Are you more of a nerd? Or are you a free spirit? This is one thing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University prods you to ask yourself. We all have natural tendencies toward being more of a saver or more of a spender, or as Dave calls them the “Nerd” (saver) or the “Free Spirit” (spender). Take our fun little quiz to find out which way you are. No peeking ahead because there are no right or wrong answers.
The more honest you are with yourself, the more successful you will be.
1. What comes to mind when you hear the word “budget”?
2.) When you receive extra money, as a work bonus, gift, etc., what do you do with it?
a.) *cha-ching!* Spend it right away
b.) Bury it in a coffee can in the backyard
c.) Daydream about what you want to buy but ultimately save it
d.) Spend it but change your mind several times on what you buy.
3.) If you were debt-free and had $1,000 to do whatever you wanted to with, what would you do?
a.) Spend it before it hits the bank or your hand
b.) Invest it
c.) Buy a few small things or one semi-large purchase and save the rest
d.) Buy something that’s been on your wish list for a while
4.) How often do you go shopping?
a.) I’m only not shopping because I’m reading this blog. I have Ebay and Amazon open in other tabs.
b.) I only shop out of necessity.
c.) I go once or twice a month by rarely buy anything
d.) I window shop and browse online often at least weekly but don’t always buy.
5.)What would you do if your car broke down today?
a.) Woohoo! I wanted a new car anyway. Post on FB to see if there is a friend that will give me a ride to the dealership
b.) I walk or carpool already to save money on gas
c.) WHAT?!?! NO! This seriously can’t be happening!!! I’m SO screwed!
d.) Do research to find the lowest car payment to replace it.
6.) When is the last time that you had $1,000 in savings?
a.) What’s a savings? People actually just HAVE money without spending it?
c.) Within the last year
d.) Longer than a year ago
Now it’s time for the answers. Let’s see how you line up.
If you answered…
Mostly A, you are probably more of a Free-spirit.
Mostly B, you are definitely a nerdy-nerd.
Mostly C, while you do love the occasional “extra” purchase, you are a Free-spirited nerd.
Mostly D, you’re leaning towards being a Nerdy free-spirit.
That said, this quiz isn’t necessarily for a cut-and-dried definition, but more or less to get you to think, so feel free to breathe a sigh of relief right now.
*hold it… 2… 3…*
Now… doesn’t that feel better?
It’s important to know that, even though we’re speaking from being married, it’s good to know whether you’re more of a nerd or a free spirit whether you’re married or single. That way, you can plan accordingly and create yourself healthy boundaries to set yourself up for success.
So What About Brandee?
When we went through FPU, we heard Dave talk about these two different personality types and had to determine which one we were. Brian thought he was the nerd and I was the free-spirit. My initial reaction was to laugh. And point. And fall from my chair clutching my sides. It wasn’t very nice of me.
After some comparison between our behaviors, we realized that he is a free-spirit but has a little nerdy streak in him. I am a nerd but have moments that I let my free-spirit run through meadows of butterflies and daisies and all is right with the world.
After discovering this, I was happy that I had such a helpful way of contributing to my family. I hate math (what kind of nerd hates math, right?), however I am an organizer and a list-maker. I enjoy seeing how our money is being spent and where we can cut back to save more. It’s a fun competition for me to discover new ways to save money and beat my previous sales receipt when I buy groceries. The down side for me being the nerd is that I feel guilty for saying “no” so often. I am always concerned that Brian will resent me for having such a controlling role and stifling his ability to be the head of our family. The best advice I have for nerds is to voice these concerns with your spouse, even if they’re a free spirit. Make sure you come from a place of love and not a you-think-there-is-a-money-fairy-and-you’re-spoiled attitude. Also, I try to budget in a small amount of fun-money for him and myself if it is at all possible.
And For Brian…
Okay… let’s be honest. I would probably be in utter chaos if I had to create the budget alone. I mean, I’m not saying I’d be in over-my-head-barely-breathing amounts of debt, but there would simply be more frustration in my financial life than absolutely necessary. That said, it actually plays out very well that Brandee’s the nerd; it helps balance me out, and she definitely helps establish a good game plan.
As a man I am results-driven and can follow directions. Brandee and I oftentimes compare ourselves to lions in the sense that women (lionesses) are usually the hunters, seeking out and stalking their prey, rounding up the “meat.” Then, once the plan is laid out, the lion is called in to “go for the kill.” With Brandee being the nerd, she establishes the plan and then I, being the “killer” can absolutely knock the plan out of the park once I have a good defined goal. Now… I can’t lie; everyday I have “OoOoh, piece of candy!” moments but I then realize that it’s not in the budget so I quickly check myself and get back to the path. I do feel restricted from time to time, but (mostly) in a good way; more like firmly planted than restricted.
I don’t resent Brandee for being a nerd because we have our budget meetings and we agree on where every dime is going. When there are things that I think we need to give more consideration to, I bring it up; she, in turn, looks at all the possible angles with me and then we decide… together. As the man of the house, I know I’m called by God to be the head of the household, however I know I can give her the lead on the budget because quite frankly she is better at it than I am.
So… which are you?
After taking the quiz and reading our conversations, what are your thoughts? Where do you stand in the nerd/free spirit scheme of things? Are there certain things that make you lean more towards one than the other? Are you a combination of both?
Leave us some comment lovin’ below and tell us your own stories. If you’re married, chat with your spouse and get their weigh-in too (be nice to each other or, men, get ready to sleep on the couch tonight!).