Hoarder, Avoider, Splurger?

How you drive (cautiously, aggressively, or anxiously), your dream occupation (poet, stuntman, Supreme Court justice), what you look for in a mate (stability, spontaneity, a hottie), and even how well you tip at restaurants reveal a lot about your money personality.

A quick 20-question quiz at WIFE.org (Women's Institute for Financial Education) can help you determine whether you're a "hoarder," "avoider," or "splurger."

For example, one question asks: "When tipping in a restaurant, you:

"A. Tip in accordance with the quality of the service. You reward good servers and punish bad ones.
"B. Tip lavishly. You expect to get the best service in the house next time.
"C. Tip well even if the service is mediocre. You don't want to embarrass the server."

Your answers to money- and non-money-focused questions reveal your "Money Style."

Hoarders bask in a growing bank account but are apprehensive about spending money -- even when necessary. If you are a hoarder, learn to take some risks for greater rewards. After all, retirement savings will languish in a stodgy savings account.

Avoiders prefer not to deal with financial issues rather than confront and fix them. They have trouble keeping tabs on their current spending and neglect investing for the future. A bit of financial education (we recommend starting with our 13 Steps) and soul-searching will help. Write down five goals for your near-term future. Yes, right now. Then map out a savings plan (here's help) and start attacking, not avoiding.

Splurgers have a hard time setting limits. Do you find that there's consistently more month left at the end of your paycheck? Don't count on a financial miracle -- winning the lottery, becoming Warren Buffett's long lost relative -- to bail you out. Instead, learn to reward yourself for reaching certain financial goals and invest in your future. And if you need a personal money trainer to keep you on track, consider hiring reinforcements.


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