From shopping addict to financial minimalist?
People usually say I’m a driven and busy person. Pursuing my Master’s Degree at a university here in The Netherlands, working part-time at an international Accountants & Tax Advisor company and trying to maintain some sort of social life. But still, this wasn’t satisfying enough.
Starting at the university at 17 led me to getting my Bachelors Degree at the young age of 20. I am planning on achieving my Master’s Degree in Tax Law somewhere next year, which means I will be 21 or 22 when I have my Masters Degree. In the current economy, graduating at 22 means I will have to work for at least 50 more years. Finding this out was like running into a brick wall. All this hard work, just to… work harder for so many years?
I realized soon that I was not going to allow this to be my future. This is when I started reading more about personal finance and I found out that I was not alone in this journey. Thousands of people went before me pursuing their financial independence. And… if they can do it, why can’t I?
My personal problem
Like many others, starting to work on your personal finances begins by making an overview of everything that comes in and everything that goes out of your bank account. By doing this, I had to confront the one thing that I’d like to just forget about: my shopping addiction.
Ever since I was young I loved new clothing, pretty shoes and could spend hours searching for the perfect handbag. My parents always said: “If you want something, you can work for it.” So I did. I started my first official job when I was 12, bringing around newspapers. I also made money babysitting, taking care of people’s pets, washing cars and vacuuming. Every euro made was taken to the store and to buy me new clothing, a new phone or new jewelry.
This lifestyle continued on when I turned 19 and when I moved into my own apartment. I was lucky to be able to purchase my own apartment with some help from family. I am eternally grateful that they trust me enough to give me a loan to finance my apartment, but I did realize that there was no turning back. I had around 175.000 euros of debt to my name at the young age of 19.
Doing what I do best, I continued working and continued spending my money. I was making all the payments for my mortgage, so I was doing fine, right? But it does not really work that way. If I continue spending money the way I was doing, there is no way I can afford to pay back my mortgage. I was recklessly spending hundreds or thousands of euros every month on clothing, shoes, and handbags.
I realize now that it is time to take matters into my own hands. With this blog, I am going to track my progress and keep myself on the right path. The path to paying off my mortgage, becoming financially independent and living my best life.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org!