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March 2018 Goals and Financial Update


March 2018 Goals and Financial UpdateHey everyone, did you have a good Easter and spring break? We had a relaxing day at home and Mrs. RB40 cooked a bunch of food. She also picked up The Last Jedi DVD from the library and we enjoyed the show tremendously. Last week was spring break for us. We didn’t go far and just had fun around town. RB40Jr had 4 playdates, went to the arcade, got books from the library, and enjoyed a fun science show from OMSI. It was a relaxing week. The weather warmed up nicely so we could go to the playground again. Unfortunately, now I have a bad case of seasonal allergies. I’m taking allergy meds, but it usually takes a few days to kick in. Oh well, that’s life. It’s never perfect, is it?

On the financial front, March was pretty good. The stock market was volatile again, but I didn’t lose any sleep over it. Our asset allocation is set at a comfortable level. I’m not going to worry about the stock market until we see a 20% drop from peak. Then, it will be time to start buying. For now, investors should double check their risk tolerance and asset allocation. If they are on spot, you don’t have to worry about volatility.

As for cash flow, we had a very good month. Our income was great and our expense was low. Everything is rolling right along now that our rental condo is occupied. Okay, let’s go over my 2018 Goals first and then I’ll share the details of our cash flow in March.

2018 Goals

This is my goal scheduling spreadsheet. Last year, I found that I needed to start these goals in the first half of the year. If I wait until summer, they just won’t get done. The first 3 months were slow. It’s hard to get be motivated in the winter. You can get a quick status update from the chart and see the details below.

2018 Goal Sheet

Financial Goals

  1. Increase our real estate crowdfunding investment to $100,000. We’re doing well with this goal and now have $38,000 invested. We’re low on cash, though. I’ll probably have to save up for a few months before I can invest in the next project.
  2. FI ratio > 100%. FI ratio is passive income/expense. Currently, our FI ratio is 62in 2018. That’s still low, but it improved quite a bit from 41% last month. Our expense was higher than usual in Q1 because we paid for our summer vacation to Iceland.
  3. Increase bond/cash allocation to 30%. Going to 30% bond/cash will beef up our opportunity fund. However, I’m not in a big hurry to do this because I think the stock market will go up this year. I plan to get to 30% before the end of 2018.
  4. Travel hack 100,000 points. I got a head start on this one from last year. It’s on the back burner for now. I’ll sign up for new cards later this year when we have a big expense.

Blog Goals

  1. Minor Redesign RB40. WIP
  2. Blog 12 times at Fit by 40.This one is behind a bit. I didn’t write a post in March. I’ll catch up next month. This is not an ambitious goal and I think it will help me stay on top of fitness. You can see how I started the site here – How to Start a Blog and Why You Should.
  3. Blog income $100,000.This one is going to be very difficult so I’m grading it on the academic system. Q1 is the best quarter for blog income and we did very well. I made $19,621 so far in 2018. That’s actually pretty darn good, but we’re still behind the pace. You can see more detail on my Blog Income page.

Personal Goals

  1. Join Toastmasters. I visited a local club and I’ll join in April.
  2. Not paying for leaf removal. Showdown in November.
  3. Consolidate down to one property. We plan to move into our rental duplex and sell off the other 2 properties. This one will definitely take more than one year. Our rental condo is rented for at least a year so the earliest we will be able to consolidate is 2019.

Fun Goal

  1. Visit Iceland. The trip is a go. I already booked our flight tickets, lodging, ferry, and rental car. Iceland is a very expensive country to visit, but it should be a great trip.

Net Worth (+0.4% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. 2018 started off with a bang and we had a great month in January. However, the stock market turned volatile after that and we gave up all the gains. I expect that 2018 will be a good year for the stock market, but nobody knows how it is going to turn out. There is so much uncertainty now. It’s a going to be a wild ride this year so buckle up.

My bet with Warren Buffett – I’ll benchmark our net worth against VFINX for 10 years starting in 2018. VFINX dropped 3% in March. Our net worth also dropped about 0.5%. Currently, we’re beating VFINX by about 0.5%. That’s not too shabby.

