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My 3 Months as a Stay-At-Home Dad Blogger


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. πŸ˜‰
  • 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. Β 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!”).

baby tongueThis 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.


baby tongue 2I 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.

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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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{ 61 comments… add one }
  • LifeAndMyFinances August 8, 2011, 4:03 am

    Sounds like you’re doing awesome RB40! I would love to hear that you retired in a few months! Oh, and I can’t wait to hear about the 4-plex. Sounds exciting!

  • LLF August 8, 2011, 5:32 am

    Wow, it sounds like you are going to reach you goal of retiring by 40. That’s very awesome. Watching your baby grow is a definately wonderful. We tend to take the stuff we do every day for granted where as they are so new to everything, like sitting up for example. We don’t think twice about it. But when babies learn to do it the first time, there is so much joy and awe in seeing the world from a different perspective. I treasure those moments.

    On a different note, do you plan to do maintenance for your rental properties yourself once you quit your FT job and the little guy goes to school?

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 9:38 am

      He can’t sit up by himself yet. He just slumps over. Hopefully he’ll be able to sit up soon. πŸ™‚
      I’ll do maintenance for the rental home, but I’ll probably rely on the management company to deal with the 4 plex.

  • Financial Success for Young Adults August 8, 2011, 7:32 am

    He is so cute! Congrats on the stats by the way. You will be ready to retire in no time. Let me know how the niche sites are coming too. I’ve been using Fiverr for one of mine and it’s working pretty well.

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 9:38 am

      Thanks! I will have to look into Fiverr for some help.

    • Jon -- Free Money Wisdom August 9, 2011, 3:13 pm

      He is a cutie! My girlfriend and I have talked about starting a family about 3-4 years after being married and Ihave a feeling we’ll be beginning earlier….I can’t wait! Good job with juggling being a stay-at-home dad and blogging! Looks like you kept up with your goals.

      • retirebyforty August 9, 2011, 10:19 pm

        I think 3-4 years is about right. We waited over 10 years and that was a bit too long. Thanks!

  • Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot.com August 8, 2011, 7:54 am

    Very cute baby! Also, congrats on the progress and your achievements!

  • krantcents August 8, 2011, 9:43 am

    Reflecting on your goals is an excellent activity! Taking the time to learn from the experience will help you in the future. Dealing with the trials of child rearing keeps you grounded and flexible. Congratulations on the 4plex.

  • Freddie @ Invest With Passion August 8, 2011, 9:57 am

    The secret is Moms are freaking awesome!!! That is the secret.

    Staying home is awesome and challenging. I am sure you really enjoyed your time with the little one. They are so special and grow up sooo fast it isn’t even funny!

  • Niki August 8, 2011, 10:21 am

    Ha ha! I had three kids under two years old, I don’t really remember how I did it. It helps to have a great husband/wife that knows you need a break.

    I am so excited about RB40 the blog’s growth. It would be wonderful to be able to stay at home and do something you love.

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 1:36 pm

      Wow, 3 kids. That’s nuts. I don’t know how my mom did it with 3 boys, hahaha. πŸ˜€

  • Brave New Life August 8, 2011, 10:34 am

    That sounds like a wonderful Spring. I had a similar Spring, when I took off 2 months while switching jobs. It wasn’t quite as productive as yours, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    I’m also so glad to see you’re interested in being a stay at home dad while your wife works. It baffles me that the tradition of mom’s staying at home while dad’s work is still so predominant. My wife is a stay at home mom, but only because I made significantly more than her so it was a faster path to getting us both retired.

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 1:38 pm

      It depends on the personality. I’m more patient with the kid than Mrs. RB40. We’ve been lucky so far and one of us had always taken up the slack when the other got impatient. I make more money than Mrs. RB40 currently, but I think she has a better future.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time August 8, 2011, 10:47 am

    Its nice to see a baby growing up! Is it only the time which is preventing you from working on niche sites?

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 1:39 pm

      It’s mostly time and energy. If I have extra time on the weekend, it’s usually spent catching up on sleep. πŸ™‚

  • Kellen August 8, 2011, 10:56 am

    Those are the cutest little tongue-sticking-out pictures.
    Congrats on the blog income, that’s very inspirational πŸ™‚

  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog August 8, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Sounds like you had a great trial retirement joe – Glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I’d love to hear more about the fourplex when its purchased. Have you considered taking 3 months off every year, or will leave not allow for that?

