Refresh loader

Archive : dear diary

Home > Posts tagged dear diary

My Diary Of June 2021


food for the guests
Food for the guestst

It was my birthday in June! I celebrated my birthday spread over a whole week. It was super fun and I really felt like it was my birthday. Advantage of the party scattered on multiple days: eating a lot of pie! Haha and of course that I better have a conversation with everyone who was there. Super nice!


Oops, am I greedy?

In terms of groceries, I really got food and drinks for a complete thirsy soccerteam. Well, the visitors also deserve a nice snack and drink don’t you agree? There is still a lot left, so the budget for drinks can be reduced in the coming months 😉 The rest was not that crazy. For July I made a budget plan in advance. Curious? Read it here!


This month the loft ladder has finally been replaced by a real staircase! This makes the attic usable at once. Previously this was only to be used as storage, little fit through the stairwell and the stairs were really annoying to climb. Now the washing machine and dryer are there. A few months ago I already had a tiny window replaced with a full-fledged one. Now only finishing touches and I have an extra bedroom, laundry room and storage space. Not bad!

A little investment adventure

At the same time as gamestop, somewhere in January I also bought some shares of AMC. About 10 pieces for 10 euros. That was really gambling for me. I didn’t expect to get anything out of it. Gamestop was so volatile, it went up, down hard again, then up a little bit and when I was fairly level I sold it again. That memestock trading is not for me (yet).

I digress, so AMC. This one stayed in the red so I left it and had actually kind of forgotten about it. When I logged into DEGIRO, I saw that the shares were at around $38 per share. Then I sold for around 30 euros each. Still made 300 euros from 100 euros. Not like you sometimes see on Reddit in a day or in a week, but just in half a year. Still not bad if I say so myself!


This month I have read and listened again a lot.

Learn how to invest like Warren Buffet

About how Warren Buffet got so filthy rich. He finds out per company what the value of a company is, how the owners and executives run the company, for what value shares of the company are for sale, when it is best to buy. And above all. If you buy stocks, never sell them again. Buy and hold! His success did not come in one day. He has been investing for almost 80 years. And as we know from the compound interest effect, that’s what makes you rich. Many people stop investing when they are 65 and then retire. Then you partly get your return from your investments and then your capital will not necessarily decrease, but it will not grow as fast. Warren Buffet has happily carried on past his 65th birthday.

Your age as a gold mine

It is also pointed out here, even in the title, that you benefit from starting early. Make sure you start young and then the chance that you will build up a large capital, provided you persevere, of course, is a lot bigger. Martien van Winden also writes about risk avoiding instead of spreading and thus painfully explains why index investing (what I do) is mainly about spreading risk and not avoiding risk.

Later in the book, he lists a number of listed companies that score well on his list of suitable companies to invest in. A select group of carefully chosen investments of companies that have been listed on the stock exchange for at least 50 years, pay out dividends every year for the same amount of time and have a very large market share are solid companies. Examples: pepsico and givaudan. He also explains why the Dutch pension system is not that bad. In almost all neighboring countries, those who are now working pay the pensions of those who are now retired. In the Netherlands you build up your own pension, so the problem of fewer working people and more and more seniors is largely no problem for us, but for our neighboring countries it is.

Think and grow rich

All about your mindset. If you don’t believe 100% that you’re going to be very rich, it won’t happen. On the one hand, this is a book about manifestation. You have to believe that you will become rich, then the money will flow your way. On the other hand, it becomes clear that you have to work hard, find the right company to work with the CEO of the company and that the right connections and leadership skills are the most important. The book takes you through a step-by-step plan on how to do this. At the same time, the step-by-step plan is very unspecific. This makes it applicable to everyone, but also to no one in particular. I don’t really know what to make of it. I don’t understand why anyone who has anything to do with personal finances finds this book so great.

Start living lighter today

I thought this book was going to be about minimalism, living lighter with less stuff. Haha! Boy was I wrong there! Actually, it is a spiritual book. About enlightened living, faith, life energy, reincarnation, meditation, etc. The road to Real happiness, not the fleeting thing that is elusive and can disappear every time you experience it. Not really my genre but really very interesting! He makes a bridge with think and grow rich, which is striking, because the author of this book locked himself up in a monastery for weeks on end to meditate. Becoming rich, in money or happiness, has a lot to do with how you look at life. The similarity between the two books is that you will never succeed in becoming rich or happy if you don’t really believe in it.

Do you want to read more books? I have a blog post with tips on how to read more books.


