April 2016 Goals and Financial Update

April 2016 financial updateIs it just me or did April just fly by? I was busy with our tax return the first half of the month and then Mrs. RB40 got very busy with work. Every week flew by and it’s already May. We didn’t even do anything memorable in April. It was just a quick blur. Anyway, I’m glad tax season is over.

The weather is improving and April was much warmer than usual. The average high for us is in the low 60s, but we had 6 days of 80+ degrees. That’s nuts. The weather has been very weird this past year. Cinco De Mayo is coming up this week and that signals the start of the fun season for us. There will be a ton of fun stuff to do around Portland and we are looking forward to it.

Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 goals and then check our cash flow for April.

2016 Goals

Non Financial Goals

Improve Fitness (April result = 104%)

I got a Garmin Vivofit 2 for Christmas and I’m using it to track my activity level. I did pretty well in April, partly because the weather is getting nicer. I took 198,680 steps in April. That averages out to 6,623 steps per day. That’s much better than the last few months. I was hoping to exceed 6,000 per day and I finally did it. Six thousand steps actually isn’t a lot. It’s pretty easy to exceed that if I get out and about. However, I had some sedentary days too. Those lazy days bring the average down quite a bit.

Control my triglyceride level (WIP)

I’m trying to eat better to control my hypertriglyceridemia. Unfortunately, I didn’t cook fish and vegetables very often in April. I’ve reverted back to my usual meals. I’ll try to get back on track in May. Also, I will schedule a blood test in June and check the triglyceride level. I’d probably have to increase the dosage of my medication.

Try 6 new great restaurants (33%)

We went out a few times in April, but mostly stuck to our usual places. We tried a new Chinese restaurant and weren’t too impressed. Our quest for great food continues.

Take an extended trip to Thailand ($2,171)

I’m planning a 3 week trip to Thailand in November. I want my family to experience the Loy Kratong festival in Chiang Mai. It was a big deal when I was a kid and I had fun with the various activities around the holiday. Saving for this trip is made very easy by using Digit. Digit deducts a small amount from my account every few days and I don’t notice the “stealth” saving at all. Check out my Digit review if you don’t know about them. The current balance is at $2,171, an increase of $394 in April This is a great way to save for a trip. You can sign up for Digit through this link if you’d like.

Attend a conference – (WIP)

I got a ticket to FinCon 2016 in San Diego! I still need to reserve the hotel room and book a flight.

Visit a national park – (WIP)

I booked a campsite near Crater Lake. I can’t wait for summer.

Start a non-finance website – (WIP)

I will start this after kindergarten begins in the fall. I don’t have any good ideas at the moment and this might fall by the wayside.

Financial Goals

Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (34%) $17,034

In March, we saved $3,632 in our tax advantaged accounts. That brings up our total to $17,034 so far in 2016. We are right on track for 2016. I’m planning to hold off my i401k contribution for now, though. I’ll keep it in cash until I see a good deal.

Increase Dividends to $11,500 (32%)

We received $828 in dividends last month. That’s $3,643 so far in 2016. We’re on track with this one also.

Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (not looking good)

The stock market is going to be volatile this year so I don’t know if we’ll meet this goal. We will continue to contribute $400 per month. The account is now worth $47,506.

Increase Net worth by 3x risk free rate (currently +4.6%)

The 10-year US government bond yields about 2%. So my target net worth increase for 2016 is 6%. The stock market ended flat in April. Our net worth continue to increase and we are now +4.6% for the year. This includes new contribution, increase in home equity, and other gain. We are doing very well so far, but 2016 still have a long way to go.

track your net worth Personal Capital

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your portfolio. Also check out their fantastic retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

Cash Flow

April 2016 cash flowTake Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income was good in April, at $5,246. Things are going well in general on this front.

Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $5,403

Rental income: $377. We did a little more landscaping at the duplex and fixed a light fixture. No big repairs mean a positive month for the rental income.

Online income: $2,043. April was a little slow, but that’s okay. I think it will pick up next month. I will break down the online income and expenses in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.

Dividend: $828. Our dividend income is on track to exceed $11,500 this year. You can see my dividend portfolio if you’re curious.

Interest: $13. The interest rate is quite low so this will be minuscule for the foreseeable future.

P2P lending: $58. I signed up with NSR Invest and they are managing my P2P lending account at Prosper. My screening was too restrictive and I was not reinvesting fast enough. NSR has been great so far. I don’t have idle cash sitting around anymore and my ROI is slowly ticking up, currently at 8.3%.

Misc income: $155. We got $100 in gift and $55 from tax return.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our expense was higher than usual again in April. We had a few extra expenses this month and they pushed our spending ($4,568) over my target. We should be back to normal in May.

Housing: $2,256. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.

Cash Allowance: $0. We didn’t need to get cash last month.

Groceries: $473. Yes! Our grocery bill is under $500. I will try to keep it at this level for the rest of 2016.

