Last night on Watchdog I launched the BBC’s new Big Money Test. It’s a massive social science experiment to assess the financial capability of the nation and help people improve their own skills – with the hope of helping policy makers in the future see what’s lacking (it should be great for the campaign for financial education).
This isn’t a little quiz, it’s a detailed assessment of an individual’s profile not just on knowledge and actions about money but attitude and emotions too. As such it isn’t a speedy two minute job, it takes around 15-20 minutes so it’s worth sitting down with a coffee and cake. Just go here: BBC Big Money Test to take the test (after reading the rest of the blog of course).
My role in the test
My role was to set the ‘Money Knowledge’ test section and present the video feedback, which was a complex day of filming lots and lots of pieces to camera for every available option, which were then pieced together for the results section.
The main psychometric area was designed by two eminent psychologists and it was all put together by Richard Cable from the BBC’s Lab UK (it’s mass participation experiment wing).
Working through their questions originally was fun, though not without disagreements, the way the psychologists and I see things doesn’t always match up – especially on terminology. Although that’s only to be expected when the practical thinker and the academics meet.
For example I didn’t like financial advice being used as a generic term as for me it means a regulated adviser. Yet in the test it is used to mean any form of advice. The same is true over asking people about terms and conditions, where I would instead differentiate between the legalese small print and the main terms.
Yet they have their own deliberate methodology in these tests, so while I could tweak at the edges due to academic veracity, it needed to remain that way.
How did I do?
We did the main work on the tool about 9 months ago, so when I was sent the final version last week, it all seemed quite new to me. I also had no clue how the results were actually put together, so I could at least take the psychometric part of the test like anyone else.
Then again the test isn’t really designed for a professional Money Saving Expert. Questions like "Who do you turn to for financial advice?", "Do you have family and friends you can speak to about it?" don’t quite fit. My favourite was "Do you think it’s important for you to keep track of financial products" hmmmm let me think about that one for a second!
Once the results were delivered I had the bizarre experience of sitting there playing the feedback video for the first time, watching me tell me something like, "When it comes to money knowledge" (pregnant pause) "You have no money weaknesses whatsoever". Thank heavens for that – then again I did set the test.
So here are my full results. No shockers really, its much what you’d expect from someone who made up the Money Saving Expert job 11 years ago because it suited the way I’ve always been…
Your Money Managment
Making Ends Meet – High
Keeping track – High
Planning ahead – High
Choosing products – High
Staying informed – High (obviously when it asked "Do you think its important to keep up with financial product changes?" – this was a bit of a gimme for me)
Your Money Motivation
Security 14/20 – it picked this as my main motivating factor
Your Money Liability
Overall neither a spender or a miser
Miser rating 2/6
Spender rating 0/6
Your Money Emotion
Impulse Shopping 6/25
Your Money Knowledge
10/10 (but I did write the test!)
Do let me know how you got on, especially in the money test and whether you enjoyed it.