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049: Paul Montoy-Wilson – Using Awareness to Strengthen Your Money Mindset

Paul Montoy-Wilson is an entrepreneur with a vision of helping people with their relationship to money and their personal money mindsets. Paul developed and launched Allo, a financial wellness app that focuses on mindful money practices.

Today, Paul joins the show to discuss his personal and financial values, the relationship between spending and happiness and the importance of becoming aware of how we spend and save our money. Paul and Jonathan talk about the psychology of money as well as how the Allo app is helping others improve their financial well-being.

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Key Takeaways

00:54 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Paul Montoy-Wilson, who joins the show to talk about his personal and financial values, what he learned about entrepreneurship at a young age, and what inspired him to launch Allo

11:31 – How Paul shifted his own money mindset

13:05 – The relationship between spending and happiness

15:52 – Becoming aware of our values

21:03 – How Allo works

26:14 – Money in relationships

29:41 – Paul speculates on the future of Allo and exciting new tools he would like to pursue

31:49 – One piece of investment advice to heed and one thing to completely ignore

35:48 – The last thing Paul changed his mind about and Paul’s idea of a ‘perfect’ day

39:04 – Jonathan thanks Paul for joining the show today and lets listeners know where to connect with him

Tweetable Quotes

“What apps can do, which is great, is they make things much more accessible to a lot more people, and they help build habits. And so, I think that’s what we’re excited about with Allo. We’re trying to help people build a positive habit around their financial well being.” (10:31) (Paul)

“When you have money to spend – when you’re able to use it in a way in accordance with your values – you’re happier. And it’s one way in our capitalist culture that you’re able to articulate what your values are. And so, one of those ways is being generous. When you give money to others, you feel great. And that’s true in my own life. But there’s a hesitancy, I think in general, when you feel like you don’t have enough to give.” (14:08) (Paul)

“The point of the app is to effectively look at these different areas of your life asking yourself, ‘What’s important to me in each of these areas?’ And then, sort of a secondary question is, ‘How is my spending reflected in these values and can I make a change in how I’m spending my money to be more congruent with these different values?’” (17:12) (Paul)

“The core of the app is really around awareness. The point is not to optimize your net worth. The point is not to tag everything. The point is not to flag everything, it’s just to be aware.” (22:15) (Paul)

“The majority stressor, for the majority of us, is our finances.” (24:17) (Paul)

“One of the value categories that we have in Allo is called ‘future.’ It’s becoming who you want to be.” (28:51) (Paul)

“Every week or every month open up your bank app of choice, take a look at how you’re spending and saving your money, and reflect. Appreciate the ways you’re able to use your money and notice anything you want to make changes for.” (32:46) (Paul)

Guest Resources

Paul’s LinkedIn

Paul’s Email

Allo’s Website

Allo’s App

Link to Paul’s Custom Invite to Allo

Books Mentioned:

Happy Money

Psychology of Money

Mindful Money Resources

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To buy Jonathan’s second book – Mindful Investing: https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Investing-Outcome-Greater-Well-Being/dp/1608688763

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Website: https://mindful.money

Jonathan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathandeyoe

Episode Transcription

Jonathan DeYoe: Welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Paul Montoy Wilson. Paul has quite an interesting resume. That includes being in college when the first iPhone was launched. Yes, he’s a bit younger than I am. He was a product manager at Google. He founded a company, aviate, and sold that company to Google’s arch rival, Yahoo. In the search world. And then playing around with fintech, he ended up launching Aloe with a, uh, longtime friend and colleague, will Choi. I wanted him on the podcast because on the homepage of Aloe, he refers to it as the mindful money practice. So we’re obviously working on some trademark questions, but we’re doing this together today, and I’m happy to have him on the show. Paul, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Thank you so much, Jonathan, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s great to have you. So we’ve had lots of conversations. No one else in the listening crew here knows who you are, where you’re from. So just tell us where you’re calling in, from, where you’re connecting from right now.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: So I’m calling in right now from the peninsula of, uh, the Bay Area, and I grew up in Santa Barbara, California.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay. And so did you have those power outages yesterday at your house, too?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: We did. I got a phone call saying my kids preschool was closing because of power outage. Then I got a call saying it’s back open, and then another one saying it’s closed again. So I had a shortened work day yesterday.

