April 2021 Goals & Financial Update

Hey everyone, is anyone still procrastinating with their taxes? I’m pretty much done, but I haven’t filed them yet. I usually file an extension because the K-1 forms are always late. I was hoping they’d get here by the end of April. (The Schedule K-1form is for reporting earnings, losses, deductions, and credits to the investors in a partnership. When I invest in real estate crowdfunding, each project forms a new partnership.) Anyway, I’m waiting for these forms to show up. Other than that, life is going pretty well. Oh, I also got the first vaccine shot. I can’t wait for the second one so we can relax a bit more.

On the personal finance side, we had another great month. The S&P 500 index went up about 5% in April. That’s incredible. Our net worth also hit a new high so I’m very happy. This is a good time to take a little profit and diversify if you can. I sold some stocks to invest in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. It’s not much, but at least I took some money out. Our cash flow was also good in April. Things are going quite well. I’m optimistic for the rest of 2021.

2021 Goals

Here is my 2021 goal sheet. It works really well. Try it out if you can’t keep up with your New Year goals. The key is to go over the spreadsheet at least once a month to track your progress. That way, you can see which goals need extra attention.

All right! 2021 is turning out to be a great year for me. I already accomplished 5 of my goals and I’m making good progress on the rest. Here are the details.

Financial Goals

  • Real Estate Crowdfunding $150,000. In April, I invested in an apartment renovation project near Seattle. I have high hopes for this one. The housing market in that area is hot. Recently, the projects on CrowdStreet got funded very quickly. I think investors are taking profit from the stock market and diversifying. That’s a great idea, but finding a solid alternative investment can be difficult. I really like real estate crowdfunding so far. It’s a great way to invest in commercial real estate.
  • FI Ratio > 110%. As usual, this is my main goal for 2021. The FI ratio is passive income divide by expense. We are doing quite well so far this year. We don’t spend much (due to Covid) and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. I’m very happy with 124% FI ratio.
  • 1-year cash for Mrs. RB40 mini ER. Mrs. RB40 plans to take a mini-retirement in 2022. I want to have a nice cash cushion by then. Usually, we spend less than $50,000 per year so that’s my target. Currently, we have about $23,000 in our savings account.
  • Side hustle income > $3,000. Mission accomplished! This goal is just for fun. Side hustling is a good way for early retirees to keep busy and stay active. This year I plan to charge scooters, take surveys, and sign up for cash bonuses. In April, I made $1,464 from charging scooters. Wow! It was the best month ever. It seems like most people moved on to do something else. Delivering food is probably a better gig since you get tips. But I’m happy with charging scooters because I don’t have to interact with anyone. Heh. It’s also good exercise for me.  


  • Refresh Retire by 40 – Done! Whew! I finally completed this goal. It has been on this list for over 2 years. This work required a big block of time and focus. I just couldn’t do it at home. I only finished because I was stuck in quarantine for 2 weeks and could focus on the task in front of me. I hope you like the new design.
  • 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. Currently, we have 305 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I uploaded 2 videos in April. Making video clips is hard!

Personal Goals

  • Visit Thailand. Done! I got back from Thailand in February. I spent 6 weeks there to check on my mom and reconnect with family and friends. It was great. I would love to retire there 6 months/year.
  • Weight < 135 lbs. Done! In Thailand, the serving size was much smaller than what I’m used to. I lost weight and it is now 133 pounds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it under 135 lbs. for the rest of 2021.
  • Estate planning. Done! We started the process with our lawyer last year. I thought it won’t be done until March, but we completed it right before I left. That’s perfect timing.
  • V for vasectomy. I saw my doctor for an annual physical before I flew to Thailand. She said she can refer me to someone when I get back. We don’t want any more kids. This one is WIP.
  • Happiness level > 8. April was a 9. I had a relaxing time and didn’t stress out much. It was a good month. I also got the first vaccine shot! Just one more and we can loosen up. I can’t wait. So far, my happiness level is much better this year than it was in 2020.

Net Worth (+8.4% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see our progress. Our net worth increased by 8.4% since the beginning of the year. That’s really good, IMO. My annual net worth target is +10% per year. 2021 has been a great year so far. People are ready to spend and investors profit from that mentality. Let’s see if the market can keep on rising…

Here is a chart of our net worth from Personal Capital.

*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in almost every day to check on our accounts. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

2021 Passive Income ($13,176 YTD)

Here is a quick summary of our passive income. You can see all the details on my Passive Income page.

April was a great month on the passive income side.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: I received $742 from our investments. This should improve as more projects start to payout.
  • Rental income: Our tenant is back from Europe! We made $553 from our rentals in April. It was enough to turn the year positive. Whew!
  • Dividend: We received $775 from our dividend portfolio. That’s not bad.

At the end of April, our FI ratio was 124%. That’s really good, but it’s mostly due to low spending. Our passive income is still a little low.   

*FI ratio = passive income/expense

April 2021 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was great in March. We didn’t spend much and saved 66% of our income.

Here is the Sankey diagram. You can get a quick overview and see the details below.

Gross Income: $15,320

Our gross income was solid last month.

  • Mrs. RB40’s job: $9,286.
  • Blog income: $2,500. We had a good month at RB40.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $742. A nice month for RE crowdfunding. You can read more at the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Rental income: $553. Woohoo! Our tenant is back in town. Hopefully, we’ll have positive cash flow this year. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $775. Slow month for dividend income. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Interest Income: $0.
  • Side hustle & Misc: $1,464. I charged a lot of scooters in April.  

Monthly Spending: $2,824

This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. So our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. March was another low spend month. We still haven’t got our full Covid vaccine and we’re spending most our time at home.

  • Housing: $1,264. This category includes mortgage, home insurance, HOA fees, property taxes, utilities, home improvement, repair, and furnishing.
  • Parents: $500. My brothers and I each sent $500/month to my parents. They don’t have much retirement savings. Fortunately, they live in Thailand so $1,500 is enough. I also own the condo they live in so their housing expense is very small.
  • Groceries: $647. Wow, we spent a lot on groceries in April. We cooked most of our meals at home. In April, we only ordered out three times.

Here are some of the dinners I made.

Vietnam pizza – These are great. They’re super easy to make and you can customize the filling to your liking. Check them out.

Crab fried rice – This is my crab fried rice recipe. I use turmeric and curry powder to give it that extra oomph. It’s really good. You can use chicken or tofu in this dish as well.

  • Bills: $23. This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.
  • Transportation: $149. This was for gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and maintenance.
  • Entertainment: $122. Mrs. RB40 purchased some stuff in April for herself.  Her birthday was coming up.
  • Kid: $0.
  • Pet: $0.
  • Travel: $0.
  • Health: $119. Doctor appointment and prescriptions.


I don’t count these as personal spending.

  • Taxes and deductions: $2,380.

2021 Savings ($35,446 YTD)

Alright! 2021 is starting off very well here.

  • Joe’s 401k: $12,875.   
  • Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $6,000. She contributes $750 every paycheck.
  • Roth IRAs: $4,000
  • 529 College Savings: $0.
  • Extra savings: $12,571

YTD 2021 saving rate = 64%

April 2021 wrap up

April was another great month for us. Our income streams were all strong and we didn’t spend much. Our net worth hit a new high again. Real life was great, too. The weather warmed up and we spent a lot more time outside than earlier in previous months. Once I get the 2nd vaccine shot, I’ll loosen up even more.  

How was April for you?  I hope you had a great month as well.

*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in almost every day to check on our accounts. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you purchase or signup for a service through the links on this page.

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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!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.
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22 thoughts on “April 2021 Goals & Financial Update”

  1. nice all your goals are going well! I like that the FI income is going way above the expenses, that is a great feeling. Then you can dump any active income into growing that further/know that Mrs RB40 can switch to something else if she desires etc.

    Next goal can be covering the expenses with investment income excl. the tax advantaged accounts, ie investment income available for spending > expenses. I’m getting closer to that level as I don’t count my 401k-equivalent income as part of my passive income, but I don’t have the level of active income that you guys have, so working on that =)

    Great month, glad 2021 is going well so far!

  2. Engineer here as well, but somehow never made a Sankey diagram. I love that visualization of data. What program do you recommend?

    Never thought about charging scooters for extra income…and a bit of a workout. Great idea.

  3. Hi Joe, thank you for sharing! It is very smart to diversify.

    I also started to post monthly financial updates in my blog. This month I shifted quite a bit of growth stocks and ETFs to more value oriented and dividend generating ones. Hope the market will stay good.

