In the previous post on the topic “How Much Do You Need To Become Financially Independent in the Netherlands”, we looked at three scenarios (the “poverty” option, base case option and the “luxury” option). One of the main things we concluded is that taxation significantly increases the amount of required assets before you can call yourself financially independent. We assumed an average tax burden of approximately 30%. However, was this calculated correctly?  Financial-IndependanceXSmall

In this post we will evaluate the impact of Box 1, Box 2 and Box 3 taxation on the total amount of assets required to provide you with a net “base case” income of €25,000 per year (in 2016 Euros). The assumptions remain that that 4% rule applies, that you make an average rate of return on your investment (ROI) of 7% and that we encounter an average 3% inflation. Obviously, swings in the ROI and inflation affect the total amount of assets required.

For this analysis we assume 4 scenario’s (see scenario assumptions below for further details):

  • All your income falls under Box 1
  • All your income falls under Box 2
  • All your income falls under Box 3
  • Your income has a 20 – 80 percentage split between income in Box 1 and Box 3

Real Life Examples

What do these scenario’s mean in real life? Here are some examples for the four scenarios, (please do keep in mind that there are many other examples out there!):

If all your income sits in Box 1, it most likely means that you are still employed as you have income from labour, or you are unemployed and are receiving benefits or you are retired and are receiving a (government/private) pension (and/or a combination of the aforementioned). You have no special interests in (your own) companie(s) (i.e. you don’t hold any shares or are a major shareholder in a corporation, which is taxed in Box 2) and you have limited to no assets and/or receive little to no dividends (as they are taxed in Box 3).

If all your income sits in Box 2, you are not (directly) employed, receiving benefits or a pension (all box 1), you are getting all your income from dividends paid by the company you own or in which you have a substantial amount of shares (see here for details). But you have limited to no other assets (box 3).

If all your income sits in Box 3, you are not employed, are receiving benefits or a pension (all box 1), or you are receiving very little and end up not paying any taxes due to various credits. You either do not own a company or are own a substantial amount of shares in a corporation (Box 2), or when you do, the company does not pay dividends (hence no income and taxation). However, you have managed to collect a (large?) amount of assets in the form or shares, bonds, real estate, loans, etc. This scenario is most likely when you become financially independent prior to age 67 and fully live off dividends, real estate income and/or capital gains from shares/index funds.

The fourth scenario is a combination of option 1 and 3; which you could describe as you having a large amount of assets (box 3) and are also receiving income from employment and/or pensions and/or benefits. The majority of us in the Netherlands will end up in this category at one point during our lives, albeit the ratio between incomes in Box 1 and Box 3 may vary significantly depending on your personal situation.

Final_FinancialIndependenceScenario Assumptions

As there are way too many variables to consider everything, we therefore need to make certain assumptions for our 4 scenarios. We assume the following for each scenario:

Scenario 1 (this scenario is primarily used to evaluate taxation from a “normal” job compared to taxation during “financial independence”):

  • Taxation is based on 2016 rates
  • It assumes income is from labour and you receive the associated credits/benefits (i.e. “heffingskorting” and “arbeitskorting”)
  • No income from other credits/benefits or government/private pension
  • You are younger than 67 years (calculation uses a person of 35 years)
  • No special tax arrangements or benefits (e.g. no company car, you rent a house, no special life insurance or other policies, etc.), just to keep it simple.

Scenario 2 (this scenario represents living from dividend income of your own company without performing any work; it is supposed to be representing “retirement”!)

  • Taxation is based on 2016 rates
  • There is only income in Box 2 from special interests in a company (paid in dividends)

Scenario 3 (this scenario reflect financial independence by living purely on your hard earned assets)

  • Taxation is based on 2016 rates
  • No dividend income assumed (more to follow in a future post regarding dividend tax and Box 3 calculations)
  • Assumed ROI of 2%, 4% and 7% (to show taxation effects), note that the taxman assumes you get around 4% (subject to the amount of assets you have) and we assume you get 7% for our base case.

