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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Finally, Dutch Personal Finance Apps Are Coming

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Photo byRodion Kutsaev

There are numerous tools and apps that help you get insight into your finances, help you with investing or even in saving more money. The only downside is that most of them, like Capital One, Acorns, and Mint are only directed to the US markets. It looks like most financial innovations are happening overseas, at least for the convenience of the regular consumer. 

We are a country that makes a lot of use of online banking (namely 83% of the Dutch population), have several companies that are disrupting the markets – Bunq, MoneYou, Knab, one new investing app called Bux, but limited availability of financial apps and digital services as it comes to our personal finances. How could this be in a country where digital innovation is so highly regarded? And where FinTech is a booming business? 

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Cutting the cord

cutting the cord

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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The Wide Spectrum of Saving Money

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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…?

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Keeping a Critical Mind when Financial Advice is Given

financial-advice

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.

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Do what you love – even if it costs you money

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In the past few months I investing many euros and hours towards getting something I’ve wanted for a very long time: a motor license. I couldn’t be happier right now because last Friday I successfully passed my last exam 🙂

Motorcycles are often considered as a hobby, and a very expensive one, that might not fit with a frugal lifestyle. However, it all depends on what your view on a frugal lifestyle entails.

For us, it means that we are able to maintain a certain lifestyle where we can be happy, do the things we love and having the right balance between saving and spending. So even if something could cost a lot of money, we still pursue it if it’s something we really love and think is worth it.

But what better thing to do to than to list up all the expenses I’ve made to come this far!

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Why we are not paying off our debt early

debt-investing

Want to know something funny? We’re not only having 1, but actually 3 different forms of debt. And it even get’s worse: we choose to hold of payments on our student loans, so we can keep the money in our pockets.

But then again, we’re still money nerds and we have a good reason to do this. Paying of your debt early can be very liberating in the sense of lower expenditures and higher savings rates (or having a good night’s sleep). But in our financial journey to freedom, we try to hack for growth and the best possible return in every decision. So this one is no exception.

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Do we NEED a budget? Nah, but we still want to and this is why…

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When I started this blog, goals had to be made. Not all of them were achieved, but one in particular really stood out. Our savings ratio. We crushed our target goal of 30% by the ending 2016 with an average savings rate of 41%! It was the first year we fully tracked this, and boy was I wrong about what we actually managed to save already. And than I started thinking… How can we ever improve this awesome result?

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