I’ve changed money tactics every so often, because I’m not really good with money yet. I didn’t know what my priorities were and I’ve lived accordingly.
Before, it was about loaning money at a 0% interest rate in order to invest 100EU a week in ETFs which should return 8% per annum over the long run. That sounded like a good deal, until I realized I was loaning double the amount I was investing and spending it on things I don’t really need.
So I did some research. It let me to Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, of whom I’ve bought a book about personal finance with the same title. It led me to Dave Ramsey, who made 7 Baby Steps to Financial Success. I found Mr. Money Mustache and Victor Pride,
Minimalists, frugal people, disciplined people.
All this reading got me thinking. What do I want?
Man, I just want a house in the woods where I can paint some girl nude, take long walks through a forest and not have to worry about food and shelter. Fuck having your kids grow up in a city. I met some teenagers this night who have done more drugs at 18 than me in my whole life. It’s a bad influence, man. Peer pressure and everything. Amsterdam is the crime capital of the Netherlands, is something I saw on TV. Apparently all the hotshot cocaine lords are investing in real estate now, so you could be renting a house in Amsterdam and fueling some cocaine deal while you don’t even know it. I thought I could let my kids grow up in Gouda, but the drugs have found Gouda too. Fuck, man. Shattered dreams.
No, the only place you’re safe is in the woods. Okay, well, sure. How do I get so far that I can live in the woods? By having enough money to buy a house there, dummy.
So then I took a look at my numbers and found out the following:
My net worth has actually decreased. Apparently I’m spending money like water. Oops. Do I apply the resolutions I make in my newfound love for writing? Apparently not so much. Something to learn from.
Which leads me to the following point. What I learned from Ramit was that you can spend frivolously on the things you love, as long as you cut back on the things you don’t really love.
I love having a house of my own in a quiet place with room enough to paint. I don’t really love eating hamburgers at snackbars at 10EU each.
I love being fit and going to a gym.
I don’t really love smoking cigarettes.
I love being around family and people that I like.
I don’t really love sitting around in coffeeshops and spending 4EU on a cup of cappuccino, unless it’s with friends.
I love reading books.
I don’t love being around drunk people anymore.
Fair enough. So I’ll have to adjust my lifestyle according to my observations. Focus on hitting that gym daily, drink my coffee at home, add cheap groceries (big fan of meal shakes lately, they fill you up and are pretty cheap) to the mix and quit smoking cigarettes.
What I also learned from Ramit is that you can automate your finances so your money ends up where it needs to end up before you even see it. You just automate your bank transfers to the right accounts, and boom, you’re saving, investing or paying off debt automatically at a faster rate without it feeling like you’re taking a paycut.
That’s exactly what I’ve done now. I’ve set up my bank account so that it transfers 100EU a week to my student loan debts, and I’ve calculated that I can end my studies without any debt if I just keep working my sidejob! It’s all automated now, part of the calculation.
So, I will keep grinding and will keep you updated. We’re all going to make it, boys and girls. Just have to keep educating myself.
Now that’s what I call a positive outlook on life.
Until next time.