Episode 47

You Need a Budget with Jesse Mecham

November 24, 2015

This week we’re joined by Jesse Mecham, the founder of YouNeedABudget.com. We’re getting real about budgeting your money for both your business and your personal life, but also shifting your mindset so it’s not a scary thing. Jesse shares the emotional aspect of money, and creating awareness around your bank account.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"A budget is just a fancy word for deciding beforehand what you want to do with your money."
- Jesse Mecham

Discussed in this Episode

  • The importance of having a budget
  • The emotion behind money
  • The necessity to change your budget / roll with the punches
  • How to get over the fear of money and budgeting
  • Creating awareness


More from Jesse Mecham

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do and see it through

Emily Thompson 0:10
being bosses hard. Lending work in life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn't easy,

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
but getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable if you do the work. being bossed is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Brought to you by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:32
Hi, I'm Emily. And I own indie typography, where I help passionate entrepreneurs establish and grow their business online. By helping them build brands that attract and websites that sell. I help my clients launch their business so they can do more of what they love, and make money doing it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:50
And I'm Kathleen, I'm the CO owner of braid creative where I specialize in branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs who want to blend who they are with what they do narrow in on their core genius and shape their content so they can position themselves as experts to attract more dream clients.

Emily Thompson 1:09
And being boss as a podcast where we're talking shop, giving you a peek behind the scenes of what it takes to build a business, interviewing other working creatives and figuring it out as we go right there with you.

Kathleen Shannon 1:21
Check out our archives at loving boss calm.

Emily Thompson 1:25
Welcome to episode number 47. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Kathleen Shannon 1:31
Today, Emily and I are so excited to be chatting with the founder of you need a budget Jessie Mika. Alright, you guys, I have a little bit of homework for you. We talked about this a little bit later in the episode. But I want you guys to track all of your expenses. Even if it's old fashioned on a piece of paper, I want you to track all of your personal expenses. So the things that you spend money on every single month personally, and then I want you to track your business expenses. What are the things that you're spending on in business every single month? I think that this is one of the first steps to really getting control of your money is just looking at where it's going. Then you can see really how much you need to make and how much you want to make to live the kind of life that you want to live. And be sure to keep on listening in the episode. But I wanted to mention that freshbooks is a really great place for tracking your business expenses. freshbooks is the easy to use online cloud accounting designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs who are not accountants who did not major in financing and even for creative entrepreneurs who hate talking or thinking about money freshbooks is there to help you run your business and make you look like a pro while doing it. Try fresh books for free today go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and select being boss in the How did you hear about us section? All right on to the show. Hey guys, we are so excited to have Jesse Meachem the founder of you need a budget calm on being boss here today. Emily is a huge fan. And her husband David who's also our Chief Financial Officer for being boss. But Jesse is a man of many talents whenever he's not speaking about or writing about or fine tuning software for you need a budget and he enjoys playing the piano, doing CrossFit and honing his golf swing. So he's like a man's man. Jesse, you have a degree in our masters of accounting, accounting, accountancy.

Jesse Mecham 3:50
Fancy accounting, I guess.

Kathleen Shannon 3:53
You have a CPA license. It sounds like you legitimately know what sweat whenever it comes to money and budgets.

Jesse Mecham 4:02
Yeah, the CPA licenses lapsed. Now I had it for one year, it was a good run. But yeah, let it go. So, so I'm recovering still from now. It was a good education, killer, good education. If you want to get into business, understanding the money part is good.

Kathleen Shannon 4:23
Well tell us a little bit more about yourself and why you created you need a budget.

Jesse Mecham 4:28
So it's, you know, Necessity is the mother of invention, right? And I got married super young. I was 20 I just turned 22 I got married. So super young, married super sweet girl Julie. And and then we also had a baby really fast after that. So on my first little guy he was born in June of oh four so we were still in school. I had to finish that accounting degree. Julie got her degree in social work. Which doesn't pay great, you know. And so we were just really strapped and but you know, it's classic. You're in school, and you're and you're poor. So nothing new there. But I did. I did realize that things were tight and we needed a budget. And I started just kind of tinkering and building. And luckily, when we were first married, Julie was totally on board, no honeymoon phase and all that. And I was like, hey, should we can we do this budget? And she was like, yeah, sure, because you're great, because we just got married a week ago, you know. So that was, it worked out totally fine. And, and we got, yeah, we got going on that. And then over the first like, year or two, I just kind of recognized that, even with our very meager income at the time, that it was working really well for us. And over time, I've seen it's paid in the relationship a ton, but it was just it. Yeah, it really opened up my eyes that people needed that. And so from that, I started what we call wine m, because we're all busy. We can't say the whole name. So

Kathleen Shannon 6:01
I was wondering if you guys call it why NAB Yeah, you need a budget. It's funny because I got married super young that marriage did not last and it happened over a budget whenever my ex suggested we start budgeting. I was like, see ya freaky. It's

Jesse Mecham 6:14
freaky. It's freaky. It's like, Hey, I'm gonna handcuff you. Is that okay? With you? It's like, No, it's not. Okay. I know. I don't want to do that. Yeah, it's it's the I mean, I think what is it, the number one reason in relationships that that it goes south is because of money.

