November Highlights and Lowlights
The holiday season is here. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I didn’t even spend any money at all on Black Friday weekend. I just had a relaxing weekend at home and enjoyed family time. Mrs. RB40 on the other hand braved Black Friday to get a few small gifts for her coworkers. Christmas is coming up soon and I hope everyone is ready for it.
- New Year’s Resolutions – I’m done with my 2013 goals! Well, the ones that I really wanted to get done anyway. I’ll give a full update on this soon.
- Vacation – Mrs. RB40 wanted to go visit her family so we’re heading down to Southern CA. I should have anticipated this and started the whole travel hacking experiment sooner. Oh well…
- Online Income – We had a great month in November. Things are going very well on this side and I couldn’t be happier. I will break down the online income in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.
- Rental Income – Woohoo! We had a small positive month at +$311. I also just had the roof moss removed so we will start December off in a -$450 hole. We should still have positive cash flow for 2013 though.
- P2P income from Prosper was a little low in November at $63. The ROI dropped slowly to settle at 8.33% this month. I really hope we don’t go any lower than 8%. We should be seeing around $80/month on average.
- Dividend and interest income – The 2nd month of the quarter is always the low month. We collected $354 in November. Next month should be better because many mutual funds pay out in December.
Net Worth (+20% YTD, +1.1% MTM)
The stock market continues its torrid run up in November and the S&P500 ended up about +4%. Our net worth increased 20% so far in 2013 and that’s mind boggling. I only expected 5-10% increase and it’s great to blow past expectations.
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Surplus (+$25,498 YTD)
Our expense was a little over our budget in November. I think it’s time to increase our expense budget because we’ve been pushing the boundary quite often this year. The good news is our income increased more so it worked out.
Our saving this month is +$3,280.
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: $1,000
- Investment/Slush Fund: +$3,280 = $12,214. All of this will go into my solo 401(k).
- 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.
Income (target > $4,500)
On the income side, we had another great month. The online income in particular seems to be holding its own. Total take home this month was +$7,374. That’s much better than our target.
- Rentals: The good news is we had a positive month with the rentals. We’ll end 2013 with a small positive (less than $1,000.) I’m getting a little impatient with the rate of improvement though. I’ll give them one more year. If 2014 doesn’t go well, then it’ll probably be time to sell and take some profit.
- P2P lending: Our ROI dropped to 8.33%. It’s slowly drifting down and I’m getting disappointed here, too. I’m concerned about what will happen when the economy turns south. The default rate will rise and I don’t know if the ROI will really drop then. At least it’s very passive now. See my last update – Peer to Peer Lending Is A Pretty Good Passive Investment.
- Dividend and interest: November was pretty slow, but December should be much better. I sold Shell so I could take some stock loss deduction. I’m planning to pick a few shares back up if it drops to around $68.
- Online income was great in November (+$4,142.) 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: Mrs. RB40 sold a bunch of baby stuff on Craigslist and made $120. Great job!
Expense (target < $4,000, not including tax)
We spent $4,095 in November. That’s a little over our target of $4,000. The reality is we have to raise our expense budget next year. It’s been $4,000 since I first started this series 2 years ago. Now we have more recurring expenses like preschool, gym, and life insurance. Inflation is no fun.
Cash and groceries: We spent a bit more than usual this month ($776) due to Thanksgiving. We splurged a bit and had a great holiday.
Transportation: Back to normal and only filled up once in November.
RB40 Junior: $171 for a new preschool. $40 for childcare at the gym. $46 for Christmas gifts. This category will go up a bit now that he is in preschool.
Misc: $466. This is for our flight down to southern CA later this month. That’s not too bad for 3 tickets.
Wrap Up November
We did great with our income in November. However, our expense is still near the limit on our budget. This is a lesson in inflation. Expense will go up even if you are frugal. You need to make sure your income increases in retirement as well.
How about you? Did you have a good month? Any progress on your New Year Goals and Resolutions?