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Online quiz helps people discover their values in financial decisions

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TWC News: Online quiz helps people discover their values in financial decisions
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Ever wonder why you spend money the way you do? To find out the answer, the National Endowment for Financial Education invites you to play 20 questions.

“It's called the Life Values Quiz, and it was developed by a researcher to help people understand what are the values that underlie their financial decisions,” said Patricia Seaman, senior director of the National Endowment for Financial Education.

The quiz consists of a series of multiple choice questions, like what would your priorities be if you were looking for a new home.

“Are you most interested in a home in a nice neighborhood that will appreciate in value, are you interested in a home that's large enough for family and friends, gatherings, that sort of thing,” said Seaman.

Based on your answers, none of which are wrong, it scores you on four dimensions: inner values, social values, physical values and financial values. A high score on physical values, for instance, might mean you're more apt to spend money on your surroundings and items of comfort.

“That person might have a really well decorated house, a beautiful yard, things like that,” said Seaman. “If they score low on physical, though, it means they probably means they value experiences more, and so maybe they're the ones taking a scuba diving vacation and saving up to take the family to Africa.”

Sure, it is an interesting exercise, but it can also prove to be an important tool. For one thing, if you are in a relationship where you often argue about money, knowing each others' values could lead to better communication.

“You won't be able to change that person's values, but when you know where they're coming from, you can do a much better job of negotiating how you'll spend the family finances,” said Seaman.

Plus, knowing your own values can help you create a more realistic budget -- one that's closer in line with your specific priorities and therefore probably easier to stick to.

“If you really value your family time together, then it's important to know that, so that you can figure that in to the way that you spend your money in a way that's important to you,” said Seaman. “So it's very much about personal financial literacy [and] personal financial knowledge.

To take the financial lifevalues quiz, visit smartaboutmoney.org.

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