When growing up in the Netherlands and starting my career, I hadn't thought much about finances or being financially secure. With secure I mean what happens if my income stops flowing and still need to take care off my family. What if I would lose my job, or get sick and can't go to work, or how do I get by when I am too old to work and need to retire. Netherlands was back then considered a wellfare state, if any of these events happen, the state will take care of you.

These bright and pretty golden coins are foil covered chocolate candies.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

That was probably a naive thought in the first place. The result of that thinking was that my monthly salary, got spend that same month, and we basically lived paycheck to paycheck. I had not learned or had internalized how to handle finances well. The only good thing was that back in the Netherlands it was hard to get credit, so fortunately it was not easy to get a credit card debt.

More than 20 years ago we moved to the US for a career opportunity with Paula and our 3 kids. One of the worrying aspects of the big move was that we would go from a "welfare-state" to the "ultimate capitalist" state and I would be completely responsible for my family being financially secure. Turned out that was a little too extreme thinking. The US does have unemployment benefits and Social Security and the Dutch benefits got less over time.

To address the concern educated myself about money and finances. Two of the first financial books I read were Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kyosaki and The Automatic Millionaire by David Bachman. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" taught me about money working for you and the "Automatic Millionaire" about setting up systems to save and "paying yourself" first. That was the start to continuing self-education in finance and money.

So beside other fun topics, such as tech and cycling, I will also try to touch on the financial lessons that I learned, what worked and what did not. Looking back I have been very fortunate that I had steady income and "knock knock" none of these events actually happened even though I now feel financially prepared for them.

Cute piggy bank
Photo by Fabian Blank / Unsplash

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kyosaki  

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach