Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Belgian Money Week: Financial knowledge is key to living a good life

12:17 13/03/2024
FIRE Belgium founder Sébastien Aguilar outlines his personal advice for managing money ahead of the education and business community’s free workshop on finance from 18 to 22 March.

I have a friend who always says: “If you master money, life is incredibly easy. If you don’t, life is incredibly hard.”

I believe that understanding how money works and how to make it work for you is essential to happiness. And I believe we all have the responsibility to learn to manage it well.

In fact, we don’t have a choice. A recent European survey by Eurobarometer shows that 52% of Belgians are not confident they will have enough to live comfortably in retirement.

With an aging population, fewer workers to support the increased number of retirees and pressure on the pension system, they’re right to be worried.

And while the government is working on the issue, the recent changes are not sufficient to address the looming pension crisis.

But money management is not taught in school. We learn how to get a job and get paid, but we don’t learn how to manage our money.

Most people simply don’t talk about money, such as the following essentials points we should all be openly discussing or asking ourselves.

  • How much do you make?
  • Are you in debt?
  • How are you preparing for retirement?
  • Can I really afford this car?
  • Should I rent or buy?

We don’t ask these questions (it’s often taboo) and we don’t like running the numbers. Yet, these are the questions that shape a big part of our lives. Arguably as much as our relationships and our health.

And when we do talk about money, it’s with either banks (who are trying to sell us something) or with our family (who might not know much more than us).

So how do we learn about money? Here are some of the best resources that I personally recommend for improving your knowledge of personal finance.


The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley, Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.

Financial education blogs and websites

Wikifin is an excellent website managed by the Belgian Regulator and a great source of information on personal finance for people living in Belgium.

Coursera offers a wide range of university-level online courses on personal finance from debt, to budgeting and investing.

Mr Money Mustache is a well-known personal finance blog that challenges many of the common wisdom and offers an alternative approach to retirement planning.

Podcasts and YouTube

Afford Anything is a podcast where Paula Pant and her guests explore ways to optimise money for a balanced life.

Graham Stephan has a popular YouTube channel where the host shares lots of valuable insights into real estate, personal finance and entrepreneurship.

The FIRE Belgium Show is a video podcast that provides information on evidence-based personal finance and investing in Belgium that I host.

Community Events

One of the best ways to learn is from the people in the community and experts in their field.

FIRE Belgium is organising five talks for Belgium Money Week from 18 to 22 of March,  where a series of experts will cover a wide range of personal finance topics:

  • How to earn more as a freelancer (by the leader of the Freelancers in Belgium community)
  • How to level up at work (by a Certified Executive Coach)
  • Pensions in Belgium – How does it work (by a Director from the Belgian Federal Service of Pensions)
  • How to invest as a company owner in Belgium (by a fee-only independent financial adviser)
  • How to succeed with your first real estate investment in Belgium (by a real estate consultant)

Learn more and register here:

Money Week


Written by Sébastien Aguilar



Retirement planning is often something that people postpone doing yet it can really be fun! Also it helps you to live better financially in the present as you have goals for 20, 30, 40 or more years in the future that you wish to achieve. Three things that make planning easier: (i)Know how long you'll live! For example, I've known for the past 30 years the day and hour when I leave the planet: My 85th birthday. (ii)Also know how much you plan to have on that date. My goal: €0.00. (iii)And know how much you want to leave your children or others. I know exactly: NOTHING! These 3 pieces of knowledge make planning retirement MUCH easier. And remember, like any business plan, these "plans" are not set in stone-- you can change them depending on your health, wealth, family situation or for any other good reason. (GOOD reason - don't change them often!) OK that's my 2 cents…… Thu 14 Mar 2024 @ 11:06

Mar 14, 2024 11:08