Well about the garden. I have a real slug infestation. They have the sole purpose of eating EVERYTHING. It is now July and I have not eaten a single lettuce leaf myself. The tomatoes are doing well and so are the potato, strawberry and raspberry. The rest just sucks. For example, the onions did very well, until the tops of ALL onions were chewed in half in 1 night. I can’t fight that!

Towards the end of the month and early July I have happily re-sowed, so hopefully in about 6 weeks I will have more to eat than just strawberry, raspberry, potato and tomato. Though nothing is wrong with those 😉

What have you done in the past month? And do you have any tips against the snails?

Until next time!


Dear diary, what i did in May 2021

What a month! Welcome to my diary of may 2021. The weather did not improve yet, I was ill for too long, I could not finish a single book and the garden, well the weeds grow better than the vegetable garden unfortunately. In the last weekend I could be found in the countryside for a few days. I also participated in a clean-up campaign to clear up cigarette butts. I also followed an online visibility training. I got a lot of inspiration there about how to present yourself online. Now I have facebook and instagram. Zarayda, who gave the training, also encourages to do more with video, but that’s scary!

Tiny deer


In terms of books, I had started the Donut Economy by Kate Raworth. To be honest, I couldn’t get through this. I understand that there is a very good philosophy behind this. Fortunately, I was also able to find the book as an audiobook in the library’s app. I bet I’m going to listen to this book. That will be vastly better.

Now I started in Think and Get Rich of Napoleon Hill. A true classic. Not finished yet so stay tuned for that…


Audiobooks went better. This month I listened to Normal People by Salley Rooney. A compelling story about two teenagers who have nothing in common, but who nevertheless develop a very strong bond. About how they influence each other. A book in which nothing happened, but you still want to keep listening for everything to happen. Highly recommended if you like novels.

Miljonair met een gewone baan (Million with a regular job) is a Dutch classic by Oeds-Jan Postma and cannot be missed from the list. Actually, this is exactly what I’m preaching here on my blog. I am going to buy the paper version of this. I can draw inspiration from that to write articles about for a long time to come. Because of the power of repetition, it never gets old to talk about these topics. I myself need a continuous flow of encouragement not to buy new things, for example, but to keep myself under control. That’s why I listen to podcasts from The Minimalists and read blogs about minimalism. Same goed for keeping your finances in check. Keep reading about the same topics for encouragement.

And then…

I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Make Over. What a mess is that book. Talking about the 7 steps to getting out of debt but the first half of the book was a sales pitch about how many lives it changed and how great the program was. It took a long time before he came to the actual steps. I’ll spare you the trouble and time and summarize them:

1. Save 1000 euros

2. Pay Off Debt on Your Mortgage Already

3. Save 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund

4. Set aside 15% for your pension

5. Save for your children’s studies

6. Pay off your mortgage faster

7. Build wealth and give to charities

So. Now you know what Dave Ramsey thinks about building wealth.


In addition, I watched Explained Money on Netflix. There are five episodes of 22 minutes each. Unfortunately, there are three episodes about the system in America. Interesting to see how things like student loans, pensions and credit cards are arranged there. That made it clear to me why it is so difficult in the US to get rid of your credit card debt or your student loan. An example was given of someone who had 80,000 in student debt. After paying off 120,000, there was still 78,000 left. The rest was spent on interest. Such a battle cannot be won, it’s rediculous. This situation does explain why it is so important not to get into debt. The compound interest then works in the opposite direction. Sometimes as much as 25% rent is paid per loan!

I also listened to Peter de Ruiter’s audio documentary about investing in bitcoins. He gives a performance in the world of cryptocurrency, various companies and individuals investing in cryptos. Because so much is happening in the world of cryptocurrencies, it is already an outdated documentary. Still, it gives a good explanation of what it is and what you can do with it.


May was just like April a great month! A weekend away and some presents were just about the expenses in addition to the fixed costs of the house, car and groceries. And strepsils, lots and lots of strepsils. A very short summary but there is really not much more to say about it. For entertainment, a gamenight is priceless.

game of catan

The garden

Okay garden then. As I wrote in the introduction, the weeds are in their heyday, but the vegetable garden is left behind. June will be better for the greens I hope.

What have you been up to?

Until next time,


Dear diary – What i did in april

April 2021

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

A fun game of monopoly 🙂


The intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham.

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

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

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

Random pig on a random walk. Hi!

Human kind, a hopefully history.

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

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

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

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

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

Blondjes beleggen beter (Blondes are better investors)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

In the garden

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

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

What did you do in April?

Until next time!


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 (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 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,


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.