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July 2013 Goals and Financial Update

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July Highlights and Lowlights

  • Vacation! – Summer is great, isn’t it? We went for a weekend camping trip to the Oregon coast. We all had a ton of fun and it didn’t cost that much at all, though our gasoline expense is high this month as a result.
  • Online Income – We had pretty good revenue in July, but also a lot of expenses so our net income is a bit low this month. It’s still pretty good though. I broke down the online income in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.
  • Rental Income  – Yet another negative (-$834) month on the rental property side. We fixed a fireplace in the 4 plex and replaced all 4 chimney caps. August isn’t going to be that great either. On the rental home, I need to fix a fence post, remove moss from the roof, and get an estimate for the exterior paint.
  • P2P income from Prosper was quite good in July at $95. The ROI is currently at 8.66% and we should be seeing around $75/month on average.
  • Life Insurance – I’m getting a physical exam on Friday and the policy will be effective soon after. I just got a $250,000 policy with a 20 year term. It’s not a huge amount, but I think that’s just enough for the family to be comfortable until RB40 Junior turns 18.

Net Worth (+16% YTD, 3% MTM)

The stock market did very well in July (SP500 +6%) and boosted our net worth quite a bit though bond funds were dropping because of the interest rate rising. Overall, I’m pretty happy with our progress this month. Actually, I’m not that worried about the month to month progress because it will always be a bit volatile. I like looking at the +16% YTD much more. 🙂

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July Personal Capital cash flow

Personal Capital can help you keep track of how much fees you are paying.

Saving (+$10,741 YTD)

Whew! We barely pulled out a positive month in July. Our expense is a bit higher that I’d like, but we’ll have to get used to it soon due to preschool. We’ll keep trying to pull the rabbit out of the hat every month.

Our saving this month is +$309.

Piggy Bank 2013

  • earmarked for the 529: $0. We contributed $10,000 to RB40 Junior’s 529 fund so we’re done with this one for the year.
  • Travel fund: $0. We are pretty much done with our travel this year.
  • Fun money:  $840
  • Investment/Slush Fund: +$309 = $3,102
  • Taxes$2,666. We are done with taxes until next April. From my estimate, we probably need to send in around $1,000 next year.

Cash Flow

July Cash flowIncome (target > $4,500)

On the income side, we had a big drop off from June. It’s not pretty, but here goes.

  • Rentals: On the 4 plex, we spent about $2,000 on the fireplace repair and cap replacement. I think that’s all the big repairs for the year though. I’m looking forward to at least 6 months of no repairs. On the other hand, the rental house is doing better. Our tenant paid part of the back rent and will catch up the rest in August. We have some repairs to do on the house in August. Being a landlord isn’t all about collecting the rent….
  • P2P lending: Our ROI popped back up a bit from 8.43% to 8.66%. Hopefully this will keep increasing to around 9% or so. I probably need to write another update soon. Here is the last update – Peer to Peer lending isn’t as passive as I thought.
  • Dividend and interest: July is a slow dividend month. I’m pretty sure we’ll pick back up in August.
  • Online income was not bad in July. My goal was to make $18,000 online in 2013. After 7 months, we netted $16,373. I’m very happy with our progress and hopefully we’ll cross the threshold in August. Thank you for supporting us and signing up for products I wrote about. I will break down the income in the monthly Retire By 40 Newsletter, so sign up now if you haven’t yet (at the top of this post.)
  • Misc income: We had a lot of extra income this month. Mrs. RB40 got some travel refund from work which was a nice little boost for us.

Expense (target < $4,000, not including tax)

RB40 Junior will start preschool soon so we’ll have an extra $500/month expense to deal with. It will be more difficult to keep our expense below $4,000, but we’ll try.

Transportation: We filled up quite a bit this month and spent $136 on our car in July. We had a couple of summer road trips and they were a lot of fun. We’ll drive a lot less in the Fall so I don’t think this is a big deal.

