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Pay yourself first at the beginning of each month

Until now, I’ve always had the strategy of saving what’s left at the end of the month. This works fine for me, there is usually some money left over. Frugal living pays off, I have already saved a nice amount. However, I do it differently than a lot of advice I read. A lot of financial advice is to pay yourself first. For example from the book Rich dad, poor dad and also The richest man in Babylon. Even Warren Buffett gives this as advice. The people who say this know what they are talking about. They are all millionaires who are very good with money. In the FIRE community there are a lot of people who also pay themselves first. So we can’t get around that.

Not paying rent this month…

Investing immediately after your salary has been received and only spending what is left is also called pay yourself first. Some things are not open to negotiation. It is not optional whether you pay your rent or mortgage this month or whether you do or don’t pay your electricity bill. You just do it because otherwise you will get into very annoying problems very quickly. There is no room for negotiation. The pay yourself first principle states that investing every month is also non-negotiable. You do this every month, preferably a fixed amount.

By doing this at the beginning of the (financial) month, you live frugally. You see how much is still in your bank account and it is easier to decide not to make a purchase if your account is almost empty. I want to implement this, pay myself first and I will start on July 1. I have to pay close attention, because my bills are only debited at the end of the financial month. If I can’t manage my budget, then there isn’t enough to write off the direct debits from the fixed costs.

Resolutions to pay yourself first

From the coming month on, I will think in advance what I will need in the coming month, on what things I expect to spend money. Then I calculate what comes in. I will use the difference according to my investment strategy.

To me, that’s what it looks like for July 2021.

Mortgage595Same every month
Electricity and heating65Low because of the solarpanels
Phone/spotify/netflix/internet59I share Netflix and don’t have a tv
Groceries200On the higher end (especially since i’ve stocked up) but I like some room here.
Car (Taxes, insurance and gas)300I commute to and from work 4 times a week and it’s about a 120km per day drive. With the gasprices rising it’s a lot. I get compensated more than half of this by my boss.
Eating out100The past couple of months (one and a half year) I barely went out to eat or for drinks, but now that we can, I will not cut back.
Miscellaneous300All the other stuff, like going away for a weekend, a laser treatment and birthday gifts.
pay yourself first
Waiting for the bridge to close with 30C. Luckily the windows open!

I round to 1700 and anything above that in income goes towards my investment strategy. If I have more left over because I broadly calculated, the remaining money will go to the investment account with next months round.

Planning a big purchase

I’m thinking about buying a camera. I allow myself flexibility in that. If I want to buy it, I take the money from the savings account. I top up the emergency fund the next month to the minimum of 3 months in expenses. If my emergency fund contains a little less than 3 months of expenses for a week or two, I won’t lose any sleep over it. After all, I still have the investments to back me up when shit hits the fan. The money from the investments can be put into my bank account within a day or two if there is an emergency.

I am very curious if budgeting in this way at the beginning of the month will help me to organize my finances even more tightly. That’s why I’m going to try to keep it up for a few months, not just one month. This forces me to start thinking about what I’m going to spend in the next month and then stay within budget. A good exercise in planning and thinking ahead.

How are you doing it, are you paying yourself first?

Do you also plan your finances at the beginning of the month? And can you stick to it? Let me know, I’m curious about your experience.

Until next time!


I am not a financial advisor, and therefore not your financial advisor. I am not a financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Acquiring Financial Independence For Feeling Free In 2021

I am a huge proponent of financial independence. If you have built up reserves, you have more choice in how you shape your life. When you’re in debt or spend your entire paycheck every month, you’re dependent on your paycheck or your business. If you make less profit for a month with your company or the company you are employed for goes bankrupt or you are fired, you will immediately be in trouble. But even if these things don’t happen to you and you’re unhappy with your job or your business, you still have a problem. You are 100% dependent on your income if you spend everything. That is why I think it is super important to get your finances in order and to ensure that you get a lot of freedom back.

