MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets


Do you feel content with your money? If not, then maybe you should evaluate budgets based on your why. When you align your money to your values, that’s where you feel peace. This episode’s guest is Jesse Mecham, the Founder of You Need A Budget. Jesse discusses with Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen how the toughest part of money management is figuring out what you value. They break down some of the deep questions you need to evaluate budgets and financial risks. Jesse also shares how budgeting is like preventative medicine. At the heart of it, they talk about the importance of money emotions and why it is more beneficial to become emotionally involved with your finances. Once you do, your money lines up. Tune in and learn to be content with your money!

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Money Emotions: Deep Questions To Evaluate Budgets And Financial Risks With Jesse Mecham

Of the many burning questions I have to address with you in this episode, Jesse, the first question I want to jump into is how do you feel about Dogecoin?

I feel like it’s the future.

In May 2021, I invested in Dogecoin. I don’t even know if invest is quite the right term for crypto because it’s not quite like stock. I bought some and there’s an unlimited amount of it that you can buy, which makes it fascinating.

There’s an unlimited amount of real currency, too if you’ve got the right policy in place. Hence, the arguments and all the thinking.

That brings up an interesting point in talking about the psychology of money and abundance. The idea of scarcity drives people to do a lot of interesting things with their resources in general. A spiritual philosophy or perspective around money in general, how do you regard it? What’s your relationship to money like? If you were to anthropomorphize it and say money is a person, how would you characterize that relationship?

You have to back off from it and ask yourself where you’re at and who you are and then the money is going to enable you and accentuate you in that way. It’s so dependent on how the person views, deploys and uses it. To call it anything else, I’d be stepping in it in some way or another, for sure. If you are you then money will just help you be more of that. The key is and sometimes this is the toughest part of money management. You’ve got to figure out what you truly value and then make sure that your money is lining up and doing what you want it to do. That’s when you start to feel like, “This is no longer a burden or something I feel shame about. It’s helping me get my values out into the world.”

This idea of crypto since we lead with Doge and Whitney has been texting me every day with her excitement and how much fun she’s having with it. On the other hand, I’m a lot more skeptical, probably because I clearly don’t understand that much of it. I need to do a lot more research. It feels like, with things like crypto, NFTs, digital blockchain currencies and digital artwork, there’s so much happening fast that sometimes, I feel lost and confused. It’s almost like, “I wonder if this is how my grandparents felt when the first iPhone came out.” I have this weird feeling of like, “I don’t understand it. It’s crazy.” I’m starting to feel lost in it. I’m curious, have you personally invested any of your liquidity into crypto or NFTs? Have you begun to dive into this whole digital asset class? If so, how are you feeling? If you haven’t, why not?

I have invested a little bit in straight-up Bitcoin, nothing fancy, whatever that means. I did a little enough that I’d be comfortable with it vaporized on me. You’re talking to a guy that’s just incredibly risk-averse at the end of the day. I could only put in what I could justifiably lose and not feel tremendous pangs of guilt. That’s what I did. It was back in March of 2020 where I thought, “I’ll start buying a little bit,” then I stopped and then I started again.

I’m trying to make it part of my standard plain vanilla, super boring 90-year-old grandma asset allocation strategy. That’s where it sits and I have to tell myself what the purpose is. It’s a little bit of a hedge. It’s like people that buy precious metals as a little bit of a hedge or they buy stocks to hedge against inflation. There are all kinds of hedges for all sorts of things. It’s another hedge where I say, “If it takes off, I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t, I’ll be fine.” Being at peace and resisting the urge to embrace the FOMO and bite off more than I can tolerably lose.

That’s the advice that I’ve been coming across a lot, which was helpful for me. It was interesting because to this point of this FOMO that gets created, I have known about cryptocurrency for a few years now. I have had multiple boyfriends that were into it and would talk about it a lot and I had zero interest. It’s easy to look back and say, “I heard about Bitcoin years ago. If I just bought some then, what would life be like now?” I heard a lot about cryptocurrency a few years ago with a different boyfriend.

The thing that I noted in May 2021 is that at those times, I truly wasn’t interested and that’s important in life in general. There’s a lot of societal pressure to jump into something before you feel ready or interested in doing it. Sometimes, that’s good to do. We had an episode about this in May 2021 about, is it necessary to get uncomfortable? How much do we push through our resistance? When do we listen to our resistance as a cue that we shouldn’t be doing something? It’s part of coping with the regret that I have for not investing. It’s important to recognize I just wasn’t interested or ready to buy it.

If you are you, money will help you be more of that. Click To Tweet

Now that I’m on the other side, I bought my first piece of crypto in May 2021 and my mindset shifted so much. I became aware of it because I’m in it now. I use the risks that I was taking as the push I needed to learn more about it. I’ve been reading articles every day and I’ve been talking to people about it. I’ve been on Twitter. Twitter’s a cool source of information on crypto. There’s a lot of opinions. To Jason’s point, it’s incredibly confusing even when you’re in it. To your point, Jesse, it is risky for everybody, even Bitcoin, which is the big, very well-known cryptocurrency.

On May 13th, 2021, Elon Musk put out one tweet about the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency and it greatly impacted it. We’ll see things like that happen with the stock market sometimes. Seeing that one person and decision could change everything. That’s why it is so important to decide what you are comfortable losing when you’re putting money in because none of us truly have any idea. I’m curious, Jesse, if you have perspective on this versus the stock market because that feels safer and a lot of people feel more comfortable investing and buying stocks, IRAs and all of these classic traditional forms of investments. They don’t seem that different from cryptocurrency to me in a lot of ways in terms of the risk factor because you truly never know what could happen and how much a company’s decision could change your finances.

It speaks to the principle of broad diversification. If someone is all in on crypto and they say every dollar they have is all tied up, I’d be nervous. There were tremendously sad stories of mid-level employees at a place like WorldCom back in the day that their 401(k) mechanism will match your 401(k). If you keep it in WorldCom stock then you get a little bit of a bump and it’s favorable for you until WorldCom tanks to $0. You had people that lost their life’s savings. To put it lightly, that was terribly bad luck but they were not diversified.

Even in the company you are in where you’re an employee, you feel like the only way it can go is up. The old, “All your eggs in one basket,” I would not be comfortable doing that. When I was 30, I was following the traditional advice of, “Your age should be the percentage you have in bonds, the rest in equity.” That’s a plain vanilla standard way people go about allocating for assets. I would watch the market way too much and I would fret. I realized that while I understood that I was young and could take these long-term risks, I personally did not have the risk tolerance that I thought I should have, whatever that means.

