How do you deal with work and money for now and for the future? Do you live one day at a time or are you consciously planning your future? And are you making your own arrangements for the future or are you part of a pension fund? In ‘Work & Money’, we let people have their say about their finances.
Tamara Straatman (38) won the jackpot in the State Lottery a few years ago.
Tamara Straatman (38)
Profession: independent entrepreneur
Hours worked weekly: about 30 hours a week
Income: 4000 euros net a month
Savings: 1.2 million euro
Pension set up? Yes
So you became an instant millionaire?
“Yes, I won the jackpot in the New Year’s Eve lottery of 2017/2018. Ten million euros. I was at a friend’s house when my dad called me, jabbering something about the jackpot. I didn’t believe it for a minute; I thought he’d had one too many. But a little while later, my brother called me, crying, to say it was really true. My first reaction? ‘I don’t need that money; I’d rather have our mom back.’ She had died earlier that year and it was her tradition to buy tickets for the state lottery for the whole family. That jackpot felt like a gift from above, even though I had mixed feelings. I’ve always said I’d be a millionaire by the time I was 35, but I never expected it to happen this way. I thought my business plans would bring in money, but it turned out to be the other way around.”
What did you do with that money?
“I parked a portion of it in various saving accounts and used the rest to set up my own business, and to invest. I also traveled a lot and bought a house. In spite of this, I have hardly drawn on it. What I have used up in living expenses over the past few years, I have earned back through my investments.”
What kind of work do you do?
“I am an entrepreneur. Through my platform JoinTheStribe.com, my team and I connect entrepreneurs, investors and consumers to each other. It is completely focused on sustainability. Sustainable entrepreneurs can pitch their business to us and we try to find investors. Part of the platform is an academy with training courses aimed at personal development and business insight. I myself will soon be giving one of those training courses: Invest with Success. I have gained a lot of experience with this in recent years and I want to pass on my knowledge.”
You don’t think: I’m just going to sit back and stop working?
“I don’t think that’s in my DNA. I’m used to working a lot. I used to work sixty to eighty hours a week. Plus, the work I’m doing now, sort of feels like a calling. I would love to improve society with my money, and leave behind an impactful, blooming business when I’m gone. I also enjoy challenging myself intellectually and bringing out the best in myself. I’m now working five days a week, about six hours a day. I usually work a bit on the weekend too. I’m just not the kind of person that wants to sit on the patio with a glass of wine all weekend. I’d rather be doing something useful.”
How much do you earn?
“I pay myself a salary and also rent out an office at home. All together, I earn about 4000 euros net a month. I used to have to get by with 2000 euros net and that was not a problem, so this is certainly enough for me.”
What are you fixed expenses?
“I have a high energy bill of nearly 800 euros, because I live in a detached house with a heated swimming pool in the yard. A lot of it is generated by solar panels and collectors, but it’s still quite a bit of money. And then there’s the standard things, like health insurance, internet, mobile phone, TV, etc. I also haven’t paid off my mortgage yet, because that works better in terms of taxes. The expenses for that are about 56,000 euros a year, but I don’t count that as one of my monthly expenses.”