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Start your minimalism journey today

All we ever want is more, more, more. More gadgets, more clothes, more money, more house, more cars. More. More. More.  Not today. Here is a case for minimalism and tranquility.

This is a different post then the usual. And it is at least as important if you want to take control over your finances. If you agree with me and dream of a tranquil world of connection and time for each other as well, read along.

You probably have enough

If you read this, you probably have enough. You have a mobile phone, computer or tablet. You are connected to the internet. Chances are if you have these two things, there is also a roof over your head and enough food on the table. Let’s take some time to appreciate that.  If you are satisfied with who you are and where you are and you realize you have every need met, you start to want to consume less.

There is enough stuff, no need to add more. There are enough clothes, no need to add more. There is enough food on the table, no need to add more. There is enough space in the house, no need to move to a bigger place. There simply is enough. Realizing this hopefully makes you want to consume less. Take control of what you want and you will notice there is enough for everything you need. If you desire a life of less stress and hurry, by spending less, you can work less hours. This way there is more room for what you want most. Time to spend with loved ones and experience traquility for example.

The essence of being financial independent is a stress free, worry free life.

I dream of a world with less stress and hurry and more calm and connection. How nice it would be if we just had a little bit more time to spend together without multitasking in the meantime. Actually taking our time to listen and be there together.

This is the biggest reason I want to be financially free. If I don’t have to worry about my needs being met, I can be my best self. I can take my day off and just spend it as I want. No need to hustle 7 days a week. No need to stress about paying the bills. I often take a complete afternoon or an afternoon and evening to just chill with a loved one and really take the time to be together. This is so valuable, you can’t put a price tag on it.  

Be content with what you have

What if you were satisfied with what you have? Find gratitude in the here and now. I try and practice this every now and then. It gives a lot of tranquility and peace of mind. I am where I should be and that is perfectly fine. It gives me time to actually be here and take a breath. It makes me less stressed and more calm. By no means I am perfect or even good at this, I just practice and am aware of it sometimes.

As I look around me while writing this, the house is a mess. There is cat hair everywhere. Laundry to be folded, mess to be cleaned and food to be prepared. Also I am tired of a long day at work and really want to take a nap. I can label this as ‘not good’ or ‘ I failed’ or ‘this should not be happening’. But all of the mess and tasks I am behind on , it’s OK. I do my best and if I don’t finish doing all today then I’ll do it tomorrow. No need to stress about it. So I label it as it is: OK. Try it, it is relaxing.

Declutter and have less to be even more content

Also by realizing you have enough, try and look at what you have in excess. Declutter your house and car. Get rid of the items that you no longer use and want in the house. If the house is clean and all the stuff in it actually has a place to stay, it is easier and faster to clean and organize. This way, there is more time to spend doing the things you value most.


For me, this being tranquil with the situation is the essence of minimalism. Not decluttering or having as little ‘stuff’ as possible. Not to count your possessions. Be content with what you have and have a more tranquil life with more time for important things. Take control over your life by being deliberate with what you spend your time, resources and money on.

I want you to practice together with me in being content with what you have and try and feel being perfectly fine with everything being not perfect. Try and consume less and make time for the things that are most important to you. Spend time with your family and friends.

If you have the energy, try and declutter a part of the house and give every item a home, its own place to stay. All items that don’t belong in your home anymore should leave the house. Do this as often as needed. In the beginning, this will be often. As you practice this should become easier over time. For me, I’ve been decluttering a couple of years now and every time I do a round of decluttering, it’s faster and there is less to declutter. This feels good and you deserve it too!

Do you want to read more content like this? Leo Babauta, creator of ZenHabits is a huge inspiration for me. I highly recommend reading his blog.

Are you getting on this journey with me?

Till next time,


How to read more books. My tips.

Do you want to read more books? I don’t know anyone who says: “I wish I had read less”. Or even: “I read enough books”. Most people want to read more than they do. Getting to read more and finding time for it is a different story. I always want to read more books. even though I allready read quite a lot.

Do you want to read more books just like I do? Then read along and use my tips to read more.

Subscribe to the library.

This way you can get all the books that you find interesting. Because you have to return them, you tend to read a little longer and more often (at least I do). After all, the books must be returned on time. This way you also read books that you might not otherwise buy. Your subscription is valid anyway and the amount of books you can borrow is quite high. Sometimes there is a gem that is really beautiful or good, but the book was not promoted or at the top of the best seller list.