It’s almost like the joke, “Give me your man card. I have to clip a corner of your man card.” That thing of like, “I should be tough enough to handle this volatility in the market and I’m not.” That was the talk going through my head and I thought, “My risk tolerance is different.” The end of the story. That was where I reallocated a lot and was like, “I’m more of bonds, treasuries and allocation.” Acknowledging that my business is the biggest risk I carry. I am allocated much more like my grandma up North is allocated. She and I share the same risk tolerance at end of the day. When you invest in Dogecoin or whatever it is, you’ve got to write down why you did it in May of 2021 so when Elon tweets something else and it drops in half, you go back to that paper. Does your paper tell you to sell now or are you just wrapped up in this thing?

I love that. I’m going to do that. I started a document to track how much I put in, what days and all of those things to give me that perspective. I love that added layer of why. That brings me to the question, going back to Jason and how he’s feeling after I’ve been bombarding him every day with screenshots of like, “Look what’s happening and look at what I’m learning.” I also know that I don’t know anything. I’ve heard little bits and pieces over the years but until I had money in the game, I wasn’t in the game by any capacity so who knows what’s going to happen?

Many people pointed out that it’s a lot like gambling. It comes back to the times where I’ve thought about playing slot machines, which are the only form of gambling in my life thus far that I have found joy in. When I go to a slot machine, I pick a machine that’s going to bring me joy. I picked Dogecoin because I’m a Tesla owner and I like Elon Musk for the most part. He’s not perfect but I enjoy it a lot about him. I’m fascinated by him. I’m fascinated by money. I started thinking about all those factors. When I pick a slot machine, I’m particular about which machine I play. I only have two machines that I will play there at multiple casinos around the West Coast.

I go there and I sit down and say, “This is the machine I am going to have fun with. This is the amount of money that I’m going to put in and I’m going to enjoy the experience no matter how much I leave with.” Over the years that I’ve played slot machines, sometimes I walk away with nothing. I have to ask myself, “Was it worth it? Was it worth putting in $20? Did I have fun?” Most of the time, it was fun because I like the machine and all the bells and whistles it has but I also enjoy that adrenaline rush you get when you see it go up and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. That’s been my experience with crypto thus far. I do think it’s worth the money that I’ve put in but who knows? I’m looking forward to my future self. I might have a completely different perspective, Jesse.

It’s good that you’re clear on the why. It sounds like you’re equating the two and that’s useful to equate them. It sounded like it’s been entertaining for you and that might be the reason you did it. You put some skin in the game and suddenly reading the article has a whole different feel to it. That’s the reason that when you’re out playing golf, you think, “Let’s play this one for money. This is a little different.” That’s useful for you to recognize, “This is why I’m doing it.” The end. You’re clear on it so there’s no shame and no shooting. It’s just you doing what you got some kicks from and that’s great.

I’m super curious about this idea of risk assessment and the tolerance each one of us has for risk. I feel like that topic is a layered and nuanced one. Whereas I could look back on the imprinting of my family’s relationship with money and say how my family invested as you brought up your grandmother, Jesse. Some people in my family who were more prone to gambling addiction and what their psychology was around it. I had a lot of interesting mixed messages around money and risk growing up in my family.

I’m curious for both of you, is the idea of risk assessment more of an intuition, a gut thing where you’re like, “This doesn’t feel right. I’m not going to do it.” Is it a systematic thing? I joke with Whitney and all of our close friends. She’s the queen of spreadsheets. She’s probably the most organized human being I know. It’s incredible how organized she is. For her, I would see a spreadsheet of pros and cons. Is it more of an intuitive gut thing of a yes or no, like that primal reaction of a yes or no to something? Is it like, “I’m going to create a spreadsheet, a pro-con list before I decide to put all this money into something new.”

MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets

Evaluate Budgets: Deprivation means making sure your money is buying the things you want. The end.


It’s interesting because a lot of the time when we’re analyzing a decision that we are making or have made, we will come up with reasons that support the decision. Those reasons will have us then be able to say, “Look how rational I am.” That may be that we sometimes behave rationally. It may well be but my bet would almost always be on emotion that is then justified with some rationale, at least on a post-mortem basis. It’s not to say that that’s bad. There’s no value judgment there at all. It’s just that we are emotional.

My favorite example of this is when people decide whether or not they should pay off their mortgage and they’re running numbers and it’s all numbers. You have people that are saying, “If I do this much more per month, you can shave off eight years and save $100,000 in interest.” It’s real money. They have all of these calculations and beautiful spreadsheets that will make Whitney blush. They’re so beautiful. At the end of the day, it always comes back down to, “Do you want to or do you not?” To tie that even further and to get a little crazy, when you decide, “I’m going to marry somebody. I’m in a lifelong relationship with somebody,” you can come up with all kinds of reasons why you work together.

At the end of the day, it always comes down to, do you want to or not? Click To Tweet

We’re talking about arguably the biggest decision you may make in your life. You have all of these reasons, supporting evidence and experience with this person but at the end of the day, you are making a totally emotional decision and that’s okay. That’s the key. That’s the end of this. It’s okay that your money decisions are emotional because you are straight-up 98% emotion, 1% instinct and 1% maybe that rational person we like to think dominates everything.

It’s so interesting you say that Jesse because quickly, I remember reading an interview with Conor McGregor, the former MMA champion, who’s arguably the most recognized name in MMA. He’s been incredibly successful not only as a persona but as a fighter and now as a businessman with his liquor and his other investments, etc. He’s got a lot of money and he’s influential. Conor McGregor was talking about his negotiation style. This is a guy who was making $10 million-plus and more per fight. I don’t know if he’s exactly the best avatar we want to talk about when it comes to money and entrepreneurship. He’s clearly doing well.

He was saying that for him, he has to try and take all of the emotion out of the money conversation. He gets defensive and his ego gets into it too much. For him, his strategy was, “I need to take emotions out of the money conversation.” I was thinking, “How can you do that? Are you a cyborg? Are you a robot?” I’ve tried to do that. When Whitney and I negotiate different contracts for our business, I still find myself getting my emotions wrapped up in it. I’ve tried to take it out of it and it’s hard to do.

We might say we’re taking our emotions out. I would want to see the process. How do you do this? Maybe he knows some things that I don’t know. I would love to know that I’m being more rational. I think I’m being rational and I don’t trust that thought.

Maybe it’s fluid. I wonder if it could be the same for someone else. Some of us express ourselves or connect deeper to our emotions. That’s a huge part of it. For me, I feel mixed but I haven’t calculated the percentages. I’m passionate about research and that’s a huge part of how I make decisions. Going back, Jesse, you’re talking about the word why. I’m a why person. That’s one of my favorite words. I asked that question of myself and others often to the point where it drives them crazy.

