Scott DeLuzio 00:00:00 Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.
Scott DeLuzio 00:00:22 Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Jay Ly Jay enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and served for 13 years as a special operations bomb technician. He’s also the host of the live free series, where he helps listeners discover what it takes to overcome our own minds and turn it into our greatest asset in discovering our own freedom. So welcome to the show, Jay I really appreciate you taking the time to come on and join me.
Jason Ly 00:00:53 Thanks for having me on Scott.
Scott DeLuzio 00:00:57 Yeah. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, a little bit about your military career and stuff? And then we’ll jump into a little bit more about what you do and the message you’re trying to get out there with your show.
Jason Ly 00:01:16 Yeah, absolutely. As you said, I joined the Navy when I was 17 under the delayed entry program. I was a junior. I graduated the following year in June and then July next month I was gone. That was definitely for the best because if I stuck around, I probably would have gotten in some trouble, probably got kicked out of the Navy before I even joined up. I definitely knew I was like, I was that kid that needed structure in his life. Otherwise, it was just going to go off the rails. That’s when I joined the Navy, went to EOD explosive ordnance disposal. 13-year careers, amazing, had a lot of grouses fortunate to be matched up to a lot of good deployments, a lot of good teams, and was able to do some good work. So I’m very fortunate about that and still have all my limbs, all my fingers are so very blessed in that regard also,
Scott DeLuzio 00:02:09 Well, especially in a job like that, it’s still walking away with everything that you walked in with. I was actually talking with another guest. I forget which episode it was on now, but it was in a previous episode here. We were talking about these EOD guys. When I was in Afghanistan, we called them out. There was a local village that found some RPG. The pockets that get shot out of the RPGs. They said they found them on the side of a road and they didn’t know what to do with them. So they called us out there. We came out to kind of investigate and then we ended up calling out. But EOD guys came and l disposed of those things. We’re all looking at it like with caution we’re approaching it really cautiously. These guys just kind of roll up and they walk up and they’re like, oh yeah, well that’s cool. We just grab it and they throw it in the back of their truck and they drive away. We’re like, what the hell just happened? That grease guy has got balls of steel, just walking up to me saying
Jason Ly 00:03:16 It’s all part of your job.
Scott DeLuzio 00:03:19 Right? Yeah, exactly. The attitude, the mindset of these guys is kinda li what, I’m either right with whatever it is that I’m doing with these things or these things, or I’m wrong, and it’s no longer my problem.
Jason Ly 00:03:39 Yes. Yes. It comes with a lot of homework. Okay. You can’t just walk up to an RPG round like that and just pick it up. A lot of background knowledge for them to kind of assess that real quick and proceed.
Scott DeLuzio 00:03:54 Yeah, exactly. I think like any other professional in any other industry, they make it look easy, but there’s a lot of work and dedication that goes into the procedure and the process that they go through to make it look so easy. They’ve practiced doing what they’re doing hundreds of thousands of times to make sure that they know what they’re doing so that they don’t end up walking away without all of their limbs.
Jason Ly 00:04:22 Or at all
Scott DeLuzio 00:04:24 Yeah, that’s true. Overall. So I’d like to talk to you a little bit about your show, the With Free Series, where you got the idea for it. Was this something in your personal life that kind of triggered you to want to share this message with other people? What kind of spark did this show lead you to go down this road?
Jason Ly 00:04:47 Well, it had been on my mind for a while. As I was coaching where people and my coaching businesses are rooted in personal finance, I’ve adopted and kind of pivoted to executive leadership and communication also because with personal finance, I mean, that is like the basics. I mean, that’s the foundation of everything. It was kind of doing a lot of work in, and around that EOD community of volunteering with the military and everything like that, helping guys with budgets and goals, and really just financial literacy. I kind of noticed through different reputations about our leaders that we had and kinda knew their reputation. I had a good advantage because I already knew the reputations of everyone in the command, around the community.
Jason Ly 00:05:46 I was doing budgets with them, and there’s the leaders that are really good leaders. They are there for the men, the mission, and the command, right? That’s why they make their decision. What is in the best interest of those three things? Then you have the leaders out there that are, and I say, leaders, quote, unquote, these are bosses. I’m about to describe there, any leadership position, a leadership role, however, they’re making decisions based on how they can make themselves look good, how they can get promoted, and different accolades that they’ll chase. The common conception, which I now know is that a misconception if we take the time to connect with these people that may have these perceived reputations of, oh, well, they’re just kind of in it for themselves. That’s all they care about.
Jason LY 00:06:34 I sat down with a lot of these people and did budgets with them and it turns out more often than not. It was the type that was for the men’s mission and the command, very solid financial background, personal finance. It’s not like they had finance degrees. They were just set up well, they had emergency funds. They were living well within their means. They were contributing regularly to retirement. On the other side of the coin were the bosses, right, they were making decisions based off of themselves, chasing rank chasing awards, that was the perception, but they were very overextended and these guys were hurting because they’re living paycheck to paycheck. These are the senior officers that are in these positions and they’re living paycheck to paycheck. Then I kind of expanded that to the civilian world. I was taking a look at some lawyers and doctors and professions where you think it’s like, okay, these guys are set.
