Yes, yes. I’m late. To be honest, I thought I wouldn’t blog anymore, because I thought I don’t like the writing. Still, I wasn’t able to close it down. I gave myself a grace period to figure out what the issue is. Turned out that I do like writing part of blogging, but I don’t like the extra work you’re supposed to do. Yesterday I wrote post about it.
While March has been a very good month, April looks more like a spending month instead of a no spending month. This is because I did purchases that were allowed. While I stayed in line I clearly have to watch out that the exception list does not become an excuse list.
This month I start with the savings.
- I got my yearly bonus! It’s variable, so it’s always a little surprise. This year was a good year apparently :-). What’s good about it is that is was more than enough to hit my savings goal for our sabbatical and our holidays in may.
- Now that I’ve hit the travel savings goal, I’ll move on to the next savings goal: saving up for the leasehold. For the ones who have no idea what I’m talking about but are curious: In the Netherlands, there are two types of ground ownership, namely freehold (eigen grond) and leasehold (erfpacht). In my opinion, it is always better to buy a freehold property rather than a leasehold property, but that’s almost impossible in Amsterdam since almost 70 percent of all properties are leasehold over here. Plus the freehold properties are mostly complete houses worth millions, not starter apartments. FYI I’m talking about municipality leasehold (gemeentelijke erfpacht), not a private one (particuliere erfpacht). Earlier you could only choose between annual leasehold (jaarlijkse erfpacht) and pre-paid leasehold (afgekochte erfpacht) for a set period of time which is mostly 50 years. Amsterdam officials have now decided to introduce a new system which would allow homeowners to prepay the leasehold forever (eeuwigdurend afgekocht) rather than just for a number of years. for some it’s horrible but for me it’s great! I now got a pre-paid leasehold that is paid until 2031 and I can now prepay the leasehold forever for a very reasonable amount of money as if it was a freehold property. I got until the end of 2019 to save up almost €10.000,-
This is what stood out this month based on my expenditure.
- I bought hairdresser scissors to start cutting my own hair. These were on my exception list. The only regret I have is that I didn’t buy those earlier. It’s so easy to cut your own hair. It also save so much money and time! When I go to a hairdresser over here I have to spend up to €120,- . That’s up to €480,- a year if I would actually go every three months as recommended. The scissors were €20,-, the tutorial was free via Youtube. For some getting their hair done is a treat, but mind that it’s a very expensive one. Plus I like cutting my hair (This does sound a little creepy, doesn’t it?)
- On the exception list are also materials and things for home improvement that are necessary for renting this place when we’re on our sabbatical. On top of that, my partner and I had unnecessary arguments about our curtains on a regular basis. I like the curtains to be open to have a light and fresh home. He doesn’t want voyeurs around the house so he closes them. It’s a stupid back and forth. The solution was simple: net curtains! Thus I needed those and new curtain rails. I had to fix the curtain rails anyways, as they were starting to fall off. Still, this is clearly a relational compromise. I wouldn’t have done all of this spending when I would have been single (e.g. only replacing the broken rails). Yes, it’s my home (he has his own) and therefore it’s my money and my decision, but it’s our relationship. I’d rather spend some money on stuff to keep the peace instead of going on a sabbatical with my soon to be ex.
- Another need that falls into home improvement was yard furniture. Last year, we made yard furniture out of pallets. For the second time in a row. The yard points at north-east meaning that it’s dark, cold and wet. Perfect conditions for mold and mos. We had to throw it all out twice. What to do? The rental real estate agent told us to invest in some normal furniture in order to avoid a claim against us concerning a fail to rent the furniture as presented in the contract. In addition, we sit outside all the time in summer. I even work there whenever possible. I gave myself a budget and bought some super nice looking but cheap furniture suitable for those conditions. It was on sale plus we got a further reduction on the price due to some small damages.
- I bought a new water bottle and thermos bottle in may as I – believe it or not – lost both. this falls within reusable replacements when replacement is needed. I cannot live without my bottles! As you might remember I got a water bottle for free but the quality was too bad to keep it. I just couldn’t stand the taste of the plastic in the water which is super annoying as I drink about 2 to 3 liters a day out of it. My life is too short to deprive myself that much.
Exception list update
As of now I will keep the exception list more organized and updated in a separate post. I also updated my exception list in april as follows.
- I crossed out the clear handbag organizer
- I forgot about the air filter mask for riding so that was clearly not a need. Just an impulse want. Also crossed out.
- I added all black running/gym sneakers to the list. those will be a pair that I can also wear on a daily basis.
- I added and crossed out right a way a plate to put the small important stuff on it.
- My partner leaves his tiny things all over the place. Wallet. Phone. Keys. Sunglasses. Cash. It annoys him and me. First, as a minimalist, I couldn’t find anything to collect these things. Put it on the list! Girl, no. This turns into an exception list. Ok, ok. And there it was. I kept my plate with my birth information on it (it’s a weird German tradition). I couldn’t get rid of it, yet, it was totally useless until now.
Overall I did well on paper but I do feel guilty about the spending on the exceptions.
Why is that? I guess I have to figure that out.