Kathleen Shannon 6:28
It is such a sensitive topic. And we talk here on being boss a lot about really keeping track of your finances professionally, that looking at your expenses, sending people invoices, so you can have income, it's so important. But let's talk a little bit more about personal budgeting.

Jesse Mecham 6:46
Well, that's, that's interesting that you say we talk about kind of being professional because when it goes personal, we set we suddenly think that what you would do in your business doesn't or shouldn't apply. But really, if you take that kind of pro mindset, like, Hey, I'm the boss here, like I'm running my gig, then if you just apply that same little bit of rigor to your personal budget, you find out that it gives you so much more freedom, it lowers your stress. And it really opens things up for you where people are afraid that it's going to be like, hey, you can't have sugar for the rest of your life, you know, that, that type of thing. And so, we really want to get people thinking that you do want to treat your personal finances. treat them like you would, you know, business. But don't be so stodgy. You know, that's, that's one part, you got to loosen up, you got to maybe get to that. But yeah, you do want to take that mindset across. And yeah, kind of be an adult about it. At the end of the day,

Emily Thompson 7:53
that's always the hard part being an adult. So we use why not very religiously, in our home, and in our business, David is my partner and he manages all the money. And it's, it's one of those things where I don't want to look at it, I've got a million other things to do. And I can trust him to manage all the things, which is really great. And we have wine app for both business and personal as two separate accounts that we have, and we manage it all separately. But all together, they're going why NAB and since we've started using it, it has changed everything. Because we were really good about budgeting business stuff. And whenever we did do the transition to doing personal as well. It's certainly something where we found so much more freedom in our life as well as our business by having these budgets in place and knowing how much money we can spend. I don't have to think about it. I have the pleasure of not having to think about money on that scale. Because one, I have David managing it for me, for us, because he loves it. And do because we have this really great piece of software that makes it really easy for us to budget everything. We just got back from being lost New Orleans and money management was part of that job for me. We took 75 of our bosses to New Orleans and it was a lot of fun, but we had to manage a lot of money to do it. So having David bare using why NAB even to guide me as to what I couldn't couldn't spend money on allowed me to buy dinner for everyone without batting an eye. The fact that we were literally spending 1000s of dollars on dinner, having a bit of a shopping budget and not having to think about how much money I could spend because we had a budget in place that gave me room to play without thinking about it. It was a really pretty great scenario. And all made possible because we had a budget in place.

Kathleen Shannon 9:47
Yeah, Emily, you seem super chill whenever we were spending 1000s of dollars on dinner and even though we had the money it was like it freaked me out but you were so calm about it probably because you had a budget Got it really calmed me down about it too. Good.

Emily Thompson 10:03
I'm glad to hear that

Jesse Mecham 10:04
the ticket with that is if you don't have a budget and a budget, just a fancy word for for deciding beforehand what you want to do with your money, right? And people don't bristle when you say, hey, do you want to have like a schedule for our vacation to Paris? No one says like, Oh my gosh, vacation to Paris, like, I would never want to schedule that. No, you have like, let's hit the Eiffel Tower. Let's hit these few things, highlights. No one thinks that's crazy to plan ahead. When it comes to money, and I'm like, hey, what things would you like your money to do? Suddenly, it's really restrictive. So the difference, when you don't have that plan beforehand, and you go to like this event in New Orleans, and then you can't spend anything. So because you haven't allowed yourself to spend anything, every single penny that you spend is just full of guilt, full of questioning, even though it's totally, it could be totally fine. You can have tons and tons in the bank have everything ready to roll, it's totally fine. You're totally in the grain. And still your emotional feeling is this is a little stressful. Like I because I haven't given myself permission to do this. So the opposite of permission is it's totally restricted. So what we really try and get people to do is just say, What do you want, and then you go from there, and nobody wants loads of credit card debt, nobody wants money stress, that we have to really be intentional and make decisions and not judge, right? Like I used to really, I've really had to rip this out of my soul to kind of like pass judgment on people spending, I used to say, oh, if you love to buy shoes, I would use that as an example. Like I said, a very stereotypical example, or we talked, we mentioned golf, I would do that I would say Oh, if you love golf as a stereotypical waste of money example, and I've really tried to get away from that and just be like, you know what, if you love shoes, you love shoes. If you're honest about it, you're honest about it and more power to you, you need more shoes, you know, but it's you've got to be intentional, and you got to really own it. And that that's where the stress all disappears when you really own it.

Kathleen Shannon 12:16
I want to talk a little bit about the emotion behind money, and maybe even just your money philosophy, I think a lot of and it was especially whenever I quit my day job and someone else wasn't handing me a paycheck anymore. And I was making my own paycheck, I really started thinking about what is money. And my philosophy is that money is energy. And money is just a good way to measure what that energy is. So I'm curious to hear your philosophy on money, if you ever go deep with it, or ever think like what is money, and then also maybe why there's so much emotion attached to it.

