March 14, 2022

E238: Debt, Family, Money with David Mulonas | Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, we have guest speaker David Mulonas. David and I will have this really incredible conversation about debt, finances, money relationships. And in this conversation, I tried to wrap my head around what I believed that I needed when I started my journey of getting out of massive debt.
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In this episode, we have guest speaker David Mulonas. David and I will have this really incredible conversation about debt, finances, money relationships. And in this conversation, I tried to wrap my head around what I believed that I needed when I started my journey of getting out of massive debt.

David is a finance and personal money coach. I wanted to have them on the show to have this conversation because I know that there are people out there struggling right now like I was, and I thought to myself, if I had this kind of information 15 years ago, my life would have been very different. And what happened was I realized that there were some key elements to navigating debt that I didn't understand, so I started to get literate and money.

So that said, this conversation will be really fascinating, and it's not a conversation of judgment; if you're in debt, please know, I have been there, and you're probably thinking, well, what does that have to do with trauma?

I think it has a lot to do with it, and this isn't so much about the mindset or personal development around trauma as the show is typical. Still, I wanted to bring someone on to have this conversation because I believe it serves a greater purpose, helping you get an alignment with your future goals and what you want.

So we're going to talk about debt, money relationships, credit cards, budgets; the whole nine is a really phenomenal episode!

Unbroken Nation…

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Michael: Hey, what's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with another episode with my guest, David Mulonas, who is the host of the something on my mind, personal finance podcast. David, my friend, what is happening in your world today?

David: Just happy to be alive, just enjoying the everyday normalcy of life.

Michael: It's not a bad thing brother, not a bad thing. So for those of you who don't know, you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got to where you are today.

David: Yeah. So, I have a podcast and it's on Personal Finance, something on my mind and that's what to do as part of a secondary part of life. As for me, I've been in the IT industry for a good 20, 30 years, running major corporate projects for like Fortune 500, Fortune 100 kind of organizations. I'm a published author and a personal finance 15 years ago, I wrote that book when I didn't know what I was doing or think I would ever been be published but I did. And so that actually launched me to a lot of different things, but I'm kind of a guy that, you know, at this stage of my life where I'm just doing a lot to give back to other people I've done well, I've saved well, I've been through, you know, many things like other people, which I'm sure we can talk about not everybody has a smooth sail, but I'm just feeling really good these days about just giving back to the world as much as I can.

Michael: Yeah. It's beautiful. We're does that come from? You know, I think so many people they have this ideation, they're like, yeah, I want to give back to do something and they kind of like, never come through with it. What kind of spark for you to want to be able to do this? Because as somebody who hosts a podcast, like, writes and speaks, and all the same things, you know, it's a tremendous amount of personal effort required to even get remotely notice, or even to have one person hear you. So where did that come from and why do you do it?

David: You know, that's an interesting question because I don't really know, but I can tell you one piece, is that it's just innate, that's it's just who I am. I'm that guy who open their door for a lady and still get the oh, what a nice young man, it does still exist, chivalry still a thing. I did see those a child, my grandfather working very hard, he worked in the coal mines when he was 14 in Kentucky and never went to school and he got out with my grandmother with one piece of furniture was, it's a Duncan Phyfe chest of drawers, which I still have upstairs and they moved up to Michigan and he got a job in a steel mill and he built everything with his hands, including the cottage and I just saw the value of working very hard and just making things last, making things they have quality getting the most out, what you have, even if you know, he rigged everything he could on top of building things, but that's what it was instilled in me of really understanding purpose of things that you have in front of you. Like, what do you want to do with it? How much you want to make out of that? I'm that the mentality is, I don't want to weigh something. So maybe he's an example is if you're going to go to work every day and most people aren't entrepreneurs and the culture today is being entrepreneur, but you don't have to be. The point is whatever you do with your time during your given day, I even outside of your work time as you need to get the most out of that time because you've already committed the fact that you're going to do it. So if you're lazy about it, or do you want to put in a good effort, then that is on you. And if you don't like things, then go make changes, but as much as things are in those, a lot of bad things in the world, you do have a lot of ability to make changes for yourself and if you don't at some point, you can't blame yourself, you gotta make sure that you put yourself in a position to make changes, I guess I should say it this way, that you don't start blaming yourself. You have a lot of opportunity, it's not easy, you got to work hard but it's in there and most people can do it.

