Want to build wealth? Value self-assessment

By Jessica Sier 26 February 2019 4 min read

If you’d like to modify tomorrow, then it’s worth assessing what’s happening today.

I was perusing a second hand book fair with my Mum, when I found an old copy of “Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money”, the Australian version.

Without thinking about it, I flipped open to the below self assessment and began answering True and False.

Within minutes I went from being awkwardly unsure about my money journey to really aware of what I needed to do.

It was quite a powerful experience!

So we thought we’d reproduce Lois P. Frankel’s self-assessment (adapt it so it’s not female-centric) and put it here for Spaceship readers.


Grab a pen and a piece of paper.

For the following statements, answer true if it describes you or your behaviour all or most of the time and false if it rarely or never describes you or your behaviour.

  1. I have a concrete financial goal (an actual number) that I am working towards.
  2. In the past year I have attended at least one seminar or workshop related to financial planning or investing.
  3. I carry no credit card debt month to month.
  4. I balance my accounts and reconcile my budget each month.
  5. I have investments in my own name (doesn’t matter if you’re married or partnered).
  6. I take advantage of my company’s perks. (If you don’t know what they are, answer False).
  7. I don’t lend money to people who I don’t think are likely to repay it.
  8. I know my (or my family’s) net worth.
  9. I have a plan in place for how to survive financially if something catastrophic were to happen (suddenly lose my job, lose my partner etc).
  10. I only shop online when I have a specific purchase in mind.
  11. Even if I don’t prepare them, I review tax returns before signing them.
  12. In addition to my superannuation, I have other retirement savings (answer True if you and your partner hold one in joint names).
  13. I’m comfortable asking for the salary or fee I deserve.
  14. I advocate loud and clear for myself when I feel I’m not getting my fair share.
  15. I’m executing a plan to live a rich life.
  16. I regularly read newspapers, magazines, or articles that help me stay abreast of financial planning developments.
  17. I don’t feel like 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.
  19. I have taken calculated or advised risks to maximise my financial portfolio. (If you are not involved with helping to manage your family’s portfolio, answer False).
  20. I make a profit on the products or services I provide to friends.
  21. At the beginning of each year I plan my charitable giving.
  22. I play the financial game to win.
  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.
  25. I regularly analyse my spending habits.
  26. When it comes to money and investments, if something doesn’t make sense to me, I ask probing questions.
  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.
  29. I consciously explore ways to get rich other than from my current income.
  30. Before getting married or living with someone, I had (or would have) open discussions about how we would manage money and finances.
  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.)
  33. I make the maximum allowable contributions to my superannuation fund each year.
  34. I typically use all the vacation days to which I am entitled each year.
  35. I’m a good negotiator.
  36. I don’t let people dissuade me from pursuing moneymaking plans.
  37. My financial well-being is among my top three priorities.
  38. I’m good at controlling the urge to buy something I want but don’t need.
  39. I meet regularly with an investment advisor (alone or with a partner) to keep a check on my financial health.
  40. I own my own home (either alone or in joint names).
  41. I ask my company to pay for training programs that will enhance my earning capacity.
  42. I take full advantage of all tax deductions that I am entitled to on my income tax return.

Self-assessment score sheet

Step 1. Record your true or false responses from the questionnaire in the numbered spaces below.

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

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


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.

If your total score is:

0-21: You’d better get moving if you 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.


Building wealth isn’t just about getting rich. At Spaceship we believe having money gives us options and allows us to make decisions about our lives freely.

Understanding our own behaviour influences how we handle money is an important part of building a plan. If you’re already thinking about it, then you’re on the right path!

Words by
Jessica Sier Right Chevron

Jessica Sier is a financial journalist. Prior to that she led content at Spaceship and was a reporter at the AFR where she discovered that breaking down financial jargon was a public good.

Want to build wealth? Value self-assessment