All posts by Dijana

Embarking on a trip to financial independence

 One skill that we should all master in life is “How to manage our finances”. This is not an easy skill to learn, however, it is necessary. Although I did make some mistakes in regards to money, there is always a room for self-improvement and self-advancement. And, if this Covid19 pandemic taught me anything that is how to be careful with money.

Learning how to spend, save, invest and make money is invaluable and helps you to live debt and stress-free life. I don’t suggest that you should be tightwad, however, choose your battles smart. Although I still have a long way to go, below I will share my experience on what I do to cut on my expenses and increase my savings.

Less is more. Don’t be a spend-thrifter. Don’t waste your money and time on buying the things you don’t need or to impress people you don’t like. Nobody needs twenty pairs of shoes or a full wardrobe of clothes they don’t even wear. Nobody needs tons of pairs of sunglasses, watches and bags. Nobody needs a big expensive car if they can’t afford to maintain it. Don’t waste your hard-earned money in expensive restaurants, cinemas, clubs or luxury resorts. If you can’t control yourself try to figure out what triggers you to buy things you don’t need and what you can do to stop this. Buying things would bring you short term pleasure, but bigger pleasure would come from knowing that your bank account is getting bolder each month. To summarize, think before you spend.

Reconcile your credit card. When I just moved to Dubai I got my first credit card. My salary didn’t meet my expectations so I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent check. As I didn’t know any other way how to get money fast I opted for credit card cash advance with 18 instalments (literally the worst thing you can do with a credit card). Once you enter this vicious circle your debts just keep accumulating and as the time goes by it gets worst. Soon after, I applied for a second credit card with an even higher limit. As I didn’t have lots of understanding about credit card charges I kept purchasing things through instalments and after 3 months my monthly payment for my credit cards reached half of my salary. About that time my company organized a finance workshop and I was advised to reconcile the card with a personal loan. The idea was to close my credit card with a loan so I can increase my monthly cash-flow and at the same time buy a car. And yes, my financial situation did improve after CC reconciliation.

Track where your money goes. The best way to track your money is through an excel sheet or mobile application. Try to keep consistent for at least 3 months and you will get an idea where your money goes. How much you spend on rent, on utilities, on entertainment, food, debts, gas, etc. Tracking your expenses can help you to decide what expenses you can cut down in your daily life and that money you can add on your saving account instead.

Educate yourself. To be honest I find it very difficult to focus and understand the markets, funds, investments, stocks, ETFs and crypto market. However, I am aware that I need to learn and understand these terms and better sooner than later. If you not sure where to start, check if you have any friends who are investing money and can give you a head start. After you gather some basic information start reading the books about money, investments and savings, watch youtube videos, follow inspiring people who did it already and spend time educating yourself. Probably, the time you spent on this will pay you off later and you will be glad that you started early.


hey you!

(Pink Floyd)

Hey you, out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old
Can you feel me?
Hey you, standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel me?
Hey you, don’t help them to bury the light
Don’t give in without a fightHey you out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone
Would you touch me?
Hey you with you ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I’m coming homeBut it was only fantasy
The wall was too high
As you can see
No matter how he tried
He could not break free
And the worms ate into his brainHey you, out there on the road
Always doing what you’re told
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall
Breaking bottles in the hall
Can you help me?
Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall!

This song is so powerful and touching. There is always light at the end of the tunnel even though we might not see it. I feel like the song is calling us and talking with us, saying that we should never give up no matter what. Especially today when our lives are changing in so many unprecedented ways.

What is your favorite song from Pink Floyd?


“This letter is to You. The You that’s had a rough week. The You that seems to be under constant storm clouds. The You that feels invisible. The You that doesn’t know how much longer you can hold on. The you that has lost faith. The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong. To you. You are incredible. You make this world a little bit more wonderful. You have so much potential and so many things left to do. You have time. Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there. You can do it.”

Jodi Ann Bickley

This week was a tough one. I felt anxious, stressed, emotional and I suffered from insomnia and a headache. I always react like this on bad news, but usually shortly after I pull myself together and start looking for solutions and positive things.

I reminded myself that I lived through worse times in my life, I survived the war and there are no many things out there that can compare to that. I lived and worked on a cruise ship which is quite different from life on land. I left my family and friends and came to another country to look for a job, I slept on my friend’s sofas, I was without money, job and family. And still, there was always light at the end of the tunnel, so this shall pass to.

Reflecting on the previous 3 months in lock down, below I have listed 5 things that Covid19 taught me.


After everything that was happening since March, buying an apartment is not an option anymore. As there is a very high chance that this kind of situation will happen sometime again in the future living in a big city and a small apartment is not something that I want. Hopefully, in the next 5 years, I will be able to move to the countryside, have my own garden and be self-sustainable.


Each time you take a job, be aware that it will have its end. Don’t restrict yourself that you only need to work in one industry field or build one career. In today’s world, you will probably have to change a few jobs if you planning to survive. This week we were reminded about this as my husband has been made redundant. He worked for the airline and we know that this industry was one of the most affected due to imposed travel restrictions. We were aware that this could happen but didn’t expect it this fast. Let’s see what the Universe has in the pocket for us next?!