Michael: Yeah. Well, you know what? I think most people hear that and they're like, yeah, heard that a million times and it's true but you know, I think the reason why so many of us say it so emphatically and so frequently with so much constitution as because it's fucking true man, like, I look at my life, it's so incredibly different than where I began and 37 years it'll be so incredibly different than when it is right now. You know, I think one of the biggest struggles that people have and I'm glad you pointed to this idea that not everyone has to be an entrepreneur because I agree and I think the entrepreneur aspect of society right now is super skewed because people don't understand what it really truly means to be an entrepreneur and I was somebody who's been doing it for the vast majority of my life, I recognize and understand, not only the commitment, right? But the problem solving the chaos, the pain of it all and I think people believe that they'll be an entrepreneur, they'll strike gold, they'll be the next Elon Musk and they'll be rich. And the truth is like if you can make eighty one thousand dollars a year and be super happy that to me, feels like the biggest win. But people get stuck in it because financially, it's difficult, right? And they look at this and I know this is your space and I'm really excited to go deep into this conversation. Why don't we first talk a little bit more in depth about your background in finance and what has kind of sparked you to want to have this kind of conversation?

David: It's because it's to me, it's like the hidden epidemic in this country, the next new projects, in my opinion, you know, those tall sidled ugly, orange brick buildings and the parts of the cities like south side of Chicago, for example, or I live outside of Detroit, they're going to people with Social Security checks, average twelve hundreds dollars and I have nowhere to put them. So that's the end result of a lot of people are today and because people are living longer it's only going to get worse but before you even get there, there's no education in our schools. And so if you're not taught that, you're going to get bad habits, more than likely from your guardians, or your parents and whoever your peers are about. Two-thirds of all people don't budget and if they have on, they don't follow it and 75% of all people live paycheck to paycheck and about 75% of people by the time they hit age 65 when you can get Medicare which covers 80% of your cost for, you know, so like that pinnacle moment they're still working, so they can't retire.

So that's been a driving force for me over the last, I don't know how my probably all my life but when I wrote a book in 2005, that's probably really got me off to the point of I think I can go and do more things to help people. And so anything, even if I get one person, every time I put a piece of information out there to flip over and I always say this thing. But if you get somebody to flip over, the dark side like Luke Skywalker and his daddy doesn't go follow him, always make that analogy, I rarely see where someone goes the other way. But the point is people need time to get somebody to educate and help them even though you can go to the internet and can go to YouTube and you go all these places, but it's only so much you can get out of looking at things, you need to actually get a mentor or talk to people with all those other pieces combined, so that you can get some information on lay it down, because it's amazing how many we grow up in a society that works this way, but we're a country built on debt. And if you look at the national debt Clock, it's like 200 million every two minutes, well, it could change that number fluctuates at, that's how much that we pile. So, there's no institution in this world could ever run in that way and that and ever be actually an institution anymore or an entity.

And so I believe since were built that way, there's no need to go educate people because we're built on a system of capitalism which allows people to borrow and pay back over time, so corporations can make their money, and I'm not against corporations, I'm not against business, but that's how were designed and so that's probably why it's not a foundational piece in the schools.

Michael: Yeah. Well, that's exactly why, I mean, I think it goes without saying, you know, I've shared this on the show before in my early 20s, I was working for a fortune 10 company making well over six figures and massively in debt like mad, I got my worst I was like 42 G's and we're just talking like credit card debt and stupid shit that nobody needs. I want to go through this step by step because I actually want to create some practicality for people, okay? Because I recognized one of the most freeing moments of my entire life was paying off all my debt, and then recognizing learning and understanding money, understanding good debt, versus bad debt, you know, the whole nine, but most people are financially, illiterate in this country because even in high schools kids are not taught how to balance a checkbook anymore. And so you talked about budget, I think that's the best place to start, if I'm wrong let's pivot. Let's talk about the importance of this, I was never taught a budget. The only thing I understood was okay, wait for the government check, wait for WIC, wait for the food stamps and then we will go and eat. And in between our power got turned off, our electricity got turned off. I watch people suffer financially and I always thought the solution for chaos was money, right? Turns out that's not actually true but at the beginning, no one ever talked about budgets or bank accounts. My first bank account I had was with a Midwest Bank, that's not the name of them, but they were in the Midwest and I over drafted on the first day that I got a bank account. Talk to us about budgets, just I'm not going to ask you a specific question, I just want you to go into it.

