Hello Folks, got some exciting news today! We have scheduled another FIRE meetup, but one that is specifically focussing on real estate investing. In short, get ready for Utrecht Real Estate Con!

Utrecht Real Estate Con

We noticed that a lot of people are interested in real estate investing as (part of) their FIRE strategy. Likely because it is an investment that you can see, feel and easily comprehend. However, there are many things about real estate that one should consider.

Utrecht Real Estate Con

Utrecht Real Estate Con
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House#/media/File:1156_Marken,_Netherlands_-_panoramio_(1).jpg
Attribution: Ben Bender
CC BY-SA 3.0

There are also many different investment strategies related to real estate, which depend on your risk profile and preferences. It’s therefore time to review this investment method in more detail during a meetup.

Together with Divnomics and GeenBaanMeer.nl we came up with the idea of Utrecht Real Estate Con (Dutch: Vastgoed Con).

The Date

The “Utrecht Real Estate Con” is scheduled for Saturday 17 November 2018 (in Utrecht, go figure!). Location details will be made available for those that sign up for this event.

The Program

The preliminary program for the day:

  • 12:00-13:00 – Welcome
  • 13:00-14:00 – Introduction to Real Estate investing
  • 14:00-14:30 – Coffee Break
  • 14:30-15:30 – Real Estate investing Examples
  • 15:30-16:00 – Coffee Break
  • 16:00-17:00 – Real Estate Investing Strategies for FIRE
  • 17:00-18:00 – Q&A and Drinks

The final program details will be made available closer to the date. We plan to tailor the program upon your input. For example, we can focus more on the strategies and examples and skip on some of the introduction. Please let us know what you think. Either way, it should be very interesting and a good learning opportunity. Especially for anyone that wants to invest into real estate in the Netherlands.

The Costs

The fees for the day are about €29.61 (€28 + Eventbrite booking fees), which is including drinks and snacks. We have a total of 45 seats available. Don’t wait too long before signing up as our meetups are getting increasingly more popular.

Signing up?

Inspired and interested to talk real estate for the day? You can signup via the following link:


To sign in you need the following password: Vastgoed Con


Hope to see you in Utrecht!


Not interested in Real Estate, just come and have a chat with us in Zwolle! Check out Chris’s blog:

FIRE Meetup 30-9-2018, The Zwolle Edition






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Last weekend, on Saturday, we had another BENL FIRE meetup. The 6th already that we organized. We have already been to Antwerp, Eindhoven, Leuven, Breda and Utrecht. It was another fun day with lots of chats, discussions, presentations, food, drinks and financial fun. Without further ado, here is the Utrecht FIRE meetup recap!

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap

It was our second time we visited the venue in Utrecht. It’s a very nice place with good access by public transport and car, but gosh it’s hot on summer! The place is obviously very affordable (otherwise we would not have been there), but it does not have air-conditioning. With 28 degrees Celsius outside, it’s really hot inside. Needless to say a lot of folks enjoyed the outside and chatted in the sun. We will likely return to this venue again, but during a different season 😉 Other lessons-learned: when it’s hot, buy more beer!

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap – We are not the only cheese heads!


The real reason we organize these meetups is to have the opportunity to chat with like-minded people. But we do like to have the occasional group discussions and educational moments. This time we had two presentations and one interactive presentation with discussion.

Making money online with blogging

We started the “formal’ part of the day with a presentation about making money online with blogging/writing. This presentation was done by Adine from lekkerlevenmetminder (a Dutch personal finance blog). Adine is a great writer with a passion for personal finance. But this passion has turned into a nice gig where she is actually making some decent money blogging (in addition to her writing job). Her presentation can be downloaded here: Making Money Online.


The second presentation was done by Daphne. She has many years of experience with crowd-funding, both professionally as well as personally. Daphne has invested in more than 550 projects to date, and has a surprisingly low default rate! She shared some of her lessons learned and insights with the group. Unfortunately, this presentation cannot be shared due to the details of the content.


