NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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A "Debt" Quiz

A “Debt” Quiz


                “Debt” can be a scary word in any situation.  When it is your “debt”, it can be overwhelming.  Try answering yes or no to each of the questions in the following “debt” quiz, to see how you and your money are doing at avoiding the “debt” word.


  • Is an increasing percentage of your income going towards paying down debts?
  • Is your savings cushion inadequate or nonexistent?
  • Are you near or at the limit of your lines of credit?
  • Can you only make the minimum payments on your revolving charge accounts?
  • Are you often late with bill payments?
  • Are you paying bills with money earmarked for something else?
  • Are you using credit to purchase items you used to pay cash for?
  • If you lost your job, would you be under immediate financial strain?
  • Are you unsure how much you owe?
  • Are you being threatened by bill collectors?


                A “yes” to any of these questions is a sign that you need to take a good look at your total debt levels, spending habits, and plans for payoff. While a single red flag is not a sign of impending doom, it is an indication that you should take action to avoid future trouble. The following tips should help you regain control and overcome the burden of debt:

                Create a budget. After allocating funds for ‘needs’, such as rent, food and bills, set aside an amount to go into savings each month. Then, set aside an amount that you can spend on ‘wants’, such as clothing and entertainment.

                Assess your debt. Gather all of your statements and find out whom you owe, how much you owe, and what interest rates you are paying. Being informed will help you make a good plan for payoff.

                Adjust your spending. Write down each purchase you make for two weeks. Then, take a good look at your list. There is a good chance little purchases are taking a big bite from your budget.

                Communicate with your family. It is important that all members of your family understand your financial goals, and the changes that are going to be made, so they can fully support those changes.

Finally, learn from your mistakes. An emergency savings account can protect you from future setbacks. Practice your new habits each day to ensure that you are improving your financial standing rather than harming it.

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