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Mindful With Money. Jonathan DeYoe
It’s easy to think about money in terms of numbers, but what happens when you let human emotions get in the way?
In this episode I am joined by, Jonathan DeYoe. He has been a California-based financial advisor for 25 years. He managed investments at a variety of Wall Street Companies before founding his financial planning firm, Mindful Money, in 2002. Jonathan is a contributor on personal finance matters for the Huffington Post and Business Insider and featured in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Jonathan is passionate about spreading the values of goal-focused and planning-driven wealth management to help people enjoy better financial outcomes AND live happier lives!
Jonathan and I break down some of the stories we tell ourselves that block us from financial growth. We talk about the importance of becoming mindful when managing your finances.
[3:45] Staying focused on what’s important to you.
[6:31] “The thing you don’t have is the thing you covet”
[10:19] The desire to be a millionaire is shorthand for, “I want to feel financially secure.”
[17:03] What’s your bank balance comfort zone?
[20:33] Auto investing, auto-saving and auto spending. It doesn’t mean auto pilot.
[25:56] Mindful Money book & The Happiness Dividend.
The first step on your path to financial health is knowing what your goals are. Mindful Money’s Values, Purpose & Goals mini-course is designed to help you do just that. This course module will discuss life, vision, and values, and introduce mission and budgeting. And it’s Free. Register Now!
Connect With Jonathan DeYoe & Mindful Money:
Mindful Money Book: https://bookshop.org/a/59401/9781608684366
Free Course Module: https://courses.mindful.money/values-purpose-goals
Links Mentioned In This Episode:
Jonathan’s Latest Book
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money. As a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
[00:00:21] And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
[00:00:43] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
[00:01:05] Our next guest, Jonathan DeYoe, has been a California-based financial advisor for 25 years. He managed investments at a variety of Wall Street companies before founding his own financial planning firm, Mindful Money, in 2002. He’s a contributor on personal finance matters for the Huffington Post and Business Insider among others, and he’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
[00:01:26] Jonathan and the Mindful Money team offer simple steps to financial success and tools to mindfully overcome emotional and cognitive biases related to money. Jonathan is passionate about spreading the value of goal-focused and planning-driven wealth management to help people enjoy better financial outcomes and live happier lives. His personal goal is to touch 1 million lives in 10 years with Mindful Money financial education courses.
[00:01:50] Jonathan, welcome to the show!
[00:01:51] Jonathan DeYoe: Thanks, Bob, I’m excited to be here.
[00:01:53] Bob Wheeler: Well, I’m super excited because your focus is financial literacy. Even though we didn’t say financial literacy, there’s this piece about the mindset and happier lives. Can you tell me what was the pivoting point for you to focus on that? Or was that always the case?
[00:02:12] Jonathan DeYoe: So early on in my career, I started up on Wall Street, like many, many investment advisors start off on Wall Street firms. And I started out pitching product. You know, I learned how to sell a stock and then determine whether or not this person wanted to be more aggressive or less aggressive with their stock.
[00:02:27] And if they wanted municipal bonds, I’d call them back municipal bonds. So I started out training on sales. And about six years into my career, after three moves from one firm to another and three mergers, I decided to start it over on my own. And at that point, I set up my firm in 2002, I think it was late 2001, early 2002.
[00:02:48] And I asked my clients what they wanted and they said, I want a deeper focus on planning and I want, I want to have more education. I want to know what’s happening. I want to understand, you know, what’s going on, how the sausage is made to a point. And so we started building on that.
[00:03:02] And we didn’t actually build courses until 2020, but I taught financial literacy at my Alma Mater, my grad school, taught at lots of different local organizations. And then all of our clients said, hey, can you talk to my son about this? Can you talk to my kids about this? How about my nieces or nephews? And yeah, we just did these ad hoc classes all the time. And then ultimately 20 years in, that’s sort of the core of what we do.
[00:03:25] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. And how do you keep people focused? So when I do tax prep, I have about 20 minutes before they zone out. And they will upfront tell me, you got 20 minutes or you got 10 minutes. Now, some of them are interested, then they’ll listen for the whole hour. But mostly we talk about them.
[00:03:39] But how do you get people to stay engaged? Because sometimes this stuff can be overwhelming.
[00:03:45] Jonathan DeYoe: The meat of how financial services works, that’s not what they’re interested in. I mean, they’re really interested in, how do I get to the things that are important to me? And so the easiest way to keep them engaged is to keep the focus on what’s important to them.
[00:03:57] And then what are the steps to make sure they get what’s important to them? And if they see that what’s important to them, it’s at the forefront of every conversation. It’s at the foundation of every review. It’s at the core of every conversation. If that’s the case, then they do stay engaged.