Listen to audiobooks.

This way you can listen to a novel but also informative books. More than half of what you see in my dear diary series of audiobooks was listened to on the way to work. I listen to an audiobook every morning on the way to work. Now I have a fairly long commute of about 50 minutes one way, so I get through them pretty fast. The audiobooks that I listen to on the road can all be listened to via the same library subscription.

The library catalog is very extensive, but I also like to listen to English bestsellers. These are often not included as books or audiobooks. During cleaning, I look for one that is available on YouTube. That takes a lot of mobile data if I do it in the car, but at home it is of course no problem via the WiFi. You will be surprised how many audiobooks can be listened to for free on YouTube. You could of course download a special audiobook app. This often involves monthly costs.

Make it a habit to read.

I almost always read a few pages at night before going to sleep. If I am still busy in my head, reading will prevent me from thinking about it. I notice that it makes me sleep well. Win-win! On my days off, I often read half an hour before I get up. When the weather is nice, I also read in the garden. All in all, I have quite a few reading moments.

Read fun and interesting books.

If you don’t enjoy a movie or series, then you stop watching. You might give it one more episode or until the next commercial break. If it still doesn’t work then you go to something else. Strangely enough, this is often different with books. Then you commit yourself to read the book even if it is impossible to get through. Can’t get through? Put it away. A book is made to serve you, not the other way around! If the book doesn’t serve you then you don’t finish it.

Read more than 1 book at a time.

Put a book on the couch, one on the bedside table, one in your bag on the go. Have an audiobook ready on your phone and one on your laptop. Make it easy to read. Alternate different genres. If you read two fiction books, you can easily get confused. For example, read a book about investing, a philosophy book and a novel. You can continue in the book that you are most looking forward to at that moment. When you go through a book slowly but want to read it, you don’t have to read it before you start a new one. You can just read another book in the meantime.

Keep a reading list.

With every book I read, there are usually 2 to 4 books that I also want to read. I keep a list of books I still want to read. This list is getting longer instead of shorter the more books I read. It doesn’t matter. I can go to the library’s online catalog and look up books I would like to read. I make a reservation on the ones available. What I can’t find I look up as an audiobook on Youtube.

Learn to read faster.

Point the line with your finger. Your eyes follow your finger better, which increases your reading speed. Also eliminate the inner voice reading to you. You can read much faster if you don’t use your inner reading voice. This does take practice. More tips here.


You probably notice that, despite reading a lot, I spend very money little on books. This has a number of advantages. First, I save a lot of money without reading fewer books. Second, because I borrow a lot of books from the library, I have a fairly empty bookshelf. It remains neat and tidy and clear. I don’t feel guilty if I haven’t read a book. I haven’t paid for it anyway. Third, this is also better for the environment. Fewer books needed because the same book is read for many different people. And lastly it also sponsors the local library.

A disadvantage is that some books cannot be found in the library nor as an audiobook online. If it’s a good book I’ll miss it and it’s a pity. One solution could be to make an exception for such books and buy them anyway, or to ask for books or gift cards for my birthday. Of course you can also buy used books. And then resell again;)

Do you also like to read? And do you have any books that you think I absolutely should have read? Let me know!

Untill next time,


House Flipping

Earlier I wrote this piece about the 4% rule. I received feedback on it, namely the following: ‘If you are alone and want to be able to live on an average salary of about 25,000 euros per year, you have to adjust for inflation of 2% and an estimated return of 4% and 0.1 % for the broker already make 6.1%. That means that you have to get around a capital of 410.000 euros. And even if you manage to set aside 2000 per month, it will take you 205 months or 17 years. Although there is a snowball effect in it which makes it faster in practice, it does indicate that the horizon is too long to comprehend. “Really super extensive and calculated feedback! Thank you!

And I totally agree with this! Saving to retire is not cool, fast, easy or fun at all. It takes a long time and with a normal salary (which I assume in this blog) it takes a very long time. You have to be very frugal for it and you will regularly wonder what you are doing it for.

You can abandon the idea all together, but you can also ask yourself whether it can be done faster or differently. One way to become financially free faster could be to earn more and invest that extra income as well. Another way is to see if your living expenses can be reduced. Most people think about this, the ideas are open doors. Another way, by no means an easy way, is flipping houses.

Graham Stephan talks about it, Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich dad, poor dad) wrote about it and Peter a.k.a. Mr. Money Mustache loves it. Real estate. Why? Real estate can yield a lot very quickly. In this blog I specifically zoom in on house flipping.