One thing always worth reiterating is the framework of The Four Tendencies. That book helped me understand more of how the word why helps me with decisions. I struggle to do something if I don’t understand why. Sometimes, it’s an inner why. I don’t fully have the words to articulate it. Like what you were saying, Jesse, with the crypto side, I do have why but I just haven’t said it out loud yet or written it down. There has to be a why. I’m a why person.

When I get stuck and indecisive, it’s usually because I don’t understand why. Another great example is I’ve spent digging into research about vaccines and finally made a decision about it. It took me months longer than a lot of people I knew to make my decision to get the vaccine because I didn’t have the why yet. I noticed through that experience that a lot of people were making the decision to get the vaccine quicker. Either they knew their why much faster than me or maybe they’re not why people.

That’s part of The Four Tendencies. Gretchen Rubin who created that talks about these four different types of people. I’m a questioner and Jason’s a rebel. There’s an upholder and there’s an obliger. In terms of the vaccine, there were a lot of obligers and upholders and that seemed to be a lot of my friends. My friends that are rebels either haven’t gotten the vaccine yet or are still on the fence about it. The questionnaires needed a lot of research. I found that the vaccine was a similar mental experience for me because there’s a lot of people saying, “Just do it or don’t do it.”

Most of the information that’s helpful for someone like me is in the in-between so I’m not somebody that will just do it because that’s not enough information. That’s not a why. The don’t do it, similarly, I start to question “Why shouldn’t I do it?” It’s been fascinating observing my friend group or people that I’m exposed to because I’m recognizing that I’m one of the few why people. That means I have to go outside the norm that I’m perceiving. Even percentage-wise, Gretchen Rubin lays it out. I don’t remember how many are each of the tendencies. It depends a lot on who’s in your bubble, who’s in your world and who are you seeing if you have blinders on. There’s so much more than meets the eye.

If your entire worldview and perspective are based on those small amounts of people, you can either go along with things that maybe don’t make sense for the rest of the world or you feel a lot of shame, which is another word you brought up, Jesse. You could see everybody investing in crypto but if it doesn’t feel right, you might have shame. If you open up your vision, you’ll see a lot of people who don’t invest in crypto. It’s like your specific group of friends and family or whoever’s around you are. That is incredibly important when it comes to our sense of self and making decisions. It’s stepping outside of the world that we’re in and asking ourselves, “Is this the reality or is this just what I’m currently seeing?”

We’re essentially trying to teach people how to get their money under control. Control is an interesting word because we’re saying, “Your money needs to lineup and do what you want it to do.” At first pass, people say, “That sounds good. I want it to pay my rent. I want it to buy food.” That’s all the easy stuff. It’s harder when we’re telling people we have four rules but we talk about our rule zero is get clear on what you want or why you want the things you do. It is so important in your circle. Whatever your view is of things will influence what you think is reality.

Where you think your money should go is completely wrapped up in the fact that all of the kids in the neighborhood do those swimming lessons. “I guess we do, too.” That is a super shallow example. No pun intended. It’s interesting because I’ve always been bothered/intrigued by thinking to myself, “What is from me? What is from my environment, nature and nurture?” There’s no answer. I have noticed that there’s a piece that comes to people as they start to build their money awareness and start to slowly line it up with their value awareness.

They can be spending money on things that are patently absurd and I totally support them. It’s their deal. They can look at me and say, “Jesse, you are crazy.” I say, “Yes, I am. I want to use my money for this.” They’re like, “I would never.” That’s okay. We’re both clear on what we want and our why. When the money follows, that’s where you feel peace and a little contentment. There are all kinds of other places in the world where we get back to stress and worry and that’s because we’re alive but we don’t have to necessarily carry that stress and that incongruous experience we have with what the money does versus what we care about. We don’t have to carry that around with us. We try and get people to line those things up a little better.

MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets

Evaluate Budgets: ‘Need’ is an evil word because needs don’t get questioned. Actually, everything is a want.


It sounds a lot like Whitney, having people ask, “Why are you doing that?” One other little quick thing, once a year, Julie and I will do what I call the budget burn down. It’s where we don’t take last year’s and roll it in. It’s like, “What do we want? Do we want a house? Do we want this house? Do we want a different house? Do we want an additional house?” Anything’s on the table. “Do we want health insurance still? Do we want this?” Things that you don’t question and you shouldn’t question, you question and it’s fun.

We went down to one car. My teenager stole our second car. I let him borrow it and now he took it over. It’s all his and it looks like his inside and out, the whole thing. I don’t like driving it and I don’t want it. It’s a teenage boy’s car. It’s a van. He thinks it’s amazing and I think it’s not his. All that to say, we experimented with this one-car thing for a while. It was a little bit of like question your assumptions, what you’ve always done and your norms. Recognize that you’re living an exception. Burn it all down and see what comes out of the ashes. It’s a fun exercise. We do it just with money but you can expand that out to all kinds of things with life.

I absolutely love this. As a rebel, the idea of burning something down is amazing to me because I’ve used this terminology and Whitney knows this. I feel like I’ve wanted to change this terminology, Jesse. I’ve often talked about detonating things. I need to detonate this part of my life. What rises from the fire or what remains probably wants to be kept in some form. For me, it’s interesting because in 2020, much like Whitney sends me crypto things and investment things, I will send her my excitement about saving money on different things.

It's ok that your money decisions are emotional. Click To Tweet

One of the big things is I took a determined and sobering look at where my money was going. I was like, “There’s Netflix and Apple Music here. There’s this subscription here.” There were all of these ancillary things that my money was flowing to that when I looked at it, I said, “Can I get a similar experience elsewhere for less or even zero money?” Apple Music is one example of many. You’re paying $9.99 a month. You love music and you listen to music every day but the reality is you’re at home 95% of the time. When you use YouTube on your laptop or you use the free version of Spotify, there are not that many ads and it’s free. We save $10 a month. We’ve got this storage thing here saving $10 a month there.

I went a layer deeper and I looked at my car insurance, health insurance, Wi-Fi and all these other things. Mind-blowingly enough, on my cell phone, my internet service, car insurance and health insurance, I sliced each one of those down 40% to 50%, less of what I was paying for the same coverages and I was shocked. This is a question about allocation. The allocation question is now that I’m saving more money because I’ve tightened up my budget in a way that has not negatively affected my life. I feel more liberated as a result of doing these things. The part that I get hung up on is that I’m aggressively paying down my debt. I have the least amount of debt I’ve had in my adult life and it feels great.

