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How to use a cash book for personal finances.

If you read my blog you might think that I am obsessive about money. That I’ve figured out my entire financial route and I’m a star investor. Or just that I’m a cheapskate. Of all these things cheapskate still comes closest haha. But not really. I do keep a cash book and I live frugally, but enjoy life. This way I can easily order a drink on the terrace without having to save on anything else. I can also enjoy a holiday without saving on anything else. As I type this I am sitting among the sheep at my holiday resort enjoying the good life. Or if I don’t feel like cooking, I even order something. The latter doesn’t happen very often, by the way. Getting food delivered is really expensive!

cheap sheep
Sheep in the garden of the hotel 😉

How much time do I actually spend on my finances?

The short answer is about an hour a month. Let’s have a closer look.

On the first of the month (or at least that week) I review my finances. I have been doing this since 2013. Then I log in to all my accounts (bank accounts and brokers) and I put everything I have spent per category in an excel file. My own excel cash book. The greatest benefit of this monthly ritual is insight. I have insight into my income and expenses. In addition, I can easily determine where I can save money or where I have to adjust when things get out of hand. I can also see at a glance whether I will achieve my financial goals.

Note everythink manually

I type in everything by hand. Every transaction i made. So I have to retype manually every subscriptions that I don’t use and other leaks in my expenses every month from my bank statements to my cash book. This makes me want to quickly get rid of expenses and subscriptions I don’t value. It hurts to write it down at the end of the month.

“You must take control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”

Dave Ramsey

For me it looks like this:

my cash book
with fictitious numbers but in my actual cashbook.

Investment book

Since this year, I also keep track of my investments once a month. That way I have a better view of my return. That is sometimes a bit difficult to find in the various apps of the investor accounts. I also add up the balances of all accounts and any cash. At the end of the year, I therefore have a monthly overview of how much my net worth was at that time. All in all, keeping the entire household book takes me about half an hour to 45 minutes. Not that long, but enough to have a good overview and to focus on my goals.

Look ahead and look back

At the end of the year, I look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. I list all income and expenses and the investment I made (easy since I kept track of that every month) and then I see how I did. For example, this year I aim to pay at least for the entire renovation of the attic without touching my piggy bank and investments. At the end of the year I will know exactly if I hit my goal. For more on my investment strategy click here.

I encourage you to do this too if you want to take (back) control of your money. It will take you an hour to set up and then an hour a month to keep up. Your overview of what and how you spend becomes a lot clearer. Maybe you always thought you spend about 50 euros a month on home delivery, but now you see that it is more around 150. Then you can do something about it!

Take control of your money back and notice that as soon as you no longer have money worries, you experience a lot less stress and anxiety.

Do you keep track of your finances in a cash book? Let me know, I like to learn new insights!

Until next time!


Invest the money from the #simplechallenge in ETFs.

Well I was super active with the #simplechallenge myself. Not! The past week I was mostly sick in bed in between work. The idea was to go to the market instead of the supermarket, to do a peeling at home instead of the salon and to have a game night instead of going out. Things like that. Read more inspiration for free things to do here. Hopefully you did a better job! I will of course show you how you can buy an ETF from your saved money and which ETFs to buy.

By doing little besides sleeping and working, I haven’t spent much and I’m going to put the money saved in an investor account. Before starting the #simplechallenge, the plan was to open a new investor account. However, I have done some research and comparisons of different brokers. Every time I end up on DeGiro as the cheapest broker. That’s why I decided to show how to buy an ETF from DeGiro. This is not a sponsored post, DeGiro is simply the cheapest. I’ll take you through the proces of buying an ETF step by step.

Do you want to know more about starting to invest? First read step 1 and step 2.

Create an account.

Go to the website of the broker where you want to invest. Create an account. You can do this yourself, the websites always take you step by step through the process.

put money on your account
Transfer money

Transfer money to our account.

Now I log on to DeGiro website. At the top right, I click on money entry and exit. This screen appears. I choose 50 euros and then I just get the same screen from the bank via iDeal as when I buy something on a webshop or when I order food. When I have finished paying, the money is in my free space.

