Young Scrappy Money Podcast Ep. 040: Budgeting Made Easy with Digital Cash Envelopes with Ryan Clark of QubeMoney

podcast Mar 28, 2020

It’s not often that a new financial technology comes along that stops me in my tracks… yet this is exactly what Ryan Clark has done with his up-and-coming company, QubeMoney. QubeMoney is a digital envelope system that takes banking to a whole new level. Join us as he discusses just why digital cash envelopes make budgeting so easy, and the story behind how QubeMoney is bringing this sweet digital money ecosystem to the world.


Resources from this episode:

  • Young & Scrappy, home to Michelle’s work as a financial advisor and financial coach.
  • QubeMoney, home to Ryan’s digital cash envelope budgeting tool.
  • Ryan’s book, which started him on his journey to founding Qubes, called The Order of Wealth
  • Jesse G, my editor. If you ever need audio/video editing work, give him all your love and money.

Full transcript: 

INTRO: [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Waymire. And each week, I’ll be bringing you tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances as well as interviews with people who made big financial changes in their own lives. So join us. And we’ll help you get your financial s**t together. 

MICHELLE: Hello, everybody. And welcome, welcome to another episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. Today we’re getting right back into that B word, which of course is budgeting. 

But we’re gonna approach it from a slightly different angle here today. So rather than getting into the more traditional stuff, the spreadsheets, all the normal ways that you would consider tracking your budget, we’re gonna get a little bit creative. And we’re gonna talk about digital cash envelopes. 

So I’m really excited to have on today Ryan Clark. He spent 13 years as a financial planner and financial coach. He’s also the author of a book called The Order of Wealth, which in doing research for that book led him to eventually co-found Qube, which is a brand-new digital cash envelope system app that is coming out in spring of 2020. So welcome, Ryan. I am so excited to have you on today and to pick your brain.

RYAN: Thank you, Michelle. I’m excited to be on with you.

MICHELLE: I gave the most high-level bio. I’m wondering if you could kick us off by telling us a little bit more about your background. How did you get into this work?

RYAN: Absolutely. So I got in— so my background goes way back into real estate, actually. So at age 18, I decided I wanted to be— I wanted to make money. And I got out. And I started buying real estate. 

And at age 18, I did five properties. And that kind of got me into that market. That was pretty successful. Later became a mortgage and loan officer. And in that process, got married. And my wife would get frustrated with me sometimes. Because I would often spend more time coaching people about their finances than writing loans. 

So it— eventually that kind of showed me that I really did enjoy the idea of helping people with their overall financial strategy. And that meant I should go be a financial planner. So I started down that road. This is back in the college days and started me— I started going down that financial planner path. 

But I realized that a lot of that is really just training you to be a mutual fund salesperson. And I didn’t like a lot of those strategies. They didn’t resonate with me. And I had a good friend named Shane Walker, who’s now my co-founder on Qube. 

And he kept pressing me with some different books to go and read. And eventually— because I thought I knew everything. And eventually, I took him up on it, read those. And it completely changed my life. 

So that started me down more of a coaching path— which, again, it’s different. You know, you’re— with financial planning, you’re talking more about investments. And while that’s fun, my heart resonated a lot more with personal finance. 

You know, we live in a day and age where 70% of Americans have the inability to handle a $500 unexpected expense. That’s pretty crazy. You know, Michelle, I see you’ve got your debt course and your financial coaching. These are the things that spoke to me as well way back then. 

So I jumped in and began to help people with budgeting, and getting out of debt, and saving money, and just getting their lives on track so they could even be able to invest and to get to that point. And that’s really where my passion lies. I love seeing people over time take those steps and create an amazing financial future for themselves.

MICHELLE: Heck yeah. That’s awesome. And I totally feel you on the coaching part. I think in a lot of ways that can be some of the most fun and most rewarding work is like really getting in there and helping not just like— the long-term planning is important. But the short-term stuff and that sense of security and abundance is so satisfying.

RYAN: Yeah. It’s exactly what people need. Again, I said 70%, right? I mean, that’s— and it’s funny. Because last weekend, I was down in San Francisco at an investor advisor conference. And it was interesting, lots of great information on investments and things. 

