Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Monthly expense report: November

Income:  2 167 euro

Expenses:  1 583,50 euro

Savings:  583,50 euro

November was a pretty standard month form an income and expense point of view.

Income was only the job income. November 15 I was one year at the current company so an update is needed on that front but work has been so insanely busy the last weeks that I really didn’t feel like starting up the old desktop at home. It also explains the lack of posts over the last month. This sloth is tired in the evening.

Expenses

Didn’t buy a new laser, still want to! I did buy some new graphic novels so the itch to buy something ‘fun’ is satisfied for the time being. The graphic novels came to 88 euro.

We also visited a friend in Brussels, The friend is a big Asia nut so we visited a -cheap- Japanese restaurant. I went to talk about an online side gig idea I have tumbling around in my head for some time now. Turns out the friend is even more skilled than I thought! I tried to nudge him into starting his own thing as he could do all the work himself and he does like to travel Asia for months on end. I wasn’t really successful as he has witnessed in his immediately family the high price that comes with building out a business empire. He is part too smart and part too lazy (there is a reason I get along with him!) to go down that rabbit hole …I would still over to convince him that there is a middle ground. Anyway, the visit did cost me 43 euro but was money well spend.

On a more practical front I also spend 72 for some new underwear and 21 euro on new swimshorts. Both things desperately needed. Well, desperately needed according to the misses, a sloth knows no shame …

On the’ bad’front: also spend some money on sandwiches at work. The diet is still not going that good. I actually even started skipping some of my swimming!! It merits its own post. But I am a stress eater and did I mention that work has been insanely busy? I am recognizing the signs from my time at the back office for the trading floor of the big bank. Luckily management is aware that there is a ‘support-situation’ at the moment. Management also knows that I have been putting the pedal to the metal for the last couple of months. So I have told them that this will only last until after new year. And to not take my current productivity as something to count on long term. I’ll see how it goes.

I do not envy them as some tough decisions will need to be made. I also need to bite the bullet and not only keep up the insane work volume at work but in my free time actually start working on one of those ‘fun-to me’ work projects that needs to be done but nobody at work has the time to do. For once in my life I want to be strategic about it and leverage my current strong position into something that has long term benefits for me. Fortune favors the well prepared…

On a totally unrelated note. Cheesy finance and geldnerd have a very different definition of a backyard. To parafrase an old australian saying: that’s not a backyard, this is a backyard …

Our backyard, and yes that is a pig on the right …

Monthly expense report: October

Income: 2 195 euro

Expenses: 1 656,50 euro

Savings:  535,50 euro

With no more birthday presents and tickets to sell, income fell back to the usual amount earned by working. This might drop a little bit going forward as from 1 November we got hospitalization insurance via work! This will cost us around 12 euro a month but will cover any costs above 250 euro if we end up in a hospital for any reason. Yes, the girlfriend is also covered with those 12 euro! So we are pretty happy with it as work from the girlfriend does not offer any and we didn’t have this insurance since I got fired at the big bank in March 2016.

I do -finally- have an idea for a website/on line community that might  be profitable to run. We’ll see but hopefully it is successful and I can boost the income a bit next year. At the very least I’ll pick up some new skills in building it.

Expenses

The problems with the Vespa seem to be in the past! Joehoe! And very glad this money drain finally ended.

The 1 656 euro spending is actually pretty good when you take into account the fact that this month I needed to pay for my swimming pool subscription for the next year. Going swimming costs me 270 euro. This comes down to around 2 euro per swim. Which is pretty reasonable. Even if it wasn’t, there is no other way to swim cheaper than this. And it is the exercise I enjoy doing the most. I view it as a small price to pay for a better health.

I did spend a bit to much for sandwiches at work. It is not really a big amount but since it is bad for the diet any euro spend on it is not good. I need to step up my game in that area but I’ll go deeper into it in the upcoming health report.

Curious thing also happened. I felt to need to spend money on fun thing. I still have it actually. After the Vespa soaking up money, and now the swimming abonnement. Plus a decent amount spend on renovation the utility room I just want to spend money on something frivolous. Like another party laser for in our house. Or these music reactive lights. You now, completely useless crap. It has been a pretty long while since I had this urge. At the moment I can still fight it back but if I am below my 1 500 euro spending goal at the end of November I might just give in .. Because, well, shiny lights and such. …

Pension and FIRE

This pension shuffle post over at Cheesy finance reminded me I also need to do a post about pensions.

The Belgian pension has three different components.