Choose which ETFs to buy

In the post about the degiro free selection I will discuss a number of options. I choose the VWCE (Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF USD Acc, ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80) from the free selection. Once per calendar month you can invest in ETFs from the free selection without transaction costs. The advantage over the VWRL (Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF USD Dis, ISIN: IE00B3RBWM25) which I always bought before, is that with the VWCE the dividend that the underlying companies pay out is immediately, automatically reinvested. At VWRL you have to do that yourself.

At the time of writing, the exchange rate of VWCE stands at just over 90 euros. There is still 47 euros in my free space. That’s because you buy per entire ETF, so if I transfer 100 euros to my investor account, for example, and an ETF costs 90, then 10 is left in the free space. A share dividend was recently added. That is why I now deposit 50 euros. Then I can buy a whole ETF from VWCE.


Buying an ETF

Now I search VWCE and choose where it says XET. This is the Xtera fair. Here this ETF is in the core selection and not via the other exchange (Milan).

At the limit I enter 90.35 (current bid price) and at amount 1. The total amount is entered automatically. I finalize the order and click confirm. Now the order has been placed and if someone offers the ETF at this price, the purchase will be made.

It’s that simple. Now I have invested in an ETF with no fewer than 3,550 different companies. Talk about a solid spread!

How much have you saved this week (or month)? Where did you put your saved money into? Let me know! I like to hear from you!

Until next time!


Free activities for free time

To stay in the realms of the #simplechallenge savings challenge, here’s some ideas for free activities to do this weekend.

There are of course many more things you can do which you do not need money for. Be sure to leave in the comments what kind of free activities you like to do! I also learn from that!

Things you can do outside:

  • Take a walk. Bonus: find a dog or cat to cuddle or take pictures of things you come across.
  • Go for a bike ride. For me cycling is more of a mode of transport than a leisure activity. Still worthwhile because it gets you further then a walk.
  • Swimming in a lake or the sea. Including building sandcastles and just chilling on a towel along the waterside. Bring on that summer weather!
  • A picnic. Pack your lunch and eat it outside on a bench or rug.
  • Gardening. Whether you have a garden or a balcony or a window with a windowsill. Start gardening. Gardening is good for you, you learn to understand nature better and the energy you get from the mud on your fingers is indescribable. (Here is a video of why having bare hands and feet in the mud is good for you).
  • Request a waste grabber from the municipality and clean up the waste in your street.
  • Go for a run!
  • Make a campfire and heat up marshmallows.

Things you can do indoors:

  • A board game! Super nice and cozy.
  • A photo shoot. Do it alone or do a photo shoot together. Test the different functions of your phone or camera and learn which pose suits you best.
  • Organize a clothes swap. Everyone brings clothes that he or she no longer wears often and see what you can wear from each other. A new wardrobe for free.
  • Host a karaoke night. YouTube is full of karaoke versions of your best sing-alongs. A hilarious evening guaranteed;)
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to for a long time.
  • Organize a potluck. At a potluck, everyone takes something to eat and you eat it together.
bread baking as free activity
Baking some bread

Things you can do on your own:

  • Create a new (party) playlist on Spotify or wherever you listen to your music.
  • Go watch the explained series on Netflix about money
  • Rearrange your furniture.
  • Clear out a closet or room (and sell what you no longer need).
  • Put on some music and dance!
  • Read a book from the bookshelf or the library.
  • Meditate.
  • Bake your own bread.
  • Prepare a dish with things from the pantry.
  • Aim for inbox zero (archive and delete all your emails until your inbox is empty).
  • Learn something new such as a language or an instrument.
  • Spend an hour with pen and paper and plan your ideal future. Or turn it into a vision board. What can you do this weekend to achieve or get closer to your goals?
  • Start your own blog about something you are good at or find interesting.
  • Spread sweet comments on social media posts.
  • Get lost on Wikipedia. Start on the home page and left click on random page and continue reading and clicking from there.
  • Fix that annoying thing you never get to like that creaking door or stain on the wall.

What free activities are you going to do this weekend?

Until next time!