Here is the picture of our net worth in 2018, on Personal Capital. Our net worth decreased a little bit in March even with good income. That’s what happens when the stock market drops. It really isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things. I know it will turn out okay in the long term so I’m not worried about the short term performance.

2018 Net Worth

*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 my accounts and cash flow. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

2018 Passive Income ($9,744 YTD)

Here is a quick summary of our passive income. You can see all the details at my new Passive Income page. We had a slow start in 2018 because one of our rentals was vacant for the first 2 months. It’s occupied now so the passive income is looking better. Hopefully, it’ll be smooth for the rest of 2018.

Passive Income 2018

March 2018 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was very good in March. My blog income was much better than normal. The passive income finally got rolling. The only hiccup was P2P lending. We had a small negative month. Other than that, the engine was firing on all cylinders. Our expense was also low so it all worked out very well in March.

Check out my Sankey diagram and see the details below.

March 2018 Sankey diagram cash flow

Take Home Income (target > $10,000)

For 2018, our monthly take home income target is $10,000. March was a great month and we blew that target away. April should be very similar to this. My blog income will start to decrease in spring and then really drop off in the summer. That’s usually how the year goes.

  • Mrs. RB40’s paychecks: $5,445
  • Blog Income: $8,278. You can read more details at my Blog Income pageRB40Jr is on the payroll now as model and photographer. The income will go straight into his Roth IRA. I’m excited to see how this experiment will turn out.
  • Rental Income: $919. All our rentals are occupied. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $1,155. The last month of the quarter is quite good for our dividend income. More details at my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Crowdfunding Income: $44. Real estate crowdfunding was slow in March. We received just $40 payback. This should pick up as the year goes on. Two deals just closed and they will start paying out soon. Read more at my Real Estate Crowdfunding Passive Income page. P2P lending was negative this month at -$84. Two loans defaulted and it was a bad month on that front.
  • Interest Income: $16.

Monthly Expenses (target > $4,800)

For 2018, our monthly expense should be under $4,800, an increase of $300 from 2017. This does not include contributions to 401k, Roth IRA, and college savings. We did pretty well in March and came in under budget for the first time this year. The first two months were tough because of our upcoming trip to Iceland. March was a bit more normal for us.

  • Housing: $2,365. Our housing expense is getting spendy. This category is over 50% of our expense every month. There’s not much we can do at this point. This includes mortgage, HOA fees, and property tax.
  • Groceries: $668. Our grocery bill was higher than normal in March. We went grocery shopping more often than usual. We ate very well at home and I cooked many delicious meals. I joined Instagram recently and have more food pictures to share. I hope you like them. Clockwise from top left – Nam Prik Ong – northern Thai dish, Khao Soi – curry noodle soup, Gaeng Hung Lay – braised pork belly curry, and Gai Yang Som Tum – grilled chicken with carrot salad. Yummm! These are all regional dishes from Thailand. Follow me on Instagram if you’d like to see more of my unglamorous early retirement lifestyle.
March 2018 home cooking RB40 Stay-at-home dad
  • Cash: $0. We didn’t withdraw any cash last month.
  • Transportation: $21. We share one car and we don’t drive much. I drop RB40Jr off at school in the morning and go grocery shopping on the weekend. That’s about it. We drive more in the summer when we visit local attractions.
  • Kid: $18. We went to an Easter egg hunt to help raise fund for a church. I also got RB40Jr a pair of shorts for the soccer team.
  • Pet: $0.
  • Bills: $294. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella.)
  • Health: $96. Hematologist (nothing serious), dentist, and gym.
  • Travel: $163. I booked our ferry ride to Vestmannaeyjar.
  • Clothing: $365. Mrs. RB40 put off buying new clothes until our condo was rented out. It’s occupied now so she made a purchase. She brings home the bacon and health insurance so I can’t complain.
  • 401k: $3,430. I contributed $2,000 to my 401k. Mrs. RB40 contributed $1,430 to hers.
  • Extra Savings: $8,269

Extra Savings 2018: $12,242

2018 is off to a great start and our extra saving totaled $12,242 so far. Unfortunately, this will all go to the IRS in a couple of weeks. I didn’t send in estimated tax payments last year so we owe the tax man this year. I’ll do a better job this year and try not to owe so much. Once that’s over with then, I’ll put any extra savings into our opportunity fund. We keep about $10,000 in cash as our emergency fund. Anything above this, I’ll invest opportunistically.

