‘I live in a small apartment on purpose so I can buy extra designer things’


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Sanne lives tiny on purpose, so there is more money left over to buy expensive things for himself and his sons.

Sanne (32), divorced and mother of two sons aged 4 and 2:

“I like beautiful things. For as long as I can remember, I have torn pictures of shoes, bags, clothes and furniture from shiny magazines. As a child, I made collages of those tears. The walls of my room were covered with them. I dreamed about what it would be like to be able to buy all the cool stuff.

Big bonus

I studied public administration, and immediately after that I started working for a large company. In addition to the normal periodic salary increases, I got a big promotion a few times. I still work in the company where I started as a little boy. My starting salary was 2000 euros and I managed to climb up to a business consultant in ten years. Now I earn 4875 euros net per month with a big bonus at the end of each year.

“Every new customer is a bonus, so you can count on me doing my best”

I dare say I am worth it; I’m good at my job. I like when I can give a perfect advice to a company about, for example, an organizational change. My colleagues call me a biter, because my acquisitions also go smoothly, and I often bring in companies as new customers. Every new customer means a bonus, so rest assured I will do my best.

On the rocks

Relatively speaking, it is unfortunately less successful. I have two bloody sons, my husbands are four and two years old. My marriage ended right after the birth of the youngest. Problems that my ex and I had experienced before in our marriage became bigger and eventually insurmountable when the other was born.

Luckily, my ex and I are okay with each other. He sees our sons two days each week and contributes financially using 650 euros in alimony per month. We have contractually stipulated that we get his maintenance contribution re-indexed every year, and I have waived partner contributions. It did not feel right. Although I sometimes think of the extra designer things I could have bought for that amount.

Expensive, large furniture

That love of beautiful things is still there. I intentionally live in a small apartment for which I pay 725 euros a month in rent. It is outside the city center, the bus takes 20 minutes to get to the shops.

The boys share a bedroom and I have a small cubicle where I have stuffed a king size bed. Sleeps wonderfully, such a luxurious wide boxspring, and it’s also cozy when my sons and I laze in the big bed on the weekends. But in fact, it is not a face. I can not even mount a closet or bedside table next to it, so I store my clothes in the children’s room and in an extra closet next to the shower.

“The living room has a cognac-colored Ligne Roset Togo sofa and the coffee table comes from Italy”

I filled the apartment with expensive, large furniture. In the living room’s slash kitchen is a cognac – colored Ligne Roset Togo sofa that cost me almost 5000 euros. I love it, it’s a well known designer piece. The coffee table comes from Italy and I bought it for 1800 euros. Well, there are also lamps from Vitra and Moooi, also expensive, and we eat at a handmade round table with pink teddy bear chairs. The kitchen is tiny, I can not change it because it is a rental apartment. I had the cabinets wrapped with a matte gray coating and there are three mint green Smeg units on the counter.

Also read – ‘A nice coat can really make me happy, so I’m willing to pay a thousand euros for it’>

Deferred maintenance

Now that I sum it up, I think: bizarre perhaps, all the mega-expensive stuff in such a rental apartment. For the building has delayed maintenance and a landlord who is not in a hurry to address this. Stucco is damaged in many places. The window frames are rotten and should have been painted three years ago. The window in my bedroom does not close properly, so it is always cold. The worst part is that the walls are thin so I can almost literally understand the neighbors when they quarrel. I’m ashamed of where we live. The interior cost a fortune, but the boys and I are the only ones enjoying it. For really not that I invite people here for dinner.

“The interior cost a fortune, but I dare not invite anyone to it”

The idea alone; the successful business consultant who lives in such an elaborate apartment. That my guests are going up in an elevator that stinks of pee and wet dog. Then into the gallery, where almost all the neighbors have thrown garbage they can not get rid of inside next to the front door. It seems in this building that there is a constant smell of takeaway curry, and the district itself is not very nice either. On days off, I do not sit casually with the boys in a park. All the parks around here are ‘busy’ with pimples. With a little luck, my sons find empty beer bottles and medicine syringes in the bushes.

It feels a little fake to live alone, without contact with others. But still, I now prefer to spend my money on things and clothes. It gnaws such an afternoon in the park. I know I have to think about my consumption habits, even if it’s only for my men’s safety.

buy small living designer things

Buy nice things

Maybe I should buy less and invest more in a home. I postpone it until I’m ever in a relationship again, I find out. Buying beautiful things now and booking luxury vacations is a reward for my busy life as a single mom.

Last night I started shopping online after a long day at work. Gucci sneakers for 380 euros for myself, an Iro sweater for 490 euros and two more jackets for my boys. Made together: 1100 euros. I can easily afford it because I make good money, and I have deliberately chosen to live small, so there is more left to spend. I have no car – too expensive – and I get our groceries at Aldi.

“I’d rather buy something special each month than spend extra on a bigger house”

I would rather buy something special each month, like a cashmere bedspread, than spend $ 600 extra a month on a larger house. The boys are too young to complain about having to share a room. I can not imagine that it changes as they get older. I enjoy it so much now that I can buy what I want.

Chic excursion

During the May holidays we go to a smart hotel in Mallorca. I rented a red BMW to sail around the island and keep a list of hotspots to eat. But first we go to the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin. Our favorite hotel, it costs 335 euros per night for a suite with sea view. It just feels great to go to the spa in a bathrobe, then swim together and have dinner in the evening.

My sons and I have done it so many times that they behave quite well in such a smart place. This hotel trip will cost me, with all the extra hotel, at least 1000 euros. We do this four times a year. In those moments, I feel really rich. Although it’s always sinking to return home to the smelly takeaway curry apartment. “

This article can be found in Kek Mama 06-2022.

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