Yo! PT Money Raps (and Wins $5,000 with FNBO Direct)

What happens when you mix mad money skills and hardcore street rap talent with a video pro? This:

A very talented friend and I made this video for FNBO Direct's Pay Yourself First Challenge. We ended up winning $500. Today, I interview with the folks there to see if I make it in the top 5. The top 5 will all have a chance at $5,000. Wish me luck, yo.

Update #1: We Won Top 5!

That's right. I was selected as a top five contestant of the FNBO Direct's Pay Yourself First Challenge. Awesome!

This means several things:

  1. I get a free trip up to Omaha, NE, the headquarters of FNBO Direct, where I'll get to meet the president of the bank, Rajive Johri, and personal finance columnist Liz Pulliam Weston.
  2. FNBO Direct will match up to $5,000 in savings that I stash away in one of their online savings accounts over the next six months.
  3. FNBO Direct will profile my progress in saving the money over six months, starting in October, at www.pyfchallenge.com. Best I can tell, this will be done by blogging, podcasting, and video blogging. There's apparently potential for several media interactions as well. Sweet!
  4. Lastly, FNBO Direct will pick a grand prize winner at the end of the six months.

Here are the details about the grand prize:

The grand prize winner will receive a “Restore Your Balance” vacation to a luxurious resort and spa, not to exceed $7,500. The winner will also have the option to receive cash in place of the travel voucher.

The grand prize winner will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Saved the most money during the challenge – based on the percentage increase, rather than dollar amount saved (50%)
  • Ranking by financial experts based on challenger's saving skill level: tactics for saving, ability to meet the savings goal, and sharing saving challenges and solutions with PYF community (20%)
  • Vote by American public via the poll on www.PYFChallenge.com that judges the challengers' saving skill level: tactics for saving, ability to meet the saving goal, and sharing saving challenges and solutions with PYF community (20%)
  • Adherence to contest requirements, including active participation in the challenge activities such as blogging on www.PYFChallenge.com, and other promotional activities (10%)

I'm super elated to have this opportunity. I think I've got a good shot at winning it, don't you?

Not only will it be a great learning experience for me, but YOU will get to come along on the ride as I hope to give you a behind the scenes view of the contest.

Update #2: 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. 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 Details of 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 finalists gets up to $5,000 in matched savings.

So, we're all sort of winners already.

FNBO Direct will launch the complete contest website (www.pyfchallenge.com) 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 the percentage of savings goal met, votes, financial experts opinion, and general participation in the contest.

Meet 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.

Update #3: New Promo Videos Unveiled

This past weekend I was excited to find that FNBO Direct had recently uploaded some more promotional videos for the Pay Yourself First (PYF) Challenge. With some tweaking, I was able to share them here in HD format.

This first video is an introduction to the PYF Challenge, the contestants, and the experts, Liz Weston and Rajive Johri.

This next video is a more detailed question and answer with just me. video link

Seeing these videos reminded me of the great time I had in Omaha meeting the great folks at FNBO Direct and the other contestants. It also got me excited again about the PYF Challenge, which lasts another few months. Read the latest post on my PYF Challenge Blog.

Thanks to your continued votes, we're currently hanging on to third place. I appreciate your continued support of PT Money and of me in the PYF Challenge. Over the next few months, I hope to share more about the other contestant, and of course, any media opportunities that result from the contest.

Update #4: I Need Your Votes!

It's been a while since I've updated you guys on the FNBO Direct Pay Yourself First Challenge.

Just so ya know, the contest is still going on and doesn't end until April. I've updated my blog page recently. So if you haven't checked it out in a while I encourage you to do so.

Anyway, I'm currently in 3rd place, and I've reached 100% of my savings goal. That means we've saved up enough for the expenses related to our baby girl. It's a good thing too. We're due in just a few weeks.

So, the only thing holding me back is votes from the American Public. I know you guys have been pouring in the votes for me, and I thank you for that. Votes, among other things, will help me win the grand prize.

Click This to Cast Your Vote for Phil!

How to vote: If you think I'm the best challenger (and I know you do) and if want to cast your vote for me, please visit my blog at http://pyfchallenge.com/meet_phil and click the vote for Phil button (like the one pictured above).

You can vote every day<. Throughout the remainder of the challenge, I'll have the vote for Phil button in the sidebar of this blog, as well as in the RSS feed and daily update emails. If you see it and have an extra second to spare, I'd appreciate the vote. Lastly, if there's anything more you'd like me to share on my pyf challenge blog let me know.

Final Update #5: Paying Yourself First Pays Off

You've heard it a thousand times, when it comes to your finances and securing your future, you've got to pay yourself first. I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm big on an action plan to make that happen: automating and separating my savings.

The Pay Yourself First Challenge is Complete

I'm big on paying myself first for another reason though. As some of you may know I've been participating in a contest put on by FNBO Direct called the Pay Yourself First Challenge. I entered the contest by submitting a rap video. Then, after a quick interview, I was selected as one of five individuals who would participate in a 6-month online savings challenge.

Well, the contest winner was announced yesterday. Even though I didn't win the $7,500 grand prize, I still had $5K in matched savings deposited into my FNBO Direct account, had a lot of fun, met some great people, and learned how much I could stretch myself to save even more.

Kristen Shaul Wins Big!

The winner, deservedly so, was Kristen. She really blew the competition away with the number of votes she received and how well she described her savings journey through her blog at the Challenge website. Kristen and her family, who are missionaries, were saving up money to pay for her nursing school program in full, without going into debt.

Not only were they able to do that, but they saved up a few thousand more. Now they'll have an extra $5K in matched savings, plus the grand prize. They racked up! In part, because they live their lives paying themselves first. Are you paying yourself first?

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.

Comments

  1. @Jonathan – Thanks! Yes. Barring some disaster, I’ll have the 5K saved up and then some. I’m hoping to win the whole thing and so I plan to save as much as possible.

  2. Congrats, that is definitely one of the top videos , at least that I saw. You’re going to grab every last penny of that $5,000 right? 😉

  3. We won! Just found out yesterday! We’re eligible for 5K in matched savings. Awesome! Can’t wait to see what’s next with this contest.

    Thanks to everyone for your views, votes, and comments. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

  4. Nice! I’m a metalhead myself, but how would you incorporate a real message over a screaming guitar? Then again, for $500, I might dust off the Fender….

  5. Hilarious! I wish you the best in the contest and with the baby on the way!

  6. Love it! 🙂

  7. Budgets are Sexy. says:

    Bad A$$ !!! We’re rooting for ya boss….ain’t nothin’ like a G thang.

  8. It’s nice to see you’re a devoted rapper as well as PF blogger. A rare combination! 🙂

  9. Awesome job PT!

  10. “Damn it feel good to be a gangster.”

    Well done, man… well done indeed.

  11. Hahaha great video. Good luck, the competition does not stand a chance!!!

  12. AWESOME! I loved this! I hope you guys win!

  13. hahahaha, PT I love it. Damn, you are straight up gangster

  14. ChristiainPF said, “just to warn you she asks a few “interview” type questions… I wasn’t ready for that.”

    Thanks for the headsup. Now you made me nervous.

  15. ChristianPF says:

    Good luck today, I had mine yesterday… just to warn you she asks a few “interview” type questions… I wasn’t ready for that 😉

    oh, and we were talking about your mad rappin skillz as well 😉

  16. I hadn’t been able to watch it before now because my speakers were broken but they’re fixed now. That is awesome!! I hope you win the whole thing! Way to go, PT!