Here is what I plan to do with our opportunity fund in 2018.

March 2018 Wrap Up

Overall, March 2018 was a great month for us. Our income was awesome and our expense was under control. The net worth is down a bit due to market volatility, but that’s not a big deal. I believe in America and our investment should do well in the long term.

April should be about the same as March. It looks like the blog income will drop a little, but it should still be very good. Passive income will also drop a bit because the uneven dividend timing. Our expense should be pretty good too. I don’t think we have any big bills coming up in April. As for net worth, I’m not going to worry about it. The stock market looks like it will continue to fluctuate. Nobody know what it’s going to do so we should focus on what we can control – our saving rate. The stock market will do well in the long term so don’t worry about the volatility. Just stick to your plan and keep investing.

Did you have a good March? Spring is really nice, but seasonal allergies are knocking me down. Hopefully, the medication will kick in soon and my body adapts. Early spring is always tough.  Have a great month!

*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your investments. I log in almost every day to check on my accounts and cash flow. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you sign up with 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. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also 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 DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 67 comments… add one }
  • BrianC April 8, 2018, 6:49 pm

    I’ve been having a great year so far. I’m an engineer in the oilfield. Take home pay is about $5400 a month. My side hustle is trading stocks/options/futures. So far my side hustle has made:

    Jaunuary: $33,000
    February: $33,000
    March: $51,000
    April: $24,000 so far

    And that’s just in my cash account. My IRA has increase about $197k YTD

  • Little Miss Fire April 5, 2018, 7:55 am

    Hi Joe – You just know I’m loving your excel month tracker spreadsheet right? 🙂 Expect an email soon from me wanting one! A fab month and I too really like your idea of employing your son. Here’s to another good month for you!

    Little Miss Fire

  • Dividend Earner April 4, 2018, 7:13 pm

    Congrats! A great month indeed.

    That’s a lot of tracking, how much time do you reckon you put towards the detailed tracking and from what I can see, you rely on a good old spreadsheet.

    I really like how you breakdown blog income separate form passive income since blogging isn’t really passive – it’s simply running a small business.

    • retirebyforty April 5, 2018, 8:55 am

      I update the spreadsheet once per month in detail. The accounting, spreadsheet, and graphic takes 1-2 hours. Writing a post and doing all the blogging stuff probably takes 2-3 hours. So probably 5 hours per month total.

  • Troy @ Bull Markets April 4, 2018, 5:19 pm

    Goodluck on achieving your 2018 blogging income goals! I think it’s definitely achievable. Plenty of bloggers are growing their income by creating their own products (e.g. ebooks)

  • Dividend Pursuit April 4, 2018, 3:39 pm

    Great month for sure Joe. Do you mind sharing those amazing dishes ?

  • Jordan @ MoneyMaaster.com April 4, 2018, 12:08 pm

    When I read your blog income I had to do a double take..hah. That is insane. What kind of traffic are you getting each month to get that kind of revenue?

    • retirebyforty April 4, 2018, 4:37 pm

      We get 150,000 to 200,000 views per month. The income is high in Q1. It will drop in the spring and summer. Good luck! Some bloggers make over $100,000/month. Most make very little, though. Good luck!

  • GYM April 3, 2018, 11:08 pm

    Fantastic month! Your blog income is blowing Mrs. RB40’s work income through the roof! Great job. That’s great that JR is on payroll now!

    Also, I’m impressed a visit to the hematologist and gym and dentist only cost $96! Does your health insurance that your wife has also cover the dentist?