What is house flipping?

House flipping is buying a house, fixing it and then selling it for a profit. This can be a very lucrative activity if you are a handy carpenter.

In the fall of 2020 there was a house for sale that I was interested in. It was a fixer-upper. A number of things had already been done, such as a new kitchen and the living room / kitchen had a new floor, new ceiling and freshly plastered walls. The rest of the house was, well, let’s say, habitable. Water, gas and electricity worked and the house was not yet about to collapse, but everything else had to be done. It was really a fixer-upper for a handyman. It must be added that it is also a large house. Suitable for double occupancy. The garden was even worse. What once must have been a beautiful garden was an abundance of weeds and the entire garden was difficult to pass because the vegetation was everywhere. All and all it looked bad and you had to see through to see the potential.

At the time, I was unable to purchase a fixer-upper. It was probably financially successful with the sale of my current house, it was a real bargain. The house was for sale for 175,000 euros. The highest bidder was about 60.000 above the asking price which is normal in this region at the moment. Someone was the new owner of a potentially beautiful place. Now, about 6 to 8 months later the same house is for sale again. The renovated living room / kitchen is untouched, the rest of the house and the garden has been given a major facelift. New bathrooms, kitchen of the other part, walls, ceilings, floors, doors. Everything has had a beautiful facelift. Everything on the outside has also been beautifully painted and the entire garden has been made bare, with grass and gravel. Not super pretty, but it looks fresh around a newly renovated home.

Now the shocking part: the house is for sale for 595,000 euros. That’s 360,000 more than it was sold for half a year ago. It will probably sell for about 50.000 higher than asking price. Imagine if a renovation of that house cost anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000. Then the house is sold for 635,000. For more than six months of work, you will have made a nice profit on your project between 100,000 and 300,000 euros. If you want to make a lot of money quickly, this is a smart way.

Totally unrelated cat pic <3

I want that too!

Like I said, this is not an easy way. There are many things you have to work hard for. First, you need a mortgage and therefore a mortgage lender. You need the amount for the costs of the buyer yourself and a fixed income so that you can get the mortgage. Alternatively you need the money on hand in cash. Also you have had to work for it pretty hard and long if I’m correct. Then you also need a starting capital for the buyer’s costs. Either you pay for it in cash or you go into debt for it. Both are a risk. Then you need time to renovate (how do you arrange that if you have a job to apply for the mortgage?). Good connections help enormously (people who are handy and who can help, your own construction company so that you have staff who work with you, etc.) To set up something like this it may take you years before even buying your own property, just like a house to live in. However, if you do this trick once a year or once every two years, for example, you can – if you earn between 100,000 and 300,000 each year – live off of the profit. In addition, the skills that you have acquired as a handyman are useful for the rest of your life. The more you are able to do yourself, the better (read why).

Now it is easier to buy a home that requires less work but is cheap, only needs modernization and can then be sold for more. The chances of buying a house that is already fine for a bargain are smaller. The profit that can be made on this is usually also less. How about buying such a fixer-upper, renovating it and then renting it out? You can include the rental income as income for your new mortgage. Before you know it, you will be a slum landlord! (just kidding, don’t milk your tenants).

Once again, I want to emphasize that this is not an easy way to make money. However, it is something to consider or to work towards if you are working towards financial freedom. The road to financial freedom is a boring, slow road with probably sometimes (serious) setbacks. There is some serious risk-taking involved in this. But becoming financially free is a lot faster by working hard on a challenging project like houseflipping, it is worth considering.

Have you ever heard of house flipping? And would you do it yourself?

Until next time,


Living without money

Is it possible? Can you live in our society today without money? I researched it! To be fair, I didn’t try it out. It is one step too far for me, but we can learn from the principles. Through various websites I read article from writers who live or have lived without money. However, that is by no means easy. We spend money in a number of categories. Below is a list of the possible solutions in each category.


You could of course get by with a tent and a sleeping bag… but you have to be really motivated and hardcore. Cashless living is a lot more difficult if you want a roof over your head. On a blog I found an example of someone who lived without money and who had a house. He paid the rent of nomadic travelers who came to stay with him in while traveling and donated towards the rent. These people often also brought food that they shared.

If you want to live cashless but have a (substantial) starting capital, you can choose to buy a house without a mortgage (or, for example, a tiny house or caravan) and live in it.