Scenario 4 (this final scenario reflects financial independence, but you still like to do some work on the side for fun, say 1 or 2 days a week, and get paid for it)

  • Taxation is based on 2016 rates
  • No dividend income assumed
  • Income is from labour and you receive the associated credits/benefits (i.e. “heffingskorting” and “arbeitskorting”)
  • No income from benefits or pension
  • You are younger than 67 years (calculation uses a person of 35 years)
  • No special tax arrangements or benefits (e.g. no company car, you rent a house, no special life insurance or other policies, etc.)
  • Assumed ROI’s of 4% and 7%.

The Results

For details on the taxation amounts, please see Box 1, Box 2 and Box 3 (and check the website of the Belastingdienst for the latest and greatest). Please keep in mind that taxation between box 1, 2 and 3 is not interchangeable (i.e. taxation credits cannot be switch between boxes)!

Based on our assessments, you get the following taxation amounts and effective taxation rates based on the above noted assumptions. The required amount of assets are based on the noted returns on investments (hint, you need to make sure your ROI is as high as you can!).

2016-01 HMDYN P2

Observations and Considerations

Scenarios 1 and 2 are pretty straight forward, but there is a significant impact for scenario’s 3 and 4 subject to your effective ROI and associated taxes (box 3). The explanation on the results is as follows, the lower your ROI the higher your assets needs to be, simple right? However, the higher your assets, the higher the effective taxation, which makes is increasingly more difficult to obtain the required income of €25,000 net of taxes. We therefore see these ridiculous asset amounts to become financially independent.boracay-island

So how does this work then in reality? You will have years that do better than average and years that do not. During the years you are doing better than average, your taxation is “relatively” limited (but about the same in absolute terms) and you should have some extra that year to reinvest  into (or leave in) your portfolio. During the less than average years, you may have to dip into your principle to pay for the owed taxes (or work to get some extra income). On the upside, during a large stock market/housing crash, you tax burden also gets some relieve as your assets would be worth less!

We never realized these impacts on our cash flow (and required amount of assets) and now realize that we need considerably more assets to “securely” live during our years of financial independence. Or we just need to do some work on the side for some extra income during less than average years to cover the taxes.

Another realization is that most people on their way to financial independence in the Netherlands (and blog about it) do not assess this taxation topic and are more closely looking at the wealth building stage (how and how much). However, if you don’t know the level of your taxation, how can you define your wealth goal? So we have now taken an slightly conservative approach and included assets to cover taxation during financial independence. Our final calculated number is what is used in our Cheesy Index.


Based on the assessment above we conclude the following:carnival-of-financial-independence

  • The Dutch tax system is complex and has a large impact on everyone trying to become financially independent. It does not matter much if you are a dividend investor (all Box 3), real estate investor (also Box 3) or investor in Index Funds or stocks (yup, Box 3 again).
  • From a taxation perspective the most “stable” and easiest to calculate would be income from Box 2.
  • Taxation in Box 3 can work in your favour, but can also hurt you in financially less successful years. The key is to maintain a ROI of more than the assumed 4% by the government (plus 2-3% inflation, so ideally an ROI of 7% and up), and you should be coming out ahead.
  • It may actually pay off to do a little bit of work on the side (say postal delivery, cleaning services, consulting, etc.) for one or two days a week to keep your overall taxation down (the Dutch government stimulates labour and low incomes with significant tax breaks/credits). But it is then debatable if you truly are financially independent, you certainly would have way more time on your hands.


Below is an overview of our dividend stock portion of our wealth portfolio.  It has been a good month for dividends, especially considering that the months of January/April/July/October are somewhat “slower”.

Below you can find a quick overview of the total monthly dividend payouts for 2015/2016:

20160129 Monthly Dividend

Here is an overview of our dividend stocks:

20160129 Dividend Overview

If you group the above dividend stocks by sector, the distribution of our portfolio is as follows (based on market value at close of markets on January 29, 2016):

20160129 Dividend Stock by Sector

No updates to report, we only bought one new dividend stock (High LIner Foods) in January (we should have bought more, but were to busy dealing with the flu and missed the whole “dip”….aagh).

After such a rough month as this January, you would expect a dip in the Cheesy Index, at least we did. But to our surprise we came out ahead! For this months we saw an modest increase of 0.2% in our Cheesy Index (we ended 2015 with 43.6%, see here).

The current target is roughly a 5.5% per year increase (we want to be done in about 10 years), so about 5.3% to go!

