Hypotheek · Personal

Paying off (part of) our mortgage

It’s been a while (Dutch) since I lasted posted something unrelated to my stock buys, received dividend or my failing crypto currencies. As part of our journey to more freedom and financial independance I chronicle my DGI journey in generating monthly dividend income, but that’s not the entire story. Another part is me continuously improving our financial situation by optimizing our cash outflow. One large expense we have is our 30-year mortgage on our house.

When we bought our house in 2006 we split our mortgage into two separate parts; the largest portion is a “savings”-mortgage (spaar-hypotheek) and a smaller portion that’s essentially rent (aflosvrij) since you only pay the interest and not the principal.

The latter part of our mortgage consisted of no less than €68.000 euro. Meaning that at the end of our 30 years of mortgage, we would have payed €89.760 (bruto) in interest and still be €68.000 in debt! Talk about a money making machine for the bank / mortgage company!

Unfortunately, the first ten or something years of our mortgage I wasn’t as financially educated as I am now, so we didn’t do much in order to optimize the situation. When we began to look more seriously at our finances (and our salaries were starting to increase) we decided to see what we could do about the “rent”-part of our mortgage and we started to make additional payments to slowly lower the monthly interest and whittle down the principal.

That is until last friday 17th of September 2021. On this day we made our final payments and succesfully payed of that part of our mortgage! Going from paying €250,- of interest monthly to €0 was a long process, but we are so happy and proud that we made it!

Next step, investigating what we can do about the other part of our mortgage. To be continued!

Investing · Personal

2020 year-end review and thanks

When I checked my Goals page I realised that I haven’t updated that page in a while, it was still in Dutch! So that means it has been collecting some virtual dust for quite some time. I have since remedied that and updated it not only to English but also to incorporate every goal and result of the past years!

I also found out that even though I did set goals for 2020, I never actually posted them here. It must have slipped my mind at the beginning of the year. But do not worry! I did write them down somewhere and I’m still able to share them with you:

  • Receive €1500,- in dividend: The last dividends are yet to come into my bank account, but I already know that I won’t be making this goal. I did come close however! How close? You’ll find out in my December dividend report in early January.
  • Increase forward income to €1500: With all our extra finances going towards buying the land beneath our house (skipping the need for a mortgage) there was only our monthly deposits. Together with the devaluation of the dollar in 2020 we ended the year on €1400,- post-tax. Inching forward and the lack of significant progress is a bit frustrating sometimes.
  • Side-hustle €500: I think I totalled on €35,- so I need to step up my game here.
  • Save €7500 towards downpayment of our mortgage: We payed off an extra €1105 this year. The rest went to buying our land,
  • Write a 30 blogposts: Nope, 16 in total.
  • Spend less time with my phone (30 min/day): Essentially the same as last year, off to a great start and some succes in between but I still average an hour + everyday. Thats at least 365 hours of screentime this year. Granted some of it was work-related but thats maybe a few hours.
  • Spend more time with my family: Well with the different variations of lockdown here In The Netherlands this was a pretty easy goal to reach 🙂
  • Read 6 self-improvement books: I’ve read the following books: The Infinite Game (Sinek), Ladder der Leiderschap (De Bondt), Never Split the Difference (Voss), The Culture Code (Coyle), Politieke Intelligentie (van Oosterhout) and working on Handboek Teamcoaching (Vroemen).
  • Exercise 2-3 times a week: This is a succes, granted the last two months of the year I failed miserably due to some illness but the rest of the year was great!
  • Start with meditation: I’ve only recently started in November, so its definitely a work in progress.

All in all I’m pretty happy with my results for the year, especially considering it was during a global pandemic.

As much as I’m on this (FIRE) path for myself and my family, I use this blog as a way to document my journey and keep myself accountable. But truth be told, I never would have kept publishing reports if not for you, my readers. So here is a big shot out to my regular commenters of the past year(s):

Paul from Engineering Dividends
Bert & Lanny from Dividend Diplomats
Broke Investor
DeKleineKapitalist (Dutch)
DeKleineDividendBelegger (Dutch)
DividendPortfolio.nl (Dutch)
Mr. Groeigeld (Dutch)
PolliesDividend (inactive)
My Dividend Dynasty
Jordan from MoneyMaaster.com
Tom from DividendsDiversify
Keith from DivHut
Bob from TawCan
DAH from DividendsAndHobbies

Thank you all for your support, inspiration and motivation and a happy New Year!


Life changes

My previous blog post is officially the most commented blogpost ever with 20 readers commenting on my monthly results. That is just awesome, so a big thanks to all of you!

