What's your financial IQ?

A report by the FSA has exposed the shocking ignorance of millions of Britons when it comes to money. Find out if you're heading for early retirement or the bankruptcy courts with David Prosser's quiz


When was the last time you switched energy provider?

a) I change every six months to beat the price rises.

b) I did it once, a few years ago, but I should check the prices again.

c) Won't I have to have new pipes?

Are you still with BT?
a) No way, I've been making free calls using the internet for years.
b) Yes, but I should probably switch.
c) Isn't it still a state-owned monopoly?

Would you buy a brand-new car?
a) No. Depreciation wipes 20 per cent off the value as soon as you drive away.
b) Yes, but I use car supermarkets and the internet to get cheap deals.
c) Always. I like to impress by being the first with the latest registration.

Have you fitted your home with energy saving devices like insulation?
a) Of course, they cut my heating bills and I'm doing my bit for the planet, too.
b) I've got the odd low-energy light bulb, but I know I should do more.
c) I leave the telly on standby so I can use my remote, if that's what you mean.

Have you had a water meter fitted?
a) Yes - and we're having fewer baths so we can spend a bit extra on holiday.
b) I asked if it would be cheaper, but my water company never rang back.
c) Why would I do that? I already spend a fortune on Evian, thanks.

Do you ever haggle in shops?
a) Always. It's amazing how much you can save just by asking.
b) Ah, yes. Only last week I brought back a great rug from Marrakech.
c) No. It would make me look cheap.

Do you set a budget each month, and live by it?
a) I've got a spreadsheet on my mobile that I consult before I buy stuff.
b) I know roughly how much I have to spend and try not to go overdrawn.
c) Come on, if Gordon Brown can't balance the books, how will I manage?

When was the last time you changed bank?
a) A year ago, when the smaller banks started offering such good deals.
b) When my student deal finished.
c) Are you serious? They gave me a free moneybox when I was a kid!

Do you own your own home?
a) Naturally - and I'll have paid off my mortgage in a year or two.
b) I will do, in 20 years when I get the building society off my back.
c) Property is theft - that's why my landlord's in St Lucia.

Do you always file your tax return on time?
a) As soon as it arrives.
b) I may leave it to the last minute, but I've never filed it late.
c) Deadline? What deadline?

What do you think about store cards?
a) Pass the scissors. What a rip-off.
b) I've got the odd one, but I pay my bills on time to avoid interest.
c) They're brilliant, aren't they?

Where would you go to get financial advice?
a) I checked out my adviser's qualifications before signing him up - and he's independent.
b) My local bank offers advice, though I can't help noticing it always recommends its own products.
c) A copy of the Racing Post is the only investment I need, mate.

How often do you go overdrawn?
a) Never - didn't you read my answer to the budgeting question?
b) Occasionally, but I've arranged an interest-free overdraft buffer.
c) Hey, let's just say that my bank banks with me.

What rate does your credit card lender charge?
a) 0 per cent - and as soon as it charges, I change my card.
b) Less than 10 per cent a year.
c) I think it's about 20 per cent, but I've stopped opening the envelopes.

Does the amount you owe rise every month?
a) My mortgage is my only debt.
b) Not usually, unless I have to pay for something big, like a holiday.
c) I wish I'd listened when they explained compound interest at school.

Do you regularly pay one debt off with another?
a) Never, that's a downhill spiral.
b) Only in an absolute emergency.
c) All the time.

Do you ever miss repayments on credit cards or loans?
a) No, I pay by direct debit.
b) Occasionally, if I have a tough month.
c) Yes. Just like big companies.

Are you paying your mortgage lender's standard variable rate?
a) No. I change my mortgage every time my cheap rate ends.
b) I am, but I plan to get round to remortgaging as soon as possible.
c) I've no idea.

How much do you have saved in cash for emergencies?
a) Three months' wages.
b) A bit, in with the rest of my savings.
c) That's what credit cards are for.

Have you used your kids' child trust fund vouchers?
a) Of course, and I'm topping up the account with my own money.
b) I've opened the account, but kids are expensive and I can't save any more.
c) I think they're still underneath that pile of reusable nappies I bought.

Do you know what ISA stands for?
a) I use individual savings accounts every year to save tax.
b) Not sure. I don't think I've got one.
c) Can you give me a clue?

Is all your money tied up in property?
a) I've got a buy-to-let investment to spread my risks a bit.
b) Only my own home, but I should be able to downshift and make some money later on.
c) Now you're talking. That beach hut is going to pay for my old age.

Do you trade in stocks and shares?
a) All the time.
b) No, but I have put a few grand into professionally run funds.
c) My bookie offers better rates.

How's your long-term investment strategy progressing?
a) Pretty well. I've got a well-diversified portfolio and I know where I want to be in 10 years.
b) I've got money here and there, but I don't know what I'm doing.
c) What are you talking about?

If you or your partner died tomorrow, would your family cope?
a) Our insurance - five times our joint salary - will be a big help.
b) We've got a policy, but I'm not sure.
c) Anyone could fall under a bus. You can't live your life thinking that way.

If you or your partner couldn't work due to ill health, how would your family get by?
a) The income protection and health insurance would pay the bills.
b) We've got some insurance policies, but I've never done the sums.
c) It won't happen to us. We eat five portions of fruit and veg every day.

Is your home insurance up to date?
a) I've shopped around for the best deal and we're fully covered.
b) I've got insurance, but it's expensive and we may be underinsured.
c) It will be as soon as I find five minutes to make a few calls.

Do you buy annual travel insurance?
a) Yes. It's much better value than paying for a policy for each trip.
b) I've thought about it. But it's only a few quid each time anyway.
c) I like to take my chances - foreign hospitals can't be all bad, right?

Are your pets insured?
a) Of course.
b) They are after we had to shell out for Rover's last tummy upset.
c) Surely the NHS covers hamsters?

Do you own a shredder?
a) Yes.
b) Yes, but I don't always remember to shred my bank statements.
c) Sometimes I rip stuff up before chucking it away - won't that do?

How will you pay for your children's further education?
a) I've got savings earmarked to cover their fees and living costs.
b) I've got some money put by, but I'm not sure it will be enough.
c) I didn't flunk university just because of that part-time job, thanks.

Are you depending on investments to repay your mortgage?
a) Yes, and I regularly check to make sure they're on track.
b) Yes, and I must find out how they're doing.
c) My interest-only mortgage is all I can afford.

Have you joined your employer's pension scheme?
a) Absolutely - it's free money.
b) No, but I'm trying to save for the future in other ways.
c) Don't be daft, I'm sure the state will look after me.

Do you know what A-Day is?
a) It's the pension reforms the Government is introducing on 6 April.
b) Is it to do with pensions?
c) Are BA and The Face involved?

Will your children have to pay inheritance tax if you die?
a) No, I've cunningly organised my finances so they won't be affected.
b) Possibly, but I've briefed them.
c) The lazy sods should be grateful for anything they get.

Have you written a will?
a) Yes.
b) Yes, but it needs updating.
c) Who cares. I won't be around.

THE VERDICT

Mostly As: You're impressively cash-savvy and have an excellent all-round knowledge of personal finance. Just try not to let it develop into obsessive compulsive disorder.

Mostly Bs: There's plenty of room for improvement, but at least you're aware of your failings. Take action now, and you could be looking at early retirement.

Mostly Cs: Did you finish the questionnaire before the bailiffs arrived? If so, this could be your last chance to save you and your family from a lifetime of penury.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

    Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

    £30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

    Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable