By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected]
One of the most powerful ways to motivate people (including yourself!) to improve money management practices is to complete a personalized analysis of financial strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, there are many free and easy-to-use online tools that provide financial self-assessments. Below is a description of online quizzes that provide useful information about what people are doing right and/or suggested action steps for improvement.
The first six online quizzes were developed by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. In addition to providing users with personalized self-assessments about their personal finances, they also collect data for ongoing research about the financial practices of U.S. consumers.
Financial Fitness Quiz– Consisting of 20 questions, the quiz prompts people to assess their frequency of performance of recommended financial practices. Quiz items include questions about emergency savings, retirement savings, financial goal-setting, financial record-keeping, budgeting, debt ratios, and comparison shopping.
Identity Theft Risk Assessment Quiz– Also consisting of 20 questions, the quiz prompts people to assess their frequency of performance of recommended risk-reduction practices. Quiz items include questions about checking credit reports, shredding documents with sensitive data, and securing incoming and outgoing mail.
Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz– A well-tested research instrument that was published in an academic journal, this 13-question quiz prompts people to answer a series of questions about their propensity to take risks and their investment practices. Quiz items include a number of hypothetical scenarios with alternative choices.
Personal Health and Finance Quiz– Consisting of 10 questions about health practices and 10 about financial practices, this 20-question quiz prompts people to simultaneously assess both aspects of their lives. Quiz items include questions about food consumption, physical activity, saving and investing, budgeting, and debt ratios.
Personal Resiliency Resources Assessment Quiz– Consisting of 20 questions, this quiz prompts people to assess available resources that can help them cope with financially stressful situations. Quiz items include three categories of resiliency resources: financial (e.g., emergency funds and insurance), social/community, and personal.
Wise Credit Management Quiz- Consisting of 20 questions, this quiz prompts people to assess their frequency of performance of recommended credit and debt management practices. Quiz items include questions about debt ratios, credit report and credit score reviews, debt repayment practices, and avoidance of high-cost predatory loans.
The following three online quizzes provide additional self-assessments about financial management practices:
Financial Capability Scale– This eight-question quiz was developed by the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Quiz items include questions about budgeting, confidence in achieving financial goals, emergency funds, automatic savings, household cash flow, and financial goal-setting.
Financial Health Quiz (How Healthy Are Your Finances?)- This quiz from CNN Money prompts users for information about key areas of personal finance and provides feedback and a letter grade. The seven topic areas are retirement savings, housing payment, debt, emergency savings, diversification, company stock, and life insurance.
Personal Finance Wellness Scale™- This eight-question quiz was developed by the Personal Finance Employee Education Fund (PFEEF). Potential users must submit an online request to use it. Quiz items include questions about respondents’ financial stress level, emergency fund adequacy, and perceptions about living “paycheck to paycheck.”