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February 2017 Goals and Financial Updates


Feb. 2017 Goals and Financial UpdatesWell, February came and went in a hurry. Did you have a good month? How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? February is a particularly tough month for resolutions because 80% of them will fail by this time. Don’t give up yet, though. Once you make it through February, it should become a habit and the rest of the year will be easier.

Fitness goals in particular are tough to keep going. I notice that the gym is almost back to normal now. The New Year crowd has cleared out! However, I finally got on a roll and I’m doing very well with my fitness goals. Check out my pull up video below at the fitness goals. This was the most consecutive pull ups I’ve ever done. The form could be a lot better, though. Anyway, the point is – don’t give up on your New Year resolution yet. You might need to refine it a bit, but you need to commit and stick with it. On a side note, starting a blog to keep track of my new fitness goals has been amazing. It’s keeping me committed similar to blogging at Retire by 40, and this is the best start I’ve had in years. We’ll see if I can keep improving on my fitness throughout 2017.

On the financial front, things are going very well also. Our active and passive incomes were rolling in and our expenses were lower than average. That was partly due to the bad weather. We just hunkered down and didn’t do much. The days are starting to get warmer and longer so our expenses will probably increase soon. I’m really ready for nicer days, though. Okay, let’s go over my 2017 Goals first and then see how we did with our cash flow in February.

2017 Goals

At the end of February, the year is 17% over. It’s still early and everyone should still be working on their goals.

Feb. 2017 New Year Goals

This is my goal scheduling spreadsheet. Things are getting pushed off already, that’s not good. At least, I checked off one item. You can get a quick status update above and see the details below.

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account – We’re doing very well here and saved $8,039 so far.
  2. Dividend Income $11,500 – I’ll update our passive income post next week and you can see the details there. In 2017, we received $1,581 in dividend so far.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – This is passive income/expense. Currently, our FI ratio is at 72% so far in 2017. That’s a bit lower than I’d like, but we’ll have a better picture at the end of the quarter.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX – Our net worth gained 3.8% so far in 2017. This is 0.5% behind the 2040 target fund.
  5. Move RB40Jr’s 529 plan to Vanguard – I’ll have to put this off until after we’re done with taxes.
  6. Move Mrs. RB40’s IRAs to Vanguard – I’m putting this one off, too.

Blog Goals

  1. Online income > $36,000/year – We’ve been doing very well this year and made $11,661 over the first 2 months of the year. This is great, but online income can be up and down. We need to work hard now before the slowdown in the summer.
  2. Redesign Retire by 40 – This one is a huge job and I’m not quite ready to start yet… I’ll put this off until May.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits – I’m trying to grow traffic from Pinterest. We are a quite a bit behind the target at the moment. I’ll have to keep working on it.

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness – February was a great month for fitness. I finally got into the groove and have been exercising almost every school day (when RB40Jr isn’t around). My averaged steps per day was ~7,600 steps which is better than my goal of 7,000 steps/day. I give myself an A in February. I also met my goal of doing 15 consecutive pull ups! Well, my form deteriorated badly in the 2nd half so I will need work on it for the rest of this year.

  1. Start a new site – Yes! I started a new site with a focus on fitness – Fit by 40. There isn’t much traffic, but that’s okay for now. I’m using this one mostly for personal improvement.
  2. Join Toastmasters – This one is schedule for the 2nd half of the year.
  3. RB40Jr’s after school programs – We just signed RB40Jr up for Wushu lessons (Chinese martial art). He is taking 2 lessons a week for 3 months. We’ll probably cut back to just once per week when the weather improves and there are other fun things to do.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse – I reserved a campsite at the beach. We’re set for August.
  2. National Park – I’m not sure if we can accomplish this one in 2017. I’ll have to reserve a campsite soon before they are all booked up.
  3. International Trip – We plan to visit Cancun around November. It should be a cheap trip because we have plenty of reward points to use on flights and accommodations.

