In 2012, I left my engineering career to become a stay at home dad/blogger. Before I quit, we saved all my paychecks and lived on our other income streams for 12 months. The dry run showed us that I should be able to quit work without sending our family into a financial tailspin. Tracking our cash flow was so useful that I kept it up. So far we are doing fine and we should have plenty of warning if our finance starts to run into some trouble.
May was actually a very unusual month for us. We spent part of it on vacation and that increased our expense. Another big expense was getting our rental home ready for sale. Now the good news, our 4-plex sales closed at the end of May and we got a sizable cash infusion. You can read the details below.
Let’s go over our 2014 New Year resolutions first. Going over them at the beginning of every month will enable me to see how we’re doing and keep the momentum strong.
2014 New Year Goals
Invest $50,000 in tax advantaged accounts
We added $3,479 in May.
For 2014, we saved $26,225 so far and we are about 52% toward our goal. Alright! We’re half way there.
- Mrs. RB40 401k: +$1,629
- My solo 401k: +$1,450 I will break down the business income and expense in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.
- RB40 Jr’s 529: +$400
Done! – Generate $12,000 in passive income
I’m going to have to redefine this goal. We are getting rid of our rentals so that income is gone for now. We did make a profit, though. We made about $60,000 on the 4-plex. I think tax will be about 25% (federal and state) so I’ll just add $45,000 to our passive income. Of course, this pushes us way pass our goal. I’ll count it as a win this year.
For 2014, we made $43,367 so far.
- Dividend portfolio: +$380
- Interest: +$15
- P2P lending: $68
- Rentals: $39,784 (We spent almost $5,000 on exterior paint, repairs, and carpet cleaning.)
Get Leaner – currently 19%
I’m trying to get back in shape after 18 months away from the gym and reduce my body fat percentage from 20% down to 17%. I’m not sure if I can achieve this goal. May was tough because we were on vacation for part of it. I also bruised my ribs from a fall so I haven’t been able to work out for almost 2 weeks now. Hopefully, the situation will improve in June.
Done! – Travel
We had a big family trip to Hawaii and it was great. We went snorkeling, saw some lava, took a helicopter ride, and had a very relaxing time.
Done! – Blog Goal
My goal this year is to exceed 120,000 pageviews/month. We surpassed that goal in March and continue to improve. Yes! Thank you everyone for helping me reach this goal.
Net Worth (+1.8% YTD, +0% MTM)
Our net worth was basically flat in May. The stock market went up, but I overestimated how much the 4-plex was worth.
For 2014, I’d like to see 8-10% increase in our net worth, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’ll see how the rest of year goes.
If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your budget and net worth. It’s great to see how your finance is doing day to day. Personal Capital is geared for investors and has many great investment tools. See my review of Personal Capital and how they helped me reduce what I’m paying in investment fees.
Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
If only every month is like this… The cash infusion from the 4-plex sale gave us a lot of breathing room. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the money.
Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: Back to the normal 2 paychecks month.
Online income: My take home was quite good this month at $2,723. That’s already excluding tax withholding, retirement saving, and 529 saving. I will break down the online income in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.
Dividend and interest: $395. A slow month for the Dividend portfolio. June should be much better.
P2P lending: Not too bad at +$68. Our current ROI declined from 7.9% to 7.7%. I’m starting to think about how to exit this investment before the economy heads south. See how we did with Peer to Peer Lending in 2013.
Rentals: Whew, the 4-plex deal is finally wrapped up. We should be done with the rental home in June and then I’ll see if we can do a 1031 exchange into another rental home. It’s going to be a busy couple of months.
Misc income: $827 refund from the Oregon state tax.
Expense (target < $4,500)
We have another high expense month due to our Hawaii vacation. The expense should be back to normal in June and I’m looking forward to it.
This month I used Personal Capital to track our expense and it worked pretty well except the housing expense. We pay property taxes once a year, but I want to show it on our monthly housing budget so I manually add that in.
Housing: $2,163. Mortgage, HOA, and 1/12 property tax.
Travel: $1,570. This is the second half of the trip and the expense includes home rental, helicopter ride, groceries, and eating out. We spent about $3,500 on this trip. That was pretty expensive, but we won’t have any more big travel expense for the rest of the year.
Groceries: $642.This month is higher than normal because I purchased a $150 Asian grocery store gift card. We got $30 bonus and we’ll spend it over the next couple of months.
Taxes: $235. This is another local tax payment to the county.
Pets: $203. Our cat was sick and we were trying to figure out why. She passed away before we could find out what was wrong. It was probably cancer or kidney failure.
Cash allowance: $200 for discretionary spending.
Insurance: $192. That’s auto, home, and my life insurance.
Clothing/shoes: Mrs. RB40 got a new pair of boots. I got a new Hawaiian shirt.
Surplus (+$46,635 YTD)
The number is skewed from the 4-plex sale. I guess we can call it a year.
Our saving this month is +$40,986.
Piggy Bank 2013
- Travel fund: $0 Done traveling this year.
- Roth IRA fund: $1,034. Maxed out 1 Roth IRA so far and will work on the other one when we have a little more cash.
- Slush Fund: $40,986.
How about you? Did you have a good month?