7 lessons I learned from the finance course on Instagram

Because I would like to reach FIRE (Financial independent and Retire early) in a few years and want to get rid of my student debt as soon as possible, I took part in the PorteRenee financial course. In this week long Instagram course I learned the following 7 things.

Demotivator

The first assignment was to keep track of all your expenses for a month and how you feel when you spend them. The idea behind this is that there is an emotion behind a certain purchase that makes you buy things that are not needed.

In my student days I kept track of exactly what I spent and at what. So now again I am doing it for a month for even the smallest expenses.

A nice tool is the Demotivator. With this tool you enter the amount for a purchase and your income and then the tool calculates for you how many hours you have worked for this purchase. If you do this before you buy something, you will not buy anything anymore.

Weekly money

Work with weekly money instead of monthly money for groceries and fun things (Can also be used for gasoline, etc). As a result, you cannot spend everything at once at the beginning of the month. If you spend it immediately after you have transferred your weekly money, you will have a second chance the next week to budget more.

Open different accounts or jars

At Banks like MoneyYou and Knab you can open jars or different (savings) accounts without it costing more. As a result, as soon as your money is received, you can distribute it among these jars and then your money has a destination and then you can no longer spend it on things that you do not need.

Pay yourself first

I already apply this principle in my company, but now it should be done privately. So every incoming money I will allocate a percentage to fun stuff and investment jar in addition to a percentage of course for fixed expenses and other jars.

Patience don’t buy right away

Put together a list of things you want and then you can budget to buy them. But even more important if they are on that list, it will automatically become clear whether you really want them or not. Maybe you think later after 30 days I don’t want it anymore and then you have saved again.

Make it more difficult for yourself to make purchases

For example, remove your payment details from online web shops, so that you have to fill them in every time you want to buy something. You have to do more to get it, so you will think about the purchase and then you do it less quickly.

Create a mood board

Create a mood board with your big dream on it and hang it somewhere you pass frequently, so you are constantly reminded of your dream and saving money for it instead of spending it on things you don’t need.

Bonus with paying yourself first principle I managed to reach 60 percent of my investment goal already this year. Thanks to some investment profits.

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7 Tips to save on groceries

Groceries always come out more expensive than you had in mind and then you also forget some ingredients and you have to go back and take too much with you. Do you recognize this? Then these tips are also useful for you.

Make a weekly menu

By deciding in advance what you will eat, you only get the products that are needed for your meals that week in the supermarket. You no longer have to decide in the store what to eat and then take things with you for more than you can eat in a week. You can save even more by connecting the menus during the week, so that you can use ingredients that are left over from one meal into another one.

Create a shopping list

Having a shopping list and sticking to it keeps you in control of spending on groceries. Also take a look at what you already have at home and do not put it on your shopping list. Don’t be tempted to buy other things that aren’t on your list. Put some tasty things on your list so you don’t have to feel tempted in the store to buy something that is not on your list. Once caught something that is not on your list then you think oh that is also possible.

Shop for groceries once a week

The less you are in the supermarket, the less tempted you are to buy more. Pick a day and go with your list and buy everything you need.

Leave A-brands

Leave the A-brands and choose a good alternative house brand if you can. Saves a lot of money. A-brands are often at eye level, but if you look down or up, you see the house brands and they are often just as good. Sometimes they even come from the same factory.

Do not go shopping with an empty stomach or children

If you are hungry, you can buy everything that you like at the moment, because your stomach tells you that you need it. You don’t need them at all. Eat something and then go shopping and leave your children at home, because they often want something and that is not on your shopping list, so you spend more money than budgeted.

Eat leftovers

If you have food left over, you can easily eat it another day, so keep it. It is nice for lunch or sometimes you can freeze it. So storing leftovers doesn’t have to mean eating the same food for three days.

What amount to budget for groceries

If you have no idea how big you should budget for food, NIBUD has guidelines you can try out to see what your shopping budget will be. I took there guidlines and put my groceries budget at 49 euros a week including small groceries as a bottle of water and lunch out.

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I don’t want to know about my student debt

Last week I took part in the student debt challenge of Maaike van fuck that student debt (fuck die studieschuld). I have been following her for a while and saw the challenge and thought Lets see. The challenge consisted of 7 assignments in 7 days. Here are the challanges and how I did them.

Challenge 1 No spending

The first day was immediately a tough challenge. You weren’t allowed to spend that day. Neither cash, nor debit cards and not via internet. That day I had to send a registered mail to one of my clients. So I had to get out of the house and to the mall. I did it. I only paid for it that day (That was allowed).

I am not someone who buys, buys and buys. Still, it was difficult not to go to supermarket and get something that day. I survived the first challenge.

Challenge 2 Pocket change

Find small amounts that you spend on your account and choose one and don’t spend it for a whole week. This was a little easier now with Corona measures than usual, because when I work on location I sometimes buy lunch. Those are small amounts, but quite often. This also worked more or less this week, because on Thursday when I was working on location my water bottle broke and so I bought water. Little cheat 😊.

Challenge 3 Repayment goal

On day 3 you had to come up with a repayment goal. So I have thought that of every part of an invoice amount that goes to private (this is a fixed percentage per invoice), 2 percent of that will go to my student debt. I opened a special redemption savings account in Knab for this, because you can transfer a minimum of 5 euros to Duo. And since it concerns every invoice that I get paid, it can be large or small amounts. Every time there is 5 euros on it, I will transfer it.

I also have a nice thermometer hanging to visualize my goal. I am curious how much will be gone by the end of 2020. You can help😊 by buying my Excel ecourses or making your purchase at bol.com and booking through my website. On the side you see the banners to make your purchase.

Challenge 4 Sell something

Sell ​​one thing. I already had a stand for the laptop on Marktplaats (Dutch ebay) and I added a large storage box. I no longer need both, because the first does not fit my laptop and the second I have cleaned up and put away those things, minimizing remains a goal for me. This assignment was a breeze for me.

Challenge 5 Tell about your student debt

Tell someone about your student debt. Most people around me know that I have a student debt, but not how big it is. Until 2012, I paid more than the minimum amount each month. That was easy with my salary back then. When I started for myself, it did not seem wise to me, because I first had to look and have a buffer. After that, I went on a trip and paused the payoff or paid off the minimum so far. I have over 33,000 euros left to pay off. So I told someone, you the reader 😊.

Challenge 6 Less ads

Make sure you get less advertisment. Because I adhere to minimalism, I receive little to no advertisment. I went through my email anyway and canceled two more newsletters. I already had a Yes / No sticker so no problems there.

Challenge 7 Pay a small amount to your student debt

Transfer an amount to Duo. Okay, I didn’t expect that. Do I really have to transfer an amount to Duo right now? I have not sold anything through Marktplaats so that money was not there to transfer. Oke, I will transfer 5 euros! So my first repayment in years has been done! Although the minimum that is allowed, but a start.

The challenges were nice challenges and got me thinking about my student debt. It is my own fault that I still have it. And it has to go, because otherwise the capital that I am building with investing has no value. So Duo can expect a lot of 5 euro transfer from me.

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I share 5 lessons with you that I learned from the book Blondies Invest Better (Dutch book Blondjes beleggen beter). Well, I am far from blonde, but a woman so this title appealed to me. Plus I am looking into investing so this book came at a good time. The book contains many good tips and explains many terms from the investment world. So a must for beginners to read.

Blondjes Beleggen Beter
Blondjes Beleggen Beter
In 7 stappen naar simpel en succesvol beleggen
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Blondjes beleggen beter
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In 7 stappen naar simpel en succesvol beleggen
Score 4.4 out of 5 stars.
€11,99
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Lesson 1: Investing is possible in anything

You can invest in:

  • Own company
  • Antiques
  • Art
  • Classic cars
  • Holiday home
  • Crypto Currency
  • On the stock exchange: Shares, bonds and other securities.

This book is about investing in the stock market. I have been investing in crowdfunding since 2013 and with savings you get very little return in Europe. So the next step is to invest appropriately on the stock market. The book discusses the different ways of investing on the stock exchange.

Lesson 2: You can practice investing

The book lists a number of “games” with which you can practice investing on the stock exchange. A good step as a first time investor to invest with fictitious money. Note that the games are mainly about short-term profit, while in practice investing in investing is long-term profit.

Lesson 3: Diversification is the magic word

I will continue to save to have a buffer for unexpected events. I am thinking of having a constant 3 months income on my savings account. So if you use it immediately replenish. Furthermore, I have now set up crowdfunding quite nicely and I earn from it. So I will continue to do that. Now it is time to start investing, there too I go into investing for diversification. For example, I let Brightpensioen invest for me and I will invest myself through Degiro. I will seek diversification in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. So a mix of these.

Lesson 4: Map your finances

For years I have been making a budget for my company Databeet as well as for private use, so I map out my finances. In addition, I set goals. In the book, the writer gives the tip to set both 5-year goals and 5-10-year goals, because you have to take this into account when you make your choice in what you invest.

Lesson 5: Set a limit for buying and selling and check your order

You can set for how much money you want to buy a certain share and how much and then the system automatically executes this assignment for you when that price is reached. It is also useful to set a limit on which you want to sell. And a very important tip is to check your order before sending it, so that you don’t buy too many / too few or weird things.

Blondjes Beleggen Beter
Blondjes Beleggen Beter
In 7 stappen naar simpel en succesvol beleggen
Score 4.4 out of 5 stars.
€20,-
Op voorraad. Voor 23:59 uur besteld, maandag in huis
Free shipping!
Click to view this product at bol.com
    
Blondjes beleggen beter
Blondjes beleggen beter
In 7 stappen naar simpel en succesvol beleggen
Score 4.4 out of 5 stars.
€11,99
Direct beschikbaar
Click to view this product at bol.com

Are you also taking your first steps in investing or are you already busy? What tips do you have?

