Happy New Year Everyone!
I think 2012 will be a great year. I can feel the economy improving and there was a lot of positive energy in the air this holiday season. I hope you made some great New Year goals and resolutions this year and will follow through on them.
My financial resolution this year is to save 100% of my paycheck (after tax and deductions) and live on only Mrs. RB40’s paycheck and our side income. We ended 2011 on a good note and we will continue to work on the cash flow in 2012.
I’m adding some charts this month to give the cash flow posts some visual interest. What do you think about these charts? Should I go with a pie chart instead?
|Mrs. RB40’s paycheck||2738||3987|
|dividend & interest||884||187|
|cash allowance (groceries, food, clothes, etc…)||-856||-790|
|saving (Income – Expense)||2,254||577|
*There is a bit of fuzzy accounting here because I don’t count the cost of baby daycare. We pay $1165 a month, 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.
** I don’t count my paycheck here because we are trying to live on one paycheck. We are preparing for the day that I leave my day job.
Income (Target > $5,000)
Mrs. RB40 is paid biweekly. We had an extra paycheck to help achieve positive cash flow in November, but we are back to normal in December.
Rental Income – I’m showing all income minus expense. The property taxes are also baked in now.
The rental income looks much better than in November, but we are still in the red. There were some back charges and those were enough to push us into the negative territory. I’m confident we’ll be positive in January barring any big surprises.
Retire By 40 had $2,716 net income this month! I think that is incredible and I doubt it will continue at this level. My guess is the advertisers wanted to use up their budget for the year so they made many deals.
I also received the first media.net payout. The payout structure is similar to Google Adsense and you get paid when your total goes over $100. The pay is similar so I can’t complain and it definitely helps with the bottom line.
We also had some expenses this month. I purchased Thesis, a wordpress theme, and changed the look and feel of the blog a little bit. I also purchased photography equipment that I will use to take photos for the site. All in all, it was our best month yet and we will keep improving the site in 2012. Thanks readers!
Dividend, Interest, and P2P lending
Dividend – $843. Wow! December was a huge dividend month. Some of my mutual fund holdings only payout once a year so this month’s dividend is a bit skewed. I would love it if every month looks like this. We’ll keep working at it.
Interest – $31
P2P – $10. I have $1,000 invested.
Expenses (Target < $4,000)
Housing – The housing expense is very high, but it’s stable at this point. Living in this location allows us to cut expenses in transportation and bills. The property tax is baked in.
Food and Cash Allowance – I think about 90% of the cash allowance goes toward food and groceries. We also went “after Christmas” shopping and purchased some clothes so this month is a bit high. We didn’t eat out much so I’m not sure if this category can be reduced.
Transportation – This is all for gasoline. It is holding steady at around $100.
Baby – We purchased a play yard for the little guy. It was on sale for $99 (+$35 shipping) from Amazon. This one is a lot bigger than our old folding playpen and will keep him a bit safer now that he is crawling around. I like it a lot because I can sit in there and play with him. Not looking like a dog cage is also a huge positive for us because it is in the middle of the living room right now. 🙂
Bills – The heating is costing us about $50 extra per month. This is not too bad.
Entertainment – I got an XBOX game on sale for $10 from Best Buy. 🙂
Misc – Nothing notable this month. The only big Christmas purchase we had was the play yard above. Other than than, we purchased a few small items with cash. The grandparents sent a bunch of presents to baby RB40 so we didn’t need to buy anything. All the presents under the tree were for baby RB40. It was a low key Christmas and next year we’ll probably spend a bit more.
December Cash Flow
We had a great December. Any month with an extra $2k is a great month. I’ll start keeping a running tally of the total savings in January so we can see how much extra we have by the end of the 2012.
How about you? Did you have a good December? I’m very positive about 2012 and I’m sure we can keep a positive cash flow most months.
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.