[Guest article written by Jonathan Roy // provided by Pierre Roy & Associates, Bankruptcy Trustee in Quebec, Canada]

financial-stressBankruptcy Trustees meet countless of people worried about their financial situation. They all come to us looking for solutions because their financial worries are urgent. Most of them definitely need help but some of them are able to solve their financial problems on their own. However, a statistic that is less clear is the number of people who worry about their financial but who don’t seek any help.

With that question in mind, we’ve designed a short test (15 questions) that should help you determine if your financial situation is worrisome or if you’re in the clear.

I invite you to take the test here and then read the comments at the end of the article.

take-the-test

1. Are you worried about your debts getting out of control?

  1. Yes (0 points)
  2. No (+5 points)

2. If you lost your job tomorrow, how many months of savings do you have to cover all your expenses?

  1. None (0 points)
  2. Barely a month (+1 point)
  3. 1 – 3 months (+2 points)
  4. 6 – 12 months (+3 points)
  5. I’m good for a long time! (+5 points)

3. How often do you have to withdraw from your savings to pay your bills?

  1. (0 points)
  2. About once a month. (+1 point)
  3. It happens now and then. (+2 points)
  4. Only when I absolutely need to. (+3 points)
  5. I never do that! (+5 points)

4. How many credit cards do you own?

  1. Not a single one. (+5 points)
  2. 1 – 3 (+4 points)
  3. 3 – 6 (+1 point)
  4. More than 6 (0 points)

5. How do you pay off your credit card bills?

  1. I just don’t pay them… (0 points)
  2. I make only the minimum payments. (+1 point)
  3. I pay as much as I can. (+2 points)
  4. I pay it all. (+5 points)

6. How much debt do your carry (excluding your mortgage)?

  1. No debt at all. (+5 points)
  2. Very little. (+4 points)
  3. Less than my net yearly income. (+2 points)
  4. About my net yearly income. (+1 point)
  5. More than my net yearly income. (0 points)

7. Of all your bills (credit cards, electricity, phone, etc.), are any more than 30 days past due?

  1. Yes (0 points)
  2. No (+5 points)

8. Of all your bills (credit cards, electricity, phone, etc.), are any more than 60 days past due?

  1. Yes (0 points)
  2. No (+3 points)

9. Are you behind on your mortgage or rent payment?

  1. Yes, but less than a month. (+1 point)
  2. Yes, 1 – 3 months. (0 points)
  3. Yes, more than 3 months. (0 points)
  4. (+2 points)

10. Have you ever been surprised with a check returned for NSF (non-sufficient funds) or a declined payment at a store?

  1. No, never. (+5 points)
  2. 1 – 5 (+2 points)
  3. 5 – 10 (+1 point)
  4. More than I can count. (0 points)

11. In the past year, the amount of your unsecured debt (credit cards, personal loans, etc.) has…

  1. Stayed the same. (+2 points)
  2. (+5 points)
  3. (0 points)

12. Your credit score is…

  1. Over 700! (+5 points)
  2. 600 – 700 (+3 points)
  3. 300 – 600 (+1 point)
  4. I have no idea (0 points)

13. Do you ever use one credit card to pay another one?

  1. Never ever. (+5 points)
  2. It happens sometimes. (+2 points)
  3. Regularly I have to. (0 points)

14. Have you ever had to get a payday loan or requested money from friends or family?

  1. (+5 points)
  2. I’ve considered but I’ve never done it. (+2 points)
  3. It happened. (+1 point)
  4. I rely on family and/or payday loans regularly. (0 points)

15. Overall, what is your level of stress concerning your financial situation?

  1. I stress all the time and I can’t sleep. (0 points)
  2. I stress a lot. (+1 point)
  3. I can handle the stress. (+3 points)
  4. No stress! (+5 points)

Results

Out of a possibility of 70 points, if you scored:

  • 60 – 70, you are doing very well and you should not be concerned about your situation. You should be reading investments and savings articles!
  • 40 – 60, you are doing well but you should be careful about your situation. Life can bring unexpected challenges and you could be vulnerable to debt problems.
  • 20 – 40, you should take measures to bring your situation back on track. If you don’t act now you could be headed towards very serious financial problems. Make sure you have a carefully crafted budget and that you measure how much you spend every month.
  • Less than 20, you are in a dangerous zone. Your financial problems are serious and you should take serious measures to face them. I highly recommend you consult a professional.

Please use this test only as general guidelines. For a more accurate analysis, you should consult a financial advisor or a bankruptcy trustee.