If you live in a house and not in a tent or your sleeping bag, then a number of things are important. Electricity and gas, and for me also internet. Carolien Hoogland says in her TedTalk that she has lived without money for a year. She wrote a letter to the energy company requesting to receive “free” power and gas for a year. In return, she researched better marketing around green electricity and shared this with the energy supplier. The energy company agreed, and so they managed not to spend money for a whole year on electricity. With a little creativity, even that is possible! Dare to ask.


A basic necessity of life is food. You can of course grow your own food. After a start-up period of buying seeds (or growing vegetables by cuttings and using seeds from vegetables from the supermarket) and soil and possibly pots, you can then grow your own food and harvest your seeds for the following year. You do need space for this. You can also pass by restaurants and ask for leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away. You could also go dumpster diving (getting food from waste bins at the supermarket) or ask at the market at closing time if there is anything unsaleable that would otherwise be thrown away. If you want to eat for free you can be less picky. You eat what you find or what you get. You can also organize a potluck. Then you invite people to eat with you and everyone brings something.


In the Netherlands it is very difficult to not pay taxes. That is not surprising. Many essential things are paid from the tax money. We all use services payed by taxes on a daily basis.

Don’t want to pay tax after all? You can have yourself made sovereign, then you are supposedly stateless and you no longer have to pay taxes. You can no longer get a passport and driver’s license, you are not allowed to work and you are not entitled to allowances and benefits. Issues such as receiving care if you do not have health insurance and are not officially a resident of the Netherlands are difficult topics. Not paying tax is therefore very difficult in practice. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.


I think clothing is the least difficult part of this list. Clothing is donated by almost all of us. If people know about your cashless living project, you can ask them to think about you before donating clothes. If you are skilled with the sewing machine, you can make your own clothes if you get something that does not fit properly. The only thing people often wear until it breaks are socks and underwear. Here, too, it must be possible to get your hands on for free. Think of asking for a supply for your birthday.


The bicycle is free and so is walking. Do you have to be further away? Hitchhiking is not common in the Netherlands, but you can go a long way. Carpooling can also be an option. Do you have to be on time? That may be more difficult. If you live without money and do not have a job that requires you to arrive on time, the need for motorized transport is a lot less.


How about all the other stuff? People donate well-functioning things all the time. Let your network know what you are looking for and chances are you will get what you need. I myself regularly accept things from people who have to get rid of it. I have already received a tumble dryer, bookcase and sofa. Absolutely for free! If you search for free stuff in your area on your version of craigslist, probably it is full of all kinds of other things that people want to get rid of.

And if you need something that normally needs money in return, you may be able to barter or work and get paid-in-kind.

What lessons can we take from living without money and still remain normal.

You live more with the community that exists or that you create around you if you decide to live without money. You depend on people but on the other hand you live more freely than ever. At least, that’s what the people who do it themselves or have done for a while say. If you do this for a while, I think it will change your view of money. You become more creative and settle for less.

As far as I am concerned, what we can get out of this is that not everything always has to cost money. I don’t think I could live without money. I don’t have that ambition either. I do know that I could make do with less. Let’s face it, a lot of things we spend money on are not necessary. All that is really necessary are housing, food and certain services such as electricity, water, gas, internet and some insurance, and even all these points can be disputed and negotiated and saved.

In the Western world we live in such an abundance of luxury that we are no longer used to anything else. It is good to reflect on that from time to time. We pretty much all have everything we need to survive, and most of us have enough to live comfortably or even thrive, grow, and live meaningful lives. What a privilege!

By living more frugally and applying the philosophy of cashless living in different areas of your life, you are good for your wallet. That is good for your future self. If you have money on hand in the future by saving it now, you will be a bit freer and experience less stress. And if you are now used to spending less than you make, you will learn to be satisfied with less and you will not immediately have stress when things go downhill financially for a while.

By living with the things you already have, by exchanging more with each other instead of buying everything new and by being more creative with your resources, you also help our planet. And what really emerges as a benefit is the sense of community. You can rely on each other and you can trust that it will work out. People are more generous than you think!

I’m going to try not to spend money this month on things that aren’t needed. I don’t need clothes (note to self). I’m also working hard to grow a lot of my own food, even though my garden is small. This month I will review all fixed costs and switch to different providers where possible. Only the transport to and from work, I cannot change that much. I cannot carpool, take public transport or work from home due to working in a semi hard to reach place. I do drive 100km/h on the highway. That quickly saves 2 km per liter of petrol compared to 130 km/h. At the end of the month, I will let you know in my dear diary of april how it went. Who knows, maybe I want to keep this up longer!

