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Do It Yourself

DIY or Do It Yourself has become know for the crafty things you make yourself. Usually it is used for crafts and home-made interior design. Today I write about DIY as a lifestyle. Think of all the things you could do at home and then do them yourself. In many circumstances this saves money and if you did something yourself you feel proud and satisfied.

While you get more comfortable and skilled to do things yourself, you become less and less dependent on others and money. Independence and endeavor in itself. On my journey to do it myself I had a lot of help from YouTube and the internet. If I still can’t do it, I ask friends or family. Be amazed at all the things you are able to do yourself! A few examples: paint walls, frames and doors, chores and maintenance, assemble furniture, wallpaper, gardening, cooking, manage your finances, manicure, cut your own/spouses hair, repairs on bike or car and so on.

Jackson is tired thinking of DIY-ing alone.

With everything you do there is a learning curve. The first time you do something yourself may fail or turn out mediocre. Next time will be better and the more you do something, the better you become. The gained self-esteem makes room for even more projects. I didn’t know how to fit my own curtains, but it turned out not to be too difficult. When I got the hang of it I fitted my own roller blinds as well.

For the fitted curtains I would pay about 200 per window. I have three windows that need curtains. Total costs: 600 euros. The curtains I got that were too long and other expenses like rails and hangers all combined costs me 45 per window. 135 in total. By doing it myself I saved 465 euros and it took me about six hours to do it myself (!). 435 euros for 6 hours totals 77,50 per hour. Not bad!

Also I plastered the living room walls (with some help :D), painted everything that needed new paints, cook my own food almost always, cut my own hair, do my own nails, fill up the oil in the car and so on. It saved me thousands of euros along the way and I learned so much.

Yes this needs some plastering.

Some things I don’t do myself. For example when I have a flat tire, I go to the bike repair shop. It will cost me 5 euros and if I do it myself it will cost me about 2. It will cost me at least an hour to reapir myself since I don’t know how to do it. Maybe it is lazy but the 3 euros I love spending on it. And a free walk to the repair shop is included.

What do you do yourself?

Till next time,

Elske

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.

I want it and I want it NOW!

For me a goal in life is financial freedom. To achieve it, I save money and invest it. This way the money can make money and I get more and more financially free every month. One thing that is keeping me from saving is spending on stuff I don’t need, use and love.

Here is a guide I use to stop myself from (over)spending. Maybe you find value in it as well.

Get to know why you want to stop spending on stuff you don’t need.

Get clear on why you want to save money. For me this is a couple of reasons. I already have all the stuff I need to live a good life. More stuff will cause more clutter, needing me to take more time cleaning, organizing, and maintaining the tranquil home that I desire. Second I have savings goals. I want to save money to retire early and I want to be flexible in the amount of hours/days per week that I work. This way I don’t need to work fulltime but can do with a little less to keep me mentally sane and focus on –for example- writing this blog. The flexibility is a really big one for me.

You don’t just not buy something, that takes a lot of self-discipline. You choose between buying something you don’t need or to save up for your big goal. The choice becomes so much easier if you have the end-goal in mind. Visualize your own end goal, make it super specific. It sometimes still is hard to not spend money, but it will get easier over time. Also sometimes this will still fail and you will buy something you don’t need. I do it too. Don’t be mad at yourself. Sometimes the self-discipline is just not strong enough, and that’s okay.

Stop advertisements from entering your home.

We live in an overly advertised world and get bombarded with stuff on sale that we don’t need. There are ways to make the advertisements come to you in a more moderate way. Here in the Netherlands, once or twice per week we get a big bundle of advertisement leaflets actually on paper in the mail. There is a really good way to not get them. Place a ‘nee-nee’ sticker on your mailbox. They prevent all unaddressed mail from coming in. It saves a lot of paper too! Save the trees yay! They are available at your Township.

For addressed advertisements you can unsubscribe at Postfilter in the Netherlands.

They will unsubscribe any post from certain categories that you choose and filter them out for 5 years. Find out how to stop advertisements from entering your home where you live.

How do I get great deals if I run out of toilet paper or toothpaste? Well, first I don’t run out of toilet paper, I have a complete attic full, you know, just in case ;). But when I need something I go look for the discount online. Don’t fall in this checking every week for new stuff on sale. Only check when you run out of something and actually need it again. All the promotions are to be found online these days and this way I will not get all the unsolicited advertising at my door every week.

