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Being financially independent... that's something that's been on my mind ever since I read an article in a magazine a few years ago about people in their thirties retiring. A whole new world opened up for me! Working until you're 65, earning enough, but too little time to do anything with your money. And when you can finally retire, your health will maybe fail,  I saw this happen with my grandfather... No, that is really not my dream scenario, but being able to make your own choices around your forties and no longer 'have to' work, that sounded like music to my ears! 

Since that day I took some steps towards a future that looks far more appealing for me! But two things are important for me: money is just a tool for me not a goal, money and materialism don't make me happy, and secondly I don't want to spend my days in front of a laptop! Read more about the way of getting financially independent in this article!

Do you need everything you have?

Over the years we collect so much stuff that we need... or we think that we need them! Think about everything you have, what is of value to you, things you attached to, do you really need that much clothing and what about all those coats that you think are beautiful but you never wear them? I was amazed when I did this exercise for myself. I gave away a lot of stuff, sold a lot of clothes on the Vinted app and other second-hand websites. This created so much peace in my house and my head! And now I think a little longer before I buy new stuff. I now have the space to value  experiences more than materialistic stuff.

Reduce costs

We often pay our monthly or annual fixed costs without even thinking about it. If you take a closer look at this list, you can save a lot! My general rule is: the more independent you are from others, the more you can save! We get our energy from solar panels, heat our house and water with a heat pump and use well water instead of tap water. By doing this our water and electricity bills are very low! So be sure to do the exercise yourself: Take a close look at your energy bill, can't you buy your electricity cheaper elsewhere? Isn't it cheaper to invest in solar panels in the long run? What about your water bill? Wouldn't it be better to switch to rainwater for some applications? And don't forget: are all those insurances really useful? Don't live out of fear, but out of trust, weigh up the risks and decide based on that whether you need a certain insurance policy!

Invest in real estate

This is a very important part if you want a passive income. Real estate almost never loses value, so if you can invest in it, you build in great security. You don't really need to have a big budget, you can always take out a loan from the bank. I bought an apartment to rent out a few years ago. I borrowed part of the amount. And now get a nice profit every month through the rental income. In Belgium, these are free of taxes and you can obtain a tax advantage for a loan! Dare to take the step, it really pays off!

Affiliate marketing

If you have a blog or a website don't forget the possibility of using Affiliate marketing. What exactly is this? By referring to a website by making use of links in your text or by using banners, you can get a percentage of a purchase that is been made after using your link or sometimes you get a fixed amount when visitors from your website go to a certain website. I mainly use Tradetracker and Awin for this, two platforms on which you can find many brands so you can always make a link to somewhere.

Invest in Cryptocoins

A few years ago I would never have written this. I had no faith in cryptocoins. It was on the edge of what was legal for me. But a lot has changed in the meantime. The crypto world is better organized. There is still a large gray zone, but this form of investing is slowly finding its way to the general public. I myself started with cryptos about a year ago. I don't use large amounts and certainly not money that I absolutely need. I use two platforms. The first one is Coinbase. Coinbase is the world's largest Bitcoin exchange and broker. It's safe, your coins will not be stolen by some corrupt regime. If you use this link to create an account on coinbase you get a 10$ when you invest $100. The other cryptoplatform I use is Bitvavo. This one is also very easy to start trading cryptocoins. You don't need a master degree in finance to use Bitvavo. Use this link and try it yourself (we both get an advantage when you use the link!!). ... and maybe you are one of those lucky ones who buy that one coin that adds more than 500% value in a few days! I make about 15-20% profit on my cryptocoins and I'm very happy with that!!

Be creative

And last but not least: your own creativity. Take time and space and let the ideas arise. What are you good at, what talent can you use? How can you help others? Are you a writter, storyteller, teacher, are you good with numbers and administration or can you guide a group to the top of a high mountain? 

Don't be afraid to fail, just try, jump, take a risk! It will make your life so meaningful and it will bring you so much joy!