    • retirebyforty April 4, 2018, 4:36 pm

      I think it’s only for Q1. The income will drop pretty soon. Yes, we are on Mrs. RB40’s employer plan. It’s pretty good and covers dental care.

  • Financial Sloth April 3, 2018, 9:59 pm

    Your blogging income is quite inspiring to us newbies. Keep setting the bar high!

    A technical question. How do you list income from rental properties on your personal income statement. We usually enter it as a gross figure on the income side then detail all expenses (taxes, capex reserves, PM fees, etc) on the expense side. So when I tally up total monthly income, that is usually a gross figure, but our monthly expenses include mortgages, taxes, etc. I like doing it that way because it gives me a better idea of taxable income and deductions from our props, but it looks like many others I see in the blog world report their rentals as a net number.

    Just curious how you liked to report it and why.

    Thanks RB40!

    • retirebyforty April 4, 2018, 4:35 pm

      Yes, that’s what I do on my spreadsheet. Income – taxes, mortgage, maintenance, etc…
      Then I put that number here because it’s easier.

  • Mr. Income Master April 3, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Congratulations on a strong March! Those dishes look delicious.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life April 3, 2018, 9:41 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your recipes – I’m really looking forward to trying them out and easing the pain of dietary changes! We haven’t made up February losses yet but we’re halfway there. I’m not worrying about it, though, long term planning and investing, right?

    I’m still sitting on some buy orders for stocks like we’d talked about, just waiting for them to come down to the price I’m willing to pay.

  • Wade April 2, 2018, 6:44 pm

    Skip Toastmasters. You are retired (by 40) so you do not have to do Toastmasters.

    Yes, it can improve your public speaking. Blech. You are retired. 🙂

  • rg April 2, 2018, 5:06 pm

    Hi Joe,

    Just curious, do you have a phone? I did’nt see it listed in your expenses. Also, how are you doing so well on your insurance? My insurance bills are way higher, to include auto, renters, umbrella, and life (>$300/month). Sorry for being nosy. Thanks for the post.


    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 5:28 pm

      The cell phone is under business expense. I use it for work mostly.
      We only have one car so maybe that’s the big difference. Our car doesn’t need comprehensive insurance anymore. It’s not worth that much.

  • mary w April 2, 2018, 10:24 am

    For the future, income taxes are an opportunity to meet minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Yes, you have to pay a fee which makes it unattractive for regular spend but worth it for a bonus. I always try to meet the minimum spend NLT the end of the second billing cycle. So if you get a credit card about 2 months before taxes are due you can always finish the spend with taxes. Right now we are meeting a minimum spend on the Marriott card. Later this month will be Federal 2017 payment, first quarter Federal payment and property tax payment. I’ll select the one(s) that a needed to complete the minimum send.

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:49 pm

      Ugh! I should have known that. Thanks. I’ll try to remember it for next time. Maybe we can use if for property tax in November.

      • mary w April 3, 2018, 10:58 am

        Still time if there is a card you’ve got your eyes on. Apply today, get physical card within a week and still time before the 15th. Some (all?) issuers will give you a number immediately that can be used on-line.

  • Jon April 2, 2018, 9:25 am

    Q: it is my guess that if you have only stayed 5 more years working for intel, today your net worth was probably half a million higher. So would you reconsider?

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:47 pm

      No way. Life is so much better now. We’re already pretty good financially so half a million wouldn’t make a big difference.
      Anyway, the money isn’t guaranteed. I probably would have spent more money to blow off steam as well. A lot of people got laid off over the last 5 years.

  • Tabitha April 2, 2018, 9:20 am

    Just curious – what was the Iceland ferry booking for?

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:45 pm

      We’re taking the ferry to Vestmannaeyjar to see the puffins. So cute!

  • Done by Forty April 2, 2018, 8:45 am

    As impressive as your passive income/expense ratio is, and how well you’re doing in all things finance, Joe, the thing I envy most is the food you eat. Yinz are living well!