Be a cord-cutter.

Another great tip to decrease the amount of advertisement is to cut the cable. Just cancel your cable subscription all together. I did it about 4 years ago and haven’t missed it ever since. I pay way, way less for my Netflix account then I would commercials infused cable. Then I share to even further cut the costs and I get unlimited access to entertainment without commercials. Love it!

Then a couple of weeks ago one of the cats broke the tv, and I didn’t have it replaced. Now I watch TV on my laptop. That is a bit extreme, I have to agree 😉

Guilty as charged.

Delete social media.

Ok this is a little extreme, I know. But bear with me here. A big one but way harder for many, delete social media. This is hard for many because it is so engrained in our lives. Cut down drastically will help as well but deleting all together is great. If this feels like too much unfollow a lot of people and companies and you will get bored of your Facebook or Instagram because there is no more news every minute. I unfollowed basically everyone on Facebook and it got boring quickly. So I deleted it all together. Also I don’t have Instagram, Tiktok or whatever the cool kids use these days. I do spend a lot of time (more then I like to admit) on Youtube, which on my phone does have commercials. On the computer I use an ad blocker which is great. Highly recommend.

Unsubscribe everything.

Have you ever bought something from a web shop? Changes are you did. I know I did! All the shops here are closed except for the supermarket and drugstores. What can you do… Anyway, when you order something, they always hook you up with a newsletter. This contains all the stuff they know you like because you bought it before. Below the newsletter there is a tiny sentence that says ‘Unsubscribe from this newsletter’. Do it for all incoming newsletters that want to sell you stuff.

You will get less distracted and a much more spacious inbox as a bonus.

The thing with discount websites.

Comparison sites are great if you want to check if your internet subscription or your electricity bill can go down. Highly recommend. But websites such as pepper.com (the discount one, not the dating platform) just list everything with an exceptionally low price. This goes for electronic devices, clothes, free stuff to try, cheap toilet paper and what not. Here in the Netherlands but also in about 15 other countries there is an active community on the website. I tried it for about one month and it was great. There are so many good deals there, you can get everything you ever wanted and more for a great deal. The thing is, I bought all this stuff I suddenly needed because it was a good deal. Not because I needed it. It made me greedy, I want it and I want it now. The fear of a product going up in price just made me buy on impulse. I bought more that month than the previous 4 combined… when I realized I deleted the app all together and didn’t visit the website anymore. It is too tempting guys! I am only human!

All these things combined makes I don’t get as much commercials bombarded at me as the average Joe. Because I don’t see them, I’m not as tempted to buy all the things just because they are a great deal.

Do you have more tips on how to stop overspending? I like to hear from you, please share!

Till next time,

Elske

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

January 2021

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

This month I started a blog. It’s called simplewithmoney.com. (Really? You don’t say!) I also made a YouTube page with the same name.

For as long as I can remember, or at least for as long as I started reading blogs myself, I wanted to start a blog. Always in my mind where these roadblocks. I don’t know how to make a website. I don’t know what to write about. I’m not a very good writer anyway. What if people judge me for what I write. I think the last one is the most hard to deal with. To give you an idea: I don’t even have Facebook or Instagram. I did have Facebook for a couple of years but I rarely posted anything. I just deleted it, because I didn’t use it.

So even though it’s scary and I am not used to being seen online, I am starting a blog.

This is exciting!

Vladimir

Vladimir is not impressed

Last month I read ‘The subtle art of not giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson. The message in this book boils down to this: Don’t be afraid to fail, only those who do not try never fail. Yay Mark I started a blog! Are you proud yet?

Next book was ‘IV’ by Arjen Lubach. A fiction about the Dutch royal family. I enjoyed reading it.

Audiobooks I listened to: ‘The four hour workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss. Bottom line, it puts everything you thought you knew upside down. It certainly gave me something to think about and made me think bigger than I thought I could.

Next was ‘Musk Mania’ by Hans van der Loo. About Elon musk. It was supposed to be about leadership and wavemakers, people that change the world. The book kinda makes Elon Musk look like a d*ick… He came off like working for him makes you a modern slave. Hopefully it’s not the case because he is turning things upside down worldwide, for the better.

I listened to a bunch of podcasts. The newest of the Minimalists. Some of Tim Ferriss, after his book the four hour workweek I was interested. And then some duolingo Spanish podcasts. I tried to learn Spanish and try and keep it dusted off this way. Understand not even half though 😉

For spending past month I bought a car. I talked about it in my previous post (There is no such thing as good debt). And I paid my health insurance for the whole year. If you pay annually you get some discount, yay! Unfortunately the kitchen sink was clogged, I tried to unclog it myself with a plunger, soda, vinegar, a sewer spring, the whole shabam. It was not working so I called the plumber.

Then I did a whole bunch of home renovation and decoration. Painted my window frame, ceiling and bathroom door. And I fitted my curtains. They were hanging like that way too long (like two years and 30 cm on the floor). And it was time to fit them to size. Took HOURS. Way longer than anticipated. But worth it, since now I have nice ironed, fitted curtains in the living room and bedroom.

What did you do this month?

Till next time,

Elske

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.

The 4% rule for financial independence

Do you dream of financial independence? You can achieve it!

Have you ever heard of the FIRE Movement? It started in the USA and is now making its way to Europe. FIRE stands for Financially independent, retire early. People of the FIRE movement work/hustle to earn as much money as they can. They are frugal and spend as little as possible and invest the surplus. This way they can live off of their investments in the future without needing to work. Sounds impossible? It’s really not!

Fire

Playing with fire

Return of investment

If you put your money in low-fee investments, the average annual return is about 7-8% a year. Now of course this is on average. Some years it is less and some years it is more. In the FIRE movement the general rule is as follows: If you invest your money and on average you gain 7-8% in returns when you retire you take out of your investments 4% per year. This way you will never run out of money and even account for inflation (your money will grow).

So if you need let’s say 40.000 euro per year, you will need 40.000*25=1.000.000.

(4% of 1 million is 40.000)

One million! That is hard to save up before your actual retirement. This ofcourse depends on what you make and where you live.

But! There is a but! If you happen to only need 20.000 per year, you will need ‘just’ 500.000.

If you need less every month…

I can only speak for myself of course but if I pay of my house entirely, I can almost cut that in half again to live off of. Now i ‘only’ need 250.000. Especially since when I an not working for a boss anymore there is more time for home cooked meals, insourcing, repairing things myself and there is less of the fancy clothes bought just of wearing at the office, less fancy car and less gas because I don’t have to commute every day and I could go on.

free time

All the time in the world to cuddle this cutie pie!

Track your expenses

So I have tracked my expenses to the euro for the past 8(!) years already and I know how much I spent in any given month. So after I pay for the mortgage I usually spend between 600 and 1600 per month on groceries, internet, electricity and everything else combined. That to me is a pretty wide range still, but it’s something I can work with. If I pay off my house in full I will need somewhere between 800-1500 per month to live off.

If I want to retire early I will need:

800 per month = 9600 per year * 25 = 240.000

1500 per month = 18.000 per year * 25 =450.000

Hypothetically I start off with zero, and save 100 per month and have 8% per year return. How long do I need to work to retire?

With 240,000 euro’s I will need to work for 36 years to have saved enough for financial independence. With 450,000 euro’s I will need to work for 45 years to have saved enough to retire. That is 9 years longer!

Now let’s do the same but we save 500 per month starting at zero. With 240,000 euro’s I will need to work 18 years to have saved enough and withfor financial independence 450.000 about 25 years. Sounds a lot better already. And how about 1000 euro’s saved per month? Well 240.000 I need 12 years of work and 450,000 just 17,5 years.

So a person that starts at 20 years old can really retire in their early 30’s if they just live frugal and manage to save a lot. It can be done people! Also if you feel like working ans hustling for 15-25 years straight to then finally do what you love is not what you want? You can do a semi-retirement way before this and work part time and save just a little to non and make your savings more by investing.

What is important to you

Also if you feel like living frugal is not worth it? I really want you to think about what is important in live. Is it to impress people, is it to go to work every day for 45 years straight? Is it to raise your own kids and have some time for your hobbies, is it maybe some fast and expensive car to impress the ladies? Think about it and let the path to financial independence be your own path and not something somebody else expects you to do. Be clear on what makes you happy, what are your goals in life and what you want out of it. Take control of it yourself!

Happy Saving!

Elske

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.