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Financial Security with Peter Polson

George Grombacher January 2, 2022

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Financial Security with Peter Polson

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Financial Security with Peter Polson

LifeBlood: We talked about financial security, the financial lessons learned from the pandemic, how some money challenges are true across all socioeconomic levels, and how to gain more control to shape your future with Peter Polson, Founder of Tiller Money

Listen to learn the first step to take to bring you closer to financial security! 

You can learn more about Peter at TillerHQ.com, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at MoneyAlignmentAcademy.com, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact George at Contact@GeorgeGrombacher.com.

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About The Episode

GG Headshot 2021

George Grombacher

Peter Polson

About The Transcript

Come on.

Strong the powerful Peter Paulson has returned to lifeblood. Welcome back, Peter. Thank you, George. It’s so good to be here. excited to have you back on Peter is the founder at Tiller money, they’re an organization believing that people can gain control of their money, they can better control their futures. Peter, refresh our memories, tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work and why you do what you do. Yeah, you bet it’s so good to be back. So I am

Peter Polson 0:52
myself challenged by how can I better stay on top of finances, my wife and I got married, we had two kids, the velocity of our money increased. And I was just frustrated that there weren’t better tools out there. And and after spending, the first part of my career in technology, realize that we can build something, we can do something better here. And that’s really what started tiller. And it was actually in that process, talking with other people and realizing what was a common thread among many of the most financially engaged people. It was spreadsheets and realizing Wait a second, the solution to this problem is not building another app. With some built in charts and graphs, there’s value to that for some people. But actually, the solution that was really going to

open this up in a whole new way, was automating spreadsheets. And so that’s what Tiller is, we’re a subscription service. We are we provide automated feeds from all of your transactions and balances, from credit card checking mortgage, student loan, you name it, feed it into your spreadsheet, and helpful templates, great customer support. And we’re all wrapped in a privacy first service or a subscription base. So the only money we make is the money our customers pay us. We don’t sell their data, we don’t provide push ads, their data is just that their data. So that’s what Tiller is. And I am lucky enough to run tiller, and I, our two boys are now older, they’re eight and 11. I just, you know, this is the time of the year where we’re squeezing all the outside time we can before the season changes and snow comes and then and then the sports change. And so I feel so lucky as a dad and so lucky with the team I get to work with with tiller. And I guess that’s Peter in a nutshell.

george grombacher 2:45
Well, I love it. So how has it I think it’s probably been around a year since since since we spoke. How have you been observing financial behaviors change, just as we make our way through the pandemic?

Peter Polson 3:00
You know, the pandemic has been a obviously this completely unexpected force in everyone’s life. And I think it it it really has, the impact has varied I think for some people, there’s been a loss of income, there has been maybe a complete loss of, of your job, and then you’re searching for a new job or a partial loss, and just a big disruption. And I think for many people in that boat, the pandemic has really brought to sort of bear all the things that we think are our sort of good hygiene, having, you know, having a emergency fund. But also just the nuts and bolts of what do I actually need to to spend what’s what are the required living expenses, and what are the discretionary expenses, I can Kyler. And then I’ll say there’s a whole nother group who, for them, the pandemic has meant, I’ve left the office, and now I’m working at home. And my job is just gotten a lot more intense, because whatever my job was, they need more of it. And now I’m at home, and the boundaries of work and life have sort of dissolved and my team’s working all the time. I need to be working all the time. And there have been people who have kept their job kept their full income and and they’re facing burnout. And I actually know several friends who have plumbed positions, and they’re, they’ve quit or they’re ready to quit because they’re just like it’s too much and so and the money had has been stable. But but they’re now thinking how can I how can I adjust my finances? So I can make a change here on my own? Because I’m done. I’m done. And then there’s obviously people in the middle But I see, I see a lot of those two extremes lost some income or burnt out.

george grombacher 5:06
Interesting, right? So are you attempting to serve both of those people? Who, who, who Who do you in your mind’s eye?

Peter Polson 5:16
It’s a great question. Well, the reality is, for each of those, the answer is the same, right? That’s what sort of the answer is the same? The answer is that I need to be in better control of my finances. And actually, I I, I recently was talking with a customer, a customer of ours, Taylor here, and they are the president of one of the largest family offices in the country. And so that that means that they their job, they were hired as a financial manager for a very wealthy, successful family, you know, founding family of a name brand business that we all know. And, and so his job is managing their, their, their their money over multiple generations. And he said, he’s actually he’s a tiller customer, and I love it, because he has, you know, in his day job, he has access to all the financial tools out there that you can imagine, and in, and yet, what he chooses to use for the finances that he and his wife have. And as they manage expenses for their children as well. He’s he chooses tiller. And the words that he said is, he said, tiller and has, has given us so much control over our finances, that we can make decisions on a dime. Now, that would have been decisions that would have taken us days or weeks to make. And it could be a decision about a significant expense related to you know, housing, cars, second home, it could be a decision related to retirement could be the decision related to to kids, he said, or investments also, like, can we take this and invest it in this speculative thing that this person is doing. And he said, The, he’s never been able to make decisions faster. And it actually has changed how he how he runs this family office, because he realizes what he’s doing for them, He wants them to have the same, the same control that he has. And he starts every day with his Tiller sheet open on one of the tabs in his browser, and he spends just a few minutes in it two or three minutes updates it and, and he just knows where things are, I think all of us, really all of us want that. And we want that because we want and whether things are going well, or whether things are changing. In the calm and in internal oil, we want that level of control. And and so that’s, that’s at tiller, that’s what we’re trying to give the customers who come to us who choose us who trust us, we’re trying to give them that control. And so if if they are in the burnout situation, if they’re in the we’ve lost some income, or we’ve given up some income, because we decided one of our one of our household members needs to stay home and not work and be with, with elderly family or young kids or whatnot, we can make that decision. And because we can see very quickly where we’d be in what adjustments we need to make. And that’s my dream for everyone that honestly, that’s that’s the dream when I started tiller, and hearing this customer read that back to me, I’m like, that is what I want for everyone.

