The Envudu team is ambitious. Ryan Ruff, CEO, wants to continue doing what his family has been doing for decades – helping people. Tyler Slater, CTO, wants to break the cycle of debt that so many families find themselves in. For them, these aren’t ambitions, they are realistic expectations. Like Howard Ruff in the 70s or Dave Ramsey in the 90s, Envudu may just change the world of personal finance.
Perhaps more couples will say what Tyler says about him and his wife: “We’ve never once argued about money.”
Ryan Ruff is not your average personal finance guru. He doesn’t parade around a stage or have a magic 5-step system to help you live the life you’ve always wanted. In fact, it’s just who he is – literally. His grandfather, Howard Ruff, is considered an original voice of personal finance and was the author of the newsletter, The Ruff Times, which was published every 3 weeks from the 1970s until his passing this past Fall. He authored several books and appeared on the New York Times best-selling list for over a year as the author of How To Prosper During These Upcoming Hard Years. Larry Ruff, Ryan’s father, has founded two multi-million dollar personal finance startups.
While working for his father, Ryan set out to find an effective budgeting solution for his clients. Fascinated as to why people kept overspending, Ryan developed a system and tested his theories within what he called a mini-incubator.
“I would have one client testing an idea, another testing a different one, and myself doing something different all at once. I felt like I was in the trenches with them.”
He emerged two years later with a vast understanding of why people raid their savings and make impractical short-term purchases. To combat this, he had developed a system where clients would open 10-12 checking accounts and label them for different purposes – Maggie’s Birthday Extravaganza, Disneyland Vacation, Car Repairs, Anniversary, etc…
Thus, the idea for Envudu was born.
Envudu is the 21st century answer to the age-old problem of overspending and budgeting. Ryan has found that “traditional systems like the cash-envelope system are best fit for cash economies. With the exit of cash from the marketplace and the growing categories in which people spend their money, those systems need to be translated for the digital age.”
Envudu draws an incremental amount from your income and sorts it into digital personalized spending envelopes. But why does this work?
By linking every purchase to an emotion, Envudu can hack present bias to work for you not against you. Present bias is when you irrationally place too much value on things you want right now, and things that will eventually matter don’t have value. “This isn’t just savings,” says Ryan referring to an envelope, “this is ‘Vegas Trip’. In the moment, that money becomes more valuable to you and decide not to spend it on something else.” Envudu works for individuals trying to bolter their savings but, they quickly realized the broader applications.
Ryan and his team heard that married couples raved about Envudu. “Cash envelopes are easy to stick with when you’re single… When you’re married, problems arise when there are two spenders,” says Tyler.
Ryan shares this sentiment and says, “A lot of marriages have a spender and a saver, which causes problems … Envudu gets the spender to reign in their decisions, and loosens up the saver … If they know car repairs are taken care of, they splurge on the extra bottle of wine.”
Envudu ensures you always have money for the things you want most in life.
For Ryan’s wife, it’s the holidays. “Christmas is one of the most financially stressful times of the year. People always say ‘how are we going to pull this off?’ My wife and I, we put away $23 per week. Then, when Christmas comes, it’s not ‘how are we going to get this money together?’. It allows us to focus on what’s important.”
In Tyler’s case, he’s never been married without it. In fact, on the same day he bought his wife’s engagement ring, he bought a motorcycle. “I thought I should get that in before the wedding.” He had it paid off in four months.
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