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Hey everyone, summer is over! RB40Jr started 3rd grade and I finally have more time for myself. That’s the theory, but I’m super busy this September. Suddenly, my To Do list exploded and I have a ton of stuff to deal with. Originally, I planned to go back to writing 2 new posts per week after school started. However, I’ll have to stick to one new post per week (plus one rewrite) until the New Year. How did this happen? I guess I put too many things off while we’re having fun in the summer. Here’s my To Do list.
- See my dentist and take RB40Jr to his dentist. We’re both overdue for a cleaning.
- File an amended tax return by October. I got a few K1s in the summer. I completely forgot about these when I filed tax in April.
- Pay estimated tax before September 15.
- Put the 1 bedroom condo on the rental market. This condo hasn’t sold yet. I’ll have to rent it for a while and wait for the market to improve.
- Finish spot repair and paint the siding before the rain starts.
- Drain the hot water tank.
- Finish my bench project.
- Replace the weather stripping around 2 exterior doors.
- Refinance to a lower rate. Hopefully, we can get around 3.5%.
- Get visa for Vietnam. We’ll visit Hanoi when we go to Thailand in November.
- RB40Jr’s soccer season started. This year, I’m an assistant coach. We have 2 practices and 1 game every week. That’s more than I expected.
- Update Retire by 40. I put this off and it really needs some attention now.
- Write a guest post for a blogger friend.
- Schedule my annual physical.
- Call around for quotes to remove a large invasive tree.
Every time I cross an item off, two new ones seem to replace it. It’s crazy. The biggest project on this list is the siding. I’ve been spending a few hours on it every day and I’m tired of it. Fortunately, the rain is starting. I’ll just put the rest off until next summer. I already fixed the worst spots. The next big project is updating Retire by 40. I need to update a bunch of behind the scene stuff. I’m going to be busy for a while.
On the financial side, we had a pretty good month.
- Our net worth increased a bit.
- We sold our 2 bedroom condo and the check came! I’m using the money to invest with CrowdStreet and in dividend stocks. This should give our passive income a boost.
- Our monthly cash flow was good and we saved 52% of our income.
- We made over $500 charging scooters in August! Read more in the cash flow section.
Overall, we had a good month. We spent a bit more than usual on entertainment because it was the end of the summer, but it’s not a big deal. We had a ton of fun in August so it was worth it. Our entertainment expense went way down once school started. We’ll hunker down at home a lot more in the fall and winter.
Okay, I’ll go over my goals first and then share the details of our net worth, cash flow, and savings.
Here is my goal scheduling spreadsheet. It works really well. Try it out if you have a problem with your New Year goals. The key is to update the spreadsheet at least once a month to track your progress.
There are 4 months left in 2019, but the year is going to fly by now. We only have a couple of months to work on this before the holiday season. It seems like I’m making good progress on most of these goals. The only glaring one is updating Retire by 40. I really need to do this and it’s the reason why I’m extending my summer schedule. Hopefully, I can wrap it up quickly and then get back to blogging 2x per week.
- Passive Income> $60,000.This goal was too ambitious. We’re way behind the pace now. I thought we could sell the condos quickly and reinvest the money. However, the process is taking much longer due to the housing market slow down. There is no way we can reach $60,000 this year. Next year should be better. I’m looking forward to a fresh start in 2020.
- FI Ratio > 100%. This is my main goal for 2019. The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. Once we reach 100% consistently, then we’ll be set to retire in style. Our passive income decreased this year, but our expense dropped even more. That’s why our FI ratio is 110%. It’s fantastic and we just need to keep at it.
- Save and invest > $100,000. Last year, we saved and invested $102,000! That was awesome and I hope to repeat it this year. However, it isn’t looking good. In 2018, my blog income was insane, but it slowed down significantly this year. Consequently, it’s going to be very tough to save $100,000. So far, we saved and invested $57,674. That’s behind the pace, but it’s still really good. Our saving rate is 52% so far in 2019.
- Update Retire by 40. I need to clean up the menu, sign up with new affiliate partners, and rework a few affiliate posts/pages. This isn’t that difficult, but I have to find the time to do it. I also need to update the PHP (?) and refresh the theme. This kind of work is very tedious for me so I usually put it off. I’m having a really rough time with it this year.
- Travel Hack 100,000 points. Yes! This one is done. Both of us signed up for the Capital One Savor card and received a $500 cash bonus each. This is a great card, don’t miss out. Click here to find the right credit card for you.
- Consolidate down to 1 property. We sold a condo! Now, we just have one unit left on the market. It’s not looking good for that one, though. I think we’ll have to rent it out for a few years until the market turns around.