RB40 Junior: We paid $200 to register him at a preschool. Once school starts in September, we’ll shell out $500/month. That’s not cheap, but it’s worth my sanity. 🙂

Wrap Up July

July was a close call. We barely pulled out a positive cash flow month, but we did it. Let’s just keep moving forward and see what the rest of the year brings. I think we spend a bit more money in the summer because the weather is so nice and there are so many things to do. Once it starts raining, we’ll hunker down again.

How about you? Did you have a good month? Any progress on your New Year Goals and Resolutions?

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{ 23 comments… add one }

  • C. the Romanian August 2, 2013, 1:25 am

    You’ve had a great month, congratulations! Too bad that those rental property repairs kept coming, but hopefully your predictions are correct and you’ll have no extra repairs for the next 6 months (or more).

    And I think that it is true what you said about spending more during the summer, I noticed the same thing in our case. But hey, we love the good weather!

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2013, 6:09 am

      We’ll have a 6 months of bad weather soon enough and we’ll spending a lot more time indoor.
      Enjoy the sunshine. 🙂

  • mayanqueen August 2, 2013, 3:25 am

    What company do you have the 529 with? What do you consider a good amount to start P2P lending with? Did you start with a small amount and have been increasing it after you got confidence? It seems that in order to get that return that you mentioned from P2P, one needs at least $10,000. Good luck with your preschool ordeal.

    From here only if you have or plan to have kids:
    While raising my children I worked at a preschool and got a good deal in which I did not have to pay childcare. I let go of my two boys until they were 5 and ready for kinder, they never had separation issues. I was 22 and full of energy and did not feel overwhelmed at all…imagine 24/7 with two boys. My husband was also 22 so he was also full of energy as well to help me. My sons were involved in all sports/arts/etc. while growing up. I believe that keeping them with different circles of friends helped them more with socialization. They are almost two years apart, still they were never in the same team. Multiple times they even played against each other. They are the best brothers and I have never seen a fist fight among them. Yep, we used “time out chairs”. We called them “thinking chairs”. I tried to do my best by giving them individuality but kept a close eye to the group of friends they had. I was a very young mom so I had to read a lot to learn to be an “OK” mom and even change my career from accounting to child development. It was worth it! I Did not do it alone, my husband was a tremendous support but we were both young and learned as time went by. He was and still is the “macho” type, the big dog in the house. Many times I needed his voice to settle them down. I was more the “lets read about it” . He was the “hit the kid back” type and I was “lets get the families together and solve the problem”. Still, we came to an agreement that for any serious thing about our children we would discuss it in closed doors and give them only one answer. Even when we had the discussion about Santa Claus…being real or not. And that’s another story.

    For those that feel that don’t want to have kids because of the expense, the joy that children bring to our lives, memories and good times are just priceless! My mom had 4, my grandma had 12! How did they do it? One of my son’s best friend just died of cancer…how do we deal with that? Time will tell. We learn as we go…
    God bless you all,

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2013, 6:14 am

      I just use Oregon’s 529 because we can get a tax break. I think you need at least $1,000 to start with P2P lending. From what I hear, you need at least 100 loans to achieve proper diversification. You can start with $1,000 and increase it to $2,500 over time to get 100 loans.
      I love our kid. He brings in some added expenses, but life isn’t all about money. He’ll only go to preschool for a few years. I think once he starts primary school, his expense will go down a bit until he starts doing all the extra activities…

  • Rich Uncle EL August 2, 2013, 5:56 am

    Congrats Joe on achieving a surplus this month, not many can do that when they take a vacation. I have achieved a $0 in misc. / entertainment category for a week, but for the month that is impressive. I don’t know how you did it even with taking a vacation. Online Income is growing, much respect.

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2013, 6:15 am

      Thanks! Actually, I should have split out the gas and food during vacation to entertainment. It was tough though because I didn’t keep good record for this camping trip. It’s probably around $100. We just enjoyed nature so it wasn’t an expensive trip.

  • Amanda L Grossman August 2, 2013, 5:57 am

    Nice Joe! And wow–you will have more time to work on your online income shortly.

