I’m sad another summer is gone. Summer is my favorite season because there are a lot of things to do and the weather is so nice. We went swimming many times in August and RB40Jr improved quite a bit. He had a long layoff from swimming because he had an ear infection earlier this summer. The days are getting shorter and the weather is already turning cooler here in Portland. Autumn is nice, too. A lot of Portlanders love fall. I don’t really enjoy this season because the trees will drop a ton of leaves on our rental home. I’ll have to drop by and clean out the gutter every week. I’ll install some gutter screens this year and see if they will help.
There is one reason to like the fall – the kids are going back to school! RB40Jr started kindergarten last week and I finally have some extra time to catch up on all the things I need to do. The first thing on the list is getting regular exercise. I have been very inconsistent all year and I need to make a big improvement because I’m getting older. The plan is to head to the gym right after the school bus leaves at 7:10 am. Once I get into the routine, it should be much easier. Other than that, I need to revamp the blog a little bit. It’s looking a little dated. This will be a long term project, though.
Ok, let’s talk finance. The stock market was flat in August, but our net worth continues to reach new heights. We didn’t gain much, but a new high is still a new high. We continue to save and invest in all market conditions so even if the market is flat, our net worth should keep increasing. I’m still bracing myself for a big correction, though. Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 goals and then check our cash flow for August.
Non Financial Goals
Improve Fitness (August result = Pass)
I got a Garmin Vivofit 2 for Christmas and I’m using it to track my activity level. August was a good month, but the Vivofit lost 8 days of data for some reason. It has been very reliable since I got it so I’m not sure what happened. It seems to be working fine now. For the days recorded in August, I averaged 7,996 steps per day which exceeded my goal of 6,000 steps/day. That’s really good for me. Hopefully, I can keep this up even though the weather is starting to turn.
Control my triglyceride level (WIP)
Here is another reason I need to exercise regularly – I’m really struggling with my hypertriglyceridemia. My doctor increased the dosage of my medication, but my triglyceride level is still elevated (around 250). I’m trying to eat better, but it doesn’t seem to help much. I even stopped buying beer. It’s a sad year, indeed. I don’t eat much junk food, but I will need to cut out all simple carbohydrates and eat less fat. Losing a little weight could help, too. I’ll work on it and go in for a blood test at the end of the year. It’s no fun getting old.
Try 6 great restaurants (66% complete)
No progress in August. We stuck with our old favorites in Portland. We tried a few new places in Eugene, but they weren’t very good. The quest continues.
Take an extended trip to Thailand ($4,517)
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 easy by 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. Our current balance is at $4,517, an increase of $820 in August. This is an awesome way to save for a trip.
I don’t think I will be able to use my reward points for this trip. It just cost too much for 3 tickets to SE Asia. We’ll save the points for next year. It’s much easier to use the points for travel to South/Central America.
Attend a conference – (WIP)
It is only a few weeks to FinCon 2016 and I’m very excited. I’m an introvert so it’s usually tough for me, but this year I will make a big effort to turn it on for a few days. I will be on the Financial Independence panel on Thursday morning so stop by and say hi if you’re there. 🙂
Visit a national park – (Done!)
We went camping at Crater Lake in July. Crater Lake is a caldera lake which resulted from a volcanic eruption and subsequent collapse of the empty magma chamber. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and the deep blue color is breathtaking. It was a great experience and I think we’ll have the same goal next year.
Start a non-finance website – (WIP)
I plan to start this project after kindergarten begins in the fall, but life is still pretty busy this month. This project will probably kick off very slowly because I have all sorts of stuff to catch up on.
Financial Goals (66% of the year is gone..)
Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (75% complete)
In August, we saved $9,997 in our tax advantaged accounts. That increased our investment total to $37,937 so far in 2016. This is higher than usual because I transferred $5,500 to my Roth IRA. I kept it in cash and I’ll keep an eye out for a buying opportunity over the next few months. We’re doing well with this goal and it should be completed before the end of the year.
Increase Dividends to $11,500 (63% complete)
We received $738 in dividends last month. That’s $7,206 so far in 2016. We’re on schedule with this one. In July, I sold off some Intel and KMI and kept the cash. I’m also looking for a good buying opportunity for our dividend portfolio.
Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (Done!)
RB40Jr’s 529 did pretty well in August. It’s worth $51,610 and it is holding above the $50,000 line. I’m planning to transfer this account to Vanguard at the end of 2016 to take advantage of their low fees.
Increase Net worth by 3x risk free rate (currently +9.6%)
The 10-year US government bond yields about 2%. So my target net worth increase for 2016 is 6%. The stock market was flat in August, but our net worth kept hitting new highs. We didn’t gain much, but 9.6% YTD gain is much better than I expected. Hopefully, we can keep it above 6% for 2016. We’ll see how the rest of the year pans out.
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Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
Our income was a mixed bag in August. The duplex needed a new hot water heater and that shot our rental income for the month. However, my online income was good and we finally received our state income tax refund! They sure took their time this year. It was also a 3-paycheck month for Mrs. RB40. So our income was great over all and we did well even with the hiccup at the rental. Our take home income was $7,584 in August, much higher than the $5,000 target.
Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $7,955. Who doesn’t love those 3-paycheck months?
Rental income: -$672. It cost $1,200 to replace the water heater on the 2nd floor. That was more expensive than I thought. The guy said it was not a standard size tank so they charged more. The old tank was 17 years old so I was expecting a leak at some point. Hopefully this new one will last as long.
Online income: $2,980. Our online income in August was very good. 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: $738. Our dividend income was fine. We should see a big boost next month because many of my stocks pay dividend in the 3 month of the quarter. You can see my dividend portfolio if you want to see my investment.
P2P lending: $65. Our P2P lending investment is doing better now that NSR Invest took over. Our ROI is currently 8.39%, that’s higher than when I was screening the loans. I was thinking about moving the money to real estate crowdfunding, but maybe I’ll just fund the new investment with cash instead.
Misc income: $998. Woo hoo! The state income tax refund came in.
Expense (target < $4,500)
Our expense was right under budget for August. I thought we’d be over budget because we got new tires for our car, but we came in at $4,464. Not too bad for a high expense month. Housing: $2,256. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.
Cash Allowance: $0.
Child/Dependent: $173. School supplies and some new clothes.
Healthcare/Medical: $175. Doctor visits.
Bills: $222. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella.)
Entertainment: $36. Gym membership fee and eating out.
Misc: $497. We took a short trip to Eugene in August. I also purchased the tickets for Mrs. RB40 and Junior for their visit to CA.
Transportation: $577. Gasoline and 4 new tires.
Extra Savings: $14,223 so far in 2016
We did very well in August and saved $3,161. So far in 2016, we have saved $14,223 extra. The money here will be transferred to our retirement accounts later this year.
- $5,500 each to our Roth IRAs
- Probably around $6,000 to my i401k as employer contribution.
All in all, we had a great August. We had a quick road trip to Eugene, went swimming a lot, and enjoyed the last of summer. The rental had a negative month, but that’s how it goes sometime. I’m planning to raise rent in 2017 so we should have more cushions soon. In September, I’ll need to book the tickets for our Thailand trip so we might have a tough month on the expense side. We’ll see how it goes.
Did you have a good month in August?
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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