Now that I have this extra money I’ve freed up in my budget, it’s like, “Where do I want to put the foot soldiers?” I have been paying the debt off. I have been saving more of the nest egg to buy a house. The nest egg is growing, which is great. I have money that I want to put into investments. Where I get hung up, Jesse, is sometimes I don’t know where I want to put that money. The goals of paying off debt, investing more and saving more of that nest egg to buy a house seem like they’re in conflict with one another because I want to do all three simultaneously. It’s a bit of a conundrum because now I have more flow with my cash reserves but I’m sometimes not sure where to direct that money. That’s where I get hung up.

It’s a tricky one. Sometimes you can bring the future Jason to the table, negotiate with him and see what he says. Imagine yourself in some meaningful timeline down the road. Imagine yourself five years down the road and you’re living in the house and you like the house. You nailed it on the house. You have debt because you went for one instead of the other. You got the debt but you got the house and you love the house. Imagine future Jason being like, “I’m going to sell the house and pay off the debt.” That’s one thing you could do. You could say, “I’m going to sell the house and invest in stocks.” You could also then be debt-free and still be renting.

I want to be clear with anyone ever reading this. There’s no harm in renting. You’re purchasing something valuable and it’s worth it. There are all kinds of upside to renting. Owning a home and renting are completely different purchases. They are related because they’re both shelters. You could think about your future version of you having done the other things and then that future version needs to switch. If you have a big pile of stocks that are all appreciated and the market kept going up because you went all-in on investing, would you sell some of those stocks to get rid of the debt?

Would you sell some of those stocks or all of them to purchase a home? See how it makes you feel. Write it down and sit on it for a few days. Maybe you’re like me where you’re like, “I’m doing this. Focus. Get it all in there.” I am that way so I can appreciate that I want to do one and then the other and this sequential thing. You could run a little more simultaneously. It doesn’t sound like you want to. What would the future you do if you were then to have it and then switch to another version?

That’s a super interesting exercise. I’m going to do it because I’ve never had anyone propose this exercise. It’s genius and super fascinating, Jesse. It does feel like there is some semblance of a sequence in the sense that I want my credit score to be in an echelon where I know I’ll get the best mortgage rates. Aggressively paying down the debt seems to be setting me up for an echelon of creditworthiness that when I go to get the mortgage combined with the nest egg, I’ll get whatever the best mortgage rates are. I’m putting more money toward the debt than I am toward the down payment because I want to get myself in that credit tier. When it comes time to get the mortgage, it’ll be a knockout of the ballpark. There’s a little bit of method to the madness.

You’re getting 2 for 1 with that because you’re achieving one goal and at the end of the day, you will have needed smaller down payment or your interest costs will be smaller at the end, getting a cheaper mortgage. That’s well played.

When we go back to emotions and we talk about your budgeting strategies, I as an example of looking at what I could live without. It seems that maybe sometimes, the idea of deprivation can freak people out when they’re budgeting. “I need that coffee from Starbucks. It’s my ritual and I stay grounded.” I’m not throwing anybody under the bus for going to Starbucks every day. I’m curious about your principles and the methods you teach with You Need a Budget.

Since we’re focusing a lot on emotions and people’s emotional life, how do we navigate the illusion of deprivation? We know, on some level, we don’t need to go to Starbucks every day. We don’t need Netflix. Necessity and desire are interesting things. I’m curious how and if you help people navigate this idea of, “If I take it away, I’m going to be deprived. I can’t do that.” Even though they know it’ll benefit themselves financially in the long run.

That’s the current version of themselves is taking over. One of the signs of maturity is the ability to defer gratification straight up. That’s someone that has a little more experience under their belt. You can compare that to a small child and hopefully, a wise old woman that can defer gratification for forever. There is that aspect but we need to talk about a few things. One, deprivation as it relates to budgeting the way we see it at a company that’s called You Need a Budget, we’re quite friendly but in your face about it. We mean you need to make sure your money is buying the things you want. The end.

That means a lot of times people will come back to us with phrases like, “I feel like I’ve gotten a raise,” and they haven’t but they feel it. It’s because their money has been doing things they don’t care about. Before we worry about depriving ourselves, let’s worry about cutting the money that you will not even feel you’re missing and that happens all the time. There is a gimme here that I hesitate to say because I never want to give anyone the impression that they shouldn’t spend money on whatever they want. Restaurants are what people will cut.

MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets

Evaluate Budgets: Knowing the why behind a purchase is more important than knowing the amount.


When I ask them, “How did you find all that extra money to get out of debt a lot faster?” They’ll do the things, Jason, “I look at my subscriptions and recurring bills.” They’ll do that and then that’s a one and done. Every time we interview someone on a big-money story where they’ve paid off tons of debt, it’s like, “Where did the money come from?” Every time, they say, “We realized we were eating out a lot.” There is that.

During 2020, we all got to test what it’s like to maybe not eat out as often. I’m all for supporting local businesses. You can use that but not as a justification for throwing money after something that you don’t care about. There’s that. The other part that you said was a need. It is such an evil word. Needs versus wants is where you see it framed a lot of the time. “Jason, I need this.” I’ve told you right then but not up for debate, Jason. I said it was a need. Needs don’t get to be questioned. If I say, “I want this,” you can be like, “Why do you want that one? Spotify doesn’t even play that many advertisers. Why would you want Apple Music?” If I say, “I need Apple Music.” I’m like, “We can’t talk about it.”

Everything we buy without exception is a want. You can chase that and it’s always consistent. “I want to clothe my children.” I don’t want to clothe my children in expensive clothes but I’m still in want territory. “I want shelter. Do I want a 1,000 square foot house or a 10,000 square foot house?” It’s still a want. It’s all wants. If we can get away from need versus want, we don’t have to put that artificial line in the sand that now says, “This stuff is never up for debate.” Let’s let it all be questioned. Not all the time because our brain would get exhausted. We need to take shortcuts but regularly, some of the time. There’s no such thing as a need.

On this topic of restaurants, for sure people are eating out at restaurants less in terms of in-person but it seems like a lot of people are ordering in. Businesses like Postmates are thriving. As a result whether you’re getting delivery or you’re picking up, those businesses have still been a big deal. I noticed on social media how many people will openly admit that they have plenty of food at home but they’re ordering out from a restaurant because they’re tired, they feel lazy or doing it to cope.

That ties into that retail therapy, which is an important thing to touch upon, Jesse. I’m curious how this comes up with your clients. Are people willing to admit when they’re buying something truly as a want because it’s serving some emotional desire based on their mindset and their lifestyle, feeling stressful and they’re burnt out? A lot of these tough emotional things that go on, people will often justify buying things like food more often or spending a lot of money on food because it’s emotional satisfaction.

