Are you having a good summer? August is the height of the summer season and there are a ton of fun things to do which can seem overwhelming sometimes. It seems like there are 2-3 fun free events every day this week. We’ll try to catch a concert and maybe an outdoor movie. We have to enjoy it because September is coming up soon and everyone will hunker down when it starts raining. There are fun free events, but there are many ways to spend money, too. In July, we spent more money than usual and we had our first negative cash flow month of the year. That’s not good, but it’s only one month. I’m confident we’ll be back to normal in August. On the other hand, our net worth reached a new high again. The stock market seems to have recovered from Brexit and the S&P 500 index ended the month with a new all-time high. It’s nice to see our net worth reach a new high, but it’s a bit scary, too. The economic indicators aren’t that great so I don’t know how the stock market keeps going up. I guess we’ll see how it goes the rest of this year.
Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 goals and then check our cash flow for July.
Non Financial Goals
Improve Fitness (July result = Pass)
I got a Garmin Vivofit 2 for Christmas and I’m using it to track my activity level. July was my best month so far in 2016. The weather is beautiful and we are spending more time outdoors thanks to Pokemon Go. We also went camping and spent some time hiking. I love summer in the Pacific NW! I had 230,756 steps in July. That’s 7,443 steps per day which exceeded my 6,000 steps per day goal. It’s much easier when the weather is nice.
Control my triglyceride level (WIP)
I’m trying to eat better to control my hypertriglyceridemia. My doctor increased the dosage of my medication and I’m going in for a blood test in August. I’m pretty sure the number will be better, but I don’t want to be over reliant on medicine. It would be much better to eat healthier. I need to eat more fish and vegetables and reduce carbs. It’s not easy to change eating habit.
Try 6 great restaurants (66%)
Alright, we found another great place in July. We went to Bistro Margot to celebrate our 17th anniversary and the food was great. I walked by many times, but never noticed the restaurant. Mrs. RB40 wanted to try some place new so she suggested this French American restaurant. We had a great dining experience and I hope they stick around for a while. Restaurants don’t seem to last very long in Portland.
Take an extended trip to Thailand ($3,697)
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. The current balance is at $3,697, an increase of $510 in July. This is a great way to save for a trip.
I’m also trying to accumulate points to help with the flight tickets. I have 70,000 points at Chase, 30,000 points at American Airline, and 30,000 points at Alaska Airline. I don’t know how to convert all these point to tickets, though. Do you know anyone who can help with this?
Attend a conference – (WIP)
I got a ticket to FinCon 2016 in San Diego! I booked the hotel room and flight. We’re all set to go. Mrs. RB40 and Jr will take the opportunity to visit her parents while I’m in SD.
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 very cold at night and very hot during the day. That was a bit strange to me. Also, there were a lot of mosquitoes at the campsite, but we had a lot of fun anyway. It was very nice to get out of town for a few days.
Start a non-finance website – (WIP)
I will start this project after kindergarten begins in the fall. This will probably kick off very slowly because I have all sorts of stuff to catch up on.
Financial Goals (58% of the year is gone..)
Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (56%) $27,930
In July, we saved $3,632 in our tax advantaged accounts. That increased our total to $27,930 so far in 2016. We are right on schedule for 2016. I’m contributing $1,500 per month to my i401k, but I’ll hold off on our Roth IRA and the employer contribution portion of my i401k. I still think we could see a big drop in 2016, so I’m waiting for a good deal.
Increase Dividends to $11,500 (56%)
We received $738 in dividends last month. That’s $6,468 so far in 2016. We’re right on schedule with this one. In July, I sold off some of Intel and KMI. I had lunch with my old coworkers and they aren’t very optimistic about the company. I’m holding the cash for now so this could lower our dividend income for 2016.
Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (Done!)