Jason Ly 00:07:34 That’s another common misconception around money is if I just had more money, I’d be okay. That’s not the case. That’s not the case at all. Money does not change you. It magnifies who you are. If you are bad at managing money if you can’t manage a thousand dollars, how can you ever expect to manage a million dollars? t’s the same behavior I see. It doesn’t matter if you’re making $50,000 a year or $500,000 a year, you’re going to make the same decisions. Behaviorally just one has more zeros tacked on the end of it. So I was looking at all that, and I’m like, man, these guys are not serving for a purpose. In my background, my story, I wasn’t searching for purpose either because my finding out I’m not on a soapbox if you’re cause I was always good with money, I did stupid on steroids of money and we can get into that later if you want.
Jason Ly 00:08:30 It was a lot of bad decisions on my part. So what my position where I’m coming from is not from a position of, I’m just telling you how to do this because I’m all-knowing. I just know how to win. I felt the pain and the hurt, and I’ve been there and I don’t want that for anyone else. I saw that in these leaders that I was, that I was helping out. Man, you’re not serving your purpose, your server, a paycheck, just like I was. Then I looked around and it was, that was a standard. That was not the exception. I wasn’t the exception. They’re not the exception, it’s happening at all ranks, all levels, all jobs, every branch, civilian, military, everything, it’s, it’s a plague. So yeah, I was like, man, this is like, people are slaves and we’re enslaving ourselves.
Jason Ly 00:09:23 So that’s why the Live Free series of it has been on my heart in my head. Like, what does freedom actually mean to you? Why does it matter? What are you willing to do to get there? A lot of people that I interview they’ve already taken steps to kind of be living with their definition of freedom. So how did they overcome self-limiting beliefs and toxic mindsets and just, just very limiting mentalities and how they overcame that and how they actually win and live with their definition of freedom. Me, I just had to get it out. Actually, we have a mutual friend, Tripp, Bowdenheimer who really pushed me. He’s the one that said why don’t you just start it? It’s like, well, I gotta line this up and this stuff, he’s like, no, you don’t just, just start it. I was like, yeah, you’re right. So then yeah, he gave me the push I needed.
Scott DeLuzio 00:10:17 Yeah. That’s the best way. I mean, I think with, with a lot of things in life, the best way, to get started doing something is to just get started doing it. You don’t have to have all the pieces lined up, but some of the pieces will fall into place down the line. Just start doing it. It’s just like, you’re talking about finances. Well, I can’t start saving for retirement yet because of filling the blank. Excuse. Well, just, just get started. say putting aside 50 bucks is better than not putting aside anything. Just absolutely do something.
Jason Ly 00:10:53 Yeah. You hit the head, it’s the excuses, the excuses.
Scott DeLuzio 00:10:57 Yeah, it is. We kind of stand in our own way with a lot of things that we are trying to accomplish in life. I like what you were talking about in terms of the freedom aspect of things, how we kind of become enslaved to our own bad decisions. We’re not financially free when we are living paycheck to paycheck when just barely scraping by. We’re not putting anything away for retirement or saving for emergency expenses and things like that. We’re not putting anything aside and we’re living in a very constrained life, in the sense that we have to chase that next paycheck or chase that next promotion. That has to be what we’re focused on instead of the things that we should be focused on, like we’re saying, like focusing on the men, the mission. That is what’s more important in the grand scheme of things, to be able to do your job well and make sure that things are going the right way.
Scott DeLuzio 00:12:16 But then when we start focusing on our next paycheck and our next promotion, we’re not focused on those things anymore. We’re Focused on the wrong things.
Jason Ly 00:12:27 Yeah. It degrades our purpose. It affects us at all levels and that’s just not a good way to live. If you have a purpose and now you are not living it. In the military, I raised my right hand. I mean, I’m preaching to the choir here. There’s just a sense of pride, right? When you are, re-enlisting, or if you’re an officer if you’re reaffirming that oath of office where it is just, you’re raising your right hand and you are swearing this allegiance, this pledge, this oath that you are going to give a piece of you, if not everything to a cause. When I came to the realization that I was no longer serving for that, I was sure I was there and I was doing the thing, but in my heart, and in my mind, I was not present for that at all.
Jason Ly 00:13:26 It was totally the paycheck aspect of the house. Like I need this paycheck and I was so distracted and it was detracting from everything, my relationships, I mean, my work performance, you name it, everything, because this was just running constantly in the background. I equate this all the time so you don’t have to be face to face with an IED. You just don’t know what I’m talking about and what we’re talking about. It replaces the bomb, with your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, whoever you love and truly care about if you’re not paying attention, because we’re so distracted and concerned about, if this paycheck’s coming in, when is that bill do, what w where did this bill come from? we’re missing out.
