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!
A few weeks ago a question about value and price that Mr. Divnomics had in one of his classes set off an interesting discussion. We talked about this subject and questioned ourselves if value and price were actually the same things. Or are based on different kinds of fundamentals. The outcome of that class was that price and value were the same things, which we both disagreed on. His teacher loved the discussion going forward and had planned a new discussion on the next class with some upfront preparation.
In order to get some more thoughts and opinions on this topic, I wrote a blog post on our thoughts of the matter. And there were great replies that made us think about our view towards value and price.
Last weekend the second class took place, and another discussion with the group got to a very interesting conclusion.
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.