Reader Case Study: Dutch Welder Dreams of Working Abroad

Jamie welding

Jamie lives in the Netherlands and recently completed his degree as an all-around construction worker, with training in welding. He’s currently switching jobs to become a full-time welder and has two job offers he’d like our help deciding between. Additionally, he and his girlfriend dream of living and working abroad some day. Jamie lost his father when he was just 13 and has been working and helping his mother financially since then. At just 21 years old, Jamie has more insight, determination and financial savvy than most folks twice his age. Join me on a trip to the Netherlands as we help Jamie chart a bright future!

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Case Studies address financial and life dilemmas that readers of Frugalwoods send in requesting advice. Then, we (that’d be me and YOU, dear reader) read through their situation and provide advice, encouragement, insight and feedback in the comments section.

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The Goal Of Reader Case Studies

Reader Case Studies highlight a diverse range of financial situations, ages, ethnicities, locations, goals, careers, incomes, family compositions and more!

The Case Study series began in 2016 and, to date, there’ve been 89 Case Studies. I’ve featured folks with annual incomes ranging from $17k to $200k+ and net worths ranging from -$300k to $2.9M+.

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I probably don’t need to say the following because you folks are the kindest, most polite commenters on the internet, but please note that Frugalwoods is a judgement-free zone where we endeavor to help one another, not condemn.

There’s no room for rudeness here. The goal is to create a supportive environment where we all acknowledge we’re human, we’re flawed, but we choose to be here together, workshopping our money and our lives with positive, proactive suggestions and ideas.

A disclaimer that I am not a trained financial professional and I encourage people not to make serious financial decisions based solely on what one person on the internet advises. 

I encourage everyone to do their own research to determine the best course of action for their finances. I am not a financial advisor and I am not your financial advisor.

With that I’ll let Jamie, today’s Case Study subject, take it from here!

Jamie’s Story

Jamie and his girlfriend

Hello, Frugalwoods! My name is Jamie, I’m 21 years old and I live in the Netherlands. I just finished my MBO 3 degree as an all-around construction worker, with training in welding and am currently switching jobs to become a full-time welder. My girlfriend, Rosalyn, 22 years old, works as an accountant and lives in the Philippines (Iloilo). I met her online via an app that was meant to talk with people and make friends, but we wanted more then that. In June of this year I flew to the Philippines (first time flying!) and met her in person. We really hit it off and look forward to possibly moving abroad together. I don’t own any pets and don’t have children.

I learned about FIRE from my friend Jay. She’s given me tips and shown me a lot of stuff I did wrong. I have changed those things for the most part, but there is still a lot to learn.

What feels most pressing right now? What brings you to submit a Case Study?

I’ve a problem when it comes to my family. My family is poor and they often ask to borrow money, which I have to fight to get back. I am working on this and am getting better at saying “no.” My family has been using me as a free taxi driver, personal handywoman, interest-free bank, etc. The amount of debt my family members owe me totals €47,495.

I also have a fear of spending money. I started working when I was 13 as my father passed away back then, and my mother made nowhere near enough money to survive. After school, on weekends and vacations, I went to work. There were a couple times we were almost homeless, but I managed to pay our bills on time. This is what makes me have a fear of spending. I don’t ever want to return to those times and I don’t want my potential future family to ever experience this. But I don’t regret my past because those experiences made me the hard-working person I am today.

I also want to move away from the Netherlands eventually, probably by working abroad in other countries. What I hope to get from this Case Study are some useful tips so I can eventually achieve my goals.

What also is pressing currently is choosing my career path. As of now, I am thinking about taking a new job for 1 to 2 years to save money and hopefully be paid back by my family before moving abroad.

I currently have two job offers to consider:

Jamie welding

1) a higher-paid, general welding job.

2) a lower-paid welding job, but one where I would learn pipe welding.

This second job would require me to stay longer, or pay back the cost of schooling if I didn’t remain with the company after finishing their classes. Pipe welding has the potential to pay a lot more later on, but I also think it’s something that can be learned on the job, since I already know general welding.

I do want to travel abroad eventually, for the adventure, and just to learn about different people and places and see if somewhere else is a better fit for me than the Netherlands.

Does anyone have suggestions on where to go abroad to work as a welder?

I eventually want to work abroad for 1 to 2 years, and then decide to either stay, move forward to a different country and see if that’s a better match, or return to the Netherlands. Does anyone have advice about this?

What’s the best part of your current lifestyle/routine?

I like the field I am in, but not so much my last job. I also have a lot of side jobs which are okay too, such as: watching pets/children, helping renovate houses, working on back/front-yards, taxi driving, etc. Those side jobs are not official, and I don’t charge much for them, as they are either easy jobs or jobs I learn from, which eventually will be useful when I live on my own.

I still live with my mother to save money, but, I have helped her financially since my father passed away when I was age 13 (I’ve lent her €38,245 in total).

Where Jamie Wants to be in Ten Years:

Finances:

  • One of Jamie’s side gigs: dog sitting!

    Financially stable so that I never have to depend on anyone and can do what I want to do.

  • I want to achieve FIRE (financial independence, retire early).
  • I also would like to renovate and rent out houses.
  • I also like to donate money to charities, but as of now I can only do small amounts and I hope to increase that amount in the future.

Lifestyle:

  • I want to be able to travel the world and not have to worry about finances all the time.

Career:

  • I’m interested in eventually having my own welding workplace or shop, and potentially rental properties.

Jamie’s Finances

Note: all amounts are listed in Euros (€). As of this writing, €1 = $1.05 US Dollars.

Income

Item Amount Notes
Welding job €1,627.12 My net salary with taxes and insurance taken out
Monthly subtotal: €1,627.12
Annual total: €19,525.44

Note: I also typically earn €500-€1,500 per month from my side jobs, but I didn’t include that in the total since it’s variable.

Debts: None

Assets

Item Amount Notes Interest/type of securities held/Stock ticker Name of bank/brokerage Expense Ratio
Investment account €5,471 my broker Multiple index funds such as iShare Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (Acc) degiro 0.98%
Savings account €4,523 my savings account where I store my leftover money, donate money, lend money to support my sister’s child, investing money, savings for a new car earns 0.40% interest leaseplanbank N/A
Deposits €2,000 2 deposits of 1k each, one ends 1 oktober 2022 the other 6 april 20023 0.25% interest leaseplanbank N/A
Cash €1,254 no interest/fees N/A N/A
Checking account €300 I make sure there is just enough money in there to pay bills student account, no fees ABN Amro 0%
Total: €13,548

Vehicles

Vehicle make, model, year Valued at Mileage Paid off?
Peugeot 206 €1,200 212,836 km yes
Bicycle €1,000 150,00km yes
Total: €2,200

Expenses

My expenses are a bit unusual because I live with my mother and she pays for my food, housing and utilities. In exchange, I help her around the house, fix her car and do other odd jobs for her. I’ve also lent her €38,245 to help her out over the years.

Item Amount Notes
health insurance €142
traveling €142 vacation to my girlfriend
fuel for car €60 I use my bicycle as often a possible
car savings €40 Savings for a new car
taxes €27
christmas €21 christmas gifts for 3 people and my girlfriend in another country
birthday gifts €20 most gifts I make myself, I do have to pay for materials and shipping to another country
charitable donations €10
trade union €2
clothes €1 I barely buy clothes. Most of my clothing was given to me for a birthday/holiday or are hand-me-downs
Monthly subtotal: €464
Annual total: €5,568

Credit Cards: none

Jamie’s Questions for You:

1) I have a difficult decision ahead as I have to choose between 2 jobs:

  • At job #1 I would be a welder, at a higher pay, but I wouldn’t learn how to weld pipes. I’m not sure, but I think if I want to weld aboard I will need pipe welding experience and I don’t know if a future employer would be willing to teach me. But this job does pay better and I wouldn’t be attached to a school. Plus, I would learn how to MIG weld at this job, which is a benefit as I think a lot of employers expect a welder to be able to do both TIG and MIG welding.
  • Job #2 would give me the opportunity to learn TIG pipe welding (I can TIG weld, I just don’t have experience with pipes yet) but I would also need to go to school once a week, which this company would pay for. However, since I don’t plan on staying for years at this company here in the Netherlands, I would eventually have to pay it all back. So that’s a bit of a negative about this job.
  • Which should I choose?