Whew! I have too many goals this year, but we just need to keep working on them. I’m pushing off the hard stuff already so that’s not a good sign. The most daunting goal is to redesign Retire by 40. It will be a lot of work and I’m not looking forward to it at all.

Net Worth (+3.8% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. For 2017, I’ll make it simple and try to beat the Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund, VFORX. Their current allocation is about 88% stocks and 12% bonds. I think this is a good measuring stick and we should be able beat it.

Our net worth increased about 3.8% so far in 2017. That’s really good, but VFORX did even better and gained 4.3% over the same period. The stock market is doing really well this year. We are a bit behind VFORX, but I’m still very happy with our progress. Our net worth gained about $85,000 since the beginning of the year. I can’t complain about that.


If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your investment accounts. We have many accounts and Personal Capital helps us see the big picture quickly. Also, I’m a huge fan of their awesome retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

February 2017 Cash Flow

We had another very good month financially! January was exceptional, but February was really good, too. Our income was higher than average and our expenses were lower. That’s a great recipe for building wealth. Let’s go over the details.

Feb. 2017 cash flowTake Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income target is $5,000 and we came in above that in February at $8,401. Our income streams were all rolling in and we just need to keep it up.

Mrs. RB40’s paycheck: $5,408. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise and she is bringing in very good income. That’s one reason why she doesn’t want to quit working full time yet. She also doesn’t want to deal with health insurance uncertainties at this point. The employer sponsored health plan is working really well for us.

Rental income: $886. Our rental income was good. I had to fix quite a few things, but they were all things I could do. I replaced a kitchen faucet, caulked 2 bathtubs, repaired a light fixture, and replaced a few light bulbs. The routine maintenance took time, but didn’t cost that much.

Online Income: $5,745. We had another great month with online income. This year I’m focusing on increasing our income so Mrs. RB40 can retire sooner. I’m adding more affiliate links and focusing on writing relevant articles that will be helpful to investors. Here is how we generated online income last month.

  • Banner ads: $1,894. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. Q4 is the best period for banner ads and we’re starting to see some slowdown in this area.
  • Affiliates: $3,585. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our links, then we sometime earn a referral fee. You can see an example from the Starting a blog post below. It seems Q1 is really good for affiliate income. Maybe everyone was making New Year resolutions and they’re trying to improve their finances? This will slow down quite a bit in the summer.
  • Brand promotion: $880. I worked with 2 companies to promote their brands.
  • Expenses: -$516. Internet, email service, CDN, cell phone, hosting, meals, nutrition supplements, etc…

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. Also, you may notice that I wrote off nutrition supplements in the blog expense above. This is because I’m writing a fitness blog and these are work related. (I may need to consult a business tax expert about this…) Thank you for your support! 

Dividend income: $689. Dividend income is usually lower in the 2nd month of the quarter. We’ll get a better picture at the end of the quarter.

Interest: $14.

Crowdfunding: $51. This is a bit low.

  • P2P lending: $51. I’m slowing getting out of P2P lending. I just don’t think they will do well when the economy turns south.
  • KickFurther: $0. I invested about $1,300 at Kickfuther. Kickfurther is similar to P2P lending, but investors lend to small businesses instead of individual borrowers. The big difference here is the money will be used to fund inventory. The investors own the inventory and we can vote to liquidate the inventory if the business can’t sell it. You can read more about them next week when I go over our passive income.
  • Realty Shares: $0. I just funded my first deal at RealtyShares. It’s a commercial property in Arizona. I started with $8,000 and I’ll probably add more if I see a good deal. The Arizona deal is still pending so we haven’t received any payback yet.

Pre-tax savings: -$4,390. I sent $3,000 to my solo 401k. Mrs. RB40 saved $1,390 in her retirement account.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our monthly expense target was $4,500 per month and we spent just $3,673. We had another cold and wet month so we mostly stayed home and didn’t go out and spend money. The only exception is RB40Jr’s birthday party. We took eight of his closest friends to play Laser Tag and arcade games. We spent nearly $200 and I feel that’s too much. Next year, we’ll have a small party at home and they can play video games on TV instead. Oh well, live and learn.

Housing: $2,289. This includes the mortgage, HOA, and property tax. Housing is a huge part of our monthly expense. We may have to move to a cheaper location to reduce this expense.

Cash Allowance: $0. We didn’t take any cash out last month. We’re almost completely out now so we’ll need to drop by the ATM this month.

Groceries: $469. This is pretty good for a family of 3. Our kid doesn’t eat much.

Transportation: $50. This is gasoline and car maintenance. I just filled up twice in February.

Pet: $18.

Kid: $209. RB40Jr’s birthday party. Next year, we’ll just buy the new Nintendo and the kids can play at home…

Bills: $269. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $37.

Entertainment: $26. Gym membership fee. We went out a couple of times, but we discussed the blog so that’s a business expense. This is another reason why everyone should start a blog. 8)

Travel, Clothing, Misc: $88. Mrs. RB40 went to Hawaii on a business trip and brought back Kona coffee and chocolate macadamias. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan well and didn’t go with her. Next time…


YTD Extra Savings: $14,315

February was a very good month and we saved $4,728. Our income exceeded our expenses again and it is great! This is when you feel rich, when you have plenty of positive cash flow. So far in 2017, we saved $14,315 extra. This is already more than the whole 2016 so we’re doing really well this year. Now I can contribute to our Roth IRA early and get them out of the way. I’ll try to do that in the next few weeks.

Can Mrs. RB40 retire?

This is a new section I’m adding for 2017. I want to see what happens if Mrs. RB40 stops working full-time. Basically, I will remove Mrs. RB40’s income from our spreadsheet and stop contributing to our tax-advantaged accounts.

Drum roll please … for February 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early! We had a great month and it would be awesome if we can continue this for the rest of the year.

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $3,711 in February. This is due to our excellent online income in February. Hopefully, we can keep it up for the rest of 2017. We’ll see how things look after the summer slowdown.

February 2017 wrap up

We had another very good financial month at the RB40 household. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders and our expenses were low. March is looking good too so Q1 should be excellent overall. We haven’t had great financial months like this since I was working full-time so this feels good. Now, on to March! Ugh, I’ll have to do our taxes…

Did you have a good February? We are doing well financially, but the winter is really getting to me. I’m very cranky and I get mad easily after such a long winter. We are all ready for nicer weather.

The following two tabs change content below.
Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

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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{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Michael @ Financially Alert March 6, 2017, 12:21 am

    Hey Joe, great to see you launched your new site! It’s always nice to change up content every now and then which is why I still enjoy blogging about food.

    Excellent month for you, Joe! We were only up about 1.3% this past month. I like how you’ve broken out your goals into that simple spreadsheet. It’s very easy to see where you’re at for each goal.

    Finally, congrats on the great blog income so far! 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:18 am

      Thanks! Blogging about fitness is okay. It’s not as fun as personal finance. I’m already running out of things to write about there…
      Oh well, it’s just to help me get in shape so I’m not too worried about traffic.

  • Buy, Hold Long March 6, 2017, 12:21 am

    Nice net worth income overall, this has to make you feel pretty happy. Keep those dividends coming in and it will only get better from here. Good on you. My February has been pretty good, my March is going to be amazing (I’m hoping).

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:19 am

      Good luck in March! I need to deploy some cash, but I don’t know what stocks to buy now. Maybe I’ll put the money in a bond fund until the market calm down a bit.

