Updated 07/06/2012 05:00 AM
Money Matters: Financial education organization quizzes people on values
A financial education organization has created an online quiz that aims to explain what motivates your financial decisions. Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following "Money Matters" report.
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Ever wonder why you spend money the way you do? To find out the answer, the National Endowment for Financial Education invites you to play 20 questions.
"It's called the LifeValues Quiz and it was developed by a researcher to help people understand what are the values that underly their financial decisions," said Patricia Seaman, the senior director of the National Endowment for Financial Education.
The quiz consists of a series of multiple choice questions that ask questions such as what your priorities would be if you were looking for a new home.
"Are you most interested in a home in a nice neighborhood that will appreciate in value? Are you interested in a home that's large enough for family and friends and gatherings? That sort of thing," Seaman said.
Based on your answers, it scores you on four dimensions: inner values, social values, physical values and financial values. A high score on physical values, for instance, might mean you're more apt to spend money on your surroundings and items of comfort.
"That person might have a really well-decorated house, a beautiful yard, things like that. If they score low on physical, though, it probably means they value experiences more. Maybe they're the ones taking a scuba diving vacation and saving up to take the family to Africa," Seaman said.
It can also prove to be an important tool. For one thing, if you are in a relationship where you often argue about money, knowing each other's values could lead to better communication.
"You won't be able to change that person's values but when you know where they're coming from. You can do a much better job of negotiating how you'll spend the family finances," Seaman said.
Plus, knowing your own values can help you create a more realistic budget: One that's closer in line with your specific priorities and therefore probably easier to stick to.
"If you really value your family time together, then it's important to know that so that you can figure that into the way that you spend your money in a way thats important to you. It's very much about personal financial literacy, personal financial knowledge," Seaman said.
To take the financial LifeValues Quiz, visit www.smartaboutmoney.org