Oh man, can you believe it’s April? 2014 is already a quarter over! March was really busy for me again and April will be even more crazy. We decided to sell our rental home and 4 plex so I have been busy dealing with that. Our tenant just finished moving out of the rental home so I need to get it ready to sell. That will be a lot of work and I’m a bit stressed out. Hopefully, we’ll be done with all that soon and life will be a bit simpler. Anyway, 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.
2014 New Year Goals
Invest $50,000 in tax advantaged accounts
We added $4,826 in February. Mrs. RB40 made a mistake on her contribution form in February and contributed twice as much as usual. It’s fixed now, but it’s taking a while to go into effect. Her contribution should be back to normal the next paycheck.
For 2014, we saved $18,452 so far and we are about 37% toward our goal. We are ahead here and just need to keep the momentum up for the rest of 2014.
- Mrs. RB40 401k: +$2,976
- 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
Generate $12,000 in passive income
We had a better than usual passive income month and made $1,954 in February.
For 2014, we made $3,875 so far and we are at about 32% to our goal. Doing well here.
I’m trying to get back in shape after 18 months away from the gym and reduce my body fat percentage from 20% down to 17%. March was not a good month on this front. We had guests this month so I missed a week of work out AND we ate a ton of food… My body fat percentage went from 18% to 19%. Not great news. I’ll need to watch what I eat in April.
This year we are taking a big family trip to Hawaii. We booked tickets for the end of April, woohoo! There will be 8 of us and we’ll rent a house. I think it cost about $200/night so that’s not bad at all for 8 people. Now I need to book a rental car.
Blog Goal – Done!
My goal this year is to exceed 120,000 pageviews/month. In March, we had about 160,000 pageviews. Yes! Thank you everyone for helping me reach this goal.
Net Worth (+1.5% YTD, +0% MTM)
The stock market was basically flat and our net worth reflected that. March was a pretty boring month. I’d like to see 8-10% increase in our net worth for 2014. Now that Q1 is done, I don’t know if we can hit the 8-10% increase. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes.
If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your budget 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 just came out with a new Financial Sustainability Index. It’s supposed to show how much monthly income you’ll get for the rest of your life starting at your retirement. Wow, $14,564 is quite good. It would be plenty for us if this turn out to be true in 2040. I’ll need to dig into how they calculate this FSI.
Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
Our take home income barely beat the $5,000 target this month at just $11 over.
- Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: She fixed her contribution, but it’s taking a while to go through. Next month, this should be back to around $2,600.
- Online income: My take home was a bit low this month at $792. That’s already excluding tax withholding, retirement saving, and 529 saving. 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: $1,187 Woohoo! The Dividend portfolio saved the month. The end of the quarter is always a nice payout month.
- P2P lending: Not a good month at -$14. Our current ROI is 8.27%. That’s the same as last month. See how we did with Peer to Peer Lending in 2013. Currently, I have $1,672 sitting around in cash. It’s been more difficult to autoinvest and I need to log in at 9 am to pick up some loans. That’s hard for now because I’m busy at 9 am.
- Rentals: The rentals are doing very well so far in 2014. March was great with $781. We might not have much rental income much longer because I’m putting those places up for sale.
- Misc income: $300 from Craigslist sales. Got rid of a few things that were just sitting around.
Expense (target < $4,500)
We spent $4,922 in March. That’s quite a bit over our target of $4,500. My mom and brother came to visit and we went out more than usual. I got some new clothes and shoes for the little guy. He’s really tough on his clothing. The preschool cost was about 3X higher than usual and you can see the detail below.
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.
- RB40 Junior: $1,090 this month. We registered Jr. at 2 preschools next year. We also paid for 2 months at the current preschool. Lastly, we prepaid May 2014 preschool fee… Anyway, this should go back to normal next month. Clothing and shoes cost us about $85 this month. All his pants had holes in them and his shoes were ripped to shred.
- Cash allowance: $300 for discretionary spending. I just took this straight from our Craigslist sale.
- Groceries: $364. Not too bad even with eating more organic food in 2014.
- Insurance: $206. That’s auto, home, and my life insurance.
- Home Improvement: A couple of things from IKEA for my mom while she’s staying with us.
- Restaurant: $111. We ate out a more than usual this month because we had guests.
- Utilities: $90. This is the electricity bill for our condo and a rental.
- Gasoline: $84. I also drove a bit more than usual with guests in town.
- Entertainment: $46. This is the for the gym and child care at the gym.
Surplus (+$6,534 YTD)
We only had $69 extra this month. Whew, another tight one. Next month should be much better with Mrs. RB40’s paycheck back to normal. We also shouldn’t have so much preschool expenses. However, we’re going to Hawaii at the end of April so the cash flow is going to be tight again.
Our saving this month is +$69
Piggy Bank 2013
- Travel fund: $1,034. This will be gone in April. 🙁
- Roth IRA fund: $0. Already put $5,500 in my Roth IRA. We’ll work on Mrs. RB40’s Roth IRA next.
- Slush Fund: $0
How about you? Did you have a good March? Can you believe the year is ¼ over?
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.
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