  • [email protected] March 6, 2017, 12:53 am

    Looks like you’re rocking those goals! I’m with you on the weather – here in Connecticut, it’s been warm and then freezing cold on alternating days. We also had 16 inches of snow, and my three boys spent three of the last five weekends sick with something. Ugh! So can’t wait for this winter to be over and get back in my garden this spring.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:20 am

      Hope the kids get better soon. RB40Jr just got a cough this weekend, but I sent him off to school anyway. Hopefully, he’ll be okay..
      At least you had a few warm days. We haven’t had a nice day since September! This winter is the worst in 20 years that I’ve been in Portland. 🙁

  • Ernie Zelinski March 6, 2017, 1:10 am

    First, you state that you want to “Redesign Retire by 40.” Why? What’s the point? If you want it to look better or more professional, be clear that ugly websites make a lot more money than pretty or professional looking websites (I learned this from two internet marketing experts years ago). Type “best retirement websites” into Google and you will see that my ugly webpage on the Retirement Cafe comes in the Number 1 spot out of several million webpages vying for this spot. All the other several million webpages may be prettier or more professional than mine — but mine gets the top spot on Google!

    You ask, “Did you have a good February?” Yes I did. I spent the first week of February in Honolulu, a place I have always wanted to visit. People talk about getting something off their “bucket list” (I hate that term). Well, I didn’t get it off my “bucket list”. I loved it so much I intend to go twice next year, for a week at Christmas and for a week in mid-February. Incidentally, on the flight back from Honolulu to Vancouver, I decided to upgrade to Business Class. It was well worth the extra cost. That is what money is ultimately for — to spend it!

    I may have mentioned my upcoming trip to Orlando in June when I will speak to 1,200 career experts about “The Joy of Not Working” at a major career conference. I will be paid $3,000 for a 45-minute speech plus first-class expenses. I was thinking, “Where I am going to practice for the Orlando gig given that I haven’t spoken professionally for about three years?” Well, in February I got another speaking engagement to present about “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” to 300 members of one of New York’s best known organizations in late April. I will make around $4,000 for a 45-minute speech plus first-class expenses (that means Business Class travel or I don’t go.) But having to speak to 300 members of one of New York’s best known organization’s means that I should still practice. Synchronicity strikes again! A financial advisor in Washington, D.C. called me two weeks ago wanting me to speak to his clients about”How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” in the next two weeks. I agreed, again on the basis that he provide me with Business Class travel on Air Canada (even though US airlines are much cheaper) so that I can also stop in Toronto for 3 days on the way back home to visit my friends, just like I will do on the New York trip. Incidentally, even though I will make an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on these three gigs, I am not doing these for the money. I am doing these gigs to get out of my comfort zone.

    One last note: In February I got a report from my financial advisor stating that for the last 3.5 years, since I have turned over my retirement and investment accounts over to him at ScotiaMcLeod, the accounts have earned me an average of over 9 percent per year. This is good enough for me given that my intellectual property is still earning me around $250,000 of pretax profits per year. It looks like I won’t have to touch my retirement and investment accounts for at least 5 years.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:24 am

      Thank you for the reminder that ugly websites are popular too. 🙂 Now, I don’t feel so bad about putting it off.
      Good luck with your public speaking engagement. They sounds like a lot of work.
      Your investment account is doing very well. Your financial advisor is doing a great job.
      I love Hawaii too. We hope to move there one day.

  • Smart Provisions March 6, 2017, 1:56 am

    Awesome work on the goals, Joe! Looks like you had an excellent month!

    My February was pretty good too and I hope it continues to stay that way throughout the year!


  • Wes March 6, 2017, 4:10 am

    I think its just great that Mrs. RB40 could retire (so far)!

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:24 am

      Our online income is much better this year than 2016. That makes a huge difference.

  • Mr Crazy Kicks March 6, 2017, 4:29 am

    Nice progress on all of your goals! That’s a lot of consecutive pull ups, and good form too.

    Nice to hear Mrs RB40 qualifies for retirement 🙂 You’re killing it with the blog income. Do you use Google Adsense or something else for the banner ads?

