May 2021 Goals & Financial Update

Hey, everyone. Summer is here! The weather is beautiful and it really cheers me up. We got our second Covid vaccine shot in May. Now, we feel a lot more comfortable going out without a mask. On Saturday, we ate out for the first time in over a year. We’ve been meaning to try this neighborhood Indian restaurant for a long time. The food was perfect. It was really great to be able to go out again. I’m very optimistic for this summer. We have two road trips planned and probably will take many day trips too. It really feels like we’re coming out of this Covid pandemic.

On the personal finance side, we had another great month. Our net worth hit a new high again! The stock market keeps going up. I’m starting to get leery, though. How long can it keep this up? Now is a good time to take a little profit and diversify if you can. I sold some stocks to invest in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. This will help generate passive income when Mrs. RB40 retires next year. Our cash flow was also good in May. Things are going quite well.

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 for me. I already accomplished 6 of my goals and I’m making good progress on the rest. (I made modest goals because 2020 was such a crazy year.) Here are the details.

Financial Goals

  • Real Estate Crowdfunding $150,000. In April, 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. This is where CrowdStreet comes in. It’s a great way in invest in commercial real estate.
  • FI Ratio > 110%. As usual, this is my main goal for 2021. The FI ratio is passive income divide by expense. We are doing quite well so far this year. We are spending less money than usual because of the pandemic. I’m very happy with 120% FI ratio.
  • 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 $23,000 in our saving account.
  • 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 May, I made $2,520 from charging scooters. Wow! It was the best month ever. It seems like most people moved on to do something else. 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. Although, I probably should cut back a bit. I’m spending a bit too much time on this side gig, 10-20 hours/week.


  • 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 316 subscribers on our YouTube channel. We didn’t upload any video in May. I was too busy trying to finish up our taxes. Making video clips is hard!

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 it is now 133 pounds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it under 135pounds for the rest of 2021.
  • 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.
  • Happiness level > 8. May was a 9. I had a relaxing time and didn’t stress out much. The weather was really nice as well. I also got my 2nd vaccine shot and went out to a restaurant! It was a great month.
Happiness chart

Net Worth (+9.3% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see our progress. Our net worth is up by 9.3% since the beginning of 2021. That’s excellent. IMO. My annual net worth target is +10% per year. We are almost there! 2021 is a great year for businesses. People are ready to spend and investors will profit from that mentality. Let’s see if the market can keep on rising…

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 ($15,863 YTD)

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

April was a great month on the passive income side.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: I received $343 from our investments. This should improve as more projects stabilize.
  • Rental income: Our tenant is back from Europe! We made $533 from our rentals in May.
  • Dividend: We received $779 from our dividend portfolio. That’s pretty good.

At the end of May, our FI ratio was 120%. That’s excellent, but it’s mostly due to low spending. Our passive income is still a little low.  

*FI ratio = passive income/expense

May 2021 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was great in May. We didn’t spend much and saved 61% of our income.

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

Gross Income: $15,197

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

  • Mrs. RB40’s job: $8,663.
  • Blog income: $2,350. We had a good month at RB40.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $343. A good month for RE crowdfunding. You can read more at the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Rental income: $533. Woohoo! Our tenant is back in town. Now, we’ll have positive cash flow this year. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $779. Slow month for dividend income. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Interest Income: $9.
  • Side hustle & Misc: $2,520. I charged a ton of scooters in May. The weather was nice and people are out a lot more. I also made $10 from ProductTube for sunscreen shopping.   

Monthly Spending: $2,769

This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. So our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. May was another low spend month. We just don’t have a lot of expenses right now.

  • Housing: $1,261. 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 very small.
  • Groceries: $404. Wow, that’s low. I don’t know exactly why it was so low last month. The previous month, we spent about $650. I guess it balanced out

Here are some of the dinners I made.

Green curry noodles – This dish was really good. I used Indian eggplants instead of Thai eggplants, but they worked well. Our son didn’t like it, though. He said it was spicy. I didn’t think it was spicy at all.

Okonomiyaki – Family’s favorite. This is super easy to make once you have all the ingredients.

Fajita – Mrs. RB40 made chicken fajitas. Mmmm… fajitas.

  • Bills: $23. (This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.)
  • Transportation: $204. This was for gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and maintenance. I also got a battery jump starter and an air pump for the tire.
  • Entertainment: $111. We went out once and ordered takeout twice. .  
  • Kid: $0.
  • Pet: $26.
  • Travel: $0.
  • Health: $96. Doctor appointment and prescriptions.
  • Clothing: $35. Mrs. RB40 got a new pair of boots.
  • Misc: $108.School’s fundraiser.


