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April 2014 Goals and Financial Update

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Sorry! The cash flow report is a bit late this month. We just got back from the Hawai’i on Monday and we have been recovering from the vacation. Our flight left Sunday at 10:40 pm and had a stopover in Seattle. We finally got home Monday around 11 am so that was a long travel day. The Big Island was great, though. I didn’t want to come back at all. It’s definitely on my list of retirement destinations after RB40 Jr. is out of the house.

April was a bit crazy for us financially. Our rental home was vacant and we spent a bunch of money getting it ready for sale. Our cash flow is negative because of this but we should have a big infusion of cash once the deals are done. We’ll see how it goes.

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 $4,294 in April. Mrs. RB40 had a 3 paychecks month so that was awesome.

For 2014, we saved $22,746 so far and we are about 45% toward our goal. We are ahead here and just need to keep the momentum up for the rest of 2014.

  • Mrs. RB40 401k: +$2,444
  • 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

Generate $12,000 in passive income

We had a terrible passive income month and lost $1,582 in February. As I mentioned in the opening, our rental home is vacant and we’re paying for all sort of repairs. The passive income will look terrible until all the transactions are done. I probably need to reset this goal to account for the rentals sale.

For 2014, we made $2,293 so far and we are at about 19% toward our goal.

Get Leaner

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 going to skip reporting this month… We ate a ton of food in Hawaii and I haven’t worked out for about 10 days. I’ll get back to the gym in May.

Travel – Done!

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. I need to sit down and figure out how much it cost in total, though.

Blog Goal – Done!

My goal this year is to exceed 120,000 pageviews/month. In March, we had about 160,000 pageviews. Yes! Thank you everyone for helping me reach this goal.

Net Worth (+1.8% YTD, +0.4% MTM)

I haven’t paid much attention to our net worth in April. I was just too busy last month. The stock market didn’t seem to move much. We’ll also have a much more accurate picture once the rental properties are sold. There is nothing like cash in the bank.

For 2014, I’d like to see 8-10% increase in our net worth. It’s been a slow year so far, but as long as we don’t slide into the negative side, I’m pretty happy.

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your budget and net worth. It can help you keep track of your income, expenses, and net worth, all in one place. Personal Capital is geared for investors and has many great tools. See my review of Personal Capital and how they helped me reduce what I’m paying in investment fees.

april cash flow FSI Personal Capital

Personal Capital just came out with a new Financial Sustainability Index. It’s supposed to show how much monthly income you’ll get for the rest of your life starting at your retirement. I really need to dig into how they calculate the FSI. It’s not supposed to be affected by market fluctuations, but why is it dropping along with the stock market?

Cash Flow

Take Home Income (target > $5,000)April cash flow spreadsheet

Our take home income beat our $5,000 target this month. The rentals are killing us, but we had an extra paycheck from Mrs. RB40’s employer and a refund check from the IRS. RB40. It’s going to be tough for a few months in the RB40 household…

Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: Woohoo! I love those 3 paychecks months.

Online income: My take home was quite good this month at $2,027. 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: $672. Not a bad month from the Dividend portfolio.

P2P lending: Another slow month at +$50. Activities have picked up at Prospers, though. All our funds have been invested now. Last month we had over $1,500 sitting around. Our current ROI is 7.9%. That’s a little lower than last month. See how we did with Peer to Peer Lending in 2013.

Rentals: We are hurting this month with our rentals. It’s tough when a unit is vacant. All the repairs are also tough on our bank account. It’s a good thing we have some cash reserves to carry us through these next few months. The 4 plex sales should be done in May. Hopefully, the rental should be sold by July. We’ll roll everything over to another rental home in a 1031 exchange. We might not be able to find the right home, though. If that’s the case, then we’ll just bite the bullet and pay the tax on the gains.

Misc income: $40 from the credit card reward. We also got $880 refund from the IRS.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Unfortunately, we also had a high expense month at -$6,394. Our trip to Hawaii cost quite a bit of money. It was worth it, though. We won’t spend a lot the rest of the year so it should average out.

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.

april cash flow

Travel: $2,207. This is 4 tickets to Hawaii and some food during the first half of the trip. The home rental, helicopter ride, and more food will show up in next month’s expense. We probably spent about $3,000 on this trip.

RB40 Junior and grandma: $335 for preschool this month.

Groceries: $285. Not too bad even with eating more organic food in 2014. This is quite low for 3 adults and 1 kid. I saved all our receipts so I’ll write more about this in detail next time. We also left on vacation on April 27th so we cleaned up the refrigerator. This probably lowered our grocery bill a bit.

Taxes: $270. This is the local tax payment to the city and county.

Clothing/shoes: Mrs. RB40 needed some new clothes and shoes.

Cash allowance: $200 for discretionary spending.

Insurance: $192. That’s auto, home, and my life insurance.

Surplus (+$5,649 YTD)

We took a step back this month, but that’s expected with our vacation and rentals situation. It really won’t look much better until the rentals are sold. We’ll just have to gut it out until then.

Our saving this month is -$885

Piggy Bank 2013

  • Travel fund: +$1,034. I’ll use this to help pay for the Hawaii trip and zero it out.
  • Roth IRA fund: $0. Maxed out 1 Roth IRA so far and will work on the other one when we have a little more cash.
  • Slush Fund:  $0


How about you? Did you have a good April?

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Kenny May 7, 2014, 6:52 am

    Guys, this is just phenomenal that you describe the Personal P&L in such great detail. In life, everyone should be doing it including me, but I do not.

    We have two jobs in the family, Dividend and Internet, Rental Income and just recently I started doing Day-Trading (so income from it). Currently, cash flow positive with all rentals (minus 1 apt) not rented out.

    I am learning a LOT from reading your blog and wish to read a lot of your previous articles by taking time on Sunday afternoons.

    Thank you again for being so close to the real life situation and portraying things so clearly. Lots of people can learn from it, and I would love for my kids to read it too so that they start their lives correctly/properly and on the right footing.

    Keep it up……Welcome back from vacation.


    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:23 pm

      Thanks for reading Retire by 40! Let me know if I can write on any particular subject for you.

  • John @ Sprout Wealth May 7, 2014, 8:16 am

    Nice work, overall, especially with the online income and page views! Sounds like you had a great trip as well! Our April was good as well with record income for our business which is encouraging to see. We’re now busy plugging away at our SEPs now as we’ve maxed out our respective Roth accounts.

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:25 pm

      Congratulation on your record income. It’s very gratifying when it’s your own business. Great job with the Roth.

  • Mr. Frugalwoods May 7, 2014, 8:22 am

    April was a good month for us. We ended up saving 58% of our take home (after maxing out 401ks). If you count the tax refund then we saved 74#… but that’s obviously an anomaly.

    Getting that large of a refund also alerts me that I need to adjust my withholdings to get closer to even. Seems like something that should be easy but somehow turns out to be complicated 🙂

    Thanks for the update!

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:26 pm

      That’s great! 74% is probably better than 95% of the population. 🙂

  • davidmichael May 7, 2014, 10:14 am

    Joe…I see you earned about $50 from your P2P account. Thanks to you I started with P2P Lending because of your blog. I’ve had great results so far (about seven months into it) averaging about 12% with no defaults but one on the way. I am being conservative with A-C loans and a few D and E setting my own filters and personally selecting the loans. I’ve got about 530 loans so far so I am well diversified. Our two year goal is to invest $25,000 (half way there) which we plan to draw out at $300 a month for cash flow in our ages of 80-89. Yep! I know this sounds crazy to those in their 30-40’s, but passive income is the name of the game no matter the age. That’s why I like to post comments from this other age group. I meet more and more people in the age range of 80-100 who are active and involved in life. I plan to stop working seasonally at age 80 so the P2P funds will supplement our other funds. At age 90, I’ll start using the Dividend Paying Stocks income and pass the principle on to selected grandkids for their college expenses or retirement. (Those grandkids who actually sit down and write us thank you letters now and then. Damn far and few between for our 11 grandkids. Too busy with all the electronic gear I guess!)

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:29 pm

      I’m hoping it picks back up to around $80. I think you’re doing better because you can spend some time on it. I just don’t have time to deal with P2P right now. I hope you can keep up 12%. That’s a really good rate. It’s great that you are thinking about leaving some legacies for the grand kids. I’m sure they are pretty busy with their lives. When you’re that young, every little problem seems like the end of the world. 🙂

  • Chattanooga Cheapster May 7, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Can’t wait to see more details on your grocery bill. Mine is about double yours. We eat almost exclusively organic and generally eat very well.

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:30 pm

      I’m working on it now. Should be online Friday.

  • Dividend Mantra May 7, 2014, 6:54 pm


    Great month considering the setbacks regarding the expensive trip and the sale/repairs on the rental.

    Sounds like you guys had a great time! I’d love to visit Hawaii some day. Seems like a really magical place for some reason.

    And I hope you guys fetch what you’re looking for from the 4-plex. Let’s hope it sells quick and you get top dollar! 🙂

    Best wishes.

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:30 pm

      Thanks Jason. I hope the 4 plex wrap up soon too.

  • Good work on the goals. Would love to see a post on how you built up your traffic. 120k page views per month is awesome!

    • retirebyforty May 7, 2014, 11:31 pm

      Mostly persistence and a lot of luck. I must have started at the right time and built it up.

  • Mom @ Three is Plenty May 8, 2014, 6:53 am

    I think the FSI is based off of your current investments (and I think other assets you list with PC like your house). If you took that amount out of your account monthly for the rest of your life, you’d never run out of money, even if the markets drop while you’re taking it out. I don’t know if it assumes you stay in the market or just take everything to cash…

  • Davey Pockets May 8, 2014, 8:12 pm

    Awesome to see someone who has set so many financial goals. Stick with the rentals and the passive income. Having success in this one category can free up time to go be successful at other things. Hope it all works out for you!

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