Are you a stressed-out saver, a big spender, confused about cash, or just plain ignorant about your finances? Take this quiz to find out, then deal with your biggest money weaknesses.
ALFRED CHIA, chief executive officer, Sing Capital
DISCOVER YOUR MONEY WEAKNESSES
TAKE OUR QUIZ. CHOOSE JUST ONE ANSWER FOR EACH QUESTION.
1. You’ve received some information about retirement planning in your mailbox, and an invitation to attend an investment seminar. What do you do with the brochure?
a You save it and book your place at the seminar straight away. The mere thought of not having enough to retire on makes you panic.
b You throw it away. Retirement is not something you want to think about.
c You read it and immediately feel intimidated by all the financial jargon and numbers.
d You barely glance at it. You tell yourself you’ll probably have enough to retire on.
2. How would you describe your saving habits?
a You squirrel money away and monitor every cent you spend.
b You save as and when you can, but find that you always end up spending that money.
c You’re good at saving but wish you knew more about interest rates and investing.
d You don’t give it much thought.
3. You’ve just received your annual performance bonus. What do you do with it?
a Keep it in your account, of course! There’s no way you’re going to spend any of it.
b Blow the entire amount on your dream holiday.
c You want to invest part of it but you assume the process is too complicated.
d Nothing. If you spend it, you spend it, otherwise it just stays in your bank account.
4. What do you feel when you open your credit card bill?
d You never look at your credit card bill.
5. You have a small amount of money to invest. You…
a Are so worried about making the wrong investment choices that you exhaust yourself researching all the best ways to invest it.
b Go with a high-risk investment option and cross your fingers that you don’t lose the money.
c Feel overwhelmed by all the different investment options presented to you.
d Entrust the entire sum to a financial adviser – he should know what to do with it.
6. Do you make voluntary contributions to your Central Provident Fund account?
a Of course!
c I want to but I don’t know how to do it.
d I had no idea I could do that!
7. Which line best describes how you see your family’s financial future?
a “The outlook is positive, but I still drive myself crazy worrying about what could go wrong.”
b “I’m not optimistic about it because I don’t feel in control of the situation.”
c “I don’t know if we’re on the right track and that scares me.”
d “I believe in living for the moment but I’m sure we’ll be okay.”
8. Which statement best describes your perception about money?
a “It’s everything to me.”
b “It makes the world go round.”
c “It’s a force to be feared.”
d “It’s just a means to an end.”
WHAT’S YOUR MONEY PERSONALITY?
HOW CAN YOU DEAL WITH YOUR FINANCIAL WEAKNESSES? COMPILE YOUR ANSWERS AND CHECK OUT THE CORRESPONDING SOLUTIONS BELOW.
YOU’RE A STRESSED-OUT SAVER
It’s great that you’re financially responsible, but money rules your life. You’re so obsessed with making and saving money that you seem to have lost sight of the big picture, which is to enjoy your hard-earned wealth. If the task of financial planning has got you and your spouse stressed with worry, ask for professional help with reprioritising your financial goals. You are very careful to live within your means, but remember that it’s okay to treat yourself and your family every now and then.
YOU’RE A SPENDTHRIFT
The money disappears as soon as it comes in. This should bother you but it doesn’t. Time to get serious about your financial outlook. Distinguish between “wants” and “needs”, look for ways to reduce spending, ask a trusted adviser for help with assessing your longterm financial goals, and try to avoid high-risk investment options. More importantly, you need to change your perception of money – it is not something to be frittered away.
YOU’RE INTIMIDATED BY FINANCIAL MATTERS
You’re generally good with saving but you have no idea how to make your money work harder. That’s because you feel helpless and confused about money as a subject. It’s not too late to educate yourself – speak to financial advisers, look up financial terms you don’t understand, and do some research. The more work you put into it, the more empowered you’ll feel, and this will motivate you to make better financial choices.
YOU’RE IGNORANT ABOUT MONEY
You’re not broke but you’re not as financially well off as you could be, either. You probably do want to make your money work harder but you can’t be bothered finding out how to do it. Don’t wait until you’re older to become more financially aware. Look at all your investment options, make the effort to open and read all your bills and statements, go to investment seminars, and do whatever else you can to take control of your financial future.