But in talking with those advisors, they’re just, a lot of them— now, this isn’t all of them. But a lot of them are just very much interested in a product. What product can I sell? And that bothers me so much. 

Because I just don’t feel like that’s real. You know, it’s kind of like they’re not real people. They just wanna hawk product at people. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of people like that. 

And for me, it’s all about, how can I help this couple or this person really take the steps they need to be able to get there? And that’s been my passion. That’s been my passion. And honestly, it was my frustration also. 

So the rest of my story is that, about three years ago, I was working with a couple. And this couple made a quarter million dollars a year. Now, you would think with $250,000 coming into the bank account, that life would be great. All your financial problems are solved. 

[00:05:07] And they weren’t though. I found quickly that this couple had about $30,000 to their name. They had the nicest cars. They had a nice house. They had all the best seats at all the sporting events. They had all the toys. 

But they didn’t have happiness. And they— there was a lot of pain. There was a really bad relationship with money, which eventually turned into a bad relationship between the couple. 

So what happened was I took this couple and started working with them. And for me, I always look for that motivation. Right? So there was a call with this couple where he called. The husband called in and said, Ryan, I can’t have the next 10 years be like the last 10. 

Now, he’d been making a quarter million for 10 years. Again, you’d think that there’d be some pretty significant assets. But there weren’t. And so I asked him those challenging questions. 

OK, are you ready? Are you— you know, what are you willing to do to make sure the next 10 are dramatically different? Anyway, as we got into it, one of the things we implemented was a new budget. 

It all starts from the budget. Honestly, I believe strongly— and Michelle, you probably agree— that if you have a solid budget, your savings and debt problems will almost automatically eliminate themselves. But it all starts with that foundation.

MICHELLE: Yeah, for sure. I’ve definitely told clients this before— lovingly.

RYAN: (CHUCKLING) Lovingly. 

MICHELLE: You don’t have a debt problem. You have a budget problem.

RYAN: Right. That’s exactly it. So with this couple, it was the same thing. But I put them on what looked to be like the best— or I should say it promised to be the best— budgeting app of three years ago. And I put them on that system. 

We developed a really clean plan. We had our check-in points so they could be accountable and have responsibility. And sure enough, like so many budgets, it acted like a diet. And after about three or four months, and when that pain and that motivation wore off on the couple, they reverted back to their old ways. 

Now, the story gets worse. Because about a year later, they actually divorced. And all of that hits me hard. My parents divorced when I was younger, mostly over financial issues. And that’s probably why I got into this— into this industry and have such an affinity and a drive to help people with this. 

But it bothered me so much that I decided to go out and do it— or do something about it. Because I knew the system that I wanted. And it was not in the marketplace. So I went to a financial— or a developer friend of mine who is in the financial tech sector. 

We had lunch. And in that lunch meeting, I explained to him what I wanted. And I asked him if it was possible. And for three hours now, during a lunch meeting, right? 

Three hours, we filled up a yellow pad with ideas of how it might be done. Over the next six months, we researched hard. We eventually wrote a patent with our concepts. And that was the beginning. 

MICHELLE: Aww. I love it. That’s wonderful. So let’s get into that then. Because I think this is great background. So what is the cash envelope system? Like what’s kind of the theory behind it?

RYAN: So cash envelopes, that’s— for me as a planner and coach, that was always my go-to system when I needed something— you know, I needed that strong prescription for a couple that would really help change their spending habits. I mean, let’s be honest. Every budgeting system out there, its goal, its aspiration, is to help change spending behavior. Right? 

But the problem with every system out there, except cash envelopes, is that they lack the ability— they lack the power— to really influence people when they’re at that moment of the purchase. Right? When you’re there with the marketing hitting you at the store, and it’s 50% off, and it’s buy today, they lack the ability to really break through that emotion and affect effectively the moment of the purchase. Because all of them track in the past. Right? 

You spend, and then they tell you about it. Cash envelopes is so powerful, not because of the envelopes, and not because of cash, but because it’s the only system out there, the only system in existence, that is— that has the power to get in front of the purchase. And that’s why it’s so successful at changing spending behavior. 