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 1:41 pm

      It would be great if I can take 3 months off every year. The company won’t allow that though.

  • Everyday Tips August 8, 2011, 3:00 pm

    I had 3 kids under the age of 4, and it is rough to find time. I worked part time from home during my 3rd child’s first year, and I had to work at night, I had no choice. If I had to work during the day, I did it while the baby napped, and the older two played really well together. Actually, I found 3 kids easier than 2 (it helps if they get along though). It can be hard with the first one because you are learning so much too, or at least I was.

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 11:02 pm

      You must be so tired from taking care of the kids all day. I can’t imagine dealing with 3 kids and then working at night. I think we will stop with one kid. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed August 8, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Great article Joe. I’m also a stay-at-home blogger / Dad. We should start our own club, I don’t think there are many of us. It seems that you were very productive in these three months I know how difficult it is to do things on a schedule when you have a young baby that has its own pressing needs. Sometimes everything needs to be put on hold for the baby, and rightly so. I went back to school and earned a masters degree online. It gav me the perfect opportunity to do this. If I had stayed in the workforce It would have been much more difficult to do that.

    I could write a book about all the experiences. Lots of great times, and several challenges.

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 11:04 pm

      We should start our own stay-at-home dad club. πŸ™‚ I only know two, you and me. ha hahaha… Well, just you right now. Hopefully I can join you soon. Maybe you should write a book about your experience, it’ll be entertaining.

  • Dining Out Challenge August 8, 2011, 4:20 pm

    There are no secrets, just lots of late nights working after the kids are in bed. Was it hard to put him in daycare after spending 3 months with him? He is just adorable!

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 11:05 pm

      It was very difficult to put him in day care. He got sick after the first week and then spread the germs to both of us. He seems to be adjusting well socially though.

  • Barb Friedberg August 8, 2011, 7:56 pm

    Wonderful!! You are doing great. Let me know if you want to commiserate as the short sale progresses. Ours finally went through after about 5 months. I’m told that it was better than most sales πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty August 8, 2011, 11:06 pm

      Congratulation! Finally you’ll be able to leave the basement. πŸ™‚

  • Theresa Torres August 8, 2011, 11:34 pm

    Hi RB40,
    A productive 3 months, wow, that’s awesome! How wonderful it would be to be able to retire by 40. I’d also love that and I still have 4 years to get ready.
    It’s wonderful that you were able to spend time with your baby and had a great time. He is indeed cute.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Congrats on your progress and I wish you good luck on your goals.
    Have a nice day!

  • cashflowmantra August 9, 2011, 6:54 am

    It’s been great to read about your past 3 months and everything you have been accomplishing and learning. I wish you the best and will be looking forward to reading more about your accomplishments.

  • Little House August 9, 2011, 1:13 pm

    What a great reflection. It sounds like you really enjoyed your time at home (love the tongue picts!) and ramped up your blog. Congrats on all the successes. Can’t wait to hear more!

    • retirebyforty August 9, 2011, 10:18 pm

      I loved being a stay-at-home dad. It’s so much fun and exhausting at the same time. Thanks!

  • MoneyCone August 9, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I like how you make detailed plans *and* stick to it! The pictures are absolutely adorable!

    • retirebyforty August 9, 2011, 10:19 pm

      Thanks! It is a lot of fun taking his pictures.

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 9, 2011, 4:43 pm

    It sounds like you have a great 3-month preview and were still able to get a lot done. I only have one kiddo (she’s 8 now) but always traded sleep to get things done. I never would have made it without caffeine. It does get easier over time and after getting into some kind of pattern. Glad you had fun. πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty August 9, 2011, 10:20 pm

      I think us parents have to trade sleep to get anything done. These days, I can’t wait for the weekend so I can take naps. Pretty sad. πŸ˜€

  • Denise @ The SIngle Saver August 9, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I just have to say that Little RB40 is a real cutie pie!

  • Grady Pruitt August 10, 2011, 12:17 am

    Ever since my oldest was born nearly 9 years ago, we made the decision for one or the other of us to be here. For us, a part of the decision was that the cost of daycare essentially would wipe out any gain of even having the second income. While things have been tough, I wouldn’t trade any of that time I spent with the (now 2) kids for anything.

    Parents who work all the time (whether it’s working two jobs or working really long hours at one) really do miss out on a lot of things that happen with their children. They miss most of the firsts of the child doing anything.

