contrarianGetting a diploma, studying, getting a job, saving, buying a house, settling down. And then retire as early as possible. That may be the way it should be, but it could also be different. In this series of people who fill their financial lives less predictably. This time Marlou Manders (29) who resigned during the construction of her house, started her own business and at the same time became pregnant with her first child.
Why did you resign?
“I had a full-time job as an online marketer. Because of corona I came to work at home and I noticed that I liked that. At the same time, I had vacation days left, so I worked part-time. That also did me good. My resistance to working full-time grew. My dream to start a coaching business bubbled up like never before. Then my friend, who owns his own transport company, said, “You know what you want, you know you’ll be good at it, so go for it.” Because of him I dared to take the step.”
Have you always been contrary?
,,In the past I mainly followed my mind. I had done gymnasium so I automatically went to university and did communication sciences. After that I neatly obtained a master’s degree and on to the next logical step: a job in paid employment. I always followed the usual path. My boyfriend is just someone who is very smart but never wanted to learn. He just finished high school at the lowest level to get his truck driving license as soon as possible because he knew from an early age that he wanted that.”
Why should we postpone our dreams?
Where does a high school student meet a truck driver?
Through mutual friends. We are different but at the same time have a lot in common. We are both dreamers, think in possibilities. He did influence me in that.”
So you even risked quitting your job and getting pregnant while building your house? Couldn’t you have waited until the house was finished?
“Why should we postpone our dreams? If we couldn’t make it financially, in the worst case scenario we would have to put our house up for sale. But if those two other dreams, a child and I own my own business, are worth the risk, then it’s easy to take such a step. Moreover: my boyfriend is eight years older so he wanted to be a father soon. And I got pregnant super fast, you don’t know that in advance. I am now 24 weeks.”
Also a baby on the way? Then it is useful to have some money on hand. Read here at Independer how you can save on your fixed costs.
Isn’t that a bit too much at once?
,,In the beginning it was tough to switch between entrepreneurship, construction and pregnancy, because then the pregnancy ailments are the most severe. Then I fell asleep on the couch and had to rush to be on time for a coaching session. In the car I put on energetic music to cheer myself up because I have to be there at my best. In the meantime, peace and energy are increasing.”
What are the financial consequences? You gave up a well-paying job.
“I actually made a good salary. And even before I registered with the Chamber of Commerce, I had already invested 6000 euros in a coaching course while I had earned zero. But we can get by just fine because we have adapted our lifestyle. With the luck that restaurants were closed due to corona, because we went out to eat quite often.”
“It is also a matter of setting priorities, postponing certain purchases. For example, we chose not to do an extensive baby moon: a pre-baby vacation that pregnant couples in our area do. And I bought a lot of maternity clothes through Vinted. We have also become more careful about what we spend on groceries. At the moment, our savings mainly go towards the construction of our house, but we do try to keep a pot on hand for unexpected expenses. It has made us more financially aware.”
And your friend pays everything?
,,In the beginning it was, but we were fine with that, we knew that it was necessary and had the confidence that it would turn out well. He also has to replace a truck every few years, for which a lot of money is also set aside. We just do it together. I do more at home, arranging things for the baby and construction so he can put those hours into his work. We want to support each other as much as possible in what we love to do.”
Do you ever regret your choice?
,,New. I am happy that I have so much freedom, can organize my own time and listen carefully to my body while I keep the projects running. After our daughter is born, my boyfriend and I will take care of her one day a week and we will have two lovely nanny grandmothers who will assist us so that I can continue to build my business.”
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