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:26 am

      Thanks! My form deteriorated badly near the end. I really need to do even pull ups.
      I use AdThrive and MyFinance. Adsense is okay when you’re starting out, but they never worked that well for me.
      AdThrive needs at least 100k pageviews per month, though.

  • Apathy Ends March 6, 2017, 4:35 am

    Awesome news that Mrs RB could join you without missing a step!

    We are close to breaking out of winter, but are on a temperature roller coaster right now. Ready for some spring!!!

    Financially it was a great month, record highs always helps!!!!

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:41 pm

      Hopefully, we can keep it up. Online income fluctuates so much for me. We’ll see how the rest of 2017 goes.

  • Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 6, 2017, 5:07 am

    Nice work! I have played with the idea of joining Toastmasters before, but have never actually pulled the trigger. I selfishly hope that you will write about your experiences when you give it a try, so that I can decide if I want to follow your lead.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:42 pm

      I’m really going to do it later this year. 🙂 The best time would probably be in the fall when RB40Jr goes back to school.

  • Roadrunner March 6, 2017, 6:50 am

    Nice and detailed overview. Congrats for launching your new site! How do you find managing the two at the same time?

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:43 pm

      The other site is very low maintenance so I don’t worry about it much. It helps me keep track of my fitness and it’ll serve as a guinea pig when I start the redesign. Not too much trouble right now, but if it ever takes off, I’d need some help.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher March 6, 2017, 7:05 am

    Congrats on meeting those fitness goals! I’ve fallen off the wagon there but I did manage to work out twice last week. I’m hoping to get more exercise in this week as well. And congrats on that blog income as well! That’s outstanding. 🙂

    We didn’t really have a winter down here in Texas, so we sort of skipped right into spring. Flowers are already blooming and we’re having 80-degree days. Texas is so freakin’ weird.

    February was a great month for us, though. We saved over 50% of our income and applied that surplus to student loans. We were also under-budget on food for the first time in forever. It feels good. 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:46 pm

      You need to start a fitness blog. 🙂
      I’m jealous of your Texas weather right now. This has been the worst winter ever.
      Great job with saving 50% of your income. That’s big time!

  • FinancePatriot March 6, 2017, 7:54 am

    We had a great month as far as net worth increases. In fact, now the only question becomes when to retire early (wife is already retired). I am getting paid a large annual bonus at the end of the month and there is no way I would retire prior to this date given the three months of income it provides.

    We had a lady quit at our company on March 10th, instead of toughing it out another month. For the life of me, I can’t understand why she left 15k plus on the table.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:47 pm

      Oh wow, she should have tough it out just a few more weeks. You can call in sick or do whatever you need to do. Go home early everyday if you need to. 🙂

  • Anna March 6, 2017, 8:12 am

    Love your site! I have been behind on reading, so will be catching up this week! My husband and I’s year goal is to start significant emergency savings and save for our first house.
    Question! We will look into meeting a mortgage person in a few months, but no matter what they say I want to stay well below budget in terms of the cost of the house. I am not looking for our final forever home. I am looking for a smart spend. We are very interested in potentially have two properties. Do you think it’s smarter to first buy something super affordable, move in for a year or two and then jump over to something bigger and leave this behind to rent. Or would it perhaps make more sense to get a house we see ourselves staying in for a bit and then finding a rental home investment next? I know there’s probably no perfect answer, but I am interested in perspectives.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:49 pm

      Good luck with your EF and down payment fund.
      I really think it’s a good idea to start with a smaller home or fixer upper in a good area. You can rent it out later. Try it out and see if you can handle being a landlord. A lot of people are successful with this strategy.
      Some good comments in this post – https://retireby40.org/how-to-start-investing-in-rental-property/
      Good luck!

