50 Questions to Guide Your Self-Evaluation

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There are lots of ways to think about your spending. How will you determine whether your spending is great, good, poor or fail? The main goal should be to spend a few thoughtful moments after spending. You may find the following questions helpful in determining how to characterize your spending.

Your spending evaluations should reflect your goals and your values.

Basic Budgeting

  1. Was I even thinking about my budget?
  2. Did I set a spending limit for this particular purchase?
  3. Did I stay within my overall budgeted category limits?

Personal Values

  1. Were these needs or wants?
  2. Was my spending cautious or impulsive?
  3. Was my spending generous or self-indulgent?
  4. Did I use my time wisely in considering this purchase?

Thinking Ahead

  1. Will today's spending decisions make tomorrow easier?
  2. Could it have waited until next week or next month?
  3. Do I have wiggle room for the rest of the budget period?
  4. Was this the right time for this purchase?
  5. Could better planning have led to a better outcome?


  1. Was it a good deal?
  2. Did I pay extra just for convenience? Was it worth it?


  1. What will my spouse or spending buddy think?

Unexpected Expenses

  1. Could I have better anticipated this expense?
  2. Did I make the best decisions under the circumstances?
  3. Should I pull from my emergency fund or try to reduce other planned spending?

Common Mistakes

  1. Did I justify buying a non-essential because it was a good deal?


  1. If I bought in bulk, will our rate of consumption increase?
  2. Do these groceries support my health and wellness goals?

Eating Out

  1. Why did I decide to eat out? Convenience? Enjoyment?