Jonathan DeYoe: I was on a call with a client and it went dead. And I was like, oh, know, we’re going through this retirement plan. Oh, no, what are we going to do? So I’m curious, growing up in Santa Barbara, sort of later generation than myself, what did your parents teach you, or rather than what your parents teach you, what did you learn about money and entrepreneurship, uh, as a kid?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah, it’s a great question. I guess I learned a lot. My grandma, she grew up in the great depression, and she was both in my life and then, via my parents, in their lives, in my life, she was, uh, this combination of both frugal as well as very generous. And I saw that as well in my parents lives, both from a sort of material standpoint, there wasn’t a whole lot of materials that either of my parents would love to buy. But then when it came to hosting or sort of our larger community, they were always the first to, uh, volunteer to host an event or have all of my friends over for a sleepover and, yeah, so I think sort of the interesting paradox of being both frugal and generous were sort of core things that I learned as a kid.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. So did you realize at the time that you were learning these lessons? I mean, were they overt about it, or was it just things that you kind of, through osmosis, picked up?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. When I reflect back, you paint a story about how clear it was. So I think at the time I was just living life and thought every kid lived the same life as I did. There’s a funny story of when I was growing up, kind of one of my first memories of money is there was this robot that I wanted to get, and it was like, probably third or fourth grade, and it cost $50. And so one summer, my mom said she’d pay me a penny a minute for work. Don’t call a child Oz. I think we’re post that time. But anyway, I worked all summer to buy this, and I got up to $45. I’m the youngest of three, so one of my older sisters saw me working hard, and she gave me $5 to get me over that $50 mark. But after I worked all summer, I was like, there’s no way I’m going to lose all this money and buy this robot. And so that $50 went straight to the bank account, and it’s still there today.

Jonathan DeYoe: Wow. I was going to say, I’m curious, the bank account, did you have, like, a passbook savings where they would stamp it, here’s your interest, and they would put it in there in front of you? Or was it all digitized by then?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: It definitely was not digitized. I think probably the first time, uh, for me, digital banking was in college, but we did have a branch that was close by our house. And so, yeah, I would go to the branch, deposit money. I would get a dollar 50 a week in allowance, $0.50 would go to the church. Fifty cents. I could do whatever I want with and could save. And most weeks, I would save a dollar and give $50 to the church. And as I sort of reflect back, that sort of saving frugality mindset has been helpful in certain aspects. And then there are other things where if I think about what are my values or my priorities, it hasn’t been helpful. And I think that’s sort of on my later, sort of in my journey, thinking about, yeah, what are my values? What are my priorities? And then how have my money scripts or money mindsets, how are they helping those, and how are they hurting those?

Jonathan DeYoe: Yes. Before we, I’m assuming we’re going to dig into aloe, if we get into that. So before we do. Yeah, for you. So you had mentioned that you were sort of toying with a few different ideas. Maybe this, maybe that. What were the things you were looking at in sort of the fintech world before you launched Alo? And then how did that lead you to say, you know what, Alo is the right thing? How did you get to the idea of aloe?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Well, first for me is being able to work with a great team. And so will and I have been working together for over a decade. We actually met in college. My wife actually met will first, and so she’s the connector. And then we worked at Google together on different teams. And then as we were brainstorming about sort of what we wanted to do in life, we were deciding it was time to leave at around the same time. And that’s when we founded our first company together, which was aviate. And so after sort of taking a little bit of time off after my second child was born and coming back to it, I was like, what do I want to do? I want to work with people that I love on, um, a product that I care deeply about and do it in a way that feels right to me. And so will was on the top of that list. We had a very similar set of values. And so we first sort of said, we’re going to take a year together to brainstorm different ideas to land on sort of the space that we’re interested in, which landed in fintech. And I’ve always been personally interested in personal finance. So, uh, I was a boglehead before. I knew what a boglehead was, but I learned in high school about index investing, and I’m a sort of math engineer type person. And so in college, although my undergrad was in electrical engineering, I got a master’s in management science and engineering so that I could take a bunch of econ classes. And the econ classes that I was interested in most actually were the behavioral economics courses. And I was just fascinated about the difference between sort of rational or what people consider rational economics and then how we actually behave, how the real world actually behaves. And if I’m actually completely honest, I felt like my own decisions were rational. And, yeah, the rest of the world.