  4. Congrats on the first dose! It’s amazing what a relief it is, even if you don’t actually change any of your routines, just feeling like 1) you’re probably safe and 2) you probably won’t contribute to someone else’s illness.

    “made $1,464 from charging scooters”…sheesh.
    Yeah, I’ve commented on this little side gig if you and your boy’s before. But that’s a lot of dough! Nice.

    Looks like your happiness level is kicking butt this year. I know I feel better overall than in 2020, too, though I’m stressing the past few weeks planning our first trip (!!) since the pandemic. Just a little flight to Florida, but still… much to plan!

    One of my closest friends just knocked out his own “V” a couple of weeks back. Seems they’re quite happy with it 🙂 Hope it goes well for you.

    PS: I’ve enjoyed the design changes/refresh!

  5. Congratulations on the first Vaccine, Joe! I can’t wait to get the second one as well. Even though I heard there were people still getting the coronavirus after getting both doses, I’m hopeful this is the first step in getting life back to normality.

    It’s quite amazing what the market does… I still can’t believe we are at the level we are at today and feel like an imposter at how much money I’m making off the markets.. But here’s to good times going to infinity and beyond!

  6. Nice month again, Joe! I’m jealous of you getting your first vaccine. We’ll get ours in July when we come back to the US for a visit but I wish I could get it done sooner. Like you mentioned, it’ll be a little bit of a relief to relax things a little more.

    • July is coming up pretty soon. I think it’ll be very easy to get a vaccine shot by then. Even now, the demand is falling very quickly. A good percentage of the population doesn’t like the vaccine.

  7. Thanks for the update and well done! My wife and I got our second shots last week and they blew our systems up the next day. I was lucky to get a 4.5mi run in early Thursday before the joint pain and fever started. I was thinking it might pull happiness down a point, but realized we were actually quite pleased that 1. our immune systems went through great resistance training and 2. in a couple weeks we’ll have the confidence to do pretty much whatever we want.

    I always file taxes as soon as possible since our finances are so simple. We got a refund from the state in February and paid the IRS the first week in March. The market has been absolutely insane over the last thirteen months so our net worth hit a new milestone:
    November 2017 – $500k
    November 2019 – $700k
    September 2020 – $800k
    December 2020 – $900k
    Last Tuesday – $1M

    Unfortunately we’ve soon got to have our roof replaced, our house exterior painted, and our small deck rebuilt. But we’re in a good spot.

    • I heard the 2nd shot can be a bit harder. I didn’t have any issue with the first shot.
      Great job on your net worth. Congratulations on joining the double commas club. 😉
      We need some work done on our deck too. Although, I’d probably do most of it myself.

  8. When the market reaching new records, I like to shave off some stocks and put the money into bonds, almost like dollar cost averaging. It may be as much a mental thing as a math thing – I feel that I’m better prepared for the next crash. In reality, the move is small, but I can do it a lot and it adds up if the markets keep going up and up.

    I didn’t realize that crowdfunded real estate created more K-1s. I’m happy that I haven’t gone down that road now.

  9. Holy cow, you made $1,464 charging scooters? How much time did you invest into doing it Joe? That seems like a pretty large amount of money for a single month!

    How much extra are you spending on electricity to make that amount?

    Anyway, congrats on a great month!

    • It really depends. On nice sunny weekdays, maybe 1-2 hours/day. Weekends are busier, maybe 2-3 hours/day.
      But most of it is 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Just little breaks I take throughout the day.
      I guess less than $10 in electricity.

  10. Nice update Joe and glad the happiness is still on a 9.

    I have not filed taxes. Since I intentionally underpay during the year I wait until the end to pay it back. I take an interest free loan from Uncle Sam and my State and invest the money during the year to make more on it. Instant leverage. I still have two weeks 🙂

  11. Good going, Joe. You’re nailing it quite well, firing on all cyclinders, in other words.

    I am still intrigued by your Real Estate Crowfunding investments but I am much too lazy to research that form of investment and see if I can do it from Canada.

    I am not sure exactly how well I did in April overall since I don’t track my expenses or budget in any way. But this I know: I will be 72 in June and my net worth is the highest it has ever been. It keeps going up because of the residual income I get from eBooks and print books as well as the fact I am getting dividend income from my investments. Given that most people over 65 have their networths go down particularly if they are retired, I think I am doing quite well.


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