It does that because every time the person wants to spend, they have to use the system. Every budgeting tool out there is simply a tool that tells you about your spending. But it’s after the fact, right? So it’s this idea of shifting the thought process of people to analyzing their plan before a purchase versus here’s what happened.

[00:09:50] MICHELLE: Yeah. And so when we’re talking about cash envelopes here, the sort of old school way of thinking is to say like, what are all of the categories in which you spend money? How much proactively do you wanna put towards those categories? And then actually taking physical cash out and putting into a physical envelope to say, if you wanna buy something from that category, you have to get out that envelope and spend the cash just in that envelope. Is that right?

RYAN: Yeah, exactly. So cash envelopes is awesome. And this was kind of the thing. Like I was— kind of going back to my story, I was— I remember the moment exactly because I had just gone off the phone with this couple. I was very frustrated. I didn’t verbalize that too much to them. Right? 

Because as a coach, you wanna be uplifting and help. But sometimes, you’d have to be a little strong. But I remember getting off the phone with them. And I was just frustrated. Because like here again is another couple that’s falling off the plan because it was so easy to do so. 

Think about it. The tool that I gave them was awesome. It was easy. It was technologically very advanced. And that tool, the reason why I went to it was because it was really trying to push a lot of great information really, really close to the purchase. 

I mean, it had technology where, when you walked into a store, the app would know you were in a store. And it would say, hey, last time you were here, you spent $150. Try to do better this time. Spend less this time. 

That’s kind of some cool tech. But you don’t have to use it. That’s the problem, right? And then after you spend, it still is gonna ask, well, which category should that go into? 


RYAN: Who cares? The purchase had happened.

MICHELLE: You feel like you made a mistake. Let’s categorize those mistakes. 

RYAN: Yeah. Yeah. Or, you know, there’s some systems where, at the end of the month, they send you a report. And it’s like, hey, you overspent. Cool. There’s no— there’s not really any actual information. And there’s no accountability. 

So you look at it— you know, people get those reports, whether they’re a day later or a week later or a month later. And they look at it and go, I overspent. Dang. Hope I do better next month. So there’s just no accountability, nothing. 

Whereas cash envelopes, because it’s so simple, because it gets in front of the purchase, it makes budgeting also extremely easy. Really, budgeting is done when you make your money, when you’re not in the store and tempted by all of the potential marketing. Right? You just got paid. And now calmly and logically, you can sit down with yourself or with your partner and decide with intentionality, how do we want our money to be spent? 

That alone changes people’s lives, having intention with money. There’s so many people that have this relationship with money where they go into a store, and they’re afraid to purchase. They’re afraid to spend. Because they really don’t have any idea where they are.

And so they’re just— they’re trying to spend less always, which means don’t spend. Don’t spend. And it creates this horrible relationship where money’s a negative.

Versus someone who has intentionality, like cash envelopes can create, they’ve already planned to spend $500 in entertainment. So when they’re out with the kids, or they’re out with their buddies, they feel free. Because they made the decision, I’ve got 500 bucks to spend on fun or 700 on food. And it’s very freeing when you have that intentionality. 

So cash envelopes does that. And it does it when you make your money, not when you’re at the store, and not a month later. It does it right when you make it. You decide exactly. You deploy the money. You give it— you give it a job and a purpose, which is powerful. 

Now, the next part happens at the store. So, you know, days later, after you’ve been paid, after you’ve deployed your money, you’re there in the store. You see something you wanna buy, right? 

You’re passing that Apple Watch. And it’s on sale. And you’re excited. And all the marketing’s starting to really hit you. Emotions start to flare up. And you’re like, yeah, I wanna get that now. 

Or maybe it’s those shoes you saw on Pinterest. Right? Whatever it is, like I’m trying to speak to both the guys that want the Apple Watch and the girls that want the nice shoes or something. Whatever it is, you’re there. And you’re tempted. And you wanna purchase. You wanna spend. 

Or you go to your envelopes, your wallet or your purse. You open that up. You look inside. And you have to answer two questions every time you spend. You do this in microseconds (SNAPPING). 

But you’re— first, you’re answering the question of, where’s the money coming from? Is it groceries? Is it fun? Is it clothing? Where’s it coming from? And the next question is, do I have enough? 

