Financial literacy is my passion. While I don’t expect everyone to share my enthusiasm for the topic, I do want them to recognize the role it plays in their lives. We value reading, writing and arithmetic because we generally use those skills daily. But we also make money decisions every day and often without any real education to guide us.
I’ve put together a brief quiz using questions from the Jump$tart 2006 Financial Literacy Quiz to test your financial knowledge. The High School seniors who took the exam averaged 52.4% correct answers.
Let’s see how you compare!
Take the Jump$tart Financial Literacy Quiz.
How Did You Do?
If you passed—Congratulations! You’re on the right track, but there is still work to be done.
If you didn’t pass—You are not alone. Let this serve as a wake-up call.
Assess Your Finances
- Are you living within your means? Find out by subtracting your annual expenses from your total net income. You can use my budget worksheet to help you calculate this.
- What are your debt obligations? The most common are mortgage, car loans, credit cards and student loans. Do you know what compound interest is? How it works for you? Against you?
- Are you paying your credit card debt in full every month or only the minimum? The average American household carries more than $5,000 in credit card debt*. Do you know how late payments and minimum credit card payments affect your long-term financial well-being?
- If you are spending more than you earn, what expenses are you willing to give up to help you eliminate debt?
- Do you know how much money you need to save in order to retire? A million? More or less? How do you know?
Some of you might have felt a little defensive reading these questions or have little desire to figure out if you are living within your means. This was my intent. I wanted you to see which questions made you feel some discomfort or tension. Those are strong indicators of the areas that need some work.
I would encourage you to reread these questions and honestly answer them without judgement, especially if they made you uncomfortable. Thanks to credit cards, it’s very easy to fund a lifestyle beyond what we earn and without really understanding the repercussions of doing so, but unfortunately, debt always catches up with us.
Financial Literacy is Within Your Reach
The first step to becoming financial literate is understanding your current reality. You cannot skip this step because it forms the foundation of your financial house. We all make money decisions every day and understanding where we are helps us make make mindful choices. The next step is figuring out how we got here, which I will discuss next Monday.
*Average Credit Card Debt Falls, Late Payments Rise Yahoo News, February 20, 2013
The Heavy Purse Store is now open! My new downloadable Money Club Workbooks are now on sale. Each workbook provides five targeted lessons to help you raise Financially Confident Kids. Please check them out in The Heavy Purse Store.
Photos courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.