The first component is the official government component. As an employee there is not a great deal that can be done about this. It will be what it will be. It is also a very complex subject. Personally I would love to be able to speak to somebody who is an expert to see what the impact of FIRE on the official pension will be. What I do know is that with the guaranteed minimum pension and the ceiling the government implements my approach of working a bit after FIRE might not only be more tax efficient but also more pension efficient.

It boils down to this: above a certain amount earned you are still paying pension contributions but those do not result in a higher pension since you have already reached the ceiling for that. There is a guaranteed minimum pension if you reach the 30 years threshold of employment (or time that is equivalent to working like unemployment and pregnancy leave and such).

So pulling the plug earlier and limping your way across those thirty years with a combination of some work and unemployment should result in a better pension than working full throttle for say 25 years and then completely stop with working. Should. Like I said, I would really love to have an expert in this run a few simulations. If somebody knows of somebody please send him my way! It could be an interesting topic to delve into deeper at a FIRE meet-up.

The second component is the additional pension you can get from your employer (this comes in the form of a group insurance thing.

This is the part where a pension shuffle as described in the guest post at Cheesy finance can come in handy. So when you have changed employer and you are dragging an old pension scheme of the previous employer with you it can be interesting to check out if it is not better to fold it into the the one offered by your new employer.

I am in this boat. But the one of my previous employer is actually pretty good (return and cost wise) so I have decided to keep it there. I have to add that it is great to ‘earn’ an additional 1.500 euro (it went from 15 640 euro to 17 014 euro last year) at an employer you have left 3 years ago. So I am just going to leave it there for the moment.

On the other hand, there is no way to get an early payment of this. I just just view it as an extra when I reach 65 years (or perhaps 67?) but do not take it into account for my FIRE plans.

The third component is the individual savings account every adult Belgian can do.

Whendoyouretire put up some calculations on the money mustache forum here. I did ask him to turn it into a post on his blog but these youngsters today with all their drugs and partying … 😉

When striving for FIRE, I am of the conviction not to bother with it because:

  • The amount you can put in, is low (less than 1.000 euro a year)
  • The return, even with the tax refund, isn’t that good (see the calculations of whendoyouretire)
  • Costs are usually high
  • You only have access to the money when 65 (or perhaps in the future 67)
  • Do your really trust the government not to change the conditions of this in their favor in the next 20 – 30 years? There is a lot of money on that pot and it can’t go nowhere. In government language that means ‘easy pray’ …

So to sum it up:

For the official Belgian government pension I (or we as the Belgian FIRE community) should really speak to an expert about the impact of our FIRE plans on this.

For your employer pension plan, check if you have one from a former employer laying around and see if it is interesting to fold it into your current one.

For the personal pension savings plan: don’t bother.

The health report – October

The summer seems to continue forever in Belgium so our winter hibernation has also been postponed a bit. There were a few restaurant visits and a dinner date. Despite i was able to  refocused my efforts on the diet. It was a little bit of a bumpy start but in the end I got there.

Fase 1: Swimming

Perfect score on this account. Didn’t mis one session. And I have the impression I even got a little bit faster this last month.

Fase 2: a very strict diet

Like I said, a bumpy start. Getting back to the hyper focused diet stage wasn’t that easy. The first two weeks I gradually improved. But the small improvements made me feel a whole lot better. This in turn helped me to get my focus back 100%. The clubbing also helped! Yes, I want to be that 50 year old geezer with the great body, banging his head out on some old trance tunes and embarrassing his wife #relationshipgoals. So the last two weeks were spot on!

The numbers:

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm
15-9-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 114 cm 38 cm
15-10-2018 98 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm

Yes! An all time low and I got rid of the cm gained in the summer!

Perhaps even more important: I feel great! More energy, more power, more stamina. Although I celebrated my 44th birthday  end of August I actually feel younger (and a hell of a lot sexier).

Fase 3: fitness

Well, you can’t win them all. Not only did I not add the sit ups to my regime. I even skipped a whole week. Did make a little bit of progress:

date repetitions
15-8-2018 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6
18-9-2018 4 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 7
15-10-2018 5 – 7 – 6 – 6 – 9

I think I am not that motivated to do them because I only do the push up. It’s not enough. 5 minutes and puff it is over.  I don’t get into a groove like I do with the swimming.

