A Small History of Living

Housing history of Divnomics

The decisions you make in life can have a huge impact on your future. As it comes to finances, there is one thing that might be having the most impact of all: buying a house. Timing of the market, the debt you take on and the costs of all of it is substantial.

A few Dutch finance bloggers have been writing about their career in living and housing. What houses did they live in? What financial decisions did they make? And how affected those decisions their future path? Following Geldnerd and Meneer&Mevrouw, we thought it would be fun to list our own small history of living.

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The Past & The Future – The Beginning of a New Year

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With the holidays behind us, our lives slowly return to our regular daily routines. Some of you might have had some time off while others were working in quiet offices. Nonetheless, it’s always a different vibe around Christmas and New Years.

Our habit to reflect on the past and make plans for the future around new years might be a whole lot older than we think.

The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. He had two faces – one looking to the future and one to the past at the same time – is one of the oldest god known to man and one of the most famous one as well, back in the day. Many referred to him as the god of beginnings, the light, movement, transitions, change, or the passing of time. His resemblance was used to portray doors, entrances, banners and of course: money.

In essence, he became a symbol of the progress from past to future.

And as we enter January goals and resolutions are being set for a new year. That what we have learned from our reflection is turned into plans to make it an even better year to come. It’s an old habit we can’t get rid off, apparently. 

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Becoming A Thirty-Something

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Most of the times we celebrate things, it’s about major milestones. Like a 30th birthday, or maybe a new job, getting married or reaching 100k of portfolio worth. On the other side, we never forget the major downfalls either, like the 1987 market crash, breaking up with someone or getting fired.

The crash of 1987 was the latest real depression so you could say. It also happened to be my birth year. As you can guess, today is my 30th birthday. And turning 30 is what many calls, the point of no return. You’re officially a responsible adult (or you should be) and you’re officially old. When you’re are actually 30 (or past it) you probably know it’s not that black and white. And instead of celebrating it big, I do something different.

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Cutting the cord

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Do you know those moments? Where you sit on the couch, maybe a blanket and some hot tea with you, and your eyes staring thoughtlessly at the screen in front of you. Enjoying the battles of Game of Thrones, enjoying a romantic love story or stay updated on the daily news.

But what to do if that subscription keeps costing you more and more every year. And those nights of sitting on the coach are happening less and less? Well, we did nothing for a very, very long time. But as of this week, we have officially ended our television subscription. 

Additionally, we have found two other household topics on which we could save money on. In the journey of financial independence, there is a whole spectrum on how to deal with saving and generating income. In previous posts, I’ve often mentioned that, for us, income generating assets are more important than cost reductions, due to the bigger impact. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t care what we spend our precious money!

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Minimalism: It Is All About Simplicity

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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.

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Procrastinating on Your Job? Bad Idea

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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.

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Going Minimal – How Less Can Mean More

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We’re all downsizing, saving and living frugally. The reason for this is to live a life without too much consumerism and building wealth for the long term. We’re at it for about 2 years now, but in the meantime, our mindset has shifted 360 degrees around. We’re not saving money only because we want to get more of it… But because we have certain values that just don’t fit with owning lots of stuff anymore.

If you want to become happier, you don’t need all those extra things in your life. Better yet, you need to get rid of them. It can clear up space, remove worries and move you forward.

The big change is that we don’t feel the urge to save money. We just think of how we can live a better life, and additionally, we save the money we don’t spend.

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What’s The Deal With FIRE in Europe?

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When I started this blog in September last year, I did so with the thought there weren’t much Dutch or even European finance bloggers out there. Little did I know.

I’ve connected with the world of #FIRE through 2 top-notch bloggers out there, Jason Fieber (formerly known as Dividend Mantra) and MMM. When Dividend Mantra was no more, I quickly ended up looking for other blogs and found sites like Dividend Diplomats and later on some others as well. But it wasn’t for after I started Divnomics when I learned how big this community really was.

Still, it looks like the growing flow of FIRE and personal finance blogs has much more ground in the US than in Europe. How could that be, and is it really the case?

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