Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quiz: How Frugal Are You?

I decided to do a bit of a fun post for today. You know those quizes in girly girl magazines like Cosmo where you have to pick a letter answer for each question, with corresponding points for each letter? At the end of each quiz, you add up all the points earned, and each range of points corresponds to a description. (Yes, I did used to read those types of magazine back in the day; they were my guilty pleasure once upon a time.)

Today I have a quiz just for you. Exactly how frugal are you?

For each mutliple choice question, chose either A, B, C, D or E. If there isn't an answer that is a perfect fit, chose the most relevant answer, because leaving out a question will affect the results.
Each letter corresponds to a number. A is 0 point, B is 1 points, C is 2, etc. At the end of the quiz, add up your total score and read the relevant description.

So lets see, just how frugal are you?

First, we'll talk a little about food.

1. What is the source of your family's food?
A. Nearly everything we eat, we produce on our own. We grow all our own vegetables and fruit; meat, poultry, dairy and eggs are all from our own animals. We rarely need to buy any food.
B. We try to grow some food on our own, but most comes from grocery stores.
C. Most of our food comes from chain grocery stores or farmer's markets.
D. Most of our food comes from the health food store; we eat only organic and it is easiest to buy that there.
E. Most of our food was bought at the corner Mom and Pop's grocery store.

2. What is your standard procedure for buying food?
A. I find out exact prices and sales from all the stores in the area and even further out and only buy what is on sale in each store.
B. I go to a few different stores to do my shopping, hitting up on sale items in each place, but will buy some stuff that aren't particularly on sale.
C. I find out which is the cheapest store in the area and do all my shopping there specifically when I know there are sales and never go shopping during non sale times and tend to stick to sale items, but not exclusively.
D. I have my store that I go to because I know it is usually cheaper, but once I'm there, I buy whatever strikes my fancy.
E. I don't care. I just shop wherever, whenever.

3. When you're in a store, how much does the price affect whether you'd purchase something or not?
A. I only will buy something that is on sale or really cheap and make sure that it has the cheapest price per x amount, making sure there is no cheaper alternative in the store.
B. I look for the cheapest prices for the items I want, without a concern for brand loyalty.
C. I generally look for cheaper products, but I won't compromise with certain things; some foods I stick with the brands I know.
D. I try to get cheaper things but I put health first.
E. I have no clue the price of the things I buy; I just toss things into my cart.

4. When in the grocery store, how do you decide what to buy?
A. I purchase sale items and nothing else.
B. I see what is on sale, base a meal plan around that, and buy the sale items plus whatever else I need to supplement those items.
C. I write a list and stick to it religiously to prevent myself from buying unnecessary impulse buys.
D. I write a list so I don't forget what to buy, but supplement my shop with things I see and like.
E. I just buy what I feel like buying; whatever looks good.

5. How do you feel about foraging for food?
A. Proud to be a forager. I go out of my way to look for things to forage.
B. I'll forage if I see something good, but don't try to find things to collect.
C. I don't feel comfortable foraging unless it is from family and friend's trees.
D. What on earth is foraging?
E. Foraging is stealing; you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for stooping so low.

6. What foods do you make from scratch?
A. Everything (or almost everything), including things most people buy like mayo, ketchup, cheeses, jams, peanut butter, treats, pickles, etc.
B. I make all foods from scratch including bread and cookies, but will buy condiments and other things like that. 
C. I cook my chicken and rice from scratch. Does that count?
D. Does broiling hot dogs and cooking frozen french fries and frozen pizzas count?
E. I don't cook. Period.

Now let's talk about money.

7. Do you budget your money?
A. We have a very strict budget, allocating every last cent, and we never stray from it one iota.
B. We have a budget and use it as a loose guideline. We're pretty good with our budget.
C. We have a budget but have a hard time sticking to it.
D. I'm thinking about making a budget.
E. I don't see the value/point in budgeting.

8. Do you have a savings account? (This is talking about money you saved yourself, but not counting money you received in one lump sum, like an inheritance or wedding gifts.)
A. We have a nice amount of money saved up. We worked hard to put money away and it has paid off.
B. We have an emergency fund. We have enough money to live off of for three months, should we lose all our income suddenly.
C. We save money every month and are trying to build an emergency fund.
D. We'd like to save money every month, but there's no money left over for that, so we're cutting expenses so we'll be able to start saving.
E. What's the point in having money if you don't use it? No, we don't save money.

9. What is your monthly income vs expenditure ratio?
A. We spend a lot less money each month than we bring in.
B. We spend less money than we bring in, but not by much.
C. We're about even- spending and income are usually equal.
D. We spend more money than we make each month.
E. I've got no idea. Never thought about it or added up numbers before.

Now that we've gotten the biggies out of the way, here's some more questions for you.

10. Do you cloth diaper? (If you currently have no children in diapers, chose the one that was relevant to your last child.)
A. Exclusively cloth diaper. My baby has never worn a disposable diaper.
B. We mostly cloth diaper, but I have been known to use the occasional disposable.
C. We cloth diaper some of the time, disposable the rest. (Cloth diaper at home, disposable while out/daycare, or cloth during day, disposables at night.)
D. I was thinking of starting to cloth diaper/ I would love to cloth diaper if I had a washing machine of my own.
E. I would never cloth diaper. Eww!

