Are you ready for a slap across the face? I love to receive reality checks as much as I love to give them. Today I’m going to throw out a few questions that I want you to answer honestly. Just to make things fun, I’m going to share my answers as well.

Let’s get started with the questions for the year end financial slap across the face!

Did you get better with your spending?

Nope I did not.

In fairness, my spending has been good my whole life compared to the average person. I busted my butt to buy a condo in college. I always worked hard and saved lots. I still have spending problems. Food is my weakness. I’m working on it. I just know that I have a long way to go.

Is your spending any better? Don’t answer this with instincts. Check your checking account balances. Look over your balances to see where your money goes. Are you still blowing money on the small daily expenses? If so, then work on this. Don’t just shrug it off. This is a reality check.

Did you learn something new this year?

Did you pick up a new skill? I’ve been slowly getting better at Spanish and working out. I’ve always been training, but I just got smarted about this year. I finally downloaded an audio program that I believe in to learn Spanish. I promise you guys that by next year I’ll be able to speak Spanish.

What if you didn’t learn anything new in 2012? Your goal should be to get out there and pick up some valuable skills. No more excuses. Think of something you want to learn and don’t stop until you learn it. Keep it simple. Start with online banking or pushups.

Did you get better with your credit cards?

How’s your credit card spending? Mine greatly improved. I no longer splurge. I’m ruthless with my tracking. You won’t find me let anything through the cracks. It’s my money and I work hard for it.

What if your credit card spending sucks? You need to think of an action plan. You’re either not cut out for credit or you need a lower limit. Not everyone has the self-restraint to manage a credit card. It’s not easy. It’s often pretty challenging to handle a piece of plastic. This is why you need to be realistic about credit cards. I don’t want to see you in massive credit card debt, unable to enjoy life.

Did your income increase?

Not as much as I wish it did. My income didn’t drastically increase. No excuses or sob stories. I just need to worked harder, try new ideas, and experiment more. My income has to increase or I won’t feel happy with myself. I don’t like to feel like a loser. I certainly don’t want to be stagnant in life. I want more money and more options.

What can you do if your income sucks?

  • Learn a new skill.
  • Find a part-time gig.
  • Get a raise.
  • Sell crap.
  • Negotiate a lower insurance plan.

What are you going to do about your mediocre income? Is there a battle plan in place?

How would you answer these questions? Are you happy with how 2012 went? This isn’t about setting useless resolutions or feeling sorry for yourself. This is a much needed reality check for all of us. Please be honest.