What I want to do is a full fitness set and really feel the muscles burning. But for that i need to wait until the utility room is ready and we have a place to set up my fitness bench (I checked, it was a hard no from the misses to set it up in the living room 😉

But there is some good news on that front. The paint is done (by dad and me). This week the floor goes in. After that, all we need is to get a big ass closet installed and the fitness bench can go in. i am guessing/hoping early December. until then I jsut need to remind myself that any progress i make with the push ups will pay dividends later.

But I have always been an all or nothing guy so this ‘little bit’ of fitness really isn’t my style. On the other hand, the all or nothing approach hasn’t really worked for me health wise the last 20 years. Perhaps moderation is key. The question is, can this old Sloth change its ways?

Monthly expense report: September

Finally a good month, saving wise! This good luck will however be short lived as the Vespa is in the shop again! But that are worries for later. Here are the numbers for September:

Income: 2 258,43 euro

Expenses: 1 601,20 euro

Savings:  657,23 euro

Income again a bit higher because I got another birthday present in September. But also because I sold some festival tickets I previously bought but ended up not being able to attend. Made a 10 euro profit on a 30 euro investment in 3 months time. In absolute numbers this is very small but return on investment wise this was a great return. This got us thinking so the girlfriend (because she is the big ‘going to parties’ person in our relationship) decided to run a little experiment and see if you can actually make some decent profits by buying tickets in the first – cheap – wave and selling them when it hits the second (or third) more expensive wave. More on this when the experiment is finished in December/ January.

Expenses

Those are reasonable for the month. With no Vespa expenses 1 600 euro is actually pretty high for me. But there is a lot of fun in those 1 600 euro expenses.

  • There was a private party with some friends at the beginning of the month
  • We went to The world of Tim Burton and ate an unbelievable delicious pizza afterwards. The World of Tim Burton was pretty cheap because you got a free ticket if you bought the weekend edition of De standaard. We finished that evening by rewatching Beetlejuice. You gotta love the old classics!
  • There was a 50th birthday gift for a friend (talk about an old classic;-) of ours.
  • I went to the theater and ate another pizza. Pizzahut this time, sometimes I like my pizza’s greasy and unhealthy. For those of you wondering about my diet, sue me modderfokker!
  • And the last weekend, the girlfriend and I went to another restaurant (the diet is fine, honesty!!) and out clubbing.

What can I say? We work hard, we play hard 😉

Without that last weekend extravaganza I would have actually stayed in my 1 500 euro budget. But this retro techno phase isn’t going to last. So we will enjoy this opportunity to listen to the old school classics the way they were intended: in a busy nightclub full with sweaty, half naked people (mental note: I really need to focus on the diet again).

 

 

As a little bonus for your viewing pleasure, a documentary I really enjoyed:

Thrive With Less from Thrive With Less on Vimeo.

The health report – September

Last month there was even more relaxing on the diet front than the month before. As said last time:  reaching my goal in December or February doesn’t really make any difference for me. And I wanted to enjoy the last month of summer without devoting all my time and energy to the diet. So I relaxed even more on the diet front. This off course, came with a price…

Fase 1: Swimming

I knew it was going a challenging 4 weeks with the parties I had planned  the pool being closed for cleaning. So I am really glad to report I only missed two swim sessions!

One was because we only got home after 18h on Sunday so the pool here was closed. i did discover there was a pool really close to where we stayed/partied so next year I’ll bring my swimming gear and might just skip the festivities to go swimming for an hour 😉

The other missed swim session also was on a Sunday because the pool was closed for cleaning. During the week I went to a swimming pool close to my work but I didn’t feel like doing that drive on Sunday as well. Taking all the obstacles into account I am pretty happy with only 2 missed sessions! I still went 10 times which comes down to 20 km’s of swimming.

Fase 2: A very strict diet

Well, not very strict this month… As explained above and in last months post I relaxed a bit to enjoy the last of the summer and then will go full throttle when it’s winter and there are no more summer activities to attend.

What was the damage? Let’s look at the numbers.

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm
15-9-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 114 cm 38 cm

Ouch! Gained two kilo’s and one cm of belly back!!

This proves two things.

First: I really need to be strict to lose weight. Strict diet AND lots of exercise or weight lose just doesn’t happen for me. Some people can eat a little bit less and lose a few kilo’s. some people can start exercising a little bit and lose weight. Not me. I have to eat almost nothing and do lots of exercise to lose weight. All or nothing. It’s not just my personality but also my body. Which begs the question, did my body type shape my personality or is it the other way around?

Second: I have not yet build up enough muscles to get away with eating more. This despite the 3 x 2 km swimming every week and the push-ups I am now doing. So we better finish up our utility room so I can start with weights also.

