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September 2011 Cash Flow


This month, I haven’t kept careful track of all our income and expenses. The result is there are quite a few mystery entries in the bank statement. I can’t remember where that check I deposited on September 7th came from. I think the solution is to update my spreadsheet in the middle of the month so I can recall what all those items are.

All right, here is the September cash flow.

Income September August
Mrs. RB40’s paycheck 2,984 2,622
rental income 1,375 1,450
side income 2,222 1,447
dividend and interest 278 115
Total income 6,859 5,634
Housing -1,992 -1,992
rental debt service + annual HOA -907 -1,182
cash allowance + $160 editor pay -860 -600
transportation -153 -99
pet 0 -59
baby* don’t count daycare -42 -84
bills (electric, insurance, internet) -246 -333
medical -89 -182
electronics (air purifier) -277 0
entertainment -34 -43
misc (costco, home depot, new check, business cards) -178 -165
Total expense -4,778 -4,739
saving (Income – Expense) 2,081 1,058

*There is a bit of fuzzy accounting here because I didn’t count the cost of baby daycare. We paid $1165 in August, but it is covered with DCAP from my paycheck. It is already deducted pre-tax and we wouldn’t have seen it anyway. Also, once I quit work, then I’ll be home to take care of the little guy so I think we can zero it out as we look forward to the future.

Income (Target > $5,000)

September was quite a good month for income. Mrs. RB40 received a little bonus from work so her paycheck looks better than usual.

Rental is a bit lower than normal because the newly acquired 4plex lost $75 this month. I’ll have to write a whole post about this.

Side income – There are about $300 of extra income unaccounted for in September. I think part of it has to do with the 4plex closing. We had a small refund from closing a few days later than scheduled. Other than than, we received a check from our reward card and won $50 from the Yakezie tweet chat. Retire By 40 closed a few year long advertising deal in September so that helped a lot too. All in all, a great month for side income.

Dividend and Interest – I need to open an ING or Ally bank account and move some cash over. Our credit union’s best rate is only about 0.5%. Dividend looks great in September. I would love to get this kind of dividend+interest income every month.

Expenses (Target < $4,500)

Our expense is still not quite under control this month.

Cash allowance is a bit higher than normal. It’s actually $700 due to September having 5 Fridays. We get cash allowance once a week. Mrs. RB40 also received her first editor pay of $160.

Transportation – I drove a bit more than usual and also had an oil change in September. I would like to keep this under $100, but it’s really been creeping up. We’ll see how it goes in October.

Electronics – I purchased a BlueAir and a change of filter for our living room.

Misc – The $178 is mostly spent at Costco on baby formula, food, TP, and other household items. I should keep better track of this one also.

september entertainment bill

Halo Reach – $13, LuxeLink purse holder – $21

Here is our unauthorized $34 entertainment bill for September. We’re suppose to use the cash allowance for these kind of things.

September Cash Flow

Our expense is creeping up and we need to control it a bit better. All in all, it’s still a good month though. I can’t complain about the $2,000 positive cash flow! October is going to be a mess though. The 4plex is going to be a cash drain (repairs), but I think it will turn around by New Year at the latest.

Have a great Columbus Day everyone!

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. You can 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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{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Niki October 10, 2011, 5:29 am

    Nice side and rental income. You guys rock! Editor’s pay is completely worth it.

    Do you find it harder to keep track because more is coming in? It just made me think of Budgeting the Fun Stuff’s recent post about not being as diligent because of cash flow.

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 9:07 am

      I think next month I will show rental income = rent – cost. It’ll be easier to see. I think editor pay is good too, Mrs. RB40’s attitude improved immensely. 🙂
      It’s difficult to keep track of little checks like reward checks and that kind of things. I track all the blog income and expense diligently because I’ll need that for tax later.

  • Funancials October 10, 2011, 5:29 am

    A few things that stick out:

    – for side income to increase by 300% is incredible.
    – rental income to drop by 75$ is random.
    – dividend and interest looks spectacular.