Jason Ly 00:14:25 We’re not focusing on what’s truly important to us. And then you’re not serving your mission and you’re a small business, that is, I feel like the closest thing that I have found to that military mindset of sacrificing myself for something else. Entrepreneurs that have a legitimate calling and a great business, and they’re trying to do something for someone, and they’re trying to solve problems with whatever it is they’re offering. They sign up for that mission. But then I see it too often where they sign it for that mission. And then they invite all the debt into the dream. And now they’re not focused on their dream anymore. They’re focusing on paying the bills and focusing on the bottom line and not focusing on that person or that group of people that they’re trying to serve anymore. It’s sad
Scott DeLuzio 00:15:18 a lot of times we start these things with good intentions, whether it’s joining of intentions, right? Joining the military, starting a business that we have these great ideas, these great even other relationships you get married, you have kids, you, you have good intentions going into it. You’re not focused on the right things when you’re chasing the paycheck, right. When you’re doing things just to get that next bill paid. Because you’re worried about your mortgage, your car payments, your whatever, your credit card bills, all that kind of stuff. We talk a lot about freedom in this country you get a very, very patriotic with, around 4th of July and, and things like that, where we’re, we’re talking about, oh, we’re free and we’re free, but then, we go and we put the shackles on ourselves and lock ourselves down where we’re not actually as free as we thought we were.
Scott DeLuzio 00:16:22 When we talked the other day before we recorded, I never really thought of it the way that you were talking about it. I never really thought of it as not being completely free when you are saddled with that. When you’re working paycheck to paycheck, trying to just scrape by, in life. You’re not free to pick up and go take that vacation or to handle that big expense, that unexpected, big expense that comes through you. You’re not free to do those kinds of things. And you end up working to solve that problem instead of the problem that maybe you, you started a business for, to serve your family or your loved ones. It’s very much a limiting situation when you end up settling yourself with all that kind of debt and just bad financial management, right?
Jason Ly 00:17:28 Yeah. And it’s totally self-imposed too. We can have a victimization mentality, which that’s what the live free series is all about. It’s like having those mentalities, but then realizing it. Becoming aware and crushing it and getting over it and getting over ourselves. That’s what it’s all about. And then moving forward, like making the conscious decision. It’s like, this is enough, and I’m going to change because that’s what it’s going to take. And the past couple of years, and not to disparage anyone that has lost family members in the past couple years due to the, like COVID and everything that we’ve been facing. But this is a great example of freedom. And at the live free series and with my company and golden compass, freedom to me and my values and how I wrong on the businesses is doing the things you love with the people you love when you want to, as often as you want, obviously, within the constraints of the law and what is actually appropriate.
Jason Ly 00:18:30 But think about the families and my heart goes out to these people and their families where you’re working a job, your finances are already kind of a little shaky. And then your family member gets sick somewhere, probably in a different state. That’s just how we live nowadays. Like everyone’s spread out and you finally start working again. However, now this relative is now sick and it’s taken a turn, right? It’s a bet. It’s taken a turnout for the good, but for the worst. And their time is now very limited. Doing the things you love with the people you love. I don’t care how good your finances are, I am not gonna write another check when everything is on the line. And the time is now taken by the minute of the hour, by the day, you can’t write a check for five more minutes maybe leading up to it.
Jason Ly 00:19:24 You can maybe prolong it. If you have time to do that if you catch it in time and you might be able to, I don’t know, but when push comes to shove, when all the cards are laid on the table, you can’t write a check for five more minutes with the person you love for one more hug, you can’t do it. I know that, and my heart just goes out to everyone that could have. They could have gone and been with their family members one more time. But they couldn’t because they had to work. They had to stay back. They had to pay the bills. And there’s nothing. I’m not disparaging again. I’m not going to disparage those people because yes, you have to focus on what is on your house and on your household.
Jason Ly 00:20:13 And if you have to put food on the table for your kiddos, for your family, keep the lights on. Yes, you have to do that. But you’re doing it because you have to now because you want to. And that’s the difference. And like I said, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that. Yes, you have to do what you gotta, you gotta do what you gotta do with little planning. Basic financial planning, basic financial principles. You don’t need a finance degree to do the things that I’m talking about. I mean, that’ll help out. Great. But I know, I know broke financial advisors because their behavior is not consistent with their values or what they’re actually their knowledge base. Knowing something is one thing, doing it is a totally separate thing. We talked a little bit about the EOD guys, just going up and grabbing an RPG.
