The Hardest Ever to Win Contest  

image post

Ever since I left television people have been swamping me with requests for help. I created MyMoneyMyChoices to give those who wanted a roadmap the steps they would need to take to get from where they are now to where they want to be. There are now almost 9,000 people now registered at MyMoneyMyChoices, which is FAN-TAS-TIC.

In 2014, I ran an Indigogo campaign to raise funds for the MMMC foundation. (Yes, I set up a foundation to help fund the efforts I’m making to improve Canada’s Money IQ.) Through the generosity of those I’ve helped and those who believe the foundation is a worthwhile endeavor we raised just over $3,300.

Now it’s time to put that money to work spreading the word about financial literacy. Rather than run ads, which I initially thought I would do, I’ve topped up the pot and am running this contest to spread the word about MyMoneyMyChoices and how important financial literacy is.

Want to be in the running to win $5000? Here it is: The Hardest Ever to Win Contest. The pot is big. So is the work you’ll have to do.

(Incidentally, this is the same work many of the families on my TV show had to do to win their money; you did not see them doing most of this work because it was done outside of the filming.)

People tell me that they wish they were better with their money. The sigh and say, “If only someone had taught me.” You can keep sighing and wishing, or you can decide that you’re done with being financially inept. You can decide that you’re ready to be in charge.

The Hardest Ever to Win Contest is not for lazy people with more excuses than determination. It is not going to be a cakewalk. You will have to take the process seriously and meet the timeline commitments. Everyone has excuses for why they can’t. I’m not interested. I’m only interested in the folks who are determined to make 2015 a better year, folks who simply need some direction and guidance.

There’s no handholding, no babysitting, no spoon-feeding. But I will provide you with all the resources you’ll need, and instructions on how to use them, so you can take control of your money. If you’ve been waiting for a kick in the ass, this is it!

Stick it through to the end of this contest and you’ll have completed the major steps required to turn your financial life in the right direction. You will know where you stand now, you’ll have a REAL and WORKABLE budget and debt repayment plan, and you’ll be more aware of what you’re doing with your money than you’ve ever been. You’ll feel in charge and in control. And you’ll have a path you can follow to get to where you want to be next. And you might win $5000 to boot!

Please read all the rules of The Hardest Ever to Win Contest. If you do not follow the rules or meet the deadlines, you’ll automatically be out of the running for the $5000.

Here are the rules:

  1. You must complete every step of the project to qualify for the random draw to win one prize of $5000. This contest is open to Canadian residents everywhere in Canada except Quebec, which has much more complicated rules I just don’t want to have to deal with.
  1.  The contest will run from January 26, 2015 until April 20, 2015. The prize award will be made by April 30, 2015.
    To enter you must send an email to registration to register and you must also sign up at and track your progress there. Your chances of winning depend on the number of people that participate. As the wussies drop out, your chances will get better.
  1. Send your entries by the deadlines given for each step. Late entries will be filed in the trash.
  1. Only completed entries will be accepted. Don’t waste your time (and mine) sending in a budget that isn’t complete (including savings and debt repayment where appropriate) and doesn’t balance. If you’re doing a debt repayment plan and you skip steps, your entry is headed to the toilette!
  1. There are 12 Steps to be completed over 12 weeks. Worksheets and instructions will be provided to registered participants in the contest via email. Your email will be used solely for the purposes of this contest and will not be sold or shared.
  1. I will be the only person to review financial information and it will never be made public. Before you send anything by email that includes sensitive financial information, please blacken out all but the last 3 digits of your account numbers, or any other identifying features like your home address. (I’ll need the last three digits to tell accounts apart.)

The Not-So-Small Print: This contest is open to Canadians residents over the age of 18 everywhere in Canada except Quebec. By registering for the contest, you are attesting to your eligibility. No purchase is necessary. The contest will run from January 26, 2015 until April 20, 2015. The prize award will be made by April 30, 2015. The winner must respond by May 8, 2015 or a new winner will be chosen. Your chances of winning depend on the number of people that participate. One prize of $5000 Canadian will be awarded to the winner chosen randomly who meets all the criteria set out in the contest. As part of this contest, you’ll be asked to share your journey in 400-700 words. By entering this contest you agree that your story may be modified and published, displayed, reproduced. All information requested by and supplied by each entrant must be truthful, accurate and in no way misleading. I, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, reserve the right to disqualify any entrant from the contest at my discretion should the entrant at any stage supply untruthful, inaccurate or misleading details and/or information or should the entrant be ineligible at any stage of the contest pursuant to the contest rules. This contest is void where prohibited by law and is subject to all federal, provincial, territorial and municipal laws and regulations of Canada and of each province, territory and municipality of Canada, respectively.