Jesse Mecham 12:53
My favorite book of all time, it's getting kind of old now, but it's your money or your life. And they've the original one that I read had kind of an investing section I didn't really care for, but the philosophical component was, money is time. And you're basically trading time, energy being I mean, you're trading your energy day in and day out, you are renting your energy and getting something back. And being able to flip that around and say like, this is my life. Suddenly, when you're when I tell you things like, hey, our first rule is to give every dollar a job, I'm really saying like, okay, you traded some of your life away for this pile of money, smaller, large. So what do you want to do with your life? And that is, it's not about dollars and cents at all, just what you said, that's just a measurement. But when I say what do you don't want to do with your life, people get really honest. And they really get to the essence of things. And then they're making really good decisions. There's all sorts of things where we run into like math, and I'm not a numbers person we get, we can get past all of that. But if you can just be honest about what do you want to do with your life, then, and I'm not talking about quit your job, or I mean, that's that stuff's all great. It's all great. I'm just, like, straight up. There's a guy who wants to work for 30 years in a widget factory on an assembly line. Cool. You've traded that for this big pile of money, what do you want to do with your life? And it gets people thinking in a good place. I think

Emily Thompson 14:26
that's good. I think that running out your time is such an interesting way of looking at it and the fact that your time is the energy used to make it do

Unknown Speaker 14:36

Jesse Mecham 14:38
Yeah, I mean, and it's not rent and like a bad thing at all like, right? Like, if you're happy doing what you're doing and you're happy collecting a paycheck like I don't like when people kind of like they kind of make the entrepreneurial thing really romantic. And it's not it's just one way to earn. earn some money one way to trade your energy but Flex sometimes people are kind of like, oh, you're your own boss would uh, I hope I'm not stepping on you guys here. But yeah. But it's just I don't like how they romanticize like, Oh, you've got your own business, you set your own schedule, you're like, set my own schedule. No way. Like, I got to show up, I got to stay. You know, it's not nearly as romantic as we think.

Kathleen Shannon 15:20
Yeah, this, this whole podcast is kind of an expose a on how hard it can be working for yourself. And that's what we try and do is help people be more boss and and remember that they're building their dream job. And it is a lot of asking yourself, what do you want? Yeah, I find a lot of people become almost depressed whenever they start working for themselves, because it's not as dreamy as they thought it might be. And that's because it still takes a lot of work. And I find that a lot of people start sacrificing more of who they are to their clients who are kind of their new bosses and not doing things that they want to be doing. And what's the point? If you're working for yourself? And you're not loving it? What's the point of working for yourself?

Unknown Speaker 16:02

Kathleen Shannon 16:02
So let's talk a little bit about the why NAB method, because it's not just a piece of software, you guys do have really good educational tools and philosophies behind what you're doing. So can you outline that method? A little bit?

Jesse Mecham 16:17
Absolutely. So we're really an education company. And we make money selling software to help you implement what we teach. But at our core, we're kind of a blend of tech and then education. So we give away the education and it's worked really well. And we've framework to kind of around four rules, the software is just built to support those four rules. The first one is that you give every dollar a job, just a fancy way of of answering that question, what do you want to do with your life? We have people just look at their checking account balance and say, What do you want this money to do? Before new money comes in? You know, before the client pays you? What do you want that money to do? and answer that question, and then re answer it, because you were wrong the first time and, and really kind of reassess. So this The second rule, we say embrace your true expenses. And a lot of times when I'm teaching this to people, I'll say like, hey, list your expenses, and I'll even maybe bait them and say, list your monthly expenses for me. And they'll say things like cable cell phone, maybe Netflix subscription or rent, they might say groceries, but their mind goes toward monthly events that happen fairly frequently. And that is what they feel are their expenses. And then you say things like, what about vacation? And they're like, Oh, yeah, that's not really a monthly expense, or what about the holidays? Like, do you know, Christmas comes every year, basically the same exact day. And we're always surprised. So we start to pick out these larger, less frequent expenses, and break them up into manageable monthly amounts. And we call that your true expenses. A lot of times people get caught when they're first budgeting. I fell in really good. And then something just comes out of nowhere, like big like quarterlies, for on for entrepreneurs. Right? Your quarterly taxes. Oh, yeah, that's like hell, right. And so, you know, you have this CPA, you know, haven't helped you, but you're working with a CPA and, and they're like, Did you pay your quarterly and you're like, my, what's, you know, like, I was doing really well, I got money in the bank. And it's like, oh, we have to take all the money. So that is a big, you know, whack on the side of the head. But that's a good example of something where you should break it down, set it aside monthly. And then when the bill comes due for that large, less frequent expense, you just pay it because you've been essentially paying it all along. And what we're really trying to do is just get those really steep ups and downs with money. They're the steepness, the height of the valleys, and the lows. Those are where we make really bad decisions. When things are really good and look like you've had five clients pay you in three days, you're like, Oh, my gosh, I am loaded, right? You're at this top. And then when things are really and you make really bad decisions, because you think you're totally rich. And then at the very bottom, when things are really bad, you're making really bad decisions, because you're stressed. So we really want to make it super boring. And just have it's like, oh, an expense came out did it? Oh, it auto paid. Oh, did it? I mean, just kind of like, oh, that went in and out. Okay, yeah. And just you just kind of cruise along. That's the whole idea with that second rule is to really capture what's coming in the future. That's bigger, break it down and then start to man,

Kathleen Shannon 19:33
I love the idea that money should be boring. Oh, so

Jesse Mecham 19:35
I mean, already is a horrible topic. Right? So if you make it boring, it's like who people really like Jessie, how much time do you spend budgeting and I'm like, I guarantee I spend less than you because I don't even it's just I mean, Julie and I sit down we you know, we decide what we want to do. Most of it's already decided it's like clothes for the kids. Yeah, okay, you know, pay the light bill. Of course you don't even think about that stuff. Yeah, we just talked about like war, where do we want to go on vacation? You know, we try and get out of the house twice a year at least, and do something kind of fun. That's where we talk. That's, if that's budgeting. I'll take it, you know, planning vacation.

Kathleen Shannon 20:12
Yeah, it's funny, because whenever I first started working for myself, I would pay myself when I got a big paycheck. And then if I didn't have a paycheck that month, or any clients, I would not be paying myself. So whenever my sister first partnered up with me at braid creative, like the first month, I wrote us a $6,000 paycheck. And she was like, wow, we're doing really well. And then the next month, it was like $300. And she's like, now can I take over the finances, and it got really boring. But we have a steady paycheck, it feels almost dayjob ish. Because we have a steady paycheck, we take our taxes out of that paycheck every two weeks. And no matter if we have a lot of clients or no clients, that month, we get the same amount. And then it comes with good old boring budgeting.

Jesse Mecham 21:01
Yeah, hats off to your sister. Because that's, that's tough for a lot of people to manage. But it's just when you're in that kind of ebb and flow scenario, reo, you know, realtor or whatever, where you've got big windfalls. And then drought, it's, it's no way to live. So you really want to as far as budgeting goes, you want to be setting more aside for paying your normal bills than someone would on a normal salary. And instead of having just one month set aside for your mortgage payment, maybe you decide well set aside three months, you know, because I kind of have these droughts, and you'll kind of want to fund into the future a little bit. So that I mean, that's the first two rules. The third rule is that you get to change what you did with the first two rules whenever you want. And this is license to let you change your mind. And it's a rule. Like you have to change your mind. So if I say to you, like, hey, three of us, let's, let's go on vacation, like let's go to the beach, and then it starts to rain. Just pour torrents of rain. Do we all just say Hey, no, we said beach, we're going to the beach, you know, and we just stand out there in the rain and have a miserable time. And we always are adjusted. If you drive home, you're you always drive home the same route, your goal is to go home. And then you see there's a detour, you don't just slam on the brakes. And like, sit there until the detour is cleared. You're like, okay, detour, I still want to go home, my goal hasn't changed. It's just there's, you know, I have new information. Now, I wouldn't have gone this way Had I known about the detour. And now you change your mind. When it comes to money. We're like, Okay, I'm going to spend $400 on food. And you really actually spend 700, but you're amped up. So you're like 400, you know, so you say it. And then you have people come over like family comes over for a week, and you didn't realize that and they eat you out of house and home, you didn't know that would happen, you would have planned differently, had you known. I have all sorts of metaphors. I could go on for 20 minutes about this, like the coach that makes halftime adjustments, you know, you'd be screaming at this at the TV, if the coach just kept the same game plan after seeing how the opponent's played the first half of the Grandmaster of chess, you know, everyone changes how they do things, except when we decide to budget we have like this arbitrary line in the sand, where it's like, okay, laptop closed, nothing can change. It's like, what? Well, what if the laptop stayed open? You know, I mean, it's just really random. I don't know where it comes from. But budgeting is like, it just has this rap of absolute restriction. So we had to make it a rule to get it across chain.

Kathleen Shannon 23:36
It's so good to I. And I wonder if you feel this Emily too. But I feel like every month, there's something that comes up. And I'm like, well, that's not normal. But every month, it's about $600 of just random, not normal expenses. But now I can kind of rely on $600 worth of random, whatever happening. So that's kind of that rolling with the punches.

Emily Thompson 23:59
I also think that's where managing an ongoing budget comes in. It's where you start noticing these patterns of miscellaneous expenses that come around every month. And if you're not being mindful of it, or tracking it on an ongoing basis, it will always be a surprise, but if you know that it's coming, then the surprise comes when you don't have to

Jesse Mecham 24:20
spend it exactly like oh, we have extra well. Yeah, we when we first moved down to we moved from Utah down to Dallas for my first job with this big accounting firm. And we were really excited because we were getting a salary, right like it was going to be awesome. And we you know, when you move you have lots of expenses, setting up utilities and just random things you feel like you're kind of hemorrhaging and we were kind of in that moment and then Julia we had this we had left this really nasty couch like back at our other place and it had been sold from like poor married couple to poor married couple like I don't know how many times it's just costume. So, we we got rid of that couch. We're like, well buy one when we're down there. And we were about a month or two into living there. And we have no couch like there's nowhere to sit except some folding chairs around the table. And Julie's like can we buy a couch? perfectly reasonable question, you know? And I was like, well, we we will Yeah, let's just wait until we have kind of a normal month and then we'll buy the couch. And she was like, so you're saying we'll never buy the couch? Yeah, I guess there's there's no norm like there never is a normal so I mean, what you were saying there is it's absolutely right. Like Kathleen there's there's just not a everyone's a little different. And that's just the way life is. So if your heart's beating, it's gonna happen, you know.

