DutchGirl's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
NickHalden
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:48 am

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by NickHalden » Wed May 02, 2018 2:58 am

I love how you never seem to cut on charitable givings. I personally try to do to the same thing but nowhere near the numbers that you do.

The 240k goal seems quite low but reasonable if you can live off 10k a year. But don't you feel some sort of dependency on your boyfriend that way? Maybe I do not understand it correctly but you cannot live in that new house by yourself off that 10k right? Not judging in any way, but for me I would never retire if my wife wouldnt be able to do so at the same time. If you want please share your thoughts on this.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Wed May 02, 2018 4:22 pm

You're right, Nick, I couldn't live in this house on my own with an annual income of 15k euros, but I can afford half of the housing costs on 15k/year. However, if we were ever to break up, it would be possible & fun for me to move to another part of the country where houses are 30-40% cheaper, and I would probably buy a smaller and thus even cheaper house there, too. So that would be affordable on 15k of annual income.

My boyfriend wants to live in this specific area of the country. He would prefer a more expensive house than what we have now. So we compromised on this house, and for now in this area of the country. What's next? Well, we've just moved into this house and we are probably going to stay here for quite some time, so we'll see by then. Lots of things can change in a decade or more.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 am

Income in May: 5200 euros (lots of vacation money), expenses 2700 euros.
Total income after taxes for 2018 so far 18,900. Total expenses so far 13,340, so a savings rate of 30%.

Charitable expenses of 700 euros, mortgage payment of 1000 euros roughly. June is going to be the last month with high expenses on charities for 2018, after that my expenses should go down - meaning I'll hopefully be able to see that savings rate rise a bit more.

I've "designed" an asset allocation for myself a few years ago, with a specific ratio of bonds, stocks and savings. I also at that point decided what I wanted my actual components to be in the end, so if which specific fund I'd like to have how much before pulling the plug. I'm not giving details here, because my asset allocation and my choices are good for me personally in my situation, and others will have other ideas for their situation - I don't think it's worth discussing. But this month I reached the desired amount for one of my funds, so that's a milestone. Of all seven of my desired funds, I now have three down, and four more to go.

A colleague of mine is reducing her work hours, so our boss asked us who wanted to work more hours. So from July onwards, I'll be working 32 hours per week instead of 28 hours per week at my main job. Still way less hours than many other people, but my schedule is irregular, and it will probably mean working three 8 hour- and two 4 hour-days per week, including lots of evenings. In return I'm planning to "let go" of one of my side income streams that pays way less per hour than my main job (its benefit was that it was more flexible and the work-from-home type of thing). Hopefully this will help me to keep a nice balance in my life, as I'm prone to burnout/depression if I don't get enough time to unwind.

We still need to get some stuff done at the house, like changing the garden, isolating the walls and changing the windows to more energy-efficient ones. This will cost money, but at least some of these things will also need to be done only once and will then produce ongoing savings, as well. However, it's been hard to set things in motion over the last month or so. So these things will be on my to do list for June...

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed May 30, 2018 3:06 am

It's so great that you contribute this much to charities.
I love to read/hear from people like you (or my little sister, who does the same) because it keeps me humble. I also contribute to charities in larger amounts than the average, but less than you are doing.
Keep being awesome.

p.s. I was just in Amsterdam for work this last weekend, got back to Italy yesterday. I remembered it was a beautiful city but not that it was THAT beautiful.
Without all the junkie tourists that flock to the city because of the weed it would be amazing

wolf
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Location: Germany

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by wolf » Wed May 30, 2018 7:14 am

DutchGirl wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 am
But this month I reached the desired amount for one of my funds, so that's a milestone. Of all seven of my desired funds, I now have three down, and four more to go.
Well done DutchGirl!

I learned myself that having a few milestones along the way to FI is very motivating. I recently defined a milestone for my journey. I'd like to reach a certain amount of money by the end of 2019. That is shortterm and motivates me to reach it.

Also congrats to you total income in 2018. And with your increased working hours you could even earn and save more. Momentum is on your side I guess. Keep on "riding that wave" :-) But also take care for yourself in order to avoid a burnout.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Wed May 30, 2018 4:28 pm

Seppia wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 3:06 am
p.s. I was just in Amsterdam for work this last weekend, got back to Italy yesterday. I remembered it was a beautiful city but not that it was THAT beautiful.
Without all the junkie tourists that flock to the city because of the weed it would be amazing
May I suggest you take a train to Leiden, Delft and/or Gouda the next time that you're in the area? Same type of city style, less junkies. Maybe you like it even more...