I don’t want this to sound like the end of the world prediction, but the fact is the world will not be the same as it was. I don’t know yet if it will get worst or better, but I am sure that we are entering a new decade that will be something we haven’t seen before. We need to adopt new skills, new approaches and innovation. One of the best things about this is that Mother Nature had some self-care time and there is a positive environmental impact. The ozone and ocean are healthier, the people reconnected with nature, the animals are taking over the land and the pollution is reduced. Finally, the skies are blue above China, the water is clean in Venice and you can see the Himalayas from Kathmandu. I only hope that it won’t get worst later when things pick up.


Your car doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have where to drive it. Your fancy clothes don’t mean anything if you don’t have where to wear it. Your newest gym equipment and membership are useless if the gyms are not reachable. Your newest watch, iPhone, makeup, perfume, you name it. Nobody cares what you have or how you look if they can’t see you.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi from Pexels


We are all aware that our health is irreplaceable. Our immune system will be our best protection we will have against all diseases, viruses and bacterias that could harm us. You all know what you need to do: sleep well, exercise daily, meditate, control your mind, drink 2l of water, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, socialize with good and inspiring people, don’t use too many harsh chemicals, go green and use natural products as much as you can. Try to spend time outdoors in nature and away from polluted cities.

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

What did you learn during the lock down? Share it in the comments.

Darijina prica

„Na brodu sam već dvije godine, a otišla sam sa 28 godina. Dolazim iz Hrvatske i prvi put sam otišla na poziciju sobarice, a kasnije sam promovisana u supervizorku. Moji razlozi su slični kao i razlozi većine, a to je bila želja za putovanjima, upoznavanjem ljudi i, naravno, dobar novac. U početku je bilo veoma teško, ali nije mi nedostajao život na kopnu koliko sam mislila da će. I ranije sam bila daleko od kuće, porodice i prijatelja, tako da mi nisu toliki nedostajali, ali su mi nedostajala okupljanja porodice i prijatelja: rođendani, svadbe i praznici. Ono što je karakteristično za brod jeste da to postaje vaša druga kuća, vaš drugi dom, a ljudi koje upoznate vaša porodica. Nekad i bukvalno, jer se desi da pronađete životnog partnera baš na brodu. Život na brodu je težak i mnogi požele da daju otkaz i odu kući. Ali, to se dešava najviše iz razloga što je velik pritisak, standardi i dugi radni sati. Osobe koje to ne mogu da izdrže odustaju, a neki se jednostavno naviknu. A kada se naviknete, sve postaje bolje i lakše u vašoj glavi i u svemu tome počinjete da uživate. Posao ima mnogo dobrih strana, ali zavisi iz kojeg ugla ga posmatrate. Imate šansu da obiđete svijet i da vidite mjesta koja drugačije ne biste imali priliku vidjeti. Osim evenutalno na TV-u ili u nečijim putopisima. Dobra stana je i novac, jer na kopnu za isti posao imate triput manju plaću. Ovaj posao će vam omogućiti da spoznate svoje mogućnosti i ojačate svoj karakter. Ima, naravno, i mnogo loših strana. Morate biti mentalno jaki da izdržite sav stres i da se nosite sa svim poteškoćama, problemima i mogućim konfrontacijama sa ljudima i to je nešto što se dešava svaki dan. Stres vas može uništiti potpuno. Nemate privatnosti. Većina posade dijeli kabine i ponekad vam je dovoljno samo 5 minuta da se odmorite od svih i svega, ali to je nemoguća misija. Također, negativne strane mogu biti i loša hrana, nedovoljno sna i neljubazni saradnici. Sve zavisi kako gledate na to. Za neke ljude je loša stvar dobra i obrnuto. Ja i dalje radim u istoj kompaniji i smatram da sam bila veoma sretna. Mnogo onih koji su dali otkaz i otišli da rade na drugim kompanijama se sada vraćaju, a to je činjenica koja govori sama za sebe. Ono što me i dalje motivira da radim ovaj posao jeste moj avanturistički duh koji me potiče da uvijek tražim ispunjen život, a ovaj posao mi to omogućava. Planiram još neko vrijeme raditi ovdje, ali to defitivno nije posao koji planiram raditi zauvijek. Trenutno nemam nekih određenih planova, jer sam još uvijek u procesu traženja same sebe i onoga što želim. I to je upravo razlog zašto bih ovaj posao preporučila svakome. I za one koji imaju plan, jer im ovaj posao daje dobru finansijsku stabilnost. I za one koji kao ni ja nemaju plan, jer ovaj način života vam daje vremena da odlučite o svojoj budućnosti, dok zarađujete novac, putujete svijetom i uživate koliko je moguće.“