[00:04:11] Bob Wheeler: And why do you think, personally, that so many brokerage firms just focus on the sales? Is it just because it’s easier? Because the more and more I talk to people, it’s relational, it’s education, it’s all of these things. But a lot of these young financial advisors, fresh out the gate, or buy my product, I know that that’s where they’re coached, but we’re finding, I think, that it really is about the engagement.
[00:04:39] It really is about actually caring what product’s going to be servicing them best, whether it’s life insurance, whether it’s a SEP IRA, a defined benefit plan, whatever those things might be. But sometimes that seems to get lost in the first steps with some people.
[00:04:54] Jonathan DeYoe: I think the industry has gone through a lot of changes. And so 20 years ago, there were RIAs. There were people that were fiduciaries. Those existed, but they were the minority.
[00:05:04] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:05:04] Jonathan DeYoe: I think today, when you look at, and Wall Street watches this, you can see where the money is coming out of and where it’s going to.
[00:05:10] It’s difficult to get much money to flow out of banks because banks, every product, they also give you discounts. If you do both lending and your savings and your checking and your investing, they give you money off. And those kinds of things, if you go to a bank, but you’re never going to have a fiduciary experience there.
[00:05:25] So over time, the industry has shifted and you’re seeing a lot of money flow out of the brokerage environment, the product sales environment, and towards fiduciaries, towards people that are focused on planning and education.
[00:05:37] So it’s not as if I invented this, like I joined a fantastic wave of change in the industry, focused on how do we get people to better outcomes and maybe a better path to those outcomes as well. Less stress, more happiness, more wellbeing, less fear and anxiety around money.
[00:05:54] Bob Wheeler: And so Jonathan, when you were eight years old, did you say to yourself, I’m going to go out and educate people about money. I’m going to teach people about the happy dividend, I’m going to change the world. What were you thinking at eight years old?
[00:06:06] Jonathan DeYoe: That’s a great question. You’re off by a year, but the first year I bought a stock was when I was nine years old.
[00:06:12] Bob Wheeler: Okay.
[00:06:12] Jonathan DeYoe: Growing up, we didn’t have any money. And what I really wanted was a nice bike and a nice vacation. I wanted to be seen in cars that weren’t totally rundown. My dad’s four-door car, the two doors in the back were tied together with a rope. That’s how they stayed closed. So this is the kind of car, this is the kind of life that I had as a kid.
[00:06:31] So as a kid, I really wanted to have money. And I was really interested in business and small enterprise and in investing. Money was really important to me. The thing you don’t have is the thing you’ve covet, right? It’s the thing you want. So I grew up without, that’s what I wanted.
[00:06:44] Once downtown, you know, Rapid City, South Dakota, I’m growing up and my parents are running errands and I stopped in a brokerage house back in the day.
[00:06:53] I think the company was Private Ledger. It was either Linscomb or Private Ledger. And I went into this broker’s office and I started reading value line research. And I was like, oh, this is so cool. You know, get all the details about this specific company. But I convinced my dad to let me invest like 500 bucks of my summer earnings in a stock.
[00:07:09] And so that’s where, really, I got interested in the market, but it’s not until a conversation I have with a client around 2009 that makes me say, you know what, there’s a better path to this. Mindfulness actually matters. And that’s where I started developing that sort of philosophy.
[00:07:25] Bob Wheeler: And do you think your dad letting you invest that money was pivotal? I mean, he could have said no, or he could’ve said, no, we need that to fix the two back doors on the car. I mean, that’s what my parents would’ve done. They would’ve taken my $500 because things were tight.
[00:07:40] What was the support like with your parents, if you had siblings, that allow that? Because a lot of people that I know who are super successful, started with nothing. But having that moment, having an opportunity, having somebody mentor at a critical point. changed the projectory of their life.
[00:07:58] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, again, we didn’t have much, but my dad still would read, I think it was Kiplinger’s and Money Magazine. And there was a guy that he followed, this is 40 years ago. So I’m not even, there’s a guy that had a system of trading, and my dad would just listen to him and follow him, and I would pay attention.
[00:08:13] My dad and I would have conversations around the kitchen table. We would talk about things like taxes and small business, because the one message I took out of my childhood was you can, just like you said, you can do anything you want in life. You have to trade off some stuff. You’ve got to work really hard. You can become whatever you want.
[00:08:28] And so for me as a kid, I wanted to be, this is embarrassing, but I don’t think I’m alone in this. I wanted to be a millionaire. I wanted to not have to worry about money. I wanted to have financial security. So I had chased that starting as a kid. And I think I finally got it like eight years ago.