59 Responses to “The Hardest Ever to Win Contest  ”

  1. Hello, My friend and I registered for My Money My Choices on October 1st 2014. We are up to the home inventory task. Are we eligible to enter the contest or is the contest only open to those who haven’t started the MMMC journey?
    Thank you

  2. Congratulations Gail on a great idea! It will be VERY interesting to see who takes the process seriously and who drops out. It will be interesting to keep an eye on those stats (if you have the resources and time). My bet is of the 100% who register, you’ll get only 5-10% who complete things. But that doesn’t mean that the rest won’t have learned valuable lessons.


  3. avatar Erin MacG Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Your link to ‘my money my choices’ in The Rules is not working. There’s a spelling error I think. Just a heads up!

  4. I already registered and completed level 1……… I need to start all over with a new registration that has a “start date” of Jan 26, 2015?

    I have been working on my budget etc on my own just never got back to MyMoneyMyChoices to continue the process…….

    Please let me know


  5. I am excited for this. Just emailed the link to my hubby to give him the heads up. This might be the ‘hardest’ competition to win…but hell…even coming in second would be a huge WIN!!!

    Looking forward to it!


  6. Hi Gail,

    Are we still eligible to paticipate if we have already followed your advice and have achieved our goal of becoming consumer debt-free? I still have a mortgage to pay off.

    If so, I am definitely participating in the contest!

  7. avatar Anne Cook Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    If our story is published, etc, will you change the names to keep our privacy ?

  8. avatar Kelly Hake Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I did sign up for My money my choices last year but never got my butt in gear to complete it. I am going to start again and this time get it done????

  9. avatar Kelly Hake Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Ok that was a smiley face not question marks after my comment… Lol

  10. I wish you could include Californians!!!!!

  11. I’m already registered to MMMC and have completed Level 1. Although I live in Quebec and am not eligible, I’ll jump in and play along anyway. It’ll be a great motivator to get debt-free and more financially savvy.

    Thanks Gail for being an inspiration!

  12. avatar Jo Kilgour Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Gail,
    My husband and I married young and had a lot of debt from his university degrees, but after 16 yrs of marriage and 2 children, we are slowly climbing our way out of debt. We have a little debt still, but our real issue is insufficient savings and retirement.
    Jo Kilgour

  13. I think this will be a great motivator. I signed up for MyMoneyMyChoices a while ago, but never finished. Also, I don’t have any consumer debt (I have a mortgage), but still want to improve my finances. Can I still enter?

  14. avatar SimpleRyan Says:
    January 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Whooop!! whooop!!!!

    Now THIS is how you start the year off on the right foot!!
    Way to go Gail!!

    Glad to see the idea come to fruition!!

  15. Wow! This looks awesome! I started out doing this anyway…I might as well sign up and possible win some money too!

  16. Best of luck to everyone that enters this contest For me there is no Hope to succeed in being debt free I take one step forward to only to have to take 10 back but I will keep trying to succeed using what I have learnt from her shows maybe someday I will succeed

  17. You Rock Gail!! I’m totally in!
    Ty 🙂

  18. avatar Leah Normandin Says:
    January 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Hi everyone. I know this might be a stupid question but I was wondering How far I have to go for the financial analysis? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 12 months? I want to make sure that I’m doing level 1 right. I have the Money rules book but rule 212 doesn’t really help me out with the actual analysis.
    thanks in advance!

  19. avatar Diane Grimm Says:
    January 6, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Love you Gail. For once I wish I were Canadian.:) working hard on my finances anyways. Good luck (I mean, work hard everyone).

  20. avatar Melissa Rose Says:
    January 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    The registration form says you need to have a team? Is this true or can it be individual? Or would my husband and I count as a team?

  21. @Leah Normandin – If you read her book(s), she says six months is recommended. Less is fine if you can’t get the paperwork together (do what you can), and more certainly is better if you really want a good picture, but six is her suggestion. It’s pretty time consuming to do.

  22. I also found this from ‘The Gail Way’

    “If you don’t have any paperwork because you’re a dope and threw your statements away track forward for at least three months using the Spending Journal
    then do the Spending Analysis
    then make the Budget”

    And this from using the search tool on her site:
    “When I work with families, I ask for six months worth of their credit card statements (along with their bank statements) so I can see where their money has been going.”

  23. Gail, as a consultant, my work and income varies each month. My husband, as a substitute teacher, also has unknown income each month. We do ok, and have budgeted very well in the past (when we had fixed income) but I’m wondering if this contest would be do-able given where we are at now. Thanks!