Let me know if you could live without money in a comment!

Until next time!


Dear Diary

March 2021

Bitten by a tiny goat!

This month i cuddled little lambs, sown vegetables, baked bread and got a new window!


I have read and listened to a number of books.

I spent all month on Kate Adkinson’s Life After Life book. What if it had turned out differently? What if you make a decision differently? This book took me with Ursula, a girl who was born in 1910. Every time she died, she took another life. Every time it turned out differently, until she changed the world. The book took me through the history of the second world war from both an English and a German perspective. Including the pleasant read, I also got a history lesson. I thought it was a nice book to read. A bit long-winded here and there, but the interesting philosophy made up for it.

I listened to “Animals can get the plague, and then?” By Esther Ouwehand. Clear explanation of why we have to drastically reduce the livestock population in the Netherlands. The next pandemic could just come from the Netherlands. Just like the Q fever and the bird flu, which also come from the Netherlands.

I also listened to the audiobook “Rich dad, poor dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It’s about a boy with a father who has many degrees and diplomas but does not seem to make any financial progress. His best friend’s father has no degrees nor diplomas, starts his own business and becomes very rich. What can we learn from it? If you play not to lose, you will not win. If you play to win you will occasionally lose but the chances of winning are higher.

Learn and become financially intelligent. Make sure you put your money into things that will increase in value. If you start to earn more, don’t spend more but put the surplus aside in investments. Once you have more money, it is easier to make more of it quickly. More and more often you have the chance to double it if you have a starting amount. Work to learn and not work to earn. Make sure you learn as much as possible on the job. Take every opportunity to learn. Have you finished learning? Go to the next profession. Preferably something financial or as a salesman. In these types of jobs you learn to communicate, sell products and deal with setbacks / rejections.

Use 5% of your income every month to invest to increase your financial intelligence. For example buying (and reading) books, attending seminars or courses for example. He suggests to just keep working, but to ‘mind your own business’. Meaning to create your own side hustle and passive income. Get started today.

I listened to “Never too busy again, a clear mind in an overcrowded world” Tony Crabbe. This book provides tools to create more peace.

The audiobook “A new earth” by Eckhart Tholle impressed me. I really have to read this to get the full essence of it. The writer shows that much of what we do and the dissatisfaction in ourselves comes from our ego. When you are in the moment and let go of your ego, that creates “being.” Inner peace. Interesting but a bit woolly for my taste.


This month I had a small single-glazed attic window replaced by a much larger one with double glass. I am going to finish the walls around it (one day), but the window will bring much better insulation and much more light to the attic. Beautiful!

I also made some expenses at the hardware store (paint, brushes, rollers, etc.) and I bought more clothes than I need. All clothing is second-hand.  If that makes it less bad 😉


In March, the garden starts to come back to life. I spotted the first insects and the first green buds appear on the bushes and trees.

I have sown tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, basil and wild strawberry on the windowsill and outside the first plants of snow peas, winter peas and sugar snap are already standing proudly. The onions are already getting green and the potato is in the ground. The arugula and radish are already on the rise. Everything is still very early and the warm and cold days follow each other, as is only possible in March.

In April there will be a lot more in the windowsill and in the garden. I can’t wait!

What have you been doing in the past month?


Side Hustle ideas you can do from home in 2021

The idea of Simple with Money is to earn enough money to live off of passive income forever. A.k.a. living  financially free. To live financially free you need money to work for you and make you income. Money makes money, so the more you can put in your investments to make more money, the faster you are financially free. Here are some ideas in different categories to make more money.

Renting out stuff

  • Rent out a room or your house on Airbnb.
  • Get a roommate.
  • Rent out your car on a car lending platform.
  • Rent out your ladder, drill land hammer.
  • Rent out anything people are willing to pay you for.

Second job from your computer

  • Print on demand shop. For inspiration follow Wholesale Ted on Youtube.
  • Start a dropshipping webshop.
  • Create an online course and sell it.
  • Start a YouTube Channel and generate income through ads, sponsorship and affiliate marketing.
  • Create a blog for the same benefits.
  • Create a podcast for the same benefits.
  • Translate texts.
  • Hire yourself as a personal assistant.
  • Fill out online surveys.
  • Offer coaching or consulting.