[00:08:42] And so it’s a long path. It’s deeply effected by those stories you learn growing up. But my parents were always about, “Jonathan we know we don’t have a lot, we’re setting it up so you can actually succeed. And here’s the things you have to do. Here’s the path.” And they shared, we had deep conversations about politics and money and how this stuff works together and all this stuff.
[00:09:02] Bob Wheeler: That’s so incredible that you got that support. There’s so many people out there, their parents don’t have the ability to have the conversation or even the willingness to share, “we don’t have a lot.” Right? That’s very vulnerable, as a parent, who’s providing shelter and clothing and food for a kid to say, “We haven’t got this figured out.”
[00:09:21] Jonathan DeYoe: You knew though. Cause every time you asked for something, they would say, no, we can’t have that. Nope. You can’t do that. Nope. You can’t. You know, there was a lot of nos, lot of nos.
[00:09:29] Bob Wheeler: A lot of nos. Well, you said one thing that I want to talk about for a second, you talked about wanting to be a millionaire.
[00:09:34] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah.
[00:09:35] Bob Wheeler: And I agree, you’re not alone in that. And I think it’s a deeper question for me, right?
[00:09:39] Because a million dollars, I live in LA, that’s going to last me 10 minutes. Right? I can have a million dollar house and be living in a shoe box. Like, do I want a million dollars of positive cashflow on an annual basis? Do I want a million dollars sitting in cash?
[00:09:56] Because I want to have some liquid million dollars, and there’s so many ways to define a million dollars. It could be passive income of million dollars, it could be, there’s so many different things. I think a lot of people are, yeah. I just want to have a million dollars.
[00:10:10] Jonathan DeYoe: In 1980 Rapid City, South Dakota, a million dollars is a lot different than San Francisco Bay Area, 2020 $1 million.
[00:10:19] So whether it’s an income or assets, just the timeframe alone sets a completely different, and geography alone, sets a completely different expectation for me. I think the desire to be a millionaire is shorthand for, “I want to feel financially secure. I want to be okay with money. I don’t want to worry.”
[00:10:37] Frankly, you don’t shed that story. You don’t shed that concern. It’s still creeps up. I still am nervous, even though I’m at a place, I don’t really have to be as nervous as I was.
[00:10:47] Bob Wheeler: So I tell people, look, I still get emotional. If I’m financing or purchasing a property, I tear myself up. It’s a wreck. It’s not going to happen. They’re judging me. All of a sudden, some secret credit thing’s going to come through and everything’s going to fall apart. And I get very emotional until it’s done.
[00:11:03] And everybody’s like, Bob, it’ll be fine. And I’m in the corner like, not eating and I’m nauseous. And as much as I know, it’s probably all going to be fine, I get such triggers. So would you be willing to share one of those little places, you know, where growing up it was, no, no, no, no? And we don’t have it.
[00:11:21] And now here you are, you’ve “made it,” so to speak. You can live comfortably and not have to look behind you, but still…
[00:11:28] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. Growing up it was, I had friends in high school that were getting cars, and I wasn’t going to get a car. So I had to work, and I had friends that had summers off and were taking vacations. And when I was 12, I was working full-time in the summer. By the time I was 14, I was working full-time in the summer and I was working year round, like in a retail store, or I worked for Allied Van Lines.
[00:11:47] And that was so that I could save money so that I could go to college. My parents couldn’t give me help to go to college. So that was something that was bothersome. I worked full-time through college, sometimes multiple jobs.
[00:11:58] I would’ve liked to have had some of those other experiences that many people had. I talk to people today and the big goal for them is that they want to support their kids through college, which is admirable and lovely and important and great. And I worry about this with my own kids. Like I’m going to pay for my kids to go to college, which means they’re not going to learn the same set of lessons that I learned.
[00:12:20] Both my kids work. I have a kid that’s 14 and one that’s 17. They both have jobs. I mean, they both work. They don’t have to, but it’s important that they work. It’s important that they learn those messages, learn those lessons. There’s so many instances of, I wish it had been different as a kid, but as an adult, looking back, there were really important lessons built into those moments.
[00:12:41] I’m kinda, it’s undecided what’s better. Is it better to give them everything? Or is it better to make them struggle? That’s an open question. Is there a balance there? Sure. Do I know it? No, I’m no expert in it. I’m going through it.
[00:12:54] Bob Wheeler: That leads me to, you heard no a lot as a kid, right? And no sometimes comes from scarcity.
[00:13:02] No, that can’t happen. No, that can’t happen. And then sometimes no is a healthy boundary for people trying to sabotage your success. Or not going forward in a way that’s actually serving you. Is it easy for you to say no in a healthy way? And do you still have any of that “no” from a scarcity place?