The Cheesy Index for January 2016 is as follows:

201601 CI

January 2016 started off rather good, we managed to obtain a Savings Rate of 48.9%. Not bad! It could have been over 50% if not for a couple of vandals that thrashed one of our bikes causing €115 in damage (parts only!). Other than this little setback, expenses for food, day care, leisure, housing, and such were all inline with targets.

Unfortunatly, we still have not received our daycare credits from the government, which should be in the order of €200-300 per month, so it would be nice if that finally starts arriving in the checking account (expected to start Febuary or March).

201601 Savings Rates

Below you can find an overview of our expenses in percentage. Transport is low for us as both Mr. and Mrs. CF have their commutes paid for (one company car and one public transportation card). This expenses for this month include those for our personal vehicle and bicycles.

201601 Expenses

On occasion you find a fascinating article that makes you think or shakes up your personal views. In this case it makes you think about taxes and the associated benefits of living in a relatively social country like the Netherlands. But 100% taxation?

100% Taxation?

Paying taxes is still annoying (especially if you see about 30-35% of your hard earned cash Below Sea Leveldisappear), but there are some benefits including a good logistical infrastructure, dykes to protect you from the ever rising water, good police/fire fighting/medical systems and some (financial) security if life decides to throw you a curve ball (i.e. it is very hard to become severely impoverished in the Netherlands).

We hope you enjoy the following article as much as we did (freely translated by yours truly, for the original Dutch version, see below):

What is Prosperity?

My father has a tree nursery. A noble profession, high CO2 compensation levels and the world looks greener.

There is some good money to be made in this business, so he opted to make his business a legal private company. One day my father sold a particular plant, making him (net of expenses) €100.

My father, righteous as he is, paid the government a 20 percent corporate profit tax. Besides being righteous, my father is also is a very kind man; so he decides to buy a gift for my mother. He pays himself the remaining 80 euros into his private account.

The taxman thinks this is an excellent idea and wants 25 per cent (“special interest” tax in Box 2). My father, a wise man as he is avoids his car and walk righteous, but slightly disappointed, with 60 euros to the store.

Now my mother is fond of brandy, so he decides to buy a bottle of it. The tax is also fond of cognac because it gets about 15 euros in VAT and various alcohol related duties.


100% Taxation

The 45 euro “left over”, my father adds to a donation to his niece. The taxman appreciates the generous gift with a donation tax of 30 percent, or 13.50 euros. The niece, much like her uncle, is thankful and deposits the gift including the remaining 31.50 euros into the bank; where she gets an interest rate of 1.2 percent per year.

The taxman believes that 1.2 percent return on investment is not enough and pretends she gets 4 percent (see here) and after a few years, this 31.50 dwindled to 20 euros. By the time her son inherits this 20 euros, only 18 euros is left over due to 10 percent inheritance tax. By this time her son will be able to just afford to pay the duties on a pack cigarettes, and we can therefore conclude that the entire 100 euros has come into the hands of the state.

The fact that a single euro can be taxed several times in this way, sounds serious. But in reality the situation is even grimmer. We have not even talked about gaming tax, social security, income tax, dividend tax and more.

To show how grim the situation is, we make the following calculation. If you take the Gross National Product (often incorrectly used as an indicator of prosperity) of the Netherlands, and divide this by the total revenue (taxes) of the government, you come to a factor of about 2.4. That means that every euro earned in Netherlands will end up within the state treasury in about two and a half years.

This actually applies to most European countries – except Norway and Sweden, of course, where this is done within a period of only two years. Poland is an exception. In Poland the income flows to government coffers within only 6 to 7 years. Just as in the United States and Canada.

The social welfare in these countries is hard to find, which proves that the ratio of GDP / Income is a more accurate welfare indicator than GDP alone. So if we still have some complain about the tax rate, please know that we really have nothing to complain.




Now that 2015 is definitely history, it was time to assess and visualize the data behind the Cheesy Index. As Mr. CF loves spreadsheets, this fortunately was not a monumental task 🙂

The total foundation on which the Cheesy Index is based consists of three asset groups:

  • Income generating assets (our stocks, Index funds, real estate, crowdfunding loans, etc.)
  • Non-income generating assets (e.g. cash, art, etc.)
  • Depreciating assets (i.e. our car)

In percentage this looks as follows:

2015 Asset Allocation

The reason for the increase in non-income producing assets in December is because we sold some shares that were up to potentially fund another real estate transaction. Unfortunately, this fall through on new year’s eve. So, we now have more cash to pour into a volatile stock market, great!