PS. I logged in again to share one "win" from May. My boyfriend's not very enthusiastic about (my plans for) early retirement. He wonders what I'll be doing when I'm retired. However, I've started tracking his networth once per month, and I've seen it grow a lot over the last few years. He recently started on a work project that'll probably last for three years and give a reasonably high income during that time. I told him that by my estimate, with his current assets plus three more years of investing, he could very well be financially "set for life" by that time. The win: he really did like that thought! Perhaps he won't stop working right then, but it seems like at least he wants to reach this milestone.

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed May 30, 2018 5:38 pm

Will definitely Italy try to take a day to travel next time I'm there, thanks for the recommendations

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Eureka
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by Eureka » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:44 am

Great to read about your progress, but hard to read that you think that not working equals "doing nothing". There are so many better and more fullfilling things to do than to be employed. You can study and gain new knowledge about whatever you desire, make smaller and bigger projects of your own, have more time to spend in nature and with people of your own choice (and not those who by chance happen to be employed at the same place as you), time to read and get fully absorbed, time to take better care of yourself, time to let things happen when you want them to and not having to postpone until weekend/vacation/old age.

Even without a job, I have so many things I'd like to do that I have to prioritize my time.

thegreatvoid
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 1:49 am

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by thegreatvoid » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:27 am

You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:00 pm

The funny thing is, Eureka and thegreatvoid, that I actually believe that my job has some meaning. I work for the blood bank. I make sure that the people who come to donate their blood are safe and well (1). And I make sure that the blood they donate is safe for the patients (1). I believe that making sure that safe blood is present in the hospitals for the patients is something that is valuable. Zooming out twenty steps, I think that helping to save people's life is generally a good thing (2).

So... to me it's relatively easy to see the benefits and value of my job and that someone does it. Me, in this case. I think by the time that I'm FIRE I'll gladly retire and let someone else do it (and earn the income from it), but I like the idea of it, and I will probably have to create new meaning for my life if I quit this job (3). And new challenges. And new structure.
Sometimes the work invigorates me and gives me energy. Sometimes it's tiring.
I'll definitely have to adapt to a life without this job, and that's okay.



(1) Very rarely this doesn't completely come true and a donor faints or gets a big bruise, or a patient gets a fever, but all in all my job adds more safety.

(2) In general ... we can discuss about whether saving a life is always worthwhile, say for example giving a specific terminally ill patient blood just means he lives one more week in pain and discomfort, or one more week in an unconscious state of mind, and then dies anyway. Worthwhile?

(3) I used to really really need to see what value my life could create for others, or else I didn't see a point at all. Talked to a psychologist who pointed out that that's just one way to see things. It probably has to do something with my past. I am a bit more relaxed about this now, but I'm guessing others still have less trouble with this "life's meaning" stuff.

chenda
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by chenda » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:31 pm

DutchGirl wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:00 pm
The funny thing is, Eureka and thegreatvoid, that I actually believe that my job has some meaning. I work for the blood bank.
I think it has a lot of meaning and that's something to treasure.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those who always faints during a blood test. Every single time...

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by herp » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:53 am

That's definitely a meaningful job in my book, DutchGirl.

My last job was working in a small business that made software solutions for publishers. While the product was reasonably meaningful, I just didn't have great hopes for the future of the business, as I didn't think the quality of the products and services was all that great, and the infrastructure made it very hard to improve upon (not something a single employee can meaningfully do, anyway).

Now I work in the public sector with personnel administration (as a developer). While it may sound boring at first, it at least has some meaning as many thousand people are dependent on it.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:11 pm

chenda wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:31 pm
Unfortunately, I'm one of those who always faints during a blood test. Every single time...
Aww, poor you. Yes, Chenda, some people just have that. So I guess we won't be seeing you at the blood bank, and that's okay. Others can do that without breaking a sweat. And you're probably really good at doing some other things that other people can't do.

chenda
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by chenda » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:44 pm

@Dutchgirl - thanks! maybe ;)

DutchGirl
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:59 am

June results: income 3700, expenses 3000 euros.
Total income after taxes for 2018 so far 22,600. Total expenses so far 16,340, so a savings rate for the year of 28%.