11. What do you use to wipe your behind after using the toilet?
A. Family cloth all the way!
B. Cheapy brand of toilet paper.
C. Toilet paper, bought in bulk, on sale.
D. Name brand toilet paper or tissues. I'm picky like that.
E. Disposable wipes.

12. Where do you get clothing for your family?
A. Dumpster dived clothing or hand me downs, only.
B. Bought at the thrift store on sale or homemade with thrift store fabric.
C. Bought second hand or sewn with bought fabric.
D. Clearance rack or sales, but not used clothing.
E. Wherever. I just shop for clothes and get what I like.

13. How do you feel about dumpster diving?
A. I never buy anything. I just dumpster dive for everything- furniture, household products, books,
 etc. I'll even occasionally dumpster dive for food items.
B. I'll dumpster dive for anything I can easily clean. OR I dumpster dive but won't actually climb into the dumpster, only reach in.
C. I'll dumpster dive only when I know the dumpster is garbage free, like near a college dorm at the end of the semester. OR I'll pick up things from near the dumpster, just not inside.
D. I don't feel comfortable dumpster diving, but feel free to do it yourself.
E. Dumpster diving is disgusting; I'm grossed out by people who do it.

14. How often do you use disposable kitchen products? (Plates, bowls, cups, utensils, pans.)
A. Never.
B. Only in situations of dire need.
C. Once in a blue moon, and we may even rinse and reuse the disposable products.
D. Occasionally, but we try to ration them.
E. I should buy stock in disposables. They're becoming rich off me.

15. How much money do you spend on your hobbies?
A. Nothing. My hobbies not only don't cost me anything, they even save me money.
B. Nothing. My hobbies don't save me money, but they don't cost much either.
C. Just a little bit of money.
D. I spend a decent amount of money on my hobbies.
E. Hobbies are my vice. I spend way too much money on my hobbies.

16. How often do you eat out?
A. Never. Ever!
B. Only on really special occasions, like a birthday or anniversary, and we don't go all out, even then.
C. Only when we're out and I forgot to pack food or if there are pressing circumstances.
D. Occasionally (At least once a month.)
E. Way too frequently (At least once a week.)

17. Describe your vacations.
A. We do staycations. We stay at home and simply take it easy, and will go on (free) trips around the area.
B. We go camping in a cheap place and bring cheap food along with us.
C. We travel smartly. We find the cheapest motels, bring along cheap food, and try to aim for cheaper activities.
D. We don't seriously overspend on travel but still have our standards. Motels need to be at a certain standard and we will eat takeout instead of lugging food along, we will fly but look for cheaper airfare, etc. We spend, but try to keep it within reason.
E. A vacation isn't a vacation if you're thinking about money. We go all out with our vacations and leave our money worries behind.

18. What is your family's method of transportation?
A. Biking and walking everywhere we can, and using cheap transportation when that isn't possible.
B. We are on a car sharing program.
C. My husband and I split the use of a car and we also try to limit our usage.
D. We each have cheap cars and we use them reasonably.
E. We drive. We like nice cars. I'm not concerned at all about gas usage.

Now do the math!
For each A answer, give yourself 0 points. For each B answer, 1 point. C is 2 points, D is 3 points. E is 4 points. Add all the numbers together to get your total score.

Frugalista Extraordinaire 0-15 Points
When it comes to frugality, you can't be beat! You are even more frugal than I am! I'm sure you can teach us lots . I would love for you to write a guest post for my blog.

Extremely Frugal 16- 30 Points
You definitely know what you're doing and trying hard to save money. Sure, there are a couple more tricks you can probably learn, but you're doing amazingly well so far! Keep up the good work! I fit into this category, by the way.

Mrs. Frugal 31-43 Points
You've probably more frugal than most of your peers. Your friends probably wonder how you manage to keep your expenses so low. Even so, don't risk complacency. You're halfway there to being a Frugalista Extraordinaire. You've come far already, and if you keep at it, you'll probably get your finances in order in no time.

Becoming Frugal 44-55 Points
Getting started is half the journey. Kudos to you; you're not a reckless spender, and it looks like you're trying to get more on top of your finances. Yes, you've got a ways to go still, but with a little effort, you'll see your work pay off. You'll get your finances in order, come out of debt, and be able to save up money for extras and not feel guilty about indulging in those luxuries because you've paid for them in cash. Best of luck- you can do it!

Budding Frugalista 55-72
You're not the most frugal person out there. Maybe you want to save money but aren't quite sure where to start or you may feel that your situation is so hopeless that you might as well not even try. Well, you're reading the right blog to get ideas on how to save money, and if you need a little encouragement to start your frugal venture, feel free to email me.
On the other hand, if you answered E to all the questions, you may even have a bit of resentment towards frugality and take issue with frugal people. If such is the case, realize that frugality doesn't need to mean deprivation and you can have a perfectly enjoyable life even while being frugal. You don't need to go overboard with frugality like I do; many people manage fine just by taking itty bitty frugal steps.
If you're content with your finances remaining as is, then do as you've been doing until now. If you want to see change, accept that it will take some work and don't expect a change overnight. Breaking bad habits is a life-long journey, but I have faith in you that you can do it!

How did you score on the quiz? Is the description for you accurate?
Any other ideas for questions? (With answers, of course.)

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