If you breakdown the income producing assets, you will find the following:

2015 Income Asset Allocation

Our target for the various groups can be found here, so we still have some work to do!

In a spur of the moment, Mr. CF agreed to a challenge with Amber Tree Leaves (see here and here) to run the 10K under 45 min by June. Now that reality has sunk in, a battle plan is required (and some excel sheets!!) to get to our mutual goal.

Marathon, black silhouettes of runners on the sunset

Mr. CF’s plan is to run 2-3 times a week (with the emphasis on 3 times per week), starting off slow (Mr. CF has not ran in about 6 months). However, due to the inclement weather in Dutch winters (and frankly most of the rest of the year), a backup is required in case running outside is not an (enjoyable) option.

In a past live (read before little Miss CF came around), Mr. CF enjoyed home workout DVD’s like P90X and Insanity, in combination with cycling (primarily indoors, great way to watch a movie and do a workout; you have to multi-task if time is precious). Furthermore, the Insanity workout (and similar other ones) actually enhances your basic fitness level rather quickly, as muscle confusion and interval training really helps in overall athletic performance improvements.


With the proposed “Insanity” the results actually are different…..sort of.

The battle plan:

  • Monday: Running (Insanity as backup)
  • Tuesday: Insanity Episode (Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Pure Cardio or Cardio Power and Resistance)
  • Wednesday: recovery
  • Thursday: Running (Insanity as backup)
  • Friday: recovery
  • Saturday: beer?
  • Sunday: finding motivation to start again on Monday

A more detailed schedule for weekly distances and paces will be made at a later date once the basic level of fitness is elevated.

Any other folks care to join in on the 10K Challenge?


Below is an overview of our dividend stock portion of our wealth portfolio.  It has been a good month for dividends (i.e. another increase).

Below you can find a quick overview of the total monthly dividend payouts for 2015:

20160101 Monthly Dividend

Here is an overview of our dividend stocks:

20151231 Dividend Overview

If you group the above dividend stocks by sector, the distribution of our portfolio is as follows (based on market value at close of markets on December 31, 2015):

20151231 Dividend Stock by Sector

Major updates include the selling of VOPAK and ABN Amro, as we needed to make sure we had sufficient cash on had for a pending real estate transaction, which unfortunatly fall through. However, now we can reinvest into another couple of stocks that fit better within the portfolio. The good thing is that we did make some good capital gains on both stocks!.

Ah, finally some time to go through our financial data over the Christmas holidays. We have been able to populate the Cheesy Index for the entire 2015, including the last month of the year.

It was not a great year, as we only marginally increased our Cheesy Index for the year. Our target date for financial independence is 2025, so we need to have the Cheesy Index grow by an average of about 6% per year; this year (2015) it “only” grew by 3.3%.

The main reason for the slow increase and the bumpy ride is the significantly fluctuating exchange rates, moving cost and our (hopefully successful) re-investment strategy.

The Cheesy Index for December 2015 is as follows:

201512 CI

The savings rate for December was amazing, mainly because of the total income, which surpassed all expectations. We had a small Christmas bonus, a massive payment of interest on a business loan (which we did not expect as it was supposed to have been reinvested into the existing load, but it will give us some extra cash to buy dividend stocks!) and various crowdfunding income.

201512 Savings Rates

The expenses where actually pretty stable, no major expenses for Sinterklaas (“St. Nicolas”) or Christmas. No other unexpected cost either. The main expense was daycare at a whopping ~€1600 before government benefits (the benefits have still not started arrived into our bank account….), but this was as expected.

201512 Expenses


It is that time of year again that is feared most by cats and dogs: New Year’s Eve (or “Oudejaarsdag” in Dutch). It is the time of year when the Netherlands goes crazy and vaporises about 65 Million Euros in the name of fun and tradition.


As a frugal family, we should obviously not spend any money on this non-sense. But then again, we have not had the ability to (legally) set off fireworks in the past 8 years (and subject to how the laws change, may not again do so in the future). Mr. CF has a very big soft spot for fireworks (something to do with childhood memories) and as a family we often go to firework shows, competitions, and love watching it in general. Heck, Mr. CF even has been to NYC to watch the 4th of July firework show near the Brooklyn bridge, and it was awesome!

