Test your frugal habits with the thrift test

Frugal habits

Do you consider yourself savvy with your money or could you develop better frugal habits? Take the thrift test below to raise your awareness of which areas of your finances you need to improve.

  1. Do you know how much is in your bank balance right now?

    a) not a clue but I am probably overdrawn.

    b) yes, because I check every few days and budget accordingly.

    c) I have a rough idea as I take a look at my balance every now and again to see what I have left.2)

  2. Work lunches for you mean:

a) buying something on the hoof. I pop into a coffee shop or fast food outlet most days.b) a packed lunch. I always make one the evening before to save money.

c) sometimes I take a packed lunch but I don’t always have time.

3) What is your attitude to shopping for leisure:

a) I love it! Buying new things makes me feel good and I go into town or to the mall to shop most weekends.

b) I never shop for fun. I make my purchases when I am sure I need something and can afford it, and even then I shop around.

c) I know I can’t afford to go on regular sprees but like to look around the shops and make the odd impulse buy.

4) If you can’t afford something straight away do you:

a) buy it and stick it on your credit card. You can worry about how to pay it later.

b) do a lot of research online to find out the cheapest price for the item. Then either use your savings or save up. You will often try to buy second hand where possible.

c) If I really need it I buy it straight away, but have a quick look at some product reviews and prices first. I use a credit card but make sure I can pay at least the minimum repayment charges.

5) How often do you use cash back sites when you make your online purchases?

a) Never. I don’t know anything about them.

b) I always check to see if I can use sites like Top Cashback or Quidco before I make any purchase and get several hundred pounds back each year this way.

c) I have signed up but I often forget to use them.

* These are my referral links and if you sign up using them I will earn a small commission – thanks!

6) If you have to travel somewhere by train, do you:

a) buy the ticket as you get to the station.

b) purchase your ticket online several weeks in advance as you know you can save money. You consider different routes and buying two singles if that works out cheaper.

c) you know that you should buy your tickets in advance but often don’t remember until a few days before.

7) How do you keep your heating bills as low as possible?

a) I don’t really – as soon as I feel chilly the heating goes on.

b) I put on several layers and draw the curtains before I give in to turning it on and keep the thermostat as low as possible.

c) I try not to put it on too quickly but my partner or children often flick it on when my back is turned.

8) When was the last time you shopped around for a better mortgage deal, bank account or utility provider?

a) I don’t bother. They are all pretty much the same.

b) I check everything from my mortgage to my house insurance at least once a year.

c) I do it every now and again if I have time.

9) Your car is getting old and cranky. Do you:

a) Get another one on finance as soon as possible. I don’t really understand what they said about the interest rate but the car is shiny and red!

b) Look after the old girl whilst you save for another decent second hand model.

c) Get a loan from the bank to buy another car as soon as you can.

10) When you go grocery shopping, do you:

a) go in on the way home from work and buy what you fancy for the week.

b) Check what you already have in the stores, plan the meals for the week and then shop with a list.

c) I have a rough idea of what we need and usually take a list, but I don’t always stick to it and I am drawn to special offers.

The results to reveal your frugal habits

Mostly As

You don’t have to be a genius to work out that most As means your attitude to finance is so relaxed it is bordering on reckless. You rarely get a bargain and you don’t keep track of your spending. The chances are you have an overdraft and debts as a result. If you need to, you can get help and advice from the CAB, the Money Advice Service or Step Change.

Mostly Bs

You are a paragon of thrifty virtue, with fantastic frugal habits. You get the best value on everything you purchase, know how much money you have to spare to the penny and are likely to have a healthy savings account to prove it. We can all learn from you!

Mostly Cs

Let’s admit it, this is where most of us are. We love to get a bargain but don’t always do everything we could to save ourselves a buck. We can learn from the experts so that we can make the best of our money.

This is a light-hearted quiz with a serious message. Money really does make the world go around so understanding money


5 thoughts on “Test your frugal habits with the thrift test

  1. I was once a mostly A’s person. Then once I had a family I still thought I could get away with mostly C habits. This year I’ve worked hard to follow the B route and it’s amazing the difference it’s made.
    One thing I haven’t tried yet is the cashback sites. I must remember this when I next shop online.
    Thanks for the fun quiz Jane.

  2. A good quiz, Jane, to demonstrate how to be frugal across the board, from how to save on heating to saving on food bills.
    However, we have just spent money in order to save money! Well, not exactly save money, but time. Sounds daft, eh? We’ve bought an extra small freezer and I intend to make meals and freeze them for days when I don’t feel up to cooking, rather than buying ready-made meals (perish the thought, “convenience” food to me is a can of chopped tomatoes.)
    What amazes me is that people still need to be told that the bottom line of their bank balance isn’t actually what they might have in the bank – what about the amounts that are ‘pending’, still to go through the system, and amounts that have to be paid out before the next pay cheque goes in?
    Also, common sense should prevail when it comes to heating … how can people not think of drawing curtains and blinds, or putting on an extra jumper and thick socks instead of turning up the thermostat? Only if those measures fail to keep you want, only then consider putting up the heat. We sit with hot water bottles at our backs of an evening, this is cheaper than heating the whole house and it’s also very cosy!
    How can people still spend on bought packs of sandwiches costing oodles when they could so easily make several packs for the week and pop them into the freezer and take them out just before they go to work? Or if freeze space doesn’t allow for this, then make them each night and pop them into the fridge. There is no excuse for laziness where money is concerned, is there?

  3. My answers were mostly Bs but I consider myself a mostly C person from the description!
    I wouldn’t say I’m particularly frugal, but I do always have a rough idea of how much we have in the bank and try to stick to a rigid monthly budget. I certainly don’t shop for leisure !! *shudders*

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