Knowing the why behind that purchase is more important than the amount quite possibly. We all know in the food space, they’re budgeting in food or they’re close cousins. You can draw analogies all day long. One of the things in food that we know is caloric deficits will lead to weight loss. I feel like that’s indisputable at this point. That’s about a 60% effect. You can start to get to a smaller percentage where you’re saying, “You might care a little bit about the macro profile. If you hit calories, you’d be well-off.”

It’s interesting where if you can get people to focus on why they are eating, it starts to the right size or regulate itself if you’re dealing with someone that is struggling with that. It’s the same with money. As you try and probe why you find more firepower for resisting where your willpower is gone. At the end of the day, everyone’s willpower is gone because we expend decision power throughout the day and it accumulates.

We’ll have people in our software and they’ll write notes to themselves in the memo field. They’ll rank why they bought it. They’ll say like, “On a happiness scale,” sometimes they’ll use that or they’ll say, “Swamped from work, tired or lost my willpower.” Going back, going through a few transactions and asking that, it’s strange that it empowers you to acknowledge your weakness. I don’t mean weakness in this judging way. We all end up coping. That word resonates with me. That’s what we do. It’s a way for us to quickly address something in a way that we see. Maybe it’s a short-term solution but it works.

To be frank, we do well with Debtors Anonymous where people can go in and it’s about building awareness around the activities and the why behind it. Also slowly, reprogramming those habits they’ve created to cope. We say that sometimes, in a way, retail therapy sounds trite or it would belong in a sitcom. You’d have people that are introducing major dysfunction into their lives through habitual shopping where packages remain unopened and piling up and they can’t stop. It is real.

Getting to the why and building an army of awareness around those purchases can help people start to slowly work through that. I’m not saying at all that it’s easy. It is serious. With someone who is an alcoholic becoming sober, this is real stuff. It’s about figuring out and finding some hook where you could say, “This is what I’ll use. This is what I can land on.” We found as people become more aware of their why behind their behavior, it does help move them along.

On that note, I’m curious what the next steps are because Jason and I fully agree that awareness is the first step. A lot of people struggle to make a change even when they’re aware. It’s similar to smoking cigarettes. It’s common knowledge that smoking cigarettes are not good for your health but people do it anyways and there’s the addiction. I don’t know for sure but I would imagine that there is some addiction that people have to make purchases of any type and how that gives them that hit of satisfaction. People acknowledge this openly and yet still do it.

I’ll see this on TikTok a lot. People are saying, “I love ordering packages on Amazon but as soon as I get the package, the high is gone.” They look for the other high. Unfortunately, social media platforms, including TikTok are encouraging that cycle because they show you all these products and then you say, “I have to have it. I need to have it,” versus I want to have it. “I need to have this thing and this is going to make me feel better.” They order it and they look forward to it. It arrives and then the high starts to go down. They get the products, realize it doesn’t make them feel any better and then they’re on the hunt for the next one.

What is from me, and what is from my environment? Click To Tweet

The same thing can happen with food where you think, “I’m going to chase that high. I’m going to get whatever food. I’m going to go to the restaurant. I’m going to have this experience. I’m going to drink alcohol.” That whole thing happens and then you get home or you finish eating and the high is gone. Now you’re sitting there and the cycle continues. Jesse, what happens next when somebody goes, “I know I’m doing this.” A lot of people seem willing to acknowledge the problem but not fully be willing to change. I’m curious what you found that makes somebody more willing to change and work on it until the change happens.

The marketer in me wants to know exactly what they would experience that would make them think, “I need a budget.” We’re in the business of almost preventative medicine where we want to get in front of something or someone but it’s hard to sell when there’s no pain. This sounds malicious a little bit but we want to be there when someone has that a-ha moment. A big one in the US, everyone gets their W-2 and it tells them how much money they’ve made. The next thought they have is, “I didn’t. There’s no way I made that much money because I have nothing.” They’ve spent it all and they think HR made a mistake. We all know HR makes no mistakes. They have this data point that’s like, “You made an adult amount of money.” That’s what people will say, “I realized I was making adult money. What was going on?” If we could be a little angel on their right shoulder that says, “You need a budget,” right at that moment, we would do so well.

It’s these events that take place that trigger people to think, “I need a budget.” They’re going to have a baby especially the first one. They’re going to buy a house, their student loans have now come due because it’s six months after graduation and reality, like a Mack truck has hit them at that point. I wish we could get ahead of that. Ask me in a few years how we’re doing. Divorce is one and that’s a sad one. That’ll happen but also marriage is one. That will get people thinking, “We’ve got to figure out the money.” Getting a raise is a positive one and losing a job is a negative one but they’re these big events that take place where people think, “I’ve got to get stuff together. I’m not doing this right.” That’s where we want to be.

To your point about what they do, they know they need to do better in this situation but where do they start? We start every person at the same exact spot. Whitney, let’s say you are an average starter and you have $300 in your checking account and that’s that is average. Jason, I don’t know why you think you need a budget everyone does but let’s say you got $30,000 in your checking account. I could coach you both simultaneously on your start and I would say, “Jason and Whitney, different zeros at the end of this number. What does that money need to do before you are paid again?”

Whitney, yours would be faster because you only have the $300 so you’re like, “Gas for the car, food and maybe I have a bill due.” For Jason, the possibilities are endless for some people, that is the case but it’s the same thing. What do you want it to do? You’re like, “I’ve got to put gas in the car,” but he happens to have $29,700 extra that he can also put to whatever he wants. It’s still both of you being proactive and deciding beforehand what the money will do. For the person that has the impulse to spend away a stressor or worry, they have now this plan that they have to confront and say, “This according to my plan?” When the plan isn’t, “There’s a little money in your checking account. Could you or could you not buy this?” Whitney’s like, “It’s $60 for gas and I’m not kidding about that one and that bill is $110 and I need to pay it. I have $130 left to do this or that thing with. $40 of it was for my nephew’s birthday. Do I want to take from that?”

It’s interesting where we start to have you doing the trade-off of not, “Do I have money in my bank account? Do I want to take money from my nephew’s birthday present?” I say that only because it sounds mean to do it. You can do whatever you want but at least now you have the real trade-off in hand and the person that impulsively shops, spends or the average person that’s maybe not dealing with real issues like that. They’re still doing a healthy trade-off, where we’re now saying, “Jason, do you want to go do sushi? Do you want to fund that summer vacation where you road trip out to Utah and see all the sights?”