Emily Thompson 25:47
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Kathleen Shannon 26:53
Um, one of the things that I am curious what your thoughts are on and this kind of leads into rule number four. But, um, whenever I first started my business, I was really uncomfortable with the idea of projecting how much money I would make. Yeah, especially being in a service based industry and not really being able to measure it super well, especially with maybe being more flexible with my pricing and seeing what works and what doesn't. So I was really adamant about and disciplined about tracking how much I was making, and not necessarily projecting how much I would be making, which might lead us into rule number four, which

Jesse Mecham 27:30
is we were actually going to rename it we, I can't remember if we have it named now on the website, or if it's the new launch that has me confused, but we, we want people to learn to live on last month's income. But we've, we've tweaked it now and we're telling people to age their money. Oh, and we're about that we I mean, it's the same, it's the same idea. But it doesn't marry you to this idea of like a paycheck cycle or a monthly cycle. And it fits really well in with with creatives where you're getting paid at really random times. So the idea of aging, your money is just that $1 takes about we want it to take at least 30 days, from the time it lands in your quote unquote, system until the time it leaves. So the age of that dollar, the next dollar you spend, you should have had earned about 30 days ago, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, but it's a good target, our new software that will launch it's a ways out still, but we actually calculate that and we calculate the age of your money. So that you can see quickly like, oh, we're at four days, okay, that's pretty stressful, or Oh, we're at 45 days. No wonder I sleep pretty well, you know that, that type of thing. And we just we just follow those dollars and say like, okay, the dollar came in when did that dollar leave took about 40 days and you have a really good stat.

Emily Thompson 28:58
Wow, David is going to love that upgrade.

Jesse Mecham 29:02
Oh, yeah. I'm glad we can make him happy. But it it's the the idea that you can kind of step back from the edge and have a little time to think through if there's a little bit of a drought. Just kind of examine options and not feel like what you said earlier resonated where things you Catherine had said you don't you know, your clients or your bosses. If you're living hand to mouth, you're desperate for clients, you'll take anyone, even the people you would never want to work for. And it's a glorious moment when you can start saying no to the crazies.

Kathleen Shannon 29:39
Yeah, and you know, it's so interesting how it's all connected truly because whenever you say yes to clients, you don't want, you're doing your own expertise a disservice. You're not being able to build a portfolio or client list of the kinds of projects you want to be known for. So you know, I would say even it's a little Being able to budget that we were able to start this podcast, because we had enough flexibility and time and freedom in our lives to do that. And it all comes back to money. And that idea that money is energy. And the more boring our money can be, the more exciting the stuff we're doing in our downtime can be

Jesse Mecham 30:19
really, so this a little bit of a tangent, but I'm totally into this tidying up book. Like, me, too. It's changed. It's like blowing my mind at our house. It's all we to our friends are like you guys are we go out to dinner. We're like, so can we talk about the book? Is it coming? Is it okay? You know, but it's but I was I was thinking about how in this book, she's like, if you clear out all of the craft and things that's like draining you, you know, you clear it out, then suddenly you can focus. And if you can clear out money from being this drain, where it's just like, it's a thing that enables you to achieve your goals. You know, starting a podcast, jumping ship from a job that's kind of draining you traveling for a while, like we'll try and some like remote work, instead of commuting, any number of things that are could be like big wife structure changes, it lets you do that. And it's just a way of like, if you kind of tidy up the money, it's not screaming at you and like interrupting you all the time. It's just, it's kind of there. And it's just a steady rhythm. And you start to not really even notice it. It's a nice spot to be everyone can get there. It anyone can get there. It really is possible.

Kathleen Shannon 31:31
And I also feel like nothing kills creativity, like desperation, cannot be creative and over, you're feeling desperate, or I mean, that's not entirely true. Emily, you started your business, not in a desperate place. But in a place where you had had a baby and you were like, I need to, you know, put the rubber to the road and just make this thing happen. I think that's a little bit different. I think motivation is different than desperation. But whenever you feel desperate, it's just never good for your creativity. And I well, Emily, do you have any questions? I,

Emily Thompson 32:03
I do have a question. I have a question about budgeting. You were saying a minute ago about? Actually, Kathleen, you divorced your first husband?

Kathleen Shannon 32:13
Yeah, it's done.

Emily Thompson 32:14
So my question is about money blocks and how often it is that you run into people who sincerely struggle with budgeting. And I guess your advice for people who have a hard time making their money work for them?