Jason Ly 00:21:01 There are so many things that we’re looking at before we do that. there’s a shipping cap on it. Has it been fired? All of these things, that’s going to tell you, if you can pick it up or not, and as a trained ear, do you have that knowledge? But if I have that knowledge. I see scorch marks coming out. I think I know it’s been fired, but if I don’t recognize that, or if I don’t acknowledge it and I just go ahead and move this thing, that’s armed, very sensitive fused. That is inconsistent with everything I stand for by moving that as an EOD guy, and dealing with finances is the same exact thing. Why am I going to spend my money and bury myself under a mountain of debt when my family lives over here. And I know if anything happens, I need to go and see them. That costs money. If one of my values is family and I’m not setting my situation up in a manner that is conducive with being able to spend time with them, that’s inconsistent, but we do it all the time.
Scott DeLuzio 00:22:01 This is really a toxic mindset, right? To be in this situation where we are constantly doing things against our own values. Like you’re saying, family, is one of those things that’s important to you. And you’re doing all the things that are going to ultimately prevent you from being with family as often as possible. That just seems like it’s a toxic mentality. How do we go about overcoming this and kind of shifting our mindset, or maybe shifting our behaviors to be able to have this financial freedom and not be constantly chasing the next paycheck?
Jason Ly 00:22:51 Being intentional about it. Being intentional with yourself. Asking yourself that question. What do I actually value? That’s step number one, because if you don’t say it, if you don’t write it down on a piece of paper, if you just think it it’s like, well, I kind of value this right now, but in this moment, and then it’s the kind of like, just where there’s a way, but actually dedicating time and energy into outlining what you truly value. And then with your finances, make a budget, use a written budget. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. You can use a notebook. Like one of those little spiral notebooks. Everyone knows I’m talking about it flipping over. You take a note, right? This is how much money I have. This is how much money I can spend.
Jason Ly 00:23:39 It’s that basic it can be. And then if you want to nerd out on it like I do, break it all down like, you can get there. Eventually, I’m doing this, it takes about three months, that’s, that is my time window, the first month. You’re going to actually write down what you make and you’re going to track your expenses the first month. What do I actually spend? You can look back at statements to get a rough idea, but now you’re actually going to be intentional about tracking. And that’s the behavior thing because we can all go back and look at it. That’s not a behavior thing. That’s like a reactionary way to handle money. You’re in a crisis mode. Where did that money go? Let me go check. Now we’re going to prepare and actually plan where I’m going to go from now on.
Jason Ly 00:24:28 So we categorize and write down our expenses. We actually know the second month we can actually realign everything. I wrote this much for groceries when I actually spent this much. So change the number. What do you actually spend? Put it in there and don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations., I have a family of four, but yeah. We only spend $150 a month on groceries. That’s totally unrealistic. Not even close. There are some people that are really thrifty and like the coupon crazies. More power to you. That’s not me. That’s a special type of person and yeah, we need to talk if that’s you. It’s intentionality like that and that’s where it all starts.
Jason Ly 00:25:10 That transfers to every aspect of your life. If you’re that intentional about where your money’s going, how much you’re making, you’re signing every dollar, a name, like a job you’re giving this dollar, is going to. This one is going to be this. And this is where a budget gives you freedom. A lot of people hear the B-word and they’re like, oh, they cringe budget. I don’t want to do that. It’s so constricting. And I want to be free. I want to spend my money and live my life. Well, guess what? You’re not doing that because you have no idea how much money you have. a budget gives you the freedom to spend without guilt. I know I have this much money. I know that these are my bills that I actually have to pay. These are all the non-essential crap that I use, that I spend money on.
Jason Ly 00:25:54 You have the choice now to eliminate all those things that you have identified as non-essential, that’s up to you. Right. And then you have your fun money. Give yourself all the fun money, depending on what stage of the process you’re in. And yeah, that’s like, so, like me and my wife and we have an agreement like if you’re married, you definitely have to have an agreement with your spouse. What is our threshold of fund money or a single transaction that I can spend without consulting? You then agree. Kristen, my wife, we have a hundred bucks if we’re spending more than a hundred dollars, even a hundred dollars. And anything more than ninety-nine, ninety-nine, I’m on the phone, I’m shooting a text like, Hey, this is what I’m doing. What do you think? It’s okay to stand on your check. And she’s like, don’t actually need that right now. It’s really a want. And then you’re using them as an accountability partner as you should. Right. If you’re not married, you can have a friend that is actually doing the same thing that you are and sign up to be each other’s, accountability partners. And that’s what it takes. It’s that, that basic level, right. That’s one behavior. That’s, one behavior modification that could change the trajectory of your life. It saved mine.
Scott DeLuzio 00:27:09 Yeah. I don’t know for sure. And my wife and I have the same thing. We have a set amount where whatever it is in a single transaction. What if we’re going to spend more than that amount? We’re asking each other, is this okay? Just, just want to check-in, even if it’s for one of those things like in the house that we know we’re going to need at some point, but we just go out and we just want to make sure that this is okay with you. Just so that we’re on the same page. Like you said, it’s just a basic accountability where you just want to make sure that you’re not rushing off and doing that impulse buy. But it really ultimately wants to be honest. Most of the things that we spend our money on, it’s there for once and not the needs. It’s a part of the culture, or I don’t know what it is. A lot of times we just do that.
