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November 2012 Cash Flow

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October was a pretty dreadful month, but November turned out much better financially. That’s the thing with self employment, you never know how next month is going to look. I still like it a TON more than working for a mega corporation though.

It is essential to track your income and expenses before you make a big life changing decision like retirement or a career change. You can use Quicken, Personal Capital, or a plain old Excel spreadsheet, but don’t retire without stress testing your monthly cash flow first. There will always be surprises so you also need to keep a bigger cash fund if you’re not working full time anymore.

November 2012 income

November 2012 expense

November 2012 cash flow

Income (Target > $4,500; Actual = $6,712)

Mrs. RB40’s paychecks: Back to a regular 2 paycheck month. :(

Rental Properties: We were hit with a series of big storms in November and we have gutters and drainage issues. All of these charges will show up in December and will kill our numbers again. November looks OK though.

Online Revenue: $2,500 November 2012 was a great month for the online business. We had a lot of expenses again, but the income was high enough to make everything smell rosy.

  • Media.net (CPC ad network): $255. This was for October. The income from CPC should be around $200 from this point on. I’m very happy with that although more would be nice, too.
  • Affiliate: $240 from Consumer Track (Quicken Loans and Banks.)
  • Affiliate: $24 from How to Engineer Your Layoff.
  • Affiliate: $22 from Amazon. This is actually quite pathetic since it’s the payment from January to October 2012.
  • Freelance: $2,830. Writing and advertising. It was a crazy November, but we’ll need it to help pay for the rental property repairs.
  • Staff writers for new sites: -$160. New sites are slowly gaining traffic. Midlife Finance and Ready To Quit My Job!  are starting to bring in a few dollars with Media.net.
  • Profit sharing to a partner on another site: -$182. A super secret site that is starting to make a little income.
  • Hardware: -$84. A backup drive and a new mouse.
  • Forming LLC: -$235. File paperwork with state, paid registered agent, and got a PO Box.
  • Amazon CloudFront: -$2. CDN for the blog.
  • Support Yakezie network: -$10.
  • Future group giveaway: -$10.
  • Chief Editor’s pay: -$200.

Dividend & Interest: 

  • Dividend portfolio: $433. A nice payout month with dividend from T, JPM, and ABT.
  • Interest: $47. This is up a bit because I just transferred our cash saving to the new CIT saving account. Their interest rate is 40% higher than ING so you might want to open an account at CIT if you have $25,000 or more to deposit.

P2P Lending: $107. Currently, I’m getting 12.96% ROI from prosper.com. I’m seeing more late payments and defaults, but the ROI is still over 10% so I can’t complain.

Misc.: $348. My parents are visiting right now and my brothers sent $300 to help out in November. Loose coins: $26.65. Chase Freedom Refund: $21.

Expenses (Target < $4,000; Actual = $3,635)

Cash Allowance: -$600. On target.

Transportation: -$56. I drove to Sea-Tac to pick up my dad so we spent a bit more on gas than usual.

Pets: -$20. Just kitty litter this month.

Baby and his grandparents: -$590. I got my parents flight tickets to go see my brothers in the Bay Area. At least I was able to use my Southwest miles for half of it so the whole trip cost around $200 for 2. The rest are food, and also red wine for my dad. A bottle of acceptable red wine is ridiculously expensive in Thailand ($10-$20 in the US) so my dad is drinking as much as he can while he’s here.

Bills: -$304. A bit higher than usual because I purchased minutes for my tracfone.

November Cash Flow

Our expenses are a bit higher than usual this month because we have visitors. It should go down to normal by January. The income was great though and that cured all kind of shortcomings. December will be a pretty tough month again because of the rental property repairs, but we’ll see how it goes.

November 2012 saving

Almost recovered from the setback in October.

How about you? Did you have a good month?

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. It can help you 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.

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{ 25 comments… add one }

  • Brandon Turner December 5, 2012, 12:21 am

    Hey Joe – I’m a newish reader to your blog -but I love what I’m seeing! I see you bought a 4-plex: those are my absolute favorite investment types! I eat, sleep, breathe, and work real estate investing so I get a little excited over people doing that stuff! Good luck and keep in touch!

    • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 8:26 am

      The 4plex is a huge headache. I hope once this drainage problem is fixed, it will be smooth sailing. :)
      I need to pick properties with minimal problems next time. Thanks for reading!

      • Kathleen, Frugal Portland December 5, 2012, 1:08 pm

        Great November, Joe! It’s good to see you had a turnaround in just a month!