Jesse Mecham 32:28
Yeah, so you start super, super small, right? You like you give them like didn't tobacco companies used to, like leave cigarettes on arcades or something? I'm gonna use that metaphor, because that seems very kind.

Kathleen Shannon 32:40
I've never heard that.

Emily Thompson 32:42
Either. That's or

Jesse Mecham 32:43
I don't think it was in the US. But I feel like I shouldn't throw that around. It's, that's it's such a mean thing. But anyway, I that's probably it's tobacco companies, whatever. Yeah. urban legend. And it's probably true.

Kathleen Shannon 32:55
So I will say allegedly.

Jesse Mecham 32:59
Allegedly. Yeah. So the idea is, you start them small, and you get them hooked, right? And you want to frame it around something that they want. That's totally positive. So you don't say like, Oh, I think you should spend less on groceries. No spending less. You actually want them to spend more. That's that's the, that's the gateway drug. Right? So you get them in and you say like, if it were a spouse, like a reluctant spouse, I wouldn't even talk about money. I would talk about the thing that we want. Right? I would, let's make a vacation. So I feel like we should go on vacation here, right? We should. I don't want to do on credit cards as it kind of stresses me out. But like, I do want to go on vacation. Like Where should we go? So I just touch on money for a second saying I don't want to go into debt for it. And then we're back in like, where do we go? And you just frame it around, like the want all about the want? And it's like, let's do that. Like, I wonder how much it would cost? Amen is gonna be so awesome. What would you want to do? They're away from cost again, right? And we just, I feel like I'm tricking them. But you're not really you're just trying to frame it around, like what do we want, like genuinely, and it's so much easier, especially in partner situations, this is key. It's so much better to talk about the intangible benefits of of budgeting, and you never say money. You're like, you know, I really want to reignite my career as a designer. And you're, you're working some office job, right? So your partner's like, Yeah, I would want you to do that too. And you're not talking about money, or I might be quitting. So we might be having to cut back or this or that. Just like talking about once. And if you can get just one concrete goal, hopefully a small one, like Hey, didn't you want that? I don't know. My wife wants an Apple Watch, right? Didn't you want that Apple watch? They're like 300 bucks. We should get that. Like, let's save up for that. Three weeks later, you get it? That's budgeting and they didn't know it at the time. And it's just that kind of like little starts little goals little wins. You run everything, you bear the whole burden to keep you sane. But you just slowly try and lead him into this idea of like, let's decide what we want. And let's work toward it, then they'll start to see like, Oh, yeah, I really should track him. This is low down the road, I should track what I spend so that we can see how we're doing getting to our wants. But it's a total reframing. Because anytime you approach that partner, and you're like, I think we need to budget like, I'm the name of our company, you just never say that, you know, it freaks. It freaks them out. They're thinking you're going to control them. They're thinking that you're blaming them for how things are going. They're telling themselves a story about what you just said, and the story could be wildly inaccurate from your intentions. But that that story, there's a book called crucial conversations that I've been working through, and they do an excellent job talking about this. But you instantly tell yourself a story. When that partner says, We need a budget, you're like, I did, I'm not It's not my fault. And they're like, Whoa, I just said, We need a budget. You know, I didn't say anything. But the story you tell can be like, no, I had to buy this thing. It's like, it goes off the rails so fast. So you just got to get away from the money for a while and just talk about shared goals as crazy as that sounds in a relationship.

Kathleen Shannon 36:17
And you know, there's like a, I think there's a special opportunity for creative entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in general. And my husband now who I adore and love recently mentioned needing to budget a little bit. And so I was like, oh, are we gonna get divorce? Like really freaking out? And but it was cool, because now as a creative entrepreneur, I kind of rail against the Suzy Orman like latte factor, like, you know of this, don't buy your latte, I'm more about, okay, how much more money do I need to make? What can I launch? How much should I raise my prices? So I kind of do, instead of budgeting from like a scarcity point of view, I like to budget from an abundance point of view, instead of slicing up my pie. I like to make my pie bigger. So that's kind of a fun opportunity whenever it comes to budgeting whenever you work for yourself, because the ceiling for how much you can make there. There's no definition there. There's no limits there.

