Monthly Archives: May 2013

Windfall -> Extra Mortgage Payment!

Yesterday my accountant told me about the fact that we got an €8.000 tax break! What a windfall! Obviously, this is going straight into our interest-only mortgage.

My accountant is really enthusiastic about the fact that we’re paying our mortgage off at such a pace. He also told me that most other accountants would advise us against doing that because of the weird tax system in The Netherlands. Therefore, I am really happy with our guy.

Back to the money…WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I’m over the moon with this! Now we are so going to be able to pay off the interest-only part of the mortgage by the end of this year.

I just love it when a plan comes together.

What would you do with a windfall like this one?

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

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The Kondratiev Cycle

I read this Dutch book on deflation. The author suggested in 2005 that deflation was coming and supported this statement using the Kondratiev (sometimes Kondratieff) cycle. A new and updated version of his book was published in 2010 in which he suggests the crisis will last for another couple of years.

His theory, taken from Kondratiev, is that we are in the winter period of this fifty to sixty year cycle.

He also suggests that deflation is coming. America can’t keep up with their debt plus a couple of European countries are having trouble carrying their burdens when it comes to debt. China will come out of this period as the winner when we enter a new Kondratiev cycle called spring.

The author suggests deflation is coming. And this means that cash is golden, since you will be able to buy more with your cash. However, your debt will increase and it will be harder to pay off. So, according to this theory it would be a very good idea to pay off your debts and mortgage asap and hold on to a nice ‘stash.

Hey, that’s not a revolutionary new idea, now is it? That’s just common (Mustachian) sense!

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

P.s. You Dutchies who are interested in this book…it’s calle:d Deflatie in aantocht door Eric Mecking.

We Own More Than 25% Of Our Home!

Yes! Today is the day! I received my salary plus “holiday money” and I immediately wired€1000 to our mortgage. I will probably wire more a bit later. Right now we own 25.17% of our home! Oh yeah!

This weekend we’ll be in The Hague. We booked an apartment with friends for a nice mini-break. It’s a shame the weather is dreadful…it hasn’t been this cold in May since they started recording temperatures! Which means it’s the coldest May in over a hundred years!

After this weekend there are no extra expenses we can think of for the upcoming couple of months.

This Monday I have an appointment with my accountant to discuss 2012. Hopefully we’ll receive a nice tax return…which we’ll wire straight to our mortgage!

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

A New Bike And Fertility Clinics

Today my new bike was delivered. I bought it online. It’s a “mama bike” which are extremely popular here in The Netherlands. It has a double stand which makes it very stable. The handlebar can also be locked so that you can safely get your kid in and out of a children’s seat. And the handlebar is extra wide so that there’s room for that children’s seat and the mother to get properly on and off the bike.

With seats it would like this in the future:

The frugal part of it is that I saved €163 by buying it online. In stores it’s  €899 and I bought it for €736. Then, there’s this tax rule in The Netherlands that every three years you can buy a new bike using a tax break via your employer if you use the bike to get to work. This actually comes down to a 50% discount and is applicable for bikes up to €749. So the bike cost me €368.

Unfortunately, I’m still not pregnant. I really wanted a new bike, since my current bike doesn’t have gears and my bike trailer can’t be attached to it. So my bike trailer has been sitting in the garden for the past couple of months…unused. It’s time to start using it…and with the tax break I thought it would be a good idea to buy a new bike now.

On 7th of June we have an appointment with a fertility clinic to check out why we haven’t succeeded with the getting pregnant thing yet. We’ve been at it for over a year now. Probably, I’m just being impatient and there’s nothing to worry about. Right?

So, this was our last and final big purchase. We really don’t want to spend more money on more stuff but pay off the damn mortgage instead!

Do you have a proper bike?

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

Fun & Frugal Summer Holiday Plans

My husband and I were discussing our summer holiday for this year. During the past years we visited many wonderful countries such as Australia, America and India. This year we already spent a shitload on skiing trips. Also, we’d like to take things easy and also work on our other side business plans a little (or a lot).

Therefore, drum rolls please…we are thinking of staying in the comfort of our home during the summer holiday! What kind of things would we be doing? Well, a whole bunch of fun, frugal and not so frugal things are on our list:

  • hiking
  • biking
  • swimming
  • reading a shitload of books
  • working as a team on our side business (this doesn’t feel like “real work” btw)
  • day trips to fun little, quirky Dutch (or Belgian or German) towns
  • apartment at sea (people we know own a nice little apartment by the sea which we can use for free)
  • Amsterdam (we can stay with friends there)
  • horse riding (that would just be me)
  • skiing and snowboarding (indoors, yes…we’re addicted and this is certainly not cheap…well you do get it discount in the summer…)

But most of all, we’d enjoy some quality time together in a stress-free environment. (And hopefully get pregnant while we’re at it 😉

What are your plans for this summer?

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

We “Saved” €3.600 / €5.600

We have finally finished our Ikea customized built-in cupboards project. Actually, my husband and myself didn’t do that much…my father laboured every Wednesday evening for the past two months to get this done. I held some things for him and made sure there was something to drink and eat for him.

Remember I told you about the fact that we have two dormers so that we were able to make two rooms out of our attic? I wanted to efficiently use the sloping part of the room for storage. This is what was made with the Ikea Pax system: (There’s another one in the other room which is the mirror image of this one)

builtincupboard1 builtincupboard2

We actually contacted two carpenters to have these custom made. One charged €2.600 PER CUPBOARD and the other one €3.600 for each one. In total that would have cost us either €5.200 or €7.200. The Ikea version cost us €800 each, making the grand total €1.600. Sure, custom-built cupboards would have looked a bit nicer…but that’s not worth €3.600 or as much as €5.600 nicer!!!

I am extremely happy with the way our cupboards turned out. I guess we’ll take my dad (my mother can come along as well 😉 out to a nice dinner to express our gratitude.

What do you think?

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

Our Mortgage…Three Years Later

Three years ago we took out our first (and hopefully last!) mortgage in order to buy the beautiful home which we now live in. It was built during 2010/2011 and in autumn 2011 we finally moved in. Even though we’ve had the mortgage for three years, lived in our home for a year and half now…we will own 25% of it by the end of this month.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t like me publishing the actual numbers. However, I will give you this number: €77.93. That’s the difference of the amount we pay our bank every month compared to May 2010. This number will increase over the next couple of months, because we are paying off the interest-only part of the mortgage. The savings part is a different story. We’re throwing money in the savings part, but that doesn’t decrease our debt…so that amount of interest stays the same. The number would have been bigger if we took out a total interest-only mortgage. At the time that sounded like a silly idea…now I wish we had because we are the kind of people who can make extra mortgage payments diligently. Well…it doesn’t make sense whining about that now.

Another fact about our mortgage: 30 years -> 26 years. We had the savings part of our mortgage lowered from 30 to 26 years because we made a huge deposit. So, even though the amount of interest doesn’t decrease, the amount of years we’re stuck with a mortgage has decreased.

Still, my dream is to pay off the whole damned thing within 10 years. As we’re 3 years in it should take us another 7 years. My husband doesn’t believe this will happen. It is safe to say that we can do this in 20 years…so that’s another 17 years of being a slave to the bank. 😦

When do you expect to have your mortgage paid off?

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser