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.
According to the Roman Catholic church there are seven deadly sins that form the ground on which many other sins are based. The seven sins are quite obvious and self explanatory. They are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. These sins are basically the excessive versions of our natural desires and behaviours. I'm not a horrible person, but I do have to admit that some of these sins do apply to me. Being a sinner and a non-believer will probably guarantee me I will someday find myself at the closed gates of heaven. If such a place exists.
I've been investing my money in ETF's for well over 5 years now and during that time I saw a couple of big 'dips' in the value of my portfolio. In most cases corrections on the stock market caused this sudden drop in the value of my investments. Each time I saw my portfolio drop by 4-5% and the value lowered by approximately €15.000. A pretty big chunk of money.