How to get rich with compound interest

I want to help you save 25 euros this week because it can yield 65,000 after 20 years with compound interest! Who would not want that!

Compound interest is the 8th world wonder.

This week I invite you to do a challenge with me. I want to help you with saving and investing the first 25 euros (or more!) and grow your money tree. Do this every week and you will have saved up a wonderful pot of freedom in 20 years. You deserve it! Join the hashtag #simplechallenge and tag me in your post! @simplewithmoney on instagram.

Compound interest

Earlier I wrote about the 8th wonder of the world as Albert Einstein described it. Whether he really said this or not is unclear. That it’s true is certain! If you understand how compound interest works, then you will benefit from it. If you don’t understand it, you pay for it.

Today we are going to calculate with interest. “Ewww, numbers,  I really don’t like that. So difficult! “

Okay, I get it. Still, I ask you to calculate with me. If you invest in a well-spread indexfund, the average return over 20 years is around 8% per year. If you invest 1 euro now, it is worth about € 4.65 in 20 years with 8% growth per year. That doesn’t sound very impressive.

Invest 100 euros.

If you are going to invest 100 euros now, it will be worth 466 euros in 20 years’ time. That sounds like more fun, but it doesn’t make you rich.

1 euro investment
100 euro investment
1200 euro investment

If you invest 100 euros every month this year, that will probably be worth more than € 5500 in 20 years. Sounds better allready. Your investment has then been doubled more than 4.5 times!

I want to challenge you to do this. Deposit 100 euros every month. And if you can do that for a year, just go on and do it for 20 years in a row!

Invest 100 euros every month for the next 20 years gives you a possible return of 65,000 euros!!! You have then deposited 24,000 euros. The profit is therefore € 65,000- € 24,000 = € 41,000. You didn’t have to do anything for that, except put in 100 euros every month. Add another 10 years to this and with an average return of 8% per year you suddenly have doubled, around €159,000 in your investor account! Mindblowing!

24.000 euro investment.

Now you know how compound interest works and you can benefit from it for the rest of your life. This works the other way around as well. If you have a mortgage with 8% interest, you pay compound interest on it too! Let that sink in for a moment.

Hardcore investers

For the high flyers, I will put an example below under what happens if you save 500 per month for 20 years. I also realize that for many normal people with normal incomes this is not possible to set aside 500 euros every month. It may succeed in a season in your life, but with a family expansion, divorce, renovation or loss of income / job, it may not be very realistic to set aside 500 every month for 20 years. I encourage you to live frugally and below your means and if you have a nice salary or team up with your partner to cut living costs in half, you can certainly get very far! And of course keep reading this blog 😉 Therefore, here is the calculation to motivate you.

120.000 euro invested

Join me on this challenge! Take a picture of what you saved with the #simplechallenge and tag me @simplewithmoney.

At the end of the week we are going to deposit the 25 euros in an indexfund.

Until next time!


I am not a Financial advisor nor am I your financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Rising inflation, time to panic sell!

This week, I lost 15% of my investment gains in a week due to the news on rising inflation. HELP ME! SLEEPLESS NIGHTS!


Last March, during the corona dip, the stock exchange fell by at least 25%. After that, investors have been celebrating heydays since last summer. Almost all sectors are on the rise and the economy seems to be gaining momentum. This week that all changed. Due to the expected inflation of 2.1% in America, the stock markets have dipped considerably this week. This is because higher inflation often results in higher interest rates. Fewer people and companies take out loans because you pay more interest on them. That slows down economic growth.

So much has happened in the past months that this dip that the newspapers are now full of is actually not that important at all. If there is news that has an impact on investments, you will always see it enlarged in the figures. When the news is good, the figures shoot into the green and when the news is bad, the figures fall sharply.

I just lost 15%

Since March 2019 I have been investing in index funds with degiro. In the more than two years that I have invested there, I have been able to achieve good results. Of the profit I have made in the past two years, at least 15% has evaporated in a few days. I’m not worried about it. Since the beginning of this year I in fact gained on 60% profit.

