It’s time to make your financial dreams a reality. Join the Moneystepper Savings Challenge: a community of ambitious people, all achieving their goals and dreams. We’re becoming financially free, together!
I want to invite you to join the Moneystepper Savings Challenge community on our quest to achieve financial freedom.
Money is the root of all…happiness?!
Time to be controversial for a second. I’m sure you know the phrase “money is the root of all evil”. Well, in some cases, money can be the root of some evil.
There are the Bernie Madoff’s of this world: the former chairman of NASDAQ and fraudulent investment adviser who swindled millions out of investors. And, there are many more like him.
Their crimes all come from the desire for money.
However, these are exceptions to the rule.
Money itself isn’t a root of evil. Money is simply an amplifier.
- If you are already greedy, money will make you greedier.
- If you are already nasty, money will make you nastier.
- If you are already selfish, money will make you even more selfish.
However, and much more importantly, money is also an amplifier of good.
- If you are already generous, money will make you more generous.
- If you are already charitable, money will make you more charitable.
- If you are already happy, money will make you happier.
Just think about Bill Gates. No one can deny that he is wealthy – for a long time the wealthiest man in the world. Does this wealth make him a bad person? Does this wealth make him evil?
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have so far given away $28 billion, yes billion, via their charitable foundation and more than $8 billion of it to improve global health. Here is one of his missions in the foundation – has money made him evil?
And what about Warren Buffett? He has already donated at least $9.5 billion of his $46 billion fortune. Would you like to give away 20% of everything you own tomorrow? He’s also pledged $30 billion to the Gates Foundation. What’s more, he has pledged to give away at least 99% of his fortune. Does that make him a bad person?
What about Mark Zuckerburg and his wife. In 2012, aged only 28, he gave $500 million to charities.
Another thing about money is that it’s a necessity and a requirement for you to achieve whatever it is that you want.
People often cite that money doesn’t bring happiness, or that they don’t need money to do what they want.
However, what about if you wanted to retire at 50 instead of 65 in order to build schools for underprivileged children? Or, what about if you want to quit work to help your children and look after your grandchildren? Or look after an elderly relative?
All of these goals would be commendable. But, what do all of these goals have in common? The requirement to have sufficient wealth to spend your time following your calling in life, rather than rocking up to your desk every morning to get paid so that you can pay your bills!
People Aren’t Retiring With Freedom
That statistic is bad enough by itself, isn’t it?
However, when you break it down, it becomes even worse. Of that £11,321 net income, an equivalent of:
- £5,815 comes from the state pension
- £1,336 comes from other state handouts (benefits and support)
- £127 comes from employment income (people still working)
Only £4,090 of this amount comes from private pensions and investment income.
Assuming that this median person is happy to rely on the state pension staying at this level and the amount of government handouts staying as high (I wouldn’t be), then let’s think what this £11,321 will get you.
It is estimated that the average person spends £3,329 on essential bills every year (gas, electricity, phone, TV and council tax).
I think we’ll also have to assume that this median person also doesn’t have a paid for home. We can estimate another £1,000 a year on mortgage payments (I think this is a gross under-estimate).
Annual average expenditure (as per 2013 data) on food and drink was £3,458, clothing was another £1,175, and healthcare £322.
Therefore, just to put a roof over your head, keep it heated and keep yourself fed, clothed and watered, the annual median expenditure is £9,284.
This leaves our median retiree with a whopping £2,000 a year (or £40 a week) to live the life they dreamed of in retirement!!
These average retirees certainly aren’t achieving what they set out to do in retirement based on these figures, and I’m guessing that you don’t want to be this “median” example.
In the Moneystepper Savings Challenge, our participants are working to not be part of this statistic. Every participant sets financial goals every year to ensure that they will retire with the amount of money they want to. They also set a “higher goal”. This is a much longer term dream, which will only be possible if they are financially free at that time.
We aren’t working together in the challenge to save money, to increase our wealth or to “get rich”. It’s bigger than that. We want to achieve our big goals in life. And, we need to make sure our finances are managed in such a way to allow that.
If you’ve ever signed up to the newsletter at moneystepper.com, you would have received our free PDF guide of the 10 things I have learned about money from running moneystepper:
The guide concludes that the single most important factor in improving your finances is consistently tracking your finances and taking action as a result.
Let me share with you my own story. It might sound familiar to you!
For years, I thought I was “good with money”. However, despite working hard, despite having a good job and despite being frugal in my spending, my net worth (the principle measure of wealth) never seemed to change.
Three years ago, I started the Moneystepper Savings Challenge. Since I did, my net worth has increased by an average of 60% over the past three years. I put all of this down to the fact that I monitored my personal finances like a business.
