“If my car or washing machine breaks down, I have a small challenge.”

Vera, 38, has lost a negligible salary in recent years. Turning around suddenly became more difficult. Add to that an expensive hobby and high rent in Amsterdam, and making ends meet will be a mystery every month.

Have you previously earned more than 2,600 euros?
“About three years ago I was close to 3000 euros. Due to a combination of circumstances, I gave up a few hundred euros. I decided to choose happiness at work over salary. Instead of being a marketing manager, I am now an administrative assistant. A job with fewer responsibilities. And most importantly That, reduce stress. But that makes it more difficult for me now. Also because in the meantime my friend and I decided to “intertwine” rather than live together. Since then I live in a rented house in Amsterdam. There is of course a different price than sharing housing costs for a house Relatively cheap in Almera with two people. I also have my own horse. So that €400 less each month makes a big difference.”

Yes say. Do you spend 350 euros a month on your horse?
“more. The €350 in the “pet” item is only storage, feed and maintenance costs. Every time I visit my horse I still spend at least €23 on petrol costs. That’s why I only go there twice a week at the moment. So he turned that 350 euros into just 500 euros. It’s a big expense, but I’m not going to get rid of my horse because I organized my life differently.

You are now 1,000 euros in red. Where does that come from?
“Especially because of the move to Amsterdam. And that money went into renovations, new furniture, and paint cans. As a result, I didn’t completely get away with spending for a few months.”

Do you keep a close eye on your finances every month?
“Yes, I’m on top. I know since childhood how much stress you can get from money worries. That’s why I keep a neat record of what I receive and spend in a document. I don’t rush into it and really do my best to get out. But I find it hard to Save. The 300 euros I have left each month to do fun things, often goes up. I intended to give it a try. If I saw what I start the month with, it should work.”

If you had to save on one item, what would it be?
“I want to try to get my car out the door. The mileage I do is not entirely sustainable. But unfortunately I can’t reach my horse by public transport. I’m looking for a garage closer to home. On top of that… Spotify is 10€ per month for me. The charities I support are important to me. I think I can take the biggest steps if I find a better balance between doing fun things and paying off some of that $1000 debt at a time. Maybe some coffee too Togo less “.

And your health insurance? Is there anything possible there?
“I can take a closer look at it. I now have a supplement package that covers a number of acupuncture treatments. In the spring I regularly visit my acupuncturist to reduce my hay fever complaints.”

Have you always found it difficult to save?
“When I was in my early thirties, I think I had about 25,000 euros in my account. My ex-partner and I owned a house at the time. He bought me after we broke up. Over the years, that money slowly passed. I don’t want to say I wasted it. ,because I had so much fun with it and did good things with it.At that time I bought a walker for my mum who has difficulty walking.Soon after that relationship ended,I took four months off without pay.And then it gets hard.Once I get a new job,with a salary. Less than I used to, I used those savings to cover old spending habits. In the past, I could have done it smarter.”

What do you hope your financial situation will look like in five years?
“Anyway, I want to get out of the red and have a healthy buffer built. If my car or washer breaks down or if something goes wrong with my horse, I’m up for a challenge. I don’t need thousands of euros in my savings account, but it would be It’s great that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Life can be over in no time – I’m alive now. Money doesn’t make you happy, but not having it can be miserable. If your budget isn’t enough to do things that give you energy, you will still limit your happiness in Life. For example, I will continue to make sure that I can pay for my horse. This beast gives me so much pleasure, it is worth every dollar.”


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