2) I would like suggestions on how to better my financial situation.

  • And, if I’m doing something wrong, what should I change?

3) I would like to work abroad as welder–anywhere in the world where they need a welder.

  • Does anyone have advice on how to get started?

Liz Frugalwoods’ Recommendations

Jamie welding door handles for a battleship. (I welded the “panic room doors” for those ships, which I was proud of to have that as my first project on my name with 5 certificates)

Jamie, you are doing fabulously well for being only 21 years old! I certainly wasn’t this financially organized at 21 and I think most of the readers will concur!! I commend you for wanting to plan for your future at such a young age.

You should feel very proud that you’re taking these responsible, proactive steps. The financial choices we make as young adults can have a profound impact on our longterm financial health and overall net worth, so it is VERY exciting to work someone right at the start of adulthood!

Jamie’s Question #1: I have a difficult decision ahead as I have to choose between 2 jobs.

This is a great problem to have!! While you’ve clearly outlined the pros and cons of each job, the choice is pretty clear in my opinion: Job #2 where you’d learn TIG pipe welding.

I am (obviously) not a welder, but my husband is an amateur welder and he weighed in with his welding-related opinions:

“Absolutely take the job in TIG pipe welding as that’s a skill that’s always going to be in demand. Plus it’s almost always worthwhile to get additional training when you’re young. Stay at this job for the duration of the training program and get good at it. Learn everything you can and get as many certifications as possible from your employer. It’s an amazing gift to receive training paid for by your employer.

TIG pipe welding is a true art form and a specialized skill that people will pay a lot for. You are young and energetic, so get good at all the weird body positions you can be put in while pipe welding (above your head, around a bend, etc). There are thousands of miles of piping in the world that need to be welded by a talented TIG pipe welder. Anywhere where there’s industrial activity, there’s a need for highly skilled TIG pipe welders. Knowing TIG pipe welding should open up international jobs for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that welding can be on a boom/bust cycle because the major consumers of pipe welding are related to oil and gas. When oil and gas are booming, there’s a ton of money to be made. When they’re crashing, the job market is tighter. Given that, the more trainings and certifications you have, the more employable you’ll be.”

Thank you, Mr. Frugalwoods!

my final school exam project, my teacher was amazed how well it turned out as it is fully hand made

Ok, so he is very emphatically in favor of you learning TIG pipe welding. I then asked him about the fact that the other job would teach you MIG and he replied:

“If you’re a good TIG welder, MIG is very easy to pick up. TIG welding is much more complicated and best learned from a professional. On the other hand, you can buy a cheap MIG welder and teach yourself MIG at home.”

Beyond the TIG versus MIG conversation happening up there, here are my thoughts on why you should take the pipe welding job:

  1. Getting all the certifications you can while young is SO SMART. I will tell you from experience that life typically only gets busier and more complicated as you get older. Do it while you’re YOUNG and unencumbered!!!!
  2. Having your employer pay for this training is fantastic. Take advantage of this gift!
  3. It will look very good to any future employer that you stayed at this job for awhile. Future employers want to see that you stick with a job and don’t leave it after a short period of time.
  4. Taking this job will give you time to save more money and do more research on where you might like to/be able to work and live abroad. Also, if your relationship with your girlfriend progresses and becomes more serious, it’ll be nice to take her opinions into account as to where you might move. Working this job for a few years will give you the time to explore all of these different options and ideas.

Jamie’s Question #2: I would like suggestions on how to better my financial situation.

You are starting out from a position of strength and so most of my recommendations are to simply continue on your current path! At this point in your life, my advice is to:

my girlfriend and I walking on the beach in Iloilo

1) Earn more money:

  • You’re already in the process of doing this, so that’s great!
  • All you can do here is work hard, get more certifications and continue to advance.

2) Stop lending money to your family members:

  • This is a tricky issue and you’ve already articulated that you’re getting better at saying “no,” which I think is wise.
  • Unfortunately, you may not ever be paid back by your relatives and you may have to let this money go. It’s not your fault as you were trying to be a helpful, caring person; but, it’s very possible they won’t ever pay you back.
  • Going forward, I think it’ll be useful for you to come up with some tactics/strategies for protecting yourself from these requests.
  • If you do decide to lend money in the future, I encourage you to think of it as a gift rather than a loan. It is very hard to recoup personal, informal loans and so, if you have the financial ability and desire to give money to a relative, perhaps re-framing it as a gift would make it more psychologically tenable for you.

I made this for my mother’s birthday gift

3) Consider seeing a therapist to help heal your past financial trauma:

  • I strongly recommend you consider going to therapy. I say this because a therapist could help you determine how to respond to requests for money from your family and also give you coping strategies for healing your past financial traumas.
  • You are so young and will be in such a wonderful position later on if you deal with the emotions and trauma around these issues sooner rather than later.
  • You can make no better investment in yourself than in your mental health! 
  • Know that financial trauma is a real thing many people suffer from and it’s not your fault.
  • You mentioned you have a fear of spending money, which is another thing a therapist could help you unpack.
  • Additionally, the incredibly challenging circumstance of supporting your mother after the death of your father makes me think a therapist would be a very helpful resource for you going forward.
  • I’ve been to therapy a number of different times and I always emerge feeling better!

4) Determine an exit plan from your mother’s home/financial support:

  • You two are very reliant upon one another financially and, as you plan to move abroad, you’ll need to work with her on how to separate yourselves.
  • As you noted, your living expenses are very low due to her support and she is similarly supported by the money you’ve lent her over the years.
  • Unless your longterm plan is to have your mother move abroad with you, now is the time to start talking with her about how she’ll cope without you–and vice versa.

Asset Overview

Let’s take a look at where Jamie’s money is right now.

Cash: $8,077

On the beach with my girlfriend

As it stands, this is a robust emergency fund. However, it’s important to remember that your living expenses are artificially low. Once you’re living on your own, your expenses will increase quite a bit and so you’ll need to ensure you’re maintaining your emergency fund savings once you’re paying for your own rent, utilities, food, etc.

Investments: $5,471

While it’s awesome that you’re invested in the market, keep retirement investing in mind too! I am wholly unfamiliar with retirement plans in the Netherlands, but, this is something you want to start doing as soon as possible. The earlier you begin saving for your retirement, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

I know it’s hard to think about retirement when you’re just starting your career, but your older self will thank you! Explore the retirement account options offered by your employer and/or the government and determine what will make the most sense for you to begin contributing to. My suggestion is to plug into online FIRE communities in the Netherlands to get their advice. One place to start is the Mr. Money Mustache forum sub-group Dutch Mustachians.

