In the past years I've read several different articles on the topic of 'renting or buying a house'. What is better or wiser? This interests me, because I currently live in a very small house and I would love to add some space to my living conditions. But at what cost and is it worth it? Just about all the articles I've read so far all talk about the financial side of things and although this is a very important part of it, it sure isn't a decisive one. I've done some thinking and here's my view on the matter.
Today is the 15th of March, meaning it is my 'peildatum', the day I check all the places where I have some money or investments and record them in my spreadsheet. I also make a little graph to make my "progress" visible. I usually like doing this, but this time I dreaded the moment I actually had to look at the numbers and see what damage the corona virus did to my investments. So, far I lost quite a bit on my investments, but not as much as I expected. However, the end is not in sight so I expect more losses in the coming months.
The corona virus, a.k.a. Sars-Cov2, has spread around the world rapidly causing a lot of problems. Sadly many people lost their lives, many more are sick and it caused a global financial crisis. Even though I think there are too many people in the world I still think it's sad that many people died. Imagine loosing a loved one to this virus. Markets were already struggling a bit with the situation, but in the last week the global markets crashed, big time! I even received an email from my broker about it.
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.