Bloggers on FIRE – Radical FIRE

In our Bloggers on FIRE series, we interview European FI bloggers to find out what makes them tick. Our aim is to build up a “who’s who” directory for the European FI blogging world. We hope you enjoy the series and discover some new blogs to follow. You can find a full list of our Bloggers on FIRE interviews here.

Please briefly introduce yourself to readers

Hi friends, I’m a 25-year-old gal from the Netherlands. In normal life, I work as a financial consultant and blogging is my passion that I do outside the 9-to-5.

From September to December this year I’m living my best life in the form of a mini-retirement, where I am traveling through Central America with my partner. We’ve visited Curacao, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, and we’re currently in Mexico. I am LOVING it and I wish I could do this forever!

Besides this, I’m focused on building my passive income with peer-to-peer lending and investing in the stock market. My dream is to have enough passive income monthly to quit my day job and help people on the side with reaching their financial goals and living their dream life!

What is your backstory?

When I was six years old, my father passed away because of skin cancer. My mom raised me and my sister and found a new partner after a few years. In 2008 our families moved in together, in a new (enormous) house. Later that year, my stepdad lost his job and our house lost half of its value. With no income and a high monthly mortgage, my mom started working again while my step-dad looked for other jobs. Every month there was barely enough money to go around.

That was the moment I decided that I never wanted to end up like that and would do anything to make sure I had a future without any financial pressure.

In 2012 I went to university and I was completely independent of my parents financially. I earned my own money, got a monthly contribution from the government, and lived with roommates. Yes, I spend a lot of money to fit in, but I’ve learned from that greatly.

In 2018 I started working my first full-time job and I noticed after a few months that this was not what I wanted to do for another 50 years. I started looking into passive income and started investing in peer-to-peer lending. Besides that, I continued to live my normal life.

In November 2018 I visited Millionaire Mind Intensive, which is an event about creating your dream life and overcoming the limiting beliefs. This is where the concept of financial independence was first explained to me.

Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?

Financial Independence is the way I can do whatever I want. I love having that freedom and it’s one of my core values. Freedom to do what you want with your time, freedom to pursue anything you’re interested in, and really experience that freedom explicitly. 

When I am in a working environment, it feels like I’m being controlled. I can’t come to the office when I want, I can’t leave the office when I want, and I can’t do at the office what I want. Restrictions and feeling like you MUST do something does not work for me, they just give me a great desire to break free.

How much is your “enough”?

When I am only taking my own numbers into account, I would need €300.000 EUR to retire. I don’t have high costs and I can maintain a fairly basic level of life when I need to.

Currently, I spend between €500-700 per month when I’m not traveling – with €300.000 I can spend €1000 per month assuming a 4% withdrawal rate, which would be more than enough for me.

In that nest egg of €300.000 will also be a fair amount invested in peer-to-peer lending, which is my favorite asset class by far. I started with peer-to-peer lending in 2019 and I have around €100 monthly passive income from it currently. The thing is that I do want to diversify and spread my risk since peer-to-peer lending has not been tested through any recession yet.

My peer-to-peer portfolio will give me a fair amount of passive income. At this moment I get €100 monthly passive income, with €1000 monthly passive income and stock market investments of €150.000-200.000 I would feel comfortable retiring.

These low numbers are what make me comfortable, I know I can live on a very low amount of money per month and I know that it won’t take long for me to reach financial independence. This is a great motivator for me!

Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?

I started working towards financial independence about a year ago, so I’m very much at the beginning of my FIRE journey. I feel extremely lucky and grateful that I’m currently in a position where I can pursue FIRE, and I hope to inspire many along the way that reaching financial independence is possible!

My plan is to be financially independent by the age of 35, which gives me around 10 years to do so. If I reach my passive income goal of €1000 monthly before that, I hope to retire earlier.

What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?

I spend entire days dreaming about what I would do when I would retire early – I’ve written an entire post about what I would do if I reach financial independence.

My number one thing is traveling, I love to see new places around the world. Four years ago I’ve studied in California for 5 months, two years ago I made a 4 month trip to South America, and at the moment I’m making a 4 month trip to Central America. I guess you could say I love traveling.

Bloggers on FIRE Radical FIRE

The thing I noticed in my travel is that I like to be in new places, but I would like to stay there for longer and explore a little more. Meaning that it would be so nice to travel lowly around the world, seeing new places and really discovering them. Meeting the locals and experience what the culture is like.

Besides that, I love reading. Since I could walk, I would go to the library twice per week and read all the books. When I was 9 years old, I read all the books in the kid section of the library and I could read the adult books (only after approval by the librarian).

Together with that, I love learning new things. I love to read about how I can improve myself, and I am striving to be continuously growing.

What is your strategy for reaching Financial Independence?

At this moment I’m focusing on low-cost index funds and peer-to-peer lending. Index funds or ETFs will give me a good nest egg, while peer-to-peer income would give me a monthly passive income. The combination of the two would give me great trust that I can make my retirement last indefinitely.

In a few years I would love to invest in real estate, that’s something that I will do when I am settling in one place. My dream is to work abroad for a few years before I retire, so after I settle back in the Netherlands I can start investing in real estate.

What will be your financial strategy after reaching FI?

My investment strategy after reaching FI will be a combination of withdrawing money from my nest egg (low-cost index funds) and getting passive income. My passive income will mostly be from peer-to-peer lending combined with real estate. Ideally, this will be enough to cover basic costs and let my nest egg accumulate over time.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

My biggest financial mistake has been pleasing people. I never practiced saying no, meaning that I was participating in everything and anything that I thought was fun. I was buying branded clothes to fit in, went on a holiday with any friend that wanted to go, and I was buying drinks for a lot of my friends.

I have to admit this has cost me a lot of money.

Bloggers on FIRE Radical FIRE

Since my trip to South America two years ago, I’ve become more comfortable in my skin and I’m staying true to myself no matter the situation. It has become easier to say no and I am starting to live my life for me.

I have to say that pursuing financial independence has given me a clear goal, which makes prioritizing things easier. I am starting to think more about what I want with my life, where I want to go, and where I see myself in a couple of years.

I am grateful I have overcome all of that for the most part, while I still carry the lessons with me.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say:

  • Don’t care what others think about you. You do you, they will accept you fully
  • Consistency is key, you can do anything you set your mind to if you push through
  • Start investing, it’s not so hard as you think
  • Listen to what people have to say, they want to share their biggest lessons with you
  • Keep reading, keep learning, keep growing
  • Make mistakes like your life depends on it

What’s your wildest dream?

My wildest dream would be having a structure in my years. Half of the year I want to be traveling around the world, living in a country for a couple of months and move on. I am hiking through nature, seeing all the amazing things in the world, and having the time of my life. The other half of the year I want to be home with my family and friends, enjoy their company, and have a structured life doing the work that I love.

No matter where I am in the world, I want to write and share my lessons with the world. I am contributing by teaching people how to change their lives financially.

What is your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?

I actually enjoy writing, it gives me joy and it’s a hobby of mine. I also absolutely love reading books, riding my bicycle, traveling, music festivals, and learning new things.