[00:13:23] Jonathan DeYoe: We have this battle with the kids on a regular basis.
[00:13:25] It’s a, “But dad. We could afford it.” This is the current one. You know, we already have Disney +, we already have Netflix, and we already have Amazon Prime. My kids really want Hulu. And I’m just like, it’s $4, I dunno, $6.99 a month. It’s not even that big a deal, but we’re like, no, it’s ridiculous. You don’t need another streaming video platform.
[00:13:44] You don’t need it. “Oh, but there’s this specific program.” We’re like, okay. Which of the other three are you willing to give up? We’re not going to add on a fourth streaming platform. Like, that’s ridiculous. So which one you gonna give up?
[00:13:54] Could we afford it? Without even thinking about it. That’s not the point. The point is, you don’t get everything you want. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to give some stuff up, right?
[00:14:03] So it’s an ongoing conversation on a daily basis when they say, “oh, but I want this sweatshirt.” You don’t need that sweatshirt. “I want this pair of shoes.” You don’t need that pair of shoes. Like you don’t need all this stuff.
[00:14:16] My son’s got friends that are sneaker traders. That’s a thing! Like, that was never a thing when I was a kid, I don’t know. I don’t understand this thing. They’ve got massive investments in 15, 20, 30 pairs of sneakers. That just blows my mind, but we’re not going to support that. If you want to take your money to do that with, you go ahead. That’s not our thing.
[00:14:35] Bob Wheeler: Exactly. Well, it’s funny. I have such a pet peeve about these streaming fees. You know, everything, whether it’s the home security, whether it’s this, it’s just $5. This one’s just $12. This was just $13. Even the software for bookkeeping now. It’s online. It’s 40 bucks a month. I just want to buy the software once and use it for 10 years.
[00:14:55] And obviously there’s more money to be made in it. But gosh, that is such a pet peeve of mine. It drives me insane because it’s so impractical.
[00:15:03] Jonathan DeYoe: Yep! The whole subscription service for everything. It’s definitely a nice profit center for all these companies. You know, I used to have QuickBooks that I just loaded on the computer.
[00:15:11] Now it’s 20 bucks a month. Just like you said, it’s 20 bucks a month every month.
[00:15:15] Bob Wheeler: So frustrating. Yeah.
[00:15:17] Jonathan DeYoe: Yep.
[00:15:18] Bob Wheeler: So I’m not the best consumer because I’m always saying no, I know I’m living in the past, but yeah, not happening. So do you and your wife have conversations about money and were they initially money confrontations or have they always been money conversations?
[00:15:36] Jonathan DeYoe: It’s a great question. So our values are pretty well aligned when it comes to spending or not spending. The difference has been, I like to spend more, she’s like a don’t spend any money kind of person. Like never spend money, which is very interesting. If you just peel that back a little bit, she was raised in a house that had a little bit more money than I was raised in.
[00:15:56] And so she was trained to have money and not spend it. I was trained to not have money and want to spend it. And so for me, I’m like, if I have some money and there’s a thing I want do, it’s very difficult to not do that thing. It’s very difficult to say, hey, let’s think about this. And let’s make sure that we’ve got all our other bases covered.
[00:16:14] Let’s make sure we’ve done all these, we put the right amount into savings and we have my right in mind that a 529 plans for the kids, make sure we do all that stuff first before I buy the bike, right? If I want the bike and I feel like I have enough, I want to buy the bike. And that’s different stories in growing up.
[00:16:29] The only time we’ve really, sort of, battled about stuff isn’t so much about spending, it’s about some esoteric investment that I want to make. Because I’m big on, I love doing angel investing. I love buying into a private company and she’s like, you know what? This is really not a good idea. And I’m like, nah, it’s gonna work out great. Right?
[00:16:48] And then she’s right 9 times out of 10. So we’ve had some battles about that. I’ve learned to listen a little bit more, and I’ve learned to make a case for what I want to invest in that’s private, but we’re pretty aligned in terms of values, which has been pretty good.
[00:17:01] Bob Wheeler: So I have this hypothesis that for a lot of people, I think maybe not all people, but a majority of people, that we have an amount in our bank account that we’re comfortable with staying at that level.
[00:17:13] So whether it’s, I’m just not overdrawn, or if it’s a thousand bucks or 50,000 bucks. And then when we go over that there’s, oh, I can just spend, spend, spend until I get back to my 50,000 or I get back to my thousand. Like for yourself, do you have a, you don’t have to say the number, but is there a comfort level if the bank accounts have a certain amount? And you can say, I can sleep at night. And if it dips…
[00:17:34] Jonathan DeYoe: I’m an investor. So for me, personally, my favorite bank account balance is zero. Like if I have extra money, I like that to be invested.
