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.
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.
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.
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.