“Renting out our five houses provides for a good income”

Published on: 7 May 2021

How do you deal with work and money for now and in the future? Do you live one day at a time, or are you diligently planning your financial future? And do you arrange ‘later’ yourself or are you participating in a pension fund?

Sabine Samsom works as a financial coach and rents out five houses.


Sabine Samsom (39)

Profession: financial blogger and coach

Weekly works: 30 hours

Income: next to nothing from work yet, but 4,000 euros from renting out houses

Savings: 1,500 euro

Pension arranged? In a way, yes


What kind of work do you do exactly?

“At the moment I write blogs on Financequeen.nl about personal finances and I work as a financial coach. I help people deriving more benefit from their money. I also hope to be selling products through my website in the future, such as e-books or courses.


What is your background?

“I worked at ING for more than ten years, mainly in the position of financial advisor. That's where I learned all the theory about finances. I have always been actively involved in exploring opportunities for people to save money on in my private life; that's not something you will necessarily learn from working at a bank.”


How much do you earn?

“Next to nothing yet. I am doing some coaching for the amount of 80 euros per hour, but that's hardly worth mentioning yet. I am still building my business.”


How do you make ends meet?

“Throughout the years, my boyfriend and I bought five houses in Amsterdam. Twelve years ago, we decided to start living together in Ouderkerk and to keep my apartment in Amsterdam to rent out. The mortgage on our new house was quite favorable with a variable interest rate, meaning our monthly expenses decreased rapidly. Our two good incomes - my boyfriend is IT consultant - made it possible for us to save a considerable amount of money. In 2014, when the housing prices were much lower than today, we bought another apartment. We took out a separate loan to make that purchase possible. After we paid off that loan, we bought a third apartment. Later on, we found a way to buy two more apartments. We rent out the apartments to expats and students, which earns us approximately 4,000 euros per month. That income provides us with the freedom to build up my business without having to earn money straight away.”


Are you satisfied with this income?

“Yes, I am very satisfied. However, we would like to move some day, so some additional income would be welcome. But I am aware of the fact that we already have an income many people can only dream about.”


How much do you pay on fixed costs?

“Privately, apart from the rentals, our expenses are very low. About 950 euros per month in total. Due to the variable interest rate on our mortgage, that amount differs every month and we recently only paid 145 euros. Our children are attending primary school already, so we don't spend money on childcare. Those two things are usually the highest cost items to many people. I am very actively working on lowering the fixed costs. I make sure we don't have any unnecessary insurances for instance. Only insure what you cannot bear yourself, I always say. I would therefore never take out insurance to cover my bicycle or telephone, but I do insure my household contents. And instead of an expensive television subscription, I have NLZiet which doesn't even cost me 8 euros per month. That allows us to watch and look back all the Dutch channels. It saves us a lot of money.”


What else do you spend much money on?

“Shopping for groceries is my weak spot. It would be easy to save a lot of money on groceries, but it's not something I do enough. In this case we choose quality. Prior to the Corona pandemic, we also used to travel a lot. Winter sports at least once every year and sometimes twice. And we used to spend the summer holidays in our own popup camper or travelling to a faraway region. We do so as cheap as possible though. We are always flexible in choosing the destination and I just look for the best deal. Booking a trip way in advance saves you a lot of money. We also don't care for luxury accommodations, that helps as well.”


How much savings do you have?

“We don't save money as we still have a loan. Every time that loan was paid off, we used it again to purchase a new house. The loan we have is a revolving credit and, up to a certain limit, we can withdraw and pay off as much as we want. I don't think it is still possible to take out a loan like this as it is a typical product that causes people to fail because there's not a lot of pressure paying it off. We are lucky to have that discipline, so it really is a great solution for us. We pay off that loan using the money that's left at the end of the month. We do have an emergency fund of approximately 1,500 euros, simply to provide for a small buffer.”


Do you invest?

“Yes, I have separate investments in shares and crowdfunding, worth 20,000 euros in total. I really enjoy the trade of investments, but I don't do it as much now given our financial situation. However, sometimes I just cannot resist the temptation. I purchased some additional shares when the prices were low at the beginning of the Corona crisis. Then the prices went up again and so I sold these shares with a return of 700 euros. I also bought bitcoins for the amount of 100 euros recently, even though I don't really believe in it. That's why I would never invest in the product using large sums of money. It is more like a hobby to me. I would rather invest for the long term, but we are now focusing on paying off that loan. The interest rate on that loan is 4.6 percent, so once that's paid off, my ‘return’ will also be 4.6 percent.”


What do you arrange for your pension?

“I participate in a pension investment plan through Brand New Day. When I left ING, I deposited a part of my severance pay into my pension account. This involved an amount of 3,839 euros back in 2018. That investment is worth 6,000 euros today. If I don't deposit additional funds, this means that, by the time I retire, I will be paid 860 euros annually with a benefit duration of twenty years. That's not a lot.”


How much would you like to receive per month later on?

“I am not very calculated in that respect. When I have money, I try to use it for things that are convenient at that time. I am not really working towards a certain goal.”


Do you think about your old age sometimes?

“Thanks to renting out our houses, our old age has actually been arranged. We expect to still have rental income by then. In addition, my boyfriend accrues pension through his employer. I also have accrued some pension from paid employment, about 4,000 euros per year. I don't believe those amounts together provide for a good income. But all in all, I don't worry about it too much.”


What could you do better?

“I would like to dive into pension investments some more as that's very interesting fiscally speaking. However, this is not the right time for me due to that loan. I hope to have paid off that loan within two years’ time. More will be possible once that’s done.”