Six months ago the team and I sat down and started work on our most ambitious project to date. I love helping people with their finances, it is why I started Money To The Masses in the first place and it is what gets me out of bed in the morning. There is no greater buzz than knowing that I have had a positive impact on someone's financial future. More than 1.5 million people a year are helped by Money To The Masses in the UK. We also produce two of the biggest Money podcasts in the UK as well as empower DIY investors to manage millions of pounds of their own money, via 80-20 Investor.
However, the frustration remains that there are only so many people I can help personally. My inbox is full of people asking for help with reviewing their personal finances. So the project became, how could we help more people? Could we bottle up what we do and what we stand for?
The biggest challenge consumers face when trying to sort their finances is knowing where to start. Confronted with a seemingly Everest-sized problem most just give up. Yet taking control of your finances be it bills, budgeting or even pensions is a journey that begins with a single step. It's all about taking small steps to create good habits and positive change. But that progress needs to also be measurable if it is to be motivating.
Those who know me, know that I am passionate about breaking down the barriers in personal finance. I want everyone, irrespective of age or wealth to be given free access to information and tools that can help them take control of their financial decisions.
The project became:
- How could we help everyone in an ad break on their phone, after all that's where their attention is?
- In that time how could we give people an accurate and bespoke assessment of their finances, anonymously and benchmark them against their peers?
- How could we then help them take concrete steps to improve their finances (i.e start the journey of improvement)?
The answer was Damien's Money MOT.
Introducing Damien's Money MOT
The Money MOT is a simple tool that in just two minutes will give users a detailed breakdown of how their finances shape up. By answering just a few questions (no registration or paperwork required) you receive a Money MOT grade (from A to E) and we provide you with a detailed breakdown of the areas of your finances that may need attention (including everything from bills to wills).
Damien's Money MOT will also tell you how you measure up against the thousands of others who have already completed an MOT. Finally, and perhaps most crucially, you can sign up to receive my free action plan. This plan is delivered via a series of emails (either daily or weekly - you choose) that details the steps you need to take to improve your MOT ratings. The best bit is that the plan is personally tailored to you.
There was some hype in the news recently about a government incentive, encouraging people to do a 'Midlife MOT', directing them to a Department for Work and Pensions page that was essentially a page of links. What use is that and who is that truly benefiting? They may as well have put up a sign saying "Everest, this way!"
Damien's Money MOT will give you a personal grade based upon your own circumstances and then provide you with the tools that you need to make a positive change. Damien's Money MOT has nothing to do with how wealthy you are and so it is possible that everyone who takes the test (and who then subsequently re-takes the test once they've followed the action plan) can achieve the top grade.
Damien's Money MOT is not about achieving perfection. It’s about encouraging incremental improvements over time.
So why has no-one else thought of this before? The finance industry as a whole, only really cares about making money and so it focuses on the wealthy. So it has no interest in helping the masses. More importantly, the Money MOT is not an easy thing to create. It's the culmination of over 9 years of work on Money to the Masses. Others will copy what we do, but if you want to improve the status quo and help people then you have to be out front leading the pack.