I set my “financial dream” and my two annual financial goals, and I recorded my progress against them each month. More importantly still, I published my results on Moneystepper for the community to see. This level of accountability really gave me the push I needed to achieve what I wanted to financially.
It Helped Me, And I Promise That It Will Help You
The Moneystepper Savings Challenge took me from a relatively static financial position to improving my net worth by around 60% each year. This is my performance.
Yours may not be the same. However, whilst we must warn you that you may not achieve as much as I have, it’s equally important for you to know that you might achieve much, much more.
Just take a look at our results from 2015:
The average Moneystepper Savings Challenge participant set a goal to improve their net worth in the year by 25%. The actual average improvement was 40%. Given that global stock markets fell by over 9%, this is a remarkable achievement.
The biggest over-performer set an annual goal of 10% net worth improvement and actually achieved a mind-blowing 118% improvement.
What about the failures? It’s only fair to show you both ends of the challenge. Well, the worst performance in 2015 was a participant who set their goal at 30% and actually achieved 18.7%. Given the fall in global stock markets, and the fact that this participants had several financial emergencies in the year, this shouldn’t be scoffed at!
The performance for the Savings Rate goal (the amount saved as a percentage of their net income) was equally impressive. The average participant aimed to achieve a Savings Rate of 37%. The actual average Savings Rate achieved was 50%. That’s right – the average participant in the challenge saved/invested half of their income every single month.
The highest savings rate achieved was 77%. The lowest was 16%. When the standard advice is that people should try to save 10% of their net income, it’s easy to see that the Moneystepper Savings Challenge participants are over-achievers. And you could be an over-achiever too!
What The Participants Have To Say…
Don’t just look at the figures. Listen to what the current challenge members have to say:
Download The Tracking Template
Do you want to see what all the fuss is about?
Download the Moneystepper Savings Challenge Tracking Template by clicking on the image below.
It’s completely free and will help you set your goals, track your net worth, set your budget and analyse your performance each month:
And that’s just the start. It also helps you analyse variances in your spending, set and achieve additional financial and non-financial goals, map out your repayment of debts, and understand the awesome power of compound interest.
So, download the Savings Challenge Tracking Template and feel free to use it however you wish. However, make sure that you read and follow the guidance in the template. This will ensure that you get as much value as possible.
Join The Challenge Today
Budgeting is key to achieving financial success. As is tracking your financial goals and analysing your progress against those goals.
However, the real secrets of success are much deeper than just these steps, and joining the Moneystepper Savings Challenge will provide you with much more, including:
Engaging with, and being accountable to, a community of people who have similar financial objectives has been proven to act as a powerful catalyst on the journey to financial success.
If you join the Moneystepper Savings Challenge, you’ll submit your results from the Tracking Template to us every single month. This is done via a button in the template and only percentage information is shared – you’re personal financial data will never be visible by anyone except yourself.
Participants have commented that this accountability alone has saved them a good chunk of cash every month. Each time a spending decision comes up, they suddenly remember their financial dream and that they’ll have to submit a worse result at the end of the month and this encourages them to make the right financial decision.
Also, the Moneystepper Savings Challenge provides a mountain of education and support. This comes directly from Moneystepper in the form of the Q&A podcast, where you can have any of your questions directly answered, and via the monthly commentary on the results.
You can also constantly engage with other people who are in a similar financial position to yourself and who have similar financial goals. You’ll be included in private Facebook groups where you can ask questions of your fellow participants, and you’ll also see people facing situations which you are in, and often some you didn’t even realise you were facing yourself.
Finally, being involved with a community of people who are trying to achieve the same objective of financial freedom is invaluable.
Take an equivalent example. Say that at the end of next year, you were going to run a marathon. You have two options:
- You can “go it alone”. You will run the race by yourself. You will train by yourself. You won’t educate yourself on good running techniques or good training methods.
- You can join others. You sign up to a running club of people who will be running the same marathon. Some people will be with you running for the first time. Others will be on their third or fourth marathon. You’ll benefit from their experience. You can learn from their mistakes and copy the good practices.
Given the two options, it’s clear which is more likely to lead to you achieving your goal of reaching the marathon finish line in a time that you are happy with. You don’t have to go it alone.
Exactly the same is true for reaching the financial freedom finish line in a time that you are happy with. You don’t have to go it alone.
So, come and join an army of ambitious and determined people, all focussed on reaching financial freedom and being able to carry out their calling in life!
If you have any questions or reservations about the challenge (including confidentially and our disclaimers), you can either refer to our Moneystepper Savings Challenge FAQs, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to welcoming you aboard the Moneystepper Savings Challenge and achieving our financial dreams together!