  • Ms. Montana March 6, 2017, 8:22 am

    February was great for us! Our expenses were low clocking in at $1569, plus we just did a lot of cool stuff. =) I added some money mentoring clients, did some consults, had a speaking gig, took on extra freelance work and did a mentoring trip in Vegas. It was a month that made me realize why we left the 9-5, and why we decided not to go back.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:50 pm

      You had a super busy February. That’s more activities than we do in 3 months. 🙂
      I don’t think I can go back to the 9-5 either.

  • [email protected] March 6, 2017, 8:26 am

    Great news that Mrs. RB40 can retire early too if she wanted too. Health care uncertainties are worrying I guess. With two little ones, I’m hoping to get to the point where Mrs. Living Rich Cheaply can stay home with the kiddos. I think we can do it now but we’d like to save a little bit more, plus there are some uncertainties financially that we might have to deal with. Also, NYC is an expensive area so there’s that. I would love to increase blog income…or have blog income to speak of! I need more time to figure that stuff out but time is something that’s incredibly limited when you have little ones!

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:52 pm

      NYC sounds a lot tougher than Portland, that’s for sure. The cost of living is increasing here, but it is still somewhat affordable. I’m just very jealous of bloggers who live in very low cost of living area. They spend $2,000/month and live a very comfortable lifestyle. Crazy!

      • Diva Q March 6, 2017, 2:43 pm

        I also live in NYC. It can be very affordable if you’re willing to do some planning. I’m Chinese-Vietnamese, therefore, I do my grocery shopping in Chinatown. I spend about $400 a month on grocery for my parents, my fiance and I. I bring breakfast (I make oatmeals every morning for both my fiance and I. The Chinese supermarket sells 2 42-oz containers of Quaker Oats for $6.99) and lunch to work everyday. You can find plenty of variety of Chinese vegetables for $.49 to $3.99/lb. The most common veggies that my family eats cost around $.99-$1.59/lb.

        Lunch in Manhattan can cost you between $9-$14 for a salad/sandwich/Chinese takeout, etc. NYC is the best city to find good food for cheap, you can find a roast pork rice for $5 in Chinatown or you can spend $60 or more on dinner at nice restaurants.

        I don’t drink coffee, so most of my days I don’t even spend any cash at all on food or drinks.

        With all that said, housing probably not cheap comparing to Portland. In a decent neighborhood outside of Manhattan, rent for a 1-bedroom is about $1,200-$1600, or $2,200-$2,400 for 2-bedroom.

        • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:05 pm

          That’s great. Thanks for your comment. Your grocery bill is extremely low for 4 adults.
          The Asian grocery stores here aren’t cheap at all. They cost as much or more than regular grocery stores.

          • Elaine March 8, 2017, 2:57 pm

            There are a lot of new immigrants who don’t speak much English would work for minimum or below minimum wage in Chinatown. I think in Portland probably these types of products are considered specialty, while in NYC, there is a bigger Asian/Chinese population, therefore, it’s standard. We can buy Thai product at the Chinese grocery store too, I make Tom Yum soup or Pad Thai at home once in awhile, and my family love the Mama hot and sour shrimp flavor instant noodle.

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes March 6, 2017, 8:59 am

    I’m always amazed at your great blog income Joe! I don’t think my blog has made over $100 in a single month…so your *thousands* are fricken amazing.

    Seriously…fantastic job in Feb!

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:52 pm

      Keep at it! 🙂
      You have to put more effort into making money. I know it can look a bit spammy sometime, but it also works…

  • Michael March 6, 2017, 9:36 am

    Congratulations on launching a new site, Joe! You have a lot of great goals and I think you are doing a phenomenal job working towards them and keeping tabs on progress.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:53 pm

      Thanks! I always enjoy the beginning of the year because there are a lot of time left to accomplish those goals. 🙂

  • [email protected] Turtle March 6, 2017, 10:06 am

    Great job on the blog income! I just started dipping my toes in with affiliates on my site. Haven’t earned a penny yet! But still learning.

