Series: Work & Money
How do you deal with work and money for now and in the future? Do you live from day to day or are you consciously planning your financial future? And do you arrange ‘later’ yourself or are you a member of a pension fund?
In this edition: Erica Pierik, (copy)writer, keeps her expenses as low as possible to have more leisure time.
Erica Pierik (45)
Weekly works: between 15 and 30 hours per week. On average 1 day as a copywriter and the remainder of the time as a writer of books.
Income: approximately 1,500 to 1,600 euro per month
Savings: 4,000 euro in a joint account, 10,000 euro in private
Pension is arranged? Yes
What is it that you do exactly as a writer and copywriter?
“I write books. My first book, Een boek over wereldvrede (A book on world peace, ed.), was about my search for a more beautiful and sustainable world. My second book is almost finished and is more about world peace in miniature, about my attempts to find peace and quiet in my head and, eventually, also in my life. In order to earn some additional money, I take on writing jobs for local authorities for instance.”
Is that enough to make ends meet?
“I have calculated that, if I get paid about 1,200 to 1,300 euro on assignments, it is enough for me to earn my keep. I usually succeed in doing so.”
Are you satisfied with your income?
“It is enough. Time is more important to us than money. We have truly made an effort to lower the significant costs, such as mortgage payments, as quickly as possible. We are also almost energy-neutral. The investments we made, now pave the way for financial peace of mind. We don’t have to work a lot. I allow myself some ‘time off’ whenever I feel like it.”
How much savings do you have?
“We have a joint buffer of 4,000 euro, our own buffer separately and an investment account amounting to 20,000 euro. It is our goal to have the latter grow so we are able to work less in about ten to fifteen years and can live on the proceeds. My corporate buffer amounts to 10,000 euro which is enough for me to live on for about seven months should I not have any other income. My husband’s buffer is approximately 3,000 euro.”
How much do you pay on fixed costs?
“We live on approximately 2,000 euro per month. We have almost repaid the mortgage on our house in Amsterdam-West and we only pay 150 euro per month on housing expenses. We used the excess value on the house we lived in previously to pay towards the mortgage on the new house. We deliberately chose to move to a house half the size and less expense. In addition to our mortgage, we pay fixed costs such as the association of owners, internet, telephone subscription, insurances and our private lease car.”