But this year it is a bit of a mixed feeling, since starting on the path of financial independence a lot has changed, we have been more efficient with our funds and invested in many assets. Firework is by far the best way to see hard earned cash go up in smoke (yes, pun intended).


So, this year we opted for a compromise and bought a little bit just for fun. Considering it has been 8 years since we last bought some fireworks (and we are much more frugal now), we have placed an order for the total sum of……€ 22 (beats the €75+ Mr. CF used to spent). This could have bought us a single share of RDSA, but it certainly would not give Mr. CF as much pleasure. Let’s call this a momentary lapse in focus, shall we?

In order to become financially independent you have to be frugal to some degree (otherwise you cannot live below your means and invest the associated savings). You furthermore need to step outside your comfort zone and invest all your savings into various assets. This always involves risk, but these generally decrease the longer you keeps these assets. The key thing here is risk awareness, assessment and management, by doing research into the assets of your choice you can reduce the risk and increase profit. Hereby obtaining financial independence over time and maintaining it in the long run.

Another (big) portion of the strategy to become and maintain financial independence is to be, and stay, as healthy as you possibly can. Healthcare is expensive, and is poised to become even more expensive in the future (unfortunately due to our own doing as we generally live unhealthy lives as a species). We calculated the other day that healthcare cost (per capita) in the Netherlands averaged a whopping 6% per year increase over the last 30 or so years (see figure below), compared to an average inflation during the same period of only 3%! The best way to limit these cost is to maintain optimal health. But how do you do this?

health care 2

(See how high the Netherlands ranks…..not nearly as expensive as the US, but still!)healthcare cost per capita

We have done a fair bit of digging into medical science and literature to find out what generally decreases risk and found that food/beverages are the single largest overall risk factor (noteworthy mentioning is smoking, but this is a risk primarily for long cancer). Physical activity is crucial, obviously, but food appears to have a bigger impact on overall health risks. For example the risk of dying from coronary heart disease while being very fit but eating poorly is larger (for most people) than being a couch potato who eats very healthy, go figure…..

So, purely based on science and populations studies (see below for a list of several references, some with medical references included), what foods decrease health risks:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Water/green tea

The following increase health risks:

  • Junk food (fried foods, cake, candy, soda, etc.)
  • Animal products (i.e. meat, fish, eggs, dairy)
  • Processed foods (i.e. non-whole foods)
  • Alcohol
  • Salt

Now, this isn’t to say that you should not eat/drink the above, but the fewer you eat/drink the lower your risk of disease and disability (and associated cost and inconvenience). It’s up to you to decide how much risk you are willing to take.

The interesting thing thou, is that these risks are commonly underestimated and/or overlooked, as it takes a long time for the effects to manifest themselves (e.g. stroke, heart attack, cancer, Alzheimer, etc.), but once they do it is often too late to correct/reverse or is even fatal. Prevention is key!

By eating a healthy and balanced (primarily) whole-food plant based diet, you also save some money on the grocery bill, as most plant based foods are cheaper than pre-packaged foods, meats and fish. Albeit commonly not cheaper than most processed foods, which is not a good thing. So, eating (very) healthy should also be a frugal practice by lowering once grocery bill and limiting ones medical bill, there is a serious win-win scenario here.

To help with this frugal and healthy (did someone say “new year resolution”?) lifestyle, we will post some of the recipes that we enjoy, eat on a regular basis and are relatively cheap to make.

Lentil Loaf

(not our actual lentil loaf, should make a photograph one of these days!)

Frugal-licious: The Lentil Loaf

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (you pick the colour)
  • 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups pre-cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Optional: 2-4 cups of chopped spinach and/or kale
  • Optional: 1-1.5 cupd crushed walnuts

How you do it:

  • Pre-heat oven to 175-180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • In a large soup or stock pot, simmer the lentils in water or vegetable broth until cooked, about 30 minutes. Make sure they are very soft so that they will mash up easily.
  • Drain thoroughly then mash the lentils.
  • Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil or another cooking oil (canola, sunflower or vegetable oil) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Combine the onions, garlic and olive oil with the mashed lentils and add the rice, ketchup or barbecue sauce, sage, and Italian seasoning (and optionally the spinach and/or kale and/or walnuts).
  • Gently press the entire lentil, onion and garlic mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan. Drizzle a bit of extra ketchup on top if desired.
  • Bake your lentil loaf for about 45-60 min (the longer you bake, the stiffer the loaf). Allow to cool slightly before serving, as this will help the lentil loaf to firm up.
  • Note: you can also make great burgers on a baking sheet as well! Baking time is shorter at around 20-30 min, flip halfway.