- Drop weight to 130 pounds. I rarely make a weight loss goal because it never worked before. However, I think I’ll be able to do it this year. I’m intermittent fasting* and plan to exercise 5 days per week. Currently, my weight is 130 pounds. I just need to maintain this weight until the end of the year. I changed my goal to 130 pounds. Originally, I had it at 125 lbs. That’s too difficult and I can’t get that low.
*Here is how I do intermittent fasting. I only eat from noon until 8 pm on the weekdays. This cuts down on the calories and I don’t miss breakfast much. I’m busy getting RB40Jr off to school on the weekdays anyway. Try intermittent fasting if you want to lose weight. It really works. If you can’t do it by yourself, I highly recommend Martin Dasko’s Intermittent Fasting Course. It was very helpful when I first started IF.
- Keep my happiness level at 8 or above. This is totally subjective. I’ll give myself a score at the end of the month and try to average about 8 this year. For August, I rate my happiness level at 9. We had a ton of fun.
- Visit my parent in Chiang Mai. I booked our trip and spent very little. I used my Chase and American Airlines points to book almost everything. The only thing I paid for is the flight from Chiang Mai to Vietnam and that’s cheap ($174 for three.) Travel hacking is awesome! We’ll visit Hanoi for 5 days and spend a day in Narita on the way home. This trip should be a lot of fun. The only thing left is to get the visa for Vietnam.
Net Worth (+10.9% YTD)
I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. 2019 is turning out to be a great year so far. That’s unexpected, but I’m happy with it. I’m being more conservative this year so our net worth lags behind the S&P 500 significantly. VFINX is doing amazingly well this year and it gained 17% already. That’s insane! Anyway, I can’t complain because our net worth gained 10.9%. Can the market keep this up? I seriously doubt it, but who knows… I think we’re in for a wild ride for the rest of 2019.
Here is a graph of our net worth on Personal Capital.
*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in almost every day to check on our accounts. It’s a great site for DIY investors.
2019 Passive Income ($29,398 YTD)
Here is a quick summary of our passive income. You can see all the details on my Passive Income page.
Generally, things look good. The rental income is slower than last year, but that’s expected. We’re consolidating down to one property. This will reduce our rental income, but our cost of living is lower as well. Our FI ratio* tells me that it’s working as planned. It is looking great at 110%. There are too many changes this year so I’m not sure if this will hold. Next year will be a better indicator.
*FI ratio = passive income/expense
This month, we got some cash infusion from the condo sale. I invested some with CrowdStreet and some in dividend stocks. Our passive income should increase with these additional investments. However, I’m a bit nervous so I’m holding some in the money market account. Having extra cash is a good thing when the economy is on shaky ground.
2019 Cash Flow
Our cash flow was great in August. The income streams were mostly solid. The only hiccup was from the rental income. I fixed various things around the duplex and I had to get some supplies. On the spending side, it was mostly under control. We spent more than usual on entertainment because it was the last month of summer. I also booked our trip to Thailand. Everything came in under budget so that was good.
Here is the Sankey diagram for August. You can get a quick overview here and see the details below.
Gross Income (target > $12,000/month)
For 2019, our gross income target is $12,000/month. We met this goal most of the time. In previous years, I tracked take-home income and it was all over the place due to the deductions. This year, I’ll track gross income. Last month, we grossed $12,293. Whew! We barely made it. My blog income was lower than usual due to the summer slowdown. Also, our rental income was very low due to repairs. Luckily, we made $531 charging scooters. That pushed us over our target. See, anything helps.
- Mrs. RB40’s paychecks: $7,934.
- Blog Income: $2,357. August was a very slow month on the blog. Summer was rough. Lots of people were on vacation and nobody wanted to think about money. I’m sure it’ll pick back up once school starts. You can read more details on my Blog Income page. RB40Jr is on the payroll now as model and photographer. The income will go straight into his Roth IRA. I’m excited to see how this experiment will turn out.
- Rental Income: $6. This was much lower than usual. I did some spot repair on the siding and touch up the exterior paint. Those supplies were expensive! Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
- Dividend Income: $1,098. Our dividend income was great last month. See more details at my Dividend Passive Income page.
- Real estate crowdfunding: $349. We also had a good month with RE crowdfunding. I think the rest of 2019 should continue to be good. Read more at my RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
- Interest Income: $18.
- Side hustle: $531. We made $531 from charging scooters. That’s amazing! I can see it slowing down after school starts, though. There aren’t many scooters to pick up during the day time now. We’ll probably make around $250 next month. (I’m splitting this with RB40Jr. I put his take into the Fidelity ZERO total market fund in a UTMA.)