Jonathan DeYoe: As do we all.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Ah, as we all do. Yeah. So I do think in this journey, working in the fintech space and then ending up on allo, I realize both, all of the ways that my own behavior is not rational and how that’s also okay in a lot of situations to have reasonable choices. And then in other cases, when I’m realizing, oh, I’m not being rational, and I’m also not really making decisions align with my values, I do want to make some changes here. And so, um, anyway, when we started in the personal finance world, I was thinking, and we were brainstorming about how can we build basically tools to help people change their behavior in an easy way. And there’s a classic study on 401 investing, which is if you auto enroll people in 401K, they’re much more likely to be enrolled. And if you up their percentage every year, they’re much more likely to up their percentages. And it’s just, uh, a basic default study, but is true. And so we were thinking about taking that concept to your paycheck as a whole. The classic term is called pay yourself first, but basically building an app to make it easier for people to auto opt in to saving a percentage of their paycheck and then having that increase over time. And we learned a lot of things from that experiment, as well as other experiments. But is you really got to get to sort of the, uh, if people are in a place where they’re like, oh, I want to save a percentage of my paycheck, I know what percentage I want to save, then they probably have already done it. And even if people, in theory, buy into the fact that they would like to save a percentage of their paycheck, it’s hard to just have a tool without some of that sort of undercurrent sort of framework of, yeah, what are my goals? What are my priorities? What am I doing? What does my cash flow look like? And so that’s led us with a lot of other things into what ended up becoming allo.

Jonathan DeYoe: I know that you talk a lot about connecting personal well being with our numbers, so just give us a sketch of how aloe does that.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. So the crux of what aloe is, we call it the mindful money practice. And that’s how one of the reasons why I reached out to you, because I loved your book and your writings online. And to be honest, I guess I’ll come back to answering your question directly, but there’s a lot of great authors and financial advisors that are talking about combining sort of your numbers and your well being, your numbers and your priorities. Life is more than just optimizing for a net worth, and there aren’t a whole lot of apps that are helping you achieve that. And what apps can do, which is great, is they make things much more accessible to a lot more people, and they help build habits. And so I think that’s what we’re excited about with aloe, is trying to help people build a positive habit around their financial well being. And so what is alo? Allo, is this mindful money practice, which is very succinctly a regular review of your cash flow. So where are you making money? Where are you spending money? And just being aware, without judgment, what that is. There’s a couple of other things that we do in the review, which is to notice things that you’ve used your money on that make you feel great, that you are really grateful for, and then also to notice where you might have negative emotion. And that’s where, when you have a negative emotion, double click on that, as opposed to avoiding it and asking yourself, is there something I want to change, or is this, uh, something that I learned earlier in my life that’s no longer valuable? And I actually do feel good about this. I have lots of examples of this in my own life. I would say I used to always look at money when I looked at the credit card statement at the end of the month negatively, because all of this money was going away from my bank account. And I’ve really been able, with the help of aloe and the work that I’ve personally done, to be able to relook at the bank statement and really be grateful that I’m able to use money on things that I care a lot about. I’ll give a couple examples. So, one is the farmers market. When I used to go to the farmers market, I loved going there, but I would always feel a little bit anxious when I saw that there is a fruit or a nut that I knew I could get for probably a dollar less per pound at, uh, Trader Joe’s. And so, yeah, even while I was there, I wasn’t feeling great. And this is obviously a small, simple example, but when I’ve reflected on my priorities and I’m like, what do I love? What are things that are important to me? So one is family, and at the farmers market, that’s an event that we do together as a family. Another one is supporting local community. And what is farmer market? It’s supporting local farmers, and a third is my health. And typically, at the farmers market, we’re buying really healthy food. And so it’s a triple win for me. And instead of me thinking only through the cost lens of how much it costs, when I’m able to think about these other priorities, I’ve been able to shift that mindset to be like, this is some of the best money I spend is at the farmers market.