Jesse Mecham 37:21
Absolutely. So I started, I, I'll circle back to scarcity, because it's a really fascinating principle. But when I first started wine app, it was because we've been budgeting, and then Porter was going to be born. And Julie really wanted to just be a mom, she didn't wanna have to keep her job. She was like, I really want to do this. And I totally was all for it. And but then she was the sole like, I mean, I was earning some money part time, but I had like two years of school left, like my prospects were not great with earning money. And so I was like, Okay, I can work this many hours part time. And Julie was going to stop completely. And I'm projecting out trying to figure out what Oh, and I didn't want to borrow money for school, and we were going to totally be in the red. And that seeing that, like, this doesn't work was frustrating at the time. But I realized that if I could just sell wine, AB this thing that I've been working for us. And if I could make rent was 350 bucks a month. If I can make rent, it changes our life. And we live in this, like mold infested place, I'm certainly have mold because we had respiratory issues the entire time we were there. But it was this nasty little hole of a place. But it's $350. And I knew that that would be the game changer for us. And that's what launched wine app. So it was, it was the idea of abundance. It was like, okay, we don't have enough, but I can make something happen. And there's a little bit of ego attached to that idea. But I think everyone needs to embrace it, you know, like, you need a little bit of ego, to be able to say like, I can go out and make money. You know, and I think it's it's good. I hate when people another subject that just devalue what they know, and what they can do and how uniquely qualified they are for so many things. So little bit of ego, and then you just you go for it, but it changed our lives. I mean, it's been a decade now. And I'm so glad that things were so tight. And that I didn't just think well, I'll write out I'll write on some student loans for a while instead. And this is where scarcity comes in. scarcity lets you confront reality. So you're dealing with scarcity, and you're like, I'm gonna make my pie bigger. That's the solution, right? Where if you look to debt, or just bury your head in the sand, you're not letting scarcity do its job of like prodding you along. So projections for creative sometimes can kill scarcity, because they'll just fire up a spreadsheet and like, imagine scarcity away, like I'll just I'll just earn more money. It's like, No, no, no, you need to, you need to embrace the fact that things are tight. And now go out, launch the thing, land the new client, find some leads. So that scarcity is so important for us. And if we ignore the budget completely, we never feel its force and that if you don't have that force behind you, it's hard to get you doing things that are really going to change the game.

Kathleen Shannon 40:25
is so good. I have a question because we never really talked about burying your head in the sand. I know a lot of a lot of people, creatives, entrepreneurs, day jobbers are so freaked out to look at their money, and I was that person at 1.2. I did what I called intuitive banking, where I would just kind of feel whether or not I had money to spend. And and I think a lot of people do that. So I'm curious what you would tell someone who's scared to just crunch the numbers.

Jesse Mecham 40:58
Man, sometimes, I don't know, if it's something you say or if it's something that happens. You know, a lot of times, I almost feel like there needs to be like this externality like this event that just kind of flips a switch form. For me, it was a baby coming. You know, it was like, oh, whoa, okay. For some it's relationship change. They're out of a relationship, or they're coming into a relationship, buying a house changing jobs moving different events like that. I mean, they're horrible events, like divorce or bankruptcy foreclosure. But sometimes those can be just the thing to kind of prod you along, it's hard to think there's something to say, besides just assuring them over and over, like, oh, it'll be okay. You know, it'll be okay. But that's the kind of thing you do, from a place of, you know, really just encouragement, empathy. just recognizing where they are. It's, it's real, you know, the stress they're feeling is real. And so you got to make sure you don't stomp all over it and just say, No, no, it'll be fine. Like, for them, it's hard to hard to believe that

Kathleen Shannon 42:10
in the rain. And I think what you're saying earlier about starting small is huge. Start small, just look at the things that you spend money on, just start adding that up and see how much that is. And then probably you know how much especially if you have a day job or a regular paycheck, you probably know how much money you get, or at least now you know how much money you need just to survive. So that's the first thing I would recommend to anyone, just from a not being a mathy person just add up where your money is going. And it's so easy these days with things like why NAB to see, uh, you know, because I, I don't use why NAB sorry, but I'm still like you. I'm so sorry. But um, everything gets so digital, that it's just automatically synced up, you know, and it's so easy now to look at your money. And just to I think once you look at it, and you shine a light on it, you realize that the boogie monster is not hiding your bank account? Yeah,

Jesse Mecham 43:11
it's not as bad as you think

Emily Thompson 43:12
it also becomes so much less emotional. It's just numbers as opposed to intuition.

Jesse Mecham 43:18
Yeah. Or like identity. You know, I mean, people they wrap up there, like, I mean, they wrap up, like, their whole self worth, in their net worth, which is so horrible, you know. And so yeah, you can kind of separate yourself from it and not, don't you don't attach your your value to it. And then you can kind of start to address it starting small is really good. I mean, I was, I guess that was kind of weird. But when I was 16, I realized I was spending too much on going out, you know, like, going out with friends. And like I was making a lot of money or had any bills at all. But I was just kind of like, man, I wonder what I'm spending and I just started writing now when I spent and then lo and behold without my I didn't tell myself to spend less, but just the awareness changed my behavior. And there was a killer example. You guys know Tim Ferriss that wrote the Four Hour Body. Yeah, he has this like this bit about this guy that lost a lot of weight by recording his weight every day, and having like acceptable variances of that weight, but he kind of was like, Okay, here's my trend line, it's gonna go down, here's where I am, here's where I want to be. And then he would just plot his weight. He wouldn't he didn't change a thing just made himself aware on a daily basis. And his little decisions started falling in line with that awareness. And at the end of the day, that's what we're really, we're really selling awareness, just having people

Kathleen Shannon 44:50
I'm so glad that you brought that up because I whenever I think about money and budgeting, I also think about food. And I'm like, uh, I really love working out Mmm, she eats a lot, I eat a lot. I eat a whole lot. But I, I can actually put the why not method to how I eat and what I eat and how it feels my workouts and rolling with the punches. Or if there's changes in my workouts, there's going to be changes in what I eat or don't eat. And so that's another thing, you know, simply writing down what you're eating, or what you're spending is just kind of I see so many correlations between money, and then fitness and food. Oh,

