October 2021 Goals & Financial Update

October 2021 Goals and Financial Update FIRE

Hey, everyone. Did you have a good month? October was a very busy month for me. I had my teeth cleaned, fixed a chip on a tooth, went to see my glaucoma specialist, and got a vasectomy. Yowza! Don’t believe anyone when they say it won’t hurt. The vasectomy was the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through. I guess I’m lucky that I haven’t experienced greater pain? Anyway, this must be what getting old is like. My parents visit the hospital 2-3 times every month. Health maintenance takes more time and effort when you’re older.

On the lighter side, RB40Jr’s soccer team had a winning season! They lost the first 2 games, then won the next 4. Wow, that was impressive. I was the assistant coach so I’ll take the credit. Heh heh, just kidding. The kids got so much better as the season went on. It was pretty amazing. We’re glad soccer season is over, though. The last few practices were very wet and muddy. We’re ready to hunker down for the winter.

As for personal finance, October was pretty good. All our income streams were solid. Our spending was pretty good too, well below our budget. Our net worth also increased and exceeded my yearly goal (+10%). All in all, it was a good month. If things hold stable over the next two months, 2021 would be a great year.

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 for the New Year goals. I already accomplished most of them already. (I made modest goals this year because last year was so crazy.) Here are the details.

Financial Goals

  • Real Estate Crowdfunding $150,000. I met this goal in July. However, some projects finished and returned the principal. Next year, we’ll look for more good real estate projects. Recently, the projects on CrowdStreet complete funding very quickly. 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 to passively invest in real estate.
  • FI Ratio > 110%. This is my main goal for 2021. The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. We did pretty well until August and our FI ratio dropped to 103%. Fortunately, our passive income was strong over the last two months. Our FI ratio rosed to 114% at the end of October. Hopefully, we can get to 120% by the end of the year.
  • 1-year cash for Mrs. RB40 mini ER. Mrs. RB40 plans to take a mini-retirement in 2022. We need 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 $30,000 in the bank. We are a bit behind on this goal. We probably will have to keep working on it next year.
  • 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. In October, I made $1,600 from chargin scooters. The weather turned cooler so this income is dropping off. Also, we got $250 from the child tax credit and a gift of $200. 

RB40

  • 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.
  • 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. Currently, we have 364 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I gave up on this goal. Unfortunately, I ran out of new recipes to make. Oh well, maybe we’ll get back to it later.  

Personal Goals

  • Visit Thailand. Done! I visited Thailand in January and spent 6 weeks there. I went 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 there and was able to keep it off. Now, I weigh 133 pounds..
  • Estate planning. Done! We started the process with our lawyer last year. I thought it wouldn’t be done until March, but we completed it right before I went to Thailand. That’s perfect timing.
  • V for vasectomy. Holy moly, this was painful! Don’t believe them when they say it won’t hurt much.
  • Happiness level > 8. October was an 8. I’m hurting this week so it’s hard to be happy. This month was okay, though. No big problem. Our son’s soccer team had a good season so that was nice.
October 2021 happiness

Net Worth (+12.1% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006. It is very motivating to see our progress. The power of compounding is unbelievable. Our net worth increases more than we earn almost every year. This year it is up 12.1% so far. My target is +10% per year so 2021 looks great. We’ll be set for a very comfortable lifestyle if we can keep this up for a few more years.

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 ($39,021 YTD)

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

October 2021 passive income

In October, our investment generated $4,693 of passive income for us. It was a good month. Our FI ratio got a boost and we’re creeping closer to 120%.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: I received $1,433 from our investment last month.
  • Rental income: It was a good month at the rentals. We made $516. If all goes well, we should have a positive year.    
  • Dividend: We received $580 from our dividend portfolio.

Q4 should be good for passive income. We don’t have any big expenses coming up so I think 2021 should end pretty well.

*FI ratio = passive income/expense

October 2021 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was good in October. All our income streams performed well and we didn’t spend much money. We saved 63% of our income so it was a great month.

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

October 2021 cash flow

Gross Income: $15,406

Our gross income was great last month. All of our income streams were rolling right along. If we removed Mrs. RB40’s income, we’d still be okay.

  • Mrs. RB40’s job: $9,032.
  • Blog income: $1,807. Blog income was slow. This source of income might be stuck at a lower level now.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $1433. Last month, we had two payouts for RE crowdfunding. You can read more at the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Rental income: 516. A nice month at the rental. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $581. It was also a nice month for dividend income. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Interest Income: $7.
  • Side hustle & Misc: $2,100. I made $1,650 from charging scooters. Now that the weather is cooler, this income will keep decreasing in the coming months. Oh, I took it easy for a week due to the minor surgery… We also got $250 from the child tax credit and a gift of $200.    

Monthly Spending: $3,306

This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. Our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. October was a low-spend month. My brother came to visit so we splurged more than usual. However, that didn’t put a big dent in our spending budget. It seems our cost of living is pretty low unless there is a big bill.

  • Housing: $1,228. This category includes mortgage, home insurance, HOA fees, property taxes, utilities, home improvement, repair, and furnishing. We spent more than usual on housing due to the deck cover.
  • Parents: $500. My brothers and I each sent $500/month to my parents. 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: $548. Usually, we spend about $500/month on groceries.

Here are some of the dishes I made.

Spicy spare rib noodle soup – Yum! This is one of the signature noodle soups from Northern Thailand. I made it mild so our son can eat it.

