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My Beligan Payslip Explained

Paying too much taxes? My Belgian pay slip explained

In 2020 Belgium is still the country with the highest average income tax and tax wedge in the world (OECD, 2020a). I’m willing to bet Americans’ blood would boil seeing my payslip at the end of the month. 52.2% of what my employer pays for me ends up in the hands of the government. For comparison, the tax wedge for a single with no kids in the US is 29.8% (OECD, 2020b). So where do these taxes come from?

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Working In A Bakery

Side hustling in Belgium: 6 real (side-)jobs providing additional income

In recent years, the Belgian government made it easier to make an extra income through a side hustle. In 2015 it introduced a new form of unlimited untaxed income albeit with stringent measures: Flexi-jobs. Later, in 2018, it introduced another form of untaxed income with a limit of 6,340 EUR. It is this last form that the Constitutional Court has annulled. But what does this mean for people that want to still earn something extra?

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Wallet With Euro Coins

My monthly Savings Rate report: May 2020

As eluded to last month, May was a life-changing month. I even received a little surprise windfall at the end thanks to my grandmother's inheritance. With all of the preparations done in April, May was relatively calm in terms of expenses. This further improved my Savings Rate and pushed it to an all-time high. 
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PSD2 Explained

How PSD2 will make banking more beneficial for you

Isn’t it frustrating to see how something simple like your various bank statements are still separate per bank. Wouldn’t it be great to automatically import them into your favorite banking app? Well, Europe has you covered. With the new Payment Services Directive (Directive 2015/2366, 2015), usually shortened to PSD2.

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Palladium Wedding Rings On A Wooden Surface

Should you invest in Gold alternatives? Checking out 3 alternative metals

Our wedding bands
This is the render of the wedding bands we ordered to symbolize our commitment to each other.

Recently, my wife and I were looking for our wedding rings 

While checking out different stores, I started thinking. Could white gold, platinum, and palladium be good gold alternative investments just as they are alternatives in wedding rings? 

Investors see gold as a safe investment in times of economic turmoil. But what about its lesser-known but more expensive and rare (metal) sibling palladium (not to be mistaken with platinum)? And what about white gold? Should you invest in any of these?

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Managing Budget With YNAB On A Laptop

YNAB Vs nYNAB Vs Excel: Helpful Budgeting Tools Compared

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral code to YNAB.

The aptly named budgeting tool YNAB, short for You Need A Budget, stopped supporting their legacy tool YNAB4 as of 31 October 2019. I’ve been an avid user of the tool for over 7 years, but, because of the end of their extended support, I’ve been meaning to see if a change is needed. As a result of the end of support, I decided to see if I should move away from it completely or stay. It took up till now since I wasn’t sure what to do. Move to the new YNAB (aka nYNAB), and pay a subscription fee -the horror!- or move to a good old Excel spreadsheet?

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Wallet With Euro Coins

My monthly Savings Rate report: April 2020

April was the prelude to a life-changing May. Quite a few preparations were made in April for a big moment in May so it's only a given that some money was spent. Add to that the higher grocery expenses due to the corona measures and you can already guess that April wasn't a cheap month. Luckily I received my profit participation which prevented me from going negative.
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Funds

5 thematic funds for the future

Heads up before you read these suggested themes. This post and other posts like it are my own thoughts and ideas. I’m not a broker/dealer, nor am I an investment advisor. I have no access to non-public information about publicly traded companies, and this is not a place for the giving or receiving of financial advice, advice concerning investment decisions or tax or legal advice. These are suggestions, guides, not advice.

More and more thematic funds are being released on us: from agriculture to solar energy. It’s won’t help you keep a simple portfolio, but if you are interested in dabling in other areas than a region-based portfolio and don’t mind doing some futurology -yes that’s a thing- I’d like to go over a few interesting options.

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