Jonathan DeYoe: There’s a growing body of research, and there’s been some questions around it recently about no matter how much money you make, how you spend, it actually ends up being the thing that is additive or subtractive from your well being, from your happiness, from whatever you want to call that. So did you or are you on top of the research around how spending can feed us or how spending can take away from us? And how do you then push that new information into the app?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah, there’s a book called happy money that I highly recommend where it goes into some of this research about how you spend your money makes you happier. And I would say for myself, sort of baseline or how I grew up, I would try to sort of disassociate money from happiness, saying, oh, money can’t buy you happiness. So I don’t want to live in this consumeristic culture where I’m trying to buy happiness. And there are some good things in that. But I think on the negative side and what’s been sort of exciting about sort of this research and how we’re trying to articulate in the app is when you have money to spend, when you’re able to use it in a way in accordance with your values, you’re happier. And it’s one way in our capitalist culture that you’re able to articulate what your values are. And so one of those ways is being generous. So when you give money to others, you feel great. And that’s true in my own life. But there’s a hesitancy, I think, in general, when you feel like you don’t have enough to give. And what’s cool is by giving money to a, uh, cause you care about or to a neighbor or in any sort of way, it helps create an abundance mindset where you feel like you have enough. And that’s one of the key things that we try to teach in the app, is this abundance gratitude mindset, and continuing to practice that, because that’s something that it’s a continual practice where when you feel like you have enough, you’re able to be more generous to others, you’ll be able to be more generous to yourself, and it improves your well being.

Jonathan DeYoe: The message, I’ve heard it said, I think a teacher told me this once that a meditation teacher, not an academic teacher, told me once that the practice of giving, when you give, you reflect upon yourself as one who can give. The act of giving, actually, you’re showing to yourself that you are able to give, and then that’s okay. And so by giving, you can give more. By giving, you’re sort of just opening up those. And I generally shy away from the universe will give, but the universe does. When you give, the universe provides. When you’re open, and it just kind of flows. It just kind of flows. It flows in, it flows out, and you can let that happen. It’s kind of a beautiful thing. And I know that that’s maybe a little bit too airy, too levitation for an app, but I think the idea is pretty sound. I’ve experienced it myself. One of the other things you talk about is, and I think you just touched on it. Uh, but I want to pull the thread a little bit, how an app, like allo, can actually help us become aware of our values. Like, when we’re looking at what we’re spending on, we’re looking at what we value. Is that, uh, fair to say?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. There are multiple ways to look at what you value. One is how you spend your time, but another one is how you spend your money. And again, being able to look at your money in a non judgmental way, in a cadence that makes sense for you, whether that’s daily or weekly or monthly. But just being in some sort of rhythm of checking in and asking yourself, what’s important to me and how am I spending my money? And that congruence will change over time. And the goal of the app is to help you make that more congruent, but also acknowledge that life changes, life situations change. So a great example for me more recently is, uh, we’ve broken up the values, sort of the value areas that you can have into a few different values, health being one of them, relationship being one of them, physical space being another. In your book, I’m trying to remember, you articulated eight different categories. And the point of the app is to look at, effectively, these different areas of your life, asking yourselves, what’s important to me in each of these areas. And then sort of a secondary question is, how is my spending sort of reflected in these values? And can I make a change in how I’m spending my money or saving my money to be more congruent with these different values? So time is an interesting one. That’s the value of time, which is one I would again say earlier in my life, I would have devalued, and probably because I had more time when I was a kid or early before I had kids, to do a lot of things, but paying for convenience or paying for things so that you can spend the time on other things feels like a luxury. And so there were some part of me, sort of as a child or sort of someone from my early mindsets, that would feel negative towards that. But, uh, what I realized was, in Covid with three young kids trying to start a startup company, that when I was looking at my values, one of my first exercises with aloe, I’m like, oh, time is really underfunded. I don’t have enough time to be able to do the work I want to do, and I don’t have enough time also to be fully present with the kids when I want to be, because I felt like I was having to do everything on top of each other. And so what I realized in that was if we could spend some money on a, um, nanny, that would actually enable me to work more on a project I care a lot about. And then also when I’m with the kids, be much more present with them and not try to be multitasking. And so that’s an example where it’s not something I would have seen in my weekly review, because it was something I wasn’t spending money on. But it’s that process of asking yourself, what’s important to me, or how do I feel in these different areas of my life, and can I make a change to how I’m spending or saving my money to be more congruent?

