Level 0: The start of my mission to FI

The beginning of my journey to create more freedom.

More freedom

Over 2 years ago I decided I wanted to have more freedom. Freedom to choose what I wanted to do with my time. Not having to get up super early day in day out to go to work, spend all my productive time in an office, work extra hours whenever this was needed (and working in education means there are ALWAYS extra hours needed!), to then come home being too tired to do stuff I actually enjoyed.

It’s not that I didn’t like my job, quite the opposite: I got (and still get) great please out of it and am able to shape my role in many ways. But whether I enjoy my job or not is not relevant: I decided I didn’t want to spend my entire working days for the next 35 year of my life in an office.

I wanted to be able to be more in control when it comes to my time. Being able to decide every day how long for, what to work on or whether to take a day off and go for a hike or a swim or a snooze or a picnic in the park or…. there are so many other things to do..!

Once I had determined this, an obvious problem arose:


As I started reading more about my desire to create more freedom, I quickly found out that the best way to do so and get more control over your own time is by becoming Financially Independent. When you achieve Financial Independence, you have access to enough money coming in from passive income streams, that you no longer need to rely on your job’s income. Meaning you don’t need your job to pay your bills, which means that you can decide to do any job you want (or not) regardless of how much it pays. (There are in fact 8(!) stages of financial independence, you can read more about that in this article). Simply put, if you achieve financial independence, you no longer need to rely on working a full time job, which means you can free up a lot of extra time and freedom to do as you please!

Once I had the answer to the first question (how to become free) figured out, a second question emerged however:


This is where my search for a comprehensive guide began that would show me how to attain this freedom I dreamt about. As I learned with time, there are thousands of people out there who have the same aspirations to become financially independent and many others who have in fact already achieved this, yet the guide I wanted explaining how to do it all didn’t exist!

I looked everywhere on the web, Amazon, physical bookstores, podcast libraries… Nothing! No A-Z guide, 30 day challenge or 100 steps blueprint on how to become financially independent.

The 100 Steps Mission Book

Not wanting to give up my dream I decided that if that manual I was looking for didn’t exist, then I’d put it together myself. I wasn’t talking about WRITING a book, but about compiling ideas together that would be the substitute for what I was looking for.

Long story short… I DID end up writing a book. And as you might have guessed it became the 100 Steps Mission to Financial Independence. (I’m currently working with my editor to get it ready for publication.)

It’ll be out soon and I am convinced it can help many people looking for the same answers that I was looking for 2 years ago: how to get more freedom? More time to spend with my family? More time to travel? More time to do my hobbies? More time to volunteer or pursue a passion project? More time to…. to do anything you want really, without having to plan it around your busy work schedule and commitments! It will give you all the answers you are looking for and is a step-by-step guide you need in order to create that life you really want.

Until it’s out (around June 2018), I’ll be documenting my own experience implementing these 100 steps on my way to more freedom, so you can see how each little step has helped me get closer to my target of more freedom every day. Feel free to join me on this mission to start creating more time for you and your family too and let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.

Step 30: Invest 50% of a payrise

Step 30 of the 100 steps mission to financial independence: Invest 50% of any pay rise
Step 30: Invest 50% of any pay rise

In step 28 we’ve looked at how to put away extra money that you might get at a certain moment in time, such as a bonus or as a gift, in order to find a balance between rewarding yourself in the moment, whilst at the same time making the most of the extra payment in the long-term by saving a part of it.

From now on, you are going to do exactly the same when you get a pay rise. In this case you should interpret “pay rise” in a broad sense and think of it of an increase in your monthly cashflow, which can come about for many different reasons. This could indeed be a higher pay from your employer, but it could also be a little side income you might be getting from doing extra work, or even a lower mortgage pay or some other favourable reduction in your expenses on a structural basis, resulting in a little extra money left over at the end of each month. Continue reading “Step 30: Invest 50% of a payrise”

Step 1: Commit to your mission

Step 1 of our 100 steps: commit to your mission
Step 1 of our 100 steps mission to financial independence

This post describes the hows of starting your mission to Financial Independence. To see how I personally put these ideas into action and started my own mission, check out the from level 0 to level 1 post: committing to Achieving Financial Independence, which includes a free download of a worksheet to get you started on this journey!

It’s exciting times as we are about to embark on our 100 steps mission to financial organization and independence! Or better said: as we have embarked on our mission, as this is our very first step! I hope you’re as eager to start and get your finances under control and set yourself up for successful money management as I am!

