Lesson learned.

I think for an average 22 year old who hasn’t worked instead of going to school I have quite a jumpstart to my financial life, but it can’t continue forever. Here I will explain what I did to get such a sum invested and why this year I will have to shift back a few gears.

I’ve worked next to school since I was 14 and graduated at 20 from college, I got a job at the company where I was an intern and moved out of my parents house into a small room in a house of students, low cost but a big, big mess of a house. The job paid minimum wage and it was a lot of hours but I had good fun. By living like a minimalist, and sharing this experience with a friend in the same situation, I managed to save a lot of money and decided to put a lot of my savings account into investments. Small bits of ‘small-business crowdfunding’ at first and quite hefty sums of money in DGI after that.
Due to the nature of my work at that time my lunch and dinner were provided which saved me quite a bit of money. As I had no responsibilities like a car or a mortgage, or even a girlfriend for that matter I managed to keep a lot of money in my pockets.

Things changed around the summer of 2017 though, I decided to quit my job and move back close to my childhood town in a old farm which is for sale, I pay no rent and just have my monthly utilities of around €58 for internet, television, gas and electrical, quite cheap. This caused me to still have very little responsibility. At the same time I worked at a local supermarket for 8 months as an allround employee, flexible hours and good pay, but not a full-time job. But as I only had little costs I still kept a lot of money.

That summer I also made a trip with my best friend to Lisbon and Dublin and as faith would have it I met my current (Italian) girlfriend in Dublin on my very last night. It’s a great story and an awesome opportunity to learn more about Italy and the Italian culture, but as all of you know it’s quite expensive to have to fly across Europe and make trips to all the beautiful cities and places. This was my first added expense.
Over this time frame which was around two and half years I kept investing as much as I could and saving (maybe, or even probably) too little. It provided me with a nice ‘projected annual dividend income’ but also with too little of a buffer for life changes in the future.

Now as of April 2018 I have gotten another full-time job in a entirely different field (an investment firm which is also my broker) for which I have no official education. It was a tricky situation as this was the perfect job opening in my view and after a few months of taking it easy this was the moment everything had to come together, and luckily it did!

Now this is where the story turns into the current time. I have four weeks to get things started for my new job, as I had a trip of two weeks to Italy planned I have an effective time period of two weeks to get a car and think about housing. As the job is in Amsterdam and I live nowhere near it and I also don’t want to live in Amsterdam I will have to drive around 100km from the place where I want to live and more than 150km from my current location a day. So I wanted a decent car, no old piece of metal which has to go to the garage every week, and as the sharp reader has noticed, I have a buffer that is too little.

I decided to lease a car, a Volkswagen Polo for the ones who are interested. Leasing has a lot of pros like zero responsibility for the car, but the con is that you pay off a brand new car in four years and like renting a house, you end up with nothing in the end.

So needless to say, these life changes, which were inevitable for my lifestyle and age really have effected my budgetting. I have to safe more for travel and leisure, I have to pay a hefty sum every month for a car and also soon another hefty sum for an appartment. And from the leftovers I have to build up my bank balance and buffer as I have learned my lesson from the past year.

Luckily I don’t have to sell any of my stocks and lose the progress I’ve made, so my snowball can keep rolling down the mountain by itself while I focus on different things the coming year.

I’ve never been more eager to learn quickly at my job, move up the ranks and increase my pay to get back to investing and ultimately my goal of retiring early again!

Thank you for reading my rant and I hope some of you found it either interesting or just nice to know how my financial history has shaped itself.

Happy investing!

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for your open and honest story. This just shows how life really is. You never know where you might end up next 🙂

    Good for you on living your life. After the dusts settles you’ll sure be able to pick up where you left off. As you said yourself, you are way ahead of the curve!

    • DutchIndependence

      Thanks for the kind words, I’ll have to see where the coming months take me, but I’m confident it’ll work out. Thanks for your comment!

      DI

  2. Life changes, so you adapt. You will do just fine! Good luck climbing the corporate ladder, make more money and invest again.

    • DutchIndependence

      Thanks for the comment, I’ll try my hardest!

      DI

  3. Wish I was already this advanced in my investing career at the age of 22. You deserve some break, but I’m pretty sure that once your salary will start flowing in, you will find a way to invest some of that. At the same time don’t forget to enjoy life (and good Italian food) 🙂

    • DutchIndependence

      You’re absolute right, thanks for the kind words. I noticed that enjoying life and good food is no issue whatsoever in Italy!

      DI

  4. Hi, DI… first time visitor here…
    You are off to a terrific start at age 22. Graduating from college at 20 is quite the accomplishment as well. Kudos to you! I wish I had the vision to start investing so early, and get that compounding working for me.
    It sounds like you’ve got all sorts of exciting changes happening… new girlfriend, new job, new place to live. Once you adjust to all the changes you can get back to investing for FI.

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