As some of you know, I went back to work full time in July after taking off 3 months to be a stay-at-home dad/blogger. It was a great experience and I recommend every dad to do it if you can. I had a great time and now that I had a bit of time to reflect on it, I want to share my experience. I know there are many stay-at-home mom bloggers, but I don’t think there are many stay-at-home dads.
Here are my goals from the 3 months retirement preview post.
- Compile a detailed cash flow spread sheet. Success! I blogged about April, May, and June cash flow and kept track of all our income and expenses. After 3 months, we actually came out ahead and it was eye opening to see how close I am to my retire by 40 goal. We decided to continue to live on one paycheck when I went back to work and bank my paycheck. This will help us get ready to live on one paycheck and keep our expenses down. I’ll also continue to blog about each month’s cash flow.
- Work on acquiring a 4 plex. The bank accepted our offer on a short sale and now we are doing all the paper work. I will blog more about the 4 plex when the deal is done.
- Improve the blog and work on blog income. We did very well with the blog over the 3 month sabbatical. Our traffic increased, we got a Google Page Rank of 4 (Yes!), MozRank of 5.24, and are approaching 50,000 in Alexa rank. The blog income also improved to around $500/month. I’m very happy with Retire By 40! I also have more good news which I will reveal later this week so come by on Friday. 😉
- Figure out more ways to make money online. Explore the niche site opportunities. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job here. I had a couple of niche site ideas, but I didn’t have a chance to implement it. I am way too busy right now so I’ll probably just register the domain and will work on it when I have time.
- R&R – catch up on my hobbies, strum some ukuleles, dust off the Xbox, go to the farmer market, and just chill out and enjoy Spring. We did pretty well here. It was a wet spring, but we were able to get out once in a while. Once baby RB40 got to 3 months old, we were more comfortable taking him out and about. I took him to the library, the marina, and a few other places in town. It’s fun to see people react to our baby (“Oohhhhh, how cuuuute!”).
This one wasn’t on the original list, but many readers told me to enjoy spending time with the little guy. I really had a great time taking care of our baby. He weighed only 6 lbs 4 oz when he was born and now he is almost 17 lbs. The baby changed so quickly and I’m really happy to be a part of his development. One day he discovered his tongue and he kept sticking it out of his mouth for the whole day. A few days later, he was done with this and moved on to other discoveries. It’s really amazing to see all the little things he is learning.
I loved staying home with Baby RB40 and I don’t have any problem with being a stay-at-home dad at all. Once our finances look a little better, I will probably pull the trigger and become a full time stay-at-home dad/blogger.
One last thing, it was quite difficult to work on the blog and take care of the little guy in the beginning. He napped for only 20-30 minutes at a time and he demanded constant attention. I got most of the work done at night when Mrs. RB40 was home. Now the little guy naps for an hour to two hours so it is much easier to work on the blog. I have no idea how moms with more than one kid do this? Mom bloggers, want to share your secrets?
Anyway, I’m really glad I blogged about my SAHD experience. I have a terrible memory and I forget everything. Sharing my experience on Retire by 40 is a great way to share it with Junior when he’s older. If you don’t have a blog yet, you should consider starting one. Sign up at Siteground and they’ll help you get going for $3.95/month. That’s cheap.
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.