David: And with the budgets, there's some people who don't believe in them but I am a firm, understanding it that. And businesses run on budgets that's how they're effective right now is you have to treat yourself like a business and that's kind of the point I'm making right there. If you don't have money budgeted and you don't know where it's going, you don't even know when you start kind of like what you just said, you bought a pack of gum and paid a $35 overdraft fee because you didn't know that you didn't have enough money in there because if you're paying bills, and we always say this, if you move out on your own, you have the ability to get the money to move out, but then you don't budget your money eventually, you're paying for everything, under the sun, your car, your groceries, utility, your gas, could be student loans, there's a myriad of things that start adding up that you don't even think about. And if you don't know that eventually it's a guarantee I won't say it's a guarantee and if you don't know where your money's going eventually, you will end up in the hole because you have no foundation, you have nothing to alarm system to tell you like you can't do this, and then that's only one piece of it, that's just making sure that you pay your bills. Then there's the point of, there's emergency funds you need in case you can't work, there's rainy day funds and case like you're a tree falls on your gutter, there's the planning for your future because you have to rely on yourself for your own retirement, those are other pieces of should be factored into a budget but the base budget, it just blows my mind that people go out and then they say, well if I do run on money then I chuck it on a credit card or get a home equity loan, which is known as a HELOC or I refinance my home when I take cash out. So they start pulling from other places that basically allowed them to keep going and just push it along, they just kick the can down the road and some people can get away with that. But eventually through time, you're going to run into problems or going to be steeped in debt your entire life and won't get out and you're paying so much in that credit card daily interest formula that they're just losing out and then there's the simple things that they do like where they say, I can't even put to my 401k because I'm paying credit cards and you missed free money that your employer actually gives you, you just run into all these things. And the bottom line with it is again, eventually you'll get burned and when it comes down to it, you don't have options to do anything else, you're encapsulating yourself in a kind of a jail cell that you will never get out of.

Michael: I'm writing a note here, as we're going through this and I'm thinking to myself, if your foundation is to have, never had a budget and you watched your family, never have one, your friends don't have one, to your point, 75 percent I would argue probably more people don't have a budget and you've recognized the importance of this and I'm going to put this in context. I will work until the day I die, I'm not retiring, I've already decided but that's how I choose to live my life as an entrepreneur and business owner. For people who are like, okay, I want to get to retirement, I want the house, I want to make sure I can take care of my kids and my family, and my future knowing that like realistically, 45% of people in this country are obese, you're probably going to get diabetes unless you start taking care of yourself, health bills are going to pile up like I foresee the future around many things, right? And so what I'm curious about is if somebody is at step one, you're like, they're hearing this or like, okay, cool David, I'm following. What do I do though, right? So we have this idea about a budget, what am I really do? So I'm hearing you, but where's the practicality in this? Where do I start?

David: Okay, great. So, here comes the reality. So when I met my wife, 10 years ago, she was destitute, she was bankrupt by, she was abused mentally, physically, verbally, she had twelve hundred dollars in the negative when I met her. And she worked at a financial firm, which is ironic, right? But she was beaten up, so she got it from other angles, I'm like, listen, we're together now, so we have to make changes and she was cool with that. So this is what I do with everybody that I ever sit down with and it's in my book, it never changes, you never need to change it and you start off by going give me your bank account statements. Let's go, look at your activity right off the bat because it shows a great behavior pattern of what you're doing. And I would honestly, especially if you're someone who doesn't have a great control over things, you should print out a year of it, I mean, printed out, don't look at it through the screen, print it out you can see it and take a pen, mark and things up. And then if you want to go and make patterns and formulas and things and Excel and figure out what that is, that's great but if and then I say a highlighter get something out, I want you to start marking off all the areas where you're seeing patterns and what you're spending is. The first thing that people always do is the major epiphany has, I cannot believe how much I'm spending on food, that's the number one thing.

Many households, the food and that's not just groceries, that's dining out this hitting something like a 7-Eleven, anything food related, you start looking at that and it's like the light bulb goes off I cannot believe, I cannot believe how much I spent on that, I look how much I'm adding up in coffee.

And then that's starts creating this snowball like okay, now I understand, this is a bad area and you start looking at other things that you're paying for that you don't even know about, you're like, oh I forgot about the subscription I'm paying for this streaming service is an example or listen look at, now let's look at your credit cards. How much are you paying on your interest? And then you say, well, I'm charging things for my normal life on my credit card then I'm paying interest for that and then I'm getting in the stuck on that trap but the whole point is to break down every single piece by category that you're putting money into and then you can actually start solving problems. So you could say, well maybe I'm paying 220 bucks for my internet and cable, I could get that down to 150 if I streamed it, right? Maybe I have a gym membership that I don't use.

The point is you can look at all these things and my budget alone, I have a supplemental account I call it to second separate bank account that I keep a track of and I have like, 50 different items that I throw cash in every month for bills are going to come up later or their annual things like that so I track them there. And then, on the normal budget, I probably pay 60 different things a month, so there's a lot of items and that shows you the complexity of why you need to pay attention to things because you don't know. And the only way to know is to look at your own pattern, but you have to take the onus of, I really screwed up and I have not done what I needed to do here and now I've identified it, I wrote it down and now I'm going to start putting these things in the categories and start off of the spreadsheet of some sort or if you want to use it. I always even say a spreadsheet till you get to a nap if you want to go that route and make sure you force yourself to put it in so you typed it in, you look at it; it cements in your brain and then you can start on breaking things down and say, well, okay now I need to make changes and then from there you go, okay, well, this is what I'm paying a month, what am I bringing in? And do I have a positive value there? And if you don't, you're really in trouble, a lot of times people don't. But there's always ways to pare that back and make adjustments and that's why the good thing is usually there's a way to get out if you're willing to do it.

