Debt Scholarship Sponsor: Jesse Mecham, You Need a Budget

Jesse-mechamWebsite or Company

What is your background with debt and how did you conquer the financial obstacles in your life?

My story is very similar to others. It’s the story of grad-school and being newly married.

Suddenly it wasn’t just about me–it was about providing for my spouse and our growing family. It was a struggle just to pay the $350 rent on our basement apartment.

Our savings were draining quickly and I still had years left before I graduated and could work full-time. I realized we needed to optimize what we had and make sure nothing was slipping through the cracks on things that weren’t a priority.

I created a budget spreadsheet one day and continued improving it as the months went by. Putting our priorities down in print and making ourselves accountable to the budget got us through those lean times.

How did you discover you had a desire to help other people overcome their debt problems?

I was working 80 hours a week as a CPA. It was grueling work and I started to ask myself why I was doing it. Meanwhile, I had a side business selling that very same budget program I’d created during college.

I realized the best way to improve people’s lives financially, wasn’t as a CPA, but as an entrepreneur–a budget guru. I decided to focus full-time on improving the budget program and have never regretted it.

What is your WHY (or the company’s why) behind wanting to be a sponsor of the Debt Movement?

Debt is the pandemic of our time. I don’t want people to think they’re powerless against it or that it’s a normal part of life that will always be there to haunt them. I want to help inform people and give them the tools to live financially pro-active lives.

What’s the biggest hurdle you see people face when they first decide to pay off debt?

The biggest hurdle is creating a plan. People tend to imagine a drastic lifestyle shift that leaves them devoid of all pleasure because they’re chained to paying off the debt.

It seems grim and so they don’t even want to start. However, small, manageable changes are what’s best. Take on that mountain in small chunks.

Begin by simply tracking your spending for a month so you know exactly where you money is going. Assess the importance of what you spent it on, then adjust and prioritize for the following month. One step at a time is the best you can do.

What’s your number one piece of advice to help people stay out of debt for good?

Keep your money tied to your values. As long as you’re using the money you have on the things that matter most to you, you’ll be much more satisfied and at peace with your life.

When you force yourself to make a decision on where your money should go, you discover what’s most important to you. It makes it so much easier to let the other stuff go.

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is one of the Debt Movement’s Debt Scholarship Gold Sponsors, and is known for their Four Rules that help people stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money faster.

  • Ruben Omega

    Using YNAB and learning the “Four Rules” has been an incredible paradigm shift for me and my family, and it’s the first time that budgeting has actually worked for more than just a month! I’m very grateful!