Jason Ly 00:28:27 Anything right. I can justify so badly how I need a new vehicle. I can justify anything. And that’s just like you’re talking about. That’s the culture we live in. I need that because they have it. And that’s the thing that gets us into trouble. Is the comparison. Obviously, I’m on social media. I have a company. I have to be on social media. So it is a tool to use. However, there’s a huge dark side to social media. It makes keeping up with the Joneses to change that like, oh, wait, I’m going to keep up my neighbor over here. And it makes that a global comparison. There’s no limits to keeping up with the Joneses across the globe where it’s like, oh, I don’t even know this person, but they’re kind of like me. And they’re kind of like my lifestyle and they kind of have the same thing going on, but they’re spending a lot more money than me. I can do that too. We know nothing about these people. So where we get ourselves into trouble is when we buy stuff. We don’t have to impress people. We don’t even know why we are doing this?
Scott DeLuzio 00:29:40 We don’t look alike. It’s like, why are we doing this? Who cares? But I mean, all of this, you’re talking about budgeting and stuff. It’s really basic math. It’s just like simple, very simple stuff. When, when you look at it and subtraction. It’s really not that difficult. I have a degree in accounting and most of accounting, like people, look at as like, oh, you must be really good at math. It’s like, yeah, I can add and subtract. You have money coming in, you have money coming out in that it breaks down to pretty much that simple level of transactions. Obviously, there’s some more in-depth stuff, but that you can get into. But, when you’re looking at a budget, if you make X amount of dollars a month, well then you can’t spend more than that.
Jason Ly 00:30:36 So break out everything else accordingly. You’re going to have some things that are our fixed costs that they just cost a certain amount. Like you said before. Having a family of four, it’s going to cost a certain amount to feed that family of four. If you have a mortgage or a car payment that typically doesn’t fluctuate your change over time. But if you go through this whole budgeting process and realize, oh my God, I’m spending most of my money on this mortgage and I have pennies left over for food. Well, okay. Obviously you’re living in too, too expensive of a house. And maybe it’s time to think about changing that living situation.
Jason Ly 00:31:37 You are living in this house just because you’re trying to be like somebody else or impress somebody else or what are the reasons that you’re doing that? And so really, like you said, just look at all the things that are coming in, your income from your job, from your business. I know it’s hard if you have a business because a lot of times it just ebbs and flows with the financials. But, you can take a look if you’ve been in business for a year or more, you can take a look at what on average you make throughout the year and say, okay, this is it. This is all I can really rely on, is this amount of money. And that way, when you have a really good month in your business, you can put some of that money aside and invest it back in the business, or just keep it for a rainy day or keep it for those months where you’re maybe not hitting that average.
Jason Ly 00:32:36 And that frees you up and it allows you to do the things that are important to you that you really need to focus on in your life, your family, your, your community, whatever it is that is important to you. It allows you to focus on those things. When you have a clear picture of the ins and outs financially of what’s going on in your life.
Scott DeLuzio 00:33:03 You’re absolutely correct. And it’s these things in our lives. The things they should, if you’re going to devote money, if you’re gonna take money away from your family and put it out in the world and spend it, it should be stuff that brings you happiness. And you feel like it is useful to you. It is useful to your family. It provides you with some type of security or comfort or something. That’s a great example of the house, right? I know so many people that are house poor, and it’s like, how should it be a blessing? It should be a solace where you escape to, at the end of the day, you’re done, you’re shutting the door and it’s like, I’m here. If I have a family, I’m with my family, they’re all here.
Jason Ly 00:33:50 If I’m a bachelor or bachelorette, living the lifestyle, that’s where you can just relax and just not have to put on a show for anyone. And that should bring you comfort. But if you are stressed about not having enough money to do everything that you want to do, because you gotta pay the mortgage, the rent you’re living in just way outside of your means, right. Period. And I mean, financial professionals across the board, all agree. You shouldn’t be spending more than 30% of your take-home pay on rent or your mortgage. And I like to taper that down. I cut deep here. 30% should be the total of your housing costs. So that’s your rent or mortgage, all your utilities and everything associated with that to include a renter’s insurance and anything and everything, a maintenance fund, if you have a house.. And so I like to keep that number at 30% total. So really you’re looking at 25, 20% for your mortgage or your rent. That way you free up that extra 10 to have stuff to pay for the things. That gives you water, stuff like that. And that’s just living well within your means.