Unfortunately it has been a bit quiet on the blog with regards to new posts in October. This (ofcourse) has a reason and that reason is that I became a dad for the second (and final) time! Not the best financial investment one can make but I’m pretty sure I will have a nice ROI over the coming years in non-financial terms. 🙂


So its all about diapers and sleep deprivation for me at the moment here but thankfully Mrs. Robot, Lil’Bot and BabyBot are doing just fine.


Quid pro quo Clarice, yes or no?

It has been a great ride so far in DGI community since I joined you all last february in the blogosphere.

I’m not really new to blogging or maintaining a website for that matter. I see a lot of parallels to previous websites or communities that I have maintained. The primary being the interaction with my audience, that means you people reading this right now!

I really believe that connecting with you via this blog or commenting on your blogs is something valuable and energizing for me. I truly feel I get to know you all by visiting your sites and interacting with you. During the good times, bad times and everything in between.

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that literally means “something for something,” or “this for that.” We use the phrase to signify an exchange of goods, services, favors, or any other kind of value. When we’re talking about multiple exchanges, we can say quid pro quos (source).

Other then the movie from which I derived the title of this blog (bonus points if you get it!) I think this also applies to blogging. I find it only natural to visit the blogs of all people who comment on my blog. If you take the time to read my words and interact with me, it makes sense to invest (pun intended) some time on your blog as well. It’s a great way to get to know each other and has helped me tremendously in learning more about dividend growth investing.

I find it sometimes hard (or maybe weird) that it isn’t natural behaviour for other bloggers. A few blogs I visit frequently and post regularly do not return the favor. No quid pro quo if you will. Ofcourse it’s not something obligatory and no rights can be claimed, heck I’m not even forced to write my comments. I still do ofcourse because I love the interaction it brings. As time goes I do however feel less motivated to comment on blogs that think of it as a one way street.


Thankfully there are a lot of great people and accompanying blogs out there. You know who you are! Tom from DividendsDiversify for example or ED from Engineering Dividends. The same goes for Bert and Lanny from DividendDiplomats or DivvyDad. Jordan comes to mind, just like DutchIndepence and Dividend Portfolio and BrokeInvestor. I shouldn’t forget DividendDaze or Reverse The Crush, RoadRunner or TallInvesting and I probably forgot a few others. I really miss Mr. ATM’s comments, he has taken an hiatus from blogging altogether.

So far I haven’t reached my saturation point and I’ll continue to reply to each and everyone of you AND keep commenting away on your blogs. If that (ever) changes I’ll let you know. If you are a regular visitor here and you don’t comment, now is the time to start! Let me know what you think or if you have other ideas on what I should write about please let me know as well.


Working on myself: A story of two wolves

So I’ve been working on myself lately. In other blogs of mine or comments on your blogs I’ve mentioned that I don’t react to change very well. Like not at all. Be it something I changed myself or that circumstances changed for me, I don’t handle it well. I’ve been known to criple myself mentally by focussing on all the negative aspects of said change.

Which means that I keep envisioning negative things and as a results my outlook becomes more negative. A vicious cycle that only spirals downward and that my friends, doesn’t help anyone. I know and realise this but I find it really difficult to snap out of it.

I’ve been discussing this with my brother (from another mother since I’m an only child 🙂 ) and he pointed me towards a beautiful parable which hit home pretty hard. It just makes a lot of sense to me personally. Maybe someone reading this who is facing similar issues can find something within it. I know it did for me:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This simple story really made sense to me. And lets face it change is the only constant in life. You can’t become better if you don’t change from the person you are now to the person who you are meant (or want) to be. A change in your circumstances does not equate something negative. We need to embrace change as an inherently good thing, even if thats does not seem apparant at first. Feed the right wolf my friends.

Thank you for your time reading this and I hope it is of some use to you as it was to me.

(credit to where I read it first: here)
(credit photo: Unknown, found it on here.

2017 review and 2018 goals

Sooooo here is my post about my goals for 2018. But to understand the goals of 2018 we first need to look at my goals of 2017:

  1. Investigate and start with investing (passed): After extensive researching the types of investiging strategies and making a complete switch from ETF to dividend growth investing I purchased my first (dutch & US) stocks in februari of 2017.
  2. Make monthly deposits to be able to purchase stock (passed): After discussing my plans with my wife we decided to start out with €250,- monthly deposits. Fortunatelly I have been able to make larger contributions in a few months to accelerate my portfolio.
  3. Find ways to save on gas usage (passed I guess?): There are two major gas spenders in our household. The first being me and my long showers. For Christmans my wife gave me a small waterproof clock that I could mount in the shower. This shortens my time in the shower. The second being the use of hot water downstairs (awashing off/hands/etc). It takes a long time for the water to travel from the attic to downstairs so this is costly. Last week (ok technically not in 2017) we installed a Quooker that instantly provides hot (boiling) water so it does not use the water from upstairs. Since its costs about 20 Watt on average this is cheaper then gas (in a few years).
  4. Find ways to save on electricity usage (passed): I have redone every light in the house with LED’s. Next to this we implemented various methods for saving on our electricity bill. We received €200,- back and lowered our monthly cost.
  5. Check our insurance policies (passed): Done, we redid our insurances and are now saving over €450,- a year.
  6. Reduce part of our mortgage (passed): On the last day of the year we made a deposit of €7800,- on part of our mortgage. This will save us next year €343,20 in mortgage (tax benefits will lower this amount).
  7. Receive a day salary via dividends €130,- (failed): One of the few goals that I have failed. I was it too ambitious regarding the amount I would receive so I made about 68,3%.
  8. Invest €2.500 (passed): I ended the year with a portfolio worth of €5300,- due to additional buys and a side hustle.
  9. Write at least a blog post once a week (failed): I made a total of 43 posts since starting this blog on the 2d of september 2016.