Francova prica

Moje ime je Franco. Porijeklom sam iz Čilea i u 25-oj godini sam se zaputio da radim na prekookeanskim kruzerima na kojima sam proveo zadnjih 13 godina, radeći i ploveći svuda po svijetu. Najviše sam se zadržao na poziciji konobara, a tokom svih tih godina sam promijenio tri kompanije. Odluku da odem na brod sam donio najviše zbog novčanih problema, jer sam se morao brinuti za svoju porodicu, plaćati račune i štedjeti, a u Čileu je u to vrijeme situacija bila teška. Sve ove godine mi je nedostajao život na kopnu, ali sam se vremenom naviknuo i na život na brodu. Sjećam se da sam skoro svaki ugovor barem jednom oplakao. U početku je bilo teško, nisam mogao razumjeti loš engleski, osjećao sam se izgubljeno, bez ikakve ideje o ovom poslu, o radu hotela i restorana i sa slabim poznavanjem terminologije. Tih dana nije bilo limita koliko sati dnevno ćete raditi, pa se sjećam da sam jednom radio 17 sati, a drugi put zbog crvenog koda 20 sati. Cipele su bile osigurane od strane kompanije i to su bile sigurnosne cipele koje su bile teške kao kamenje, pa su mi noge krvarile sedmicama. Napor je predstavljalo i oblačenje i skidanje cipela, a na bolovanje ste mogli zaboraviti. U toj kompaniji, ako ste htjeli ići na bolovanje, morali ste vašu zamjenu platiti iz vašeg džepa. Plate su bile mizerne, a sve što ste zarađivali tokom tog ugovora su bile napojnice tako da ste morali raditi bolesni ili čak i sa slomljenom rukom, kao što sam ja radio dvije sedmice.

Pored svega toga teško mi je padalo i mijenjanje vremenskih zona, neregularni rasporedi, loša hrana, bolovi, tuga, neljubaznost gostiju i posade, nemirno mora sa tajfunima i olujama, cimer koji hrče ili pravi zabavu kada vi želite spavati, treninzi i razmišljanje šta se dešava kod kuće. Povrh svega, počeo sam piti jer je alkohol sve to olakšavao.

Život na brodu podsjeća na život na nekoj drugoj planeti. Da li ćete izgraditi ili uništiti svoj karakter, zavisi samo od vas. U svakom pogledu je stresno, pa se naučite nositi sa različitim nivoima stresa. Upoznat ćete nevjerovatne ljude. Zabavljat ćete se kao kad ste imali 16, ponašati se kao tinejdžer i raditi kao životinja. Ali na kraju kada pogledate iza sebe, bit ćete ponosni šta ste sve izdržali i koliko možete raditi, a da ne doživite kolaps ili ubijete nekoga. Ukratko, normalni ljudi ne opstaju dugo u ovom poslu, morate imati neki drugačiji čip u svom mozgu. Najbolji dio ovog posla su prilika da zaradite novac, steknete prijatelje i ako ste dovoljno sretni, upoznate i partnera za život. Putujete, zabavljate se, učite posao i gradite karakter. Negativna strana je da ovaj posao može biti kao droga i da lako završite u začarnom krugu, ne odrastete, a postanete stari veoma brzo. Ja sam promijenio tri kompanije i nema nešto što se zove najbolja kompanija u svemu. Kako odrastate, tako vidite stvari u drugačijem svjetlu. Mislim da je za mene lično najbolja bila zadnja kompanija, zato što sam mogao pomoći drugima da rade bolje i tako doveo naš brod na prvo mjesto u floti. Ali, sa druge strane, najviše sam se zabavljao u prvoj kompaniji, najbolja organizacija je bila u drugoj, ali mislim da sam sveukupno najviše uživao u zadnjoj. Ono što me motiviše je kontinuirani napredak u svakom pravcu, premašivanje rezultata i da radim što bolje mogu. Motivira me da postanem primjer drugima i da ih mogu naučiti da što bolje rade. Motivira me da pomažem ljudima da postanu bolje osobe i da guraju sami sebe da rade više nego što su mislili da mogu. Jednostavno, ugostiteljstvo je moje područje i volim ga. Na mom prvom ugovoru su mi govorili „kada ti morska voda jednom uđe u vene, nikad nećeš biti daleko od okeana“. Samim tim i ja ću uvijek biti vezan za ovaj posao, ali neću više raditi na brodovima. Upravo ovaj posao mi je otvorio druge mogućnosti u životu. Na brodove se više ne vraćam, a planovi za budućnost su još uvijek u realizaciji. Što se tiče ovog posla, preporučio bih ga ljudima koji mogu biti daleko od kuće i koji nisu nasilni, ljudima sa smislom za humor, ljudima koji žele da iskuse tešku stranu života i da rade više nego što su ikad u životu radili. Ovaj posao je dobar da se uštedi novac za fakultet, kuću ili da se započne neki posao. Zapamtite, ne radi se o tome koliko možete zaraditi, već koliko možete uštedjeti. Ak ste dovoljno ludi i ne uklapate se u društvo, ovaj život je idealan da ga učinite vašim životnim stilom.