Yes, RB40Jr’s account is worth $50,061! I wasn’t sure if we’d accomplish this goal in 2016 because the stock market has been quite volatile. I’m calling this one done even if the value decreases below $50,000 later. 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 +8.3%)
The 10-year US government bond yields about 2%. So my target net worth increase for 2016 is 6%. The stock market did very well in July and gave our net worth a boost. Our net worth increased 8.3% for the year. That’s really good and I hope we can keep it above 6% for 2016. The 8.3% gain includes additional savings, but new savings aren’t a huge part of the gain. Our 2016 savings account for about 1% of the 8.3% gain.
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Take Home Income (target > $5,000)
Our income was a little lower than usual in July. In particular, my online income was below average. We still contributed to our 401k, though. Consequently, our take home income was lower than the targeted $5,000. Let’s look at the detail.
Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $5,264. This is normal.
Rental income: $643. We had another good month with our rentals because we didn’t have any maintenance issue.
Online income: $794. Our online income in July was below average. Summer is usually slower because a lot of people are on vacation. We also had some lumpy expenses in July. I signed up for 3 years of hosting at SiteGround and got a new phone from Republic Wireless (they just released a bunch of new phones.) 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 a bit lower than expected as well. I sold off some INTC and KMI. I’m sitting on the money until I can find a good stock to buy. This might lower our dividend income a little bit in 2016. You can see my dividend portfolio if you want to see my investment.
P2P lending: $78. Our P2P lending investment is doing better now that NSR Invest took over. Our ROI is currently 8.26%, 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: $38. I sold Jr’s old Duplo set and Mrs. RB40 deposited some coins.
Expense (target < $4,500)
Unfortunately, our expense was higher than usual as well in July. It’s not a good month when your expense is high and income is low. There were many expenses which drove the total higher than usual. Here are some significant ones.
- $200 Cavalia came to town – This is like Circus du Soleil with horses. Mrs. RB40 has wanted to see this show for a while now. I urged her to take Jr, which was a mistake because he didn’t appreciate the show. Next time, Jr will stay home with me.
- $1,040 Dad – We sent $5,000 to my dad in Thailand. My brothers contributed more because they are holding down well paying jobs.
- $354 Crater Lake trip – This was well worth it. This includes camp site, food, new sleeping bags, entrance fee, and gasoline. It was great to get out of town for a few days.
- $175 DEQ – Our biannual check up with DEQ.
- $134 small appliances – I got a new toaster oven and a new rice cooker. Our 15 year old toaster over broke down and our rice cooker’s nonstick layer was peeling. We got a rice cooker with a stainless steel inner pot so it should last a long time.
- $92 Goodwill shopping spree – I got a new-to-us stainless steel pan and Mrs. RB40 got some clothes to prepare for winter.
Whew, that was a lot of spending. It was fun to splurge a bit, but we’ll try our best bring it back down under $4,500 in August. Here are more details.
Housing: $2,256. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.
Cash Allowance: $0.
Groceries: $391. Our grocery bill was good in July. We spent a few days out of town so I think that was the difference.
Child/Dependent: $243. Summer camp, a new backpack, and a little box of Legos.
Healthcare/Medical: $281. Dentist and doctor visits.
Bills: $222. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, my term life, and umbrella.)
Entertainment: $287. Gym membership fee, Cavalia show, and eating out.
Misc: $1,620. I sent money to my dad, went camping, picked up some new small appliances, and Mrs. RB40 got some clothes.
Transportation: $218. A big part of this is the DEQ bill, $175.
Extra Saving: $11,062 so far in 2016
We had a negative month in July to the tune of -$1,447. This is the first month in 2016 that we spent more than we took home. This reduced our total saving a little bit, but I’m pretty sure we will recover in August. The money here will go into our Roth IRAs and my i401k later this year.
Okay, we didn’t do so well in July. Our income was lower than usual and our expense was higher than expected. I’m not too worried because our net worth reached another all time high and I’m sure we’ll get back on track in August. The next three months should be good on the cash flow side. We have our Thailand trip in November so that might set us back a bit. Anyway, things are going relatively well here at the RB40 household. I hope you’re doing well financially too.
Did you have a good month in July?
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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