Karen: “We give up these things to become financially independent.”

Karen: “We give up these things to become financially independent.”

Karen and her boyfriend want to be financially independent. That’s why they don’t have to choose. They can no longer spend money as easily as they used to. But is this bad?

We still live in our first landlord’s house that we bought with a starting salary. We both now earn a lot and can easily buy a bigger house. But we don’t. We love having low mortgage payments. This way we can spend our money on other things and save and invest a lot.

In this way we can finally (to a large extent) determine how we spend our days. For example, a lower paying but nicer job, more free time or perhaps a second (holiday) home in the future. Freedom of choice is more valuable to us than a big house. This applies not only to the house, but to many more things.

Overseas flights

We once went on a flying holiday abroad every year. After all, we wanted to discover good weather and new countries and cultures. Somewhere I still regularly yearn for beautiful Greek islands with clear blue waters or soaring Swiss mountains With beautiful views. However, we have decided not to do so for the time being. First, it costs a lot of money with – now – two young children.

Besides, there is a lot of trouble. Kids actually have much better fun at a campsite in their own country with other kids. This allows us to read a book and really enjoy a vacation. So we save a lot of money and have a much better feeling of being on vacation ourselves.

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Buy new games

When our eldest son was still an infant or toddler, we were very easy about buying toys. Every now and then we thought: He could use some new entertainment, and then we bought something from the local Intertoys. Great sin! Marktplaats is bursting with used games. Of course, kids don’t see the difference even when you save a lot of money. Whether it’s for their birthday, just because or for Sinterklaas: I always buy it second hand these days. Great for those who want to clean out their attic and great for us to save money.

Buy a lot of (quick) costumes

During my school days and especially in the beginning of my working life, I managed to spend a lot of money on clothes. Occasionally on something very expensive, but often fast fashion. There’s H&M here, and there’s Primark there. Did it really make me happy? no. The clothes may have been cheap, but because they quickly became unsightly, I also had to buy new clothes.

I know now that a lot of clothes don’t make me happy. Instead, I’d rather stock up on some high-quality, timeless items and pocket the cash I keep with them. (Tip: Once you know which brand is cute and matches your taste and personality, you can check Vinted to see if you can hand-register it.)

out to dinner

Eating used to be a hobby. Not in the least, because I hate cooking and I’m not very good at it either. But what did it turn out? If you practice often enough, you’ll get better at it – and it’ll be more fun. Moreover, prices for catering services have risen sharply with restaurant prices increasing rapidly.

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So we make it more comfortable at home more often. Bake pie books with the kids instead of going to the pie house or lighting up the barbecue so much in the summer. Do we want quality time In Paris? Then we send the kids to bed after a frankfurter and then order some food together (it’s cheaper than eating out after all) or cook together. It also saves on babysitting costs.

Buy new tools

Latest iPhone, trendy smartwatch: I don’t buy it all. It costs tons of money and also ensures that I stare at screens a lot. That’s why I’m living a pretty gadget-free life these days. I only have an old smartphone and a tablet that we use for the kids. I love music, but do I need speakers across the room to enjoy it? never!

a smart home I think it’s really cool, but do I need it to live a comfortable life? of course no. Because you know what it is about gadgets? There is always a new version coming. better. The most beautiful. And before you know it, you’re spending hundreds of euros a year on it.

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