A couple of days ago I went to the grocery store to do some shopping. There was insufficient food in our refrigerator and we felt like eating curry that night. It was just another ordinary typical Dutch day in Utrecht. It was februari, so it was a cold, grey and slightly depressing. When I was almost at the store I noticed a middle-aged man standing outside on the sidewalk talking on his phone. It sounded like he was in difficult discussion with someone on the other end, possibly business related.
I've got my basic plan in place already. Make money, invest, quit my job. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, but you get the idea. But what to do when I reach this glorious day of being able to quit my current job? I do have a lot of idea's, but no global plan. That means that there will be an enormous void after I no longer need to go to work. That's pretty scary, I can tell you.
For well over 6 years now, I've been reading books and blogs on financial independence, because I wanted to escape my current office job and do something that actually makes me happy. It was my believe I needed a plan, enough financial backup and courage. These books and blogs help me get (and keep) motivated on reaching this goal. They offer tips and information on how to change your lifestyle and take the step, which always turns out easier than first believed. An office-less lifestyle comes in many forms and everybody has his/her own way of doing this.
I an earlier post about my fitness I wrote about my personal fitness and that I was doing regular exercises. I also wondered if I could keep this exercise schedule up in the winter. The winter in The Netherlands is usually dark, cold and depressing. That kind of weather will greatly influence my motivation to do my exercises and keep fit. We had a lousy summer this year with some good days (even three heatwaves), but mostly the temperatures were way below the long year average.
A little while back I was searching for a new house even though my living conditions were quite good. I live in a studio in the centre of Utrecht which is a great location to live. Shops, bars, restaurants and public transport are all in walking distance and my rent is (very) low. The only problem I have is that it's a small space to live in and I'm sharing it with my girlfriend. I hate the fact that the bed is in the 'living room' and often I crave for some more living space.
When I first heard about financial independence I had to get used to the idea that it was actually a feasible concept and not just a crazy stupid dream. I started reading blogs and books on the issue, gaining as much information as possible to understand how someone can become financially independent long before their actual retirement age.
Doubt quickly gave way for enthusiasm and I soon found myself in pursued of a life of financial and personal freedom. I'm actually looking for personal freedom. Financial freedom is just a means of getting there.
Today is Thursday, a very busy day at the office. At any given moment there are several groups of people in the room talking to each other, loudly. Not all conversations are work related. There's a radio playing the same popular music I've been hearing for the last couple of months and cell phones are ringing. The collective noise is driving me crazy, it's ridiculous and I'm unable to get any work done. I simply can't concentrate. A great opportunity to put on my noise cancelling headphones and write another article on my blog.
I really wanted to write an article about my 'side hustles' and tell you all about what it is I'm doing for fun that also generates some extra income with the minimal amount of effort. Sadly however, I haven't yet been able to start any side hustles simply because I didn't have the time or the energy to actually do it. This is the everyday reality I'm facing while having to go to the office full time. Work is time consuming and energy draining. It can be called a small miracle that I'm still able to push myself to work out and eat (somewhat) healthy every day.
One of the things I've learned by reading several books and blogs on financial independence is that I need to keep track of my spending. When you make a monthly detailed list of all your spending you will become more aware and in control of your spending behaviour and your money. In the pursuit of financial freedom it is imperative to know what you're spending you hard earned cash on.
It's 6:45 Monday morning and I'm woken up by my alarm clock. Time to get up and get ready for work. Yet another work-day, yet another work-week. It is still dark outside and temperatures are barely above freezing point. While thinking about all the good times I had in tropical, far-away places the thought off having to go to work fills me with a great sense of gloom.