Behind the Scenes at the FNBO Direct Pay Yourself First Challenge

I just got off the phone with the fine folks at FNBO Direct.  We recorded our first group podcast for the Pay Yourself First Challenge.  If you're a new reader, check out my post on getting into the top 5, as well as my video entry, for more info.  Anyway, the call reminded me that I need to share some photos with you of the official kick-off we had a couple of weekends ago.  I'll also throw in a little more detail about the contest itself.

Kick Off Weekend

In order to meet all the contestants face-to-face, take promotional photos and videos, as well as provide some basic contest training, FNBO Direct flew the five finalists to Omaha (First National Headquarters) for an official kick-off to the six month long contest.  Basically we were treated like rock-stars for a few days.  Here are a few of the highlights:

“Where's my cappuccino!?”  Here I am at the studio getting my hair and makeup done.  So diva.

The five PYF Challenge contestants getting last minute touch-ups on the studio floor.  There was a lot of time spend just hanging around chatting like this throughout the weekend.  We all got to know each other pretty well.

Liz Weston and PT.  I was able to chat with Liz quite a bit during our down time on Friday and Saturday.  I'm looking forward to her expert opinions throughout the contest.  Check out my review of Liz's book, Easy Money.

One of the shots was taken in front of a vintage bank vault.  Here's Liz encouraging us to steal money to meet our savings goals.  😉

There was also a lot of video footage shot to be used for press releases aimed at local and national media.  This is in downtown Omaha.  Beautiful city and some great weather made for a fun day.  Apparently I look better from the ground up.

We had a contestant training session in the FNBO Direct offices where we learned more specifics on the contest requirements (blogging, podcasts, press interaction, etc.)  and how to come up with our savings goals.

A tour of the swank executive floor at the FNBO Direct headquarters.

The five finalists.  All very impressive people.  You'll enjoy learning more about their stories throughout the contest I'm sure.  All for one, and one for all.  Cheese.

The Pay Yourself First Challenge

Okay, the best way I know how to describe the challenge itself is it's a six month “online” version of a reality show contest.  Where the goal is to demonstrate the most personal finance prowess in reaching your savings goals. The grand prize is a $7,500 vacation.  But each of the five finalist get up to $5,000 in matched savings.  So, we're all sort of winners already.

FNBO Direct will launch the complete contest website ( sometime in early October.  The site will focus around the five contestant's profiles and will track our individual savings goals.  Each contestant will have an individual blog (which you'll be able to subscribe to) and profile page.  You'll be able to follow along as we share our challenges and successes with saving towards our goals.

There will also be commentary on our efforts from Liz Weston and Rajive Johri, who are serving as the financial experts.  Lastly, there will be a place for you to cast YOUR vote for each of the contestants.  I think you will be able to vote (for me, of course) once a day.

At the end of the six months, FNBO Direct will declare a winner based on percentage of savings goal met, votes, financial experts opinion, and general participation in the contest.

The Challengers

Many people have been asking to see the other finalist's videos.  Here they are, all in one spot:

Alright, guys..thanks for letting me share this quick update on the contest.  I'm glad to have you all coming along for the ride.  Should be fun.

Want My Free 31-Step Money Guide*?

Subscribe for free. Get my guide *31 Days to Improve Your Financial Life, welcome series, and regular Five Things digest. Join 30,000+ other followers.

Powered by ConvertKit
Last Edited: December 1, 2011 @ 5:09 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

PT uses Personal Capital to keep track of his financial life. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

PT keeps a portion of his emergency fund in Betterment, the automatic investing tool that makes investing super simple. Betterment focuses on what matters most: savings rate, time in the market, investing costs, and taxes. PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves.

All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. Very cool, and I hope you win the vacation – wouldn’t that be sweet! 🙂

  2. RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth says:

    Thanks for giving us an inside look!
    The make-up looks like it helped-J/K !

  3. Money Funk says:

    That is fantastic! How fun. Sending you lots of good luck! Woohoo!

    and looking forward to the updates. 🙂

  4. PT, you have my vote. Thanks for the inside scoop. All of the contestants look like great people. Good luck and have fun “paying yourself first”.