Monthly Spending (target < $4,000/month)
For the rest of 2019, our monthly spending budget is $4,000/month. I decreased it from $5,000 per month. Our housing expense is significantly lower since we moved into our duplex. This helped a lot. In August, we spent $3,225. That’s fantastic for a family of 3. We spent more than usual on entertainment because it was the end of summer, but it was still under control. We spent quite a bit on back-to-school shopping as well. Lastly, I didn’t send money to my parents last month. They didn’t need it. You can see the detail below.
- Housing: $1030. This category includes mortgage, HOA fees, property taxes, utilities, home improvement, and furnishing.
- Groceries: $529. This is about average for our grocery bill. Check out what we cooked.
Mrs. RB40 fixed us some fig and prosciutto on toast points. Sometimes, a simple lunch is best. I made jambalaya. It was great. That’s about it for last month. The other dishes I made were pretty simple – steak, hamburger, pad Thai, chicken curry, and that kind of stuff. I’ll take more pictures this month.
We ate out more often than usual in August. Scroll down to the entertainment spending to see those pictures.
- Transportation: $251. I filled up twice in August. I also paid $195 for our annual street parking permit.
- Cash: $140. We withdrew $140 in August. We spent $100 on a used bike for Junior. The rest went into my wallet.
- Parent: $0. My parents didn’t need help last month.
- Kid: $372. We went to the Nike employee store and picked up some soccer and basketball gears ($82.) Soccer season registration was $120. We also got some new clothes for RB40Jr ($153.) He’s rough on them. They only last 1-2 seasons before having holes all over.
- Pet: $0.
- Bills: $197. Insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).
- Health: $70.
- Travel: $296. I booked our tickets for Chiang Mai to Hanoi ($174.) Mrs. RB40 also went on a business trip.
- Clothing: $50. Mrs. RB40 purchased some stuff from Amazon.
- Entertainment: $270. We ate out a lot more than usual last month.
This was at the International Night Market in the Jade District. It was pretty cool and happens only two nights a year. There were food carts, vendor tents, and a variety of entertainment. This was the first time we attended and we enjoyed it. The food cost around $30. We had salt & pepper calamari, dim sum, and Cambodian sour sausages.
Mmm… We went to lunch at Pine State Biscuits. They have awesome fried chicken biscuit sandwiches. RB40Jr had pancakes. The next picture is a calzone from Red Hills Market in the wine country. We stopped there for lunch on the way back from Wings & Waves, a neat water park.
Wings & Waves! It was a lot of fun. They have neat rides that you go down on inner tubes. We also went to a Thorns game. It was so raucous (but so fun) there. RB40Jr didn’t really enjoy it because it was too loud for him. His hearing disability makes him more sensitive to loud noises.
Portland Burger Week! A bunch of restaurants around town offers inventive burgers for $5. That was a great deal and we had 4 burgers in a week.
- Misc: $50. Mrs. RB40 contributed to a diaper fund for her cousin’s soon-to-be-born twins.
I don’t count these as personal spending.
- Taxes and deductions: $2,774.
- 401k savings: $2,980. I contributed $1,500 to my 401k. RB40 contributed $1,480 to hers.
- Roth IRAs: $1,000. We contributed $500 each to our Roth IRAs.
- 529 College Savings plan: $0.
- Extra Savings: $2,284. This went into our saving account. It’s nice to have a little extra cushion.
We saved $57,674 so far in 2019. Our current saving rate is 52%. I’ll be very happy if we can maintain it above 50% this year. That’s an excellent saving rate.
- Joe’s 401k: $16,000.
- Mrs. RB40’s401k: $12,530
- Roth IRAs: $8,000
- 529 College Savings: $2,865
- Extra savings: $18,280
YTD 2019 saving rate = 52%.
August 2019 Wrap Up
All in all, we had a nice month. Our net worth increased a bit due to the stock market. We already surpassed my target of +10% net worth in 2019. That’s perfect. Let’s hope the rest of 2019 will be relatively drama-free.
On the cash flow side, everything worked out even with a few hiccups. My blog income and our rental income were a bit low, but we did enough to push our income over the monthly target. Our expense was good so it all worked out. Overall, we had a great month. We saved a big chunk of our income. Life is good.
How about you? Did you have a good month? Are you making progress on your New Year goals?
*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in almost every day to check on my investment. It’s a great site for DIY investors.
Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you sign up with a service through the links on this page.
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
This page titled August 2019 Goals and Financial Update and more fantastic content can be found at this website. It was originally published on 2019-09-09 05:30:15.