July 2021 Goals & Financial Update

Hey, everyone. Did you have a good July? We had a great month. Summer is my favorite season in Portland. The weather is usually very nice and there are lots of activities to do around town. This summer is a bit different than normal. There aren’t many events due to Covid, but life is slowly going back to normal. Some places are open now so that’s nice to see. We went to the farmer market and it was super busy. Most restaurants and bars were packed as well. I even ran into a llama when I was out collecting scooters. Everyone is ready for life to go back to normal.

Usually, we go camping at least once every summer. This year, we decided to take a longer road trip and visited Yellowstone National Park. It was awesome. We had a great time. I’ll write about our trip soon. All in all, July was a very good month for us.

Unfortunately, Covid is flaring up again in the United States. The delta variant is wreaking havoc all over Asia. Many countries’ healthcare systems are strained to the limit. I think most people in the US are underestimating the impact the delta variant will have. 50% of the people here are still unvaccinated. The delta variant is very contagious and it is spreading quickly. I think it’ll get pretty bad again here. Now, we’re back to wearing masks indoors and avoiding crowded places. Sadly, I’m much less optimistic than a month ago.

On the personal finance side, we had a pretty good month. Our net worth increased a bit and hit another new high! However, I got scared and sold some stocks. I moved the money to bonds and commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. The stock market already went up a lot this year. I’m happy with our gains and I’d rather be a bit conservative for the rest of 2021. Our cash flow was also good in July. We spend a moderate amount even with our big camping trip. All in all, things are rolling along nicely. Here are the details.

2021 Goals

This 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. I already accomplished many of my goals and I’m making good progress on the rest. (I made modest goals this year because 2020 was such a crazy year.) Here are the details.

Financial Goals

  • Real Estate Crowdfunding $150,000. Earlier this year, I invested in an apartment renovation project near Seattle. I have high hope 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 in invest in commercial real estate.
  • FI Ratio > 110%. This is my main goal for 2021. The FI ratio is passive income divide by expense. We are doing pretty well this year. We lost a bit of ground last month because we spent a bit more than usual. Our FI ratio has been around 114%. I’m okay with that.
  • 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 before then. Usually, we spend less than $50,000 per year so that’s my target. Currently, we have about $24,500. We are a bit behind on this goal.
  • 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 July, I made $1,900 from charging scooters. Wow! This is a great side gig when the weather is nice. 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. Also, we got $250 from the child tax credit thing.


  • 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 it. I hope you like the new design.
  • 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. Currently, we have 329 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I gave up on this goal. Unfortunately, I ran out of new recipe to make. Oh well, maybe we’ll get back into it later.  

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 families 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 was able to keep it off. Now, I weigh 131 pounds. The summer activities really helped.
  • 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 went to Thailand. 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. I need to contact my doctor for a recommendation.
  • Happiness level > 8. July was a 10. We camping at Yellowstone! It was a great trip. July was a fun month with minimal stress for us.  

Net Worth (+10.9% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see our progress. Our net worth is up about 11% since the beginning of 2021. That’s really good. My annual net worth target is +10% per year. I just hope we can hold the line until the end of the year. I got scared of the delta variant and became a bit more conservative in July. I sold some stocks and move some money to bonds and real estate.

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 ($21,891 YTD)

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

July was a nice passive income month.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: I received $902 from our investments. Nice month!
  • Rental income: It was also a good month at the rentals. We collected $610 in rental income.   
  • Dividend: We received $648 from our dividend portfolio. That’s not too bad.

At the end of July, our FI ratio was 114%. That’s good, but it’s mostly due to low spending. Our passive income is still a little low. I need to improve it so we won’t have to rely on my side income.   

*FI ratio = passive income/expense

July 2021 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was good in July. We didn’t spend much and saved 53% of our income. I paid estimated tax so that was an extra expense.

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

Gross Income: $15,987

Our gross income was solid last month. Any month with $15,000+ income is a very good month.

  • Mrs. RB40’s job: $8,632.
  • Blog income: $3,037. We had a good month at RB40.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $903. A nice month for RE crowdfunding. You can read more at the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Rental income: $610. Best month so far at the rental. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $648. It was also a nice month for dividend income. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Interest Income: $7.
  • Side hustle & Misc: $2,150. We went on vacation for a week in July so I didn’t charge as many scooters. It was still good and I made $1,900. We also got $250 from the child tax credit.   

Monthly Spending: $3,605

This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. Our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. July was a good month even with our vacation. We did pretty well.

  • Housing: $1,202. 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 parent. 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 minimal.
  • Groceries: $372. Usually, we spend less than $500/month on groceries.  

Here are some of the dinners I made.

4th of July Ribs!

Cheeseboard – We got some nice cheese from the farmer’s market.

Eggplant stir-fried with Thai chili jam.

Tandori chicken with Trader Joe’s naan.

  • Bills: $23. (This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.)
  • Transportation: $87. This was for gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and maintenance.
  • Entertainment: $138. We ordered out quite a bit in July. The weather is nice and we wanted to enjoy life.   
  • Kid: $0.
  • Pet: $0.
  • Travel: $1,199. We went camping at Yellowstone. It was an awesome trip. I’ll write about it soon. We stayed in a hotel for 2 nights and camped for 5 nights.  
  • Health: $0. Doctor appointment and prescriptions.
  • Clothing: $84. I purchased some shorts and t-shirts for myself.
  • Misc: $0.


I don’t count these as personal spending.

  • Taxes and deductions: $3,880. 