    The future of health insurance scares me as well. I can totally see why your wife wouldn’t want to quit her job just yet. I’m hoping that by the time I’m retired, the health insurance situation will have stabilized. The government has about 7-10 years to get it figured out before I retire!

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 12:54 pm

      Good luck with affiliate income! You have to put a lot of links on your site. It’s a bit spammy, but that’s the way to make more money. Keep trying different affiliates and see what works for you.
      Health insurance is crazy. I really hope TrumpCare will work.

  • Duncan's Dividends March 6, 2017, 11:00 am

    Love that $14 interest, hopefully those interest rates with change that. I have part of my emergency fund in a CD that I literally don’t touch as it’s the oh shoot money. I had $5000 in it back in 2006, have a nice $5036.90 now. Definitely would have loved to put it to use, but also need the emergency fund if something happens.

  • Carl @ MoneyMow March 6, 2017, 1:29 pm

    Super cool overview! I like how you have broken your goals down into smaller achievable tasks – I’ll try to implement some of the same. Having just started out blogging and saving, I had a great month with a 65% savings rate, which I was quite proud of 🙂


    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:03 pm

      Thanks! 65% saving is really good. Nice job.

  • capitalcalc March 6, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Looks like you had great February. Best wishes for fitness blog !

  • Diva Q March 6, 2017, 3:01 pm

    Great job Joe. I think when people put in effort, the results will show. I used to track my expenses and projected my future earnings too so I know how much work it takes. With all of the effort and work you put in to track your personal finance and share with us, it shows in your blog income.

    I stopped tracking my expenses after 10 years into working. Two reasons, 1) I know my spending habits, I won’t spend on impulse purchases, I always leave the urge to spend on something until the next day or few days later to think over 2) I started to make 6-figure income so I know even if I only save 50% of my gross income, I’ll still be in good shape as long as I continue to save that % as my income continues to increase

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:08 pm

      Thanks! I didn’t track our cash flow when I was young because of similar reasons. We never spent much and we made good income. I started tracking our cash flow in more detail when early retirement became my goal. It really helped when my income dropped after I quit working full time.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 6, 2017, 6:09 pm

    Another good month, way to go! Y’all have really had a tough winter, though, you should come on down and winter with us 🙂 The worst we’ve gotten is a little bit of hail a couple of times.

    We had an ok month as far as money goes but our next several months are going to be up and down a lot as we figure out everything between housing and travel. Going to do my best to keep growing the side income, though I’m still on the fence about the Bluehost “how to start a blog” post since I don’t know them well.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:09 pm

      Yea.. I don’t think we can live in Portland forever. I need nicer weather in the winter.
      Maybe try SiteGround. I like them better than Bluehost.

  • Go Finance Yourself! March 6, 2017, 7:08 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences with Kickfurther. I’ve invested a bit in P2P lending through Lending Club. Results have been good so far, but I’m hesitant to invest more at this point.

    Congrats on another good month for blog income.

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:10 pm

      Kickfurther is just for fun. I’ve been having good luck so far, but some businesses are behind on the payments. I wouldn’t invest a lot of money here. Businesses have so many problems to deal with. It’s amusing, but not when you’re an investor…

  • Dividend Diplomats March 6, 2017, 9:20 pm

    RB40 –

    AWESOME progress, loving the FI ratio update. You are right, with the dividends, you’ll know a heck of a lot more with March’s amounts rolled in. Looking forward to that post, for sure. Keep the pushups & pullups going, but make sure you are recovering!!


    • retirebyforty March 6, 2017, 10:11 pm

      I don’t think I’m resting enough with the pull ups. The program calls for pull ups everyday. Maybe I should take it easy for a couple of weeks before coming back to it.

  • Stafford March 7, 2017, 5:14 am

    nice post. Goal setting is a very powerful thing. Thanks for sharing yours in such detail. Are you doing an actual pullup program? I’ve been following the free 50 pullups program online for a couple of months with good results so far. Not sure if ill ever get to 50, but im gonna try! Good luck to you with everything this year.