Because you already created a plan. Now, you have more money. So let’s say you’ve got clothing, right? And there’s 50 bucks. And those shoes are 70. You have more money. 

You can— you always have the freedom to take from another category, from another envelope, right? Which is also very empowering. But it also— it allows you to analyze your priorities in a moment. 

Do I wanna take from groceries? Ahh, no, I think I do wanna eat this week. Do I wanna take from this weekend of fun? Uh, no. My wife would be upset. Because I know she’s got plans this weekend. 

So it allows us to analyze our priorities and focus our spending where we deem the most value. Versus what a lot of people do is go, oh, yeah, I’m sure I got that. There’s 1,000 bucks in the bank account. Swipe. 

[00:15:04] And then they go home. And the spouse is like, you spent how much on what? Right? Spousal conflicts happen. Because they’re not able to analyze things. 

But anyway, so cash envelopes allows us to have those quick little self meetings, if you will. Because you’re able to review your plan, which, where’s the money coming from? And do I have enough? And if the answer is yes to both of those things, you reach in, you grab your money, and you spend. And you’re empowered to do so.

MICHELLE: Yeah. Yeah, I love that. I will be honest, though. And this is especially true for— like a lot of the coaching work that I do is around this type of spending intentionality, which is wonderful. As a diehard millennial, the thought of doing it old school, getting out a physical cash and taking it with me in my wallet, like is almost boring to me. 

RYAN: Ugh, yeah.

MICHELLE: Like there are points in my life where I’ve legitimately needed a few bucks cash, like if I have to tip a valet or something. And I always feel like a total knob not having a single dollar bill in my wallet. This I assume is like the birth of your app, right? Is like—

RYAN: Exactly. 


RYAN: I’m the same way. So I’m ’82, so borderline right at the beginning of the millennials. And I’m with you. I hate— 

MICHELLE: Born in ’82, not 82 years old, just for the— 

RYAN: Right, born, born.

MICHELLE: For the listener who cannot see you right now, yeah.

RYAN: Right. The— no, that’s funny. Yeah. So I like to go out the door with my phone. I have one of those phone cases that has the storage compartment in the back. So I can carry a card or two and my driver’s license. And I’m out the door. 

I hate carrying cash. 

I love frugality. I love simplicity. You know, and so that’s me. And so, yeah, in my practice with clients, it was always when I needed that really strong medicine. Right? You guys have a spending problem. The best way we can curb this is to use cash. 

But I knew the reality was, if I put people on that, that it would only last as long as they didn’t need to shop on Amazon. Because you can’t do that. Or if you wanna book a flight or a hotel, all of that is card dependent.

MICHELLE: Yeah. Even getting gas, you know, I don’t wanna go in the QT and like talk to a person about it. Like I just wanna swipe it.

RYAN: Yeah. Yeah. You just wanna swipe and go. Yeah, no, and that’s— and it’s so easy to do that. And it’s wonderful. I mean, who wants to have a dollar bill that you have to then convert into coins and— or, you know, you spend some money. And you get change. 

In fact, I was talking to a guy a week ago. And when he first got married, he said that his wife had insisted that he always deposit his coins into this jar every day just from all the cash he was spending and the coins. So every day, he would put his— he would empty his pockets and drop it into this tank, this big canister that they had. 

And after, I think he said, a month or two, he had over $1,000 in that just from change. So cash is very inefficient in that regard. It creates a lot of extra work for people. Because you have to divide it. And you have to do a lot of extra work. 

And also who wants to carry around that much cash? I mean, that’s a huge complaint from— or for cash envelope users. Do you wanna carry around $1,500 in your purse all the time?

MICHELLE: No, gosh.

RYAN: Right. 

MICHELLE: Hard nope.

RYAN: And then— yeah. And then there’s— if you’re married or have a partner that you’re sharing the envelopes with, what happens if he’s coming home from work? You’re at home. And it’s like, hey, will you go get some groceries for us at the store? 

Oh, shoot, I’ve got the grocery envelope. Dang. You’ll have to come home first. Or use your card, and we’ll have to pay it back. So there’s a logistical— there’s lots of logistical problems with cash. 

