Financial Wisdom, Simple Living/Downshifting, Your Personality at Work

The Voluntary Simplicity Test

Here is a little self-test I put together. It’s short, but revealing. There are only 6 questions.

The Test

1 – You just got a $1,000 bonus at work.  You are instinctively MORE likely to:

  • A – Think about how much of it you could save
  • B – Think about what new things you could purchase with some/all of it:

2 – You tend to see credit cards as:

  • A – Emergency contingencies and/or not even necessary
  • B – Opportunities for the purchase of items/experiences that you can pay off later

3 – Assume that you can live comfortably on about $40,000 per year. You would rather:

  • A – Have to work only 20 hours a week at a job but make $40,000 per year at this job
  • B – Have to work 40 hours a week at a job, sometimes more, but make $100,000 per year with bonuses and potential for promotion at this job

4 – Which describes your situation more?

  • A – You are leery about homeownership. You either own a home and wish you didn’t because of the high payments and lack of options, or you rent and plan to continue renting.
  • B – You would like to (or do) own a home. Renting is like throwing money away, and it makes you feel better to have control over what you do with the place you live.

5 – Which applies more to your situation?

  • A – You cook a lot of food, and seldom eat out except on special occasions
  • B – You eat out fairly often

6 – Which applies more to your situation?

  • A – You don’t own many things. One could say that you travel light.
  • B – You own a fair amount of things. If you had to relocate you would definitely need a few days and help from movers.

Now tally the total number of “A” answers. Your score interpretation is below.


0-2 – You definitely consume more than your fair share and do not mind spending money. Your standard of living is quite high and you do not like being deprived of pleasurable experiences and some degree of luxury. It’s likely that you either grew up with a fair amount of money, or were exposed to it so much that it would be difficult for you to live with out it. You don’t mind being in debt, figuring that you can always repay later. You are more security-oriented and focused on the image you present to others than you might think, and you would struggle with a lower standard of living.

3-4 – You are fairly middle of the road, balancing the need to acquire possessions and wealth with the need for time and a simpler life. It would still be hard for you to be deprived of some of your creature comforts in the case of an emergency, but you would be able to adapt, unlike lower scorers. Consider a reduction in your working hours if you have the opportunity. You would be amazed by how much more productive and clear-minded you could be with even more time.

5-6 – Congratulations – you are a bona-fide down-shifter. For you, it is more important to have free time, to be true to yourself and not fill the “emptiness” in your life with things. You don’t believe in debt unless necessary because this restricts your freedom and is a burden. You also intuitively understand that less can be more. Too many hours at a stressful job is not for you, and too much clutter in your life would just confuse and frustrate you. Down-shifters are fantastic at surviving in a crisis situation because they plan ahead, are mobile, adaptable, and tend to embrace the unexpected.

If you liked this test also check out some other tests at The Great Office Escape:


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