Michael: Yeah, there is and I've seen many people in my life self included, be able to navigate and get out of debt, but I'll tell you right now for those listening, one thing I don't know that you really dove into, but from this side of the conversation, the thing that helped me and was most beneficial was being like; I am going to be so incredibly strict with myself because I realized when I was looking it was because you're right it's the little things that up, I was like seven dollars for lunch every single day and a coffee and gas and a gym and all the things and then suddenly it starts to snowball into your point if you make less money than your then your output is then you have to figure out either, (a) how do you make more money? Right? Which I think is a really important conversation here or (b) what do you need to eliminate probably both because, at one point, I mean, even I was making six figures, I had to go get another job, think about that. So I had to pay off that debt because I looked at, it was like, it felt like, I was being plagued by it and collectors were calling me, my car got repoed, like it was nuts right now. So much of that is learned behavior, David, and I know that there are people listening right now and they're like, cool guys I get this but like I got three kids and we've got bills, and we're trying our hardest, what do you say to those people their debt is their only means of survival?

David: Listen man. The bottom line is, if you fucked up your no, you're going to fuck up. So when I work with people, I'll tell them, I'm not going to knock you down. I'm not like a Dave Ramsey type, I'm like you already know you did something wrong, so let's find a solution but you're going to be part of that solution, I'm not going to tell you what to do I'm going to help work with you to give you answers, but you identify the pieces that you want to do because that means you'll actually take ownership of it right off the bat like you have to do that. You can't force people to do those things, that's first and foremost, then they feel that they're part of that solution, and you'll get a better success criteria to do that. And so outside of that, but okay, well, now we have all this down here., let's make a prediction here. How long is this going to take to get you just to the plus side of just making sure your bills are paid and that could be two years, that could be three years like, you have to make sacrifices that you're not willing to do. Let me say it this way that you didn't want to do in the past, you're going to have to do them now, if you care about yourself enough, and if you do what happens is success breeds confidence, so they get one month, two months, three months, four months and they start saying I'm doing it, I'm doing it, I'm doing it. And then usually, you can kind of, you know, they're biting on the hook a little bit and maybe you can keep the fish on the line. And then once you get to that first Pinnacle, then you can get into other things like I do need to save for emergency funds and rainy day funds is another example, then I can start thinking about investing in my 401k or my roth or whatever I want to do. Like you can build those things up, they don't believe that it's possible, they are going to say that I have three kids, I get it. But my wife for example goes out and gives 401K presentations to people who make twelve to seventeen dollars an hour, sometimes they work for big factories, Fortune 500 companies and these people say that I can't find $25 a paycheck and by the time she's done, she gets him to do it, not because she cares if they do it for their business it doesn't matter either way there's no skin in the game. She wants to see them successful and often times they'll get him to put in that 25 of dollars, but here's the deal, that's $100 a month. So at the end of the year, you could say, listen, you have 1200 dollars in your 401k that you didn't have before. You know, how good you're going to feel, and then they see that happening and that's where the growth begins. And so like it's kind of like what you said you were in like the worst position, and you told yourself I'm not going to do this, I wish to work with myself so I'm sure you had to make giant sacrifices to get there. And now we're you look at what you're sitting today and the one thing that stuck in my mind as you like I remember my power being turned off, right?

Now, today I had a guy coming in, I'm putting in a generator because I think the future is not great, I don't want the electrical grid, good screwed up, I don't mind power off some paying for it and I can lay down eight or ten grand to go do that. So I put myself in a spot to do that or there was a point in my life I couldn't and I feel awesome that I can go do that and so it's all possible. You just have to say willing your kids like we're doing this thing, it's going to better your life and it might not be great for a while we're gonna have to find out ways to have fun. I don't care if it's games walks in the park and if we read the same, Dr. Seuss book, we're going to get there but you're going to see changes and you have to trust me. And eventually, you know, life's usually pretty long for people, I think they'll be okay in the long run, they'll be all right.

