January was quite busy and the year is flying by already. 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. 1) Invest $50,000 in tax advantaged accounts We saved $3,300 and we are about 6.6% toward our goal
- Mrs. RB40 401k: +$1,450
- 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
- Roth IRA: $0
2) Generate $12,000 in passive income We made $1,194 and we are at about 10% to our goal.
3) Generate $50,000 from my online business. January was a great month and we are already about 15% toward our goal. I will break down the online income in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list. 4) Get Leaner I’m trying to reduce my body fat percentage from 20% down to 17%. Right now, it is at about 19.2%. That’s not bad at all, but I know it’s easiest at the beginning. It will get much more difficult as I get leaner. BTW, I only lost about 2 lbs. Losing weight isn’t my focus this year. 5) Travel Take a family trip to Hawaii. We are in the planning stages for our trip. We’ll probably go in late April. 6) Blog Goal My goal last year was to surpass 100,00 pageviews in a month. I thought we wouldn’t make it, but we got a big boost from Yahoo and NPR at the end of December and went over on New Year’s Eve! Talk about cutting it close. This year I’m trying to exceed 120,000 pageviews/month. In January, we had about 112,000 pageviews so we are off to a good start.
Net Worth (-2% YTD, -2% MTM)
The stock market didn’t have a very good January and our net worth followed suit. The stock market can and will be volatile so you have to stick your target asset allocation and not panic when a correction occurs. The key is to keep investing and you’ll turn out fine in the long run. I’d like to see 8-10% increase in our net worth for 2014, but we’ll see how it goes. If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your cash flow 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.
Personal Capital has a great Investment Checkup tool. It will help you keep an eye on your asset allocation so you don’t drift too far from your target.
Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
Our take home income is quite a bit higher than usual this month at $9,860. A couple of my online income checks were late in 2013 due to some technical issues and they finally came in.
- Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: It doesn’t look like much because she is paying for our medical coverage, maxing out her 401k, contributing to our FSA, and deducting child care credits. This income is dependable which is a big plus in uncertain times.
- Online income: My take home was really awesome at $5,991 this month. That’s already excluding tax withholding, retirement saving, and 529 saving so it’s quite nice. Those 2 big checks really boosted the number up. 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: January is always a slow month with dividend payments. Not much excitement here.
- P2P lending: Our current ROI is 8.92%. I’m still hoping we can raise it to 10% at some point. The income seems to be stable now. P2P lending also became very passive for me so I’m happy with it. See my last update - Peer to Peer Lending Is A Pretty Good Passive Investment.
- Rentals: The rentals are doing well so far in 2014. If we can keep this up, it’d be great. However, we have some big expenses this year as usual. The rental home needs new exterior paint and the lease is up in May.
- Misc income: Returned something to Target and got $11 back.
Expense (target < $4,500)
We spent $3,551 in January. That’s well within our target of $4,500. We didn’t have any big line items like Christmas so that was nice. 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.
Cash allowance: $500 for discretionary spending. That’s actually not much for 2 people. $50 per week cash allowance each plus $100/month to Mrs. RB40 for editing. Groceries: $420. This is actually about 30% more than we usually spend on groceries because we are eating more organic food in 2014. Insurance: $188. That’s auto, home, and my life insurance. Utilities: $88. That’s just electricity for our condo. Healthcare/Medical: $71. Gym membership and deductible for Mrs. RB40’s glasses. RB40 Junior: $0 this month. Actually, I need to check with the preschool. I gave them the check for $292, but it didn’t get cashed so someone screwed up somewhere.
Surplus (+$6,310 YTD)
2014 is starting off quite well here at the RB40 household. Let’s hope we can continue our positive cash flow streak for the rest of the year. Our saving this month is +$6,310.
Piggy Bank 2014
- Travel fund: +$810.
- Roth IRA fund: +$5,500. Let’s get one Roth IRA out of the way.
- Slush Fund: $0
I think we’ll do okay in February too. The big worry I have is the rental house lease renewal in May. I need to talk to our tenants and see if they want to renew or perhaps just buy the house. How about you? Did you have a good start to 2014?