No one ever holds those both up and says, “These are equal? What should I do?” That’s exactly what we want to have happened. Future Jason and current Jason are both sitting there at the table saying, “What are we going to do?” The future Jason’s like, “In three weeks, the car tire blows out. I’ll need a tow truck. Throw me a little.” Current Jason’s like, “For sure. I don’t want to leave you on the side of the road.” It’s those trade-offs and that’s where someone that naturally or impulsively, finds it easy to cope a little bit with spending, they are now not looking at a bank account that has no information except what’s inside. They’re now looking at their plan that says, “All this money, you decided you wanted to do this. Do you want to move it around and maybe we can squeeze it in somehow?” That’s totally okay but at least they’re there now. They’ve got good information and decision quality improves and all we do is teach this all day long to people and we pay the bills with the software.

I want to get a little bit more personal, Jesse, in terms of what I’m facing as I’m methodically going through the budget. It seems that most things I have been able to either completely eliminate with no sense of deprivation honestly or things that I either dramatically reduced. There’s been a lot of elimination and a lot of reduction but the big thing and the challenge for me here in Los Angeles, where Whitney and I live, has been the exorbitant cost of living and specifically housing. I barely drive anymore. I save money on car insurance. It seems like every line item I’ve been able to take out the proverbial machete and hack.

Housing is a unique thing in the sense that I’m renting the house that I’m in. It’s a precarious moment because with everything being what it is, I could possibly ask for a rent reduction but with the relationship I have with my land person, it’s likely not going to happen. One of the reasons that I have been looking to leave Los Angeles and buy a house elsewhere is because I’m adamant about wanting to reduce my expenses. By far, the biggest line item on my budget is the rent, utilities and cost of being in this house.

In a situation like mine, I don’t feel sad or bad about leaving LA. I feel excited about it. By and large, if I were to move to a different place, I could easily cut my housing expenses by 50% easily. I think about that and I go, “That’s not a small amount of money.” When I calculate what I spent on rent and utilities and house insurance, it’s by far the biggest expense every single year for me. That seems to be a thing that’s a little trickier because it’s uplifting and it’s looking at a different place to live. Some people might view that as extreme. I don’t view it as extreme.

MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets

Evaluate Budgets: It’s not normal to not have money stress.


What I’m asking is some people are like, “Why would you leave LA? It’s so beautiful and gorgeous. The lifestyle is great there.” I’m like, “Yeah but it’s outrageously expensive for me to continue to be here when I know I could allocate that money toward paying down the debt and investing.” I’m at a point where I’m like, “I’m going to pick up and move.” Is that something you flat-out recommend to people you work with? It’s like, “You should move. If you want to save money, get out of where you’re living and go somewhere else.” Is that a common recommendation? Do you find that extreme? How do you feel about that?

That is not a common recommendation only because people haven’t maybe voiced it. What you’re doing is you’re saying, “Saving this money and achieving these other goals is starting to feel more important than living where I live.” There it is. I don’t see that as extreme. It’s extreme to live in the same place and not be more mobile than we are. Somewhere along the last 100 years or so, we move less. We don’t chase opportunity the way we used to. I’m speaking broadly here but people would move for the opportunity. It might be that we’re all connected a little more. You can experience so many things from afar in a fairly cool way with how everything’s digitally shared.

At the end of the day, sometimes there are jobs and opportunities that would require you to move and our tendency to treat those as legitimate opportunities have gone away. I’m not sure why. Societally, I couldn’t speak to that intelligently but it’s a thing. We’re more extreme in how much we stay put these days than someone years ago. My granddad had a farm in Idaho, got polio and couldn’t work the farm so he moved down to Arizona and worked with his brother to start a car dealership. This was back in the 1950s. That was not strange. A couple of states down is not too big of a deal but we now see that as a little different than we used to. It’s sometimes fun to look back and say, “Maybe we’re extreme now.” Maybe that’s what we’re saying. At least it’s a useful thought exercise to think how extreme you are being stained is another way to put it.

I like to flip things on their head, look at them again and see what other thoughts I have, basically. I like your idea because you spoke clearly about valuing these other goals more than the location where you live. Could you go back later? Absolutely. You could move back. It’s not a one-and-done. It’s not permanent. It’s not a one-way road. They’ll accept you. They’ll take you in. You’ll be fine. Call it an experiment. Say, “I’m going to go for a few years to see what happens.”

I took at the time my six kids and Julie. We moved to Manhattan. It was the end of 2017. I used the reason that the book was coming out and I had to go record the audiobook in the same studio where Harry Potter was recorded. I was like, “This is cool.” I got a lot of cool dad points telling my kids that. I’m sitting in the studio and recording that. It took me one week to record the book. I said, “Julie, we should go live there for a little while.” Six kids are crazy.

We lived in the Upper West Side, which is the more family-oriented side but I’m coming from Utah and I’m going to find family-oriented in Manhattan, not even close. It was so fun. We look back on those three months. One, I tried to live there for a year and Julie said, “You did a bait and switch. You said three months. We’re going back.” It was exhausting to live with that many kids in that city. We had to work hard for everything but it was fun and an amazing experience for my kids to see diversity and hear languages.

That public school system has 190 languages. It was so rich in experience. All these kids, meaning mine, are all hopping on the subway and they’re learning how to ride around. We’re giving them a long leash as we reasonably can and we still talk about New York, not three days go by when we don’t talk fondly about living there for 90 days. I say that all to promote the idea of experiments. You can move a little and test something out. Find a place where you say, “I’m not leaving forever. I love you. You love me. I might be back but I’m doing a little experiment.” Go for it. I love it.

As a follow-up question, Jason, I wonder what’s stopping you because to Jesse’s point, you outlined it. It seems to make sense. I know Jesse doesn’t know this but I am aware that you’ve been talking about this for a long time and you haven’t done it yet. My curiosity is what is truly stopping you. What are the barriers? If it keeps coming up for you over and over again it sounds like a strong why. It comes back, Jesse to the question I asked you, which is you can know what you want, you can know what you don’t want but still not make a change. Jason, what is it that’s keeping you if you feel so confident in this why?

Burn it all down and see what comes out of the ashes. Click To Tweet

It’s that I am aware of wanting to leave and why I want to leave. I have those pieces of information. The piece of information I don’t yet have is where to. I’ve communicated to Whitney, “I feel cool in Denver. I like Denver.” In the Pacific Northwest, I was there before the pandemic and I have this resonance when I was in Washington and Oregon up in the trees in the forests, the clean water and the clean air. I feel a particular resonance but I’m not sure exactly where. Is it Seattle? Is it Portland?

Maybe I’m done being in a big city because I’ve been in big cities my whole life. The piece I don’t yet have is that feeling of, “That’s the place. Let’s pick up, pack it up, get a place and go.” The piece of information I’m waiting on is basically I want to take a road trip up there, take two weeks and explore. Hit Bellingham, Vancouver, Portland and all the little towns too and see how it hits my body. Do the energy of this place and the people feel like a place where I want to be? You talked about the excitement of New York, Jesse, and that’s so cool. What a contrast or me going from New York to Manhattan. That’s a wonderful contrast.