Scott DeLuzio 00:35:03 Yeah. And there’s nothing that says that you can’t upgrade that situation as your life improves. As you, as you get that promotion as you start making more money. You’re not shackled to this house or to this apartment or wherever you’re living. You’re not shackled to it. You now have the freedom. And going back to that word, I love that part of it, you have the freedom to now choose to move to a bigger house or to maybe a nicer neighborhood or whatever. You can do that. And now you’re not stressed about, well, how am I going to pay the rent? How am I going to cover these expenses? How am I going to if you own a house, how am I going to fix the water heater or the furnace or whatever, when those things go out, because I’m scraping by just paycheck to paycheck. I have maybe a couple thousand dollars set aside when, when some major, home improvement, project comes up where we’re not even improving it, just a maintenance project comes up where, where you need to replace something, otherwise your house isn’t working in the right way. It just doesn’t make sense.
Jason Ly 00:36:20 But one of the things that could be like a 25 cent washer right on a toilet goes out, and then your bathrooms flooded, and now you have water leaking through your ceiling, which is, this is a scenario that happened to me. I should have just changed the washer. I wasn’t intentional about that. I ignored it and yeah. We had the funds, I just ripped the whole ceiling. I was like what, we’re just going to redo it. And boom we have this maintenance fund for a reason and we’re going to cash it out now and put in some new lights and do the whole thing and make it look nice. But yeah, that was totally my fault. And it was all because of a 25 cent washer.
Jason Ly 00:36:59 Now that was an inconvenience for us. If we didn’t have those funds, that would have been an all-out emergency. And that would have been super, it was already stressful as it was because we had water leaking from our ceiling where there shouldn’t be. It was not an all out catastrophe. It was an inconvenience, a big one. I’m not going to say it was a minor inconvenience. Because I mean, it was bad. Like our whole second floor ceiling was bad. it was that freedom of we’re gonna rip the ceiling out. My friend’s a contractor. We’re gonna get some plans together. Where do you want the lights?. And it’s fun for my wife and I. We got to pick up some new stuff.
Jason Ly 00:37:40 Then we went on vacation and like, Hey, we’re going to go on vacation. We’ve got a week. We’re just going to go on vacation for a week while this gets redone. We’re not worried about staying in a hotel, or living in this crazy situation that is not healthy to live in there’s water damage. You don’t want kids in this situation. My son thought it was awesome. Because you could see that you could see the joys for the next floor. And yeah, it was the freedom to update a little bit. Granted it was not our initial plan, but we have the freedom to do that. And I mean, when I was not good with my, that would’ve still been like that for months, I would have ripped the ceiling out and gotten all the water and it would have been dry, but it would’ve been bare studs. The joists were exposed for probably months, if not a couple of years.
Scott DeLuzio 00:38:31 Because at that point then you’re reacting to the situation. If you’re in that financial situation where it’s not the best financial situation, where you don’t have that emergency fund set aside for maintenance projects or things like that. But, then you’re like, okay, what is this going to cost me now? And now I have to scrape by and figure out how I’m going to come up with this money. It doesn’t make sense to do that. If you could just put a little bit aside, live within your means. Put a little bit aside each month or each paycheck or whatever the situation is. And then you have a little bit of money, stacking away for these unexpected things when they do pop up. It’s kinda like, when you get a paycheck you get the taxes taken out of the paycheck before it even hits your account but the taxes are gone.
Scott DeLuzio 00:39:37 So it’s like money that you don’t even miss because it never was there to begin with, in your bank account.So I always think of it this way. If you were to do that with your paycheck. I have in my bank account, every pay period. Whenever money comes into the account, I have it automatically send a certain amount of money to my savings so that I have some money from that just put away and I don’t touch the savings until that thing that I’m saving up for those unexpected expenses until that those things come up and then I dip into the savings for, for those types of things. But otherwise, I tried to stay away from savings altogether, and just leave that money so that when I need it, it’s there and I have that cushion to fall back on.
Scott DeLuzio 00:40:32 I never noticed that the money’s gone because it never was in the account to begin with. It just went away to another account that I don’t have, I don’t look at it too often,I don’t like to focus so intently on it. It’s just, it’s not there. It’s just like, you’re the way I think of the taxes that come out of a paycheck,never was there to begin with. So you don’t miss it quite as much and you learn to live within those means, with that, that reduced amount of, of income. but you’re putting some of that money aside for those bigger unexpected things.
Jason Ly 00:41:11 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Pay yourself first. And that’s, that’s what it takes, that’s a huge behavioral aspect of money is paying yourself first, just like you’re doing. And just not that it’s uncommon. That’s common sense. Totally common sense. But it is not common practice by any means. And that’s where, that’s where I’m on a mission. And Scott, you are too now too. We gotta eradicate this. Okay. We’ve got to turn it around. Everyone. Just save your money.
Scott DeLuzio 00:41:40 Yeah, exactly. In a good way there, you have to pay yourself first. If all you’re doing is going to work just to pay somebody else for the things that you get in your life, that you go out and buy that the frivolous spending on nonsense stuff that you don’t need, it’s just the once that nothing needs, if you’re going out and doing that, you’re really working for somebody else. And that doesn’t really sound all that freeing to me. But that sounds like you’re pretty locked down at that point.