Michael: Yeah, I think people often get caught up in the immediacy of it, right? Because it feels like you know, you're pushing Atlas Stone. And it feels like this insurmountable thing that's in front of you. One of the things that you said that I think is really interesting for me as well, there's been periods of times in my life where I could not do anything where it was like, I'm shopping at the cheapest grocery store, I'm eating ramen noodle like, I'm literally, there's no gyms, no entertainment, this is before streaming so I wasn't paying for any of that stuff, but it was like my friends are like, hey, do you want to go to a concert? You want to go, let's go do this. I became the no guy in such a strict way that people like literally this was a part of my healing journey also, but people just stop asking me to do shit because they're like, you're just going to say no I was like and I would go to the bars with my friends and I would drink soda water and I would ask the bartender I'd be like, are you going to charge me for the soda water? Out of the gun? And if they said just give me regular water that it was that important to me to be strict with myself because it felt so painful to be in that level of debt, it felt so uncomfortable to every single day. Like I remember one time my sister called me she goes, yo, my sister called was yo-yo, these debt collectors are looking for you. I'm like how they even get her number, they got everybody's number. And so, you know, it was one of those things where the pain of not doing it had become so cumbersome, it was like a dagger with the man said, I have to create change. And you're right, that twelve hundred dollars of at the end of the year, is a huge difference between zero and you just leave that money alone, pretend it's not there, watch what happens in 25 years, it's really incredible. But David, I wrote down a question I want to ask you, because you brought up something about having that conversation with your kids, how do you get into this conversation with a partner? Right? Let's say you're in a relationship, there's debt between one of you, let's say there's debt between both of you knowing that 75 percent if not, more of people are in debt right now. How do you navigate that, when you're the person you're like, let's go and do this, the other person maybe wants to sacrifice or doesn't just, what is the flow of that look like for people like I'm hearing this, I would love to be out of debt but what do I do about my partner, who's maybe not supportive or I don't know how to step into it? What does that look like?

David: If you're going to bring first of all, you have to understand who your partner is if they're open to hearing discussions, it's an easier way to start but if they're not then it's a great thing to go, do your own research, bring some information to the table to show that person so that way they can't sit there and say, you know, they can't blow off the conversation, I can't say you're full of crap or you know, you're just saying that or you know, arguments are bad and in themselves so you don't want to go there. But if you have like true information that really starts change in the narrative right off the bat. And you can say, hey, I went left the years of worth of our bank statements, I went and started putting a budget together, we're screwed. Look how much we're paying on credit card interest, you can start doing the same things that I sat down with my wife ten years ago and then bring it to the table to the other person but also lay down of listen, you know, we got married or were a couple or a partnership or we want to have a future together and you know, I want to be able to go do things that we can't do now like we always said, we wanted to go Hawaii, well, how are we ever going to go there, right? We said that we want to go and get a boat one day, well, we have no shot of getting a boat you kidding me like you're crazy like so put things out there that they want but they can't get you say well guess what? Maybe there's a way to get there, and so we need to make changes to figure some of these things out. So you have to have like a vision board in a way or some goals to obtain to make it realistic when you show them that your whole budget basically sucks but I always recommend that don't get into no blame game, just say listen, these are the things that aren't going so well and some of these things might be her or you, or it's man woman, whatever. But don't get into the game of, you know, you're doing seven out of the ten things wrong it's more of. This is what's identified, these are the things that we need to change and then make sure that you as the person leading the conversation will say listen, these are the things I'm not doing, right. So you throw the olive branch out there, so you're not looking for malice or forethought right that way, you're like, I'm just trying to find a solution because I want us to attain the goals that we've talked about.

Michael: So let me ask you this question, if the person's not receptive, right? If they're not, what do you do? Do you just kind of go about this and do it on your own? Like what does that look like?

David: I would try to get an agreement and if you know, so maybe the first go-around is not there and you keep bringing this up over and over again, then I hate to say this but that person might not be the right person for you in time and I know people are married and they have partners and all that but I think what people miss is they don't realize the importance of it, like people have friends and families and careers and religions important to some people, those are big pillars and people's lives will. So as money, and if they don't want to make it that way, then maybe you say, listen if it's that important to somebody because that means at that point, that person's already hampered the relays and they can't do the things that they want to do together or individually, and eventually it's going to break that thing the relationship down the same. Listen, this is a serious issue for me, and I can tell you that if you look at statistics, it shows that when people share bank accounts and money together, their marriages are much more successful and the number one cause of any breakup is on, it's about money, it's not about infidelity, people think it's not, it's about money.

So eventually you'll get there if you're not taking care of yourself. So, you know, I listen, I don't want to tell anybody ever to break up or get divorced but listen, it's very important and it's important enough to you or yours being happy from your future goals because she's not, our he's not willing to participate and you got to think about if I am with the right person.

Michael: Yeah, that's a really strong point and I'm in agreement with that because I think about at that point in a collision of values, right? And money is the number one reason why people get divorced and breakup, why do you think that it is? And I've not looked at research on the positive side of this, but why do you think it is that when people do share their bank accounts and that information that they have more successful relationships?

David: And this is something that always comes up to especially, we have some young people in our show and we talked to a certain demographic and I had was on a show with another female and she said, she has a lot of friends who are in their twenties and they're getting married and they're like, she's coaches, I'm like finance, like, with Fitness and I talked about their marriages coming up and they're like, well, you know, we'll just get this house and we'll figure out the money later, like they don't even know. So what happens is, I do know people who are successful, who don't share money, but what happens is to me is you're not having unity, you're not having goals together. So how are you going to be able to attack all the things in a unique framework? It's very difficult.