2021 Savings ($64,007 YTD)

Alright! 2021 is going very well for us.

  • Joe’s 401k: $17,750.   
  • Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $11,250. She contributes $750 every paycheck.
  • Roth IRAs: $7,000
  • 529 College Savings: $2,000.
  • Extra savings: $26,007

YTD 2021 saving rate = 60%

July 2021 wrap up

July was a good month for us. Our net worth didn’t increase much, but it still hit a new high. Our cash flow was also pretty good, surprisingly. We went on a vacation and our monthly spending was still under budget. Life felt almost normal in July. However, we are being conservative and masking up indoors again. Hopefully, we can get through this latest Covid surge without too much problem. It’s pretty bad in Thailand and other Asian countries. I’m worried about my parents and relatives.

How was July 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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21 thoughts on “July 2021 Goals & Financial Update”

  1. A 10 on the happiness level is huge! It’s like you reached enlightenment. What is your secret?

    I took a long needed vacation to Sonoma with the family for 5 days last week. It was AWESOME. Really nice to be able to drive 1.5 hours away and not have to fly.

    If Delta locks us up again, we are good to go for another 6 months. Needed to really do things differently.


    • Life was so great in July. We went on a nice vacation, the weather was great, I played sport with my son almost every day. I had a lot of fun. Also, I was optimistic about Covid. Everyone was out having fun and spending money.
      However, I’m a lot more pessimistic now. The delta variant is no joke. Hopefully, more people will get vaccinated so we don’t need any more lockdown.

      • I don’t think delta cares about your vax status. Israel has 85% of adults vaxxed and 92% of 60+ vaxed and their cases on rolling 7 days are 2x ours per capita currently and still surging, and their death rate per capita on a rolling 7 days is about to surge past ours as well (and is already back to their winter peak before the vaccines). Coronavirus’ in general have a long, long history of mutating around vaccinations unfortunatley.

  2. Another great month, Joe! I loved seeing all the pics on Instagram from Yellowstone. It looked like a lot of fun but was eye-opening to see the number of people there at Old Faithful… not so great.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • Yellowstone was magnificent. We loved it.
      It was super busy, though. At that point, we weren’t too worried about delta. I guess that was good because we were able to enjoy our vacation.

    • We let our guard down when we went to Yellowstone. Almost nobody wore a mask. It was super busy too.
      Fortunately, it seems we’re okay. Our son wore his mask. He’s very paranoid.

      • Your kid is safe – your kid is more likely to die in a car wreck. Since 1/1/20, according to the CDC (link below) there have been 450 kids under 18 that have died from CV19 (nearly all of which were very immuned compromised). In that same time period, there were approximately 5,500 vehicle deaths for that same age group (vehicle data from Statista.com). In fact, he’s as likely to drown and more likely to die from flu/pnuemonia (1,398 deaths in that same time period – data at CDC link below).


        I’m still amazed at how little the media talks about risk rates by age which vary dramatically. >75 accounts for 6.9% of the population but 57% of covid deaths. Under 40 accounts for 1.7% of covid deaths but 52% of the population. Someone over the age of 85 is 5,000 more likely to die from covid than a kid so far over the last 20 months per capita. The media sells fear really well, and it pays them well with eye-balls, but in reality if you are < 50, in good shape, and vaxed (or even not vaxed under 20), you have virtually nothing to worry about.

  3. I managed to ignore my fears about the delta variant while we took at short driving trip last week. Now I’m pondering cancelling Hawaii in late-September. An added concern is the issue with rental cars. I booked a convertible months ago at a good price. But…if we get there and there are no cars, there’s no cars. The airport is a long way from our hotel and taking public transportation with delta running wild doesn’t appeal.

    I keeping getting reminded of the old Seinfeld line about rental car companies, “You can take a reservation, but you can’t keep the reservation. And keeping is the most important part.”

    • At first, I wasn’t too worried because the U.S. has plenty of vaccines. However, so many people still don’t want to take the shots. Also, Covid is getting really bad in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and other countries. They’re getting locked down and more restrictions again. In Thailand, many people still can’t get the vaccine. I think it’ll get bad here again.

  4. Congrats on the great month Joe, and you seem to be back to your usual scooter charging tricks too!

    Our family spending is usually higher in the summer too… we usually go on vacation and do more stuff than in the winter. That bumps things up a little. It’s nothing to worry about.

    I haven’t added up our July numbers yet, but I’m sure they’ll be above our average!

  5. Great for you that you experienced a happiness level of 10 in July. I couldn’t make that claim although I can’t say I was unhappy. I always remember these words from this late comedian:

    “What good is happiness? You can’t buy money with it!”
    – Henny Youngman

    Regarding savings and net worth: This year is the first year in over 25 years that I have not been saving money from the income I earn from my books. I have been happily spending all of it. Nevertheless, my net worth has gone up around 10 percent since the beginning of the year because of how well my financial advisor has done with my retirement portfolio.

    I must admit that at 72 years old, I am like a lot of people my age who do not like to see their net worth go down even though they have enough money to carry them comfortably through the rest of their lives.

    • I think it’s great that you’re spending and enjoying life. Next year, we’ll do the same.
      My wife will take a year off and we’ll travel. We’ll probably spend all our income and more.

  6. I love the random llama being involved! Awesome that you were able to pull off a 10 happiness and the other numbers are all good too.

    I started to become worried about delta about 10-14 days ago. The northeast is still doing well by comparison, but we have numbers creeping up as well. I also started to sell some stocks and buy more bonds. I don’t want to lose the big gains of the last few years.


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