Jonathan DeYoe: You said you just sort of brushed over this. Daily, weekly, monthly. What are the options?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: So, allo, currently, you can do an allo practice daily, weekly, or monthly.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: For a certain set of people, you really want to be on top of every single transaction as soon as it happens. And so if you really want to be on top. And also, maybe you do really want to track a couple of different areas of your life, or maybe all the areas of life of how you’re spending your money. Then the daily practice is great. So you look at every day, you’re like, oh, I spent on three things yesterday. What did I spend it on? How is that associated with the value? How is my spend this week, this month trending? And what does my income look like? So, for certain people, that’s the daily routine. Other people, it’s weekly. And then other people, it’s really just looking sort of high level. How much money came in? How much money came out? And again, looking at my values, do I feel like this past month, how is my health feeling? How are my relationships doing? How do I want to change this next month to spend money to? Is there an area that I want to focus on this next month and to spend more money on?

Jonathan DeYoe: So I asked that question because I’m wondering if people that are signing up for the app, if there’s a majority of people, just to make it easy for people to make the decision, is there a majority of people that say, you know what, once a week is fine, or do most people say daily? Or how does it actually show up in practice?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: In practice, it’s pretty split right now between daily and weekly.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay, interesting.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: And I would say they’re two different types of people.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. Two different life stages, maybe two different life stages.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah.

