Your Financial Report Card

19 April 2016 Written by   Published in Peaks Financial Fitness

My kids just received their report cards and at their school, they get a number rating for each subject they are learning. I was a good student. When I was In junior high I became friends with a group of kids who liked to get good grades, and they gave me good peer pressure to do well. I focused a lot on getting good grades. In Utah State University, I took an investing class taught by Professor Jean Lown. She said, “If you get an A in my class, but you don’t do what I’ve taught you, then you’ve failed.” I’ve never forgotten that, and it helps me evaluate if I am doing what I know.

Today I’ve got a short quiz for you. This test is about your financial actions not your knowledge.

1. Do you have a will & estate plan?

  1. Yes, I reviewed it in the last year and made needed changes.

  2. Yes, but I haven’t looked at it in the last decade.

  3. I have a handwritten will I wrote last time I went on a trip out of the country.

  4. No. I don’t have an estate plan.

Estate Planning Resources

2.  Do you have life insurance equal to at least 10x your annual income?

  1. Yes, and I’ve reviewed it in the last year to make sure that it the right policy for me.

  2. Yes, but I haven’t reviewed it in the last decade.

  3. Yes, I have whatever my company offered me.

  4. No, I don’t have any life insurance.

Insurance Resources

3.  Have you checked your credit report for accuracy?

  1. Yes, I’ve reviewed it in the last year to make sure that it is accurate.

  2. Yes, the last time I borrowed money I checked my score but didn’t review the report.

  3. No, I’ve never checked my credit report.

  4. What is a credit score?

Credit Report Resources

4.  Are you working toward retirement goals?

  1. Yes, I’m saving 10-20% of my income for retirement.

  2. Yes, I save 3% of my income.

  3. No, I don’t save anything towards my retirement goals.

  4. No, I don’t have retirement goals.  I’m not ever going to retire.

Calculator Resources

5.  Do you track your spending and plan where it will go every time you are paid?

  1. Yes, I budget on a monthly basis and track my spending to follow that plan.

  2. Yes I have a budget, but I don’t look at it during the month.

  3. No, I just look at my bank balance and if there is money I spend it.

  4. No, I just buy whatever I need.

Resources for Managing Your Money

Are you getting As, Bs, or Cs?  This simple quiz can help you to evaluate if you are using your financial knowledge. There are a lot of things that we learn in school just so we can pass the test, and then we forget it. Finances should not be one of those things.

Yesterday I saw my friends who have been snowbirding in warm places for the winter and are back to visit. Last year they were able to retire from their full-time employment. They are examples to me of living financial principles over long periods of time. They had plans and goals, then they worked, saved, invested, and now they are free to work when they want to work and free to spend their time enjoying each other and enjoying traveling. Their friendship has encouraged me and helped motivate and mentor us.   

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