Child/Dependent: $657. Preschool, birthday gifts, and new clothes.

Healthcare/Medical: $284.

Bills: $228. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, my term life, and umbrella.)

Entertainment: $94. Gym membership fee and eating out.

Misc: $502. Ugh, Portland city and art tax $275. Annual fee for our Alaska airline card, $75. Mrs. RB40’s new shoes, $80. Helmet for RB40Jr and other stuff made up the rest of Misc.

Transportation: $64.


Extra Saving ($6,525 so far in 2016)

Our extra saving was $678 in April. That’s not too bad. I will take it in the win column.

All in all, we did pretty well in April. The stock market was up and down, but we continue to increase our net worth through aggressive saving. We are doing well with all our goals and we look to be on track so far. There are still a lot of time in 2016, though. You never know how the rest of the year will turn out.

Did you have a good April?

Image  by MrVJTod

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

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39 thoughts on “April 2016 Goals and Financial Update”

  1. I was wondering if you would share what software you use for tracking your cash flow? I’ve used Quicken for many years and would like to learn about other options.

    • I mostly use plain old Excel spreadsheet. It takes more time, but that’s good for me. It forces me to think about our income and expense a little more. If everything was automatic, then I tend to ignore it. I use Personal Capital to check on my various accounts.

  2. I don’t have landscaping, that save some time. This year i would not rely on stock market much…. look like the rough time is coming soon…

  3. Look forward to meeting you at FinCon! And I’m so happy you’re going to Crater Lake. It’s pretty amazing, though the campground is humongous and full of noisy RVs… bring ear plugs. 🙂 Also keep an eye on wildfires in the region. The last time we were there it was totally socked in my smoke, which spoiled the views a bit and just made being outdoors no fun!

    On the fitness front, do you think having the activity tracker makes you do noticeably more activity than you would otherwise? I’ve been considering buying one, but don’t actually want to shell out the money. 🙂 My work-provided iPhone tracks all the steps I take when I’m carrying the phone, so I at least have that info… wondering if it’s worth the cost to go up to the next level.

    • I’m looking forward to Crater Lake too. We haven’t been there in over 10 years. Hopefully, there won’t be big fires this summer.
      The activity tracker definitely helps. It makes me more think more about being active. It’s so easy to be sedentary. It’s worth it for me, but everyone is different. I’m very happy with the Vivofit.

  4. Hey Joe!

    I could not agree more that the year is flying by! We are getting close to being half way through! It also looks like it was a pretty good month overall. Mrs. FWV is also a huge step counter and is about to get the garmin Vivo as well. Keep up with the steps, it gets a little easier each day!

  5. Are you an active trader with Junior’s college account? If not, I think you should jettison your goal about reaching a certain dollar amount in the account. Unless you are trying to trade in and out of stocks or funds, the daily (or yearly) value of the account is just “noise” at this point. The child isn’t even in kindergarten, yet! In fact, you are better off if the stocks and funds remain “on sale” for as long as you are making regular contributions to the account.
    I think you would be better served with a goal to make regular contributions. You might also do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to see how much will be in the account when Junior is ready to draw on it, in order to see whether you want to increase the contributions or not. I really appreciate the opportunity to read your blog; thanks for all of your hard work, and for your openness.

  6. April most certainly flew by for us as well! We traveled a bit as well and that threw us off our routine for a few weeks but we may be back on track now.

    Your trip to Thailand sounds absolutely wonderful, will you be staying with family while you’re there? If you need a place to stay, I’d love to recommend the place we stayed at when we were there last, it was marvelous, reasonably priced, homecooked meals for dinner (included). You know it was good if I’m still raving about them 4-5 years after we stayed with them 🙂

    Our dividends for the first quarter were good for us, but I’ve got to put more cash into stocks to grow that income.

    • I’m not exactly sure where we will stay. In Chiang Mai, we’ll probably stay in my dad’s rental condo. He rents it out to Japanese retirees, but they are not there year round. Where did you stay in Thailand?

      • We stayed in Phuket Town (home of the best chicken and rice wrapped in leaves I have ever tasted) and Chiang Mai. It was lovely but I think we needed more time to acclimate. I usually travel fine in countries where we don’t speak the language but it helps when I can read it, a little 🙂

  7. Hey Joe, looks like a great month. Nice amount of dividends and investing to keep your financial path on the amazing track that it already is.

    I’m interested to see what website you set up, it’ll be cool that it’s a non-finance one.


  8. It snowed here all April intermixed with some 70 degree days! Take about bipolar weather, but that is a typical spring in Colorado. I like how you set non-financial goals for yourself. I guess I have some too, but I haven’t articulated them…yet. I have a great yoga class that I am re-starting in May, plus I am doing a bit more baking. It is great to see your grocery bill under $500! That is our goal as well.

    • That sounds pretty crazy. We had some rain as usual, but the heat waves are very early this year. Good luck!
      Yeah, we’ve been spending more on groceries lately and I need to rein it in to under $500.