Part time job ideas

  • Be a cohost to someone on AirBnB with no time to check in and clean.
  • Become an Uberdriver.
  • Become a local guide in your area.
  • Hire yourself as a babysitter.
  • Hire yourself as a pet sitter.
  • Hire yourself as a house sitter.
  • Become a dog walker.
  • Sell your creative work on Etsy.
  • Go mystery shopping.
  • Clean houses or do maintenance on house or garden.
  • Teach music if you play an instrument or know how to sing or DJ.


  • Isolate your house and put solar panels on the roof
  • Put your money in an ETF.
  • Sell unused stuff.
  • Negotiate your salary.
  • Flipping. Flipping is buying something cheap and selling it at a profit. Either car flipping, house flipping, LP flipping, designer handbag flipping, thrift store flipping, book flipping. Anything you can get your hands on cheap and know how to sell at a profit.
  • Get a library subscription and read all the books on finance, economy, investing and the stock market.
  • Build a vegetable garden and grow your own food (great hobby!).
  • Consider peer to peer lending.

Allright, I know they won’t all be suitable to you. They are not all suitable to me either. Also the list is far from complete. I still hope I gave you some inspiration on ways to make money. Let me know if you are making money on the side and how you do it. Let’s learn from each other!

Till 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.

But I love my job!

This is for people who love their jobs and could not imagine a life without working.

The FIRE movement (financial independent, retired early) is all about retiring early. People of the FIRE movement are trying to get financially ahead so much that they don’t have the need to work for money ever again. You can do this either by saving up a large amount of money to live of the returns or by lowering your expenses by a lot. Quickest is to do both.


You really don’t want to stop working? Do you love your job and really don’t feel the need to be financially free? I still think you should consider getting financially free. The feeling of going to work because you want to versus because you need to is a world of a difference. Besides that, who knows how great your work is in 20 or 30 or 40 years from now. How will you feel physically, mentally and emotionally in many years from now? What will the company you work for look like in that amount of years, or will it even exist? Will your job be taken by robots and machines? Will a normal workweek be 4 days a week or 7?  Saving for a rainy day, even if you love your job is never a bad idea.

I want you to think today about the feeling of wanting to work instead of needing to work. Really feel it, how do you feel? Is your job still as awesome? Do you want to go there and spend your precious time at work while you could be doing everything you want instead? Is it worth it to wake up by your alarm before you are actually done sleeping? How about commuting in a traffic jam?

If you still love your job: Congratulations! I salute you and I envy you. I have never loved a job that much that it felt like the most enjoyable thing I could imagine doing 40 hours a week. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is something wrong with working and having a job. It is just that the freedom of getting to work instead of having to work makes all the difference. And besides. The freedom you get from working for example 3 days a week instead of 5 already makes a lot of difference. And you can pursue your dreams in the time freed. Or not, and live a leisurely and content life just at a slower pace than the rushed busy people around you.

I don’t think anybody on their deathbed has ever said: ‘Well, I wish I had spent more time working and less time with my kids, that would have been great’. Or: ‘I was thinking about buying that 73th pair of jeans that looked exactly like the 72 perfectly fine pairs already in my stuffed closet and I didn’t buy it. That is the biggest regret I have’.

Having money/investments/passive income will give you the freedom to be flexible. If you have debt you are basically a slave to the lender, and you will feel like you are never really ‘done’ working or feel flexible to work a little less when other things become more important.

The more money stays in your pocket (works for you in passive income!) the more freedom you will experience. And the feeling of working because you can and want to gives so much peace of mind.

Are you planning on retiring early? And have you ever heard of the FIRE movement before?

Let me know in the comments!

Till 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.

Cognitive dissonance

Research has shown that we would not become lazy and would not work less if we received free money in the form of the basic income. You can read more about this in the book “Utopia for realists”. It is contrary to our view that failure to work should be punished by being poor and that that is the only way to motivate people to work. It also says that opening the borders to so-called “prospectors” has economic benefits. These are economic refugees who are not fleeing a political situation or war, but poverty. They flee to pursue a better job and a better life. Everyone would benefit. That is contrary to the view that most people hold.

This is an example of cognitive dissonance. The definition is as follows: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term for the unpleasant tension that arises when learning about facts or beliefs that are contrary to one’s own belief or opinion, or behavior that is contrary to one’s own beliefs, values ​​and norms .

