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March 2012 Cash Flow


March 2012 cash flow

March was good overall. Our income is down from February, but our expenses were lower than usual, so our cash flow still worked out. 

We are planning to save 100% of my paycheck in 2012 and will only live on Mrs. RB40’s paycheck and our side income.

Income March February
Mrs. RB40’s paycheck 2,693 2,694
rental income 559 824
side income 185 1495
dividend, interest 588 190
p2p 20 14
misc 74 399
Total income 4,120 5,616
Housing -877 -2332
cash allowance -697 -816
transportation -73 -81
pet 0 -67
baby* -177 -86
bills -282 -352
medical 35 10
entertainment 0 0
misc -25 0
Total expense -2,096 -3,724
Saving  2,025 1,892
2012 surplus +4,316


*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)

Our total income in March of $4,120  is quite a bit lower than our target of $5k/month. This is not ideal, but our expenses were low this month as well, so we did have some savings left.

Mrs. RB40 is paid biweekly and the amount shown here is the take home pay, after her 401(k) contribution. No surprises here this month.

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

The rental income is not that great this month, but at least we are still in the green. We need to save up for a exterior paint job for the 4-plex this summer.

Side Income

Retire By 40 is transitioning to PPC (pay per click) and affiliate marketing advertising so our income decreased quite a bit from last month. Eventually this should stabilize. My target is to eventually hit $500/month consistently.

Dividend & Interest

Dividend portfolio – $524. We finally hit our target of $500/month. Yay! This won’t be consistent because the payout dates are all over the map.

Interest – $44. My $50,000 is still with ING. I’ve been too busy to do much with it. We want to keep some liquidity to deal with any unexpected changes.

P2P Lending

P2P – $20. I’m putting P2P lending into it’s own category because I’m planning to ramp this up in the next few month. My target is $100/month from 10.69% Returns With Prosper.


I got $50 bonus for opening an ING checking account. These little bonuses are nice and I need to keep them coming in. 🙂

$5 rebate from Walgreen. I got a humidifier for baby RB40 and filed the rebate through Walgreen’s website. It worked out quite well.

A mystery $19 check deposited. I forgot who sent this one. Probably another rebate or something like that…

Expenses (Target < $4,000)

Housing – The housing expense is lower than usual because we refinanced and didn’t have to write a mortgage check in March. It will go back up in April.

Food and Cash Allowance – About 90% of the cash allowance goes toward food and groceries. Mrs. RB40 also received her 10% editor pay in cash. I think we did pretty good in March.

Transportation – This is for gasoline and public transportation. I was on leave for most of March so I didn’t have to drive to work and this kept the cost down a bit. I’m happy as long as this category is under $100.

Baby – We got a new stroller for baby RB40. It’s a bit expensive, but we are using it quite often so I think it’s worth it. (Mrs. RB40 says it is definitely worth it – it is saving our backs).

Bills – No surprises here. Electricity = $74. Internet = $52. Insurance = $156.

Medical – Got $35 back from FSA.

Entertainment – Didn’t do much in March. We went out to eat a few times, but paid with cash. They are lumped under cash allowance above.

Misc – I got a set of clippers from Costco and Mrs. RB40 gave me a haircut (she did a terrible job and I had to finish this myself) and I gave baby RB40 one as well. I don’t want to pay for a haircut anymore.

March Cash Flow

As I said before, our income is a bit lower than I’d like, but our expense category was very low as well. I’m very happy that we were able to add over $2,000 to our net worth even with less income.

How about you? Did you have a good March.

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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{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc April 9, 2012, 7:07 am

    Congrats on having a great month, even with less income! That’s quite an accomplishment and a testament to your frugality! You’re getting there!

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 11:01 am

      Thanks Roshawn. I think I’m getting the hang of frugality. I didn’t have the itch to spend money at all last month. The Mrs. on the other hand… 🙂

  • Brent Pittman April 9, 2012, 9:48 am

    Wow! I’m impressed. First time seeing your monthly incomes. Dividend income is impressive and 50K in bank is boss! My wife has cut my hair for the last 5 years and it’s saved us hundreds of dollars and bonus quality time!