I do not worry about this because I know that the balance will be restored and that I am not at a loss. AlsoI invest for the long term and well diversified. So I don’t have sleepless nights and sweaty bouts with this kind of dip. If a company, sector or country goes down, the other investments in the index will absorb the dip. In the long term of about 20 years, such a dip is faded easily.

don't panic sell over rising inflation!
Just fly high over the dip

Don’t lose a night of sleep

Do you want to achieve a good return but no sleepless nights? Then I can wholeheartedly recommend that you invest a fixed amount in an index fund every month. By investing every month you sometimes buy your shares expensive, other times cheaply. Ultimately, you buy at the average price. This principle is called dollar cost averaging. Do this every month, preferably automatically. After a few years you have a considerable return and after 20 years there is a good chance that you have built up a lot of capital. Make sure you only do this with money that you really don’t need in the first years, otherwise you will still have sleepless nights. Do not panic sell!

If you invest 100 euros every month and on average you have a return of about 8% (which is historically average) then that could be worth about 65,000 euros after 20 years. Your deposit 24,000 of your earned euros, and for the remaining 41,000 you don’t have to do anything other then set and forget. Just 100 euros every month. So get rich while sleeping, instead of sleepless nights. Ha!

Do you want to know what my portfolio looks like? Then read the post about my investment strategy.

Are you nervous about a dip in the market? How do you deal with this? Let me know!

Until next time!


I am not a Financial advisor nor am I your financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Retirement is not an age!

Retirement, there are people who don’t look forward to it, who prefer to work well beyond this age. Yet almost everyone I know dreams of retirement. Nobody wants to be old, but the freedom to decide for yourself what you do because you are retired, that seems amazing to almost everyone!

The problem with retirement

There are two problems with retirement. The retirement age is constantly shifting and there are regular reports that (possibly) less pension is being paid out. That’s because life expectancy keeps getting higher and higher. So people receive money from the pension pot for longer. There is also an aging population, so the pension pot is replenished less quickly than is paid out. I do not blindly assume that the pension that I am accruing now will actually be available when I reach the respectable retirement age.

Then there is the General Old Age Pensions Act. This law entitles every Dutch citizen to a basic pension from the state at retirement age. Due to the increasing life expectancy, the state pension costs more and more money. I cannot look into the future and assume that in 40-45 years the state pension will still exist or that this is enough to live off of.


I think it would be great to have freedom of not having to work for money anymore a lot earlier then the prescribed retirement age. Don’t wait until I’m 72 (or whatever the state retirement age may be around that time). Hopefully at 72 I will still be healthy and fit to do what I feel like, but is that worth the gamble?

Time to take matters into your own hands. What are the conditions for retiring? It’s just that you need enough money to live the rest of your life. It would be nice to also leave something to children or other loved ones. So pension is not an age, but an amount! Let’s calculate what that amount is.

The safe withdrawal rate

This calculation will be different for everyone and it is also different in every country. Taxes on equity and savings are different in every country.

To calculate the amount we need, we can turn to the FIRE movement (Financial independence, retire early). People who support this movement save for their pension themselves in order to be able to retire early, sometimes decades before the retirement age. A rule of thumb from the FIRE movement here is to save 25 times your annual costs. That way, you can then spend 4% of your assets every year without losing your assets. This is the Safe Withdrawal rate.

This 4% has been calculated in the so-called Trinity study. On average, Stocks and other investments such as real estate grow about 8% per year. Remove an inflation rate of 1.5% and you are left with 6.5%. So if you were to spend 4% of your assets every year, your assets are still growing every year! In the Netherlands, however, you pay tax on your savings above 50.000 euros. Some people think 3.5% is safer. I can agree with that, but we must not forget that with 4% of your assets to be spent, the chance that your assets will become more valuable is still quite high.

And in addition, you will still receive the General Old Age Pension and probably accrued pension when you hit retirement age. When you retire early, this also means that when you retire, you probably also have a paid-off house, so you will have fewer monthly costs. You also spend less and less with age. So I think that the 4% safe withdrawal rate is safe enough.

How much do you need?