So for example, that would mean, you have two sets of money that you have to track, which means then you're staying apart from each other and then, there could be the part of money issue. So, if one person makes 40 and the other person makes 80 then, who pays what bills and then there's like, well, if we're going to put money away to and for investments, it's like, well, do I can only put in so much, you have to put in more because you make more. And so you start getting all these things of where you're not communicating and then like, how do you decide how much money that goes on the credit card or how much money we need to save for this trippy want to take like, who take? It's so complicated that you just run into problems and I always get down to this point. This imagine that you lived your whole life separately in terms of your money and you have the 80, 40 comparisons, and then you get down to your retirement. And let's just say these people are just flat out, not going to work anymore, well, then what happens? Let's say the husband who makes 80s say to the woman who's 40, well, I'm a double the money than you. So when retirement, I get double the money to go spend but we supposed to spend each other our lives together, it just makes no sense to me. Again, if people want to do that, I think that's fine if they can work it out, but I think on the whole that's not the path, your job to be with a partner is to do things in unison, united fronts that's the key to success with any partnership of any kind.

Michael: Yeah, and I think, I think from my own personal experience I've faced fear in that, right? Growing up, needing to be independent, require on myself, trying to find a way to survive, doing things that were unbecoming just to make it through day-to-day, you know, having that conversation about that splitting of finances or the combining of it, as always, felt like, terrifying to me. And so, I know that there are people listening right now, like, I hear you in this makes sense to me, Dave, because I'm like, oh, yeah, unification, goals, being able to move forward, but there's always been that, like nagging thing with me particular like, oh, if I'm not independent, then perhaps, I'm not safe. And so that's even in my own personal life with I have a coach, who I've been working with and through on that. And I think to myself it actually makes a lot of sense, because one of the things people who come from traumatic backgrounds, know, is that they've got to find out a way to make it work for them. And then when other people come into the picture of there's levels of vulnerability and things of that nature, we talked about on the show quite frequently. What I'm wondering things I'm curious about because I'll know that so many of The Unbroken Nation they have children, we live in the weirdest time financially ever. So now we have Bitcoin and crypto, NFT’s, we have money, we have crazy inflation and interest rates. We have cars are more expensive than they've probably ever been in history, people are suffering, you know, the list goes on and on. The top 1% of people now have like almost 99.5% of all the money like it's getting to this place where I know people are scared. What kind of conversation are you having with kids about money right now?

David: That's an interesting question. I think the first thing that you know, we always bring up. And I have three kids in total, so they're great examples and we helped a lot of young people and we tell them, first of all, we make sure that they're involved that when they have some money, that they actually have to, actually, they need to have their own budgets, they need to have some things that they pay for that's the model that we've taken and tell their people is that we could give our kids everything and we don't, and, or now, they're all out of college. But we said, there's certain things that you're going to pay for, you're not going to get a free ride.

And so it's funny, my daughter, with her friends, we bought, when we moved in together, we bought an old house, we downsized early because they were all going to be in school within three years, it's just old 1929 place and we love it and it's 2,000 square feet and then we have a lower level of 500 and it's not giant, but it's fine. But the point is that's a nice house and I think you know there, she'll say the perception of what we are is that we have less money than like her friends do, but probably we have more money combined is to people than the all her friends do in total, but they don't know the difference. And so, with our kids, we taught them like, you can't just go out and spend things if you don't have it, obviously, but you also have to be able to know how to do things and take onus of the money that you have. So we said, listen, when you get some money, you're going to have to put some, you have to pay x amount of it, aside usually a lot of it when they're young girls they don't need a lot of it and then you're gonna have to keep some over here that spend for whatever you want. And then when you're not in school, you're going to go work and when you go work, then now you start making money. And what starts happening immediately is when they start bringing in a little dollars of income, then they stop asking for money right off the bat as much as they did and then they can say, okay, well if you made a little bit more now, you can start paying more in your data plan or you can pay for your Spotify or you can do these things. If you're going to Panera to get something, either Chick-fil-A or whatever you can pay for it, I'm not just giving you money every time. And they start taking this thought process of, all right, well right off the bat, my parents aren't just handing it over to me and yet they see an Audi in the driveway and sidewalk, you know, that's what people get the perception of, why do I have to pay for things my parents can't afford, that kind of car?

I'll give you one great example.

