Quiz yourself ... What's your money management style?
1. You have to buy a new reference book for a course, it’s supposedly essential throughout the entire course. What do you do?
- A. See if they have it in your library - you can always keep renewing it.
- B. Buy two books - one to have at home and one to keep in your locker at college - you don’t want to have to keep carrying it around after all.
- C. Take a look around for second hand shops and Amazon offers and see if you can find it.
- D. Check out eBay and browse around for the best options, and then buy the book, but agree to share with friends and split the cost.
2. You’re in the supermarket doing your weekly shop - how do you navigate the aisles?
- A. Only look for the bargains and buy from the reduced aisle and value brands - even if it is not nutritionally sound.
- B. Everything you fancy. This is an indulgence and you deserve it so all the top of the range brands and as much chocolate and puddings as you can manage to fit in the basket.
- C. You shop using a basket to stop yourself and stick to a list so you are not tempted to go off piste.
- D. You make a list of what you’ll be cooking this week, and buy in bulk and in season to cook nutritious and healthy meals for yourself.
3. Your mates suggest a midweek treat to avoid you having to cook. What do you push them into?
- A. You tell them you’ll eat first and meet them after - you won’t go out midweek.
- B. The best restaurant in town, and three courses for you, with wine and cocktails
- C. You suggest a takeaway - and a cheap bottle of wine from the supermarket. It’s cheaper.
- D. You suggest everyone brings over a course to your house and you’ll host. Much cheaper - and maybe you’ll charge them for corkage!
4. You want to have a special night out to celebrate a success, what do you plan?
- A. A DVD and a four pack of the cheapest lager.
- B. The hottest nightspot in town, with champagne and a slap-up meal to follow.
- C. You’ll check out the bar with the best offers and go there, and maybe plan a crawl based on their happy hours.
- D. Invite everyone over to your house and bring a bottle.
5. You have to go to a friend’s wedding and don’t have anything to wear. What do you do?
- A. Just wear whatever you’ve got, it’ll be fine. No one will be looking at you.
- B. The nicest outfit you can find in the best store in town. It’s a chance to dress up.
- C. Buy from Primark or try and get something in a sale or on eBay.
- D. Borrow something from a friend, and maybe buy new shoes or something.
How you answered …
Mostly As: The miser
You avoid spending money whenever you can. You would rather stay in than ever go out, and your bank account is always in the plus and you’ve no intention of getting an overdraft. You buy the cheapest products, never treat yourself and won’t indulge yourself in anything luxurious.
TRY: Loosening the purse strings a little to make sure you have money to reward yourself now and again. Well done for being so good with money, Not everyone is as careful as you and that’s to be applauded. But all work and no play makes Jack (or Jackie) dull, so do set aside a little more money to reward yourself or you’ll get bored and fed up with the routine. Join a club or get friends over for a meal to add a little more social life into your week.
Mostly Bs: The spendthrift
You don’t know what a bank account looks like unless it has a minus sign in front of your balance. You live in the red, have hordes of credit cards and think that you deserve everything you see, whether it’s food or a new outfit. You are the party animal and live to go out and spend, spend, spend.
TRY: to work to a budget. Work out how much you have to spend every week by dividing your money you have by term by the number of weeks, and then work out all your fixed outgoings and where you can save - can you buy the cheaper brands?. Make a list of what you want when you go shopping, and stick to it. You love eating out with friends or going out, but there are cheaper ways to get together. Try getting friends together for a meal and organising a Come Dine With Me style night with a set budget and everyone bringing a course and scoring each other. It can be a cheaper alternative to an expensive night out in a restaurant, so try and think of low-cost alternatives.
Mostly Cs: The smart saver
You’re really a great saver. You get a kick out of planning your money carefully and working out how much you can afford in every situation, and rarely overspend. You take time to plan your budget and have a spreadsheet or an ap that controls it.
TRY: finding more sites where money saving is celebrated. Again, congratulations on being so good with your cash. You’re in no danger of going overdrawn. When shopping, try to cook seasonally and sign up to websites such as Groupon, KGB Deals and Living Social in order to get deals. For nights out and shopping, Moneysavingexpert.com is also a great site for getting two for one deals on pizza and on pub grub so do give that a look.
Mostly Ds: The investor
You’re not just good with your own money, you’re good with other people’s too. You will think about how you spend but also think about ways you can make long-term savings and buy in bulk frequently - spending more now to save later.
TRY: thinking about how you can group together with friends to make savings. Can you share books and outfits? Can you share food and cook more meals together, share cars or buy train tickets in bulk to get group savings? Think abour all the ways you save and work out if by buying together you can make a saving.