It now depends entirely on how much money you need, how high the pension amount is for you. Are you highly motivated to retire and do you think you can live below the poverty line, for example on 1000 euros per month? Then you need 12,000 * 25 = 300,000 euros. Do you need 2000 euros per month? Then you already need 24,000 * 25 = 600,000. Double!


This is the reason that people working with FIRE are not only focused on gaining as much income as possible but also keeping expenditure as low as possible. It is quite different whether you try to rake 300,000 or 600,000! And living on 1000 euros is very difficult, but if you have a paid-for house and have enough time to do the maintenance, the garden and the cleaning, then it is already a lot cheaper than if you outsource those kinds of things and you still pay monthly rent or mortgage.

There is a chance that you will still earn something during your “retirement”. The idea is not to do nothing but sit in a rocking chair all day. The idea is that you are passionate about working on something that does not necessarily generate money, but where your heart lies. It may of course be the case that it generates money. After your retirement age, the pension will also be credited to your account. That is why you may be able to retire at 200,000, for example. You may spend more than the 4% for a number of years on your saved capital, but you still have enough left to supplement it with the general pension and any accrued pension.

Start early and stick with it

The amounts I mention are of course astronomically high and difficult to achieve. That’s why I encourage you to start early, take full advantage of the interest-on-interest effect, and take advantage of the snowball effect. If you live like everyone else, you will get the same outcomes as everyone else. Spending and saving like everyone else ensures that you retire at the same age as everyone else. Set your own course and set your own goals. I will encourage you along the way!

Until next time,


Economic growth is good for the environment

Economic growth is at odds with preserving the environment and limiting climate change. Being green costs a lot of money. Responsible, organic and environmentally friendly products are only for the “rich”. Striving for a better climate is always at the expense of monetary prosperity. I don’t believe in this. It hurts to even type this.

Let’s take a look at things that increase prosperity while being environmentally friendly.


Doing green and growing economically at the same time, for both yourself and the government, can go together. The government is already doing a few things about this. For example, subsidies are paid if you have two or more sustainable measures supplied to your home (in the Netherlands). Because the subsidy makes it cheaper to make your home more sustainable, your return of investment is usually six to eight years. That is the same return of investment as the average index fund investment. This not only stimulates your wallet, but also creates employment.

Invest in ‘green’ investments.

If you are going to invest, you can, for example, invest in companies in sectors that deal with renewable energy. You can also look up the ESG score of a company or index (environmental, social, governance). This score indicates the extent of the impact on the environment and society and whether the company ensures that no conflict of interest is possible. With DeGiro core selection you can filter on this score. You know that you are invested in an index fund with companies that are working hard on this. In the meantime, your portfolio is widespread.

Green banks

You can also take out a green mortgage or switch to a green bank. The money in your savings account and current account is also not used there for, for example, the weapon industry, the tobacco industry and the oil industry. Such a nice feeling! The best-known “green” banks in the Netherlands are Triodos and ASN bank. Here you can also invest green in index funds.

Buy second-hand

You can do a lot yourself on a small scale! This way you can buy second-hand items instead of new ones. By buying secondhand or exchanging things you ensure that things get a second life. Think about it. In fact, your house is just one step between the store and the landfill for most of the stuff in it. By buying as little as possible new, you delay the moment to the landfill as long as possible and contribute much less to the constant production of new goods. This applies to everything from clothing to furniture and toys.


Less stuff means less maintenance, less spending on your stuff and more left to go for quality. If you have five shirts instead of fourty, you can go for quality shirts that last a long time and which, for example, are made of organic cotton and where the seamstresses who make the shirts have received a decent wage. Another example is choosing a new gadget every time your telephone contract has ended. A new phone every two years is very hip but really not necessary for anything. It is good for your wallet and for the environment to last until it dies. Don’t turn shopping into a hobby, but instead go for a nice walk or picnic. You come home with less stuff and with a nice breath of fresh air and a clear mind.


There is also nothing wrong with a second-hand car. A car that is brand new and super economical is of course fantastic. But the production, transport and pollution that comes with it are not always good for the environment. For example, the pressure on raw materials such as copper and cobalt mining is very high. The innovation of new, efficient and electric cars is certainly important, but do not exchange your car until it is finished. Good for your wallet! How about carpooling to and from work. Saves a lot of gas, less traffic jams if we all do it and finding a parking spot is easier. And it is fun too. Oh and  by the way, driving less is of course great. Go by bicycle or public transport more often.

