≡ Menu

September 2015 Goals and Financial Update


We’re back from our vacation in Costa Rica! Nothing makes you appreciate home more than traveling in a developing country. :) It was a great trip, but we had some challenges too. I’ll write about our trip next time and share a few pictures. We are just glad to be home and we’re looking forward to resuming our regular routines. Also, it’s been 5 years since I started blogging and I got a fantastic giveaway scheduled. Make sure to check back on Friday so you don’t miss out.

On the personal finance side, September worked out pretty well for us. Costa Rica isn’t a cheap country to vacation in and we spent quite a bit more money than usual. However, we had more than usual income so it was fine. Anyway, let’s see how I did with my 2015 goals first and then I’ll share our cash flow.

2015 Goals

Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (progress at 88%)

We added $4,447 to our tax advantaged accounts in September. Mrs. RB40 had 3 paychecks so she contributed 3 times last month for a total of $2,547. I added $1500 to my i401k and $400 to RB40Jr’s 529.

We contributed $44,079 to our tax advantaged accounts so far in 2015. We should be able to finish this goal by November.

Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (about $7,000 to go)

RB40jr currently has $42,927 in his 529. We contribute $400 per month via auto deduction. The stock market is down last month so this account is down even with the new contribution. I’m not sure if we can meet the $50,000 goal in 2015. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough extra cash to make the extra contribution here unless we have a windfall in the next few months.

Generate $10,000 from our dividend portfolio (progress at 78%)

We received $1,327 in dividends last month. We are at $7,849 so far this year. It looks like we are on pace to complete this goal.

Exercise 120 times (Fail…)

Now that school is back in session, I will start going to the gym again. This fitness goal isn’t working out for me. I think I will try one of those fitness tracking devices soon. It will be easier to keep track of. Next year, I will set a better goal.

Try 6 new restaurants in Portland (Done!)

Visit a foreign country (Done!)

Costa Rica was great for the most part. Check back next time for the full write up.

Net Worth (+1% so far in 2015)

Alright, our net worth is in the positive territory once again. It looks like the stock market had a little dip while we were on vacation, but it recovered a bit. The S&P500 index is down 2% year to date so I’m quite happy to be up 1%. I was hoping to add about 8% to our net worth every year, but it looks like 2015 will have to be scratched off. The stock market is too volatile and I’m happy to just be positive this year.

September net worth

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your portfolio. Also check out their fantastic retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

Cash Flow

Take Home Income (target > $5,000)

Whew! Mrs. RB40 had 3 paychecks in September and that saved the month. Our take home income was great at $7,164. The rental income was good. Our dividend income was quite nice too. The online income was a bit lower than usual and I’ll have to work on that.

September 2015 cash flowMrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $7,542. We love the 3 paychecks month!

Rental income: $402. The rental did well in September and we didn’t have to do any extra repairs. One of our tenant is moving out at the end of October, though. This is good and bad. It’s good because we’ll have a chance to update the unit and increase the rent. On the other hand, our tenant was a very nice tenant. I’m not looking forward to screening new renters at all.

Online income: $2,362. Online income was a little low in September. I changed to a different advertising firm and the payment hasn’t come through yet. I will break down the online income and expenses in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.

Dividend: $1,327. Our dividend income was great in September. The 3rd month of the quarter is usually better than the other months. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $8. Interest rate is quite low so this will be small in the foreseeable future.

P2P lending: $61. Our ROI increased to 8%. That’s not bad, but the automated investing isn’t working that well for me. I have about $400 just sitting around in my Prosper account. I’m slowly reducing our investment.

Misc income: $0. No extra income this month. :(

Expense (target < $4,500)

The 2 weeks vacation did a number on our budget. We spent quite a bit more than usual at $5,722. I guess that’s not too bad considering we spent about $3,000 on the trip. Some of that was spread out over several months though.

Housing: $2,228. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.

Cash Allowance: $300.

Groceries: $136. We only spent 2 weeks at home so our grocery bill was pretty low in September.

Child/Dependent: $45. We got some a rain jacket and a new pair of pants for RB40jr. The preschool auto deduction didn’t come through this month. I will have to check with the school. It should be about $450.

Healthcare/Medical: $275.

Entertainment: $46. Gym membership fee, ice cream, and pho noodles.

Misc: $2,406. This is mostly travel cost as mentioned above. We spent $1,764 on the Costa Rica trip in September. I also got a new pair of glasses for $563. Yes, that is expensive, but I’ll wear it for 3-4 years so I wanted a nice pair. Mrs. RB40 spent $79 on Toastmasters.

Transportation: $32. Gasoline and parking.


Extra Saving ($13,424 so far in 2015)

We had $1,442 extra saving in September. That’s great because I thought we’d be in the red due to the vacation. We’ll hunker down the rest of this year and save as much as we could.

Misc fund: $3,424

Extra retirement fund: $0. So far we sent $10k from our extra saving to fund our Roth IRA and my i401k.

September 2015 Wrap Up

Overall, September was a fantastic month for us. Our income was great due to the extra paycheck from Mrs. RB40. Our expense was higher than usual, but that was expected. It was also great to get away for two weeks. Now that the vacation is over, we should be able to hunker down and reduce our monthly expenses. November might be a little challenging due to the rental vacancy, but I’ll try to get it turn around as quick as I can. It should be better for the long term because the rent will be higher.

Did you have a good September?

Discussing Care and Plans with Aging Parents

Discussing Care and Plans with Aging Parents thumbnail { 17 comments }

The following article is by Kristi Muse, our staff writer. She is a great freelance writer, blogger, police officer’s wife, and stay at home mom of two. As your parents go on in years, they may have to rely on you more and more, both physically and financially. If their health declines, they may need specialized [...]

What is Your Dream Retirement?


Retirement is the time to enjoy yourself and live your dream. You worked hard for many years and you’ve earned it. As for my own retirement, I quit my engineering career 3 years ago to become a stay at home dad/blogger. It’s really semi-retirement, but I love it. I could spend a lot of time [...]

How Are You Working towards Your Ultimate Goal?

How Are You Working towards Your Ultimate Goal? thumbnail { 12 comments }

The following article is by Kristi Muse, our staff writer. She is a great freelance writer, blogger, police officer’s wife, and stay at home mom of two. If you’re reading this post, chances are that one of your financial goals is early retirement. One of your broad financial goals most likely includes having a steady, passive [...]

Updated Joe’s 7 Phases of Retirement

Updated Joe’s 7 Phases of Retirement thumbnail { 26 comments }

I wrote The 7 Phases of Retirement about 2 years ago and it was a great exercise. The idea is that we shouldn’t think of retirement like jumping off a cliff. Retirement would be much easier when we take it in phases, a step at a time. This way we can gradually work toward full [...]