What you will do when you experience cognitive dissonance is justify things to yourself. It is abundantly clear that smoking is unhealthy. “Yes, but I have to die of something anyway.” Or: “I love animals very much” while you eat meat every day. When experiencing cognitive dissonance, we can enter into this conflict with ourselves in two ways. We can change our thinking or belief or we can change our actions. In the examples above, the smoker adjusts his beliefs (It’s okay because I have to die of something anyway) and if you decide to stop eating meat then you adjust your actions.

For me, some cognitive dissonances have to do with money. For example, a belief that I always had is that you should be very frugal. Now I sometimes think differently about it. Sometimes it is good to spend money. For example, so that something increases in value. Think of a renovation in your home or a training so that you become more valuable for an employer or your own company which you expand. Or to be generous to friends or family. Not something that increases in value moneywise, but it does increase your wellbeing and that of said friend or family member!

In terms of budget, I can choose between transforming what is now a storage attic with a loft ladder into a spacious bedroom with a fixed staircase, or renovating the whole kitchen. At first glance, remodeling the kitchen seems like a good idea. I can be found there every day and this will drastically improve the appearance of the house. The kitchen is still very functional, but there are no built-in appliances and the pipes run over the wall instead of neatly milled away. Still, I opted for an attic renovation. The kitchen hardly adds to the value of the house. Extra square meters and a bedroom, on the other hand, do count. When I see similar houses for sale in the area, I see that houses that have replaced the loft ladder for a fixed staircase can add at least 20% to the house price Easily double of what I spend on it. Houses with a new kitchen but a loft ladder are not higher in value than my house with old kitchen. The choice is then suddenly made quickly. What would you do in my case?

Nice to drive this one for free right!

Also, I always thought that cars, for example, are always a waste of your money. Recently a video of Graham Stephan appeared. He bought a car for over $ 300,000 !! He expects to be able to drive it and sell the car at a profit in a few years. Sounds too good to be true, but it is possible (especially if you buy a very rare, expensive car). At the moment this also works with, for example, campers, I am eager to do that myself. On the one hand, I think I’m not going to spend thousands of euros on a camper. It is much cheaper to go on holiday by car and rent an AirBnB. But if I do buy a camper and sell it again in a few years for about the same amount or even at a profit, it might not even matter that much. Especially if I can rent out the camper when I am not using it myself. Maybe it won’t work out like I hope though…

Another example. Before I bought a car, I did everything by bicycle and public transport. Since I have a car, I regularly do small distances, that are easily doable by bike, by car, while my firm conviction was always to use the car only for distances that cannot be done by bicycle. In my head I make all these excuses like well, it is not such good weather anyway, I have a heavy bag with me, so I can get to my destination faster, etc. Here I have adjusted my thinking and beliefs so that it suits me better. Not too bright! Soon I will turn into one of Mr. Money Mustaches car clowns!

We defenitiley don’t want to be looking like this!

What you should pay attention to is when, for example, you have saved a lot of money by not making an expensive purchase that you wanted to make, and then purchase something else that you actually do not need. This way you reward yourself for your frugal behavior. This also works with very healthy and little food all day because you are on a diet and then reward yourself with a filled cake in the evening for keeping it up all day. These are forms of rewards that do not work in your favor.

In his book “The four-hour work week” by Timothy Ferriss, he also goes through a number of cognitive dissonances than we are all familiar with. We are so convinced that to get rich or make money at all, you have to work hard. We cannot imagine running a successful business in four hours a week. He says you don’t have to work 40 hours a week or more to run a thriving business. It can also be done in 4 hours. He then works 4 hours a week and regularly takes four weeks of vacation o top of it. This is diametrically opposed to the idea of ​​an hourly invoice and the hourly wage.

Can you give any more examples of cognitive dissonance?

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.

Dear Diary,

February 2021.

In the Dear Diary series I recap on what I did, read, spent and so on in the past month.

In terms of weather, February was extreme. I was ice skating on the lake, together with thousands of other people who enjoyed the winter weather. Just a week later it was so sunny and warm you could go outside without a jacket! I enjoyed it with walks in nature with friends. I almost forgot we were skating and making snowman just 7 days prior. Both extremes were fun for free except some gas to drive to the lake.

Also the 14th was Valentines. Since lockdown we had nowhere to go on a date so we made a date night at home. It included picking up food from our favorite restaurant, a lot of candles and nice music on the background. We both dressed up as if we would to go to a really fancy restaurant. It was awesome.