Jason Ly 00:42:23 Those are your masters. The people that you’re paying are your masters a hundred percent. It’s like my friend, Brian Bullock, wrote a book about living for legacy.. I heard this time, he gave this talk. Amazing. I think it’s like a YouTube video to you, but, and he just talks about that. It’s like he did a bunch of research on different companies and which companies were last names and there’s a lot of them like Welch’s grape juice. Welch’s Welsh is someone’s name. That’s someone’s family name, Wells Fargo. That’s someone’s name, Rolls Royce, that’s someone’s name, and so on and so forth. It’s like so many people always complain about not being wealthy, not having generational wealth, but yet he takes a look at them.
Jason Ly 00:43:17 You’re paying so many other people your money instead of investing in your last name. I borrowed that from like, I use that all the time and I was like, man, I’m taking that. That’s gold. He’s so right. And I have adapted and adopted that into my own practice of like, you have to invest in your last name. What do you value? How do you define freedom? How are you investing in, in your last name? How are you creating a legacy for yourself? There’s a reason why there are humongous towers with people’s names on them. It’s because they were dedicated and intentional about making their family money. That’s why money doesn’t change who you are. It’s not evil. It’s a tool where we’re here to manage what is given to us and that is money.
Jason Ly 00:44:11 And if you’re a generous person and you’re making a little bit, and then you come into a lot of money, you’re not going to turn into a selfish person. That is going to magnify your generosity. Now, if you are a selfish person who makes us a little bit of money and you come into a large amount of money, you’re going to be selfish. And I guarantee that’s going to be gone. Look at lottery winners. Like the average, they typically the most lottery tickets are sold in poor neighborhoods or underserved neighborhoods. and then they come into some money and then it’s gone and that’s it. They had a chance to invest in their last names, but they didn’t because it’s behavior. It has nothing to do with the amount of money that you have. It’s all about behavior and behavior, good behavior over time and making consistent choices with your values. That is what it takes to win with money, no matter how much you make, because if you’re doing that and you make a little bit, guess what? You’re going to do that for a couple of years, and then you’re going to make more money and they’re going to keep making more money. And you’re going to keep making more, you’re going to level up because you’re that type of person now that is doing that. And then you’re making intentional decisions for yourself, which is going to go to every part of your life.
Scott DeLuzio 00:45:27 Yeah, for sure. One thing that you mentioned earlier, and I wanted to touch on this because you said it kind of quickly, but I wanted to go back to it. You said that when you have this money set aside, you can do the things that bring happiness. But, one of the things I wanted to emphasize is happiness for your purpose, your goals in life. And it’s not that short-term happiness that you get when you get that shiny object, right? It’s not that, oh, let me go get that, that new thing, that next new best technology or toy, or,whatever the thing is that it is that you’re going to get you get that. And it gives you happiness for, I don’t know, a few minutes, a couple hours a day or two, maybe and then it’s gone and then, then you’re, you’re chasing that next thing. Right? I don’t think that that’s true happiness. That’s, just chasing the next thing. And, so I want to make sure that we looked at that and just said going out and getting the latest, , whatever the thing is.
Jason Ly 00:46:53 Yeah. We can get the latest iPhone, the latest Android, whichever the latest Macbook. Whatever the case may be. You’re absolutely right. How does that serve you and your purpose and your values? It’s like if you have a computer that’s falling apart, yes. Upgrade a hundred percent, upgrade your computer for the love of God, please do that. So you can stay connected with the people you love. However, don’t bury yourself in debt, getting the top of the line thing. When you just had something that was duct taped together, unless you had the money to do that. And it’s all percentages.This computer costs X, right. I make this much money. What percentage of my take home pay is this thing. Will this next thing that is half the cost?
Jason Ly 00:47:43 Well, way more manageable for my finances and my picture. Does it serve me and my values and my needs? Yes. It allows me to stay connected with family. It’s easy to use, I’m not a computer whiz. I need something that’s intuitive. Boom, there you go. I don’t need it. I don’t need a PhD to operate this thing. And yeah, there you go. I’m not buying the top of the line model of anything. I’m just not because it’s a waste of money, in my opinion, that might not be a waste of money. And I’m not saying don’t spend the money on the nice things, but just have a plan. Don’t bury yourself in mountains of debt, because you think that’s going to make you happy because it’s going to make you happy for five minutes until you walk out the store and then you hear a commercial on the way home. And it’s like, oh, the newer and better thing that you just bought is now obsolete because of this great new one. If you’re chasing that, that new shiny, we gotta get this, that’s what it’s going to be.Get the stuff that actually serves you and serves your values and it’s within your means.