I don’t count these as personal spending.

  • Taxes and deductions: $3,230. I sent in the art tax and various other local taxes.

2021 Savings ($44,644 YTD)

Alright! 2021 is going very well for us.

  • Joe’s 401k: $14,500.   
  • Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $7,500. She contributes $750 every paycheck.
  • Roth IRAs: $5,000
  • 529 College Savings: $2,000.
  • Extra savings: $15,644

YTD 2021 saving rate = 63%

May 2021 wrap up

May was another great month for us. Our income streams were all strong and we didn’t spend much. Our net worth hit a new high again. Real life was great too. 2021 is turning out to be a very good year. Hopefully, we can keep this up for the rest of the year. We need a good year to prepare for Mrs. RB40’s early retirement next year.

How was May 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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22 thoughts on “May 2021 Goals & Financial Update”

  1. Joe, great to hear you’re doing well and getting back out into the world! Congrats on that second dose.

    We had our first flight since COVID last month and feel similarly optimistic about the near future, at least in the US. Things aren’t moving quite as fast elsewhere, but we’ll take the rays of light where they come.

    Cheers to the continued growth and successful side hustles!

  2. Wow, great month! Like many others, I’m a bit blown away by the side income just from scooter charging. What a great idea, and your hourly rate is not much lower than what I made working in front of a computer all day as a CPA. Thank goodness, I don’t have to do that anymore LOL. I’d be all for a side hustle that gets me outdoors and keeps me active!

    I really enjoy reading your monthly updates and am digging the new look for the website. Cheers to a great June as well!

  3. Nicely done on a great side hustle month Joe! We haven’t dine out in a restaurant in a very long time now. Looking forward to be able to go to a restaurant and have some dim sum soon.

  4. Great month! Your incredibly low level of spending is incredible to me. What tool are you using to create the sankey diagram? I love a good chart! Thanks

  5. Can you put a post on how you pick crowdsourcing properties, what to look for and walk through an example? That would be very useful to me.

  6. Holy side hustle, Batman! That’s more than I’ve ever made in a month sitting dogs. I had one of my best months ever with that and just broke $1700. I have to check out your old article to get the numbers behind it (such as “How man scooters would you need to do?” and “How much does the electricity itself cost?”)

    Did you do an article on how your estate planning went? That’s another one that I would like to read or brush up on if I missed it.

    Great month! I can’t wait until June’s update when you’ve got a full month of good weather and time to spend with RB40jr outside of school.

    • I’ll update the old post with some numbers soon. I think around 450 scooters. I need to check. The electricity isn’t much for us. I think maybe $10 extra/month.
      I didn’t write about estate planning. It was a bit too complicated.

      • I guess the scooters don’t hold much electricity anyway. That’s excellent. I’m surprised someone doesn’t roam around with a big van and generator to do some crazy mobile charging. (Actually, I just want to see it, because it would be fun.)

        Makes sense about the estate planning, plus much of it is very personal and may not translate well to a wider audience.

  7. Just to note that if you want to put aside crash for next year you will find that it could cost you more than a normal year because when your wife will not work you two will have more time to enjoy life and fun could be expensive sometimes

    • We’ll still have side income so I’m not too worried. It should be enough to cover health care.
      Travel probably won’t be too expensive either. We plan to spend a large % of time in Thailand. It isn’t too expensive there.

  8. Joe, you are crushing it again. Congratulations!

    I am intrigued by your side hustle income of $2,500 from charging scooters with your spending 10 to 20 hours a week at it. If it’s 20 hours a week, it means you are earning about $30 an hour. If you are spending 10 hours a week, that is about $60 an hour. That’s pretty good. Not that I would consider something like this, given that I am quite lazy.

    You ask, “How was May for you?” Well, I spent all the money that I had come in and even quite a bit more. But I sent an income-tax installment of $10,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency and paid my city property tax of $4,435 on my half-duplex.

    My financial advisor friend with RBC Wealth Management in Toronto called me today, however, and told me how much my portfolio (dividend stocks) went up again. Let’s just say that he has just done very well for me and is worth the .5 % fee that he charges me. As I said before, I am too lazy to look after my portfolio myself.

    • I need to go over the numbers. It’s probably around $40/hour. It’s good for me because I get to exercise too.
      If it was more time in front of the computer, I probably won’t do it.
      Dividend stocks did quite well in 2021. It’s great.

  9. My family dined out in a restaurant for the first time on Saturday since the lock down in CA last year. Yes, we also felt that we are close to the end of the tunnel.

    I also track my investment and dividend. 2021 seems to be a good year so far. Fingers crossed.


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