My daughter was taking a trip to Italy with all her friends in high school and we said, you have to pay half and she wasn't getting a job and I said, here's your cut off date and she wasn't doing. And I'm like, you have one more day and if you don't have a job you're not going and all your friends are and you're going to get such bad fomo and she found a job at Dunkin Donuts on the last day and then she worked her ass off 40 hours plus whatever she could to bring in everything, she could for that trip. And then when she went on that trip, she was the only kid who actually paid for any of her trip and she actually got a lot of praise from her friends and the parents because she did that and she learned that lesson from there on out of. Listen you know what? I can't get it handed to me, I need to go work for things, I need to appreciate my money. And so we ended up actually giving her more money than we promised her. So, but the point was, she learned it and that she's never looked back. And so that's the approach we take, you will wean them off because, you know, people have a lot more convenience has and life than when I grew up with the phones and the way things work and they operations of convenience and Technology, but we're just not giving you the farm or we're not gonna let you wean off that nipple, but make sure you respect your surroundings, the money you have.

Michael: I love that and I don't have children. I don't know that I will but if I do I can tell you for sure like I love that idea and that concept and especially not willing to bend, you know, and make your daughter get this job because like there's something practical to that. And I think the thing that what I hear in that is it's called personal responsibility, right? And we live in a weird society where he was my thought, like I want to go into this for a second. When I first got my first, first legal paycheck, let me be clear, I made a lot of money illegally as a kid I had to but when I first got my first legal paycheck, I saw this thing called taxes and I was like, well shit, there he took half my money so I'm just going to go spend it all and it became this like crazy free-for-all and even when you're a kid, you know, I mean I made by four dollars an hour back then to age myself and now I look at and I think to myself, alright, I can do anything that I want, but I can't do everything. So what requires me to be responsible, what requires me to take care of myself and show up, I mean, I've shared it on the show before, I'm the same guy who wouldn't spend five dollars on a book who spent an Ivy League, education and personal development coaching last year, with some of the greatest Minds on planet Earth. And that only has come through the responsibility that I've taken around finances, as you're going through this, David you're working with people, is there a, I guess for lack of a better way to phrases, outside of budgets is there like this one key marker, you see that leads to success in the people that you work with around money?

David: Yeah, then that's an easy answer. They have to care, they have to give a shit, it's this, this, this it? I can't be any simpler, if you don't care, then it just won't happen. It's kind of like that old skit they it reminds me of this work with me here but there was the jaywalking with Jay Leno, right? And they'd go ask and say, hey, who is the second president United States and its says, I don't know, Madison? And then nope, that's not it and then they go, who's got the number one song on the pop chart right now by blah blah and they go, oh, that's Taylor Swift and so it's like that thing of you don't care. The point is everybody cares about things in life that are important to them and so if that simple, you have to want to do it. You can only lead a horse to water.

So when I'm sitting down with buddy, it's because they want to do it at that point, it's that simple because otherwise I'm not going to work with them because there's no reason to because they're not there. If someone asks you a question or some advice you provide it, but if they really want to get serious, then they got to be in the mode and I got to show up with their homework for the items that I provide. And I'm not going to slack on them like you're going to stick to what I do, but you again your part of the decision, as I said earlier, but if you don't care like anything else, I can't be any bigger on that. I'm a big fan of sticking through what you're going to do, if you're going to commit and you owe it not only to yourself, but the people around you that rely on you.

Michael: Yeah, I love that. I mean, that's the only way I was able to make it through that, that's it. And that's the only way I think you're ever make it through anything. You must decide and you must commit. You must see it through. You must show up for yourself.

As people are going through this day, but I want them to just understand like I've been on this side of it, your wife has been on this side of it like we know what it's like to be in this situation where you're like, fuck man, am I even gonna make it to pay my rent? I've had cars repoed, I've been an evicted like I'm telling you like I'm not just happened David on the show because I'm like, what's have this guy come fucking talk about money, it's because this is the shit I wish people would have taught me, like there's no question if someone would have sat down with me and be like, hey, man, you need to consider a budget, you need to consider like slowly trickling off the debt, you need to understand good debt versus bad debt, you need to change your mindset, you need to show up. I promised you I wouldn't been 42 Grand in debt, making six figures having to work, two jobs and even if that's not you and you're only making 17 thousand a year and you're in school or whatever like there's valuable information here because really it's about control. And when you look at the world and my background being in marketing, like you're being marketed to every single day, right? It's all here and it's like by the next thing to fill important, but money will never fulfill you, it's just David, I don't think that there's any argument in this and if there is, please interject, but I've never had enough money in my life, where I felt like, I was fulfilled internally. Money as a resource.