Scott DeLuzio 00:48:45 Yeah, exactly. Because that’s why I think I use technology as an example, because it’s just like what you said, you can go out to the store, you could buy the latest and greatest thing. And it’s almost as if you’re driving home from the store with that thing, you’re still on that high of, oh, I have this thing. I can’t wait to get home and start using it and all that kind of stuff. You’re on the way home. And then you start hearing about the next thing that’s going to replace this. And it’s like, well, now it’s a let down now, now it’s not even happiness. It’s just like, oh man, I just wasted all this money on this thing. When, when I could have gone in that other thing that’s this much better.
Jason Ly 00:49:24.Buyer’s remorse
Scott DeLuzio 00:49:26 Remorse exactly what it is. Yeah. You get the thing and then you’re like, what the hell did I do? Why, why did I spend that money on this thing? Right.
Jason Ly 00:49:35 and I’ve been there. Yeah. I think
Scott DeLuzio 00:49:38 We’ve all done it. And that’s the thing is, if we’ve gone out. We’ve done these things. We, I don’t think there’s anyone who’s listening to this who doesn’t get it. Who doesn’t, who can’t think of a time when they were like, what? Yeah, I did that too. yeah. I’ve spent more money than I should have on something that I didn’t need or whatever. I just wanted it because I thought it was gonna make me feel good. thought it might give me some extra status points with the neighbors or, or coworkers or whoever with,
Jason Ly 00:50:12 With the fellows, with the ladies.
Scott DeLuzio 00:50:13 You’re getting a fancy car, so you can go out to the club and turn some heads and whatever, like, okay. Like, I dunno, I’m nearing 40, so that’s not me. It’s not my I’m driving around an eight-year-old minivan, but it still works. It still works. It still gets us from point a to point B. It’s not like it’s duct tape together or anything. It’s still kicking around. So I’m going to keep using it. When I bought that car my wife and I bought it. We went out and, and I said, I’m going to drive this thing until I can’t drive it anymore. And then we’ll, we’ll worry about it, but the next car then, it’s been, it’s been awesome for the last few years, not having car payments or anything like that. Like I now have that much money that I used to be spending on a monthly basis for this car. Then I can do whatever I want with it. Or I could just put it aside for, like you said, paying yourself. and that is freeing because now you have that, that, expense that you’re not spending on somebody else you’re, you’re investing it back in yourself. And that that’s, that is, truly freeing, when, when you’re finally able to do something like that.
Jason Ly 00:51:34 Absolutely.
Scott DeLuzio 00:51:35 Yeah. So Jay it’s, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. I think I could probably geek out on this for quite a while. I want to give you the chance to let people know where they can check out your show and get in touch with you for some financial resources that you may offer so that they can get on that path to financial freedom and live a much more free life than what they have been doing. So where can we go to listen to your show, and get in touch with you?
Jason Ly 00:52:12 Yeah. Live live free series.com. That’s where you can listen to the show. However you want to listen to it, and I’m on LinkedIn. You can follow me, you can connect with me. I’m always up for connection. and that is I’m on LinkedIn. I’m just Jay Ly, my name J A Y, L Y. And, my Instagram GC Financial Freedom, that’s Golden Compass, right? The GC GC Financial Freedom. And then the show has an Instagram also, at thelivefreeseries. And yeah, if you since we’re on the Drive On Podcast, just send me an email, info I N F O at golden compass, llc.com with Drive On in the subject line. So I know where you came from. So I know where you heard and reach out to me for more info, we can connect. I offer everyone a free consultation.
Scott DeLuzio 00:53:07 So no matter what your scenario is, no matter what your situation, no matter what you’re facing, I at least offer a complimentary consultation to equip you with some tools, even if you don’t think that coaching is right for you. Because coaching has to be right for you. I don’t want to coach you if you’re not ready to be coached. So if you’re ready to be coached and you want, and you’re ready to grow, then yes, absolutely coaching is right for you, but it has to be right. And I’m not going to blow smoke here. Send me a line [email protected] with Drive On in the subject line andI’ll get you some tools on how to win right now.
Scott DeLuzio 00:53:51 Excellent. And I’ll have links to all of this in the show notes. So anyone who’s looking to get in touch with Jay can, reach out and, and, get on the right track with your finances, check out his show. and again, we’ll have links to that in the show notes as well. check out the show because, I’m sure there are some great resources that he’s sharing that can help you out in your, your life and, and some stories from some of his guests who will, hopefully, change your mindset in terms of how you approach your own finances in your, in your life. So, thank you again, Jay, for joining me. I look forward to chatting with you again. We’re gonna try to set up a time to get on your podcast as well. I’m looking forward to chatting with you, and seeing the great things that you’re doing to people’s lives. Thanks again.
Jason Ly 00:54:47 Okay. Thank you for having me, Scott. It was a blast out here and yeah, absolutely. You’re going to be on my show next.
Scott DeLuzio 00:54:54 Awesome. Alright, thanks again. Thanks.
Scott DeLuzio 00:54:57 Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast, if you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at Drive On Podcast.