    All in all, anytime you’re able to stash away 2k is great. I’d love to see follow-ups on the increase in side income and tiny loss of rental income.

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 9:09 am

      Ooops, I made a mistake. I fixed the August side income, it was showing July’s. I’m afraid the 300% increase is temporary though since blog income is not very steady. Some month is just luckier than others.
      Dividend income is also not stable due to the quarterly payment. Oh well.

  • 20'sFinances October 10, 2011, 7:00 am

    As other people have already commented, you have a nice side and rental income coming in. That is great news. You may have to change your site’s name to retire by 39 if you keep going at this pace. 🙂 It doesn’t have the same “ring” to it, though.

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 9:09 am

      Retire By 40 means anytime before 40 right? So 39 is still good. 😀

  • MoneyCone October 10, 2011, 7:49 am

    When do you find time to play Halo?!

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 8:29 am

      I get an hour or two in on Fridays around 11pm. 🙂

  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog October 10, 2011, 8:29 am

    That’s some great side income!! I’d be pretty happy about this considering the amount of repairs that are on the table and you still came out cash flow positive!

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 2:35 pm

      I think I will have to do a more detailed analysis and add other hidden expenses. Next month, I’ll just show (income – expense) for real estate so it will be more clear. I forgot to deduct property tax this month…

  • Suba October 10, 2011, 9:19 am

    Great side income! I haven’t had the time to tally all of my Sept income/expenses yet, blaming FINCON11 and my flu for that. But I am sure it was not as great as yours.

    Why did the rental income reduce by $75? May be I will know the answer in the follow up post. I still have not actually paid my editor, even though I gave him a paper raise 🙂

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 2:36 pm

      Paper raise? Did you give him stock options? 😀
      I’ll have to write a follow up on the rentals.

  • Financial Success for Young Adults October 10, 2011, 9:55 am

    Girlfriends and wives beware! Halo Reach is here! lol If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that you can debate the usefulness of most video games but don’t mess with Halo lol

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 2:37 pm

      LOL. Halo is fun, but I only get to play once a week or so – Friday around 11pm….

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed October 10, 2011, 10:56 am

    Thanks for sharing Joe. I appreciate being able to look into others personal finances. I hope you can turn that 4plex into a cash-cow for quickly.

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 2:37 pm

      I think the 4plex will look better in 2012. There are just too many repairs and tenant turn over this year.

  • cashflowmantra October 10, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Great results for the month. Best of luck with the real estate getting that earning.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 9:20 am

      Thanks, it’s not easy getting positive cash flow from real estate on the West Coast.

  • krantcents October 10, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Did the 4plex show any net income in September? Was that the refund? You want to detail the rentals with just net income.

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 10:08 pm

      No net income on the 4 plex. One of the tenant is section 8 and the city takes 4 weeks to process payment. I’ll detail the rental with just net income next month.

  • Everyday Tips October 10, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Great great job RB40! You will be retired before you know it and you will have to change your website to RETIREDby40.com

    • Kellen October 10, 2011, 5:54 pm

      But he can still advise the rest of us hoping to retire by 40, after he has succeeded with flying colors!

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 10:08 pm

      That would be Great!

  • 101 Centavos October 10, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Good show, RB40. You’ll retired and taking afternoon naps in no time at all.

  • My University Money October 10, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Even though your numbers might not blow anyone away right now, you are so set for the future in terms of multiple income streams! I am very envious!

    • retirebyforty October 10, 2011, 10:09 pm

      Thanks, I’ll keep working on it.

