All good things come to an end


It all started on a sunny day in June of the year 2016. There was this simple idea to use the online world as a method to track down my investment progress. A rather personal showcase of the pursuit of financial independence and the journey it takes to get there. On that particular day in June, I shared with my husband that I liked the idea of having a blog. His answer? ‘Go for it.’ A little later Divnomics was born. 

Fast forward 30 months, and here we are today. 

Within the past 3 years of the existence of this blog, things have happened that I could never imagine. You might think that blogging is something you do alone, locked in a room with nothing more than a laptop. But that image couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been to around 7 FIRE meet-ups, met dozens of people who are involved with investing or personal finance in some way and learned to open up about my vision of money with others. Made new friends, got lots of new insights and am very grateful for the journey so far. 

And it’s exactly that journey that leads me to this choice…

This post will be the last one published on Divnomics.

At first, the only thing I wanted to change was the name. Divnomics was set up so I could track our trajectory of dividend investing. And well, since we sold our entire dividend stock portfolio in November 2017… It is about time to shake things up.

Why the change?

Divnomics was and is a blog which originally focused on Dividend Growth Investing, tracking a portfolio and dividend income, give insight into the stocks we bought and share anything related to it. Hence the name of the blog.

In my FIRE journey, there have been some changes where the story has outgrown the name.

First, we stopped investing in dividend stocks and started investing in real estate. 

Secondly, my writings have expanded from stocks and investing posts, onto something broader and touch several other topics I’m either very interested in or is a different part of the financial independence spectrum. Like developing the right mindset, the search for more freedom overall and other money or life-related insights.

The whole idea of being financially independent, ironically, has nothing to do with money. It’s much more a philosophical pursuit than a financial one. Where we aim to get rid of the ‘looking financial successful’ concept and replace it with feeling financially strong. I have been wrapping my mind around ideas like how less spending fuels happiness, how a lot of important things in our lives don’t have a price tag and that success and wealth follow suit from focusing on that what is meaningful to you.

Within my journey to financial independence, I had been focussing on the money aspect quite some time. Other area’s in my life didn’t always get the same attention. My health, social relationships, and work ethic were neglected over time. Not something I am very proud of. Since FIRE is more of a lifestyle than a job replacement, my focus shifted towards getting the most out of life right now, instead of later on. Which also means there are more things worth to invest in. 

Next steps

Based on this, I wanted to create a new blog where I wouldn’t feel limited to the niche topic the old name refers to. Where a mix of personal stories, real estate adventures and general insights would co-exist. Both in a financial and a philosophical view.

Thus, I introduce to you:


We continue our journey of building wealth through real estate investing. And although wealth is often associated with a millionaire lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be. 

“When you discover you have more money than time, you should stop pursuing money and focus on getting the most out of your time.”

– tweet by Jonathan Clements

If you were reading Divnomics for the dividend investing updates, I don’t know why you are still here… But I can recommend you to take a look at DividendDiplomats, which was one of the first dividend blogs that led me to FIRE. For all else, I understand if what I write won’t always be of everyone’s interest. If you want any topic, question or situation covered, just let me know!

Most of all, I hope you will follow along on the next wealth!

See you there.

Quarterly update – just keep on swimming


Writing regularly on a blog takes some effort. One that clearly isn’t one of my best features. As this year has developed somewhat different than I imagined, time is one of those things that you always seem to have too little of.

On the other hand, we have accomplished such great things already. While we were busy with real estate, family & friends, the FIRE community and getting to that office job every day. Things are happening. Like really happening. It sometimes feels like we are building up towards a wonderful momentum and await the time when we can finally launch off the ground. Not always being aware that we launched already a long time ago.

Somewhere in the summer of 2014, we discovered dividend investing and it’s compounding powers. It was in that moment when we got a small notion of the big impact passive income could have on our lives. And the start of our very own FI path.

Over the years we progressed step by step over time. And in the last years, things really took off due to our real estate endeavors.

After our wedding and vacation time in June, our spending – and saving – levels are back to normal. The times of extensive catering budgets, driving through wine country or heavy cuts in the saving ratio are over. We have taken quite a hit as it comes to our savings ratio in June, which turned to a negative of -28%. Not a very pretty sight. Last month we got back to 38%. Which is still not as high as I prefer, but due to some expensive car maintenance, we had a minor setback. As long as our normal money behavior is quite alright, I don’t mind having this kind of one-time big spending.

