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October 2013 Goals and Financial Update

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October cash flow halloween

Happy Halloween! ;)

October Highlights and Lowlights

Whew, October just flew by. I hope everyone had a great Halloween. We just took the kiddo to trick or treat at the local mall. That was a great decision because he got scared by quite a few costumes. The werewolves were particularly frightening this year.

  • A 3 paychecks month – Yippee!
  • Vacation – We took 2 somewhat unplanned vacation in October. I went to the beach with Mrs. RB40 for a couple of days without Jr. He stayed home with his grandparents. Then I took a trip to Silicon Valley with Jr. for a week to visit my family. As a result, this month expense is a bit higher than usual at $3,494, but it’s still under our target of $4,000.
  • Online Income – We had another great month in October. I think it’s a new fiscal year and it seems all the advertisers are flushed with cash. I will break down the online income in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.
  • Rental Income  – We have a small positive month in October(+$216.) That’s not great, but at least it’s not negative.
  • P2P income from Prosper was a bit low this month at $63. The ROI is currently at 8.49% and we should be seeing around $80/month on average.
  • Dividend and interest income –  We had an average dividend month at $541. Nothing too exciting, but it’s dependable.

Net Worth (+19% YTD, +1.8% MTM)

The stock market has been great in October even with the partial government shutdown. The S&P500 ended up about +5%. As a result, our net worth is up 19% for the year.

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.

September cash flow financial goal update

Personal Capital wants me to put more into stocks. I’m pretty happy where I am though, so I’ll probably stay put for now.

2013 Surplus (+$22,091 YTD)

Our expense was under control in October even with the 2 vacations thrown in. We ate out more than usual because of the vacations and I’m feeling pretty bloated. We’ll cook more in November and should be able get expense under $3,000 again.

Our saving this month is +$4,720. This is our best month so far in 2013.

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. No more big trips this year.
  • Fun money: $1,000
  • Investment/Slush Fund: +$4,720 = $13,692. All of this will go into my solo 401(k) soon.
  • 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

october cash flowIncome (target > $4,500)

  • Rentals: Things are still slow with the rentals. We only had a small profit this month and November isn’t looking much better. I’m getting the roof moss cleaned out and that will cut into our profit.
  • P2P lending: Our ROI drifted down a bit to 8.49%. This is not bad, but it is moving in the wrong direction. I want it to drift higher, not down… At least it’s very passive now.  See my last update – Peer to Peer Lending Is A Pretty Good Passive Investment.
  • Dividend and interest: October was a bit slow. I’m looking forward to December though. That’s always a big dividend month.
  • Online income was spectacular in September (+$3,468.) 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: The preschool refunded us $187.50 and we’ll get the rest in November. I also got $25 from Google Offers because I didn’t used the coupon I purchased. October rounded out with $100 from my brother to help out with my parents visiting costs.

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

We spent $3,494 in October. That’s not bad at all with 2 vacations thrown in. Actually, the 2 vacations only cost $410 this month. We paid for the airfare and lodging at the beach in September. We stayed with friends and family when we went to CA. They also cooked and paid for most meals. It was a great trip, but I’m exhausted. I don’t know how single parents do it. It’s tough to not have anyone to send him to.

Cash and groceries: We did very well at $480 this month.

Transportation: I filled up 3 times in October, the most yet in 2013. We drove to the beach and I drove up to SeaTac to send my parents off.

Bills: I got a new fixed cost – life insurance at $23.50/month. I’m not happy to be shelling out more money, but at least I got some coverage now.

Misc: $71. Oh no, I made an impulse buy. We went to browse Hmart’s home store (Korean store) while Mrs. RB40 was at Goodwill. I saw a kotatsu chair and I couldn’t resist buying 2 to go with our kotatsu table. They will be very useful this winter.

Wrap Up October

We had a great October. The extra income made a big difference and we were able to save quite a bit more than usual. Our expense was also under $3,500 and that’s great. Now it’s time to push through the last 2 months and end 2013 on a great note.

How about you? Did you have a good month? November should be OK for us. We are not planning to travel and we hopefully we can avoid spending money on Black Friday.

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Maverick November 1, 2013, 4:34 am

    Excellent Joe. Very disciplined, as usual. Doesn’t Mrs RB40 have a small payroll deduction for medical that would show up in that category?

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2013, 9:57 am

      Yes, she has payroll deduction, but we are just looking at her take home. I’ll just ignore any deduction, it’s a lot easier that way.

  • Insourcelife November 1, 2013, 6:05 am

    Nicely done yet again. Do you count mortgage principal payments as savings or as an expense? Personally, I count those as savings and only put escrow and interest under expenses. I’m sure you’ve answered that before and I probably missed it.

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2013, 9:58 am

      I count extra mortgage payment as savings. I should put that down in the saving category. Perhaps for 2014. Thanks for the idea.