I read ‘Everything is F*cked, a book about hope’ by Mark Manson. It was way harder to read than the other book I read last month and I only got halfway until the library wanted it back. I will borrow it again to read the rest.

Then I read Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman. It has some controversial ideas. It’s basically a book full of arguments why we should give everybody free money. A full book review on it here (link).

For audiobooks I listened to Il sogno della machina da cucire by Bianca Pitzorno. The dutch translation that is… (De stof in haar handen). My Italian is not that great 😉 it was a nice historical fiction about a young woman fighting for her own independence in a world dominated by men. I enjoyed it while gardening.

Spending was on point this month, except a dentist bill that threw a spanner in the works. Also I went to the construction market three times but it stayed under 200 in total. Not bad for the construction market. We all know that adds up very quickly.

And the most exciting thing happened! I bought a worm hotel! Yes you read that correctly. I am the type of person that gets thrilled over a worm hotel! Before I held my worms in a stack of buckets with holes in them but I wanted to provide them with something better, and easier to handle for me too. The top will be full of flowers, I’ll update on that next month.

My love for gardening makes me want to add a new category to the dear diaries series. From now on I like to add a ‘What’s happening in the garden?’ I love growing my own fruits and vegetables. In wintertime there is not so much to do but as we approach march and had a couple of sunny days, I get excited to go gardening again.

My Cavolo nero and Swiss chard are thriving and have survived wintertime. Strawberry is getting back from hibernation and my garlic is doing hella fine. Rest of the garden is still empty or in hibernation.

How was your February?

Till 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.

Utopia for realists

I read Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman. It has some controversial ideas. I had a blast reading it. He is exploring how we can make things better for humankind. Not that it’s not good for the average western citizen, but it is relatively easy to make it way better and save money doing so. The idea is to give everybody a basic income, free money. And ask nothing in return. I hear you think, that’s expensive, how do we pay for it? And will not everybody stop working?

Well, there were more than one experiment on this. Some in rich, western countries. Some in poor countries. Everywhere, people became happier, healthier and less criminal and there was generally no decrease of working hours. This makes healthcare cheaper because people are healthier. Also because people go to school longer, people end up in higher paying jobs, making them richer. People stopped worrying about money, were less stressed and therefore had more energy to raise their kids and choose to cook healthier meals.

Even more, it would make work so much more efficient. Think about it. You can now choose to do work that is actually meaningful instead of a bullshit job to pay the bills. It would give your life more meaning, making you happier with a greater sense of purpose. It would spark entrepreneurship like no other.

When you are without a job, right now it is seen that you are a failure. If you are given a financial support from the government, it is usually traded for your dignity and sanity. Here in the Netherland they will check your bank account to see if you are actually frugal, send a job coach over (like it’s your fault that you didn’t get hired for the position 200 other people applied for as well). There are a ton of things you have to do (sometimes including mandatory volunteering)  in order to receive some support to prevent you from getting homeless.

The experiment was done on homeless people as well. Give homeless people shelter and money to support themselves and ask nothing in return. That cost a lot. Nonetheless the savings were almost double the costs. It saved a lot of police deployment, healthcare bills, social workers and overall nuisance. Some of the homeless people started taking on jobs and took classes of some sort. The experiment, done in Amsterdam and other big cities in the Netherlands, was cut back when the 2008 crisis hit. Cheap turned out to be expensive in the long run as healthcare, criminal records and social work spiked again. I guess we’ll never learn.

Then there was the piece of cognitive dissonance. Bregman states that in an ideal utopia, we should open the borders of the western world to the rest of the word. This way, everybody who wants to can get rich and we will all be richer for it. If you close the boarders, economic refugees will cross them somehow, never to return. If you open up the boarders, the economic refugees will come, make some money and return home. There, they will lift their families out of poverty and the chain of poverty will be broken all over the world.

Opening the boarders should not be done at once all over, it will cause cultural trouble. It is, as Bregman states, a utopia to work towards. Depending on where in the world you are born decides if you can get rich or not. Keeping the boarders closed therefore is a discrimination of location.

All and all it was a very interesting book to read and I highly recommend you read it too! Also I am in favor for doing a big scale experiment on it. Not for one or two years, but try it for at least a generation and see where this is going. Or reform the whole tax system. Feeling fancy today!

What is our opinion on this? Did you read the book as well?

Till 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.