The Moneystepper Savings Challenge is now live and helping people all over the world improve their finances, achieve their financial dreams and move towards financial freedom.
If you have any questions, you should find the answer below. If you don’t, leave a comment and we’ll answer your question.
1. What Is A “Financial Dream”?
All participants establish and work tirelessly towards their “financial dream”. This is the fundamental basis of the Moneystepper Savings Challenge.
“Financial dream” is simply the terminology that we use in the challenge. It should describe where you want to be in life at a certain point. The “financial” part is because the overall goal can only be achieved through financial freedom of some form.
Like all goals, the financial dream goal should be SMARTER, but it should also be:
- Imaginable – you should be able to form a mental image of your dream
- Personal – it must be “your” financial dream; a very personal goal
We also give you a chance in the Tracking Template to add an image which is associated with your financial dream. This will make sure that it’s always in the forefront of your mind!
2. Can I Change My “Financial Dream”?
Your financial dream doesn’t have to be static. It can be modified slightly every year (or every quarter) as your desires shift. Equally, if you’ve reached your current “financial dream”, you can move onto a new financial dream.
For instance, someone’s financial dream may be: “sitting in the garden of my house enjoying a glass of champagne with my spouse having just made our last ever mortgage payment”.
Then, once they have achieved that goal, their financial dream can change. However, every day until they achieve that goal, the vision that they go to in their mind every single time that they interact with money will be the mortgage-free vision.
3. What Are The Annual Financial Goals?
After having set your financial dream, you’ll need to set your two “financial goals”.
These are split into:
Net Worth Improvement – the percentage that you want to improve your net worth (assets less liabilities) between today and the end of the year
Savings Rate – the target percentage of your net income that you save and invest
Both are measured as year-to-date (YTD) percentages in order to mitigate short-term variances in your results.
4. Why Do We Use These Financial Goals?
Over the past three years of measuring financial goals, these have consistently been the most important.
For instance, in 2014, I measured myself against 11 different financial objectives. However, I realised that each one was either driven by, or a result of, focusing on one of these two goals.
As such, for consistency and comparability across the community, we have limited the main financial goals to these two measures.
5. Can I Have Other Goals?
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have your own financial goals – it’s just that these will not be officially measured in the Moneystepper Savings Challenge.
For example, you may be focussing on paying down your credit cards and you have a short-term goal to do this (even though your “financial dream” is a much longer-term vision).
This is a commendable goal and so we encourage you to add it in the “extra goals” tab of the Tracking Template.
However, not everyone in the challenge will have this same goal and hence why we don’t include them in the default goal setting.
6. Do My Other Goals Matter?
Absolutely. They are incredibly important to you.
As such, we shall be creating mini sub-groups in the challenge for people to join who are striving towards a specific financial goal. This means that you’ll be able to share your journey with other participants who are in exactly the same boat as you.
Some groups that will be created will include:
- Paying Down Consumer Debt
- Paying Off Your Mortgage
- Becoming A Millionaire
- Saving Over 50% Of Your Income
- Getting Your Net Worth Above £0 / $0
If you have any other goals that you think others in the challenge will be sharing, let me know and I’ll set up an appropriate group.
7. What Time Of The Year Can I Join The Challenge?
Any time. If you want to join on December 1st and just come along for one month before re-setting for the year ahead, then I’d be more than happy with that.
All you need to do is set your desired goals between today and the end of the current year.
In the Tracking Template, you are asked to select the first month in which you set your goals, and then your results will be calculated pro-rata based on this decision.
As such, it’s never too early or too late to join the challenge!
8. What Does The £25 Entry Fee Give Me?
You can download and complete the Tracking Template completely free of charge. It’s my gift to you.
However, from November 2015, new entrants to the challenge are charged a £25 entrance fee for entry to the challenge for life.
This entry fee will be incredibly insignificant compared to the value that you’ll get from the challenge.
For example, in 2015, the average net worth goal was 25%, whereas the actual improvement achieved was 40%. Therefore, for this 15% differential to exceed the entry fee, you would needed to have to start with a net worth of £167 or more!
The benefits of joining the challenge, compared to using the spreadsheet alone include (but are not limited to):
- Accountability – Your results are published each month on Moneystepper. This accountability alone (and how it changes your financial decision making) will make joining the challenge worthwhile.
- Education – You can learn from other participants who are in, or who have previously been in, your financial situation.
- Answers – You can have your specific questions answered on the Moneystepper Q&A Podcast and then opinions on the answer shared with the whole group so that you benefit from Moneystepper’s knowledge and experience, and from that of the entire community.
- Support – And community is a big deal. Through the Facebook Groups mentioned in FAQ 6, you’ll also get a whole lot of support along the way – whatever your goals and financial dreams.
- Monthly Mini-Challenges – Free entry into the monthly mini challenges (including prizes!).
As we highlight in the main “Join The Challenge” page, it’s good to think about 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.
Exactly the same is true for reaching the financial freedom finish line in a time that you are happy with.
So, don’t delay. Join today.
9. Will my data remain confidential?
Worried about oversharing? Don’t be.
The only data that you will ever submit to Moneystepper (unless otherwise explicitly agreed) will be:
- A description of your financial dream
- Your annual goal %s
- Your monthly % results
- Your net worth band (this will help group you with others in a similar position).
No-one in the challenge (myself included) will ever be able to see your monetary financial data other than yourself.
No data will ever be provided to third parties.
You may wish to participate in our Facebook groups (and we highly recommend that you do). These are private groups and hence only other members of the group (who will be participants in the challenge who share your specific goal) will be able to see your comments in the Facebook groups.
10. Is Moneystepper a Financial Advisor?
Moneystepper Ltd and its directors are not regulated independent financial advisors (IFA) and hence all services being provided are with the understanding that Moneystepper is not engaged in rendering legal, tax, financial, counselling, or any other professional services advice.
Moneystepper is not a financial advisory firm or an investment advisory firm. Moneystepper is also not a securities licensed company and does not receive compensation from the sales of any securities products. As such, we are completely independent and partial and our only objective (financial or otherwise) is your financial success.
All participants are responsible for all of their own decisions about financial matters, and Moneystepper is not responsible for any financial or funding decisions made by any participants. For complex issues, we highly recommend that you consult a financial, tax or legal advisor who is familiar with your situation before taking any action.