  • Insourcelife August 2, 2013, 6:22 am

    Looks like you are getting close to the point where your online income will match and surpass Mrs. RB40’s paycheck. That’s gotta be nice to see! We also spent a bit more than usual last month with a one week beach vacation and a couple of repairs at the rental property, but it was a great month overall, especially with the market run up.

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2013, 6:38 am

      Actually it will take a few more years. Mrs. RB40’s take home is already taxed and she maxed out her 401k contribution.
      My online income is just raw income. For 2013, I don’t have to pay much tax because I’m not making that much money. If I make more money online, then we’ll have to pay more tax in the future.
      Summer is great isn’t it? I’m glad the market is up too. 🙂

  • Financial Samurai August 2, 2013, 6:57 am


    Good job with making another positive cash flow month.

    I am impressed with your $0 entertainment expense for the entire month! What is your secret?

    I’m tallying up my expenses for my recent 4 week trip and I think I’m around $9,500 for July! Maybe I need to cut down expenses. But there’s no point saving money for retirement when you are retired right?


    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:34 am

      Actually, we did go camping, but the cost got rolled up into food and gasoline. That was it for July.
      There are so many free events in summer, why spend money? A 2 year old kid just like to run around and have fun outside anyway.
      We’ll probably spend more on entertainment in the winter.

  • No Waste August 2, 2013, 7:30 am

    A win is a win is a win.

    It’s funny how even the smallest margin of income over expenses feels soooo much better than the smallest margin of expenses over income.

    It just FEELS better.

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:35 am

      You said it! 🙂 Hope you had a good month as well.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle August 2, 2013, 8:20 am

    The 3 T’s ruled July and left me with a balance on my Visa and that is something that I never do. Tire, tie rod and tv all died and left me with more debt on July 31 than on July 1. Self imposed poverty and isolation will see the Visa paid off by the end of September.

    I just received $18 in dividends and that is a record month for me.

  • krantcents August 2, 2013, 8:43 am

    Good job! As you can see, owning income property has it downside. Build up a reserve and it has less impact.

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:36 am

      It’s not a big impact for us, but it just sucks to see the negative rental income.

  • Pretired Nick August 2, 2013, 10:40 am

    Once again your fourplex stories sound very familiar. I learned to pretty much ignore the monthly cashflow numbers for the most part and evaluate the properties on a yearly basis. My on-paper cashflow was often $1,200 or more but once I netted out the fluctuations in vacancies and repairs, etc. it was usually closer to $800/month. I’m supposed to close on mine today and we’re STILL fighting with the buyer over stupid nonsense. This has been a nail-biter all the way through.

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:36 am

      I’m not paying it much attention either. I’ll do a roll up at the end of the year and see how we did.
      Ugh, sorry about that. Hope you close it soon.

  • Pension Retirement August 3, 2013, 6:51 pm

    I’ve had a lot of issues lately getting loans in Prosper that meet (my fairly strict) qualifications. I even added the auto-invest on those loans, but I’ve only seen a couple go through in the last month. It’s hard to keep the money invested with only a few loans a month.

    And great job on the online income, that is fantastic. I’ve got a thought to produce an ebook, any thought of doing one yourself?

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:30 pm

      It seems like they have less number of borrowers recently. Maybe they are screening more rigorously?
      I think an ebook is a good idea, but I just don’t have any time to do it.

  • Dividend Mantra August 3, 2013, 8:05 pm


    Great month. You had some big expenses and a vacation and still came out on top. Very nice.

    Your rental property woes is a good example of why I invest in REITs. I’d rather others do the heavy lifting for me and just send the check my way. I’m sorry it’s been rough going up until now, but at least your equity is being built up for you in the mean time.

    Online income is fantastic. I’m nowhere near that, although I’ve come a long way. That’s really inspiring.

    Keep up the great work!

    Best wishes.

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2013, 10:32 pm

      I’ll give the rentals a couple more years. If they don’t turn around by 2015, I’ll probably move the investment to REIT.
      Online income is much more than I expected when I first started out. I really hope we can keep it going, but you never know what’s going to happen in the future. Thanks!

  • SuburbanFinance August 4, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Great job on your achievement! Though you have a lot of expenses, you have time to take a vacation. Have a great week!

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