  24. I want to sign up but have no one to join me in this task 🙁 Can I still join?

  25. Sonya, Gail said on twitter yesterday or the day before that you don’t need to have a team to join. I don’t have a tribe either, perhaps people from the blog will want to start one (all the financial misfits)

  26. I’m in the same boat…I don’t have a tribe to set up. I live in an area where I have only a few friends and none of them close enough that I would ask about this, and my family are mostly out of country. I’d be interested in joining a team/tribe if one gets set up.

  27. Hi Gail, I am very excited for the contest, but I am already debt free (using your methods of course).

    Can those who are debt free participate? I know a few other people have asked this question, too. Thanks!

  28. Hi,

    What’s the email that we are suppose to send our registration to? In the rules above it only says @mymoneymychoices
    Not sure what the beginning part is?

  29. avatar Karen Vollmer Says:
    January 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Can I still join as a single person vs a team? I think there is a lot I could learn and would like the opportunity. Or, if it’s not possible to complete the contest would you be posting the levels from 1 – 23 so I could follow along?

    Thanks for any insight you can provide. 🙂

  30. avatar hilary miller Says:
    January 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    My husband three boys and I need help. It is our goal in 2015 to work together to learn about money and how to make it work for us!

  31. Awesome, thanks Gail, I’m looking forward to this! I had trouble with my finances about 10 years ago, leading to a very bad credit score and mountains of consumer debt. I worked through it all without declaring bankruptcy, and I have an excellent credit score these days and no debt except my mortgage, but I still remember what it’s like to be paralyzed by money trouble.

    Watching your show reminds me every day what it was like. Actually, remembering that time keeps me on track!

  32. I’m looking for a tribe to join! Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  33. I signed up when I first saw this (via Blond on a Budget), and was expecting an email today to get the party started. Have I done something wrong, or do I just need to be patient? Thanks!

  34. I’m also still waiting for the first email (though I just signed up today) 🙂

  35. I didn’t get the email either, so I’m guessing it’s just a system glitch. I sent an email back saying I didn’t get it, so hopefully there will be something tomorrow.

  36. I also didn’t get an email and am keen to get started

  37. avatar Lori Sexton Says:
    January 29, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I have already registered at but I’m unable to send a e-mail to ?

  38. Does anyone know if we’re supposed to submit our bank statements with the week 1 challenge too, or just submit our spending analysis worksheet?

    To the others who didn’t get the email, I had to email week1@mymoneymychoices twice before receiving the email…hopefully you get yours soon. Someone pasted the week 1 instructions in the comments on one of Gail’s facebook statuses, so you could check that out if you got the registration confirmation.

  39. I’ve sent another email (this time to the Week1 address). Hopefully I’ll hear back. I’m frustrated that I haven’t received anything.

  40. When is the deadline to send in the task for week 1?

  41. I think the deadline is either Sunday or Monday…funny though, the instructions don’t say for sure so I wondered the same thing. But I would think that since the week 2 email is supposed to go out on Monday, the deadline for week 1 would be Sunday. That’s just my guess.

  42. Gail tweeted that it deadlines are Sunday but she was not clear on what to send or send at all because there was another tweet earilier someone had asked do they send the SA in, her response is not until it is all done. I will be sending in the months bank statements including the SA for Jan. I’m sending it to both Week 1 and Week 2 hopefully when todays deadline passes we should hear the fall out of who got kicked out due to where it wasn’t sent!!

  43. Has anyone received week 2 instructions yet? I didn’t get the email yet.

  44. So, I am reading above that she is tweeting instructions about the contest but I am not on Twitter regularly and that was indicated anywhere in the email communication. I love Gail but am really frustrated by the lack of clarity. And no where did I get the impression we were supposed to send in our statements, just the spending analysis for June but people are saying above that we weren’t supposed to send in anything until it is all done but this week’s assignment was to do the month of June….can anyone from Gail’s site or office clarify what is going on?

  45. Ah man I wish it would have been made clearer that the SA wasn’t due to hand in by Sunday…. I spent nearly my whole day doing all six months yesterday. Coulda used just a little extra bit of that time to NOT go crazy entering numbers. I also don’t use Twitter regularly. Now I follow two people lol (The other is Lindt chocolates so I can get their special coupons hehe).

    Deanne did you send the email to week2 today? You have to send it on the day to get the email (doesn’t work if you sent it Feb.1).

  46. I also sent in my SA on Sunday but I didn’t receive week 2 instructions. I just found the facebook page with the week 2 instructions on it. I’m feeling frustrated because I’m trying but I’m not sure if I completed the challenge correctly. I didn’t send in any statements either just my completed SA for the 6 months from June to November.

  47. Yeah, there was definitely some confusion with last week’s instructions…I didn’t end up sending in my statements either and I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or not. I also spent quite a bit of time doing the spending analysis for the full 6 months (maybe we’ll get bonus points? hah). It was still a really interesting exercise that will help when we make a budget.