Jesse Mecham 45:30
yeah. Yeah, the metaphors are endless. What's what you manage you improve, you know, and, and it's not like you have to try hard, but just the awareness. It, it works that there's a guy that you guys should have on at some point. His name is BJ Fogg. He's out of Stanford. And he teaches tiny habits, and it's really about awareness. And it's he got me to floss daily. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I was like, Okay, I hate flossing. He's like, No, just this, this, this whole idea of triggers. So like, after you put the cap on the toothpaste, floss one tooth, seriously. So you like one tooth, and he's like, just one, just floss the one. Not all of them, because that's too big of a commitment. And I did it. And like, of course, you start flossing, like, well, I'll do the other teeth. But the commitment is one. And it's, it was cool. But it was just this awareness thing. I did the same thing with Julia is a phenomenal cook. Right. And I was thinking to myself, this seems really calculated and it is, but I was like, I should tell her thanks more, like be more appreciative cuz she makes phenomenal dinners. And it's like her. It's basically our number one hobby. And anyway, so I was like, how could I be more appreciative, and I needed some awareness around it, you know, it's like a soft skill. And so I set up a trigger, where it's like, after you stand up from the table, you'll tell Julie thanks. And I wasn't like lying or anything. Like, it was really horrible. And I lied. But it never was horrible. But yeah, so I would stand up. And that was this trigger. And I would just tell her thanks, it was, you know, and it was small, and just this little thing, but she noticed after a while, and it was, it was such a tiny little change. And it's totally in this like, soft arena of like, really appreciating your, you know, your spouse, like, you're going to set up a trigger for that, like, shouldn't that just be natural? But I was like, well, I really wanted to do it better, you know. And so that awareness, you just got to pick things and, and change your behavior a little bit at a time, not willpower, you know, just a little bit through time. So anyway, he's someone that you should try and eat fascinating stuff around, like behavior change, and, and all that all ties into money. So it gets me excited.

Kathleen Shannon 47:50
Yeah, let's get him on. We'll send him an email. All right.

Emily Thompson 47:53
But first, I have another question. So David made me promise to throw this one in because he loves wine AB and fanboy pretty hard whenever he heard that I was going to be chatting with you. So I have little to no money management skills. But I do have a David. And David loves managing money. And so he, he has used wine AB to to really help us streamline our life and business finances. For example, this summer was just kind of a big wild adventure for us. We took a 40 day road trip, we moved to a new city and bought a house, we took our 75 buses to New Orleans, we've been doing a whole lot of stuff to put our money to work. And it's all been made possible by by budgeting and specifically using wine app as the tool to help us budget easily. So the question he has and I have is, we want to know what your craziest success story is of someone who has begun using wine app?

Jesse Mecham 48:51
Well, it's man, that's tough. So there's their there's two, right? There's, and their names, I I'd have to dig up their names. We did a survey way like six years ago, seven years ago. And we asked people like, what was your bank account balance before? Sure I wind up and what was it after? And how long have you been using it? Right? So at this is kind of the aggregate at in one month they've had I think it was like they've saved $300. And it's not like we're saying don't spend money. Quite the opposite, actually. But people just kind of clean up where money is not lined up with their priorities. by month nine, their bank account balance changed from around 300 on average, 350 to 3300. And so I feel like I could take up take this to a bank and be like, Hey bank, like would you want to 10x your deposits, you know, which means you could 10x anyway, it's it's, it was a fascinating, like aggregate success story where people are just way further away from the line. We did some digging into that survey and we looked at big changes and There are some people that really just, they're like, you know what, I'm gonna change everything. And they really get into they sell stuff like crazy just sell, sell, sell, and they have this big flip in net worth as a result. And then that that is, and that's really cool. Like, I love doing extreme things because it kind of like, tests you it moves the needle, you find like a new base of operation. So I love doing that. But the other side of a success story like that is the person that like just today on Twitter, someone was like I haven't had a year I've had a year of no overdrafts, in my checking account. And if you think about the amount of stress that causes someone, and then that it's gone, that it's huge. I can't, I can't empathize with that. I've never been that close to the line, thank goodness. But I can certainly appreciate the fact that this person went from total stress, like no money or negative money, waiting for the next paycheck to a spyware that, you know, a year of not having a single overdraft. That to me is is huge. And it is happening all the time. So people on all different income levels, situations, locations, it the rules, work well for him.

Emily Thompson 51:23
Awesome. Good. I'm glad it's so helpful.

Kathleen Shannon 51:30
Thank you so much for coming on to being boss. We're so excited to have you here and to be having the money, money conversation. It's a conversation we're going to keep having because we weren't bosses to make more money. And I think the key takeaway today is that just being aware and mindful of your money is going to help it grow. Perfect. Thanks so much for joining us, Jesse. We love having you on. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on our website on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher.

Emily Thompson 52:10
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