Fase 3: fitness

Still doing the 7 weeks to 100 push-ups (even if I am now in week 8, lol). Still slow going.

date repetitions
15-8-2018 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6
18-9-2018 4 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 7

 

The above is also 3 times a week, usually Monday – Wednesday – Friday.

I can notice the difference in upper body strength but gaining 2 kg’s probably didn’t help with the progress. As promised last time I’ll add sit-ups to this exercise regime as off Monday. With the renewed focus on the diet I am hoping to make a bit more progress here by next month.

Monthly expense report: August

If I had to sum up my expenses for August in one sentence it would be: the bloody Vespa again! Here are the -ugly- numbers.

 

Income: 2 338,44 euro

Expenses: 2 016,10 euro

Savings: 322,34 euro

 

Income is a bit higher because I had my birthday which means presents! Well actually only one from the parents as we have all but eliminated the back and forward giving of presents. I have all that I need and if I – rarely – want something I usually buy it.

Expenses blew up to the highest of the year. Above 2.000 euro thanks to …

Yep, the Vespa.

Last time the shop apparently did not solve the root cause of the coolant problem. So three weeks later the issue reared it’s ugly head once more and back to the shop it was. For another 620 euro bill. Most of it work time. I can’t say I am overjoyed with this as they should have found the issue the first time around. There is the possibility that the second issue developed after them fixing the water pomp but the Vespa made the same ticking sound it did after the first maintenance than it did before the maintenance. So I really think they missed the root cause, fixed the water pomp which was probably a symptom of the underlying issue (a crack in cylinder housing) and this time had to do a lot of the work again to fix the real problem. With me paying twice!

And a skilled mechanic appears not to come cheap.

Honestly, these maintenance bills have taken a bit away of the joy of driving the Vespa. But only a bit. Here is hoping for many carefree months of riding it and getting my joy back!

The lessons I take away from this are:

In the short time I am going to look for a ‘guy’ who not only will work on the Vespa at a lower hourly rate I am paying now but is also willing to teach me how to do most of the work myself. Thus, hopefully avoiding other big maintenance bills in the future.

Long term I will most definitely build myself an electrical speed monster of a bicycle! Building it myself will insure I know every little detail of it and be capable of doing all the maintenance myself. It is going to cost me time off course (most things are a trade off between money and time + effort) but I should pick up some valuable skills that will also serve me well after FIRE.

Now some people claim that a 13,7% savings rate is still descend but let’s be honest, this is the FIRE crowd. Even my usual 25% savings rate is at the low end of the spectrum. So high time for me to return to more acceptable savings. Half September I will have my partying behind me and then it will be a 100% focus on finance and health for the rest of the year.

The health report – August

Last month I relaxed a bit on the diet front, feeling I deserved a bit of a break and I wanted to enjoy the summer a bit. I’ll go into the details below. But all in all I am feeling pretty good!

Fase 1: Swimming

All good here. Didn’t miss a single session in the last month. I am also swimming a bit faster than I was a few months ago. Progress, yeah!

Next month is going to be a tough as I have 2 festivals and 1 party planned. Getting to the pool on Sunday is going to be a challenge. Perhaps I’ll just party hard till 8 AM and then go straight to the pool? Also, my pool is closed for 10 days for cleaning. I’ll look into Leuven to perhaps go swimming there. But those are worries for next month. Swim wise, the past month was great! Also starting the really like my shoulders! Nothing like swimming 3 times a week 2 km to build some nice shoulders!

Fase 2: a very strict diet

I was at 101 kg last month. Then I buckled down, smashed through the 100 kg all the way to 97 kg. Then I had three weeks of hard core dieting interchanged with eating a lot. A lot like in the extra large dominos pizza all on my own, burp!. I finished at 99 kg.

It was by choice as I realized that even by sticking to the very strict diet I would only reach my weight goal somewhere in November. That is the middle of winter. And reaching it in November, December or even January doesn’t really make any difference to me. There is some stuff I look forward to doing when I am at my ideal weight. Like buying some cool t-shirts. But none of it is in the winter. Winter for us is huddling down at the farm. We are half in hibernation during those months. And now it is still summer. With places to visit and stuff to do. I want to cut loose a bit for the month of August. So I am.

I am also, finally, loosing belly fat again. On of the most frustrating things is you do not get to chose where your body loses fat. I want to get rid of the belly. So what does my body do? Add fat first and foremost to the belly but only burn it the last! Looks like my body is finally running out of others places to burn fat and is dipping into the belly stash once again!