Our Cash Flow Index is growing to new heights. We use this metric to monitor our progress towards financial independence. It’s a dynamic target that will automatically adapt to our spending pattern. So the more we spend, the more income we need to cover it. We do this so I know for sure that our investment income can cover our spending with a save margin. For this year I want to reach a target of 40% of our investment income covering our monthly spending.


Even 1 month above target!

Over 2018 our average Cash Flow Index is 11%. With every new rental unit time and money has been invested in order to get things going, causing a lower rental income stream at the start. With most of our rental units have matured a bit, our rental income will stabilize more over time.

One way of boosting our CFI is to increase our income, another is to decrease our spending. In the months May, June, and July our spending were a lot higher than average, pressing our results in a steady income flow.

On the income part, we are steadily expanding our portfolio and thus our income.
Since the start of August, property #4 has been rented out. It only took 2 viewings and the promise of a pool to be used by tenants. 

| Quick tip: renting out units with access to a pool works like a charm during a heat wave|

From start to finish? Including financing, remodeling and finding tenants: 3 months.

Just in time for the next project! In the first week of September, we have moved on to property #5. We have bought this property a while back. The expectation was that we needed a week for renovation purposes. Normally we would just hire anybody to do this for us. This time we searched far in advance since workers are hard to come by, and found someone with whom we hope to build a more steady and long-term relationship with.

The renovations took around 3 weeks due to unforeseen electricity problems (sigh). We learned a lot from our past mistakes. And our time is a well-appreciated concept after we had 4 consequent weeks where we had not even 1 night to relax at home. The good news is that all the work is now finished AND it’s all rented out.

Compared to passive dividend income, rental income is quite volatile. Besides the maintenance costs to consider, vacancy in multiple units at the same time is more common than you might think. At least this was the case for us. We had 6 units to fill in the past 3 months due to tenants leaving.

Because of this, we have missed some rental income over the months. And on top of it, we also had some further maintenance to deal with. This shows that real estate, although a solid moneymaker, is also having its downturns as it comes to a steady (and passive) investment income.

You know what they say: there is no high return without a high risk.

What else?

There are quite a few things that I am working on right now. We have launched our new business two months ago and started to reach out to potential clients. We keep on fine-tuning our business plan for the coming months and try out some things to see what works (and what not).

Oh yes, and property #6 is well on its way. We closed the deal in a few deals, back in September. And we will receive the keys in the mid of November. This will be our first property where a big amount of renovation needs to be done. The expectation is around 3-4 months for renovation, and then a refinance the property in order to get a part of the investment back as liquid assets.

Additionally, I have been interviewed for a national magazine, which will be published this week! The article/series is about 6 women who invest besides their day jobs, which also gave me the chance to hear the stories of other people.

This interview and a few talks with friends helped me decide what to do with this blog. Some of you know that I am thinking of changing the blog name, or start up a new one since dividends are no longer part of our FIRE journey. I kept postponing to do something about this and had to wrap my mind about some decisions I had to make first.

With the blog being somewhat unattended in the past months, I also noticed a lack of attention to the whole of the FIRE community from my side. And to my surprise, it is actually something I really miss. All of you guys (bloggers & readers) keep me grounded and very conscious about why we do things the way we do.

Luckily there was a meet-up end of September, which was great as always. And with the community growing and growing, there will be more activity on meet-ups and planning for future events. These are exciting times and there are some changes coming up in the very near future. For real though.

Real Estate Introduction Course

By the way, if you want to learn more about real estate. We are holding an introduction training together with GeenBaanMeer. It will take place in Utrecht on the 9th of March.

Wanna join? You can sign up here.

Hopefully till then!

FIRE in the Netherlands – continuing the talks


Last weekend it was that time of the year again. On a bloody hot summer day, we decided to sit inside all day talking about money, investing, wealth and other life questions that pass by when you’re on the journey to FIRE.

Cheesy Finance had organized yet another NL FIRE Meet-up, one we could actually bike towards this time!

As always there were some great guest speakers to talk about related topics. Adine from Lekker Leven Met Minder spoke about how you can earn money blogging, a crowdfunding expert talked about investing via… well uhm, crowdfunding of course. And our friend from The Pursuit of HOT led a discussion on how EVERYTHING is negotiable.