george grombacher 8:28
Think that’s amazing. So certainly that I suppose congratulations or an older than, like, Yes, we did it,

Peter Polson 8:39
you know, and it we hear that in other in other ways all the time. It’s honestly, we’re such a mission driven company. And it is for us that that is what keeps us going in the times when it’s been busy. And we’ve had some very busy periods this past year when we know people have been counting on us. And and that’s the motivation for us. And so we actually, we, in our internal communication channels, we have a place where we put happy customer comments and and we’re always just throwing stuff in there because it’s it’s the that’s what feeds is that’s what drives that. So yeah,

george grombacher 9:14
awesome. Is it? Is it a function of of simplicity, that the that this person feels like? They’re they’re able to look at this dashboard and make decisions easily. What is it?

Peter Polson 9:31
Yeah, you know, that the reality is each of our finances? Well, they all have very, very similar themes. We all look at them slightly differently. And, you know, if you and I and George were listening to a TED talk that was really relevant to some part of our life, and we were taking notes. We would start with a blank sheet of paper. My notes in your notes would look different at the end of it, and it’s the same TED Talk and ultimate I would bet there’s a lot of overlap between our lives, but your notes and my notes would look very different. Because the way your brain thinks and the way mind thinks, the goals you had and listen to that talk and my goals, and just your workflow and my workflow are different. And, and that is the that is absolutely true in personal finances. And, and that is where so many apps break down is because they constrain you to sort of, well, you have to do it this way. And the magic in a spreadsheet is that and I actually recall, I recall that you’re, your wife is a big spreadsheet user from an earlier conversation. And, and a lot of you the nerve center for your finances live in that spreadsheet. And I am guessing the reason that you as a couple on that she especially has sort of invested your energy, there’s a same reason, it’s that you can do it your way, and you can make it you can say, well, for us, we actually I want it to look this way, and I want to track it that way. And, and i i And you can, you can do it just how you want. And that’s one of the reasons we always say that you never have those growth spreadsheet. And so we have people very early in their financial journey and very late in your financial journey, they start with tiller, they and or they come to us because they’ve had a spreadsheet for some period of time. And that spreadsheet that they never grew it, it’s the one service you’re never gonna outgrow.

george grombacher 11:24
Yeah, yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. So,

Peter Polson 11:29
and I’ll give you just one one example related to that in our in, in our mind, and our finances here. So with, with my wife, and when we look at our finances, we have we I like looking at it as a little p&l, and I like looking at it. So I my income comes from tiller. And my wife is a author and keynote speaker. And so her income comes from a few sources and is more variable. And then we also have a rental house and a small, little project. So it’s a family side project as well with a space in town that we operate. And and so when I’m looking at our finances with her, we want to see, it’s effectively four stacked p&l. It’s like, what are the expenses related to her business? And what’s the income? What are the expenses related to that rental house, and what’s that income, I don’t have many expenses that we have on our personal cards related to tiller, but there’s my income from tiller. And then, and then sort of net net, where are we at with with the income side. So we have expenses related to all those sources and an income related all those sources. And then below that we have all of our personal expenses, groceries and, and vacation and whatnot. But I love seeing for me that breakout of how we get to that income is so helpful. And all of all of the work related expenses go up there. And so we get to this sort of income net of work related expenses, which includes the expenses to replace the stair railing at the rental house, like you pull that out before you see the income, right, and then the income that we have to spend, then we break it out below that and look at all our categories, there’s just no tool out there that I could do that in except a spreadsheet. And that’s just one small example of how people, everyone looks at their finances a little bit differently. And the things that matter. We also have people who are using our service, who are on the like, ultra, ultra austere version. And they they love having two categories. They literally run their finances in two categories. It’s living expenses, and it’s discretionary expenses. And I love that, again, you couldn’t do that in any tool, except Except a spreadsheet where you have that kind of flexibility. So those are a couple of anecdotes.

george grombacher 13:59
Yeah, I think that that’s really powerful. And I appreciate you sharing that because it does help to sort of give for lack of a better term, a little bit of color. And what a great analogy about you and I watching a TED talk, you know, we’re sitting right next to each other in the audience, and we’re gonna have a totally, certainly different experience and why Why wouldn’t that be true of our personal finances? And and and how we view that as well. So I think that that’s very helpful. What’s been on my mind a lot lately is and just sort of we’ve been talking about is how do we help people? How do I help people make change sustainable? So if it’s, I’m trying to lose weight, so I’m not yo yoing I’m trying to get out of debt. So I’m not yo yoing How do you think about that for a personal finance standpoint?

