Random Musings

Just came back from ZwolCon 2018. From what? It was a meeting with other bloggers and non-bloggers in a café in the beautiful city of Zwolle. It was great fun, as per usual, to see friends and make new ones. When I came home, and after I had put mini-me to bed, I realized that I didn’t have a post for my usual posting day: Monday. I could have just ignored it and do nothing, but I realized today during the meetup that many folks actually look forward to read something from me. Hence: random musings (& FIRE meetups)!

Random Musings (& FIRE Meetups)

Let’s start with the FIRE meetup in Zwolle. We had about 50 people register for the event (thanks Chris!), and think we probably got around 40-45 people show up. Not a bad score I’d say. The meetups are getting increasingly more popular, which is great! It means that the FIRE/HOT philosophy is getting more attention and more people are taking charge of their finances and life.

Random musings
Random musings: what you get when you enter “Random” in Pixabay 🙂

That being said, I still think that we are primarily attracting relatively high income earners (with the occasional exception). Which make sense when you realize that those folks generally have more money they can use for “extra’s”.

Most people, unfortunately, struggle with daily life and finances. FIRE is not for everyone, but good finances should be for all! Perhaps I therefore should start to volunteer and help low(er) income families with financial education. Might be very rewarding. This in addition to the side hustle, where I do seem to find people with higher incomes. That being said, I still love our BENL FIRE meetups! So many opinions and ideas, it’s never boring 🙂

FIRE Meetups

More meetups are in the works and being planned. The first one coming up is Vastgoed Con Utrecht, which at time of writing is almost full. We only have 2 spots left! Love the enthusiasm about real estate investing in the Netherlands. Should be a fun day with lots of real estate stories, example and strategies.

The plan is to do another “regular” BENL FIRE meetup in Haarlem or surrounding area. This one should be a full day again with presentation and discussions. Looking for venues is the first thing on the list. Tentative date is somewhere third or forth weekend in January 2019.

Might see if we can do another “open” meetup in bar or restaurant  in the coming months. Just a time and date, you decide if you want to join and for how long. Stay tuned!

Also, with other members of the slack group, I still need to look at a BENL FIRE retreat! We will be looking at a castle or other venue to meet for a long weekend (Friday-Sunday). There needs to be a FIRE place too, obviously (the pyromaniac in me needs an outlet on occasion). Will be something for March/April 2019. Again, stay tuned for this one!

We are also planning something even bigger, but that is going to stay a surprise for a bit longer (sorry for the teaser).

Early Retirement

Albeit the early retirement police is probably not agreeing that I’m actually retired (let alone early), I have not had a job now for quite some time (closing in on 6 months). It’s kind of amazing how life just keeps going and the difference between week days and weekends seems to disappears. Still no stress, except from having to rebuild a bedroom in a rental unit due to flooding from a gutter (which also needs checking/fixing – it has been cleaned thou!).

I am talking about the experiences quite a bit with people, both online and offline. The posts about loneliness and rhythm are part of it obviously. During the meetup today, the topic came up again. People are honestly interesting in how I’m doing and what emotions I experience, but also how I do with goals I set before I quit. Some thoughts on that……

Random musings - Early Retirement
Random musings – Early Retirement

Free time

I don’t seem to have as much “free” time as I a thought I would. The weekends are much less stressful, but also less efficient. We have more quality time with family and friends during those weekends. It’s a good development, but it also means I do more in the household during the week. And I’m not as efficient! Hence, reduction of time for other things.

Working out

Albeit I planned to workout a lot, I’m doing almost less than when I had a job. Where I needed it then for stress release and getting my brain to relax, those drivers are gone now. I have started swimming again, but I have not cycled as much (besides daily commuting to school and shops). My knee does not like me running, so that is a compete disaster at the moment. I had cleaned the shed to be able to workout indoors during the winter months, but it is now filled with stuff from the rental unit repair works…….

I do need to get better in prioritizing workouts in my life, they are critical for good health to say the least.

Post writing

I had/have so many ideas for posts on cheesyfinance, but I struggle to motivate myself. Most posts involve a lot of research and calculations, which is very time consuming. Where some bloggers write from the heart, it takes them less than an hour to make a post. Some posts for me can take up to 6-8 hours to prepare. That is a full day! I virtually don’t make any money with this blog, so dedicating that much time and effort is getting harder. It is fun thou, I just can’t do that for 2 posts per week. Even this posts is now already taking close to 2 hours to write (+1000 words).

That being said, I got requests for a couple more “should you” topics, including:

  • buy an electric car
  • buy a country?! (really…… albeit not entire impossible I might add!)
  • become mortgage free
  • start a company
  • retire early

Let’s see what I can do, no promises thou! Any other suggestions?? I like having options!


Have a great (work) week!






  1. hey Cheesy, we are clearly struggling with the same problems with having nothing to do, drive for a lot of things is just gone…
    Sadly, I have no solution to offer 😐

    1. Guess it’s natural and a phase that passes. Got to work on it though! Difficult as that might be.
      Mrs CF has been in your posisition too, unemployed for 9 months during the last financial crisis. Drove her nuts! Started all kinds of volunteer things, that ultimately landed here a job. Go figure.

  2. Keep up the swimming, glad you are back into it. I too am a fan! I can imagine your posts taking a while to prepare as they are very insightful, great job!

    1. It’s becoming a trend to add CON to everything. We also have a Utrecht Real Estate CON and are planning more events 🙂 HaarlemCon is in the works too 😉
      Thanks as always for the read, Mr Dave!

  3. It was nice to speak to you again and hope to see you in Haarlem 🙂 You can count me in already ::))))
    My girlfrind did like it as well. Much more afterwards then on forehand. 🙂

    1. Glad that you girlfriend liked it too! Cute baby by the way 🙂 It was fun indeed to catch up, too bad we didn’t have more time.
      See you next time!

  4. Yeah, you really need to prioritize work outs above everything else until they become a habit or it just doesn’t happen. I must admit, it is easier to go to the swimming pool straight after work (I am already on the road) then to do it on a Sunday when I have to leave my comfy couch! A little self bragging: went swimming yesterday at 12u30 when I only went to bed around 04u30! Party hard, swim hard is my new motto!

  5. The meetup was fun! Nice to meet like minded people, looking forward to Vastgoed Con.

    I think it will be very rewarding to volunteer and help low(er) income families. I’m also playing with the idea myself. Not sure how and when to set something like this up.

    1. If you find something about volunteer options, do let me know. Have not started looking just yet, couple of other things I need to get sorted first.
      See you in November, we have a full house!

  6. Thanks for all the updates! The FIRE community in the low lands is growing. Maybe I should start one here in Spain as well. Will certainly be one for lower incomes then. However almost everyone I know here is rather HOT already 😉

  7. I just love these meet-ups. I also found that there were quite some young people as well.

    And what about, should you organize your own BENL FIRE meet-up lite? 🙂

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