Living smaller

By living smaller, you save space, electricity and you don’t have to heat as much in winter. You don’t have to fill space that you don’t have with things you don’t need. In addition, you do not have to clean and maintain as much. This mainly saves time but also money. I only see benefits.

Green energy company

When making the next yearly switch, pay attention to the energy company you are signing up for. Look up where the electricity comes from at the company where you want to buy your electricity. Is it green electricity or gray? Does it come from your country or are the certificates obtained from abroad? Does the energy company burn biomass? In biomass combustion, trees are cut down and shredded and then burned. This is green energy because new trees can be planted. I myself make sure that I do not buy this form of “green” energy. I think it is important that I do not support these kinds of “green” initiatives. Dutch green electricity is not at all (much) more expensive than gray electricity. Especially if you use little power or have solar panels, it does not matter in terms of costs. It does in terms of sustainability.

Plant based diet

If you are aware of your impact on the environment, you cannot ignore it than the cheap meats and the battery cage eggs. Switching to organic variants is a lot more expensive. The switch to vegetarian or vegetable is even more expensive. At least, that’s what a lot of people think. This is a big misconception! Imagine that half a kilo of organic minced meat, good for four people, quickly exceeds 5 euros. A block of tofu for four people costs about one euro. I always add an onion, some ginger, garlic and soy sauce to flavor it. This still remains well below 5 euros for four people. And a kilo of organic cheese quickly costs 15 euros. How many sandwiches with hummus with slices of tomato and cucumber can you spread with that? No less tasty with a pinch of pepper.

Vegetable garden

This tip is partly good for your wallet. It is certainly good for the environment. Create your own vegetable garden! I understand that not everyone has the time and space for this. But believe me, I really have a post stamp sized garden and you will be surprised what kind of production can be made there. It can be expensive to set up. For example, you need seeds and soil and possibly pots. The benefits for the environment are certainly there. This saves transport, packaging and pesticides if you grow your own fruit and vegetables. If you include your own labor costs it is not so profitable anymore but this hobby will teach you a lot about plants, nature and where your food comes from. Additional advantage: Your own food is much tastier anyway!

Swiss chard is good for the environment
Swiss Chard for the win!

You can keep an eye on my dear diary series for updates on my vegetable garden. There is an update of the garden every month.

Do you have any more examples of things that are good for your wallet and the environment? Please share them!

Until next time!


Dear diary – What i did in april

April 2021

This april i was walking to some pigs, I stared out the window sad because of the bad weather. Also I maximized the sunny times in the garden and I read and listened to some books. Oh and monopoly..!

A fun game of monopoly 🙂


The intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham.

The original is from 1949. Super old! It is still considered a classic for investing. I listened to the 1973 version which is the last revision he made before he passed away.

The lessons I learned: Be patient, form your own opinion and do your own research. Learn new stuff and keep your emotions under control. Don’t invest for the short term, do it for the long term.

Choose a risk profile that suits you. If you decide to be an active investor, be prepared to spend a lot of time investigating companies and the market. With passive investing not so much. Passive investing is known for being less risky. Chances of a super high yield are small but so are the changes of losing a lot. About 50% in bonds an 50% in individual stocks is a good portfolio. When you decide to invest passively it makes sense to dollar cost average your money. Meaning you buy for the same amount of money every month, quarter or year no matter the price. You will buy the stocks for the average price.

Random pig on a random walk. Hi!

Human kind, a hopefully history.

In this book Rutger Bregman debunks a lot of presumed things. Civilization is generally thought to be paper thin. Humans have a layer of civilization, but as soon as you disrupt public order, we all become aggressive savages. Bregman shows that science is pointing in the other direction. It is in our nature to help each other and to want to do the right thing. He cites many examples. Soldiers on the front line either do not fire at all or intentionally miss while under attack. They even become friends with the enemy. In natural disasters people help each other. Many people who have lost everything in a natural disaster find the feeling of community and helping each other a fantastic feeling, which makes them feel less bad about the disaster. Everyone is helping each other!