Peter Polson 14:44
I think that the one really big thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is finances tend to be something that you know, it’s big and it’s big and when when things are going well when you feel like control. It’s a very empowering. And when you don’t it nags at you nags at you and you’re trying to sleep, it nags at you. And you’re sitting in that long meeting for work that’s going on and on and your mind wanders. And I, one of the things that I feel is so helpful for change is picking one thing, one thing that that is bothering you or that is, is an opportunity, and a progress on that one thing, and honestly, for us, so I just sort of walk through the big block outline of how we think about our finances, that that line item there with the rental house, we’ve decided recently that we wanted to sell that rental house, and now is the right time, and we just, it just for variety reasons, it made sense to us to sell that rental house. And honestly, that decision we made months ago, and then it was just realizing, okay, we need to we’re busy enough, right? Nothing’s going. It just wasn’t happening. But it was one of those things on my mind. And it was like, Okay, what’s the first step that we can take? And, and so we called an agent. And the good thing about students, something like that is, you know, you give a bone to an agent, and they’re gonna run with it, and all of a sudden, they’re gonna make the work happen, and they’re going to be nagging you. But that was what we needed to do is take that identify the one financial project that that we could make that would improve our peace of mind. And it was for us doing that selling that rental house. And then what’s one step we can take this week in that direction, even today? What’s one step? And I think, for everyone, that’s going to be again, it’s different. And, and maybe it’s signing up for a service to get on top of spending, maybe it is refinancing that mortgage, maybe it is figuring out what to do with that retirement account that you have some money in, but you haven’t done anything. I don’t know what it is figure out that but but your brain does your brain does your brain. And so what’s that one thing? And what’s one step you can make today? In the direction of progress with that?

george grombacher 17:00
I love it. Yeah, that’s, there’s so much that is constantly flowing into our minds, right? And it’s easy just to let things sort of spin around and and, and bump into each other and get lost. So being able to find that clarity and focus and then actually take action on it.

Peter Polson 17:21
Yes, yes, it’s true. And it’s, and that’s how I, I believe that’s how we make progress with everything in life. And we got to break it down to what’s the next step I can make? And so I hope, I hope that’s my hope for your listeners today. Is that they can they can find that next step and and commit to making progress on it. And what’s it a five minute bit of progress today towards that?

george grombacher 17:43
So real really quickly, Peter, take me through the the journey for people who are listening, they say, well, that that’s they’re talking about me, I want control I want you know, simplicity, I want to feel like like, like my financial future is or I’m moving in the direction of that. How is is their starting point with with with Tiller hub? How do people get started?

Peter Polson 18:07
Great question. So sign up for tiller, and it’s a 30 day trial. So it’s really easy to cancel if you you’re not finding it, but you will, you’re going to love it. Most people do, and connect all your financial accounts, and go in and categorize a month of data. And so I actually if ideally categorize the most recent full month, and then up to today, that’s going to require you to create a few categories. Don’t overthink it, come up with a few simple categories that you think describe your life go with fewer rather than more when in doubt. And, and don’t get stuck there. And categorize a the last full month of data and, and what you’re also going to see now is all your balances because you pull in all your accounts, you’re gonna see all your balances. And that’s going to give you a view into what are my assets? What are my liabilities. And that very simple step you don’t make some people are trackers and they just want to see it. Some people want to go to the next step and budget and set specific budget line items for the next month. You can do either you don’t have to budget but you can. But simply seeing everything in one place organized by logical categories is going to propel your awareness of your finances. And it it will you’ll identify some maybe some changes you want to make but there’s going to be some peace of mind that simply comes from seeing it all in one place. So that’s the next step is and it’s a simple step in and sign up, get in all your accounts, categorize it, see your balances and appreciate that I’ve just made a win there. I just I now have the awareness that I didn’t have before because the reality is most of us when we don’t have that have no idea where our money’s coming Going it’s impossible, but we have too many transactions every day to keep track

george grombacher 20:04
of it. Peter, thank you so much for coming back on. Give us the website,

Peter Polson 20:09
George. Yes. Tiller hq.com Search for us anywhere with tiller, and we’d love to have help any of your listeners on our own journey. Perfect for your work, George.

george grombacher 20:21
I appreciate it. If you enjoyed this as much as I did so Peter your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Tiller hq.com That’s T I ll er hq.com and take that important first step. Thanks again, Peter. Have a great day. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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