[00:17:43] Bob Wheeler: Okay.
[00:17:44] Jonathan DeYoe: If it’s not dedicated to a bill or spending, I want it invested. And I’m very quick to do that. And that’s probably, let me, I should back up. I’m a professional at this. We have an emergency fund, right? So there’s, there’s an emergency fund. That’s there on the sideline, I do that correctly. I’m not sidestepping that, that piece.
[00:18:00] There’s an emergency fund there and it’s always funded and it’s a year’s worth of expenses. It’s on the sidelines and that’s in cash. It’s not in CDs. That’s not in anything weird, just cash in a savings account. But after that, every penny is invested immediately. If I have excess money, it gets invested today.
[00:18:15] Bob Wheeler: And what are the keys to knowing what that extra money is? I mean, there’s probably gotta be some budgeting, there’s gotta be some awareness, and there’s gotta be some intentionality.
[00:18:25] Jonathan DeYoe: Yep.
[00:18:25] Bob Wheeler: And so what does that day look like? Today I’ve got extra money. Is that once a week, I’m going to check in?
[00:18:32] Jonathan DeYoe: So, because it’s what I do, like, I am hyper-aware of how much cash we have and what the bills are that are coming. I’m a universally always aware of what’s pending, what’s happening, because I manage the household bills, and I know what’s coming in, I know what’s going out.
[00:18:47] As a baseline, we have a rough idea of how much excess income we have over expenses, and every single month, the first of every month or the third of every month actually, that amount, that excess gets taken out and gets invested. We have an auto invest program in addition to our 401k stuff that goes automatically.
[00:19:04] So every month, you know, a chunk comes out. And then maybe once a month, I’ll say, okay, what’s excess here? And then I’ll slide that over into an account that will eventually will go be invested. And it’s a very regular basis. I’m always, let’s add here, let’s add here, let’s increase this month’s contribution. And we never decrease the contribution.
[00:19:21] It’s always push it up higher. It’s always increase the contribution. Always very important. Saving level is more important than any other decision you can make in terms of your long-term finances.
[00:19:31] Bob Wheeler: One of the things that you just mentioned, which is, I think is so important for so many people, is this auto investing.
[00:19:37] Jonathan DeYoe: Yep.
[00:19:38] Bob Wheeler: Set it up automatically. You know, I wasn’t good with my own money. And then when I had my business, I could take care of that a little bit more. I would advocate for my business because it wasn’t me. Because I wasn’t good at advocating for me. But I had set up seven bank accounts at different ING, just these different ones that couldn’t tie back to cover any overdraft.
[00:19:58] Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
[00:19:58] Bob Wheeler: And I started just with $20 here, $50 here, once a week, that’s a dinner, that’s a, whatever. And then when I saw things starting to grow, it was easier to go, oh I could put another hundred bucks in. Oh, let me, hey, I’ve got 500 bucks, because I could already see it working. Or even a program like Acorns that will let you take 30 cents and round it up.
[00:20:19] Okay, it’s not a lot, but it’s a habit that’s being created or an awareness of, oh, I’m putting away my little Acorns for the summer, for the winter. And can you speak to that a little bit? About auto investing, auto saving?
[00:20:33] Jonathan DeYoe: I’ll get to the answer of the question [inaudible] here. I’m reevaluating a lot of my financial values because my brother died about four months ago, and we had different values, and so I’m kind of going through that a little bit.
[00:20:43] But the reason that’s interesting is because he actually had his entire financial life automated. So let me put that in context. So he died, he took care of all the finances. The family didn’t miss a payment on anything because every payment, every bill, every auto invest, everything was done automatically.
[00:21:04] And that was such a load off for his wife who wasn’t aware of everything, because they did this auto. So there’s a good part to being auto invested and it’s a good part to auto spending. Here’s sort of the bad part of the auto spending. If you’re on auto spending, and if everything goes to your credit card and your credit card’s automatically paid, you get into this habit of not reviewing it.
[00:21:24] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:21:24] Jonathan DeYoe: And if you don’t ever look at it, there’s probably spending or probably saving opportunities there that you’re losing, you’re missing out on. Because there’s money just going out that you forgot about. I was just going through my own budget, and I just saw that there was a bill that came in January of this year.
[00:21:38] So this is 10 months ago, $420 for a software package that I didn’t know we had access to that I’ve always wanted to test. And someone in my household said, hey, we got to, let’s do this. And we got this. I didn’t know we had access to it. We’ve had access to it for about a year now, and I could have been using it this whole year, but you know, it’s pretty interesting.
[00:21:58] So it’s by finding and looking at those bills, you can figure out what you’re spending money on. Now auto investing. There’s two parts of that. Auto saving is, I think, part of what you were talking about earlier, you know, this account, that account, this is for travel. This is for maintenance on the house. This is for… and setting that up it’s a great way to make sure that you’re reserving for things that are coming up for big expenses that come down.
[00:22:17] So you’re not using a credit card, but you’re using reserved savings, which is planning ahead. That’s smart. Auto investing, so we’ve auto saved, but now you actually want to invest that money. That is so important for a couple reasons.
[00:22:30] If you’re auto investing, you know, A, there’s enough going in, you’ve done a plan, you know how much needs to go away, you’re putting that much in. That’s important. The second part of auto investing is you don’t have to think about, is now a good time or a bad time to invest. One of the most critical pieces of our personal finance is recognizing that we emotionally respond to markets.
[00:22:54] And by the way, there’s no value in our emotional responses. Our emotional responses hurt us. They do not help us. And so if you can remove that emotional response and just automatically put it in on a regular basis, weekly, monthly, every time the balance gets over 500 bucks, whatever it is, that is so, so excellent for your psychology. And just implement that and stay on that.
[00:23:14] Bob Wheeler: It’s so important and I love that you made that distinction there about being on auto. It’s not being on autopilot. We still have to be conscious and participating and paying attention. I can plug an address into my GPS, but I still got to look and say, wait a minute, I’m going to a restaurant down the street. It shouldn’t take me 12 hours and 3,000 miles. You still have to pay attention. And it can be convenient, but it doesn’t mean you get to check out.
[00:23:40] Jonathan DeYoe: Right, absolutely. And especially on the spending. And spending, you know, if you automatically pay your power bill, it’s good to know when the power bill goes up, and you won’t know.
[00:23:50] This is interesting. Six months ago, we had a water, not a main, but a water pipe break in our yard. And if I didn’t look at that bill, I wouldn’t know that that bill went from 400 to a thousand dollars in one month. That’s a lot of money on water that we’re not using. It’s just getting pumped out. And so we had to get something fixed. And you had, you catch that by paying attention.
[00:24:08] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And even if it’s as simple as looking at your phone bill, which I hadn’t done for a little bit, not following my own advice. And I happened to look and discover that I was paying for a free iPad that they had given me. I was paying 40 bucks a month for this free thing.
[00:24:23] And I know some parents, their kids are playing these games and it gets charged to the phone. And all of a sudden, like the phone bill is 600 bucks and the kid’s like, I’m just playing a game. Right? There’s no feeling of impact until, and if we’re not looking and we’re just, oh yeah, I’ve got the money, I’ve got the money… Clients, businesses.
[00:24:42] We were paying for a helium tank for two years at one of my businesses, because we didn’t, everybody was like, well, it’s an auto-pay. So it must be something and finally I’m like, what is this? Oh, oh my God. So . You gotta stop and look.
[00:24:55] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, on a regular basis. The worst thing that we ever did in this, and it wasn’t a big expense, but you know, we had signed up for cable internet. And with the cable internet came a lease of the cable modem, and it was 15 bucks a month. Right?
[00:25:07] You can buy a cable modem for 150 bucks. We paid this $15 a month lease on this ten-year-old cable modem for eight years. Which is, we’re like, what the hell is this fee? And that was because I set it up and then Kate reviewed it, but she didn’t review it until eight, for eight years later, I set it up wrong. That’s all. It’s simple as that. That’s why it’s awesome I have a partner in this thing.
[00:25:30] Bob Wheeler: You got to check that stuff out. Well, you maybe probably have it too in Northern Cal, but bottled water. If you get the water machine from the company, you’re paying like, $10 a month lease. But you could actually buy the water tank. And when I figured that, I’m like, oh my God, it’s so much cheaper. So pay attention, pay attention.
[00:25:51] Well, I do want to ask you to elaborate a little bit on this Happy Dividend.
[00:25:56] Jonathan DeYoe: The idea is very simple. The happiness dividend, happiness is something that, and I think this is true of both happiness and, sort of, financial happiness, you know? Better financial outcomes and just well-being in general. These things ensue from good habits.
[00:26:10] You can’t make happiness, and I think you can’t make wealth the target, the goal. If you make wealth your goal, you’re never going to find wealth. If you make happiness your goal, you’re always going to be unhappy. Cause there’s always gonna be something else that keeps you from being that. Right? So the happiness dividend is something that ensues from a life well lived from good habits.