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*The links to Brightpensioen and Degiro help you to get something extra. I also get something extra if you use the links.

*The books link to bol.com, if you buy them through the link I earn a percentages of the sale. You don’t pay more money for using the links.

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Track worked hours in Excel

For the tax authorities you have to keep track of how many hours you spend on your company to meet the hours criterion. It is also useful for yourself to keep track of how many hours you spend on something. In the beginning I kept that detailed in Excel. I would like to share this Excel (Dutch version) with you.

The Excel

All tabs

The first picture gives you an overview of the tabs that are available. For every week I have created a tab and given a number. These are the weeks in which you can indicate your hours per week. In the Memo tab you can see calculations with the number of hours worked and in the tab Year overview hours you can see the amount of hours that you have spent per project in a year.

The week

Week

On the tabs week 1 to week 52 you fill in the hours you spent on a certain project. The names of the projects appear here themselves, because you enter them on the tab Year overview hours. You look up the date and project and then arrive at a cell and fill in how many hours you have worked on the project that day.

The system automatically counts on how many hours you have worked that day or week. In column J you can see how many hours you spent on the project in that week.

To use this Excel for another year, copy the file. Empty it with the entered hours. And at week 1 on Monday you enter the date that falls on Monday in the week of 1 January. Fore 2019 this is 31 Dec. If you fill this in, the other data will change automatically and the overview will be ready for another year.

Excel tab Annual overview hours

Year overview hours

In the Annual overview hours tab you enter the projects you are working on. This is possible at any time. You do not have to put all projects down at once. First note down the project and then the hours in the week tabs, otherwise you do not see which project is involved. This is possible in Column A. At indirect hours I have already put some things fore you. Be free to adjust them. This can be done on this tab.

In column BC you see the total number of hours you have worked in the year on a project. I have hidden the intermediate columns, with the hours per week. They would only make the overview unclear.

Memo tab

Memo

You do not have to fill in anything on the Memo tab. You only read data here. So you can see if you meet the 1225 hours of the tax office or how many hours you still miss. You can also see for each project how large that share of hours is compared to the total number of hours.

Have fun with it, please let me know if you have any questions: gmcapella[@]yahoo.com. You can also read other blogs about Excel or use another Excel template. If you want to improve your Excel skills browse my Excel courses and see if there is one for you.

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Living of the exchange of social capital

This blog was published on the online platform Mindz of Seats2Meet in Dutch.

It started with my dream to wander for longer periods across the world. Googling I came across organizations Wwoof and Skill Stay where you in exchange for accommodation and meals will help  in people’s homes or businesses. Wwoofen is all about businesses and people who produce organic as much as possible. Skill Stay is more about skilled services offer. This was my first introduction to the concept of swapping. Through these organizations, I could make a big part of my journey through Singapore, Australia, Bali, New Zealand and Hong Kong possible. In exchange for lodging and meals I helped in the garden, on a Christmas market, in the kitchen, behind the counter and I made booklets for tourists. Very diverse tasks. The advantage of such trips is that you become part of the life of the residents up close and even partly join them. You also have time to see the area and be a tourist. In the travel world lots is possible on the basis of exchange.

When I was back in the Netherlands I continued services also through swap. Build a website in WordPress for nutrition advice and training non-violent communication, transferring Wix website to WordPress for reading and healing, etc. I wondered how far you can go with swapping? Well pretty far. From September I’m going to build a website and do marketing for a number of books in exchange for living space. So for the first life needs in Maslow’s pyramid exchange service is possible. Can we do more through swapping? Are we going to talk about a swap balance instead of a financial statement?

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Should be happy about …..

I had been trying to get an invoice paid for a while. I wasn’t successful at it so I decided to hire a debt collection company. Yesterday I heard from them that they were successful at getting the money. Yeah!!!

Although I was happy, I wasn’t that excited as two friends of mine who supported me through the process. I started a self-inquiry, I learnt in meditation: Why I wasn’t I excited about this? I found that I was besides happy, angry and sad about this whole thing.

Why angry?

I felt like betrayed by  the company I worked for, because they let me do the job and after delivery decided that they weren’t going to pay for it anymore. Simple, because they had an internal shift of power and my contact didn’t provide me with the right signatures on the job agreement. And just because I am an introvert, who doesn’t scream for her rights, they thought by intimidating me they could get away with it.

Sad

Because this happens a lot in our society. If you aren’t the person with the quick mouth and screaming about your rights you won’t be heard and your boundaries will get tested all the time. I can give you lots of examples in my life or from other introverts, but won’t bore you with that.

But now I know I can hire people to scream for me and they will do a damn good job! But still I don’t think this is the way the world should work……

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Sharing is appreciated