Similarly, Bregman highlights the Stanford experiment in which students are divided into two groups, guards and inmates. The guards become cruel and the prisoners humiliated in this famous experiment. This turns out to be a rather disturbed experiment in which the researcher has to constantly incite the guards to be mean. Actually, they prefer to sit and play cards with the “prisoners”. This is what happened in Norwegian prisons. The guards become friends with the prisoners and a community is formed. The chance of returning to prison is much smaller due to good guidance back into society. Prisoners always become someone’s neighbor when released. Then you better ensure that they are properly guided on their return.

We also all know the Easter Island story. A population of humans live on Easter Island. There are many trees. The islanders cut down all the trees to transport large statues of heads and because there are no trees after that, they all die. In fact, it turns out to have been a rat plague that made the trees disappear. It also turned out that the Easter Islanders were doing fine without trees. There was more room for agriculture and the Easter Islanders were well fed and had plenty of free time to linger.

What ultimately proved fatal is the large number of islanders who have been sold into slavery and the returning islanders have brought with them diseases that have caused the rest of the population to die. In short, the Easter Islanders weren’t selfish tree cutters who were destructive. It was the Western slave traders who threw a spanner in the works.

Bregman comes up with many, many anecdotes that prove that most people are good and that it is time for a more positive image of humanity. For the most part, the book leaves you feeling good about humanity. Although the feeling crept up to me he attracted the science that suited him and his story and left behind the science that didn’t. All in all a nice book to listen to. Inadvertently it gives me a brighter picture of humanity. I think I have to agree with Bregman that most people at least don’t mean it all that badly.

Blondjes beleggen beter (Blondes are better investors)

This book was written by Janneke Willemse. She shows various options such as active investing and passive. And what your exit strategy should be if you need the invested money again. Many others don’t show that side. She also explains in easy language how short works. Now I understand it much better! This is highly recommended. She also has a website. (in dutch)

Waarom vuilnismannen beter verdienen dan bankiers (Why garbage collectors earn more than bankers)

Rutger Bregman and Jesse Frederik write about the income inequality between different professions and how this is clearly disproportionate to professions of social importance.

When garbage collectors in New York went on strike for better pay, the city was a nasty letdown within 6 days. When bankers in Ireland went on strike for better wages (they froze all accounts and you couldn’t withdraw money anymore) the economy just moved on with alternative, self-printed money. The bar owner became the new banker and it took no less than 6 months before the banks reopened. Nothing really bad had happened in the meantime. This shows that some jobs such as garbage collector are of great social importance and others, such as banker less so. The income is not correctly distributed in that regard.

Philosophy for an incomparable life. (Filosofie voor een weergaloos leven)

Lammert Kamphuis writes a number of essays in themes to think about. For example, he sheds light on death from different sides and gives our society of numbers advantages and disadvantages. Life has no dress rehearsal. You only have one chance to get it right.


In Living without money I stated that I did not want to make any unnecessary expenses in April. Only the fixed costs and necessary things. I did that very well, if I say so myself. Besides the fixed costs and the groceries I hardly spent anything. Twice a present and some loose things such as a day cream and a garlic press that needed to be replaced. And an ice cream on King’s Day. Nothing to complain about!

In the garden

April does what he wants. Here in the Netherlands we all know this statement and this month we all know that it is correct. It was warm (very occasionally), it was cold (often and certainly at night). It was dry for a long time and then pouring rain and hail again. Oh well. In mid-April I put a lot of seeds in the ground and the first seedlings started to show up in a week or two.

The first plants of March are already starting to grow large. My beautiful Japanese cherry is at its best towards the end of April. I can really enjoy that! This year I am going to grow more flowers between the vegetables and the fruit. Earlier years I had nasturtiums and marigolds among the vegetables. This year, a whole arsenal will be added, such as climbing bindweed, amaranth, valerian and lavatera. I’m curious how it’s going to turn out and will keep you updated!

What did you do in April?

Until next time!