you say you were just the crumbs back then? ;)

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16 Mrs. PIE May 3, 2016 at 8:04 am

ha ha! whereas now I’m fully baked? ;-P

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17 Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire May 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

Looks like I’m about half a Warren Buffet… Good enough for me! ;) The budget is pretty much on autopilot now after we tweaked it for a year. Thanks for posting!

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18 [email protected] May 2, 2016 at 9:23 am

Passed with honors! I don’t check my credit report every month since my score is a perfect 999 (I suspect the highest one can get). A good way to start the week anyway so THANKS :).

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19 [email protected] May 4, 2016 at 3:40 am

I thought I’d confirm – scored 18 points and this makes me Warren Buffett :)

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20 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 7:15 am

And also a J. Money!

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21 [email protected] May 5, 2016 at 5:04 am

And very proud to be J. Money :).

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22 Fervent Finance May 2, 2016 at 9:28 am

I got an 18 as well! Glad I didn’t fall into MC Hammer or Culkin status.

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23 Amanda @centsiblyrich May 2, 2016 at 9:34 am

I’m joining the numerous other Buffets on here!

My weaknesses are saving for large expenses and having a set budget. Like J$, we track expenses, but generally spend about the same amount each month, so no strict budget here.

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24 Joe May 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

Pretty easy quiz. My weakness is #3 – three month net income. We don’t keep that much emergency cash around. We keep 2-3 months of expense in cash. Usually, I’d rather invest than having the money just sitting around.
I’m starting to hoard cash to prepare for a stock market crash, though.

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25 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 11:23 am

So you can then dump it all in and scoop e’m up on the cheap, right?

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26 still pedaling May 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

That test left out one important (to me) item; that of reconciling the bank statement as soon as it is available. I’ve heard ‘younguns’ say they don’t need to reconcile; that they just log on to see how much is in the bank. That’s a bummer for anyone wanting to know (or record) where every $ goes. Bookkeeping 101 for nerds like us.

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27 Matt @ Distilled Dollar May 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

18 on the first quiz!

My weakness is not always having 3 months of net income as an emergency fund. I wrote about this for our situation (relatively high job security between two people and another bunch of factors), but we are planning to move from ‘sometimes’ to ‘always’ with the cash buffer in the next few months. This also meant I answered ‘sometimes’ for planning for large expense. The large expenses typically lead to the cash buffer being drawn down.

For the second quiz I was, “The Boss,” …You’re a leader with vision of legacy. Pretty sweet sounding to me! Haha

I also was a “Late Bloomer” on the third quiz. Nothing surprising there.

I’m glad you wrote this, “You have to know what you’re dealing with in order to improve upon it,” because that is what personal finance is all about. Everyone’s case is a little different so the only person who can really help out anyone’s situation is ourselves.

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28 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 11:24 am

You know it Boss man.

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29 Revanche May 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

I’m an 18, baby! Woo! I’m not embarrassed that I don’t ALWAYS plan ahead and save for big purchases because I specifically choose to be a LITTLE more relaxed about them now. It actually saves me money to keep some extra cash handy so we can hit a sale that pops up unexpectedly for something we need rather than saving now. Example: the darned West Elm furniture that we saved up for and I had to report as a loss in our NW report today. I waited FOREVER to save up West Elm money to pay for it in gift cards and then we found something better at half the price elsewhere. D’oh!

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30 The Millennial Budget May 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Scored a 18! I lost points on number 3 and 6. Number 3 was pretty kind of hard for me to say I always do as I am in college. My expenses are very different to somebody in the working world (college parties don’t pay for themselves!) Like yourself I do not track every penny of my spending habits but I am usually under my budget or very near to it. Guess there is room for improvement there but either way I am still a Buffett!

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31 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

You write a $$$ blog while in college??? Oh my gosh, man. You are going to be SO WELL OFF as the years go by! That’s huge!! And I bet all the chicks dig it too right?? (RIGHT?? :))

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32 Paul May 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

15 here. I’m not that big on emergency funds. I don’t really like having more than 5K in cash at any given time. Probably not a great idea but neither is letting it sit in a “high yield” account collecting less than 1% interest. I feel like if I need it I can always get it in the event of something truly catastrophic. Probably would only need to float the charge for a month while I free up cash, which I am comfortable with.