Well there you have it, I’m pleased about the results I could manage last year.

My new goals for 2018:

  1. Receive €200,- in dividends: Self-eplanatory, I need to step up my game with quality buys to attain this goal. In the previous year my total amount was €88,79,-
  2. Increase dividend portfolio to €10.000: This means my €250,- amount per month will definitely not cut it. I need to renegotiate with my wife about our deposits and side hustle lot more (crypto’s anyone?). I need to add €5700,- of capital (actually somewhat less as I reinvest all my dividends received)
  3. Increase forward income to $450: As my current forward income sits on $210,67 I need to more then double this amount. Fortunately I have two more months this year since I’m starting immediately in January.
  4. Write a blog post once a week: Same one as last year.
  5. Spend less time with my phone: I installed the QualityTime app and it scared the bejesus out of me. Spending more than 3 hours on my phone?!? What the hell was I doing? Well no I know so I can spend time on what really matters.
  6. Spend more time with my family: My family matters, in fact they are the main reason why I do what I do and work hard towards financial independence.
  7. Read 12 self-improvement books: I need to constantly work on myself to improve myself. This means reading a lot (next to relaxing lecture) about ways to improve myself either personally or professionally. I’m currently reading: “The single best investment: Creating wealth by dividend growth” by Lowell Miller.
  8. Exercise 2-3 times a week: Next to keeping my mind sharp I need to keep my body healthy as well. Regular exercise, eating healthy and getting enough sleep are all part of this goal. I will also run at least two obstacle runs this year as well.

So here we are, my second set of goals since starting this blog. I really believe in the power of goal setting, so this will be my guide for the coming year.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this, its actually my longest blogpost ever :).

Investing · Personal

Back in action!

So some of you might (or might not!) have noted my absence on your comment section or on this page. This was due to my well-deserved holiday and I’m now getting back into the swing of things.

I’ve got my July buy and dividend report to do and I’m already checking my watchlist for potential buys in august.

New post coming ASAP!

Investing · Personal

May 2017 dividend update

Another month has come and gone, time really flies by so fast! Thankfully due to a few well-deserved (and well-needed!) vacation days I could enjoy some quality time with my family. And that, to me, is still wat matters most.

Besides having a great holiday I also have some dividends to report!

Date Ticker Shares Amount (€)
01/05/2017 NYSE:T 12 4.57
01/05/2017 NYSE:GIS 5 1.86
15/05/2017 NYSE:OHI 12 5.8


So thats a total amount of  €12.23 which is pretty nice!


My total for passive income in 2017 now stands at: € 25,44.

Which brings me a bit closer to my 2017 goal of €130,-.


How was your month, did you receive any nice dividends?

Investing · Personal

Capital Value Anxiety

One of the very first things I told myself when starting this DGI journey was to NOT get emotional about my purchases or my portfolio. I knew full wel going into this that emotions are a bad thing in the investing game. I also told myself not to check my portfolio value often or be worries when I saw a drop (or too happy on a rise).

Easier said then done.

Although I do believe that my purchases (except HASI) have been done without emotional interference I cannot claim to have been totally free of emotions. To be specific, I have been looking a lot at my portfolio worth. Since I’m a beginner at this investing game, every euro/dollar is extremely precious. And although I’m in it for the dividends and the long run, I didn’t fully appreciate what my emotions would do with a negative of allmost €100 on my portfolio balance.

Allmost every stock I have bought (ironically except HASI) has been negative of late causing a negative capital value “growth”. Since one of my first larger purchases was T and the stock has been through the wringer, this one contributes the most to my capital value lost.

Luckily the value loss is only on paper and that makes it somewhat easy to relativate this. Since the -€100 I’ve seen it go up again to -€34 but its currently again at -€92. It still doesn’t really feel good, but I hope the continuing (and hopefully expanding!) dividend stream should solve this emotional problem.

Anyone else recognise this feeling?