Jonathan DeYoe: Could you just break down? So it sounds like what happens is you sign up for the app, you link accounts to it, and then when you’re going to review spending, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, you’re looking at each item and saying, okay, this one doesn’t represent any values. This one represents time. This one represents whatever those values are that you have programmed in. Do I have that right? Is that accurately how that works?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. So what happens is, if we zoom back, aloe starts with, uh, basically a five day intro course. Each day takes about five minutes to do, and it teaches you these core principles about aloe, which we’ve talked about, some of those being abundance mindset, the value of awareness, the value of knowing what’s important to you, the value of knowing what. Or, uh, the value of responding to negative emotions, and then also the value of having a system that is enduring and can be flexible to your ongoing needs. And so we talk through those. We have you do exercises, and then after that, we sort of prompt you to say, how do you want your practice to look? Do you want it to look daily? Do you want it to look like weekly or monthly? And then again, the core of the app is really around awareness. The point is not to optimize your net worth. The point is not to tag everything. The point is not to flag everything. It’s just to be aware. And, um, there is a bunch of research that shows that this awareness leads to behavior change and this awareness leads to higher well being. But the point is awareness. And so, again, as we lead you through the app, it might be that you decide, I do really want to track a specific value. So maybe you could feel a little bit anxious about you really, like, let’s say, going out with friends, but you feel a little bit anxious about how much money you’re spending, which is completely reasonable. And so for that type of person, we would say, why don’t you track that specific priority, which, let’s call it under relationships, and it’s hanging with friends. And so you would tag that on an ongoing basis and sort of see how that fluctuates month to month. For me, I really use it more from, uh, a gratitude practice where I tag a couple per week, that I’m really grateful that I use my money in that way.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s interesting because I’m imagining the demographic that would be interested might be younger people who are starting out and trying to figure out this whole thing. But I’m reflecting that when I meet a client for the first time, like, they’re coming to the office, and we’re starting to look at all their inflows and outflows by doing that practice, by helping them become aware of the way they spend, even if they’re 55, 60 years old, and we’re just doing a comprehensive planning process, it’s almost always a surprise to them how much they spend, uh, on this or that. They’re like, oh, my God, I didn’t realize my cable was $600, or I didn’t realize that I had $80 a month in streaming services, or I didn’t realize I had 15 subscriptions to magazines that are digital and I don’t read them. It’s almost always like, oh, my, ah, aha. Moment. And for starting out, it’d be great to know that at the beginning.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Again, going back to, why am I working on this? The majority stressor for the majority of us is our finances. There are plenty of apps that exist today that are budgeting, apps that are apps that will promise that they’ll save you money or promise you’ll optimize your net worth and you’ll get messages saying, you overspent in these areas of your life and that type of app. The reality is, it just doesn’t work for the majority of us. Our lives are much more fluid than a traditional, strict budget. And the, uh, guilt messaging, just like, who wants to use that? And so what we’re trying to do with allo is basically, if you’re excited about a budgeting system, there is, like, dozens of tools that you can use today. And what we’re trying to go is for this different demo who maybe is a little bit more money avoidant or hasn’t really just resonated with a lot of that sort of messaging around, optimizing your net worth, just being all in the spreadsheet. And so we’re really excited. We found people, like you said, who are just getting started in their career to people that are more on the retirement end, who are just looking at their money in a new way. And you’re, like, 100% accurate. If you haven’t had any practice of looking at your money, you will be surprised. You’ll be surprised in positive ways. Uh, you’ll be surprised in some negative. And sort of. That’s the point.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. If the choice is between knowing and not knowing, knowing is better. Right. And that’s just that awareness.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Exactly. I do think younger audiences are more comfortable using an app on their phone linking their bank accounts. But in terms of users that have tried out, allo, we’ve had the gamut.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. I have some 89 year old clients that would say, um, that would just match wits with any 25 year old on their app. They’re solid. They’re good. Do it. They download it. They’re awesome. So just really quick, I’m imagining there might be some benefit in, like, a young couple going through this together, maybe going through it separately and sort of comparing notes, like, this is what I value, this is what you value, and this is how this might integrate. Does the app sort of support that kind of thing?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: I 100% agree. So we’re just getting started with all of this, so there’s a lot more we can do there. But I’m married. And your relationship with money, your relationship with your spouse with money. It’s complicated, say the least. It has been so helpful for me, for me and my wife to ground the conversation and what is important to us and what we appreciate about each other and to begin sort of our money conversations with that lens, as opposed to, what is this? What did you spend money on? Uh, tell me more about this. And even if that question that I’m asking is really just a curiosity question. It comes across, as you’re judging this spin that I did on this area. And so one of the things that was helpful as we were building this app for me and my wife was to do this practice, and we were each able to say thank you to the other person for basically taking care of different responsibilities which came across and spending on certain things. So whether it was my wife, she’s in charge of buying gifts, basically for all the birthday parties for our kids. And so I can say, Mahdi, thank you so much for buying gifts for the. That’s. I really appreciate. You know, if we went on a date night and I organized it, she can know, Paul, it’s an opportunity for her to say, thank you so much for organizing that. Last week. We had an amazing time, and it’s also a time, again where we can say, hey, what do we want to do more of this next month? What do we want to do less of? What are some of our longer term goals that we want to be saving towards? So we’re talking mostly in this conversation about spending. And the reason is, I think, twofold spending you do every single day. And it is really practical, and it’s top of mind, but it’s just as true for saving and spending and other financial tasks you need to do.

Jonathan DeYoe: So are there, like, in the app itself, is there like, a line item for, hey, we’re saving for the down payment on the house. So there’s $50 that goes to that every month. And we know that we’re not going to get to the down payment for five years, but we can see that we’re putting $50 a month in there, and that $50 is going to grow, and that’s a good thing. And so that gives us a chance to be grateful for the $50 we’re putting in there. Is that sort of the future goal account in there as well?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. So that one of the value, uh, categories that we have in allo, is called future, and it’s becoming who you want to be. And so in sort of future, there are things you could, in some respects, spend money on today, and there are also things you can save money on tomorrow. So education being an example, potentially, of, I’m investing in myself, and then 529 for your kids or your down payment for your house could be a future priority. And then, yeah, celebrating that on a weekly basis or a monthly basis, when you’re saving a percentage of your paycheck towards this goal, that should be done. And allo helps, ah, facilitate that.

