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Pop Quiz: Are You Cheating Yourself?

9. Do you avoid unhealthy habits? The cost of smoking isn't just the price of the pack of cigarettes. It also increases the cost of car, home and life insurance and devalues the price of your car, possessions and home. Similarly, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or eating too much junk food can be detrimental to your health, eventually costing you higher insurance premiums.

10. Do you make your own meals and coffee? If you still are making that Starbucks stop each morning on your way to work and going out to the local restaurant each noon instead of getting up 20 minutes earlier to make your own brew (which can taste better for less money) and lunch (which will be healthier), you're wasting money. There is nothing wrong with going out for a meal now and then, but you will eat healthier and save a lot of money if you cook most of your meals at home.

If you answered "yes" to all of the above questions, give yourself a pat on the back. You not only know a lot about personal finances, but you're also acting on that knowledge. If you answered "yes" to between six and nine, there is significant room for improvement. If you answered "yes" to less than six, review the list again and work out a strategy to improve your score.

There could be a number of variables as to why you do or do not put these personal finance basics into action, but this quiz should give a good indication about whether you need to begin doing what you already know is best.

Get your personal finances in order with the help of's New Calculators.

Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs
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