HOT” Chris finished up the “formal” part of the day with a presentation and discussion about negotiations. Bottom line is, always try to negotiate and try to find out what the percentages are that you could potentially get (think kitchens, cars, furniture, etc.). Also check on times when certain items might go in sale (think year-end inventory sales, etc.).

Thank you all for presenting!


Oh, for those interested in FIRE and want to spend even more time on social media/their phone, Spekvet and Divnomics have setup a Slack group. Just in case you are interested!

Next Meetup?

There will definitely be another meetup in the future, we have no fixed plans for now but are in for suggestions or offers to help. It takes a lot of time and energy to organize the meetups, which takes away some of our time to enjoy the meetups too.

One of our ideas is to have another meetup at a bar or pub, no entrance fees or presentation, you just show up and we have a beer/wine/whatever. Similar to what we did before in Gouda.

We also noticed that more and more new people come to the meetups that are especially interested in the presentations. A lot of folks are just starting out on the FIRE journey and are exploring their options for investing. I’m now looking at ways to see how we can cater to those of you. Perhaps I have to ask this guy to help out? There might even be a camp FIRE in Oosterwolde! Anyhow, lots to consider!

Any feedback from your end of what you would like to see or do for the next meetup is greatly appreciated.

Hope to see you next time!



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BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

As noted earlier by both us and Amber Tree Leaves, we have another meetup scheduled for June 17. We have a maximum of 35 spots available and we are now already at about 20+ 25 confirmed people. But we have room for more! Do you fancy a date with complete internet strangers and talk money? This is  your chance 🙂

BENL FIRE Meetup - Utrecht Edition!

BENL FIRE Meetup – Utrecht Edition!

The Tentative Program

The tentative program is as follows, but we are happy to make adjustments if you have a brilliant idea:

  • 10:00-11:00 informal get-together in Utrecht, do some chatting and have a coffee of thee with a biscuit/cookie of your choice;
  • 11:00-12:00 Financial Speed Dating (one-on-one or two-on-two sessions of about 5 min each to get to know each other)
  • 12:00-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch (i.e. bring your own) and more informal chats
  • 14:00-17:00 Have a couple of fun presentations and discussions;
  • 17:00-18:00 Spare time in case we are having too much fun with the above
  • 18:00-19:00 Do dinner together (bring your own / potluck, take-out or local restaurant)
  • 19:00-21:00 More chatting and some beers and close out of the evening.
  • 21:00-??:00 Party in Utrecht for the real die hards?l 

Discussions and Presentations

Based on the previous meeting in Antwerp and feedback from many of you, the following topics could be presented during the meetup:

  • Life in the rear view mirror (a financial life in review)
  • The mystery portfolio (submit your portfolio, with as much or as little detail as you want for an blind review by the group. To get some various views on the matter)
  • Real Estate – what to consider and a case study
  • Crowdfunding – good idea or not?
  • How to be self-sufficient
  • When do you have enough and how do you get out?
  • Etc.

Let us know what you are interested in, and we will try to make an interesting afternoon program for you! Do you want to present, please let us know too! Still need one or two people/volunteers.

Other Details

And finally some other details that could be useful for you to know:

  • The venue in Utrecht is very close to a train station, but also has free local parking!
  • We will bring coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and a few light snacks (but please do bring some yourself if you can)
  • You bring your own lunch/dinner. For dinner we would recommend cold dishes like salads and pasta, or things that can be prepared without a kitchen. Otherwise you can order/get some food from local venues (pizzaria/snackbar/local super market).
  • Costs will likely range around €10-15 pp, including beverages/light snacks. But is subject to the final number of people attending (more is better here!)
  • We need someone who can bring a projector for the presenations (Chris, are you still on?)
  • You don’t have to be a blogger! Partners are welcome too.
  • As noted, we can have a maximum of 35 people.

With exactly one more month to go, we are slated to have some serious financial fun. We hope to see you all in Utrecht!

P.s. for those that are on the email distribution list but have not confirmed, please let me know if you want to join (and with how many).

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