We bought furniture this month, my share was slightly over 500 euros which is ouch & sigh. But the upside is that we now have real clothing cabinets and a nice guest bedroom. Especially the cabinets were something that was irking me, as our clothes so far had been on wooden shelves out in the open, which brings a lot of dust and a chaotic touch to a room... My boyfriend on the other hand was super glad with the new guest bedroom, as he has always felt uncomfortable inviting people over before, when they had to sleep on the couch (or, if we wanted, we would have to sleep on the couch). We have already used it to host my parents, and his parents are probably next in a few weeks.

All in all we are getting close to "the perfect house", where the kitchen, sitting room, bathroom, bedroom and guest room now are fully functional and furnished. I might want to knock on wood here, because who knows when the next leak springs or whatever. But okay, hopefully we're getting closer to the situation where we'll only have the regular expenses for housing.

There was also another charitable donation during June, the last big one for 2018, of 600 euros.

I already worked some extra hours this month, and was just informed that they will be paid to me in the next month (instead of being carried forward as already-worked hours for the next month or so), so I'll see a reasonably nice uptick in salary in July (roughly 400 euros more than normal). From the first of July I'll officially work more hours per month, so in August there should be a sustained increased salary of roughly 10% or so more than before.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:23 am

DutchGirl wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:59 am
All in all we are getting close to "the perfect house", where the kitchen, sitting room, bathroom, bedroom and guest room now are fully functional and furnished. I might want to knock on wood here, because who knows when the next leak springs or whatever.
Last night we heard a noise. Upon investigating, it turns out that part of the ceiling came down in the study room. Hmm. We had this made 6 months ago, so we have to contact the handyman to come back and fix this issue.

DutchGirl
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:14 am

Random conversation last week:

The BF: "So you really think I can retire in three years time, when I've finished the current project?"
Me, while quickly pulling up the excelfile to check his numbers: "Do you know how much you're spending per month?"
The BF: "No, not really."
Me: "Hmm, in three years time you'd probably have enough to retire. You'd be able to spend 25k euros/year forever, and I think you're actually spending way less than that."
The BF: "Hmmm... I don't think I will retire. But it's nice to know that by that time I don't have to worry about getting a new project ASAP. Instead I'll be able to pick one I like."

Yes, yes! Now we're talking... :-)

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by herp » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:41 am

Well done, DutchGirl! It seems that he's slowly coming over to join us :twisted:

Were you able to get the ceiling issue resolved?

DutchGirl
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Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:57 am

They're coming today to clean the "remaining" ceiling to prepare it for a new layer of stucco (or plaster or drywall (dryceiling) or something like that). The hypothesis is that the previous time, they prepared the new ceiling onto an old layer of paint, and that the layer of paint couldn't hold the added weight. If you look at the pieces that have come down, then that very well might be the case. Where the pieces have come down, the ceiling is now bare (no paint). So you could see it as a quite expensive and very time-consuming way to remove a layer of paint...

We've cleared the room so that they can work. That sucked, but it took only an hour or so of our time.

I had hoped that my salary would come in on Friday, as I have very little left in my bank account (and I refuse to take money out of investments or CDs). However, it didn't, so I'll have to wait until Monday and just be a bit frugal until then. I already know that my paycheck is bigger due to a one-time bonus, which is going to be nice. I plan to put 1000 euros in savings as a small immediate-emergency fund. The rest will still go to bills and to investments, because I like to see my investments grow...

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: DutchGirl's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:15 pm

The men came on Tuesday afternoon and stripped the ceiling clean so that they can put a new one up when they have time. Then on Wednesday I went upstairs to open some windows, and I discovered that now the ceiling is coming down in the other room as well. That's the room where we put all of the stuff of the other room so that the workers could work.

I work a full work week this week, so I'll think more about this after today. It has been a tough week. The weather is very hot here; and on Monday and Tuesday I worked at a location with a failing airco system. I'll work there again today and am not looking forward to it. (Perhaps the best thing about today is that we start at 8 AM and end at 4 PM, while on Monday and Tuesday I worked until 9 PM).
There were a lot of unhappy, complaining colleagues as well, and we've tried to get someone to promise us that they will look at the airconditioning and spend some money on repairing / upgrading it, but so far no takers from the main office/work conditions department.

The weather will probably cool down a bit this weekend, so next week should be better.

My salary came in on Monday morning, so I paid all the bills, put some money in the savings account and transfered the rest to my investment account. That was fun :)

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