Never work again

It is very difficult to save up for so much freedom (money) that you never have to work again. My personal goal is exactly that, and I write about that here. Then you are completely free to organize your time as you wish. But one step before that is that you are free to quit your job if you are unhappy about it. Then you can take a job that earns less without getting into trouble. Or if due to circumstances (for example a pandemic) you can get by for a few months with a lot less income. Or that you can stand on your own two feet if you live together and decide to separate.

Shared household

Many couples arrange their finances, especially if it concerns a family with children. By running a household together you can save a lot. So you only have the rent or mortgage once and groceries together is relatively cheaper than for one person. Municipal tax, water, gas, etc. are also relatively cheaper if you live together.

Girl Boss!

To maintain your own freedom, it is extra important that you do not lean on your partner. Even if you are super in love, you never know what the future will bring. Make sure you can stand on your own two feet, even if you may not be doing that right now. When shit hits the fan, it is important that you can stand on your own two feet and leave if necessary. For example, make sure you have your own emergency fund that you (alone) can access or that you can quickly work more hours at your job so that you can support yourself if necessary. Nothing is more oppressive than staying together out of financial need.

Free as a bird!

No partner? Then it is at least as important, if not even more important, that you do not wait Mr. Perfect to come and rescue you. Save, invest and plan your financial future so that you don’t have to depend on a partner (or a job!). Someone who is financially independent and actively planning his/her own future is super sexy! Is your partner intimidated by your independence? Afraid that if you’re not dependent, you might just run away? Then that might not be the right candidate… You’re not together for the money, are you?! If you want to read more about financial independence for woman, buy this book!

Financial independence

In the Netherlands and other western countries it is perfectly possible to become financially independent. At least independent enough that it is possible to provide for one’s own livelihood. The woman in the Netherlands earn more or less the same as the man and should therefore also be able to be financially independent from her partner. That is different in some countries. In some countries, women’s wages are so low that it barely covers the commute. Of course, this will not make it possible to build up independence. Fortunately, women here earn enough to build up financial independence. So do that too, our grandmothers fought hard for that privilage.

In short: Build your own financial independence and thereby increase your freedom.

How can you best do that? By focusing on three things:

– Get more income from your job or other sources.

– Spend less than you earn.

– Investing the difference so that that money also works for you.

This way you build up a freedom buffer.

Simply put, not so easily done but you can do it! I believe in you!!

Untill 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.

Disadvangates of paying off your mortgage extra fast

The feeling of having a fully paid off house is incredible. But at what cost should you do it as fast as possible? I like to highlight the disadvantages of paying off your mortgage fast. This is a topic that is highly discussed in the financial independent retire early movement. ‘You should pay of your mortgage and only then start investing, mortgage is a debt and therefore it is bad’. Or the opposite: ‘Don’t pay off your mortgage fast, invest the money in stocks’. Which is right?

Well, it depends…

What answer is right depends on your own situation. For example your interest rate. If you pay off your mortgage and your house is paid for in full, you have a lot more money to put in your index funds and other investments, making you more profit by compounding interest after you’ve paid off the house. On the other hand, if your interest rate is low, you can consider just paying of the minimum required and invest the surplus in a low fee index fund or however your investment portfolio suggests. Chances are you can easily make a higher profit on that.

Look at it this way: the interest rate on your mortgage is your guaranteed return of investment if you pay it off. If you have an 8% or more interest rate, you are probably better off paying it off as soon as possible, for the chance of making more on the stock market is a gamble. If your interest rate is low, say 2%, your return of investment is probably higher on the stock market then when you down pay it on the mortgage. I heard of people in the Netherlands that bought a house with just over or even under (!) 1% interest rate these days. It is not that hard to outperform that with investing. Index funds like the S&P500 perform at an average of 8% per year. Please don’t look at this in the terms of one or two years. Look at this more in the 15-30 year range. If you put your money in an index fund, in the long run you will earn about 8% on it. Yes, even if you are at loss right now or the first few years.



Other disadvantages of paying off your mortgage for example are inflation. So if you pay of your house now, you are putting a higher percentage of your income to it. In the future, with inflation, your income will increase and the same amount of mortgage left will be worth less than it is today. So in that sense, it would be better to pay if off as slow as possible. But of course it all depends on the percentage of interest you pay.  