  • Anne-Marie T October 10, 2011, 9:57 pm

    I have started using an online site called mint.com (www.mint.com/) that pulls all of your transaction from your bank statements and credit card statements. You can then assign their default expense categories or customize categories for each transaction. You can set up a budget for expenses etc. They send you an email every week with a summary of your position and you can then tweek/modify transactions that are not getting automatically categorized.
    I am an accountant by trade, but never seem to find the time to keep track of my own financial affairs. LOL I am finding that this is really helping me.
    (I am not affiliated with mint.com)

    • Shelly October 19, 2011, 9:46 am

      Anne-Marie –
      I am an accountant by trade as well. I had to smile when you admitted that you never seem to find the time to track your own financial affairs. I am the same way too!! Spend my time working on everyone else’s stuff but never getting around to my own. I’ve started to put our priorities on the front burner and am taking a look at the entire 2011 year. Hopefully within the next week or so I will have everything categorized and up to date.

  • Brave New Life October 11, 2011, 5:29 am

    You might have mentioned this in a previous post, but I don’t recall. What is the cash allowance for? In our family budget, I find that cash goes towards those things you don’t want to admit you waste money on, so you don’t budget for it. This is why I’ve tried to drive our cash expenses down to 0.

    • Kellen October 11, 2011, 8:46 am

      I think they use their cash for groceries and then other stuff that they want to be able to waste their money on 😉

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 9:22 am

      Cash allowance is for groceries, clothes, eating out, and other personal spending. We budget $300 each every 2 weeks and it works pretty well for us. That way we can save what ever is left at the end of the month to spend on what we want.

  • Denise @ The Single Saver October 11, 2011, 6:25 am

    Those are impressive numbers. I think it is good that you are showing how the rental can sometimes be a cash drain as it shows that owning rental property isn’t all fun and games. I think you are well-set to retire by 40!

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 9:23 am

      I’ll write a follow up about the rental on Friday. It’s not that good in September actually. October will be a bit worse.

  • Little House October 11, 2011, 6:41 am

    You’re doing great! That side income is impressive. I really need to ramp up my side income, myself. I’ll be able to focus on that in December when I’m finished with my final semester. Keep up the great work!

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 9:23 am

      I think we got lucky in September. I’ll try to keep it up, but it will be difficult.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter October 11, 2011, 7:34 am

    Yes, congrats on the rental income. This is great. It is nice to see your investment pay off I am sure. I need to ramp up my side income. The blog hasn’t been cutting it.

  • GiMan October 11, 2011, 9:06 am

    You’re doing so great! Especially the rental income. I envy you :D.

  • Squirrelers October 11, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Another great job, RB40! I like how you’re regularly tracking this, and holding yourself accountable – while being flexible as well. Seems like you guys have a great balance.

  • Aaron Hung October 11, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Excellent job RB40:D The dividends are coming from your stocks right? I wanna get at least that every month, that would be great

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time October 11, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Joe, is the expenses on rental home (mortage, HOA, fees, tax) less than the income from rental property?

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 8:56 pm

      For September, I think so. I’ll do a more detail posting Friday.

  • Doctor Stock October 11, 2011, 8:05 pm

    Looks great… a couple of questions (oh, by the way, very impressed with your discipline):
    1. did i miss the food somewhere?
    2. what is the housing vs. rental debt servicing?

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2011, 8:56 pm

      1. We use the cash allowance for grocery. I had a note in previous post, but forgot to put it in this one.
      2. housing is where we live. Rental debt service is the mortgage payment for the rental home. Next month I’ll get rid of that category. I’ll compute it into the rental income.

  • Evan October 12, 2011, 8:46 am

    Do you actually take your dividends or are they reinvested?

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2011, 10:03 am

      I take the dividend, but it just goes into the general fund which will be invested in something eventually. I’m not using it to for discretionary spending. 🙂

  • Lindy Mint October 13, 2011, 6:28 pm

    I’m enjoying your unauthorized entertainment expenses. I’m envious of the purse holder. 🙂

    Great job on such a high savings rate! (PS: I’m envious of that too.)

    • retirebyforty October 13, 2011, 9:52 pm

      That purse holder is really neat. 🙂

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