  9. RB40,

    I hear you on landscaping! It looks as though you are doing quite well, congrats on the fitness monitoring as well – a goal that isn’t always shared in our blog sphere. Do you track your “projected ” dividend income for the next 12 months? Or do you only want to track current years income?


    • Fitness is getting harder for me. It’s too easy to make excuses..
      I track my projected dividend income by just using last year’s dividend until a company raise it. So the projection increases slowly as each company increases their dividend.

  10. Wow, you’re numbers are impressive. Kudos on pacing toward $50k invested. Crater Lake is a great spot, you’ll have fun there for sure. If you have the time, be sure to stop off at Mt. Shasta.

    • Thanks! Crater Lake should be a lot of fun. We won’t make it to Shasta this trip. That’d probably add 6 hours to our drive…

  11. My April was fine. After several years of tracking finances, everything is just very repetitive and almost routine: Earn money, save money, invest money. Slow and steady, and boring, but each month gets me closer and closer to my goals.

    Your month has done pretty well. By the way, if you pay off your home, your online and dividend incomes can essentially cover almost all of your expenses. If you can keep it up, Mrs RB40 might be able to quit much earlier than 2020!

  12. Looks like a great April Joe! Ours flew buy as well!

    You saved more than $4k, that’s fantastic, and the rental is spitting out some cash! Congrats!

    Our April was so chaotic I’m not sure we were able to keep our spending under our $4k/month dividends. I’ll have to run the numbers tonight and post tomorrow.

    Love the nice weather we’ve been having in the PNW too! We set several records in April.

    • Thanks! The rental is doing pretty well now. Let’s just hope no big repairs this year.
      The nice weather is very unusual. I wonder if we’ll get another really hot summer.

  13. April flew by our house as well, going to class 2 nights a week seems to make everything around it a blur.

    We got our yearly raises in April, which is always fun – we put almost all of it back into our 401k so that should start ticking up a little faster.

    I am going to have to set aside some time and check out your dividend portfolio

    • Night classes… That sounds like a lot of work. Great job putting your raises into your 401k! That’s the way to do it.

  14. April was definitely a blur. I’m guessing after a long winter of being stuck inside, being able to go outside had something to do with it. At least for us here in Montreal!

    • The weather is definitely weird. I like it, but I wonder if we’d have drought again this summer even with high snow pack.

  15. Looks like a good April! I love that you set up a goal of eating at 6 great restaurants. I love food as well and I think that is such a great goal to set for yourself. I may need to add it to mine in the future!

    Overall, our April was pretty standard. Still waiting for spring to consistently come up here in Wisconsin!

  16. Looks like you stayed on track for April. It’s impressive to keep your grocery bill under $500!

    We plan to go to Thailand (Chiang Mai) for the first time this fall. Most likely it will be in November; we’ll need to add the Loy Kratong festival to our to-do list. Thanks for the recommendation.

    We’d love to go to FinCon this year but we’ll still be traveling. Hopefully next year!

  17. April flew by for us too. We had our taxes done early this year but starting up the new website has taken up a lot of my nights and weekends.

    Sounds like a couple fun vacations for the family coming up. We don’t have any family getaways planned right now, but we have two weddings back home this summer we’ll by traveling for.

    The Green Swan

  18. Hey Joe, April definitely flew by for me as well, despite getting my Tax ID getting stolen! That definitely took up several hours I wasn’t expecting, but at least things are back on track (for now).

    Unfortunately our FED tax refund is going to get held up now, but such is life sometimes. At least we got our state refund back already which helped cash flow this month. We also had some real estate appreciate too which is a nice add to NW, but of course it’s just on paper. 🙂

    I also have been getting in some extra exercise lately playing tennis, so I feel more energetic this year. So, all in all, I can’t complain too much.

    BTW, I’ve never heard of NSR Invest. Looks interesting. I’ll have to check them out. Cheers!

    • Oh wow, sorry about that. That sounds awful.
      The real estate appreciation looks good on paper. 🙂 I will leave our real estate numbers alone this year. It’s complicated to calculate the tax and all that. Right now, I just use 90% of the equity, but that’s probably too much.
      NSR Invest was started by the guys from Loan Academy and Nickel Steamroller. Those guys are P2P lending experts.

  19. I gotta do some landscaping too. On my to do list for this week!

    April turned out to be very strong at FS for some reason. I was expecting it to be slow due to tax season. I’m working on a couple new income streams.

    I’m bracing for tough times in the stock market!


    • The tiny front yard at our condo was just covered with mulch for the last 2 years. The previous owner put in a lawn, but we couldn’t maintain it. Ripped it out and mulch it. Now we’re slowly putting in herbs so it doesn’t look so bare. Eventually, it will turn into a useful herb garden.
      April was pretty good here too. We should see better numbers next month. I need to figure out new income streams. You think we’ll see a big correction later this year?


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