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33 Paul May 2, 2016 at 4:42 pm

A perfect 2-0 :)

I wonder if the average American would get even a 6-10?

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34 J. Money May 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Look at you go, perfect pants!

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35 Apathy Ends May 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

3 and 4 trip me up a bit, we don’t quite have 3 months saved up – and I don’t save up for large purchases, we just wing some of them and find a way to make it work

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36 The Jolly Ledger May 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

I also got an 18! But I failed your test, I (ahem) don’t know who Dave Ramsey is (gasp!).

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37 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 7:20 am

Woww!! I believe you’re the first personal finance blogger to admit that out loud – I need to go find you a prize :) (and here’s his bio in the meantime – there will be a follow up quiz! https://www.daveramsey.com/careers/about-dave/?snid=home.aboutdave)

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38 The Jolly Ledger May 5, 2016 at 9:38 am

Lol! Now I am reluctant to click on the link! I might lose my particular specialness!

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39 Liquid May 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm

I got 18 on the first quiz like you. It seems to be a rather common score for PF minded people. For the other two, I resulted as “The Boss” and “The Savant.” It says I’ll soon be doing big things in a big way. :) I think all metrics laid out here is pretty accurate overall. Fun stuff. :D

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40 ZJ Thorne May 3, 2016 at 1:46 am

I’m sad to not be Warren Buffett, yet. I’m currently investing in my earning potential right now. The dividends should start paying off in the next 6-12 months. (And I love your podcast, thanks for making it)
ZJ Thorne

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41 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 7:23 am

Investing in yourself is smart !! Come back in a year and re-take the quiz just to prove how good it was ;)

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42 Grace May 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

Have not built up our 3 to 6 months yet but we do budget. We also are paying extra on our car the last 3 months.
Hubby is the money guying , budgeting and checking bank accounts daily. I am the squirrel attempting to add money to savings account.

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43 EL May 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

its great to be informed and always pursue financial expert level. Got a high score as well, because I was born like that. The only one I don’t do often is check my credit score, as I don’t borrow often so no need to keep that up. Good luck friends.

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44 Kevin @ The Debt Journey May 3, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Woohoo 16!

We are big about setting a budget each month and keeping to it for the most part, but we are lacking in the 3 month rainy day fund right now.
That will be our first goal when we get all this debt paid off.
I wonder if one day many years down the road they will replace Warren Buffet
with channeling J Money…

-KB

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45 J. Money May 4, 2016 at 7:28 am

No need to wait and see – start channeling him now! ;)

(And great first goal after being debt free – you’re gonna be so well off!)

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46 EarlyRetirementNow May 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

J Money, if you got less than a perfect score on the emergency fund question, don’t sweat it!
I still can’t figure out why we need a designated rainy day fund, when we have large sums invested in productive (yet slightly risky) assets that pay dividends, accumulate deferred capital gains etc.
Having 3 months of expenses just sitting around would also be counter-productive. Too many temptations, like buying an “emergency” LED TV, etc. ;)
So I’m getting 0 points on that one, but I’m not feeling bad about it!

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47 Mel May 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

I got MCHammer. Which is appropriate from a fashion-challenged perspective… I mean, I used to own a pair of Hammer pants (they were my ‘dress’ pants for choir concerts!). But if this quiz told me anything, it’s that I need to get out of the MC and on to the WB! No way I’m going down in those pants…

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48 J. Money May 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Hahahahha….

They DO look pretty comfy though :)

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49 Lavinia May 6, 2016 at 10:39 am

This was such an excellent article! Thank you so much for posting this!!

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50 Sarah @ Couple of Sense May 8, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I got a 17 – I’m not the best with checking my credit score or report. It’s a little more difficult in Canada but that isn’t really a valid excuse. I should get on that one…

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