I’ll be here to help you along the way and to walk you through the 100 steps that will help you achieve your goal, doing just 1 step at the time. With every step you will feel more and more in control of your finances, as you organize yet another small part of your current, past or future finances. When we get to the end of our mission, you’ll be a finance ninja, managing your money responsibly and you should be well on your way to financial independence.

Step 1_ Commit to your mission to Financial Independence
At times it may be a bit of a rocky ride, one in which you might get overwhelmed by information, feel you’re not getting nearer to your goal, and you might even feel yourself losing your motivation. All of this is totally normal, as if it were easy you’d already have your finances organized and wouldn’t need to join this mission! Don’t give up if this happens to you, it is (unfortunately) just part of the journey. A bit like learning to ride a bike and having to fall off a few times before finally being able to stay on longer and longer until you are a confident bike rider. That too took time and a don’t-give-up-attitude.

That said, we’ve all seen it happen to people who have great New Year’s resolutions: they start with a lot of enthusiasm, but then after a few weeks go back to smoking, eating too much or they stop hitting the gym. Let’s make sure that this won’t happen to you, even if you feel your motivation dipping at times!

So the very first, and also most important step on our journey is making a real commitment to our mission.

You might feel you’ve already committed by reading this blog or maybe you have been thinking about it for such a long time that you feel your mind is completely ready for the challenge. But it’s very important not to skip this step thinking you don’t need to do this if you’re currently über-motivated. You will (trust me!) at some point lose the desire to continue, so do yourself a favour and commit to your 100 steps mission to financial independence right now, now that your desire to do it is at its highest! (Remember those people with new year’s resolutions.. they were once too just as motivated as you are now). So let’s start with our very first action steps!

Step 1 – Commit to your mission – in detail:

We’re going to make a real commitment to our mission, so here are some ideas that you can use directly or get inspiration from to come up with your own ideas. Find what works for you and do it TODAY:

  • Write down your intention on a card or post-it, such as: “On a journey to financial independence”, “Getting my finances sorted once and for all!”, “On a mission to financial excellence”, “My 100 steps mission to financial independence”, or something that works for you. Stick the card somewhere where you will see it daily: in your wallet, in your diary, on the inside of the bathroom cabinet, in the car…Find a place that works for you and that reminds you of your new mission a few times a day.
  • Write your commitment down on your mobile phone and set daily reminders or alarms to look at your mission to remind you of it.
  • Change the screen saver or desktop of your computer with a message to remind you about it.
  • Find an accountability partner, be that your partner, a friend, a colleague or anybody else you can think of. Tell them that you are starting this mission and ask them to check in with you regularly to see how you’re doing and to hold you accountable.
  • Find a partner who is also willing to start this mission together with you. In that way you can check in together daily and make sure you don’t let each other down. You might even find several people willing to join and you can have your own WhatsApp group for daily accountability checks, or to help each other with the challenges.
  • Change your Facebook status to tell others you are starting this mission to make sure you will live up to it.
  • Write a short summary in your diary or special notebook, put a status update on your social media platforms, post a photo on Instagram that shows you starting or completing your latest step or even start blogging on every step or every day you have worked towards completing a step. Add the hashtag #100stepsmission to your social media posts so that other people can also find you and see how you’re doing.
  • Like the 100stepsmission Facebook page or follow 100stepsmission on Twitter to get frequent inspiration and find other people on the same mission.
  • Write an affirmation that you read out every morning and/or evening. An affirmation would be slightly longer than the commitment we wrote above, and could read: “I am committing to getting my finances in order, so that I know I am using my money in the best way possible for both the present as well as the future. Despite the fact that I have neglected my finances for many years and that I have substantial debts or money leaks, I know I am capable of getting back on track and improving my financial status and organization in order to become financially independent”. Make it part of your morning or evening routine to read out the affirmation and you’ll find that with time, you will really start to believe in it and it will help you keep your motivation up and get to your end goal.

As you can see there are many different ways in which to commit to your mission, find out what works best for you: getting other people involved, having a digital or paper log or reminder, using social media and the internet or anything else. Do what works for you and know that if you truly want to get to an organized financial life, there is no going back from here! So pick one or more of the ideas above or add your own and put it in place right now! Remember you’ve already jumped on the ride and got to the first stop, so let’s just fasten our seatbelt and hold on tight as we continue the journey. Oh, and try and enjoy it!

To see how I personally put these ideas into action and started my own mission, check out the from level 0 to level 1 post: committing to my mission, which includes a free download of a worksheet to get you started on this journey!