In today’s episode, our guest is Jesse Mecham, CEO of You Need A Budget. He guides individuals as to how to spend and budget their money correctly. Growing up, Jesse had a situation where he needed to figure out how to earn money for his growing family and meet their needs. In doing so, he created a spreadsheet that could help people budget their money which led to the creation of his company, YNAB. Today, he will share with us his journey and how he helps people stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money. 

[5:29] Why should we listen to you?

I have a hard time leading with what my work is. I am a father of 7 kids, and people usually ask me about them; people might ask where they came from, but if we talked about what gets me up in the morning, I run a little business to teach people how to think better about their money. 

[7:53] How did you come up with this business?

It was born out of necessity. I just turned 22 when I got married, three years left to schooling. I planned to become a CPA, become a partner, and make a quarter-million dollars eventually. My wife works in a social work profession. I built this little spreadsheet for the two of us to watch what’s going on. My first child is coming, landing here is imminent, and wanting my wife to stay home to be a full-time mom, I do not want to borrow money for school. I worked part-time as an intern, and we were scraping until we want to do a pullback on her income. I thought I am short of making it through the next two years, so maybe I could sell the spreadsheet we are using. I talked to a friend who sold goods online and was told that I could sell them. That gave me the thumbs up to do it. I told my wife that I am giving it a shot and ran some ads on Google AdWords.

[12:38] “Maybe I should stop this” moment.

I was sitting on the desk, planning winter where accountants are busy, thinking how much I could take an hour for the next three months. I am making lots of money there, but it was to the tunes of 1000s. When you have a $500 rent, 1000s is much money, so I wondered if I should keep doing this? But I made a quick decision that I should keep going.

[14:19] What keeps you going?

I had to learn everything about marketing, become a better writer, become a little better at interviews, but all on the way you are evolving. I asked myself, am I still learning? Am I still enjoying this? Or do I feel like I am still getting this renaissance man vibe from a thing, like where I kind of know a little bit of everything? And that keeps me going.

[21:07] Joyous parts in life you cannot experience without chasing it

It is finding where you got to be accurate, where you got to stay consistent. And then letting yourself experiment. That has been the best part about the business for me is not just experiment in the industry, but just with life, try my hand at various things and take my kids to places that will blow their minds.

Key Quotes

[22:32-22:35] “Figure out what your places are or the things you want to hold on to.”

[27:51-27:55]Teach and allow people to do things and give them room to make mistakes.”

Learn more about YNAB on:





Written by : Anthony Trucks

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