  • writing2reality November 1, 2013, 7:17 am

    Wow, killing it last month with the online income! Looks like you are setting up to finish the year on a really strong note. Hopefully you don’t experience any more setbacks with the rental this year, minor expenses excluded, and can at least see some monthly profits in November and December. Also good to see your Prosper account chugging along. I think 8.50% returns are pretty solid for something along the lines of fixed income.

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2013, 9:59 am

      On the rental, I’m pretty sure we’ll see positive cash flow for the rest of 2013. There is only 2 months left…
      Online income was really great in September. It’s up and down though so who knows what next month will look like.
      Generally Q4 is pretty good.

  • moneystepper November 1, 2013, 7:55 am

    Wow, awesome work Joe. You only just beat that income target, huh? Wow.
    And keeping the expenses well under budget.
    A month really to be proud of!

    I’ve just posted my goals on my site for the first time for November, so looking forward to see how I can progress against these. Hopefully I will take inspiration from your performance in October and simply destroy them!! 🙂

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2013, 10:00 am

      Thanks! I’ll drop by and check it out. Good luck to both of us. 🙂

  • davidmichael November 1, 2013, 7:56 am

    Congratulations for the month of October. You are keeping to your goals with excellent online income. Amazing! I wish that we had started the dividend investing at an early age. Great examples for all of us.

    My wife and I (mid-70s) are working at Amazon in Fernley, NV for the holiday season (three months) to augment our retirement income. We are among the 500 workampers with RVs who supplement the main workforce for the critical Christmas Season. Most people are retired in age from 50-80. It’s tough, physical work with mandatory overtime (time and half pay) for a minimum of 50 hours a week, that’s five 10 hour days starting at seven A.M., moving to 6 A.M. next week, factory work just like the movies. In a couple of weeks they are asking people to work up to 55 hours, but that’s a bit of a stretch for us young at heart but older in the body. I’ll decline those extra five hours to keep healthy.

    I’ve talked to quite a few of the seniors, dedicated workers by the way, and it’s troubling to learn how many lost their homes and nest eggs in the financial crises, walking away from $100,000 or more in value and equity. Especially hard hit were homeowners in Arizona and Nevada. Many lost their retirement funds to the stock market and pension fund failures as the companies went bankrupt. Others are here to supplment their income to keep RVing and their freedom for the remaining nine months of the year, or pay for a new truck or motorhome. Finally, there are quite a few who have a decent pension and save enough extra to take four or so cruises during the year and take great vacations abroad in Europe or Asia.

    It’s an attractive gig for most, despite the physical demands, because a single person can earn about $7000 net or more. That’s nearly $15,000 for a couple. Nothing like our former professional pay, but that was long ago. There just aren’t many opportunties to make that kind of money in a short time when on the road. So…keep saving and investing. This is a slice of life from the other side of retirement.

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2013, 10:03 am

      Thanks for sharing. I think being a seasonal worker is very reasonable way to live. You can take the rest of the year off to enjoy life.
      50 hours/week is pretty tough. Sorry to hear about the financial trouble retirees face. It’s tough to recover from a financial crisis at that age.
      Good point about how hard it is to earn money at your age. That’s why I’ll try to continue with my online business. It would be pretty hard to work for someone else. Even Amazon…

  • Retire Before Dad November 1, 2013, 9:26 am


    This is the first monthly update of yours I have read and the detail is impressive. And of course your online income must be envied buy everyone. Thanks for sharing.


  • Martin November 1, 2013, 11:57 am

    Avoid Black Friday? I wish that we had it in Canada. It was a great month for me. I plan on travelling in November to Argentina.

  • Mike November 1, 2013, 10:28 pm

    It seems that your high months are vastly different than mine. Mine tend to be more focused in November and December when people are buying tablets and phones (at the moment but I am trying to build other streams to have some steadiness-I am doing a lot with mobile apps). Keep in mind that it takes a while before things slowly work in your favor.

    • retirebyforty November 3, 2013, 4:56 pm

      We don’t spend much on gifts. Usually we don’t travel much during the holidays either. It’s just too crazy. Mrs. RB40 and the kid might go down to visit family this December though.

  • Woman with a Plan November 3, 2013, 6:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing so many financial details. October was a hard month in terms of overspending a LOT on eating out. We had family visit for 5 days and ate out 2x a day, when it is normal for us to eat out just 2-3x a week.

    Anyone have advice for how to manage that? Cooking seems obvious, but it’s hard to do that when you are running around playing tour guide all day. We’re going to have 4 sets of visitors this month!

    • retirebyforty November 4, 2013, 4:03 pm

      It’s tough when you have visitors. When we went down to CA, we ate out a lot more than usual too.
      Perhaps have a BBQ? That’s fun for the guys when you get home.

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