Jonathan DeYoe: I have so many questions coming into my head right now, so I’m going to try to hone it down. Let’s do it right now. Budget is a bad word. Budget is a bad word. We want to use the word budget, but you want to be aware of your spending. What are you working on now with an allo so that maybe there’s tools that come in the future? Do you have a whiteboard that says, hey, q three, we’re going to be doing this, and then q four of our q two of 2024, we’re going to put this out? Or what is the development of aloe look like in terms of maintaining this mindful money practice into other areas, not just spending?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah, that’s great. We have lots of whiteboards with lots of ideas and lots of visions and things we’re excited about doing. And I’d love feedback. That’s why I reached out to you, was to get your feedback on sort of the early stages of the app and sort of the direction we were going. And so to the listeners, if you have feedback of, uh, like, well, first, we would love for you to try the app, and if you have feedback on what you’d like to see, that’s the best way for us to know what to develop. And so coming, um, back to it, specifically, going back to the pay yourself first prototype we built before aloe, we would love to be able to bring in more tools, whether they’re built into the app or whether there are other tools that exist externally from the app that we can help you decide for you. Hey, this thing would be helpful for me right now and help you automate something, for example, like saving money every month for down payment on your house. There’s also, I would say, things more on the relational side, like, we have in the app right now, a bunch of resources that include articles about how to talk to your spouse or how to talk to your kids about money, but being able to dive deeper into the relational side of money with others. And then lastly, I would say, like I said, money is the top stressor for the majority of us. Sometimes you’re just really stressed out about money, and we want to be able to enable that you have a place that you can come, and we can sort of help reflect on that and process that. Those are a few example.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, that’s great. So I ask everyone that’s on the podcast, I ask them to answer two pretty simple questions, and I’m going to ask them to you as well. So there’s an enormous amount of noise out there, right, about what we should do for finances and what we should spend on and what we should do. And there’s tons and tons and tons of blogs and podcasts and all kinds of stuff. Would you simplify it for? Pretend you’re on an airplane, you sit down next to somebody, you start talking about your app, and they go, oh, you’re into money. I know you’re a bogle head of old before Boglehead was cool, right? And they get to know you a little bit. What is one thing that you would recommend that they do that you know, would lead to better personal and financial success?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah, I think. Well, um, my answer now is different than what I would have answered a couple of years ago. I think my answer a couple of years ago would have been much more prescriptive, like something to the effect of do the bogohead strategy or save a percentage of your paycheck or some specific behavior change. And the answer now is definitely awareness. So you choose it every week, every month, open up your bank app of choice and just take a look at how you’re spending and saving your money, and reflect, appreciate ways that you’re able to use your money and notice anything you want to make changes for.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I’d look at the mortgage line, that’s my biggest expense, and go, oh, my God. Oh, that’s a big number. But then I’d look at my house and go, oh, but I can be grateful because that number reflects directly the fact that I can live in this great house. Right. So second question is, because there’s so much noise, many people, they start doing stuff that maybe they shouldn’t. So is there one thing that’s sort of common practice that you would say, hey, don’t do that.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: It’s a great question.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s a stumper, usually.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah, it is a stumper. Because again, I would say there’s a couple of years ago, I think there’s a lot of things I would say don’t do. And Morgan Housel, he wrote a book called Psychology of money. It’s an amazing book, one of the.

Jonathan DeYoe: Best books ever written. Everyone read it.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: And one of the things he said, I’m paraphrasing, but was, if you know enough about somebody, their decisions are very reasonable. And, uh, an example he gives is somebody buying a lottery ticket who doesn’t have much money, and there can be judgment about, well, why would you spend your money on a lottery ticket? And he was articulating that if this is your only chance of getting out of your situation, it’s reasonable. And he gives lots of examples of that where if the stock market for your parents generation was down over the decade when they were becoming adults, they’re probably going to be more pessimistic on the stock market than if the stock market had only gone up and to the right during this last generation. And so the reason why I articulate, it’s harder for me to say, don’t do that. And I don’t think it’s that helpful.