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 11:04 am

      We had a bit of a blow out with the last haircut. Next time will be better. 🙂

  • Financial Samurai April 9, 2012, 9:57 am

    $500/month in dividend income, if maintainable is huge! That’s $6,000 a year, and at a 3% dividend yield, that’s a nice $200,000 portfolio.

    I’ve put together my passive income stuff as well, but I’m hesitant to publish.

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 11:06 am

      I think you should publish it along with your goal of leaving your day job. It will show people that you can have a very comfortable lifestyle with your investments. Looking forward to reading about your post. 😉

  • Marianne April 9, 2012, 11:15 am

    Why is it that when men decide they don’t want to pay for haircuts anymore the women pay for it?! A terrible job eh? Let her see that and maybe she’ll ‘accidentally’ forget to attach the clip-on part next time and you’ll end up with a bald spot or two… 🙂 I may or may not HATE cutting my husband’s hair. lol http://preservingpennies.com/slashing-expenses-cutting-your-own-hair/

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 2:43 pm

      Mrs. RB40 wrote that whole terrible job thing in the (). She just needs a bit more practice. 🙂

  • Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple April 9, 2012, 11:32 am

    Looks like a pretty good month to me! The Mrs and I also had a good month as the last of her paychecks came in which we weren’t counting on. All of that cash went towards the real estate business.

    I haven’t paid for a hair cut in months. Just do it often enough so that the Mrs. doesn’t end up complaining that it’s too long 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 2:44 pm

      That’s great news. I usually get a haircut every 3 months, but the cheap haircuts are always crap and I don’t want to pay $21 for a good haircut.

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog April 9, 2012, 12:03 pm

    still looking good joe! Looks like mrs rb40 got a whopping raise this month!

  • My Own Advisor April 9, 2012, 1:36 pm

    $500/month in dividend income is awesome.

    I’m trying hard to catch up to you!


    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 2:45 pm

      Thanks! $1,000/month would be even nicer. 🙂

  • Leigh April 9, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Almost $600 for the month in dividend and interest income is pretty good! Looks like you guys are doing quite well on just Mrs. RB40’s paycheck! 🙂

    *You* don’t want to pay for a haircut anymore? Women’s hair cuts are way too expensive 🙁 I just want it to look exactly the same, no color or anything, and I can’t seem to find much cheaper than $60 :/ At least for women, we can get a haircut 1-3 times per year and it’s fine.

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:09 pm

      Thanks! $60 just for a hair cut? That’s ridiculous. 🙂

      • Leigh April 9, 2012, 11:34 pm

        I call it the being a woman tax! 😀 Oh well.

        • retirebyforty April 10, 2012, 9:48 am

          Hahaha, yeap!

  • krantcents April 9, 2012, 6:04 pm

    Good job! I draw the line at home haircuts.

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:10 pm

      It’s not so bad. I guess I’m used to it because my mom cut the kids’ hair when we were growing up.

  • YFS April 9, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Great job JOE! You know I’m loving that rental income! I still think you should add another property but that’s just the pro-landlord in me. Holy Smokes on the day-care bill.. I recently looked up the cost in my area and they freaking $280 a week!

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:11 pm

      I would like to add another property, but the price is too high in my area. 🙁
      Yeah, the day-care bill is very high. That’s why I need to quit my job and become a SAHD.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time April 9, 2012, 8:10 pm

    PPC ads would take time to replace Pvt ad sales. Still best of luck. My experiment with 900 page views a day failed badly. It also slowed down site resulting in lesser SE traffic. I didn’t experimented with CDN though.

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:12 pm

      What was the problem with 900 page views/day? Did they all came at once or spread throughout the day? Seems ok on this site.

  • Aloysa @My Broken Coin April 9, 2012, 8:33 pm

    It does look like you had a good month. I am starting to get really interested in P2P lending. It is something that I would like to do. All I need is time! 🙂 Oh well and money! 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:16 pm

      I think you probably need at least $1,000 to start with P2P. You can lend $25 to each loan and have 40 loans to start with. Since there is such a high delinquency rate, it’s safer to have more loans. I think 100+ at least.

  • Bryan April 9, 2012, 8:33 pm

    I am very happy for you and the family. I wish that I would have gotten serious about getting out of debt years ago and handling my income wisely. I guess it is better late then never, but starting at 50 is rough. I have even been cutting my hair for a couple years now. Thanks for sharing.