You taught in Manhattan.

For me, contrast is an interesting part of this because for me, having lived in huge cities, including New York, growing up in Detroit, living in Chicago and LA for years, it’s been cities. For me, I’m craving nature, simplicity, land and those kinds of things. To answer your question, Whit, I don’t have that piece of information of, “This is the place I want to go check out.” Once I have more clarity on that, the wheels are in motion.

The question is how are you going to get the clarity? What you’re bringing up is a common challenge. People have decision fatigue with too many options. I’m curious. I want to know Jason, first of all, how are you going to decide. Jesse, I’d like to know if there is another way that you would guide him beyond that. Is there another level to making this decision?

First of all, spending a few days in each place and feeling the energy there. What’s Ashland, Oregon like versus Bellingham, Washington versus Seattle? How do I feel in those places? Do I feel at ease? Do I feel excited? Do I feel creatively engaged? What are the people like that I’m meeting there? Through information harvesting and the experiment of visiting these places, many of which I’ve never been to, I feel like that is going to allow me to say, “Definitely not Seattle and definitely not this place.” Get the funnel a little more narrow to maybe a few places that are like, “That feels good. I loved my time there.” I feel like that’s going to give me the clarity to move forward with a decision because I haven’t been to enough places up in the Pacific Northwest to feel there’s a direct magnetic pole to one specific place.

The next step is making a plan to go do those things.

The organizer of Whitney comes out. She’s like, “I like this. We could do this.”

We’re going to pause for one second to that point, Jesse. My sister was giving me such a hard time. She’s coming to visit in a few months and it’s the first time that she’s come to visit me. Now that things have shifted hopefully in a better direction with the pandemic and it feels safer for us, we’re making this plan. For her and most people I know, if they booked the plane ticket, they’re good. Not for me. I made a spreadsheet of our entire trip. I’ve marked my calendar. I’ve been thinking about it every day and analyzing if we should do this or that.

I asked her these questions, presented the options and she was like, “Whitney, this is way too much.” I realized that it brings me immense comfort, security and pleasure. That’s why I do it. Yes, it is months away and for most people, they don’t need to think about it but for me, that helps me out so much mentally. It’s okay that people make fun of me for it because it’s for me and not for them. Jason is similar to my sister. Anytime I’ve traveled with Jason or done anything with Jason, Jason’s a fly by the seat of his pants person. He’ll probably buy a ticket or plan a road trip and do it next week. Forbid, he planned it months in advance as I would.

It’s funny because there’s a book called Ready, Fire, Aim and I’m more of like, “I want to have it done.” I will make a decision because it’s done and done for me is good so I would stress you out, Whitney. We all have to temper that where we lean a direction and I’ve recognized I have to have people around me especially in business where I say, “My tendency is to shoot first and start to get my sights lined up.” You have people around you that may be like to aim. I married one of those people.

She wants to make the right decision and we need to do a lot of analysis where I’m like, “If we would make a decision, we could move along.” She’s like, “No.” That stresses her out. It’s always that tension. I liked what you said, Jason. I’m a huge fan of simulations because it’s a way for you to test things out. What you’re talking about, going up and getting a feel, you’re doing a little bit of a simulation. You’re doing the best you can. We know simulations aren’t real but we train pilots on them and they’re effective. They work well.

On the flip side, this is Jesse coming out, a ready, fire aim approach is you tell the owner of the house, “This is my last day.” You have a plan and Whitney will guide you on how to get that filled out and ready to roll. You also have the idea of doing these experiments and Jesse gets to throw in a real deadline to make sure that we’re cruising in the right direction. I love every approach that we’ve talked about but say, “Go for it.” You’ve been thinking about it a ton. It’s time to maybe have someone shove you out of the plane.

I have to laugh at that analogy because having gone skydiving, it was not even thinking about it, taking the class or going up in the plane. This is an interesting metaphor for life. The moment that I was a terror was when they opened the hatch on the side of the plane and all the wind came rushing in. The moment hit of, “This is real.” You’re 12,000 feet in the air and you’re not going to ask them to land this plane. You’ve come this far but it wasn’t until the moment the hatch opened, I saw the clear blue sky and wind rushing in it for God knows how many miles per hour then it was like, “Now a decision must be made.” I love that you said that Jesse because that’s a very visceral and real analogy. Whitney’s also been skydiving so I know she gets that. Have you been skydiving, Jesse? Have you done that before?

I have. For me, it was weird and this is maybe the ready, fire, aim guy that jumped out of the plane but I was alone that time. Once you have kids, you’re like, “I’m not going to do that again.” I was 18 or 19. I did the whole class and I did the static line jump where it unravels for you. I didn’t do tandem and for me, the adrenaline and the fear came when I crash-landed. It’s hard to land those. For anyone that thinks they’re going to come in gracefully like James Bond, it is so hard to do that. I crash-landed but I was safe. All my bones were still intact. All of a sudden, this wave of adrenaline released. I had the shakes. I could barely stand. I was shaky.

MGU 264 | Evaluate Budgets

Evaluate Budgets: Creating something out of nothing gives deep satisfaction.


It was interesting. My brain pushed that out. It pushed out what I was doing, even when he was like, Door open.” I had to stand on the wheel of this tiny plane and rotate myself out. I was like, “I’m standing on a wheel.” Nothing was good but you were devolving to your training and saying, “Step 1, step 2, step 3,” and my body caught up to me after the fact. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not. I feel like that might be unhealthy but it was an interesting experiment to do that and see my body’s response. I’m in full-on shakes after I’m on the ground totally safe. It was bizarre.

What about you, Whit? I was there for skydiving and I don’t remember. When was the most extreme or terrifying moment for you?

It was the moment that I came out of the plane. For years after I sky dove and I haven’t had this experience in a while but I would think about it and see the footage from the video and remember exactly how it felt coming out of the plane. I’m not as connected to it so must have been the most intense part. I did it as video production, Jesse. It wasn’t that they filmed it for fun. It was a video project I worked on so I was compartmentalized and focused on the video that I wasn’t as concerned about the personal experience. Even though I did enjoy it, my brain was mostly thinking, “Am I getting the right shots? Is everything making sense here?” In a way, that probably helped me cope.

I do remember it vividly. I remember coming down, seeing Jason, telling him about it and the whole rush of it but it’s different for each person. That indicates how we cope and how our brains work differently. That’s why it is so important to work with someone like you Jesse when it comes to your finances because each person has different needs and different structures and works in a unique way that only an experienced guide can support them with. I’m grateful for your expertise in this because now we know who to call on when somebody needs a budget.