So, yes, that was exactly part of the motivation when I went and sat down with my friend, and I said, can we build a system like this that functions exactly like cash envelopes? How do we do that? Because I wanted a system that couldn’t be bypassed. Right? 

It needed to be— one of the cool ways to look at cash envelopes is that it is the bank. It’s the budget. And it is the bank. And it’s just how money works. So cash envelopes is cool because it changes the environment of how money is. 

It works in a budgeting format naturally, which makes things super, super simple. If you look at our existing bank account world, that environment is void of any financial disciplines, void of anything. And that means that it just gets filled up with junk. Whatever junk can go in there, it’s going to. 

And I often like to relate this to a refrigerator that’s filled with junk food versus one that’s organized and has healthy food and compartments and things like that. Which one is going to facilitate better health— a fridge with junk food that’s just stuffed full of garbage or one on the other side that’s organized? And you’ve got your fruits and your vegetables, and it’s compartmentalized? 

[00:20:12] Which one will be easier to live healthy and eat healthy? Because we’re all creatures of habit. And we always default to whatever’s easiest.

MICHELLE: Yeah. I usually have— in the past, I’ve made my clients enforce order by getting multiple savings accounts and multiple checking accounts. 

RYAN: Oh, yeah, yeah.

MICHELLE: But then, you know, you kind of have to build out that ecosystem. And it works because I’m there to hold their hand. But, you know, nobody would think of that if they weren’t working with somebody whose job it was to tell them, hey, you need a spending account. And you need a bills account. And you need all savings accounts for your goals.

RYAN: Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard because the system doesn’t support that kind of methodology. And so it becomes a challenge in and of itself to adopt these correct habits, which makes it harder for more people to adopt. The environment itself, the banking environment, does not support healthy financial principles.


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MICHELLE: Like at this point, I feel like it’s the right time for you to just like hit us with the facts. Like tell us about Qube.


MICHELLE: How does it work? Like how are you— how are you taking this like awesome system that is so antiquated and turning it into something usable and modern?

RYAN: So all we did was we looked at the behaviors. It was interesting. Because if you look across the spectrum of people that love cash envelopes, they’ll love it for different reasons. I mean, you’ve got Dave Ramsey out there that says it’s the cash. 

And I had to really dig in and say, what is it really that makes cash envelopes work so well? And that’s where we began to break it down. And we determined that the payment method is not at all what it is. 

Because people can pay with cash or seashells or whatever. It’s people. It’s the intelligence of a person being able to— or able to evaluate their priorities in a moment before the purchase that makes all the value. 

Envelopes are a factor. It’s very important that you’re able to deploy your money. Because you have to give your money intentionality. You have to give every dollar a job. That has to happen. So that needs to exist. 

But the payment method, whether it’s cash or plastic, doesn’t matter as long as it’s happening before the purchase. So what we did is we just mimicked those behaviors. So with Qube, it’s really simple. You open your app. 

You’re immediately shown all of your different envelopes, or what we call qubes. And you simply just tap on it. You tap on whichever envelope you’re gonna spend from. So you see all your different qubes. It says groceries, $700, entertainment, $300. 

And where the value is, where the number is, to make it really easy and simple, you just tap that. You tap on that number. And now money immediately moves onto the card. 

Now we had to make it so that people had to use the system, just like with cash envelopes. So the one unique piece— and this is part of our patented system— is that the card itself has a default zero balance. By default, it has no money on it. 

So if you just go and swipe, it’s gonna decline, which helps people learn the new habit of going to the app, looking at the plan, choosing where the money’s coming from. Right? They have to answer those same two questions again. Where’s the money coming from? And do I have enough? 

They tap that category, or that qube. The money loads up onto the card instantaneously. They swipe. And they’re done. And they’re out the door.

MICHELLE: So when you swipe the card, does it basically reset what the category is? Or does it stay on that qube until you— until you go back?

RYAN: Great question. Yeah. So the full process is you open the app. You tap on the— you make a choice, right? And you do that by tapping. The money of that category, of that qube, loads onto the card. You swipe. The purchase goes through on that amount only. 

So if you load up— let’s say you have $700 on groceries, and you spend 300. Then 400 bucks is gonna flow back into that qube, all nice and clean. And it does. Right after the purchase, it closes that qube down, returning the card back to zero. 

