A Financial Health Quiz
Spousal secrets and increased credit card use suggest you might need help.
If you've been wondering whether or not you need help—with your finances, that is—the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has just released a quiz to help you figure it out. The quiz, pasted below, asks about credit card balances and secret spending.
I answered yes to two of the questions—I sometimes hide purchases from my spouse, and losing my job would cause an immediate financial crisis in my life. But who wouldn't answer yes to those questions? The NFCC assures me that answering two or three questions in the affirmative just means you're normal, but once you get beyond a few, it might be time to seek credit counseling.
The NFCC quiz (answer yes or no):I normally pay only the minimum amount due on my credit card bills.My credit card balances increase each month.There are arguments in my home about money.I sometimes hide purchases from my spouse.I frequently charge items that I used to pay for with cash.I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.I have begun using cash advances to meet my obligations.Most of my credit cards are near the limit, so I've begun applying for new lines of credit.I do not know the total amount that I owe.I skip paying my bills some months, or pay late.I have depleted my savings.I am consumed with thoughts of my debt.My debt interferes with my job and/or home life.Collectors have begun contacting me.I have taken money from my retirement account to satisfy debt obligations.If I lost my job, it would mean an immediate financial crisis in my life.I use balance transfers.I have no emergency savings account.Next month's bills arrive before I've paid this month's.I do not open my bills when they arrive, or soon thereafter.