    • retirebyforty April 9, 2012, 10:17 pm

      Thank you! It’s better late than never. You still have quite a few peak earning years left so good luck to you too!

  • Ray April 10, 2012, 7:17 am

    I know you wanted to look at increasing your P2P loan portfolio. I think you should start moving some of that $50k in ING which is making your pennies on the dollar and start investing some of it into P2P loans. Even if you needed to liquidate those loans you could easily sell them through Folio and your projected return would outpace the $50k in savings by a mile.

    • retirebyforty April 10, 2012, 9:51 am

      I’m transferring $1-2,000 over to Prosper.com every month. I think that’s a pretty good rate. I don’t want to move say $10k there at once because I will have a difficult time finding the loans. We still want to keep $50k in saving at this time because the Mrs. likes liquidity. We might need the liquidity when I leave my day job.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter April 10, 2012, 7:37 am

    You are quite the inspiration Joe. Every time I read these reports I smile at how successful you have been with your plan. Thanks for sharing your progress with us. It is very encouraging.

    • retirebyforty April 10, 2012, 9:52 am

      Thanks Miss T! I’m glad my post can inspire you and other readers. 😉

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving April 10, 2012, 8:42 am

    I’m happy to hear you guys were able to make it work last month, even with decreased income. March didn’t go that great for us, but I hope to make up for it this month. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 10, 2012, 9:53 am

      Me too. We were a bit lucky with the expense, but I think the cash flow will be more stable after April.

  • Squirrelers April 10, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Another great month for you! Even when the housing costs go up again for you, things will look good if your other expenses stay comparable. You guys seem to be doing things well!

  • Aaron April 11, 2012, 11:36 pm

    Hi Joe

    May I know how much investment you have put in to reach the 500 dividend payout? Also, is there any post where you have detailed which dividend stock you have invested in?


  • Broke Professionals April 12, 2012, 5:30 pm

    I’m curious what kind of stroller you got for baby RB40? I’m in the market for a new one, as our old jogger just isn’t cutting it anymore…

    • retirebyforty April 13, 2012, 9:45 am

      We got the 2011 City mini on sale for $150. It’s not a jogging stroller, but we are not really joggers. 🙂
      Brisk walks are good for us.

      • Broke Professionals April 13, 2012, 11:57 am

        Haha, just because I own a jogger doesn’t mean I actually jog behind it! I’m much more of a moderately-paced walker 🙂

        • retirebyforty April 13, 2012, 3:22 pm

          Then I recommend this one if you find one on sale. It is the city mini made by “baby jogger.”
          It is not a jogging stroller even though it was made by “baby jobber”; yeap a bit confusing.
          It folds down really small and baby RB40 likes it a lot more than the previous big Greco stroller.

  • Amsoil Discount May 28, 2012, 4:06 pm

    I love the breakdown of all of the details of the REAL numbers of the income vs. expense. I always wish that people would post this stuff so we could see what people are really making and spending. After reading a lot of this stuff, I am now wanting to dump my expensive new car and just buy a cheap car and take the difference I save and start dumping the money into P2P loans. What sucks about opening investment accounts elsewhere is that you normally have to dump huge sums of money to start out with. Sometimes $1,000 to $5,000 to open accounts at certain places. At least with Prosper, you can be a broke person making $7 to $10/hr. and still afford to invest small amounts at a time as you can save up for. This allows broke people to slowly build up an investment portfolio which is really nice instead of just the rich people getting richer! But for the money I am making now, me and my friend said that I would need well over $1,000,000+ in P2P loans to live on my current home business income. I am tired of keeping all of my eggs in one basket. I am also investing into an IRA with mutual funds, but every time I log in and see the balance, it makes me sick to my stomach to see how poor the performance is. I’ve been testing prosper with a VERY SMALL investment just to see how it would pan out and so far so good. I made over 8% returns. So now I am testing more and more.

    • retirebyforty May 29, 2012, 5:30 pm

      Yeap, you can start off with a small amount at Prosper and keep adding to it every month. It’s probably better to spread out the risk and diversify your investment too. Don’t worry about your IRA if you have a long time to retirement. It’s a good thing that the market is doing badly when you are young. Good luck with Prosper.

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