Looking Ahead

You’re doing everything you can at present; but, you should keep the following guidelines in mind for the future, as your income–and your expenses–increase:

  1. Always keep an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of your spending:
    • This is your buffer against debt and it’s an imperative part of everyone’s financial health.
    • Your emergency fund should be kept in an easily-accessible account, such as a checking or high-interest savings account. It shouldn’t be tied up in illiquid assets, such as houses/cars/antique china OR the stock market.
    • You should be able to withdraw the funds immediately and at any time. That’s why it’s called an “emergency fund”–it’s there to make emergencies easier.
    • Part of this exercise is to always ensure you’re cash flowing your expenses every month and not spending more than you earn.
    • Ensure that this stays on track as your income and expenses increase.
  2. My bicycle: how I get everywhere

    Invest for retirement:

    • As noted above, it’s important to keep this top of mind and to prioritize it ahead of other investment vehicles.
  3. Remain debt-free:
    • You’re off to a fantastic, debt-free start–aim to keep it that way!
  4. Optional: Explore other investment options:
    • If you’ve completed steps 1-3 and are ready for more, you can start researching the world of investment options.
  5. Ongoing: Rebalance, check-in, scan for new investment opportunities:
    • Put yourself on a schedule of checking in on all of the above:
      • Is your emergency fund staying in line with your spending?
      • Are you still on track for retirement?
      • Have any debts cropped up that need to be paid down?
    • While it’s a linear list, it’s also one you need to continually loop through because life happens and things change.
    • Since you’re already invested in the stock market, you’ll want to rebalance your portfolio on a regular basis and ensure that your investments match your plans, your age, and your personal risk tolerance.

Jamie’s Question #3. I would like to work abroad as welder–anywhere in the world where they need a welder.

I am no welder, but here’s my general advice:

Welding helmet selfie

1) Make yourself desirable to future employers:

  • Learn as much as you can at your next job.
  • Secure all the certifications and attend all the trainings you possibly can.
  • Be an awesome employee to ensure you receive great recommendations.
  • The more experienced you are, the easier it’ll be for you to find a job abroad.

2) Determine if it will be easiest to remain within the EU:

  • I have to imagine this will be the case. In light of that, should EU member states be the starting point for your research?
  • If you’re willing to go outside of the EU, consider what parts of the world appeal to you:
    • What climates do you enjoy?
    • Do you want to be urban or rural?
    • Do you want to be somewhere with public transit?
    • What languages do you speak?
    • What foods/recreation/culture do you enjoy?
    • How long of a flight home are you willing to tolerate?

3) Research, research, research:

  • Ask your welding colleagues for advice, read online welding forums, and research where you’d be able to get a work visa.
  • Are there global companies you could work for who would send you to different parts of the world for various different jobs?
    • If an employer is managing your visa paperwork, it’ll be a lot easier on you.
    • On the other hand, you’ll have less control over where you go.

4) Take your time these next few years to immerse yourself in learning:

  • Learn as many different types of welding as you can
  • Learn as much as you can about where you’ll be able to get a job abroad

Summary:

  1. Flying to see my girlfriend

    Consider taking Job #2 in order to learn the skill of TIG pipe welding at your employer’s expense.

  2. Work with a therapist to:
    1. Set firm boundaries with relatives asking you for money and free labor.
    2. Heal the past financial and emotional traumas of your father’s death and your subsequent role as provider for your mother.
    3. Establish a healthy relationship with money and spending.
  3. Hard as it is, know that your relatives may never pay you back:
    • If you decide to lend money to anyone in the future, consider it a gift, not a loan.
  4. Continue saving money as you have been and monitor your account balances as your income and expenses increase.
  5. Research retirement account options and begin saving for your retirement now.
  6. Begin to talk with your mother about how she’ll cope when you move abroad.
    • Start making a plan with her now so that it’s not a shock when you do eventually leave.
  7. Start researching where you might be willing/able to work abroad.
  8. Feel confident and happy that you’ve put yourself in a FANTASTIC and enviable financial position! You’re going to do great!

Ok Frugalwoods nation, what advice do you have for Jamie? We’ll both reply to comments, so please feel free to ask questions!

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70 Responses

  1. Nicholas says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I enjoyed your story. When I was in high school all I ever wanted to do was be a welder. I went to a 12 month college course and received my welding degree and took a job at a small welding and fabrication shop. I did it for 7 years but then a entry level corporate job came open and I was ready to try something new. My wife and I got married young at 21 and started having children so money was tight. At 30 years old we started buying rental homes and commercial properties. I quit my job at 35 after my wife had a scare with cancer. Now we’re both 41 and living off rental income. We manage and do almost all of our own repairs which saves us a lot of money. We travel often and have a couple of cabins in Alaska. We now have about 30 rental properties. We live in a small midwest town in Iowa that is a very diverse community of about 12,000 people with 28 languages spoken. We had to work very hard at first but now we are enjoying working less and watching our 4 daughters grow up. Starting wages for a welder/maintenance worker here is around $27 and rent is around $800. There are welding jobs everywhere here in Iowa. (Midwest United States) Good luck to you!

    • Jamie says:

      Hello:p good that you enjoy my story!

      And wow, what you’ve achieved I hope to achieve eventually! Very nice:p

      And lowa sounds like a very interesting place! I will surely check it out.

      Thank you very much!😁

      • Nicholas says:

        All it takes is hard work and spending less than you make, and buy assets. If you get the chance buy or rent the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It really changed my life. In the book it has one line that goes something like this: The secret to being rich is easy, just buy assets, NOT liabilities. It’s really as simple as that but most people never figure it out. Even my closest family and friends won’t take a chance to buy a rental property or invest into a money generating asset, They are always afraid something bad will happen. And just to be clear bad things happen, but you just have to try.
        Good luck!
        Nicholas

  2. Kristine says:

    I lived with my parents after school, too. It’s a huge help toward saving money and setting yourself up for success. Considering the situation you are in, it makes sense to stick around as long as you are able to. As Mrs. FW pointed out, you’re in a fabulous position!

    I saved every penny for about eight months thanks to living with my parents, which I then used to purchase a modest house in cash. No rent! Low expenses! I spent two years remodeling it myself with cash before I sold the house and moved across the country. I used the proceeds as a down payment for a new house which I was able to leverage via AirBNB to supplement my income and cover the costs. (I stopped doing AirBNB when my now-husband and I married and he moved in with me.) My net worth hit a million before age 30 with the help of a growing career and higher-paying roles. But it ALL goes back to being able to live with my parents. This was a wonderful privilege I don’t take for granted.

    • Jamie says:

      Hello, thank you for your message!

      And yes, living with my mother is a huge help. I very much appreciate it that my mother let me stay.

      I am saving very hard, and thinking even harder what my next move would be. Move aboard? Maybe. But as of now i will stay here as long as I can😁

  3. Joan says:

    Congratulations on your efforts to date. At your age I was still in college and would t be able to save money or plan how to use it best for years. I strongly agree with the job choice where your employer pays for training. Be sure to learn about every benefit the new emp,other offers. Often there are little known benefits that people dismiss – types of insurance or retirement matches, counseling etc.

    Could your mother rent a room in her home once you leave? It would be a relief to have a little income stream for her. Good luck in your new job

    • Jamie says:

      Hallo, and thank you:p

      I surely can ask if she want, since that it definitely is a option. But what she does want to focus on mainly is to get a bigger fish truck so she can sell more fish and use the current fish truck at other places and let people work for her:p but first she has to save a little to get it to happen.

      Thanks for the tip😁

  4. Cindy says:

    I agree with Mrs. F, talk to someone about your traumas-losing your dad and having to grow up at a very young age. Also, stop lending money to family and let go of whatever you believe they owe you for your own peace. You helped your mom and that is a huge help for her. Keep living at home to keep accumulating wealth and helping out financially. I don’t think you can go wrong with either job. Good luck!

