Money Essentials

1. The first step in getting your spending under control is to:
    Seek help from a financial planner.
    Consult a credit counseling service on how to get out of debt.
    Draw up a budget of your current expenses.
    Subscribe to financial newsletters, magazines or Web sites.
2. Banking online using personal financial software makes it easier to track your expenses because:
    You can download transactions directly from the bank or credit card company.
    The software forces you to categorize your spending.
    Such programs usually have an automatic budget generator.
    All of the above.
3. How much of your income should you aim to save and invest:
    At least 10 percent.
    At least 30 percent.
    At least 50 percent.
    At least 70 percent.
4. If inflation averages a modest 3 percent per year, how long will it take before the average price you pay for goods and services doubles?
    9 years.
    24 years.
    41.5 years.
    It will never double.
5. If you examine your bank records and can't explain why you withdrew so much cash, you should:
    Complain to the bank because it probably made a mistake in the records.
    Review your purchases to make sure no one is stealing money from the account.
    Vow to take no more withdrawals for the next two weeks.
    Start keeping a journal of your spending.
6. The most common cause of spending beyond your means is:
    A too-large house.
    A too-luxurious car.
    A too-lavish life on credit.
    All of the above.