Jonathan DeYoe: I have to say that is an incredible answer. And I’m, um, noting in the way you’re answering questions that you have a meditation practice. So would you share what your practice is?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: I’d like to say I have, like, this amazing meditation practice. I would say through my life when I was a kid, I had a prayer practice, and as I’ve grown, I still pray with my kids every night, and I’ve gone in and out of having a meditation practice. But, yeah, it’s pretty simple of when I do, it’s literally just. It’s a few minutes. Sometimes I’m using an app, sometimes it’s not.

Jonathan DeYoe: But it’s, um.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: A few minutes of quiet.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. Just breathing. Just pay attention to your breath. Right. It was difficult for me when I had two young kids, and that was the first period since grad school where my meditation practice wasn’t as consistent as it could have been. Right. So I totally get it. Three little kids, it’s very difficult. Before we wrap up, I want to go back to personal again. What was the last thing you changed your mind about? Doesn’t have to be a big thing. I mean, I’ve heard about the cat’s type of food. I’ve heard all kinds of answers to the question, it doesn’t have to be big.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: It’s funny, the pause is actually, I do actually feel like I change my mind on a lot of things. So I’m the type of person that my mind changes. And I think part of building an app or starting a company is it’s this weird combination of having a vision that you’re clear on and excited about and also getting information that requires you to change course. And if you change your mind all the time, you’re not going to get anywhere. But if you don’t take in that information and change direction of where are you heading with this product, you’re also not going to get to the right finish line. And so I was trying to think, I mean, I was thinking personally as well as professionally about, uh, a decision that we’re making a change on. And nothing jumped to the top of my mind. Of the most recent one, personal one was actually. This is also one of my highlight purchases of the year. I took my daughter to see Annie the musical in San Jose, and I was going to buy a cheap seat because we don’t need a great seat, but my wife encouraged me to buy a great seat for the two of us to go. And we got great seats. We could see the musicians singing, dancing. I could see their lips moving. And I was spending like two, 3 hours of really quality time with my daughter. And it’s the highlight purchase of the year.

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s awesome. That’s a great example. And it actually probably fits right within the aloe app. I think purchase of those tickets fits right within your family and relationships value, right? So what would. Second personal question here before we wrap up, what would constitute a perfect day for you?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Perfect day. It’s interesting. I’m actually thinking through some of the allo categories and saying, how do I hit off different priorities I have in these different values of mine? So one, which would probably be in the middle of day, is playing basketball. I love playing basketball. It’s so much so it hits that play value of mine and also hits the health value. So I’m starting the middle of the day and then working from there. But basketball would definitely be there. Probably still on the play bucket would be playing with my kids. Uh, it’s softball and t ball set right now, so playing catch out front would be there. And then probably the last thing in this perfect day would be spending some one on one time with my wife. So going on a date night and probably be, uh, trying a new restaurant, that’s great. And that’s always hard to know, but if we knew there was a great new restaurant, trying it out, trying some new food, and then doing some activity, that’s just the two of us.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s beautiful, man. And hopefully you have babysitter in there often, so you can have those date nights and have that good time, because that’s going to be the value. Keep doing that. For sure. Finally, tell us how people can connect with you. Where do they find you? Are you on social media? Whatever you want to share?

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Yeah. I would love people to reach out and give me feedback. Tell me their thoughts. My email is Paul at allo finance. Our website is Alo finance. And if you want to try out the, uh, app, there’s a waitlist, but we would love for you to join. And we created a custom invite, um, code for this podcast, which is mindful, so hopefully we can send that out with this podcast.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yep, it’ll be in the show notes. So will the email address and the link to the website itself. Paul, thanks very much for coming on. I love the app and I hope people try it out.

Paul Montoy-Wilson: Thank you so much Jonathan, for having me. It’s great chatting with you.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, thanks.

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