Date: weight neck chest belly arm
24-10-2017 114 kg 43 cm 124 cm 124 cm 39 cm
15-5-2018 104 kg 42 cm 115 cm 114,5 cm 38 cm
17-6-2018 104 kg 42 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-7-2018 101 kg 41 cm 118 cm 115 cm 38 cm
15-8-2018 99 kg 41 cm 118 cm 113 cm 38 cm

Yes, I know. I still need to work on viewing eating lots of greasy food as a reward. But I am more confident that I am going to keep it up. Even if, occasionally, I am less strict. I definitely noticed the extra large pizza went I went swimming 2 days later! So I have a correction mechanism in place to prevent me to pig out all the time. Especially now that I started with the fitness again.

Fase 3: fitness

I started with the 7 weeks to 100 push-ups. It is slow going.

Doing the beginner approach because being a couch potato for over a decade really killed my strength and I am still carrying around 15 kg of fat. I am also concentrating on getting my form right. So I am now doing week 2 for a second time. I am currently at 3 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 6. I’ll probably do week 2 on more time next week. But I can definitely see the progress. I also noticed the huge difference with the last time I tried this. I still was 115 kg heavy then and boy that was a disaster! So it is going a lot better minus the 15 kg of fat I have now. That really motivates me to keep going!

Like I mentioned above, the next month is pretty party heavy. So I am limiting the fitness to the push-ups. After the next update on 15 September I’ll add sit-ups to it. And after that, I’ll see when I can get my fitness equipment in our utility room. Slow and steady progress! It is the way of the sloth after all!

Monthly expense report: July

Not all months can be good months. July proofed this as it was an expensive month and not on fun stuff!

Income: 2 188,44 euro

Expenses: 1 963,50 euro

Savings: 224,94 euro

Almost no savings this month! The main culprit behind this, once again: the Vespa. The water pomp decided to stop working so I had another 600+ euro maintenance bill. I think driving through some mud floods a few months back didn’t do it any good. But we can also safely conclude that a Vespa isn’t the cheapest way to get to your work. It isn’t the cheapest brand (so parts are more expensive) and I do add an impressive amount of distance to it every week: 200+ km in total, each work week. Keeping a budget really confronts you with the cost of stuff so I have been thinking about the cheapest way to limit the wear and tear on the Vespa. The cheapest way is to work more from home. My new work accepts this and I just did a test last Friday. Don’t know if I will make it a regular thing. It was OK now because we have a bit of a slower workload at the moment but when it is busy again I think I would prefer to just go to work. An old time motorcycle where I could do the maintenance myself is a possibility but I think that electric is going to be the way forward for motorcycles (might even happen faster than for cars as very nice electric motorcycles are coming to market at reasonable prices). And if I am going to learn new skills I prefer them to be future proof. So I think I’ll start with building my own electric bicycle. Since anything self-build above 25 km/h isn’t street legal in Belgium I am just going to ignore the 45km/h speed limit as well and build me a real speed monster.  Let’s be honest here, if you are going to do something illegal better be fast enough so they can’t catch you … I am still busy till September so I’ll have my dad on the lookout for a suitable  mountain bike as of October and then do the build during the winter months so I am ready by next spring to bicycle to work 1 or 2 times a week. Knowing myself, the faster the bike is, the more I will do it.

Anyway, without the Vespa maintenance cost I would have stayed well within budget! And the budget even allowed for a good amount of fun. In July I visited some pop up stuff in the nearest city with a friend. Went one day to Dour festival for only 10 euro (yeah for work paying for the VIP tickets and most of the drinks/food!). And visited the Gentse feesten with some other friends.

August also looks promising on the entertainment front with a techno gig in our town, the Leuven free city festival next Sunday and a Goa festival (already pre-payed). So curious if I can stay within budget the next month …

The joint account also was pretty expensive with our fire insurance (I definitely need to look for a better insurance next year) and our grocery shopping which came in at 730 euro! We need to pay closer attention to this one and really, really need to start with the meal planning/prepping. Going to be honest, that too is something we are hopeful to start in October.

The job evolution

So I noticed I didn’t post anything about my job situation since August last year. Which is a bit of a shame because a lot changed since then! All for the better. There even is some juice stuff to tell!

Now I wasn’t really exhuming a lot of enthusiasm for that job in this three month recap. Hell, I even ended the post saying I was actually looking for a new job again.

Guess what? My employer at the time noticed it too. And do you know what a company does with a guy working interim that does an ok’ish job but isn’t really motivated? They don’t give him a full time contract!