More than 6%.

What to do if your mortgage interest rate is higher than 6%? What will happen if you pay it off faster? On the ROI (Return of investment) side, you will get more return on your money (by not handing it over to the bank as interest).Think hard on doing a down payment, once it’s in the mortgage you can’t spend or invest it anymore. This is called the opportunity cost. It’s basically gone until you sell your house, but probably it will be in another house you buy next.

My best bet is check if you can refinance to a lower interest rate. This may cost you a fee right now but calculate it and see if it will be cheaper in the long run.

Between 3-6%.

What if your interest rate is between 3-6%? Try and refinance it as well, call your bank, check how to refinance, shop around at other providers as well. Calculate what you save vs. what the fine of refinancing is. Make your own decision. Same as for the high interest rate, maybe it will be good to do down payments but you will not be able to touch that money for anything else anymore. The opportunity cost is at stake here too.

Under 3%.

If your interest rate is low, let say under 3%, I would not pay it off any faster than required. Put money you are not spending in a low-fee index fund every month and grow your stash that way. The chances of having a higher return of investment are on your side. Especially in the long run. The big benefit here is the money is more liquid, easier to access in case of emergency.

In the netherlands

The taxsystem in the Netherlands makes the disadvantages of paying off your mortgage even bigger. Here in the Netherlands chances are you are getting hypotheek rente aftrek (tax deductionon the interest). This makes the net interest rate even lower. And there is the possibility your paid off house will cost you more in taxes in the future. If your house is currently worth more than the remains of the mortgage, call your bank to ask for a lower interest rate (schuld-marktwaarde verhouding). This only works when you don’t have NHG on it. Chances are the interest rate will be lowered.

But if anything, don’t store surplus money on your savings, as it is zero or close to zero at the moment.

And remember:

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.

What’s your thought on this subject?

Untill next time,


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.

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!


17 daily habits of millionairs.

17 Habits of Millionaires

If you weren’t born rich but still want to get rich, you’re not alone. Who doesn’t dream of becoming a millionaire! Thomas C. Corley spent five years researching self-made millionaires. He concluded that most millionaires had these 17 habits. He wrote this book about that. If you do these 17 daily habits, you might also become a millionaire! Let’s look at his list.

1. Read every day.

88% of the millionaires surveyed read for at least 30 minutes a day. We are not talking about a novel or a gossip magazine of course. They mostly read informational books, self-help books, biographies of successful people and history.

2. Sports.

We all know that exercise is healthy. 76% of millionaires exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This mainly concerns cardio training and less about strength. Examples are jogging, running, cycling or walking.

3. Be around other successful people.

You become who you surround yourself with. Hang out with successful people who have a positive outlook on life to help you move forward. Better still is to associate with people who are pursuing big goals, are enthusiastic and passionate about their work. What really works against you is negative people who bring you down,  who criticize and do not believe in you.

4. Volunteer.

This is important to build a network of people with the same mindset. It is also important to give before you can take. People who are willing to work hard and also volunteer understand that you can’t just consume. You have to do something in return.

5. Dream setting.

More than half of millionaires dream. They write down their dream life, think of what they have to do to achieve the dreams. Then they set goals to make these dreams come true and then take the action. Repeat this for every dream on the dream list.

6. Pursue your own dreams.

And especially not someone else’s. Rich people follow their own path. If you do what others do, you will get the same results as other people. Pursue your own dreams and you will achieve your own result.

7. Get enough sleep.

Almost all millionaires sleep at least 7 hours a night. These days it seems cool to sleep as little as possible. People boast about that. It is increasingly clear how important a good night’s sleep and a regular routine are. This makes you sharper and less tired during the day. This allows you to concentrate better.

8. Get up early.

About half of the millionaires get up about 3 hours before the start. In those three hours they can work undisturbed on the things that are important. Before the start of the workday, there is no meeting  that took longer than expected or traffic jam that suddenly makes you run out of time.

9. Multiple Sources of Income.

Almost all millionaires have at least three different sources of income and many have more. This includes rental income, dividends and profit from investments, income from your job or profit from your own business.