[00:26:28] And so let’s talk about the book, there’s three parts. And to get to a better experience of wealth, the first part is understanding the messages that are there to sell you something. There is so much financial BS out there. And you know, in the first part of the book, I’m just debunking myths. I’m just saying, this is an illusion. You can ignore this. This is crap. Don’t pay attention to this.
[00:26:52] The middle section of the book, I’m actually just talking about the stuff we all know. What are the real sources of wellbeing that philosophers and religious folks have been talking about for thousands of years, that you know, psychology academics have been talking about for three, four years?
[00:27:07] What are those things that actually drive happiness and wellbeing? And then once you know what those are specifically for you, the third section of the book is, how do we build a financial plan based on those things? Ignore the stuff that doesn’t work, focus on the stuff that does work, figure out what your values are, what your purpose is, what your direction needs to be, and then build on top of that.
[00:27:27] I think those three steps are the critical steps.
[00:27:31] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Otherwise we’re just in the hamster wheel, running in circles, not feeling fulfilled, and then wondering why. And we got to step off the roller coaster. You got to get off the merry-go-round. Like stop the cycle and figure out what feeds us emotionally, spiritually, personally, instead of just like, I got to have what they have. Or buying into the media that says we have to have everything now.
[00:27:56] Jonathan DeYoe: Now, now, now.
[00:27:56] Bob Wheeler: And we deserve it. Well we’re at our Fast Five, which is brought to you by PodMatch, a service that matches ideal podcast guests and hosts for interviews.
[00:28:05] Jonathan, do you typically stick to a budget? And if so, when was the last time you updated it?
[00:28:10] Jonathan DeYoe: I don’t really stick to a budget. We do it the reverse way. We actually have the savings come off first and then what’s left is basically spendable. And then, like I said, if there’s excess at the end of the month, we haven’t spent it, that goes to additional savings. But we put savings first, so they don’t have to pay attention to every penny.
[00:28:25] Bob Wheeler: That’s really smart. When I do budgets, I start with expenses first instead of income, because I find if I start with income, everybody adjusts their expenses to match the spending. And so I want to catch them, like…
[00:28:36] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, totally.
[00:28:37] Bob Wheeler: And totally find out, cause we do, we lie to ourselves. We just lie all the time. Yeah. That’s like, you know, my friend was like, the Starbucks. It only costs two bucks. I’m like, dude, it says $4.95.
[00:28:48] Jonathan DeYoe: Or the one-offs. Like, oh yeah, that month, we don’t actually spend that much. That month we had this special thing where we had to fix this. Well, you’re fixing something every month. Let’s just be honest.
[00:28:55] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, like, it’s much more fun to lie. When was the last time the purchase you made, you had to talk yourself into it?
[00:29:01] Jonathan DeYoe: Huh! The last time I had to talk myself into a purchase?
[00:29:05] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:29:06] Jonathan DeYoe: Maybe, maybe this is a bad sign.
[00:29:09] I don’t, if I want something, I get it nowadays. You know what? No, there is one thing, there is one thing. So my wife and I used to go to this cat skiing trip in Canada. We did it like seven years in a row. It was so great. You know, it’s relational. She and I’d go together. We’d have a ball for three, four days.
[00:29:24] Great skiing, 9 times out of 10, and then we stopped doing it. We stopped doing it cause we had intended, let’s go do something else instead of doing this every time. But I missed it so much. And we were at a party and a friend of ours who does it, who has done it for longer than we have said, hey, you guys want to come back?
[00:29:40] We have a spot in the cat. And I had to go uh, yes. I didn’t have to convince too much, but I was like, if that opportunity was there and we said no before, no we’re doing it. So it was pretty quick, pretty quick.
[00:29:54] Bob Wheeler: And was it worth it?
[00:29:55] Jonathan DeYoe: I haven’t been yet. This is, we’re planning.
[00:29:56] Bob Wheeler: Oh it’s coming! Oh, alright.
[00:29:57] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, yeah. I’m excited to go, but I’m not looking forward to it.
[00:30:00] Bob Wheeler: That’s cool. All right. Well, I’ll have to check back in. Would you rather look like a million bucks or feel like a million bucks?
[00:30:05] Jonathan DeYoe: I’d rather feel like a million bucks.
[00:30:07] Bob Wheeler: What’s the most expensive thing you ever bought that did not meet your expectations?
[00:30:13] Jonathan DeYoe: I think it was an Audi A6 actually.
[00:30:15] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:30:15] Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. I’d say that’s the most expensive thing that didn’t, it wasn’t quite what I wanted after the fact.
