February Highlights and Lowlights
- 2013 Financial Goals: No progress in February. It’s a bit disappointing because we did so well in January by maxing out the IRA and setting up Mrs. RB40’s 401(k).
- 2013 Personal Goals: I tried several new beers in Feb. and met up with local bloggers for a drink. Hopefully I can do this on a monthly basis. I need to get out of the house once in a while.
- Problem with the rental home. The tenant gave me a bad check. 🙁 After working with them a bit, it turned out that they can only pay half the rent in February. They promised to pay the rest plus fees in March so we’ll see. Being a landlord isn’t all fun and game.
- Online income was big in February. Online income exceeded all expectation in February. A couple of checks from last year came in and they gave us a big boost. This more than made up for the low rental income this month.
- A rash of defaults at Prosper continues. This month we only made $20 from peer to peer lending. This is a far cry from my $100/month target. I made some changes in the way I invest so we’ll see if that helps.
The S&P500 Index increased from 1,513 to 1,518 in February, basically no gain although it was a very volatile month. Our net worth didn’t changed much either (+0.04%) and I’m happy that at least we came out ahead for the month. The first few days of March are looking nice though – see graph below.
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We did very well with cash flow in February. We didn’t have a lot of expenses and our income was better than normal. Our saving for February is $2,322. We’ll allocate $600 to Baby RB40’s college education and split the rest between travel, fun money, and additional investment/slush money.
Piggy Bank 2013
- 529 fund: + $600 = $1,100. The market seems a bit frothy right now so I’m keeping this is fund in our saving account. I will send it over when I see a good buying opportunity.
- Travel fund: +$500 = $750
- Fun money: +$250 = $500
- Investment/Slush Fund: +$972 = $1348
- For Uncle Sam: +$1,463 = $1,921. I increased the withholding from 20% to 30%. I think a reader suggested 40% withholding, but that seems high to me.
Income (target > $4,500)
We had some bumps and bruises this month, but we came out well ahead at the end.
- Rentals: At least, the rental income was positive ($96) even with only half the rent from the rental home. Next month won’t be much better because we just finished repairing the drainage at the 4 plex and I’ll have to pay a big bill in March.
- P2P lending was very disappointing with only $20 positive. We’ll see how the rest of the year pans out. Here is an update I wrote recently – Peer to Peer lending isn’t as passive as I thought.
- Dividend and interest got back in line with expectation at $538.
- Online income gave us a huge boost in February. I don’t think we’ll see this level of income very often. Everything seems to be slowing down now so I expect March and April to be more normal ($500-$2,000.)
Expense (target < $4,000, not including tax)
We actually did very well with our expense this month. If we take out the estimated tax, we spent around $3,000 again. That’s well below our $4,000 target. February was quite rainy so we didn’t spend much money. Spring is coming soon and hopefully we’ll be able to keep our expense low as the weather warms up.
Wrap Up February
February was a good month for us overall. We had a big surplus month, but I think March is going to do a number on that surplus. Anyway, that’s next month and I’m just going to enjoy a good cash flow report for now.
How about you? Did you have a good February? Any progress on your New Year Resolutions?
See the January Update if you’re interested.
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.