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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Wanderlust, why do we travel?

Yesterday morning our alarm clock went off at 5 o’clock. Ridiculously early. But for a good reason. Our plane would depart only a few hours later. Bringing us to the destination where we are spending the next two weeks driving around in the West of the US. And here I am writing this blog post…

We planned our trip at the beginning of this year, because due to a tight study schedule from Mr, Divnomics, we can’t find much time throughout the year to leave the country. 

Almost there

On my work I’ve had many coworkers tipping us on what we should be doing in the US. And while I was finishing up the last working tasks, it also reminded me that our last vacation with a duration longer than a week, had been 4 years ago. While we have made some short trips, this one feels really big. Not only because we leave for longer period than normally, but also because of the greater distance. We are currently 8600 km (or 5300 miles) away from our home in The Netherlands.

Lately, it seems like every millenial is traveling to all kinds of far and exotic places, or all over the world at once. I came across an article the other day which told the story of the youngest person to ever visited every country of this earth. He was only 24 when he already had visited all 196 countried. His reason? He just wanted to see more and decided to go everywhere.  

And what does this have to do with financial independence?

Well, on our journey to FIRE so far, it has become clear that spending money on material things doesn’t always add more value to our life. But relationships, having a purpose and certain experiences do.

Traveling is such an experience that can truly add value to your life.

And millennials are THE group of people that prefer experiences far more than others, 6 out of 10 would rather spend money on this than on material things. And what better experience than travel?

In todays age, where internet has connected everything and everybody online so easily, it’s no surprise all kinds off wanderlust adventures pop up. With pictures being shared of far destinations, gourgeous views and adventurous activities on instagram or other social media. It’s no surprise that so many millennials have traveling on the top of their wishlist. 

According to Wikipedia, wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. 

So where does this wanderlust comes from?
There are numerous reason why anyone should or wants to travel. As with finance, these reasons can be very personal. But overall there are some reasons that just keep coming back:

You can indulge in new cultures

Where ever you go, people live according to different customs. Opening up to different cultures and getting to know them can really deepen your understanding about this little world of ours.

It’s the perfect way to meet new
people

It’s very easy to connect to other travelers because you already have something in common: traveling. And locals always know the best places to visit, especially non-tourist places which can be very interesting. Who knows what they can bring you? 

We once got into a conversation with a Texan who did a pelgrimidge by foot from France to Portugal. And he found very cheap accommedation with a klooster in Porto (Portugal). So if we would ever travel again there, we know where to stay and save a bit of money on the same time! 

Food! It just tastes so good

Ok, there are some things we might not want to try. But in general you can find delicious types of food in every country. The special thing about it? It always tastes the best when it’s authentic. Like a home made Italian pasta made by a local family. So where to eat better than in the land of origin?

There is just so much beauty to be seen

We aren’t the typical world travellers. But we know what’s out there, yet to be discovered. What can be normal for one person could be very special to others, like the tulip fields in the Netherlands, a hectic medina in Marrakech or Sakura blossoms in Japan.

We aim to see, discover and learn yet so much more. We’re in no rush, we still have many years ahead of us. 

For the coming weeks we have our first trip on US grounds. Where we expect to experience all kinds of new things. Like enjoying the view over the Grand Canyon, driving through death valley, looking up to immense sequoia trees and visit the coast in San Fransisco. 

The activities on this blog might slow down a bit while we’re traveling around.

But we are sharing our vacation via Twitter, just because we believe it would be a hell of an experience. At least, when we have WiFi. So if you didn’t already follow us on Twitter, just click this link.

While browsing through other personal finance blogs, I’ve read many travelstories. Which is a great inspiration of what’s even possible. Like The Dividend Guy who set out to travel around the world in one year with his family, or Justin from Root of Good who has planned a 9 week trip through Europe (and for very little money). 

We know that for us, it has only just begon.

The effects of instant gratification on millennials…

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The millennial generation consists of persons born in between 1980 and 2000. The term ‘Millennial’ was coined up by Strauss and Howe in 1987.

But what makes an individual a millennial? Is it being lazy? The love for travel? The ‘I want to do everything my own way’ attitude? Do we really don’t know how to handle money?

Who knows?

I was born in 1987 and therefore I’m officially placed in the millennial generation (born between 1984-2000), although on the outer end. The strange thing is that I never felt connected with ‘being a millennial’ at all. For a lot of people it’s the lost generation that is so hard to influence and is doing everything different than what is expected of ‘normal’ people. Are millennials that much different?

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The 10 must-read business books for 2017

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Reading is a powerful habit. No wonder that this is the number 1 advice given by some of the most successful people. There is a hidden power in reading every day. By contiously reading every day, week and year you will learn. You can become a better person, become a little wiser and discover all that is around you. There are a lot of classics that you should read, like The Intelligent Investor, but what are the newsworthy newcomers of last year?

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My goal for 2017: turning goals into habits

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A lot of lists wit new years resolutions already popped up in the online community. So after reading some and finding my own goals of this year were not all met, I started thinking of how to make a list for my own. Although I didn’t meet all goals from last year, I’m still very pleased with were we are now and how far we have come. Setting up financial goals is not that easy, because they are easily affected by other circumstances. Like getting another job, buying a house or something else. Therefore I’m changing the way on how I set up goals for the next year.

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The freedom of spending time on your own terms

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Today I had one of the best days in a long time, and was part of something beautiful that was shared with me. I became aunt to a beautiful, little niece. Seeing such a small human being with two very proud and amazed parents is something I can’t put to words. There is no other experience similar. For this reason I spend the last two days almost entirely with my family.

Everybody has their own goals in life, and makes different decisions in how to live life. All of this results in these and other beautiful moments. The best thing about those moments? To be able to share it with others. So what has this little blog to do with that? Not much, but it got me thinking.

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The key to happiness? Don’t strive for perfection

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Happiness is a topic often talked about. From a personal point of view, I try to make decisions based on what makes me happy. Although it may differ for everyone of us. When talking about happiness, many refer to topics like having a lot of money, having a important big-shot job, achieving world-wide fame, aiming to become the next Elon Musk or just having it all. It points out that happiness would mean you have it better then most. A conversation I had this week kept me thinking about what it really means to actually feel happy.

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