10. Find a mentor.

Many millionaires have one or more mentors. This mentor ensures that they stay on the right track and learn them what to do and what not to do.

11. Help others.

And especially others who also want to be successful. Someone who wants to achieve goals, is optimistic and motivated.

12. Be positive.

This seems to come back in many different forms so this one will be important. Millionaires are positive. If you are aware of what you think for a while, you may find that you often have negative thoughts. Try to be aware of it and have a more positive attitude towards life.

13. Don’t follow the herd.

Corley resolves that the millionaires he interviewed don’t follow the herd. They created their own herd and became leaders.

14. Practice good etiquette.

Examples include sending thank you notes, acknowledge important events such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Also think of good table manners and dress up during social occasions.

 15. Spend time thinking.

Don’t get distracted by your phone or TV or music in the background. Take fifteen minutes to half an hour a day, every day, to think. Think about how you can make more money, whether you are happy with your job, are you satisfied with life as it is, etc.

16. Ask for feedback.

Feedback helps you to understand if you are on the right path. It is crucial to grow. Only ask for feedback from people who give feedback instead of criticism.

17. Don’t give up.

One of the traits of many millionaires is that they don’t give up. They are persistent and when they fail they get up and just try again.

This list contains all kinds of things that can be done on their own, but if you add them together and want to pursue them daily, it is a big list! For example, if I want to get up three hours before my working day, I will no longer get 7 hours of sleep. And if I want to read every day, there is less time for jogging. I think we can therefore conclude that millionaires are very hard workers. They didn’t become millionaires by sitting on the couch watching TV and doing some half-hearted work. They work really hard for it!

What do you think of this list? Are you on the right track?

Until next time!


Leveraged products

Are you new to investing? Read Start investing step 1 and step 2 first.

Turbos, sprinters, speeders are names for leveraged products. They are very similar but are offered at different institutions. For example, ING has the sprinters and ABN Amro has the Turbos. Leveraged products allow you to trade stocks, indices, commodities, currencies or bonds. You trade with leverage. With this you can achieve big gains with a relatively small investment. The risk is therefor also higher. You can lose your entire investment. With leveraged products you can predict whether the price of a stock (or bond etc.) will go up or down. Do you think a product is going down in value? Then you go short. Do you think a product is going up in value? Then you go long.

It works something like this:

Imagine that a share now costs 14 euros. You think it’s going to go up. You place a long bet. The issuing institution (for example the bank or broker) lends you 12 euros per share. You pay interest on that. Your own investment is 2 euros per share. If the share rises from 14 to 15 euros, the profit on the share is normally 7%. In this example, you made 3 euros from 2 euros. The profit on the stock is 7% but your profit is 50%.

You can also be wrong. The share goes down from 14 to 13 euros. Your 2 euros is then only worth 1 euro. You lose 50%. Will the share drop to 12 euros? Then you have lost your entire investment. That’s where the stop loss lies. The share is automatically sold at the stop loss. This way you can never lose more than your initial investment plus the interest on your loan.

The greater the leverage, the greater the profit you can achieve, but also the loss and therefore the risk. The leverage indicates how many percent it changes compared to 1% change on the product. Does your product increase 1% and is your leverage 5? Then your profit increases by 5%.

Benefits of leveraged products include:

– You can make a lot of profit with relatively little investment.

– You have a fixed maximum loss.

– You can bet on both falling and / or rising positions.

Disadvantages of leveraged products include:

– You pay relatively high transaction costs.

– You pay interest.

– The risk of losing your investment is high.

You can imagine that this is not suitable for the beginner investor. Are you reading this for the first time or do you find it difficult? Then don’t do it. This is not suitable for the novice investor! To invest in leveraged products, you need to follow the financial news carefully and predict what a particular product will do. Expect that you will spend a lot of time on this. If you are wrong, you lose a lot. I do not invest in leveraged products myself and do not recommend it. The information on this page is not intended as investment advice.

Do you want to read more? Have a look at the following websites:

Until next time!


I am not a financial advisor, and therefore not your financial advisor. I am not a financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.