If you choose to be less dependent on a job, having a big debt to pay off or have a specific goal you have to save money for, you want to put some money away every week, month or year. Saving money is and has always been a wide spectrum of all kinds of opinions and methods. Especially in the FIRE community.
And we all know, money can make a difference in your life. Even a huge one if you let it. We are all searching for ways to invest, pay off more debt or build up wealth. It can make life easier, it can give us the rest we desperately need, or it can speed up the process to fulfill our dreams.
The focus lays foremost on the money part, but what happens when that focus shifts from working on your money goals, towards working on your life goals…?
The past month has been flying by like crazy. The plans for the wedding are really taking shape and I’ve, completely unexpected, bought a wedding dress. With ‘only’ 9 months to go, the coming month we will be deciding on the invitations and flowers (Pinterest really became my friend in this).
But the even bigger news here is that we have bought a rental property!
Oh yes, and of course we are receiving dividends as well. Still collecting without even lifting a finger. Talking about the power of passive income here.
As we are making progress and reaching out to others we notice a lot of people who are decluttering, for several reasons. It will clear up space in your home, you can sell the items for money and it will help you let go the feeling of ownership more.
Either you do it out of frugal reason, or a minimalist approach, it fits perfectly in a lifestyle where consumerism isn’t the biggest driver to make you feel happy.
When we started invested almost 3 years ago, our first objective was to get rich(er). We started buying stocks of which we believed would reach up to great heights so we would be able to cash in. Of course, this wasn’t build to last. By researching more and more about investment strategies and how to deal with money, I stumbled on some PF blogs that were talking about a whole different way of thinking than we had at that time.
So, we shifted our focus to the long haul and started investing in dividend stocks. Aiming for a more meaningful and happy life by reaching financial independence, and the freedom to do whatever we choose. In other words, being opportunity-rich and time rich.
I can tell you, that it’s working. And over the years we’ve built up a small portfolio providing us with some passive income. We’re still far from reaching financial independence and it will take over ten years before we get there. The thing is, my objective that motivated me on this journey was the promise that one day I would be able to stop working my day job and could ‘finally’ pursue what I really wanted and when I wanted it. But I’m not that willing to wait until then, in order to pursue the things I like to do now.
Did you know June officially is the first month of the summer? On the 21st of June, we’ve had the first summer day of this year. It was on a Friday, and it couldn’t be a better start. Because the next day, we had our second BE & NL FIRE meet-up in Utrecht. We had wonderful talks and discussions and all in all had a great time. The third meeting is already being set up, and we’re making plans to grow the FIRE community throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.
My look on FIRE has been changing lately, partly due to influences of others. It isn’t only about the numbers and waiting to reach a certain goal, but about radically changing your life so you have the power to fulfill your dreams as early as possible. FIRE to me is more about creating the time and opportunities to do so. But the numbers are equally fun while being in the building phase, and I get a lot of motivation from tracking my own results and seeing progress made by others. Our goal is to build up one or more passive income streams through investing in dividend growth stocks, and hopefully, we can add real estate to that list pretty soon as well.
With every month ending, I like to disclose what our progress is. How our investments played out, and what our further plans will be. Partly to be fully open in order to be accountable, and partly because I hope to show others some inspiration, ideas or just another mindset. Let’s get to it.
This past week we’ve been to a seminar of Kevin Green on real estate, and I (Mrs. Divnomics) went to a Meet-Up for real estate investors. There were some people we knew who also went to both, and we’ve already getting to know quite some people because of it.
I was hoping that both topics had information that would be a bit similar, and I was right. Two key topics that were covered on both were these:
1. How can I find a good property deal?
2. How can I find the money to fund buying a property?
Both of these questions are very important to get some answers to when you want to invest in real estate. For now, we only focus on the first question.
Since we have been starting looking into real estate, we’ve been eager to get as much knowledge on it as we could. So when the opportunity presented itself to go to a seminar on real estate investing by Kevin Green, we knew we had to go. And oh yes, they were VIP tickets. Free of charge… We definitely couldn’t say no to that.
This seminar was last weekend, and we had high expectations of it. Although Green is an authority in his field, he didn’t quite live up to those expectations. Still, we had learned a few things along the way and met with some interesting people again. I hoped to get out a detailed post about all the nice gems we had acquired last Saturday. But it turned out to be a little different. Instead, it got me thinking about why it’s so important not to just believe everything you hear, but keep a mindset of asking a question and try to understand it.
Our second BE/NL FIRE meet-up is already in the books. Last weekend we came together with 28 other money and PF geeks, to talk about investing & financial independence specifically related to the Dutch and Belgium circumstances. And this time again we’ve had the fortune to be in good company with new but also many familiar faces from the meet-up earlier this year. In short, it was a great success.
During the Meet-Up, I had the pleasure to give a talk about F.I.R.E. in general, and in relation to our situation in Europe. The outcome was that because of some big differences in legislation, the build up in pensions and the closed mindset of Europeans, talking about it and reaching FI is far more difficult than it would be in the US.
Another outcome was that the equivalent of FIRE doesn’t really exist in the EU society, and possible nowhere else as well. Simply because the whole idea of an early retirement doesn’t cover what it actually means. Simply put, we don’t have a word or term for the kind of lifestyle we are creating for ourselves.
But we might have another that comes very, very close!