    Having attempted to do certain things myself with a newborn around, I know just how hard it can be. Congrats on the adventure and good luck with your plan!

    • retirebyforty August 10, 2011, 3:24 pm

      Daycare is very expensive. I’m trying to get my mom to move in with us for a while and that should really help out.
      It’s a big change going from 2 incomes to 1. We’re trying to do it, but we’ll have to do it gradually. Hopefully one of us will be home with the kid in about a year or so. πŸ™‚

  • Jeremy Belmont August 10, 2011, 2:07 am

    Sounds like you have a great gig going. It is possible to make good money blogging, but the key is to gain the confidence of others who might employ your services. Making yourself visable online and making the effort to get to know decision makers really works! Even an amateur like me has been offered good money for someone to put their post on my blog! Putting making money aside, blogging is meaningful, and a great way for people with similar interests to come together.

    Jeremy Belmont is the author for the 123notary BLOG at http://blog.123notary.com/

  • Sandy - yesiamcheap August 11, 2011, 8:49 am

    I love these stories from your time home, and baby RB40 deserves the compliments of course. Cutie pie. I’m curious about how you felt as a SAHD. Did you feel your manhood slipping?

    • retirebyforty August 11, 2011, 3:34 pm

      I am very comfortable as a SAHD. I’ve been working hard for 15 years and I’m entitled to a little time off. πŸ™‚

      • Squirrelers August 12, 2011, 9:01 pm

        I think I’d be very comfortable doing that too. Staying at home with child instead of working shouldn’t cause manhood to slip one iota. I don’t think this should even be a question in 2011.

        Not that I actually have had the opportunity to stay home. Provided the money was there, I’d stay home. Alas, the money’s not there though….not even close:)

  • Squirrelers August 11, 2011, 2:26 pm

    That’s great, RB40!

    The best part – spending time with the little one. Watching kids grow is a treasure. As a Dad, I think it’s great to see a guy focus so much time and attention on a young child. I treasure all the time I can get playing with my kids and more importantly taking care of and raising them. Though I’m not a stay at home Dad, I totally get how it would be great. Nothing at all wrong with a Dad wanting to do that!

    • retirebyforty August 11, 2011, 3:35 pm

      It’s great to see how fast he develops. He is starting to sit up better now and I never thought I would get exited by such things, but I am!

  • Money Reasons August 11, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Sounded like a great time!

    I think we would be more similar scenario to you and your wife, if my wife continued working after our baby was born.

    I’m with you though, I love my kids and was amazed as they developed. Especially after they were 6 months old.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty August 11, 2011, 10:55 pm

      I had a great time. 3 months flew by and going back to work was tough! I’m looking forward to his developments.

  • youngandthrifty August 11, 2011, 9:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, RB40! Congratulations on all the blog and baby success! You guys are doing great and I love seeing pics of baby RB40. Are you going to give him some royalty income from your blog since he’s featured so much? πŸ˜‰

    • retirebyforty August 11, 2011, 10:54 pm

      Yeah, he’s the star of the show. I’ll deduct his daycare cost from his royalty. πŸ™‚

  • Ben August 12, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Hey retire by forty I found your blog after starting my own blog. Even though I am much younger than you are, I have similar aspirations of retiring by forty. I really hope you keep this blog up so that I can benchmark against your successes. I have a really small retirement account and after finishing my masters this year I will have about 40,000 in student loans so I have a long way to go.
    In closing I would like to say that your blog has really caught the essence of the American .

  • Buck Inspire August 14, 2011, 9:15 am

    Baby RB40 or is he now Infant RB40? I’m confused. Loved the tongue shot. Haha.

    Way to stick to your plan. Looks like you will be Retiring by 40!

  • work at home mom August 30, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Me and my husband started really young, we’re in our twenties and we’re both work at home parents. I have been voraciously reading your posts and I am very much relieved and enlightened as I want to achieve success and retire when I’m forty and my kids are all grown up!


    • retirebyforty August 30, 2011, 10:54 pm

      Thanks for following Retire By 40! We are almost 40 and just had a baby. Your kids are so lucky to have both parents work at home. πŸ˜‰

  • Save more than you Earn March 7, 2016, 9:20 am

    Congrats on the side gig income! I’m trying to build myself a steady income too, hopefully retire as early as you!

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