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August 2011 Cash Flow & Plutus Award Nomination


Retire By 40 has been nominated for the Plutus Awards! The Plutus Awards celebrate the best financial blogs by bloggers unaffiliated with any mainstream media or commercial products. Head on over and vote for Retire By 40 in the Best Personal Finance Blog for Retirement. Thank you readers for a great 2011!

Now on to the August 2011 cash flow. I’ve been back at work full time for 2 months now and we have decided to live on one paycheck (Mrs. RB40’s) to prepare for my early retirement.We put my paycheck straight into the saving, investment, or 529 accounts.

Income August July
Mrs. RB40’s paycheck 2622 2622
rental income 1450 1450
side income 1447 697
dividend and interest 115 75
Total income 5634 4844
Housing -1,992 -1,992
rental debt service + annual HOA -1,182 0
cash allowance -600 -400
transportation -99 -80
pet -59 -16
baby* not counting daycare -84 -51
bills (electric, insurance, internet, cell phone) -333 -250
medical -182 0
entertainment -43.00 0
misc (costco) -165.00 -25
Total expense -4,739 -2,814
saving (Income – Expense) +895 +2,030

 *There is a bit of fuzzy accounting here because I didn’t count the cost of baby daycare. We paid $1165 in August, but it is covered with DCAP from my paycheck. It is already deducted pre-tax and we wouldn’t have seen it anyway. Also, once I quit work, then I’ll be home to take care of the little guy so I think we can zero it out as we look forward to the future.

craigslist sold baby swing

Sold baby swing for $80. He never liked it much anyway. Purchased a baby saucer for $20. He really loves this thing. Well worth the price! See how many toys are on there?


Income (target > $5,000)

We did pretty well with side income this month. I sold a few things on Craigslist. Retire By 40 crossed the $100 Adsense threshold and we received our first check from Google. I won a few contests and also got a check from the reward credit card. All in all, a very good month for side income. I need a few more side job ideas to increase my side income though.

As for dividend, AT&T and a couple other stocks paid out in August and we collected some interest from the savings account. That interest will be a lot smaller next month though because we finally closed on the 4 plex and spent a lot of liquidity on the down payment. Next month, we’ll see less interest, but higher rental income. Eventually, I would like to see about $500/month from dividend and interest.

Expenses (target < $4,500)

The rental mortgage shows up again after taking a month off due to refinancing. The annual HOA bill also came due and it’s not too bad @ $275. Our cash allowance went back up to $600. I think $500 – $600 is the sweet spot for us right now. $400 is not enough for groceries, and all the other cash spending.

Transportation cost also crept up a bit. I drove to work more often now because I wanted to get home earlier. As long as it’s under $100, I’m OK with that. Entertainment: we had some visitors from out of town and we went out and charged it on the credit card. Medical: baby had fever and I had a prescription refill. Costco: 75% of this is baby formula, but I didn’t keep super careful track this month so it is swept to misc.

August was not a good month for expenses. It seems like a bunch of things happened and we spent  more than usual. We’ll tighten it down in September and shoot for under $4500. We still came out positive overall though so I’m on track for early retirement!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!


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

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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Moneycone September 2, 2011, 6:02 am

    Congratulations RB40 on the nomination! Your blog truly deserves it!

  • Financial Success for Young Adults September 2, 2011, 8:07 am

    I was very excited to see you nominated! Yakezies are dominating. Baby RB40 is so cute! 🙂

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time September 2, 2011, 8:19 am

    good you are nominated, better I am nominated and best it’s dominated by Yakezies. passing thought…check your expense..and save for those unexpected ones.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter September 2, 2011, 9:30 am

    Congrats on the nomination. Best of luck.

  • krantcents September 2, 2011, 11:43 am

    Congratulations on the nomination!

  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog September 2, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Great work and congrats on the nomination!

  • cashflowmantra September 2, 2011, 4:02 pm

    The cash flow is looking good. I voted for you earlier today. I really like your blog.

    • retirebyforty September 2, 2011, 9:56 pm

      Thank you!

  • Squirrelers September 2, 2011, 6:22 pm

    That’s good work, operating on one income instead of two and still saving a decent percentage. Many people get used to 2 incomes or at least the potential of 2 incomes and can’t control spending. Good work, and also – congrats on the nomination.

    • retirebyforty September 2, 2011, 9:59 pm

      Thanks! People think the good times will last forever. We used to be a lot more loose with our spending too.

  • 101 Centavos September 3, 2011, 4:30 am

    First, hearty congratulations on the nomination.
    Second, heartier congratulations on such a fine boy. I like the very nonchalant, crossed-leg “Oh yeah?” pose in the picture.

    • retirebyforty September 3, 2011, 7:46 am

      Thank you!!! His pictures are quite funny sometime. 😀

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed September 3, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Congrats on the nomination Joe. All that hard work is paying off.

    • retirebyforty September 3, 2011, 10:02 pm

      Thanks! I voted for you too. 😉

  • Suba September 3, 2011, 7:28 pm

    Congrats on the nomination Joe! Great work on the cash flow too. We are still not living within just one income, we have some work to do. I am counting the amount we are saving for downpayment as an expense. If we ignore that we will be well within one income. But it might be replaced by a mortgage so we do have to work on other expenses to bring it within one pay check.

    I love baby RB40 pics. Esp. his spiky hair and the expression “so, why are you taking a picture of me” 🙂 is so cute.

    • retirebyforty September 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

      Thank you Suba! Baby RB40 is a great model. I need to find an agent for him. 😉
      Keep working at living on one income. I’m sure you’ll make it soon.

  • Crystal @ Public Liability Insurance September 3, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Congrats on the Plutus Awards and on the cutest baby ever!!! He is so dang cute!!!

    • retirebyforty September 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad he is such a big hit with the ladies. 😉

  • Investorz' Blog September 4, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Congrats on being nominated! And good luck with achieving your goals next month!

  • Investorz' Blog September 4, 2011, 1:43 pm

    And that kid, looks like he’s ready for some kung-fu action.

  • Darwin's Money September 5, 2011, 8:05 am

    Congrats on the nomination! And also, receiving your first Adsense check is a big motivating event (it was for me!). Up, up and away!

  • inq September 5, 2011, 10:26 am

    landed into this site from other finance ones. nice blog, congrats for being nominated. i want to eat okonomiyaki now that you mention :).

    by the way with day care charges won’t your net income be negative for the month?

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2011, 10:32 pm

      I paid for daycare with DCAP deduction from my paycheck. I know it’s a bit convoluted, but overall we are still positive.

  • Cherleen @ yesiamcheap September 5, 2011, 7:14 pm

    Congratulations on your nomination! I know you deserve this recognition because you are putting so much effort on your blog. Two thumbs up!

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