Uzbek somsa – Mrs. RB40 made this dish. She learned how to make this when she was in Uzbekistan for Peace Corps.

Congee – I made classic Chinese-style congee. This is comfort food for us.

  • Bills: $23. (This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.)
  • Transportation: $181. This was for gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and maintenance.
  • Entertainment: $288. My brother came to visit and we went out several times. Mrs. RB40 and I also went out to lunch more often last month.

Phnom Phen noodles at Ha & VL – This is one of the best noodle shops in Portland. They make 2 different kinds of soup every day. When it runs out, they stop selling.

Octopus plate at Gastromania – Wow! The octopus was tender and succulent. It wasn’t tough or rubbery at all. What a find! Awesome food.

Biang Biang noodles from Stretch The Noodle food cart – They make fresh hand-pulled noodles for every order. That’s a lot of work! The noodle was nice and spicy. I’ll have to go back and try the other dishes.

  • Kid: $25. Birthday gift for RB40Jr’s friend.
  • Travel: $0. No travel last month.  
  • Health: $319. Whew! I had my teeth cleaned, fixed a chip, checked for glaucoma, and got the vasectomy done. What a crazy month. I’m still waiting for some of the bills.
  • Clothing: $162. We got new socks and a new jacket for RB40Jr. Mrs. RB40 also ordered some stuff online.
  • Misc: $32.

Others

I don’t count these as personal spending.

  • Taxes and deductions: $2,380. 

2021 Savings ($88,824 YTD)

2021 is going pretty well financially. So far, we have saved 59% of our income. We should be able to keep this up for the rest of 2021.

  • Joe’s 401k: $22,625. I can contribute more than the yearly limit ($19,500) because I’m self-employed.
  • Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $15,750. She contributes $750 every paycheck.
  • Roth IRAs: $10,000
  • 529 College Savings: $4,000. Done for the year.
  • Extra savings: $36,449

YTD 2021 saving rate = 59%

October 2021 wrap up

October was a nice month. We got back on track financially. Both our net worth and cash flow looked great. We just have to hold on for 2 more months and 2021 would end very well. I think it’ll work out. Usually, we don’t spend much money in the winter. Mostly, we just relax at home. Why go out when it’s rainy and cold? Passive income should be pretty good in December too. 2021 is turning out to be a good year for us.

How was October for you?  Did you spend much money on Halloween? Is it too early to hunker down for the winter?

*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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19 thoughts on “October 2021 Goals & Financial Update”

  1. Congratulations on a great and eventful month! Your updates are very positive and it’s great that early retirement is going really well.

    How did you find out you had Glaucoma? Did you catch it early? This is reminding me to visit my eye doctor…

    Reply
  2. Those noodle pics look really delicious. I can’t get myself to cook at home often, so we pay top dollar here in NJ for noodles like that. In any case, I appreciate the updates! (Long time follower.) Hope the recovery goes quickly and smoothly.

    Reply
  3. Hope you feel better soon. I’ve never heard anyone say that it doesn’t hurt. Very happy to have dodged that bullet because the wife had your tubes tied during the c-section of our last kid.

    Great work on the rest of the month. That’s still some good scooter money for fall.

    Reply
  4. So sorry to hear your vasectomy was so painful, Joe. I remember having a little bit of pain but nothing crazy. I hope you’re feeling a little better now.

    Also, you’ve mentioned those Biang Biang noodles before (maybe on Instagram?). Those look really good – I might have to make a trip your way just to try those! ?

    Reply
  5. Joe, you are killing it as usual both in earning income and increasing your net worth. No doubt there will be a few envious readers.

    You say you plan to spend $50,000 in 2021:

    Below is my post that I made on Facebook on Saturday alluding to the fact that my spending in October alone could have reached $50,000. But I am talking in Canadian dollars.

    Perhaps you think that you had big bills to pay this month. I may have you beat. One is for $38,156.52 from the printer Marquis in Quebec for having 17,586 copies of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” printed and sent to my US and Canadian distributors. My car and home insurance bill came in at close to $4,000. Then there was the repair bills on my two cars for $2,100. Combined with my general expenses, my bills this month will be close to $50,000.

    But don’t cry for me Argentina. Also don’t cry for me Canada and United States. There is great news. First, I will pay all these on my Visa and will wind up with over 50,000 Aeroplan miles, good enough for an Executive Class return trip to Toronto. (Paying for this in cash will typically cost $2,243 and more). Second, the sales of these books over the next year and a half to two years should bring me back revenue of around $10.30 CAN per book. The other good news is I just have enough money in my operating accounts to pay off the Visa right after I make the charges. (I always do this because I don’t like to carry any debt. I admit I am obsessive about this but it’s a great obsession to have.)

    Yes, my bank operating accounts will be almost totally drained tonight. Even so, today I still made a donation of $365 to CKUA radio for their fall fund drive. It was made on the “Natural Blues” program with Holger Petersen and Cam Hayden and they played my request of “Statesboro Blues” by Taj Mahal (one of my favorite blues artists).

    Reply
    • Printing is investing in your product. I don’t think you can count it as personal spending. 🙂
      I also used a new credit card to pay for our duplex’s property tax. It was enough to get me a round-trip ticket to Thailand next year.
      I don’t want to spend winter in Portland anymore. It’s too cold and wet.
      Usually, I pay off the balance on our credit cards every month, but I might carry it a bit longer this time. The interest rate is 0% for a year.

      Reply

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