Here are a few references that hint on the use of healthy food and beverages on risk reduction/prevention, there are obviously many more such sites:

The following site includes links to all medical literature used for the text and short/long video clips:




Below is an overview of our dividend stock portion of our wealth portfolio.  It has been a good month for dividends (i.e. another increase), but there are also some concerns with the portfolio regarding certain stocks (albeit not completely unexpected, it still is worrisome).

Below you can find a quick overview of this month’s total dividend payout:

20151201 Monthly Dividend

Here is an overview of our dividend stocks:

20151130 Dividend Overview

If you group the above dividend stocks by sector, the distribution of our portfolio is as follows (based on market value at close of markets on November 30, 2015):

20151130 Dividend Stock by Sector

As you can see in the dividend overview there are several stocks that have not done so well since purchase (understatement…). One is of them is NewAlta Corporation, an engineering and environmental firm working in the oil and gas industries, another example is Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd.

When we bought the shares, they were off their peaks by about 50-70%, so a few months back we thought that this was a good time to buy (and they seemed a nice addition to a balanced portfolio). Turns out we were too fast in purchasing these stocks at they have now plummeted even further, primarily as a result to the continuing drop in oil prices and negative sentiment in their main market area (read Canada’s oil province Alberta).

These stocks were fairly high dividend payers to begin with, but are now either reducing their dividend or considering it (still good yields though!). As oil prices are cyclical, and assuming the companies are strong enough to survive low oil prices for a while (both have been around for 20-25 years), the stock price and dividends should rebound in the future.

We try to keep a long term outlook here, selling now would just be a kneejerk reaction and would most likely do more harm than good. But as you can imagine, it does not feel good and scares the hell out of us.

Too bad this article came too late….. (still, we should have known better)

The savings rate for November is finally in line with what should be the new “normal”. After we moved and settled down in our current (temporary) rental place in late August of 2015, Team CF started looking for new jobs.

Mr. CF found a job starting early September and Mrs. CF found a new job starting early November. As a result little Miss CF stared with fulltime daycare in early November. Due to the timing of paychecks and daycare payments (and associated benefits) we still have not had a complete month with all incomes and expenses, but November 2015 should be a reasonable representation of the future months.

The savings rates up to and including November 2015 are:

2015 Savings Rates

The savings rate for July and August are 0% because we did not have any income for these months. With the first partial payment coming in late September. However, due to some expenses related to our move and our car, the actual savings rate was negative for the month (i.e. we spend more than we earned). Not good, but an unavoidable result of our new circumstances.

We already faired a bit better in October, but had one large and very expensive birthday present in the form of a kitchen machine (a magimix 5200XL for those cooking enthusiasts). We do a lot of cooking at home and needed a good machine that would last a very long time. We did a lot of research and after thinking about it for nearly two months (it certainly was not an impulse purchase), we bought one. After having used it extensively over the last two months, we are confident we made the right decision (should be a frugal one for that matter as well). But it’s still a bloody expensive piece of kit!

The savings rate for November is not bad, but certainly not as good as we would like it (the target is 50% and up). The main culprit for the “low” saving rate is: daycare. We are currently spending more on full time daycare than on the combined living and healthcare expenses! For a breakdown on expenses, see here.

There are a couple of reasons for this, which include the fact that our daycare benefits (the Dutch government provides benefits to partially cover daycare costs, the amount is subject to your income) have not started to come in yet. None of the grandparents are able to help out (as most still work), so we need full time daycare. We have also opted for a daycare facility rather than a dayhome (which is cheaper), due to the very good facilities and recommendations from friends and family. However, considering the massive costs, we will be looking for alternatives that provide equally good services and education for a smaller fee. But the kid comes first, as any parent would agree.