Is it just me or did April just fly by? I was busy with our tax return the first half of the month and then Mrs. RB40 got very busy with work. Every week flew by and it’s already May. We didn’t even do anything memorable in April. It was just a quick blur. Anyway, I’m glad tax season is over.
The weather is improving and April was much warmer than usual. The average high for us is in the low 60s, but we had 6 days of 80+ degrees. That’s nuts. The weather has been very weird this past year. Cinco De Mayo is coming up this week and that signals the start of the fun season for us. There will be a ton of fun stuff to do around Portland and we are looking forward to it.
Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 goals and then check our cash flow for April.
Non Financial Goals
Improve Fitness (April result = 104%)
I got a Garmin Vivofit 2 for Christmas and I’m using it to track my activity level. I did pretty well in April, partly because the weather is getting nicer. I took 198,680 steps in April. That averages out to 6,623 steps per day. That’s much better than the last few months. I was hoping to exceed 6,000 per day and I finally did it. Six thousand steps actually isn’t a lot. It’s pretty easy to exceed that if I get out and about. However, I had some sedentary days too. Those lazy days bring the average down quite a bit.
Control my triglyceride level (WIP)
I’m trying to eat better to control my hypertriglyceridemia. Unfortunately, I didn’t cook fish and vegetables very often in April. I’ve reverted back to my usual meals. I’ll try to get back on track in May. Also, I will schedule a blood test in June and check the triglyceride level. I’d probably have to increase the dosage of my medication.
Try 6 new great restaurants (33%)
We went out a few times in April, but mostly stuck to our usual places. We tried a new Chinese restaurant and weren’t too impressed. Our quest for great food continues.
Take an extended trip to Thailand ($2,171)
I’m planning a 3 week trip to Thailand in November. I want my family to experience the Loy Kratong festival in Chiang Mai. It was a big deal when I was a kid and I had fun with the various activities around the holiday. Saving for this trip is made very easy by using Digit. Digit deducts a small amount from my account every few days and I don’t notice the “stealth” saving at all. Check out my Digit review if you don’t know about them. The current balance is at $2,171, an increase of $394 in April This is a great way to save for a trip. You can sign up for Digit through this link if you’d like.
Attend a conference – (WIP)
I got a ticket to FinCon 2016 in San Diego! I still need to reserve the hotel room and book a flight.
Visit a national park – (WIP)
I booked a campsite near Crater Lake. I can’t wait for summer.
Start a non-finance website – (WIP)
I will start this after kindergarten begins in the fall. I don’t have any good ideas at the moment and this might fall by the wayside.
Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (34%) $17,034
In March, we saved $3,632 in our tax advantaged accounts. That brings up our total to $17,034 so far in 2016. We are right on track for 2016. I’m planning to hold off my i401k contribution for now, though. I’ll keep it in cash until I see a good deal.
Increase Dividends to $11,500 (32%)
We received $828 in dividends last month. That’s $3,643 so far in 2016. We’re on track with this one also.
Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (not looking good)
The stock market is going to be volatile this year so I don’t know if we’ll meet this goal. We will continue to contribute $400 per month. The account is now worth $47,506.
Increase Net worth by 3x risk free rate (currently +4.6%)
The 10-year US government bond yields about 2%. So my target net worth increase for 2016 is 6%. The stock market ended flat in April. Our net worth continue to increase and we are now +4.6% for the year. This includes new contribution, increase in home equity, and other gain. We are doing very well so far, but 2016 still have a long way to go.
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Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
Our take home income was good in April, at $5,246. Things are going well in general on this front.
Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $5,403
Rental income: $377. We did a little more landscaping at the duplex and fixed a light fixture. No big repairs mean a positive month for the rental income.
Online income: $2,043. April was a little slow, but that’s okay. I think it will pick up next month. 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: $828. Our dividend income is on track to exceed $11,500 this year. You can see my dividend portfolio if you’re curious.
Interest: $13. The interest rate is quite low so this will be minuscule for the foreseeable future.
P2P lending: $58. I signed up with NSR Invest and they are managing my P2P lending account at Prosper. My screening was too restrictive and I was not reinvesting fast enough. NSR has been great so far. I don’t have idle cash sitting around anymore and my ROI is slowly ticking up, currently at 8.3%.
Misc income: $155. We got $100 in gift and $55 from tax return.
Expense (target < $4,500)
Our expense was higher than usual again in April. We had a few extra expenses this month and they pushed our spending ($4,568) over my target. We should be back to normal in May.
Housing: $2,256. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.
Cash Allowance: $0. We didn’t need to get cash last month.
Groceries: $473. Yes! Our grocery bill is under $500. I will try to keep it at this level for the rest of 2016.
Child/Dependent: $657. Preschool, birthday gifts, and new clothes.
Bills: $228. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, my term life, and umbrella.)
Entertainment: $94. Gym membership fee and eating out.
Misc: $502. Ugh, Portland city and art tax $275. Annual fee for our Alaska airline card, $75. Mrs. RB40’s new shoes, $80. Helmet for RB40Jr and other stuff made up the rest of Misc.
Extra Saving ($6,525 so far in 2016)
Our extra saving was $678 in April. That’s not too bad. I will take it in the win column.
All in all, we did pretty well in April. The stock market was up and down, but we continue to increase our net worth through aggressive saving. We are doing well with all our goals and we look to be on track so far. There are still a lot of time in 2016, though. You never know how the rest of the year will turn out.
Did you have a good April?
Image by MrVJTod
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe 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 every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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