Reasons I Blog in English

It’s been just over a year and a half now that I started blogging about personal finance. As a Dutch guy, I started my first blog in Dutch. You can still find it over at Ontsladebaas.nl. The blog is still up, all the Dutch articles can be found there. But why do I blog in English? Read the full article here on Fire The Boss.

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October 2018 overview

This monthly overview is very, very late. I know. I have not been paying attention, and since I was putting out blog articles regularly, I didn’t see that my October update was lacking. Since we’re almost into December, there’s still time. Here’s my October 2018 overview! In financial terms, I did way better in October than I did in September. My savings rate was extremely low, at a lean 15.7% but that was due to HR messing up my tax withholdings in September. Year to date, my savings rate is now 39.7%. This means that in November and December I have…

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The Power of the Side Hustle

There are hundreds of potentials ways to make money in your spare time. Just search for side hustle ideas online and you’ll get blog after blog listing potential side hustles. From my standpoint, I recognise three types of side hustles. The first is simply trading time for money. You will spend hours working for someone else, in exchange for pay. This is the easiest type to break into, but also the least scalable. The second type is already more passive, but still requires your attention. An example would be buying and selling things online, a.k.a. flipping. The third and most…

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The Dutch Retirement System

Here in The Netherlands, there are three pillars to our retirement system. The first pillar is the government’s social security payment. The second pillar is the retirement that you save for with or through your employer. This can be a defined benefits pension or a defined contributions retirement account. The third pillar is everything you arrange yourself. Sometimes this can be a pre-tax retirement account, but usually it’s also after-tax savings, investments, or real estate. Read more.

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Why You Need an Investor Policy Statement

An Investor Policy Statement is a document that outlays your investment goals, desired strategies, asset allocations, contingency plans, and concrete plans on how you’ll invest. This IPS will very likely be a living document, that changes as your life changes. However, it shouldn’t change too often. The reason is simple. You lay out your investment goals and strategies for the long term and they simply shouldn’t change too dramatically too often. I find myself wanting to chase the next shiny object, and the next one, instead of following the plan. My IPS is now the plan so I have some…

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What Would You Do With 1 Million Euros?

One. Million. Euros. That’s a lot of money. Like seriously, a lot. Here in The Netherlands, a million euros is still considered a metric shit ton of money. In the USA, if you make Silicon Valley programmer’s money, or New York City banker’s money, a million is something you can save up in a couple of years. In The Netherlands, a million euros is a lot. Not a lot of jobs pay the kind of money you would earn in the aforementioned US-based jobs, plus our government will take a large chunk of your hard-earned salary (up to 52%). So…

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You Need a Budget – YNAB (part 4)

After you’ve given every euro a job, embraced your true expenses, and are rolling with the punches, the last step to take is ageing your hard earned money. You need to do this so that you can live on last month’s income and thus break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. Have you ever postponed paying a bill because you get your salary in a couple of days? If so, you really need this YNAB rule number four. This rule makes you build up a cash buffer of at least a month, so that you no longer have to float your expenses towards your salary….

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De (on)zin van een emergency fund

Common wisdom in the personal finance world is to have at least 3/4/5/6/9/12 months of expenses in an emergency fund. The money in this fund is used as a cash buffer, not to be invested but to be ready when something bad happens to you. In general, this is really good advice. But for the die-hard FIRE people, do you really need an emergency fund? Having a large sum of cash can certainly help you out when you’re in need. But it also has some negative implications. Cash drag is one example. In this post I dive deeper into the…

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How I Analyse: My Personal Finance Dashboards

To measure is to know, also in the personal finance world. Tracking your income and expenses, investments and net worth should become a standard for individuals striving to reach financial independence. I have a set of personal finance dashboards that I use to keep on top of my finances. Do you too? Measuring is the key to improving. Before you know what to improve on, you have to measure first. That’s what I do with my personal finance dashboards where I track every single transaction, and aggregate them to show numbers such as my savings rate, total net worth, and FI…

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I Cancelled My Luxury Credit Card

I’m not your regular die-hard travel hacker. Nor am I very proficient in credit card churning. But I did own an American Express Gold card for the last two years, via FlyingBlue, the airline miles program from KLM and partners. The FB Gold card is considered a luxury credit card, at least here in The Netherlands. Its price tag of 170 euros per year is pretty steep, considering that you can just get a credit card for free via most banks if you have a checking account with them. What makes the Amex FlyingBlue Gold card so special then? And why did…

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