So with every single purchase, just like with cash envelopes, they have to go in and think, make a choice. Where’s the money coming from? Do I have enough? Swipe. Done.

MICHELLE: That is exceptionally cool.

RYAN: It— you know, what’s remarkable is— when we first brought out the system, we called it ProActive Budget. And ProActive proved itself very quickly; that it was very effective; that the method itself worked very well. People loved it. We didn’t have the right partners at the time. 

[00:25:00] And we also realized that people didn’t want just a replica of cash envelopes. What they really wanted was an entire banking suite that operated with that methodology at its core. And that’s what Qube is. 

So Qube can do all things banking. You can direct deposit. You can do— anything banking, it’s all there. But it has that basic methodology at its core for spending. And it is really simple.

The people that used ProActive overwhelmingly loved it. It was very effective. Our average user on that system saved $440. I should say— let me clarify that. They reprioritized. They spent money more according to their purpose, their priority. 

And on average, they were saving in that regard $440 a month. But we had some people saving thousands— not because they’d made more money, or they were getting 20% off on stuff, but because they were just spending on things that were more important to them, which changes your life. Everything aligns with purpose and intentionality.

MICHELLE: What about the setup side of it? So I’ve used apps that admittedly are really cool. But there might be like a learning curve. Or like you kind of have to be a power user in order to really get the full functionality. Do you know what I’m saying?

RYAN: Yeah, yeah. So setup’s simple. If you’ve used Venmo or PayPal, it’s about as complicated as that. 


RYAN: Yeah. And we spent a lot of time on that piece. In fact, as Qube releases, we’ve— we’ve brought in some new technology that’ll make it even easier than what we had with Proactive. There are— obviously, when you’re setting up a bank account, there’s laws in this country that we have to follow. 

And we do have to know— there’s a law called Know Your Customer. And that’s important for terrorists. Because we don’t want those guys either. We actually did have a scenario where we had some— some Russian— a little Russian fraud ring that found us with ProActive. 

And they— they taught us really fast what damage they can do with Proactive. So with Qube, we’re being a little wiser on that point. But so this new tech we’re bringing in should make it easier, while still giving us great protection for the system and allowing it to do what we want it to do and not be abused. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s great. And so let’s say, for example, like a paycheck hits. And you kind of have all these qubes set up. And you’re— you’ve designated your categories of what you want your envelopes to be. How does money then get pushed from like— how does money flow into the qubes in order for you to spend it? Do you see what I’m asking? 

RYAN: Absolutely, yeah. So the distribution part is really important. And what we did, or what we’re doing, with Qube— it’s a little more advanced than what we did with ProActive— is when you go and create each individual qube— so each envelope, you’re able to put in there a target. So this is how much money you want funded into this each month or each period. 

And then that begins to drive your distribution and automate it to some degree. So when you get paid— so let’s say you set up a direct deposit straight from work. The money drops in. 

And immediately, Qube’s gonna pop up and say, hey, we just saw your deposit. This is the plan that we think you wanna do. Approve? Yep, (SNAPS) looks good. So with one tap or two taps, you can immediately (SNAPS) have all your money drop into your qubes. 

And inside the app, this is another enhancement from ProActive to Qube. There’s the wonderful ability to have different types of qubes. So you’ll have a spending qube that’s designed for spending. 

You’ll have a savings qube. This was a piece that was in huge demand previously. So they’ll— you’ll be able to have those two different types. And with the savings qube, you can actually now begin creating those funds for Christmas, or that quarterly insurance payment, or annual insurance payment, or even your bills and subscriptions. That was something else we couldn’t support previously that we now can. 

So again, all types of payments can all be in there, including— this is a new one as well. There’ll be a qube for kids. So for those parents that wanna be super parent and actually be able to teach their kids the power of cash envelopes and how to manage money, they’ll have a qube in there that’s a kid qube that’ll allow them to go into the view of their child, give their child a card, and begin teaching and monitoring, and controlling a little bit, how their kids spend money as well.

MICHELLE: Wow. That’s super neat. I love that functionality not just for like one person, but actually designed the way that like a family would spend money.