      • Matt December 5, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Why is the 4-Plex a big headache? You are going to have maintenance issues like gutters, especially up there. You should have seen that you needed to paint it when you bought it. As a 4-Plex owner myself, I would say tenant issues are when it really becomes a headache, but I carefully screen them so I haven’t had problems. I think you shouldn’t look at it on a monthly basis as you need to budget for repairs and capital reserves. I personally keep try to keep a cash balance of about $10k in my 4-Plex account and then give myself dividends when it goes above that.

        • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 11:52 pm

          The rain drain is plugged right now and we are having a hard time clearing it. I understand we’ll have to pay for maintenance, but it’s still a pain to deal with especially when we can’t solve it easily. Tenants are OK so far. It’s a good idea to keep 10k in your 4-plex account. I should do something similar. We only have a 50k cash account right now and not a specific 4-plex account.

          • Jeremiah December 6, 2012, 7:16 am

            I own a couple small rentals as well, and I’ve had to learn to not worry about this type of thing. This is what (if memory serves) you pay the property manager to deal with… both drainage and tenant issues. If you can, I’d encourage you to try and let them lose sleep over this.

          • retirebyforty December 6, 2012, 3:13 pm

            Once this drainage problem is dealt with, I’ll be more hands off. You’re right of course.

  • Christopher @ This That and the MBA December 5, 2012, 5:16 am

    Though the last month of November was little bit expensive .There was a certain type of money expensive that came into my head .There was the month of October like the food expensive , motor car service and came planned a movie with my friends .So ‘the money expensive s had been on the higher side . So ‘my last month (November) was not good as compared to the month of October because there was no financial problem in my mind I thought that November was little bit expensive for me.

  • Mike December 5, 2012, 6:13 am

    It seems that you are on the right path. There are always ups and downs when it comes to doing these sort of incomes. At least you are out of a workplace that you despise-that always count for something. That is further compounded by the fact that you do have some money coming in as well-an added bonus for your position.

    I’ve been using Infolinks on some of my websites since I have the traffic, but not the action of the readers. That might be something you can check out as well. It’s purely based off of the amount of visitors that see the ads.

    • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 8:27 am

      Yeap, I am feeling so much better now that I’m self employed. The income is a lot less, but life is so much better.
      I hate Infolinks, that’s why I haven’t tried them yet. Perhaps in the future.

  • FI Fighter December 5, 2012, 7:13 am

    Great bounce back month. You beat your target income and expenses target! I had a decent month, but spent too much money celebrating the World Series victory 😉

    • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 8:27 am

      Heh heh, at least you enjoyed it right?

  • Talley December 5, 2012, 7:49 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog!
    Those 3 paycheck months are nice aren’t they? November was my 3 check month – so you would expect me to be able to have an above average month. The only thing that was above average was my expenses and spending. Murphy’s Law, I tell you!

    • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 8:28 am

      The 3 paychecks months are a gift. :)
      Our expense was a bit higher too, but it still came under our limit so it’s OK. Next month probably won’t look so good.

  • Financial Samurai December 5, 2012, 8:20 am

    Haha, I like Chief Editor’s pay!

    Glad I could help contribute a couple hundred bucks right before year end to your online revenue. That’s a nice figure!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty December 5, 2012, 8:29 am

      Thanks! I really appreciate your help. Chief Editor is pleased with the extra spending money. :)

  • Michelle December 5, 2012, 9:37 am

    I’m glad that November was so much better!

  • Little House December 6, 2012, 6:39 am

    Good to see your November picked up. I see the same trend over and over again for myself, Oct. – Dec. is great, Jan is horrible, Feb. – June is pretty good, then July – Sept is awful again. Basically 4 months out of the year are bad. I need to turn this around!

    • retirebyforty December 6, 2012, 3:14 pm

      I’ll have to check my record, but I think you’re right. That’s why we need to stabilize our income with CPC and CPM advertising. :(

  • Christa December 6, 2012, 7:25 am

    Yay for November! Glad things went better for you this month, although the repairs last month were necessary :)

  • Amanda L Grossman December 8, 2012, 11:39 am

    Congratulations on the diversification! And especially on the online revenue:).

  • JC @ PassiveIncomePursuit December 9, 2012, 11:36 am

    That was a great month. I know for now I’d like to get into real estate but I’d have to pay a property manager for as long as I have my current job so that’s on hold. Glad to see you have a good bounce back after October.

  • Sustainable Life Blog December 10, 2012, 12:17 pm

    I cant believe that you paid 200+ for all that incorporation stuff joe! I dont have a registered agent (I’m my own) but my fee was like 25 bucks to file and 50/year for the post office box!

    • retirebyforty December 10, 2012, 2:45 pm

      It cost $100 to file paper with the state, $76 for the PO box, and $59 for a registered agent. I guess things are a bit more expensive here.

  • Brick by Brick Investing December 12, 2012, 10:49 am

    Looks like everything is looking good!

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