For me, I love budgeting money. It has been a huge passion and comfort level for me most of my life. The income is where I struggle. I don’t struggle with budgeting at all and it’s so interesting generating income and building confidence around money. That stuff I get stuck on but budgeting and I’m like, “This is awesome.” I get excited about it and I’m motivated. I know exactly how much money I have almost every single day, where it’s going and the balance sheets. I have a spreadsheet and I use multiple online tools to track my money coming in and out and it brings me deep satisfaction. Most people aren’t like that who I’ve met and they feel uncomfortable around it. It’s a big challenge and that’s why we have to remember how relative money is. That’s one of my big takeaways.

One of the best things that we as a business have going for us is the strong community that organically has rallied around it. When you have people start to change their behavior and see positive effects, they can’t help but want to share it with others. Sometimes they should stop because they keep telling their friends, “You’ve got to try this.” That being said, you can lean a lot on community. If you’re finding in your immediate friend group that they’re making you the odd person out and you feel a little bit of a pariah if you’re watching your money closely, all of a sudden. The beauty of this connected age and there’s probably a dark cloud of it as well. For me, the silver lining on being so connected is you can find people that are totally cheering, rooting for you and also telling you, “I had that experience.”

It took me a little while to get to that. I had some missteps, I stumbled a little bit and I restarted my budget 4, 5, 6 times. That’s normal. All of that is so helpful when we’re getting started. I want to encourage people if they’re thinking, “I should maybe give my money a look.” Find a community that will support you that won’t try and drag you down to that status quo. It’s not normal to not have money stress. As soon as you eliminate it, you’ll be the odd person out. You’ll want to have a group that you can celebrate and commiserate with that can teach you the nuts and bolts. I’m happy to say that our Reddit group is phenomenal. We don’t run it. Reddit runs itself.

They do their thing but it’s fun to see people come on and say, “I’m having a hard time cheering.” It’s the most upbeat Reddit I’ve ever seen as far as subreddits go. It doesn’t have that level of Reddit level toxicity that you can get in there so that’s been fun. We even have a YNAB for Singles Facebook group that’s popped up and popular. People are thinking, “I want to find a partner that thinks about money like this.” I don’t go in there. That’s all good but I’m amazed.

If you can get the money thing right and we have even talked about relationships. We’ve talked about individuals dealing with their money but all you’ve got to do is throw another person in with their money stories, habits, behaviors, perceptions and you try to combine those two people, we can blow up. It’s doing it with another person. It’s so key that you figured out that why that you talked about Whitney. You figure out the why together. At the end of the day, if I can hit on this when you’re budgeting with a spouse, partner or significant other when you’ve decided you’re going to share finances in some way and that how that looks can be different.

When you’re sharing finances, what you’re talking about is three people coming into the budgeting table. Jason, you’ve got you. You’ve got your girlfriend if I recall. I don’t know her name but she’s there. Jason’s priorities, her priorities and your priorities combined. It’s that view of things. Jason, you might have yours. Your little priorities that only you care about, that needs to be respected, hers also needs to be respected and you’re combined, like, “We’re going to move.” Big respect to that one. Recognize that there were individuals coming together to create this and the individuals still exist and still get to have a say. It’s critical that we recognize three people who come to that budget meeting, not to mention the future versions of you that also walk up and say, “Throw us a bone.”

There are six.

I didn’t want to go there because it’s like, “How big of a table are we talking about? This is a big table this is a lot of people.”

It’s a better budget for a bigger table. We’re going to add a bigger kitchen table to the budget because right as we speak, my kitchen table can only seat four comfortably. Maybe it’s a good time for me to pick up woodworking so I can build the said table. Maybe that maybe by moving and getting a proper work shed, ala before we started Jesse you were regaling the intricacies in the multipurpose space you are recording in and I thought in my head, “I need that, too. I want that, too.”

My one exception is woodworking. It’s always a need. That was the asterisk on that rule. For me, woodworking is stepping away from computers, digital and everything fast. It gets to be slow with your hands and you make mistakes. It’s Zen. You just get in there. I love it. Creating something out of nothing even as junky as it is what I create, I still find deep satisfaction. I promote the shed idea for you.

One of the signs of maturity is the ability to defer gratification. Click To Tweet

It’s definitely going on the list of envisioning. Jesse, you’ve left me, the readers, Whitney and all of us with so many nuggets of gold. The big one that I’m going to do is sit down and have that conversation with my future self. To me, that resonates in such a way that I’ve never attempted to do something like that. I’ve got my journal right here on the desk in my office. Later on, after work is done. I want to take some quiet time and sit. I’m not even sure what I’m doing but I’m going to sit down and have this conversation with future Jason and write down and see what comes through. You also left us with a perspective that I love which is your energy around all this. It’s accepting, open and grounded talking about money and budgeting.

The thing that we love is your energy. I’m not even sure how to describe it. You feel like a cool brother to me that’s like, “I’m going to help you get your ish together. It’s all good. I’m going to help you get it together.” Your approach is awesome Jesse and it’s always wonderful having a conversation with you. We will have more episodes coming out every Monday and Wednesday. We have episodes every Friday. We have our guests so click, subscribe and follow @Wellevatr because we will be bringing you a lot more life experiments. With that, Jesse, thank you for sharing these new life experiments with us and thanks for taking the pressure off. I honestly feel psychically and emotionally better about these big decisions coming up by talking to you so thank you for that.

I appreciate that. Those are kind words!


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About Jesse Mecham 

MGU 264 | Evaluate BudgetsPersonal finance expert, speaker, and business leader, Jesse Mecham is the Founder of You Need A Budget (or YNAB if you are very busy and important). Jesse hosts the You Need A Budget podcast, and is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of, You Need A Budget. (He’s nothing if not consistent!) A self-proclaimed “recovering CPA,” he is deeply passionate about teaching individuals, families, and business owners YNAB’s Four Rules to help them gain total control of their money. Jesse first developed the YNAB method and original spreadsheet as a broke, newly married college student who really needed a budget. In an attempt to make an additional $300/month to cover rent, he sold his spreadsheet online and YNAB was born.

Since 2004, the software has grown into a leading personal finance platform and has helped hundreds of thousands of people break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money. Now, YNAB has a growing team living and working all around the world, and has built a thriving remote culture that earned recognition as Fortune’s #1 best small company to work for. (YNAB was doing remote work before it was cool!) When not teaching people how to budget, Jesse loves gardening, woodworking, marksmanship, and travel. He also spends a good bit of time with his wife and the seven small people that live in their house. To learn more, visit


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