[00:30:19] Bob Wheeler: And what’s the best financial decision you’ve made to date that you feel really good about?
[00:30:25] Jonathan DeYoe: Can I say two?
[00:30:26] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:30:27] Jonathan DeYoe: I think the best in terms of managing my own spending and managing some of my stupid investment ideas, was marrying Kate. I think Kate and having the right partner has saved me from myself so many times.
[00:30:40] And then the second I think, and this is I think a very close second, when we transitioned from saving what was left to saving first. Doing a plan and figuring out how much we needed to put aside and putting that aside before we spent, that’s actually simplified a lot of things. It’s actually, it’s made savings and investing a lot easier for us.
[00:31:00] Bob Wheeler: That’s such a great piece of advice. Actually, we’re at our M & M spot, our Sweet Spot, our Money and Motivation. And I always ask for a practical tip or a piece of wealth wisdom. That sounds like an amazing piece of wealth wisdom, and a really great financial tip. Do you have another one for us as well?
[00:31:18] Jonathan DeYoe: I do actually, and this is the one I’m always, this is sort of our tagline, truly in the office. And that is, stop predicting, start planning, and then stay mindful of your plan.
[00:31:28] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Where can people find you online and social media and where can people find your book?
[00:31:33] Jonathan DeYoe: The best place to go online is to go to mindful.money.
[00:31:36] I will say that’s not mindfulmoney.com, that wasn’t available, but mindful.money. You’ll find all our education courses and services, and you’ll find all the social media links that we have and I have personally. The best place to find me online is LinkedIn. That’s probably where I’m the most active.
[00:31:50] And then the book, local bookstores probably don’t have it as much anymore. Amazon’s going to have it forever.
[00:31:55] Bob Wheeler: And Jonathan, you have a free course that our listeners can go to a website and get. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
[00:32:02] Jonathan DeYoe: Absolutely. We have an 18 module course, the first module, which is free. And that first module is designed to help people figure out what’s important to them.
[00:32:11] It starts with talking about their values, it develops a personal purpose, and then it takes you from your long-term 10 year plus goals, to five-year goals, to two year goals, to one year goals, down to this quarter’s action steps. It’s a single course. We always say that the most important thing of financial planning is that you know where you’re going.
[00:32:30] This helps you figure out where you’re going.
[00:32:32] Bob Wheeler: Sign up. That’s awesome. Well, Jonathan, I want to recap, just this conversation, because it’s really been a great conversation. There’s a couple of things that we didn’t say explicitly, but when we talked about the Happiness Dividend, when you shared that, what I was hearing from that and throughout, is this place of gratitude.
[00:32:52] Of actually like, we may not always be happy, we may not always be wealthy, but we can certainly look for gratitude and get the happiness dividend through that. The other piece that was interesting to me was, even though your parents didn’t have a lot, and even though there might’ve been some financial shame of not having the newest car in town and all those things, I didn’t hear any blame.
[00:33:15] I didn’t hear like, oh, this is what, my parents didn’t put me through college, my this and that. Like that really, there’s a personal owning and taking responsibility for where you are and where you’re going.
[00:33:28] Jonathan DeYoe: Oh, I think those two things, so gratitude is, for me, in the book, it’s the eighth pillar of happiness. I talk about eight things. That is one of the things that actually allows you to have a happiness dividend is being grateful for where you are, wherever that is. And then absolutely, the most frustrating thing that I run into in the world is somebody that doesn’t own, yes. Circumstances happened. Yes. Life is hard. Yes. There’s roadblocks. There’s roadblocks for everybody. Some more than others. No question.
[00:33:57] And in order to overcome that, you have to take responsibility to overcome it. That’s the only way. It’s never actually dawned on me to blame my parents, because I think that my parents gave me incredible love and support.
[00:34:11] They couldn’t give me stuff. But they taught me how to be a good person. And that’s so much more valuable than stuff. I’m hoping, I’m hoping that while I’m getting my kids stuff, I’m also teaching them to be good people and have those values. Because the values are really more important than the stuff.
[00:34:28] Bob Wheeler: They really are. And I think that’s where the wealth comes in, is in who we are as a person, our integrity, and our moral compass. So…
[00:34:37] Jonathan DeYoe: Absolutely.
[00:34:37] Bob Wheeler: Jonathan, thank you so much for sharing. I think there’s been just so much great information here for everybody, and I appreciate you sharing some of your personal stuff, because so many people like to present and have done it perfectly, and I really appreciate your vulnerability and all that. So thank you so much.
[00:34:54] Jonathan DeYoe: You’re welcome, Bob. It was my pleasure.
[00:35:02] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they, too, can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.
[00:35:19] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve, not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.