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February 2012 Cash Flow

February 2012 cash flow

February was a very good month!

We had a great February and our cash flow worked out very nicely. 

We are planning to save 100% of my paycheck in 2012 and will only live on Mrs. RB40’s paycheck and our side income. This month we had a surplus of  $1,892! This was much better than the $399 we had in January.

Income February         January
Mrs. RB40’s paycheck 2694 3069
rental income 824 1042
side income 1495 707
dividend, interest 204 47
misc 399 330
Total income 5616 5195
Housing -2332 -2299
cash allowance -816 -975
transportation -81 -55
pet -67 -21
baby* -86 -63
bills -352 -273
medical 10 -403
entertainment 0 -10
misc 0 -697
Total expense -3,724 -4796
Saving 1,892 399

Total saving in 2012: $2291

*There is a bit of fuzzy accounting here because I don’t count the cost of baby daycare. We pay $1,035 a month, 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.

** I don’t count my paycheck here because we are trying to live on one paycheck. We are preparing for the day that I Go It Alone.

Income (Target > $5,000)

Mrs. RB40 is paid biweekly and the amount shown here is the take home pay, after her 401(k) contribution. Last month was a bit bigger than usual due to a little reward bonus.

Rental Income – I’m showing all income minus expense. The property taxes are also baked in now.

Another good month on the rental front. We’ll need a few more good months because the 4-plex will get an exterior paint job this summer.

Side Income

Retire By 40 had $1495 net income this month. I’m very happy with this and just need to continue to work hard on this site.

Dividend, Interest, and P2P lending

Dividend portfolio – $156. Not too shabby, but it’s still way short of the targeted $500/month.

Interest – $34. My $50,000 is still with ING. I’ve been too busy to do much with it. I’ll probably put some in I bonds.

P2P – $14. One of my loans went into default. There goes $25. I think this -$25 will show up in a month or two at Prosper. I’m thinking about slowly increasing my investment here to around $5,000. That will give me the proper diversification. I have about $2,000 invested at this time.


I made $220 by selling a couple of things on Craigslist. It was a nice boost to income, but non regular.

Chase gave me a $150 bonus for opening an online checking account. I’ll keep my eyes open for more of these kinds of deals.

Serve, a competition to PayPal from Amex, gave me $10 for signing up. They sent me a card and it actually worked. I used it to pay the parking meter today. 🙂

Also got a $19 Costco/Amex refund. It was a pretty good month for miscellaneous income.

Expenses (Target < $4,000)

Housing – The housing expense is very high, but it’s stable at this point. Living in this location allows us to cut expenses in transportation and bills. The property tax and HOA dues are baked in.

Food and Cash Allowance – I think about 90% of the cash allowance goes toward food and groceries. Mrs. RB40 also received her 10% editor pay in cash.

Transportation – This is for gasoline and public transportation. We kept it under $100; that’s going to difficult this summer when the gas price goes up.

Baby – Diapers and formula. He’s transitioning to whole milk with no problems, so we won’t be buying any more formula. Yay!

Bills – I purchased some minutes for my Tracfone and the rest of the bills are holding steady. This category should go back down under $300 next month.

Medical – $10 deductible for my annual physical exam. I got a referral to physical therapy for my shoulders. They are a mess from sitting in front of the computer all day every day. PT is really helping, but if I continue to work in this job, the problem will come back very soon.

Entertainment – Didn’t do much in February. We skipped Valentines this year.

Misc –

February Cash Flow

February turned out great for our finances. If we can keep adding to our savings at this rate, then I won’t have much qualms about quitting my day job. We didn’t have many unexpected expenses this month and that made a big difference.

How about you? Did you have a good February? Valentines Day is getting to be an expensive holiday, but we celebrated baby RB40’s birthday instead, so it wasn’t too expensive. 

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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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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{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Money Infant March 2, 2012, 2:36 am

    I love the graphs! I’m a very visual person and it makes it so easy to see the income compared with reading about it and trying to build a picture in your mind.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 9:56 pm

      Thanks. I just added those graphs recently. I’m a visual person too.

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc March 2, 2012, 4:48 am

    February does seem to be a very good month. I love these breakdowns, as always. $1500 in RB40 earnings is simply awesome. Congrats! You deserve props for sure.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 9:57 pm

      Thanks Roshawn! I’m very happy with RB40’s earning. The time investment is starting to pay off.

  • Everyday Tips March 2, 2012, 5:12 am

    I am always envious of these posts. I chuckled over the baby cost being under 100 dollars. I just shelled out 300 dollars this morning to two of my ‘babies’ (ages 14 and 17) for class trips. Thank goodness my daughter isn’t going anywhere this spring. (These are not spring break trips, but participating in Model United Nation competitions.)

    You are doing so good RB40. How much do you think keeping such careful track of expenses helps curb your spending and increases your saving? I bet a lot…

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 9:59 pm

      Mrs. RB40 just told me she went to the Model UN competition when she was in school. I never heard of it until now. 🙂
      Keeping careful track on the blog really help curb the spending. I don’t want to have to tell everyone that I purchased a bigger TV or something like that.

  • Michelle March 2, 2012, 6:21 am

    That’s great that February went good for you!

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:04 pm

      Thanks! Now we just need to keep it up for March.

  • Lisa @ Cents To Save March 2, 2012, 7:00 am

    Great job on the February finances! Does Mint provide the graphs that you are using on your post? Just curious. Do you use cash only or do you use a credit card with rewards and pay it off every month?

