This is one of the books that I read early on that gave me a clearer perspective that my financial life was in shackles. I bought this book way back in 2009 (the book was published in 2005). During that time, I was living pay check to pay check. I was happy with my job, but this was when I realized that I should look for ways to earn more.

Zeeka was the one who took the picture. She made me say “girls are the best!” before this shot! haha!

At that time (2008), it was the start of my blogging career. This survey was something that helped me see that I could do so much more. Sharing it with you. Please note that this was a part of the first chapter of the book. Feel free to answer it, but please do get a copy of the book since the next chapter are just awesome. After the survey, I will share the top three things I’ve learned from the book. So here is the survey… 🙂

Consider each of the following statements and answer True if it describes you or your behavior all or most of the time and False if it rarely or never describes you or your behavior.

*Let me answer it now, too, as this I hope is way better than what my answers were 10 years ago.

____ 1. I have a concrete financial goal (an actual number) toward which I am working. (TRUE)

____ 2. In the past year I have attended at least one seminar or workshop related to financial planning or investing. (TRUE)

____ 3. I carry no credit card debt from month to month.

____ 4. I balance my checkbook each month. (TRUE)

____ 5. I have investments in my own name (whether you are married or partnered). (TRUE)

____ 6. I take advantage of my company’s perks. (If you don’t know what they are, answer False.) (TRUE)

____ 7. I turn down personal loan requests to people I think aren’t likely to repay them. (TRUE)

____ 8. I know my (or my family’s) net worth. (TRUE)

____ 9. I have a plan in place for how to survive financially if something catastrophic were to happen (sudden loss of a job, loss of a spouse or partner, etc.). (TRUE)

____ 10. I shop on the Internet only when I have a specific purchase in mind.

____ 11. Even if I don’t prepare them, I review tax returns before signing them. (TRUE)

____ 12. In addition to any retirement accounts held by my employer, I have a retirement savings account. (Answer True if you and your partner hold one in joint names.) (TRUE)

____ 13. I’m comfortable asking for the salary or fee I deserve. (TRUE)

____ 14. I advocate loud and clear for myself when I feel I’m not getting my fair share. (TRUE)

____ 15. I’m executing a plan to live a rich life. (TRUE)

____ 16. I regularly read newspapers, magazines, or articles that help me stay abreast of financial planning developments. (TRUE)

____ 17. I don’t feel as if I have to match the monetary value of a gift to me by giving one of similar value.

____ 18. I know what my monthly discretionary spending budget is, and I stick to it. (TRUE)

____ 19. I have taken calculated or advised risks to maximize my financial portfolio. (If you are not involved with helping to manage your family’s portfolio, answer False.) (TRUE)

____ 20. I make a profit on the products or services I provide to friends. (TRUE)

____ 21. At the beginning of each year I plan my charitable giving.

____ 22. I play the financial game to win.(TRUE)

____ 23. I would have no problem requesting a prenuptial agreement that would protect my assets (or I have already done so).

____ 24. I avoid shopping when I’m feeling down or blue. (TRUE)

____ 25. I regularly analyze my spending habits. (TRUE)

____ 26. When it comes to my money and investments, if something doesn’t make sense to me, I ask probing questions. (TRUE)

____ 27. I work in a traditionally high-paying field.

____ 28. When I loan money to family or friends, I clearly state when it is due back and follow up if it’s not back by that time. (TRUE)

____ 29. I consciously explore ways to get rich other than from my current income. (TRUE)

____ 30. Before getting married or living with someone, I had (or would have) open discussions about how we would manage money and finances. (TRUE)

____ 31. I don’t buy things priced higher than what they’re worth just because it’s convenient or saves me time.

____ 32. I read the investment statements I receive each month. (If you don’t get any, answer False.) (TRUE)

____ 33. I make the maximum allowable contributions to my retirement plan each year. (TRUE)

____ 34. I typically use all the vacation days to which I am entitled each year. (TRUE)

____ 35. I’m a good negotiator. (TRUE)

____ 36. I don’t let people dissuade me from pursuing moneymaking plans. (TRUE)

____ 37. My financial well-being is among my top three priorities. (TRUE)

____ 38. I’m good at controlling the urge to buy something I want but don’t need. (TRUE)

____ 39. I meet regularly with an investment adviser (alone or with a partner) to keep a check on my financial health. (TRUE)

____ 40. I own my own home (either alone or in joint names). (TRUE)

____ 41. I ask my company to pay for training programs that will enhance my earning capacity.

____ 42. I take full advantage of all lawful deductions on my income tax return. (TRUE)

SELF-ASSESSMENT SCORE SHEET

Step 1. Record your True or False responses from the questionnaire in the numbered spaces below.

Step 2. Add down the number of True responses you have in each category.

Step 3. Add your scores on the bottom line across for a total score.

INTERPRETATION

Circle your two highest scores on the bottom line.These are the two areas in which you are most comfortable acting in ways that contribute to your financial well-being.

Circle your two lowest scores on the bottom line. These are the two areas in which you have the most difficulty breaking free from stereotypically feminine behaviors. Each column represents a corresponding chapter in this book. You might want to go directly to the chapters where you scored lowest, to read more about how you can address these financial development areas.

If your total score is:

0-21 You’d better get moving if you ever want to lead a financially independent life. At this rate you’re going to be poor or be dependent on others for the rest of your life.

22-34 You’ve made a good start, but you’re nowhere near the finish line. Focus on those areas where you still have difficulty with becoming financially independent. You’ll find that small changes pay big dividends.

35-42 If you’re not already financially independent, you’re doing a great job of getting there. Continue what you’re doing and use this book to find some strategies for getting there even sooner.

I still scored 34! haha! But at least i’m almost at the stage where I can be financially independent. I just need one more point! 🙂

But seriously, I took this 10 years ago, and I was at the lowest tier. But that didn’t stop me from striving to be better. Now, I have my own excel sheet that shows me at any given time my net worth and the net worth of my family and what my plans are.

The Three things that I learned from Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich:

First of all, hats off to Lois P. Frankel, PhD, who wrote this book and started to made all of us women aware that we can also be financially stable.

The first realization that I had was that most of us (and this applies to any gender) blame not knowing and understanding math. We equate having less money because we aren’t good with numbers. What the book made me realize is that it’s not so much addition, substraction, multiplication and division, but more of monitoring the inflows and outflows of money (income and expenses). When you know and track all of these, you will know where you are “financially” in your life and you will even be able to determine your “net worth”.

The second realization that I had was that as a woman, I can dare to be more confident and take charge of my life. We cannot always lean on the “men” in our lives to help us out at all times. We need to take time out for “rich time”. Rich time means taking time out to learn more about investments, taxes and other financial matters.

The third one is that we confuse saving and investing. We need to make money work for us! Start having investments and grow your money overtime with the interest that you earn. The younger you start, the better. Take advantage of compound interest. An example of how compound interest works in the book (i’ll just change the currency) is this:

If at 30, you transferred your savings account of Php 10,000 into an investment account with a modest annual interest rate of 5%, then contributed just Php 200 per month until you reach 60, you would then have Php 394,256.65.

My last realization was related to my first one. It’s not so much math, but more of the discipline that you have to make things work. If you were consistent in setting aside money for investment, then you’ll have no problem financially later on in life.

Women, I highly recommend this book! If you just want a simple book that will give you practical tips that you can follow, then this is the resource for you.

If you have read Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich, let me know and share your thoughts with me!