Besides the guest talks, there was more than enough time to mingle and talk to one and another, and I’m sure I still missed talking to some.

As this was our fifth time attending, we noticed that the focus on investing (or saving) only has shifted a bit to the more softer side of personal finance:

  • What do you do once you reach financial independence?
  • How do you deal with other people (or partners) in your journey?
  • How can you optimize your daily life in one of more joy and freedom?
  • The impact of sharing on your energy level, dreams, and growth.
  • Inspiring each other and get inspired by being open to one another.
  • Shifting the mindset in it’s all about the money to it’s all about HOT.
  • How the barrier of quitting a day job is bigger than you thought.
  • What brings true value to your life and what not?
  • How our mind is telling us the same stories over and over again and FIRE is about breaking out of the status quo.

Basically saying that aiming for FIRE is about more than hitting a number and is nothing more than a lifestyle choice. A choice that leads you forward into new possibilities, ones you have never thought of before and is opening up a different kind of life than that we are all used so used to.

I’m grateful to know and regularly meet these group of wonderful people.

And in order to fill up the gaps between the 4 meet-ups per year, and I set up a Slack group together in order to continue the talks online and for whoever is interest in reaching FIRE in the Netherlands (or Belgium).

If you’re interested to join, you can do so via this sign-up link.

We are happy to see you there!

Back in business


Aah, it feels good to be back again. It’s been… how long? Around three months since I’ve posted on Divnomics… How that could happen?

Simple. I needed the time for other things (and myself).

The job became somewhat stressful, I had a wedding to plan and we were making big steps in our real estate business. It was a classic case of having too much going on. Blogging quickly became a must instead of something of pleasure. So I decided to cut in a short blogging break, which lasted a bit longer than expected.

And it felt gooood. It gave me the opportunity to free up my thoughts on other things that were important to me. And now, it is about time to share again. And better later then never, there were quite a few things that happened while Divnomics was on radio silence.

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February Cash Flow Index Update – In The Green

divnomics CFI february

Since the start of this year, I’ve started to track our progress differently. Instead of a hard FI target in terms of a big pile of money, we focus on cash flow only. Tracking our net worth every month, wouldn’t give the right insight into how much we need until we reach Financial Independence.

Normally you would say that as soon as (passive) income exceeds your spending, you’re there. Well, in our case we look at that a little differently. For starters, we want to continue investing after we stop working, so we need additional income. Secondly, our spending fluctuates and will be higher after FIRE than before. We are pursuing a Fat Fire lifestyle after all. To incorporate this effects, I’ve thought of tracking our progress with the help of the Cash Flow Index.

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A Small History of Living

Housing history of Divnomics

The decisions you make in life can have a huge impact on your future. As it comes to finances, there is one thing that might be having the most impact of all: buying a house. Timing of the market, the debt you take on and the costs of all of it is substantial.

A few Dutch finance bloggers have been writing about their career in living and housing. What houses did they live in? What financial decisions did they make? And how affected those decisions their future path? Following Geldnerd and Meneer&Mevrouw, we thought it would be fun to list our own small history of living.

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Rapid Real Estate Expansion

real estate februari

Although we sometimes find new ways to save some money, like canceling our television subscription, or renegotiating our life insurance, they become rare. We can only save so much. With the creation of additional cash flow, growing your wealth can be accelerated. Which is why, in our quest for financial freedom, we focus on real estate to make things work. Okay that, and because we like the business. It’s our little project which helps us get to where we want, and where we first realized how it feels to be fully in control of your own path, and have total freedom in how you work.

It’s one way of many, and it works for us. We notice that a lot of people we talk to are interested in how we manage things, and not necessarily in how much we get out of it. Which is a good thing though. Although we aim to get rich in real estate, it isn’t our end goal. But rather a means to an end. If you want to grow, explore and get the most out of life, it will cost you money. Financial independence will let us receive more money and more importantly, more time as well. 

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Bigger Profits – It All Comes With A Cost


If I would have to select one asset to invest in and where you could earn the most money from, it would be real estate, hands down. With a (mostly) stable rental income, a leveraged buying position and using ‘other peoples money’, the possibilities for exponential growing your wealth with this particular asset class are endless.

However, as we all know so well: the higher the returns, the higher the risks involved.

This blog is partly a documentation of our journey, with the good and the bad. So, it’s about time you’ll hear about the counterpart of our fortunate journey in real estate.

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