RYAN: Exactly. That’s exactly right. The idea with the system is that you go in, and you do what a human does best, which is be creative. You design and create how you want your money to flow. And the system should execute that until you wanna go and make a change. Right? 

So it’s asking for approvals. Is this the way how you wanna do it? Yes. Oh, here’s a random deposit because you sold some stuff on eBay. How do you want that to go? That doesn’t match any of your past stuff. So that one, you know, you may have to deploy manually. 

[00:30:02] But for your consistent payments, it should just automatically almost, semiautomatically, with your approval— yes, that’s how I want it to go. Or no, actually, use this other plan that I created. And it’ll adjust and move the money along. 

MICHELLE: Awesome. So I just wanna ask you a question as an entrepreneur. This is not something that we talked about in advance, but I’m super curious. What’s been your favorite part about working on this project so far?

RYAN: You know, I love— I think it goes back to what I was saying about why I became more of a planner coach instead of just a planner mutual fund salesman. I really resonate with making a difference. And I was constantly feeling like I couldn’t do that. 

And so the potential here, and what we’ve already seen with ProActive— so the potential here with Qube, I get this great thrill. And honestly, this is why the project didn’t die. So if I tell you the whole story, it’s been a really hard journey for us. 

Because we have so many dependencies— we have to depend on a process. And we have to depend on a bank. And we have all these rules and regulations we have to deal with. In the beginning, I tried to bootstrap this. 

And unfortunately, this is not an industry you can bootstrap in. You really can’t. So I mean— but what was great is right from the beginning the product showed very— it showed great promise. And then we got our beta out. And we were able to run that program. 

But we realized our partners couldn’t scale at the level we needed to. But again, the system proved that it could do what it needed to do. And the community behind it loved it. 

And so the whole story is I raised a bunch of money. We went along. And in the month of our launch, they came in— our card partner came in and said, hey, our program’s getting shut down. I’m hopping on a plane. I’ll see you later.

And that was on a weekend when we had 200 people sign up for the system. So I was on this real high. Everything’s going great. And then on Monday, I couldn’t send cards out. And we only had a month left of runway. 

And I thought the whole world had just collapsed on us. And we didn’t even get a chance. I mean, a lot of— most entrepreneurs are at least able to get out there and try it and, you know— but we didn’t even get a chance because of our partner, not because of the system. 

And it was the customers— it was the users of the system— that kept coming back saying, hey, this was amazing. We wanna use this. What am I gonna do now? You know, things like that that kept the project going. 

And now, it’s amazing. We’ve attracted really the dream team both internally and externally with our partner. It’s everyone I’ve wanted to work with. It’s been an amazing journey. But it has been really hard in getting this out. 

But it has been the community. That’s a long answer to your question. But it’s— that’s what’s at the heart of this whole thing is that mission, helping people really change their lives and get to that next level financially.

MICHELLE: So for folks who are listening to this episode, and they’re curious about the work that you’re doing or interested in like taking Qube for a spin, how can people find you online?

RYAN: So right now, it’s And I’ll give you a little— a little insider information. We just barely obtained the dot com. So I think we’re gonna be able to release with But that’s the place to go. 

We’ll see that probably here April-ish. We’ll start beta testing in March. And as long as the beta tests go great, then we anticipate releasing here in April. And we’ll begin changing the world.

MICHELLE: Heck yeah. Ryan, thank you so much for coming on, sharing your story, schooling us on cash envelopes. I’m really excited for you and for this project and to see where it all takes you.

RYAN: Thank you so much, Michelle.

MICHELLE: Awesome. And thank you, guys, for listening. I really appreciate you stopping by. Just a reminder for you, if you have any questions, you wanna check things out, I always put a full list of resources in all of the show notes. So anything you listen here today, you can find online on my blog, All of the notes are there for you. 

And if you would take a second, if you’re feeling charitable today, please give us some love on the social. Like us. Follow us. Subscribe. The more that you do for that, the more I can have awesome folks like Ryan on the podcast sharing their stories. So thank you, everybody, and wishing you an abundant day. 

END CREDITS: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. If you want to read about my work as a financial advisor and financial coach, you can do so at That’s Thanks again for listening.

Made with love by Jesse in Atlanta. [SMOOCHING SOUND]

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