David: No. I've made this job, but it's like, this can money buy you happiness. The answer is, yes, but it doesn't solve all your problems, it can make your life a lot easier. So, maybe I have a health problem, and I can afford to pay for that but that doesn't make me happy, no, it makes me feel better. I can afford to pay for it, it's only utility, without a doubt. I mean, man, it's crazy, it's not just blows my mind sometimes that the talk about this it, but it's interesting here's some, if you get down to a point where you're going to retire, their words or shift into something else, and you go like a long way, like a normal person like to your 60s or whatever, you need about 80% of your placement income because your bill should be paid off. You want to go into those parts of life with that brewing in your life, so that's like a really should follow, you should be putting away 10 to 15 percent of your income, every month of your gross amount earnings to typically get with those things are, while paying those things down when you get to that 80% mark. And some of the people who have or the quiet millionaires, like The Millionaire Next Door like that book, that's a true thing. A lot of times those people are the ones who don't make a lot of money, but they were disciplined, and it builds up over time because let me tell you this, it's very simple. You put a hundred dollars away a month at 10% and I only say ten, you see the use about seven, when you wanted this, throw numbers in the compound interest calculators, but tens fine because that's the amount that the S&P has gone up since 1926 annualized, up or down, yes, you have those years, but that's that number you, take that 10 percent at 100 bucks over 50 years you'll get a million dollars on the those, that's just at $100 a month. And I understand when someone is young, they can't put that in their brain, that I was 20, that would be 70 when I get there, but a hundred dollars in rent and if you really think about it, is not a lot of money and I get some people's salaries are low, but in the context of things, that's not a lot of money. So if you could, scrape, 150 and 200 and 250 and things like that over time that's how simple the formula is, to even be a millionaire a multi-millionaire. If people just manage your money and scrape that money in other ways once they're on the right side of their budgets, they can get to the other side and that's not rocky could stick it in S&P, 500 ETF and let it sit there that mimics that five S&P 500 and you can yourself, can be a millionaire.

Michael: Yeah, that's beautiful. And even if it's $10, I bet you can get to 100,000 right?

David: Yeah, because money to people as relative. So if you're someone who has an 80-thousand-dollar household income of the average right now is maybe 65, well, maybe you have 800 when you're done let's say, well that is a lot relatively to what you make. So it's a relatively means a lot that's why you got to stay in the zone of who you are which all we always say that common phrase of living within your means but yeah, it's true.

Michael: Yeah, and there's something to this idea as well that I think we're, you know, people will look at this and go why can't do a thousand a month so I might as well not do anything but to your point that $25 a month 75-100, I mean, I guarantee if you go look at what you're spending right now you can find the money, we'll make massive dividends in your life because cost of living is going up, expenses of everything is going up, Social Security may not even be here when we get 65, I mean it probably destroy the entire economic system of the fabric of this country, it's unlikely, but it is a possibility, I don't know, it could happen and educate yourself. David for everyone, if you could please let them know where they can find out more about you and what you do.

David: Yeah, the show that we have is called Something On My Mind Personal Finance, is the website as far as social media, you can go to somm.podcast and all the major platforms for that media and then the podcast, of course, like anything else, you can find it anywhere. We also, we so we have a full-length episode every week on some topic, of course and then every wake up, put out a personal finance tip, it's about 1 or 2 minutes about just some nugget that you can turn around and just find another way to keep more money in your pocket. And usually it has an environmental twist on it too so that you can actually get things with quality, save money, but also help out the environment without really sacrificing anything that you were used to.

Michael: Brilliant. Love that David and thank you so much for being here. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

David: That would be when you're in a spot where you feel that you are not in control where previously and so even if you had some cracks cool it happened everybody has them no matter what but you're not now, you're an unstable position where you think every decision that you can make is beyond your control or what you're going to do is not going to succeed and then you feel like a failure and then everything around you is dark and a crumbles and you're nervous and you can't sit still, and you can't sleep, and you're just feel like you're out of control. And I think to some degree, people get there, it's everybody's relative and some people have had a lot worse.

You know, my wife got hit by a car walking across the street three years ago, like shit like that does happen I've seen things, I got cancer recently, I could go on shit, happens in life. So when you run into those spots to be unbroken, you gotta go back to your cues of what you're good at doing like, what are the things that call me down, and keep me in a spot to chill out for a minute and then write a couple things down that I can achieve to get back to center, not right now pick off one or two things here and there that can get you to a spot you like, okay, I got these handle them back to where it was, I can knock those out easily, cool, let's pick up the next piece and goes like a pickup the next taken piece and take those Lego bricks and stack them up a little bit and start building that foundation or also saying, listen maybe I can't build the foundation as high as I want anymore because I have limitations but it's not going to knock me down. Life is still valuable worth living and I'm going to find the best way that I can live it based on the circumstances that I have. And the last point, I'll make is that make sure that you control the things that you can control, there are things that you have ownership of, and if you can control those, then you handle the outside influences, much better.

Michael: Brilliantly said, my friend, and I love it.

David, thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

Please, like, subscribe, comment, share.

Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.

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David Mulonas

I'm Not Flipping Burgers When I’m 70 (Personal Finance)

David Mulonas an established corporate IT Project Manager and the host of the Something On My Mind Personal Finance podcast. He is also the author of I'm Not Flipping Burgers When I’m 70 (Personal Finance) as well as a financial coach who provides comprehensive planning for budgeting, debt management, home ownership and tools to invest for the future.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.