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:45 pm

      Thanks! Although, I might need to cook healthier food now that spring is here. We all gained a few pounds over the winter here at the RB40 household. That’s good for Junior, but not the adults…

  • Chris Urbaniak @ deliberatechange.ca April 2, 2018, 7:52 am

    Good morning Joe,

    I’d like to emphasize something you mentioned at right at the top that: You borrowed a DVD from the library 🙂

    I think there are many people out there who don’t know that you can reserve and then borrow music and movies from the local library. Our library even offers board games and a free video streaming service similar to Netflix.

    Opportunities to save a few bucks without really compromising lifestyle are everywhere 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:43 pm

      I love our library. I support them by voting for bonds and paying fines occasionally. 🙂

  • I think keeping the rental income for the next 3 to 5 years might add stability through the volatility upcoming and work on savings …skip bonds for reits and preferred shares perhaps is an option etc etc then stocks and index funds .. the blog is an extra layer of defense…or other side hustles… etc etc CPO

    • Jonathan April 2, 2018, 8:06 am

      REITs such as VNQ and cross the board are down at least 20% the last 7-8 months!!
      As interest rates continue to rise, do you think REITs are still worth it?

      What do you think, Joe?

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:42 pm

      I think rental income is good too, but life circumstance is going to force us to make a change. Our 2 bedroom condo is too small for 4 people. My mom is here most of the year too. We need more space. I still like REITs as well, but I’ll wait a bit until the interest rate slows down. Good time to pick some up on a bargain, though.

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 2, 2018, 5:31 am

    So glad your condo is finally rented and back into the “mostly passive” income category. March was a good month for us as well (higher expenses, but a 3 paycheck month, so it more than evened out).

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

      Thanks! The rental market picked up quite a bit this month. That’s good for the landlords.

  • [email protected] April 2, 2018, 5:30 am

    Nice job Joe. I’m sure you’re going to crush these by end of year.

    Based on the past returns of the stock market, waiting for a 20% dip to invest is a lost opportunity. The next dip of that size may not occur until after the market doubles. If you have extra money to invest, I suggest you get it working for you today rather than wait for an arbitrary bargain price.

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment. We continue to invest in our 401k.
      I think having some cash on the side is okay in this volatile time. 10% of our portfolio on the side for a couple of years wouldn’t make a huge difference in the long haul. We’re good financially so we don’t need to optimize 100%. 🙂

  • Jim @ Route To Retire April 2, 2018, 5:16 am

    Looks like a great month! It’s fun to actually see your blogging income in particular. When you started your site, did you have any idea that it could grow into what it has?

    — Jim

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:37 pm

      After a couple of years, I thought it would be around $500 to $1,500/month. I didn’t think it would generate this much income. It’s pretty amazing. Could this last? I don’t know…

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 2, 2018, 5:14 am

    Looks like an awesome month in terms of income, expenses, food, and family time. All the food photos deserve to be on the first page on Instagram if they aren’t already.

    The rest of the year might fluctuate, but it’s always great to have a good start.

    I have spring allergies too. But I’m so tired of winter that the allergies don’t really bother me that much anymore.

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:36 pm

      My allergy is much better today. I was completely wiped out on Saturday.
      Thanks for the encouragement. I need a better camera phone for Instagram. 🙂

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify April 2, 2018, 5:05 am

    Hi Joe, Congrats on your month! The stock market was a little volatile as you know, but has presented some nice opportunities to increase passive income from dividend yield. That tends to be my primary focus and how I measure our results. Tom

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:34 pm

      Thanks! We continue to contribute to our 401k, but not much more. It’s still pretty volatile. I’ll keep an eye out for a good deal. Kind of scary to invest today.

  • Young FIRE Knight April 2, 2018, 3:52 am

    Sounds like a great March and first quarter! You’re killing it with the savings I’m sure you’ll have no problem hitting the 100% FI ratio again this year especially as you’ve already prepaid for the awesome vacation!