My contract was up for renewal the end of September and well, that didn’t happen.

We will not extend your contract with us

I saw it coming so when called into my supervisors office it was no surprise. But my supervisor was in for a surprise! You see, she was nervous as hell because:

  1. she was going on holiday for two weeks and I left on holiday the last week of September. So there she was, having to tell a guy in early September that his contract is not going to get renewed but could you please continue to work here for two more weeks? Without any boss being present?
  2. I transferred millions of euro on a weekly basis as part of my job and
  3. the last guy she let go was so pissed at her that he threatened her outside the office and cops actually showed up at our office to take her statement about the whole incident. I think her being nervous is actually an understatement. There were visible tension lines on her face and on the face of the interim office representant (the last one definitely was not present when they ‘terminated’ the last employee).

So what happens when you say to a guy with a sizable stash who really doesn’t like the current job that you will not be renewing his contract?

Well, in my case, said guy is actually pretty fucking happy. I literally could not hold in a big fucking smile when she told me! I was, ‘Oof, yes, I am out of here!!’

I should have filmed their face! It was priceless!

They went from all tensed up to wary: is this guy for real, is he actually happy to be let go?!

And then they relaxed and started smiling themselves (probably thinking: this is going SO MUCH BETTER!). I think we were the happiest people to ever leave a meeting like that. We all left with smiles on our faxes and everybody visibly relaxed. Half the meeting was my boss saying to the interim representant that she was happy with the quality of my work and the interim representant almost apologizing to me for finding me a job that did not meet my expectations. And assuring me that they would find a better job after this one ended …

Time to party

Honestly, I was looking forward to some quality time at home. Did I say I really enjoy relaxing at home?! Alas I wasn’t that lucky …

I had already starting looking for work beforehand and one of those applications was successful. And they wanted me to start as soon as possible. I did manage to push back my start date a bit but alas, on 15 November I was back at work. Only 1,5 months of being a lazy bum. Sigh, I guess you can’t have everything in life.

Scoring a hatrick

In that 3 month recap I posted what I was looking for in a new job:

1)      Closer to home (30 min by Vespa of 1 hour by decent e-bike). Basically Leuven.

2)      About the same wage as my current wage

3)      In a field that actually interests me (finance, IT, entertainment)

4)      Hopefully also a job I could transform into ‘less than part time’ once I have achieved financial freedom and I only need to earn the tax free sum of 7.400 euro.

So how did I do?

  • The job is near Leuven. Check!
  • My net wage is a bit higher than before (long live the Belgian Bicycle to work compensation! Tax free compensation is the best kind of compensation!). Check!
  • I now work in the Fintech sector, combining Finance and IT. Check!
  • Not possible in my current job. But things are moving and changing fast here so who knows in a few more years?

And then the most important part: do I like the new job?

Big check there!

The company is in the scale up phase at the moment. So insanely busy on all accounts. Part of me doing less posts here is because I am tired in the evening folks. And I really do not want to sit any more time behind the PC in the evening. But it is a good kind of tired. And the atmosphere is very much still start up rock and roll.

I knew I would be a good fit when  the CTO during my interview showed up and his wardrobe was even worse then mine is. I had dressed up but he showed up to the interview dressed as a street bum. I knew I was going to like this place immediately!

It wasn’t a typical interview either.

Some of the questions and my answers.

Q: How much importance do you attach to your job title?

A: zero

Q: What do you do when there is an insane amount of work to be done?

A: I work like a crazy person

Q: What do you do when there is no work to be done?

A: I get lazy. I work best under pressure. His reply: good, we’ve got heaps of pressure here.

Q: do you find it important to get credit for improving stuff

A: If it makes my work easier I don’t care who gets the credit. I have even in the past made sure my Boss got the credit so I could finally get my hands on that shiny new application that made my day to day work a lot easier!

Those answers got me hired! Which really shows the culture of this place. Also, the CTO left a month ago without any new job lined up. His plan: bum around in Portugal for a few months and then see what he feels like doing. I guess I got hired by a Moustachian!

Also, our CEO is transitioning into a new position at the big finance company that bought us and is on holiday now. So we are flying without a CEO or CTO at the moment. Rock and roll, baby!

It probably won’t last because, as a big finance corporation bought us. Some corporate stuff is already starting to seep in! But that is a gradual process. So by the time our atmosphere gets all corporate and stuffy I won’t be needing a job anymore … But for the time being, I do not mind working all that much!

 

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