    • Dr. C says:

      Cindy, thank you for highlighting this. Every time I read his comment about lending his mother the money, this was my comment, forget about the money you lend your mother. Other family members, you can collect or let go altogether but never borrow them again. I agree with Mrs. F that you should take the 2nd job because no knowledge is lost. You are getting paid and also accumulating knowledge for future use.

    • Jamie says:

      Hello Cindy! Thank you for your message!

      And I will take the advies that people gave me to look for a therapist to help me with this.

      I’ve went to a couple therapist already for other reasons and I know they help.

      I also know keeping those traumas and fears in me can get pretty bad if I don’t get help for it. I will search for a therapist again and see if they can help me, thank you very much😁

      And yes, I’ve forgiven my mother’s debt thanks to this blog. I knew it was my fault for lending such a huge amount. I always felt bad for asking it back to my mother but today I told her there is no need to give it back:p.

      Thank you for your message😁

  5. Laura A says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I think you’re doing a fantastic job. I have only a few small suggestions to add to what Liz has said. One, I would also start a high interest savings account, separate from your emergency fund, as moving abroad will come with its own set of expenses. For instance, if you came to North America, your European appliances wouldn’t work here (different power outlets). You may also need to support your girlfriend for a time if she comes with you.

    Two, my former partner spent some time living in the Netherlands, and he still sees it as an extremely evolved country which takes excellent care of its citizens. Investigate the culture and social supports of any country to which you might want to move.

    Three, instead of gifting money to your mother, perhaps you could discuss paying her tuition so she can upgrade her skills and get a better job.

    I live in British Columbia, Canada, and my company is presently in urgent need of pipe welders for an ongoing contract which we’ll likely have for at least another decade. Once you’re ready to start working elsewhere in the world, I’m sure you could find employment here. Good luck!

    • Jamie says:

      Hallo, thank you for your reaction!:p

      About the saving account for moving abroad, thanks for the tip:p I will definitely start to think about that and get a savings account going for it.

      Second, yes, the Netherlands is for sure not a bad country to live in. But i want to explore the world and see if there is a place that suits me better. I went to the Philippines on vacation to visit my girlfriend, it’s a poor country but I enjoyed it so much since there is so much nature. Where i currently live there isn’t much nature left.

      Third, my mother owns a fish truck where she sells fish in. I paid for that truck, as it was her dream job and it would earn her better. I am also helping her keep track on her money and help her handle her money as she doesn’t always know how to do so, and I want to make sure she has a good future as well. She hasn’t asked me any money anymore for a couple months now and my mother and I got her to be finally out of debt since a month now after a couple years of being always in debt since my father passed away. She is getting the hang of it how to handle her Financial situation now😁

      • Jamie says:

        Out of debt by other other companies and such, I meant

        • Laura A says:

          Hi Jamie, thank you so much for the reply! I think you’re doing a fantastic job all around. If you think your mother is on her feet now, that’s terrific. She might benefit from a financial management basics course – there are free ones here on the internet, but I don’t know how well they apply outside of Canada. Perhaps there’s an equivalent in the Netherlands.

          I talked to my boss yesterday about hiring you, to see what he would say. He said you’d have to pay your own way to Canada (and yes, we have LOTS of nature here! And public healthcare), but that you would have a job waiting for you. He told me I could give you his contact information if you wanted to discuss it further. As I said, given that our biggest customer is likely to be with us for at least another decade, this still gives you time to take one of your two job offers and get more training. We have many people from other countries working with us, FYI.

          I’ve put my LinkedIn profile in the website link. Please feel free to get in touch and I’ll send you my boss’s contact information. I hope to hear from you. Best of luck!

          • Jamie says:

            Hello Laura,

            Yes, luckily she is getting more settled now! Such a stress relief especially for her.

            And wow, thank you so much, I would like to get in contact. Thank you very much for asking!

            I appreciate the help! I honestly didn’t saw that coming, glad I made this article! 😁

  6. Dorothy says:

    Here’s a technique that might help with the family “moochers” as we call such people in the US:

    If someone asks for money, explain you can’t give them money but you would be happy to sit down with them, review their financial situation, help them with a budget, and recommend a good personal finance book to them.

    This serves several purposes:
    — You are saying No to giving money but still offering help.
    — Moochers are VERY unlikely to accept your offer, so you may not need to actually DO anything.
    — If they do accept your offer, you will be giving help that will ultimately be MUCH more valuable than the money they want.

    I agree with Mrs. Frugalwoods: never, ever loan money to friends and family. If you must give money, consider it a gift. Your chances of ever seeing money “loaned” to moochers who regard you as nothing more than a wallet is very, very small.

    Best wishes, and keep up the good work!

    • Jamie says:

      Hello:p thank you for your reaction!

      Moochers, lol. That’s a funny name. Well, that’s very good advise. I will keep this in mind and use it next time one of my family “moochers”:p contact me again for money.

      Thank you!😁

  7. Annelie says:

    Hi!

    As a fellow Dutch person, I really enjoyed reading your case study! I think you’re doing amazing :-).

    I saw Mrs. Frugalwoods note about retirement, a lot of permanent jobs here automatically have you take part in a retirement plan, for welders there’s likely a national fund (PMT) in place.

    We also lived abroad for a couple of years, outside of the EU. We moved with my company, making them do all the visa paperwork which makes things a lot easier. Not sure how that works within welding, but once you finish your training it could be worthwhile to look at multinationals and see whether they offer something like it. As Mrs. Frugalwoods says, moving within the EU will be a lot easier since you don’t have the visa challenges.

    Any how, great to hear from someone close to us, good luck!

    • Jamie says:

      Hello annelie!

      Good you liked to read my case study.

      Yes, I am building up my pension. And infact, when I was still on school, I asked the financial teacher if it is a option for us to invest in such thing more for, I guess a better pensioen? But she found my question weird since, well, she found me too young too worry about my pension lol.

      And yes indeed, I didn’t know so many Dutch people reader frugalwoods blogs too! I like that lol.

      You good luck too:p

  8. Amy says:

    Hi Jamie,

    You are off to a fantastic start! Lots of excellent advice here.

    My suggestion is to re-think the financial situation with your mother. Since she is paying for your housing, food, and other expenses, and has been for many years, you could start to assume more financial responsibility for yourself, by paying rent to her for your room, covering your portion of utilities and food, and generally starting to assume more of your own expenses. It is good practice for being a financially independent person.

    Once you are eventually out on your own and paying for all of your own living expenses, you will understand how good you had it, living at home with your mother covering your costs as an adult. 🙂

    You could also re-frame the money that you lent to your mom as back rent to cover the years of expenses after you turned 18. You certainly would have paid a similar amount of money in rent, utilities, food, etc. if you had been living on your own for the past few years.

    It sounds like you and your mother do a lot for each other, and having clearer financial boundaries in place could help you appreciate what she has done for you, while also supporting your own transition to independent adulthood.

    • Katie D says:

      Apparently I took too long typing!

    • Turia says:

      Amy, I was going to say the same thing!

      Jamie, right now the financial arrangement is a bit ambiguous – you don’t pay anything predictable but you do help your mum out financially. It seems like it would make more sense for you both to sit down and talk about a fixed amount that you can pay each month (as ‘rent’ or ‘groceries’ or whatever). Then you’re contributing to the household financially but it’s not being presented as a ‘loan’ of the sort where requests could continue even after you move out.

      I don’t know anything about COL in the Netherlands, but your annual salary is incredibly low by Canadian standards. Could you even afford to live on your own on that salary? If your mum is basically helping you to stay afloat by allowing you to live at home, it seems fair that you contribute what you can.

      You have a great head on your shoulders. I wish I had been so wise at 21. Best of luck!

      • Beth says:

        I’m not sure that he needs to be paying rent/expenses to his mom right now. He’s 21! Most Americans today aren’t truly financially independent until they’re older. And since he’s helped her in the past she may want to help him out now. As long as she’s doing ok and he’s still helping out around the house then I’d give it a yearish before worrying about that too much. In the meantime (after he starts the new job) he can “pretend” to be independent by researching normal cost of living and then committing to saving that much every month. And starting conversations with his mom about how to separate their financial needs in a year or so. I fully believe adult kids should be independent but he’s young and already contributed a lot to their family financial health.

    • Cyndi says:

      I was going to say something similar. Don’t expect mom to repay that money, and consider it as rent for the last 3 years. If Jamie considers the ~38,000 euros as “rent” since age 18, that’s a little over 1000 euros/month, which is reasonable.
      Therefore, I agree with Frugalwoods and Amy’s advice about not getting that money paid back, but making sure both Jamie and mom are set up to be financially independent from each other going forward.
      Thanks for sharing this interesting case study, Jamie!

      • Wendy says:

        1000 € are not reasonable, if you consider European salarys. Jamie earns just around 1600 € net

      • Jamie says:

        Hello Cyndi,

        I indeed dropped the debt. I always felt guilty to even consider it a debt.

        Though, I wouldnt say 1k per month is reasonable when still living at home and only earning 1.6k😅.

        Ofc I understand I have to do my fair share. I got my mother to set up her dream business and i help her fix the fish truck, help her track her money, help her with ways to make it better, got her completely out of debt(not always had to help her with money, sometimes I just had to give her advise and get her to call people to get it fixed) and be able to save money now😁.

        That, while my sister was there hanging out with friends doing nothing. And causing a huge amount of problems 😅

        The 30k+ is too much to consider as “rent” while living at home. That’s not a usual European thing to do, to pay that much. Not with the salaries we earn anyway lol.
        I agree with dropping the debt, but I do also think that covers the next couple more months as “rent”. I hope you understand 😊

        And yes, I aim for us both to become financially independent 😁 that’s why I came to share my story, to see if there is still more to adjust😌

    • Jamie says:

      Hello amy!

      Thank you for the compliment.

      And yes, trust me, I never was going to expect it all back. I felt really bad already.for asking it back from the person that took care of me since I am born, especially as she eventually was alone out there when my father passed away.

      I appreciate everything she did and does for me, ofcourse, and i want nothing else then her being happy too.

      We had more downs then ups since my father passed away but we went through it like a team!

      Today was the day that I told her I forgive all her debts by me, and that i will continue to support her with financial tips to get her in a financial good situation for now and in the future.

      I also am willing to pay my share, I have offered that multiple times already before but she always refused. But I will just start doing it. I feel embarrassed that I haven’t done this before, but in exchange, I used to “pay” in other ways, as I never asked for money to do those things.

      Thank you for your message!:p

  9. Katie D says:

    For either job, if you are still living at home, please consider sitting down with your mom to discuss the household budget, and maybe you pay a portion as “rent and utilities.” I know some parents might feel like their child shouldn’t have too, but you’ve also written that you’ve lent her a considerable amount – which maybe went towards rent / mortgage and food / utilities. Being able to save is fantastic, but I worry that you would resent her in the end (borrowing and not paying back). For other family – only give what you fell you can afford to lose (and that number might be 0, and that’s ok). Best wishes for your future!

  10. Anna DP says:

    Jamie said he’s been “lending” money to his mother for quite a while now while also she’s been paying for his housing, food, and utilities forever. That cannot be considered lending money but rather paying for his living expenses since he’s been working for a while now. I don’t believe in providing free shelter and food for my kids after 18 (or after college) if they are perfectly capable of getting a job and paying for these things themselves. Emergencies happen to all of us – unexpected layoffs, serious health problems, etc., and that is when family members can help each other temporarily. But my kids will need to contribute their fair share if they work and stay and eat at home (which I hope won’t happen as I’m encouraging them to learn to be on their own in the world and learn to tackle life’s problems as we all did – while having our full emotional and psychological support of course). I immigrated from Europe to Boston 25 years ago and had no help whatsoever in surviving here (my family was poor, and I had to send them money for some time); it somehow worked out, and I have full hope it will work out for my kids. But if you are my kid with a job and older than 18, you are not lending me money if you are getting free shelter and food. You are just paying your fair share. Good luck with everything! You seem to be a hard-working and very bright person, so it will definitely work out for you. It takes a lot of research to find the right opportunities (especially abroad), and Liz has given you some good pointers in her response.

  11. JD says:

    I think Jamie is very mature in his thinking about his future. One thing I want to point out, and this is NOT a criticism; I hope it is a different way for him to look at the money he’s loaned his mother (which he probably won’t get back, honestly). He gave her a lot of money, but she is giving him food, housing and utilities, which has saved him quite a bit of money. So maybe they are a bit closer to being even, rather than she owes him a huge amount. My husband was a teen when he lost his dad, and his mother was 60 and had never worked outside the home. He helped her with steady amounts of money and fixed her car at the expense of his own at times, but he never expected her to pay him back, because he knew she couldn’t. His dad’s sudden health event and long hospitalization had wiped out his parents’ savings, and all she had was a widow’s Social Security. Sometimes, that’s just the way it works.

    As to other family members, though, I would absolutely be weaning them off of support.

    I concur with Mrs. FW’s suggestions. I think some research into jobs in other countries would be very helpful. You are a very-level headed young person – I think you will be successful!

    • Jessica SN says:

      I agree with this! Rent, food, and utilities are the biggest expenses most people pay every month. Since we’re not sure how much of the money was loaned to his mother vs. other family members, it’s hard to say for certain, but it seems like the loans to his mother are essentially just a roundabout way of contributing to rent, food, etc. It might be better to sit down with his mother and come up with a fair way for Jaimie to contribute to the costs of rent, food, and utilities every month. That way, this informal agreement (many free expenses, in exchange for loans when needed) can be more comfortable and predictable for everyone. I would consider the money loaned to his mother, at least, as actually just payment of living expenses, and not something that will likely be repaid.

  12. Cara says:

    My friend, a welder since he was young, is very involved in Canada’s CWB group. They have info on tickets you need to work in Canada, which is a massive country with many climates, cultures, and opportunities. Good luck!

  13. KP says:

    I just wanted to say what a great job Jamie is doing. I was nowhere near this level of maturity at 21. It’s impressive! Liz has given some great advice. I hope someday you get offered a hand up as you’ve provided that to many others.

  14. pauline says:

    You are doing great saving and starting to plan for retirement. You should get all the training you can at different types of welding. It is a high paying and in demand job in the United States, and other parts of the world. My nephew was a welder at Space-X and earned a very high salary. Welding is useful for construction, auto repair, and fabricating many things people want and need. You should quit lending money to relative. and consider the money you have already “lent” them a gift as you probably will never see it returned to you. Keep visiting your girlfriend, and have her come to visit you where you live. Make sure she’s on the same level as you when it comes to financial planning and saving money for the future. keep up your good work!!

    • Jamie says:

      Hello Pauline!

      Thank you for your message and compliments:p

      And yes, I’ve heard welding is a well paid jobl😁 and much in demand:p

      My mother’s debt, I indeed forgive it. I won’t ask it back. I was always already considering it but, since that was my main savings, I didn’t know if I was able to forgive it and still being able to achieve my future goals as, well, 30k+ is a couple years worth of work😅

      And yes, I will go with my mother next year to my girlfriend again😁 and try to bring her here for a visit next Christmas!:p and I will for sure try to get her to be on the same level when it comes to financially planning and saving money! I want a F.I.R.E future😉

      Thank you very much for your message!:p

  15. sarah says:

    people with “skilled trades” are almost always in demand in Canada. We used to have an oil boom going where a young person could make 500 Euros a day just bending pipes. It’s not as great now but it would relatively easy to move here and learn more…

    • Jamie says:

      Hello Sarah!

      I indeed heard about that:p before I already did think about moving to Canada and did a bunch of research already and called some people to get some tips😁

    • Holly says:

      Yes Jamie you should know that even outside of oil & gas there is a huge labour shortage in Canada, especially in skilled trades. I don’t work in trades but my impression is that anyone with welding skills, even somewhat inexperienced, will get snapped up. I know immigration can be a hassle – less so though if you’re from Europe with an in-demand trade.

  16. E says:

    Agree with everything above especially the main point that you are doing great!

    I’m not sure if your point about having to reimburse your company for the training if you go with job option #2 was fully addressed, so I wanted to offer that you could cost out what the training would cost, and your anticipated future increased salary as a result. It might very well be that the more lucrative opportunities you’d get from the training offset having to pay your company back. Or not! See what the math says if you can get realistic estimates

    One other suggestion: the times I tried to stop giving money away always backfired. What worked better for me was actually budgeting for it (in moderation). For example, you are helping support your sister’s child, which is incredible and maybe you don’t want to stop! But doing it from your general savings is a slippery slope. could you instead determine you’re willing to give X dollars a month or year, or start a separate account for just that, and then don’t dip it into any other pots of YOUR money once you hit that limit? Some guardrails like different accounts might help reinforce the emotional/financial boundaries you’re working on.

    And don’t worry about not giving more to charity. You’re doing fine and honestly if you take Mrs FW’s approach and consider your loans as gifts, you’ve given a LOT to charity- it just happens to be people you know.

  17. DEE says:

    Does he have siblings that could help with his Mom and home expenses too???? If the relatives continue to MOOCH $$ maybe get them to sign paperwork and make it an official loan?? The COL and taxes are high( high also in all EU countries and the healthcare tax for FREE healthcare is included) in the Netherlands-I have heard. So after learning a new skillset in welding then try to find a more reasonable place to live

    • Jamie says:

      Hello, thank your for your reaction!:p

      Yes, I do have a sister. She is 19. She will first have to focus on her own situation, especially since she has a child now. I was able to help my mother because of the right motivation? I guess. Lol. I want to help my sister as well by giving her advise on how to save and keep track on money, especially since she has a child now. I wouldn’t borrow her any money anymore, if she REALLY needs it I will buy groceries instead of giving money. And I do am saving Incase they need help to pay for my nephew’s school. She doesn’t know this that i am saving for that.

      And yes, the taxes here are very high😅

      • Kili says:

        Hi Jamie,

        Sounds like you have exciting adventures ahead. Congratulations on finding passion in your work.

        You’ve already recieved a lot of great advice.
        I’d assume with the high taxes you’re also contributing to the social net of the Netherlands that would enable your sister to ger Kinderbijslag, and somewhat of a support for childcare & education etc.

        It’s definitly good to travel to experience the pros and cons of other places.
        Best wishes for your future!

        • Jamie says:

          Hello Kili,

          Thank you for your reaction:p

          And yes, my sister does get government help like kinderbijslag and such😁

          And yes, I can’t wait to explore the world:p

      • DEE says:

        Good job Jamie..keep it up..Does your sister get help from the father of her child or government $$$ as a single Mom.. Hope she waits to have another one. Also if she is taking care of her own child aybe she could add someone else’s as a mothers helper and make some $$$???..

        • Jamie says:

          Hello Dee :p

          Yes she gets help from the government. The “father” also “takes care of the child”, they switch every week.

          And sadly, I know this isn’t going to sound great, but she didn’t wait and she is pregnant again from another child by another guy🥲

  18. Julia says:

    Hi Jamie,
    My husband is a CWI (certified welding inspector) and has worked in NDT/NDE in structural steel, oil and gas, and aerospace. He currently writes the techniques for inspecting rocket welds! He seconds everything Mr. Frugalwoods said about TIG pipe welding. In his experience, most of the jobs without it will be in structural steel, which are lower paying jobs with less intellectual stimulation, and employers aren’t likely to pay for the training. Of course, this is just the situation in the US, and it may be different elsewhere. Good luck!

  19. Kirsty says:

    Not read the other comments yet so I may be repeating sorry. Two things occur to me:
    1 Australia is currently crying out for welders and technical trades of all kinds. I agree with Mr frugalwoods do the pipe welding job now and boost your skills. Take a look now at the income you could earn as a regular welder and a pipe welder in Australia. Remember cost of living is also very high there but they are currently booming. It’s true that different industries go boom and bust but also different countries go boom and bust too. As a construction worker you may want to consider following the booms around the world, at least until you have school age kids (if that’s something you want to do). That’s the way to make money in construction while getting to really experience travelling. If you want to look closer to home, i live in Ireland and am an engineer and Ireland is also crying out for welders and tradesmen of all kinds and you would not need a visa since you are eu. But we also have a housing crisis!

    2 your mom is supporting you more than you acknowledge. Holding on to that “she owes me x” mindset is hurting you both. I suggest you consider how much she would get per month by taking in a lodger and how much you would pay per month by renting elsewhere. Then come up with what you think is a reasonable monthly rent for what your mom is doing for you. Include bills! So let’s say its 1,000 a month (actual amount will be different). Write down how much your mom owes you and then each month cross it out and write an amount 1,000 less. This will make you feel less angry about the whole thing. You could even backdate it to when you turned 18.

    As Mrs frugalwoods says it’s better to think of money to family as a gift than a loan. I know it’s hard to switch that mindset, but particularly since your mom is supporting you, consider knocking off some of that debt to take account of that.

    You sound like a great guy and i wish you good luck in all your future endeavors

  20. Katelyn says:

    Both Australia and New Zealand offer Working Holiday visas that allow you to work in their respective countries for up to one year if you’re under age 30. I lived in Australia and worked on horse farms. I can’t speak for welding, but Australia did seem to have a demand for “tradie” jobs while I was there in 2016. That could be an exciting opportunity to look into. Of course, as an EU citizen, you have some options within the EU. Another option to consider is the maritime industry. There’s huge money in the oil, gas, and shipping industries, but you have to like living half the year on a boat. These are just some ideas to consider.

    • Aussie says:

      Hi I migrated to Australia and it’s definitely still looking for a lot of trades. There was recently an article that we will have a huge welder shortage due to the demand that the renewable technologies will have for them. Working holidays Visa are great for exploring whether it’s a place for you
      However, here and for other countries do look into whether your Dutch qualifications ‚are acknowledged and whether/how your girlfriend can migrate with you because the visa situation for her will be very different
      On the money lending, I can just repeat what others have said: lending within family/friends doesn’t work – I was holidaying with a friend a lot in Uni years and every trip we did she ran out of money. Only got a fraction of it back
      Agree with the others on rent and contributions to bills whilst living at home. Would be worthwhile to sit down with your mum and work out the value you receive vs what you contribute and subtract that from what you have lent her going forward. I think doing it going back is likely to be unfair because your money contributions have been coming since you were young and kept both of you with a roof over your head

  21. Misty says:

    I agree with the above comments. I just wanted to reinforce the statements: stop giving your family money. I am in my 50’s, my mother is in her 80’s. I’m sure I have given her over 100K over my lifetime. I have even bought her cars. Only since getting married 10 years ago did my husband point out that this needed to stop. I never expected her to pay me back, I knew better. I also grew up very poor, and if I hadn’t worked as a teenager we would have been homeless. Consider what you have “loaned” her your contribution to rent, food, and utilities. You will never get that money back, let it go, and be glad you are young enough to end this cycle. Therapy would be helpful. Best of luck.

  22. Ara Jansen says:

    Western Australia in particular is looking for skilled workers – though there is plenty of push around the country. If you’re willing to work FIFO on a mine it could be very lucrative for you. I don’t know about welders but truck drivers can earn $120K AUD a year. Dutch migrants into this state have a long and strong history, if that’s important. There’s also a significant Filipino population here – and strong pockets in the regional areas. I think the 457 Visa is what you would look for.

  23. Suzanne says:

    Real estate investing is great for people who have the right temperament. Being able to fix things yourself is a huge money saver. Be able not to freak out when your tenant texts you after being gone for a holiday week to say the basement of your rental house is 7 feet deep in water is a requirement (this happened to me 2 weeks ago; almost a week to get the water, mud and spoiled tenant possessions removed and some drying out done, today a new water heater and tomorrow a new furnace, and I’m mostly okay with it because I have insurance and SAVINGS).

    BUT most importantly you must be able to hold the line financially. Would-be renters may ask you to drop the asking rent amount or let them move in their unfixed dogs or give you half the security deposit now and half later. Once into your properties they may not pay the rent on time or ask to pay half the rent now and half the rent later (and later may turn out to be never). Understand the laws and rights of tenants and investors wherever you end up buying. And develop the vocabulary to say no. For example, “Yes, I understand your point. However, that doesn’t work for me.” Repeat until they give up with whatever request they have. Repeat after me, Whatever They Want Doesn’t Work for You.

    “Oh, you have lost your job and can’t pay the rent. Would moving out this weekend be possible? Or do you need a few more days? I would like to be able to give you back as much of your deposit as I can.” Letting them stay there while not paying the rent Doesn’t Work for You. I tell people, so you’re asking me to loan you X amount of money? And they say no, just let me pay weeks late. And then I repeat, “So you’re asking me to loan you X amount of money for those weeks? I think you should be asking your friends or relatives to loan you the missing rent, not me, someone who is almost a stranger.” And you can’t imagine saying these words, then you will eventually be loaning money to almost strangers and likely never getting it back.

    If you can’t tell people no, if you feel guilty about running your rentals as a business that is supposed to turn a profit, then DON’T become a landlord.

    One super bad tenant will chase you out of property investing. Protect yourself by learning the laws, the risks, get insurance, set your tenant requirements, and then STICK with those requirements. If you feel sorry for someone, give them 500 euros. It’s cheaper than trying to get a non paying tenant out of a property. Hmm, can’t afford to do that? Then don’t let the questionable tenant move in – it will likely cost you thousands of euros if that tenant damages the property and/or doesn’t pay the rent. And don’t let them get behind on the rent because the odds are they will never catch up (okay, I worked with a single mom whose kid had 7 surgeries over a couple of years – but she had a good history with me and the story was real, and I didn’t let her fall more than 2 weeks behind. I also helped her find charities who could help her pay the rent).

    My above comments may sound so pessimistic, but I LOVE owning rental properties. I enjoy my tenants. Many of them say I am the best landlady ever. I highly recommend owning rental properties if you can set boundaries and say no. Based on the money you’ve lent that may never be repaid, you sound like you have a soft heart. Which is good when it comes to your mother in my opinion. She needed the money and at an amazing young age you earned it – kudos to you! But you may find yourself identifying with other people who need help. Keep your charity and your rental business separate. Donate to housing charities, but run your rentals as a business. Or at least hire a property manager who can say no!

  24. Maartje says:

    Hallo Jamie,
    Since I live in the Netherlands too, here are a few of my thoughts. Not about welding, which I know nothing about but admire greatly. And I think it’s a huge USP to be handy and able to make and construct things, there is a large demand for building people. And regarding your health insurance: when you choose an insurancecompany with only basis package, pay upfront for a year and maximize your own risk, you can save on the costs. I do that myself, but I keep the own risk as a buffer in a separate savingsaccount.. I switched to Just this year and pay 1260 for a year. Useful dutch blog about FIRE (if you don’t know him already): geldnerd.nl. Groeten en succes met je plannen!

  25. Wendy says:

    I think Jamie is paid under value – I checked minimum pay in the netherlands, I checked his net wage and calculated his gross wage and it seems he earns way to less. He should go to his union and check if his company pays his
    A certified welder should earn around 2800 € gross per month. Jamie is probably 1000 € below this amount (gross)
    Since Jamie would like to switch to another job, Jamie should try to get a better pay. I know it’s hard to negotiate a salary as an entry-level employee, especially if you may have even done the training at that company or have no experience yet and think the things you can learn are more important than money. But now Jamie has work experience and should take that into consideration when negotiating and know his own value.

    • Jamie says:

      Hello Wendy,

      I indeed think I got underpaid, especially for the job I was signed to do (I was welding projects for the marines, and had to get a bunch of certificates before I was allowed to do so.)

      But the thing was, it was 4 days work, 1 day school, which I called a “BBL” traject here. So I was pretty much still a student but spend 4 out of the 5 days working. I did get the very minimum. And I did try to negotiate. But instead, my boss was threatening me to fire me and that would get me to get fired and fail my school diploma. That limited me to be able to negotiate.

      But also why i want to quit as I felt very under appreciated😅

      Thank you for your message!

  26. Wendy says:

    I definitely recommend taking the job that adds Pipe Welding training and certification to your regular job. Even if you have to stay with the company for a while afterwards, the additional qualification is worth the time – especially since the company pays a salary during the training.
    You might want to make sure that the certificate is internationally recognized – at least within the European Union. As for working in other countries – within the European Union you can work anywhere and – with some effort – degrees can be recognized. So you already have many countries – also with different climate zones and different nature – to choose from. Another possibility – especially in the Netherlands this should be relatively easy – could be to work as a specialist for a shipping company. If you negotiate a good contract, you can be at sea as a specialist for a few months and then have a few months off – with full pay (such contracts are only available for qualified technical specialists). It would be an interesting way to get to know other countries.

  27. Geldsnor says:

    Don’t worry about the pension investing – In The Netherlands, you get state pension from age 67-and-then-some, which is about 1000 EUR per month. Usually there is a company pension too (comparable to the 401K). It’s very unusual to have separate pension savings beyond that, as simply that’s already taken care of. You could do it, comparable to a Roth IRA, or unless you don’t have a company pension, your “own” 401k. The difference there is the taxes.
    With regards to your mom: you’ve already not counted the outstanding amounts in your assets (they are assets!). You might as well write them off. Simply give grace to your mom for raising you to be a responsible adult who’s learned a trade. See it as your rent and contribution to the food bill and forgive the loan. At the condition that it is the last – and nothing more.
    Stop lending money to family, treat it as a busines. Read “the Richest man of Babylon”, where a similar situation occurs. You don’t want to be in that position, and neither does your mom.

    Ow, and I would recommend taking job 2.

    (yes, I am Dutch)

    • Anna H. says:

      Jamie, you are awesome and an inspiration! As for Geldsnors comment, You only get The Netherlands State Pension (AOW) for the years you’ve lived in the Netherlands. Since Jamie will be living abroad for some time, he will not get the full amount (if there is any, in about 45 years!) Investing in the market and real estate are good options for saving for the missing years.

      • Jamie says:

        Hello Anna,

        Thank you for seeing my post as a inspiration😁

        And yes, I also doubt there will be any in 4t years🤣 hence why I want to take care of it myself by living F.I.R.E and get myself prepared for pension😅

  28. Hari2002 says:

    Jamie
    I am based in the UK and we have amazing welding opportunities, not just based around oil and gas. The nuclear new build requires high integrity welders, the many varied industrial process sites have welding and pipefitters on site during regular maintenance shutdowns and with the focus on decarbonisation incorporating carbon capture there will be work for decades. Currently daily rates for contracting welders could be up to £500 a day.
    Please get your qualifications and look at which companies in the UK are hiring.

  29. Hannah Hazelberg says:

    Hi Jamie, I was a poor kid too, and I got my first job at 11 (paper route). It’s really hard to think back on those harsh times and it definitely shaped my relationship with money as an adult. Lending money to your parent creates this awkward feeling of role reversal that hurts the relationship. Not having enough money for basics makes everyday unstable in ways people who’ve never gone without don’t understand. Poverty can create scarcity mindset, and I think that’s why it’s hard to let go of those loans. I just wanted to say, I benefited from therapy because poverty is traumatic. Establish boundaries by saying no, and if someone constantly tries to undermine your plans, it’s time to distance yourself. It’s harder when it’s a relative, but you have the responsibly to yourself to say no. Good luck to you and please remember to always put safety first on the job. Protect your eyes and skin, don’t get sloppy, I know how horrible the consequences can be. Maybe beef up your emergency fund too.

  30. I Miller says:

    Hi Jamie, Congratulations on handling your situation with a degree of grace and maturity I am in awe of! I just wanted to add my two bits’ worth on a couple of points. If things get serious with your girlfriend and you decide to move to another country together, Vancouver has large enough Dutch and Filipino communities that you’d both have some people from your home countries to hang with. And I think you’d both be able to get work if she doesn’t mind coming in on some kind of care worker visa. NB All my Filipina friends send money home to relatives in the Philippines; that would be worth a discussion about how you guys want to handle that if you get to that stage..

  31. Tina says:

    I’d consider if you’re 100% sure about moving abroad, how long do you need to stay in the training job to not have to pay back the training fees? Can you commit to that? From the above it sounds like you can’t so how much will you need to pay back? How will you do that? Will your current savings cover it? I agree that more training sounds like the right route but you need to give it more thought!

  32. Becky says:

    Jamie: you are awesome for your age and very mature in many ways. I am 69 and retired here in the United States. I did not always manage my money well and helped others out. I regret that decision now. However I had a few childhood issues that I needed to deal with. I went to therapy and went on to help many others. My majors were teaching foreign language with a major in Spanish and a minor in German. I eventually became a nurse and translated for patients multiple times. I have been to the Netherlands and liked it. Eventually I burned outeft nursing and worked jobs as they came and paid bills. I also worked in mental health nursing however I still had not learned my financial lessons. It was not until I went completely blind for 6 weeks and could not work that I began to understand how bad things had gotten. Unfortunately family did not help and I could not work. I lost vision in one eye and vision returned in one eye. This happened after6 weeks. It disqualified me from disability unfortunately when I regained vision in one eye. I slowly began putting g my financial life in order by making settlements with all my creditors. It was that or declare bankruptcy. As the years moved on I worked multiple jobs and sort of managed. I had to sell my home. I did that just as the recession nit here in I think 2010. I first moved into way too expensive an apartment. I left there and slowly but surely kept decreasing the amount of rent I paid. During the heart of the recession I finally went back to school again and became a paralegal or lawyers right hand man. Unfortunately jobs were not easy to find but I lived on very little and made it work. When I graduated with honors at the top of my class I had also taken bankruptcy law and am a qualified bankruptcy petitioner should I choose to use those skills. I continued to work during the pandemic and did industrial cleaning until I retired at 67. My best friend was much wiser with her money as she had good paying jobs. Her husband died a few years back of a massive heart attack. I was there when the coroner took him from their home. She decided to help me out unexpectedly and gave me a place to live with reduced rent. I had 6 months of savings when I retired and small Roth IRA. In addition I had a small pension. I help her out by paying half the home repairs instead of having to take a rent increase. I live in a 900 Sq ft home mm3?) Which by American standards is tiny. When I spend it is to go to the thrift store to buy a $60 clothes dryer which by the way has lasted 6 months and works just fine. I paid off all debt with my best friends help before I retired and my student loans. I mow with what they call a push reel mover. It has no engine just mows as I push it. I have a small yard thank goodness. I pay cash for everything. After making settlements with credit card companies I don’t do that any more.
    I figured if I shared all this it would give you more ideas on how to deal with your mother. Just make sure she returns what you loan her in some capacity. She is giving you room and board so it sounds like she’s doing that. As far as moving from the EU it is less expensive as far as cost of living. The us and Canada are expensive. Canada is a wonderful country and there is lots of work opportunity available so it is worth considering. As far as traveling air bnb is a good way to go. I just got back in October from a trip to see my stepmother in a other state I have a 14 pound dog and she went with me. OK enough sharingfor now. Keep up the work with your mother in regards to her finances. As she sees she can succeed those habits will stick with her. Best regards Becky

  33. Becky says:

    Jamie: Forgot to say this but I think Mrs. Frugalwoods gave you really good advice on the direction you should take with your career. Best of luck. It’s wonderful to be you g and have so many choices

  34. Danielle says:

    Regarding Jamie’s pay: it is possible that he is in some kind of learning/apprentice situation–that may be why his employer is paying for the welding training. He is only 21, and in Europe many educational tracks offer school/work/diplomas concurrently. This is also why ‘contracts’ run for a certain period ofttimes: you are wedded to the employer for as long as the training (on and off the job) takes.

  35. Maria says:

    Hi Jamie,
    First off all great job!
    Reading the title of your case study, I got really excited, as I work in one of the fields youare considering (HR in pipeline in another european country).
    I took so many notes reading your case study and would like to adress a couple of things:
    – please learn TIG welding! This is a skill that will open so many doors to you. While some employers are willing to train you for a certain job, projects have ever tighter deadlines and most companies prefer to contract someone with the desired skills instead of spending the time to train someone. A lot of times they invite a couple of candidates and make them do a test piece in order to prove their skills. The ones doing a good job will be employed. So I would recommend to get all the training you can get (TIG, MIG/MAG, manual, automatic…)! Also try to figure out how long you would have to stay with the company after completing your training.
    Later you can also get your IWS or IWI, there are a lot of opportunities!
    – network: as the companies are looking for experienced workers with the right skill set they rely on word of mouth from the people they already employ! Let’s say the company needs 5 more welders, they ask the welders they already have if they know someone good and reliable. Keep in contact with people from your and other companies. The european pipeline world is quite small, you will always cross the same people again sooner or later so show you’re a hard worker and know your stuff because if not it will come back to bite you. As I said it’s all about recommendations.
    – You can also choose to be self-employed, in which case you can choose the jobs/projects that are more interesting. One positive and at the same time negative of being employed is that you will be sent to work on different projects in and outside your country. While the company will take care of the bureaucratic aspect, you will not be able to choose where you work. If they send you to country or city XY, you have to go there, sometimes on VERY short notice. But if you are open to this it will be a great experience and will teach you a lot.
    – Finances: if you want to work in pipe/pipeline welding you will most likely not be staying in the same place for a long time (think 6 months – 1 year). While this might be tiring it will definitely help you financially as there are many allowances that make it worth your while. Also experienced welders have some of the highest wages on these projects. Even if you would’t want to do this forever, a couple of years could drastically change your financial situation. But please be aware that in the winter months or even in slower years there is less work and you might be sent home (sometimes remaining employed, sometimes not), so do not spend all the money you earn during the year. I have seen so many cases where being out of work for just a couple of weeks is ruining someone, even though good money was coming in all this time (I could write a whole book about this).

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about the pipeline world to make an informed decision.
    The best of luck to you!

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