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:33 pm

      I’m not sure if we can hit 100% this year. We’re finally going to fix our HVAC and that will blow our budget out of the water. Maintaining a home is expensive…

  • Accidental FIRE April 2, 2018, 3:36 am

    Great month Joe. Employing your kid as a photographer – love it!! He’ll be famous on Instagram one day!

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:31 pm

      I’m going to set up a website for him soon. It’ll put it on my goal list for next year. 🙂

  • Rohan April 2, 2018, 3:15 am

    Nice post! Just wondering what software you used to make the sankey diagram. Very good visual to truly get an idea of were your money is going.

  • Ernie Zelinski April 2, 2018, 1:49 am

    I had a pretty good March. These were my revenues (US Dollars) from my US Distributor National Book Network for the sales of my “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” for the first three months of this year.

    Jan. 2018 $9,987.48
    Feb. 2018 $14,017.96
    Mar. 2018 $23,357.86

    Of course, I have other lessor sources of revenue such as ebook sales on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo. The thing that I was most excited about, however, was getting two clients (a Medical Doctor in Vancouver, B.C. and a financial advisor in Tuscon, AZ) each wanting to purchase 25 copies of the Limited Leather Bound Edition of my “Life’s Secret Handbook” at $25 a copy for their clients. This shows me that “Life’s Secret Handbook” resonates with certain people and has great potential. Don’t be surprised if in the next five to seven years I wind up selling 100,000 copies and end up making $500,000 or more in profits on this book alone. No, this is not guaranteed. As Client Eastwood once said, “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

    I am much too lazy to calculate exactly how much I earned in March and how much I spent. I am also much too lazy to calculate how much my net worth went up in March. This I know: My net worth went up nicely in March and I had a great time spending money on things that a lot of people would have a hard time spending money on, such as treating several of my good friends in Edmonton and Vancouver to expensive meals and wine in fine restaurants.

    Always remember these words of wisdom when it comes to money:

    “Money will buy you a bed but not a good night’s sleep, a house but not a home, a companion but not a friend.”
    — Zig Ziglar

    “No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather.”
    — Michael Pritchard

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:27 pm

      Good luck with Life’s Secret Handbook. It’s a good read so far. Good luck with the print!
      It’s very admirable to see you enjoying life. I hope to get there someday. It’s hard to spend when we’ve been frugal for so long. I took my wife out a few times in March for Portland Dining month. That was fun.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert April 2, 2018, 1:21 am

    Joe, it’s cool to see you pushing your blog income goals even when it’s good by most people’s standards.

    With regards to your property consolidation, is it because you feel we’re at the top of a market cycle and want to buy in again later? Or, are you simply done with REI and looking for more passive ways to deal with your money? Or, perhaps something else?

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 9:42 am

      Yes, I think we’re near the top of the market here in Portland. The condo doesn’t generate positive cash flow so it’s best to take profit. The HOA and property tax cost a lot. The duplex is making good income, but the plan is to move into it. We need more space.
      RE investing is a lot harder now locally because the price is so high. I doubt the local economy can support this pricing. Portland is not SF or even Seattle. I could be wrong, though.

  • Lily | The Frugal Gene April 2, 2018, 1:09 am

    Your blog income overshined your Mrs! Very frugal month! And our housing is more than 50% of our expenses, not much to do about it here either…I get to complain to my husband at least… you know, cures the boredom. We’ve know each others jokes and it’s only 2 years in.

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 9:40 am

      Yeap, it’s rare to see that. I’m pretty sure my blog income will drop soon.
      The housing cost is getting higher and higher. We’re doing okay, but I feel bad for people who don’t make that much. It’s tough on the west coast.

  • Prasun Choudhury April 2, 2018, 12:52 am

    I am more a silent reader of your blog. I plan to visit Iceland around the Memorial Day weekend time and since you have planned a trip too, I am taking the liberty of asking a couple of related questions.