    • retirebyforty March 7, 2017, 10:16 am

      I’m doing the Armstrong program. Thanks for sharing the 50 pull ups program. That looks good, but it won’t work for me because I go the gym on school days. It doesn’t work with the 3 days of 2 days off schedule. Unfortunately, our place can’t accommodate a pull up bar. Someday… Good luck with 50. That’s pretty crazy.

  • Julie @ Millennial Boss March 7, 2017, 7:51 am

    Congrats on your online income! I’m starting to consider banner ads and have been approved for mediavine but don’t know if I want to do it yet!

    • retirebyforty March 7, 2017, 10:21 am

      Your online income is great! I’d go for the banner ads and see which network is best for your site. You’ll probably have to try quite a few to find one that works well for you. Good luck!

  • Jack @ Enwealthen March 7, 2017, 12:25 pm

    That’s great news that Mrs. RB40 has reached the early retirement potential! A scary step, I’m sure, but it’s a nice sense of protection to know that’s one less dependency / risk.

    Toastmasters is a great organization. Anyone who isn’t a professional speaker can stand to improve their public speaking skills, and Toastmasters is a great way to get the practice you need.

    • retirebyforty March 7, 2017, 11:07 pm

      Unfortunately, Mrs. RB40 can only retire a few months out of the year. Some months aren’t as good. 🙂
      I’m looking forward to joining Toastmasters. It should be a lot of fun.

  • Done by Forty March 7, 2017, 3:50 pm

    Looking ripped, Joe! You’ve got me motivated to go to the gym today.

    • retirebyforty March 7, 2017, 11:08 pm

      I’m glad to help. I missed the gym today, though. Our kid was sick and stayed home. 🙁

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai March 7, 2017, 8:06 pm

    Big bucks on the online income! I knew you’d be able to crush your $36,000 goal. Seems like traffic is going well for you as well.

    How much online money do you think you will need to make before the Mrs. is willing to call it quits?

    • retirebyforty March 7, 2017, 11:09 pm

      Online income is so volatile for me. I think we can make $5k/month steadily, then she would be more willing to consider it. Health insurance is a big obstacle, though. She needs good healthcare.

  • Dividend Growth Investor March 8, 2017, 8:47 am

    Congrats on keeping yourself accountable to your goals. It is also nice that you are making fitness goals – I believe that health is wealth. There is no point in accumulating millions of dollars, if you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labors.

    And it is exciting that Mrs RB40 can retire early 😉 I think that based on a 3% withdrawal rate or a 3% dividend yield on your total net worth, both of you can be retired today. (I assume 3% off $2.4M, though I know part of it is in RE and part of it is in your condo)

    • retirebyforty March 9, 2017, 6:10 am

      Thanks! I’ve been able to exercise a lot more this year because RB40Jr is in school now. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Mrs. RB40 is still not ready for ER yet. I think she’ll just have to get there on her own.

  • Mr. Need2Save March 8, 2017, 5:48 pm

    Awesome job on the pullups! I’m in the middle of P90X3 and the pullups are still my weak link. So much respect 🙂

    We appreciate that you provide your numbers, all the way down to the dollar. I’m sure that many of us are envious of your blog income – you must be doing something right.

    • retirebyforty March 9, 2017, 6:12 am

      Thanks! I can’t do those crossfit routine so prop to you as well. 🙂 Good luck with P90x

  • Jason March 8, 2017, 5:49 pm

    Great work on the pull-ups. I was able to increase my pull-ups by doing one set until failure, 3 times a week.

    You’re really inspiring me to do this blog thing. I’m not as concerned with writing content as I am with being able to go through the correct channels to make money.

    • retirebyforty March 9, 2017, 6:13 am

      Good luck with your blog. The best way to make money is to start with a blog and then branch out to freelancing and other online entrepreneurship. There are a ton of ways to make money online. Good luck!

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