    But her week 2 instructions look like they’re more clear, so it’s full steam ahead!

    Deanne – like Brittany said, I emailed week 2 on Feb. 1st but re-sent it on Feb. 2nd and that’s when I got the email.

  48. I also didn’t send a spending analysis for June. For those who did, what email did you send it to? I’m not sure what email to send the week 2 Spending Journal image. on Sunday.


  49. I sent the SA to Week 2, but CCd Week 1 lol. That’s probably not how it’s supposed to work, though.

    To me, since the deadline to submit work is the Sunday of every week, it makes sense to send your work to the email of the week that it’s due – so for example, the week 2 spending journal images would be sent to the week 2 email address.

    The auto-responder only sends out emails beginning on Mondays, so if you send your work on time to the following week’s email address, then you will just have to send another email on Monday to get the next set of instructions. So for example: this Sunday, I would send the week 2 spending journal images to the week 2 inbox, and on Monday I would send a new email to the week 3 inbox.

    Does this make sense? How is everyone else doing it?

  50. Does any one know for week 2 are we supposed to track our current purchases/expenses for February or do it for June of last year? I wasn’t sure since the last half of the instructions confuse me.

  51. I know Gail said that we can’t use Apps for our spending journals, but did anyone use Excel?? Or did everyone use a pen and paper?

  52. Stacey – sorry this is late but I think the spending journals are for our current spending, not last June.

    Deanne – I wondered the same thing and have no clue. I don’t know how dead-set she is on the pen and paper thing, but personally, I’d like to think that as long as you’re in touch with where your money is going and you’re recording it in a way that makes sense for you, excel should be fine. Because ultimately that’s what the challenge is for. But on her shows she always has people writing the budgets and spending journals out with a pencil/pen and paper.

    As an aside, I’m pretty sure my SJ this week was a disaster, haha. It’s weird for me to think in terms of one week at a time; usually I think about 2 weeks at a time because I get paid biweekly. So when I’m subtracting deductions, how far ahead should I be planning? Like for my spending journal this week, should I be subtracting payments that I know will be coming out next week? What about the week after that? I probably should be.

  53. I’m a bit confused on what she was asking us to do for Week 3:

    ‘Complete entries on your spending analysis for July, August and September, 2014’

    I thought this is what we did on Week 1 – Spending Analysis from Jun to Nov 2014? I’m looking to hear what other people’s responses are.


  54. @Andy – I think the forward-projecting deductions depend on when you get paid. So if it’s biweekly, I think you would want to plan out the deductions that will happen in those 2 weeks before you get your next paycheque to make sure you don’t spend the money you need for those payments. Gail mentioned a blog post on “Aligning your Cashflow” that talks about this, but I wasn’t able to find it. Anyone else have any luck? I think it might also be in Debt-Free-Forever but haven’t looked for it yet.

    @Blkbry – I was confused by week 1 at first, as well. If you look back at the email it turns out Gail asked us to collect the statements for June to November, but only wanted us to do the SA for June 2014 that week. So that is why in week 3 she said to continue with July, August, and September. I also did all 6 months in the first week, so I guess we are ahead of the game and get a week off (aside from the Spending Journal, that is!) 😉

    I’m doing the good ol’ pen-and-paper, and it seems to be helping me to really pay attention to where the money is going. Anyone else finding they don’t want to spend money on frivolous things so they don’t disappoint Gail? Goodbye Timmies addiction…. lol

  55. avatar Alexandra Says:
    February 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I also did June through December on a Spending Analysis. A whole lot of work when doing all at once. My mistake. It makes so much more sense now that I see that this was broken up into several weeks.
    Benefit now is that this week will be a whole lot easier.

  56. @Alexandria – You only need to do June to November…..if you did December that’s overshooting my dear 🙂

  57. I love Gail but I feel like she needs a communications manager or something. I’m wondering about the bit where she says we have to sign into My Money My Choices and track our progress there? The steps there aren’t aligned with the homework.

    Also, I’m sending my emails on SUNDAY and getting the next week’s email almost immediately. Am I special somehow or are there additional instructions I’m missing out on?

    At this point I figure some lucky person who can decipher all this will be the winner and I will not, but at least I will have considerably reshaped my financial picture, which has been on the to-do list for a long, long time.

  58. I’ve been curious if there was a winner and if there’s a story?

  59. Yes I’m curious as well? I signed up & worked thru various stages of the program but lost interest with no “tribe” or “group”. It looks like many others have not completed their journey as the comments stopped last Feb? I’m reading these comments & realize that I was not doing it right from the start as I didn’t get an email with instructions. I think that if you start doing the spending journal, analysis, . . . and make it a habit that that is the whole point of the contest — YOU win!!! You win GOOD financial habits 🙂

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.