2 Feb 2010

Which Budget Personality Are You? 13 Questions to Help You Choose

What would you prefer? A quick test to help you pick the right budgeting tool

Here is a quick test I’ve created to help you match your approach to budgeting and the tools available to you.

Answer each question assigning a value from 1 to 9 with 1 being least important (or least true) statement and 9 – most important one, than total the score and read the description at the bottom of this post:



I know exactly what I am spending my money on I just need to track it 


I know exactly what information I want to get out of my budget
I am aware of different budgeting schools out there and I have a strong preference for a particular one


I know how to forecast my budget and cash-flow
The best way for me to understand numbers is to see them as a picture, a graph or a pie chart


I am pretty confident I will stick to keeping budget, I just need a tool   


Paying money for a product/service usually motivates me to keep using it
I like the support sharing with other people provides me with; I enjoy being able to share my experience and challenges with others


I am very concerned that my financial information may get in someone else’s hands
I am likely to track my spending as I go along, rather than at a set moment in time (e.g. evening or weekend)


I find it is important that the things I use look nice, are well designed and easy to use


I need to start budgeting because I am in real financial troubles and each penny counts


Writing your spending in a book like my parents did, is a viable alternative




Scores below 50

You are most likely to be happy using free online budgeting tools that offer you community support and easy to handle applications. These tools offer some basic but easy to understand graphical reports; allow you to create personal budgets based on pre-defined categories and add your own, if needed.

The closer you get to the higher end of this category the more likely it is that a “paid for” package would be the right choice for you.

Scores between 51 – 63

The higher your score in this category the more likely you would welcome a semi-professional software package both online and offline.

You may feel that the fees a lot of these programs charge, is money well spent as you are likely to appreciate detailed reports and the ability to customise your tool to serve your well-defined requirements.

From 64 upwards

You might be happier using an excel spread sheet. Chances are you not only know what exactly you want your tool to calculate and report upon but also how to make it happen. You also may enjoy the freedom of to customising and creating your budget from scratch. You may also feel safe in the knowlede that no one can get hold of you information and misuse it.

For any technical support and inspiration just Google ”excel budget template”. Alternatively you can try to combine Excel and GoogleDocs to get the best out of both worlds: the flexibility of Excel and the convenience of an online tool.

Read more about budgeting tools

16 Steps to Your Best Budget Ever - this approach is grounded in goal setting psychology and common sense budgeting techniques. Sounds complicated but is simple and it works!

10 Personal Finance Sites to Get You Started - overview of online tools available

16 Gold Nuggets of Budgeting - all you need to know about budgets!

Discover Your Personal Model of Success in 10 Minutes - helps you determine your true financial goals

All budgeting relevant articles

image by wwarby

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Jessi said...

Hi there!

I came across your post from the GRS blog carnival and I have to say that I loved these questions that you came up with (I scored a 48 in case you were curious) and it's articles like these that give me a swift kick in the butt to really start going on a budget (I've been procrastinating).

So thanks and keep up the great work :)


Anastasia said...

oh, I am very pleased! It's funny - I was talking to a friend of mine tonight about how it feels to budget. I just finished our first month on a budget and I never had so much money left over at the end of the month! And I even haven't done that much in terms of saving, the money simply ... was still there... The biggest motivation for me now is the look of our bank account!:-)

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