Introducing Mr and Mrs Dollar Note$

By Mrs Dollar Notes

Photo by James forbesThere are many reasons to begin writing a blog about finances. For us it’s about sharing some experience, wisdom and advice which we’ve gained over the years as before we got married, and now as a couple. We have seen how smart financial planning has allowed us to reach some of our short term goals in life, and now we will record our journey of reaching some of our bigger aspirations through saving and conscious spending.

We will share the choices we have made in the past and the choices we are currently making in order to reach our goals. Through our blog we hope people see that it is possible to have a rich and fulfilling life without spending a lot of money!

Introducing Mr and Mrs Dollar Notes

By now you’re probably wondering who these Dollar Notes people are...We are a multicultural couple, Mr DN is from Australia and Mrs DN is from Finland, Northern Europe. We  are currently residing in Finland.

By the time we got married, both of us had been living on our own for more than five years. We had traveled on our own, lived abroad in few different countries and lived on a small income for years.

When we got married, we combined all our finances because we wanted to work as a team in all aspects of our marriage. In our three years of marriage we have experienced different phases regarding finances. We have both graduated with bachelor’s degrees, Mr DN is currently studying towards a Master’s degree, and Mrs DN is working full-time.  Even during our studies we were always either working or looking for work.  We have both, at different times, been unemployed while studying or after graduating. During our marriage we have lived on a small income and have worked to cover our living expenses and savings. Combining our finances has allowed us to support each other in different phases of our marriage and work together as a team.

Our current goals

We originally met in Australia, and for the last few years we have been thinking about moving back to be closer to Mr DN’s family and to start our careers there. As we would be moving permanently, we expect the move to be quite expensive. We would start from scratch and would take with us only what we can fit in our suitcases. This means that we will have no jobs lined up or apartment ready and waiting for us. This plan is both scary and exciting at the same time.

After I, Mrs Dollar Notes, graduated, we started making more concrete plans towards the move. We figured that it  would be good for Mr Dollar Notes to finish his degree and get his Finnish language skills honed before moving.

We established a timeline for our Australia plan and a savings target. We calculated that we could save enough money for the move if we put aside around 30% of our joint income over two years.  Originally this seemed like a LOT!  Our joint income (after tax) for 2014 was only around 25,000 Euros, and after expenses, it didn’t seem like we would have too much left over to put towards savings.  This seemed quite daunting at first, but we like a challenge.

Fast forward to almost a year later and we have already reached half of our original savings goal! Due to our unexpected awesomeness we then proceeded to raise the bar even higher.  Yes, that’s right, we now have a goal of 20,000 Euros.  This isn’t just because we want a cosier life and more money to splash around once we get to Australia (although we may be secretly hoping the Aussie dollar takes a dive in mid 2016).  The reason we updated our savings goal is because we did a few more calculations and realised that a few extra wads of Euros could go a long way for simple folks like us.  A few months worth of living expenses while we look for work, deposit on a rental apartment, a second-hand car for those long distance trips, some cash in the bank for emergencies and so forth....

Our financial independence goals

About a year ago we started reading financial independence blogs and realized that we don’t have to work until we are 65 to be able to do what we want in life. Moving to Australia has been a big goal for us, but we realized that we don’t have to leave our dreams there: we can achieve even more if we keep focused!

We decided that we would not inflate our lifestyle after we are both graduated and have found  jobs. Rather, we aim to keep living a fun, rewarding, exciting and simple lifestyle, all the while creating opportunities for our money to start working for us.

Yes, that’s right, in twenty years (preferably less) we want to stop working for money, and have it do all the work for us.  Our aim is not to ‘retire early’, but rather to be able to be free to do what we really want to do, whether that be working, volunteering, pottering around at home, travelling, or spending time with family.

Some other Financial Independence bloggers set themselves shorter timeframes, however they also set themselves some pretty strict rules, like having only one child (because they’re expensive), and maybe a dog.  For us it’s less about the rules and more about finding a balance between our desires for a larg(er) family and lifestyle-- after all, dogs can be pretty expensive too...

Here is just a small introduction to us, you can learn more by reading some more blog posts. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “

  1. Great story!

    I’m been to Finland in 1998 with a school program. Beautiful country and beautiful people.

    Did you ever consider to relocate to Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong instead?

    That is a turbo charger financially speaking for a young couple with bachelor’s degrees.

    Not only these countries are packed with expatriate professionals and excellent career opportunities, but residing in Dubai is tax free and Singapore or Hong Kong have minimal income tax and no capital gain taxes.

    What ever your decision, I wish a prosperous future and early retirement.

    1. Hey Rudy,

      thanks for commenting! It’s a small world 🙂 We haven’t considered those options so far as we have been looking forward to moving closer to one side of the family. But you never know, we might do that later on for a few years to boost our income 🙂 I checked your blog, you have a cool story!

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