    For flights, I see great rates for the “cheap” WOW Air from SFO to Reykjavik (plus it’s a direct flight). Do you have any pointers for reliable and relatively cheap car rentals (automatic transmission cars) in Iceland? I know nothing is cheap in Iceland; I feel the same about Norway too which I visited last year. I plan to drive around the Ring Road in Iceland for around 8 days. You mentioned about booking ferries; are these short ferry trips or long/overnight cruise like trips?

    Thanks for any input on trip details!

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 9:38 am

      I think you have more options in Reykjavik. I read that Blue rental is pretty good. We’re flying into a local airport on the East coast so there aren’t many options. We also needed a van…
      The ferry is for Vestmannaeyjar. I don’t think you have time for that if you only have 8 days. We’re only driving half way around the ring road. Yeap, Iceland is the most expensive country yet. It should be a lot of fun, though.

      • Prasun Choudhury April 2, 2018, 11:08 am

        Thanks for the reply! I have also read good reviews about Blue Rental. My trip is for 2 weeks (~16 days incl. flights) though I am covering a few things:
        1) In and around Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon, getting settled in Iceland: 2 days
        2) Round trip on Ring road: 8 days
        3) Trip to the western side of Iceland (Snaefellsjokul): 1 day; for this I will just take a day trip through a tour company
        4) 4 days (actually 4 night 3 days): Faroe Islands; there are direct flights from Reykjavik

        A couple more questions:
        1) To go to Vestmannaeyjar, do you take the trip from Vik? Not sure, if there is an option to drive and have the car in the ferry.
        2) Just curious which local airport in east coast you are planning to fly. I also toyed with the idea of driving part of the Ring Road and fly to Akureyri from Reykjavik.

        Thanks very much!

        • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 12:52 pm

          Sounds like a great trip. Have fun!
          1. We’ll stop by Vestmannaeyjar for a day. It’s on our way to Reykjavik. You could take a day trip and leave the car at the parking lot or take the car. There are tour companies there.
          2. We’re flying into Egilsstaðir and drive the south section. 8 days is too much driving for us because we have kids on this trip. We like a more relaxing pace anyway.

  • Anneli April 2, 2018, 12:45 am

    I have read your blog for a while and love it. My goal is to retire early and I am currently working my rear end off to make it happen. I have a blog and I have been blogging since 2010. I have a question for you: How do I make money on my blog? I blog a lot about saving and about getting out of debt and about investing in stocks. I would love to have an income from my blog as that would help me to retire early. I love blogging since I love to write. Any tips?

    Kind regards,
    Anneli in Sweden

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 9:34 am

      I need to write a post about that. You can try these.
      – banner ads. Google Adsense and Amazon. They don’t pay that well, though. Once you have more traffic, you can sign up with MediaVine or AdThrive. They are much better.
      – affiliate. Sign up with FlexOffers and CJ. Then try different affiliate products to see what works well for your readers. This one is difficult, but could be more lucrative if you find the right fit.
      Good luck!

  • Mr. Tako April 2, 2018, 12:41 am

    Wow, you had a great month Joe! Congrats on the great blog income. We spent a lot of our march vacationing, so spending was higher than normal.

    Thankfully, we have a great dividend income that more than covered our expense!

    • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 9:32 am

      Thank you. The blog income is really good in Q1. I expect it to slow down very soon.
      We’re taking vacation in the summer this year. It’s more expensive, but we’re going with another family. It’s harder to coordinate during the school year.

      • Cubert April 2, 2018, 3:22 pm

        Hey Joe!
        Okay I gotta admit, I love the blog income. Killing it, man! I need to learn from the master in this department.
        But on “The Last Jedi”… You seriously enjoyed it? Let’s have a dialogue on this!
        Jar Jar

        • retirebyforty April 2, 2018, 5:26 pm

          Check out my post about The Last Jedi. 😀
          It’s better than the prequels.

          • Mr. Tako April 4, 2018, 4:05 am

            Agreed! Definitely better than the prequels!

            I have definitely have questions as to why one “significant character” died in the end, but will probably need to wait until the next movie for answers.

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