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:06 pm

      No, I used Excel for these graphs. Mint has a pie chart and a line graph.
      We use cash for everyday items and groceries and the credit card for online, insurance deductioin, and those type of transactions.

  • Hunter - Financially Consumed March 2, 2012, 7:18 am

    Strong month Joe. I hope March produces even more growth for you.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:07 pm

      Thanks Hunter. We’ll try to keep it going for a few months. Summer will be a bit more difficult.

  • Well Heeled Blog March 2, 2012, 9:23 am

    I had a very bad February in terms of spending, I blame it on all those school tuition deposits (MBA programs require you to send in $1K or more to hold your acceptance spot at the school, which you need to do before you hear from your other schools).

    And wow, Mrs. RB40 is doing GREAT.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:08 pm

      That’s crazy. Can you get the $1k back if you don’t go to that school?
      Your earning potential will go way up after the MBA, right?

  • frugalportland March 2, 2012, 9:56 am

    nice work! and good for you to keep track like this — now you can look back and pat yourselves on the back!

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:09 pm

      It’s nice to have some surplus. January was a bit iffy, but February was quite good.

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog March 2, 2012, 10:13 am

    that is awesome that you have a good month! Mine was pretty good as well, but it’s nice that you have data for a few years. I had a pretty good feb as well.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:09 pm

      I have data for only about a year. 🙂

  • WorkSaveLive March 2, 2012, 10:33 am

    Great month on all accounts! It’s fun to make progress and be rewarded for sacrifice and hard work!

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:10 pm


  • Invest It Wisely March 2, 2012, 12:06 pm

    This is after-tax cashflow? Very nice… you’re on a great track!

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Actually, I need to add another expense row – tax. I didn’t withhold tax for the online and rental income yet. That’s going to take a big chunk out. I’ll do tax first to see what it looks like.

  • Aloysa March 2, 2012, 12:36 pm

    You indeed rocked in February. 🙂 Congrats! You guys are savers. We are spenders. I got some side income and off we went on a small trip. 🙂 So much for saving!

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:12 pm

      We? I thought Beaker was a saver too. 🙂
      Have a great trip! We’ll take a trip in June.

  • BE @ BusyExecutiveMoneyBlog March 2, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Very nice job. Particularly impressive is you rental income . I wasn’t so sure you’d have that plex cashflowing so soon.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:13 pm

      Thanks. I’m saving up the surplus for more repair and improvement works this summer.

  • [email protected] March 2, 2012, 6:28 pm

    Great work, especially for a short month! I think you are well on your way to going it on your own, though I appreciate your cautious approach.

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:14 pm

      Thanks! I know I’m take it slow, but stay tuned, you might have a surprise. 🙂

  • World of Finance March 2, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Congrats on a great month!! 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 2, 2012, 10:14 pm

      Thanks! It’s always nice to have a little surplus.

  • Julie @ Freedom 48 March 3, 2012, 12:12 pm

    Great breakdown. I love the style of graphs too!
    We’re pretty much doing the same thing – we’re living off of my husband’s income and saving my income and our rental income. Such a great way to make quick progress with saving =)

  • funancials March 4, 2012, 4:47 am

    Im liking the 1495 figure. That’s a great month. Best of all, I think its definitely sustainable for you. Not a fluke..

    • retirebyforty March 4, 2012, 10:33 pm

      Thanks! I think $1k/month is pretty sustainable and that’s what I’m shooting for.

  • cashflowmantra March 4, 2012, 5:11 am

    Awesome month and nice positive cash flow. Sorry to hear about the Prosper default. Don’t worry, I won’t be letting that happen to me. My mom is loaning me some as well so the immediate issue will be cared for, then it is a matter of getting it all paid back.

    • retirebyforty March 4, 2012, 10:34 pm

      I think I’ll have to add more investment into Prosper. That way it will be more diversified and a default wouldn’t hurt as much.
      Right now, a default wipes out 2 months of interest. Nice to hear things are getting settled for you too.

  • Early FI March 4, 2012, 3:11 pm

    “We skipped Valentines this year.”

    Mrs. RB40 is very understanding. Although I wish we could cut this hallmark holiday expense completely, we have learned to compromise by picking another day during February to celebrate as “Valentines Day”. It helps save on costs and we get to skip the crowds – oh yeah, it also keeps Mrs. Early FI happy. That’s always a plus.

    • retirebyforty March 4, 2012, 10:37 pm

      We were way too busy with everything this year. If we had more time, we probably would have gone out for a nice dinner or something. 😉

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving March 5, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Congrats on February going awesome. Good lucking doing the same in March, Joe. 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 5, 2012, 9:03 pm

      Thanks! You too! 😉

  • Sandy - yesiamcheap March 6, 2012, 9:30 am

    You’re doing well! I’m waiting for updates on the multi-unit apartment though. Maybe I’m selfish. 😉

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2012, 3:25 pm

      I’ll probably give an update after I finish tax. That way I can see the whole picture. It will be a loss in 2011, but 2012 should be positive.

  • YFS March 6, 2012, 2:00 pm

    I’m loving that rental income column Joe! Great job on getting a passive income source and working it. Are you going to buy another property soon?

    • retirebyforty March 6, 2012, 3:26 pm

      No, I think we are done with rental properties for now. I want to diversify a bit more.

  • YFS March 14, 2012, 11:41 am

    Joe, did you think it would be a good idea to bank your salary and pay off your primary residence before quitting. With the reduction in expenses life would be much much easier.

  • Sam March 20, 2012, 9:13 am

    When ya gonna reveal how much income YOU are saving Joe! That’s the missing piece of the puzzle, whoo hoo!

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