Hey everyone! Autumn is almost here. The weather is cooling down, but it’s still really nice in Portland. Hopefully, the warm weather continue for another month or so. I’m not looking forward to the rain at all. We had such a great summer.
Last month we went camping at the beach and enjoyed it tremendously. We got a yurt this time. It was pretty cheap at $50/night. Eating out was really expensive, though. Almost every meal cost over $50. Travel is expensive, but we enjoy it. Next month, we will visit D.C. and meet up with my brothers’ family. It’ll be a ton of fun. But that’s one of the reasons why our cash flow was negative in August.
The other reason was a new electric bike. I purchased a new e-bike from REI for $800. (40% off!) That’s actually pretty cheap for an ebike. I also had to get lock, cellphone holder, and various other accessories. I think it’ll be worth it in the long run, though. The e-bike has been very useful. I rode it to the grocery stores, library, post office, and various other places. It’s fun. I’ll also try delivering food with the bike next week. This bike will pay for itself with less gasoline spending.
August was a slow month on the stock market. Our net worth decreased a bit, but we already gained so much since the beginning of the year. I’ll be quite satisfied if the market stays steady until the end of 2023.
Alright, I’ll share how I’m doing with my New Year goals. Then, I’ll go over our net worth and cash flow. Let’s go!
Here is my 2023 goal spreadsheet. 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 once a month to track your progress. That way, you can see which goals need extra attention and work on them. Time is running out!
Most line items are looking okay…
- Invest in Real Estate Crowdfunding. I plan to invest in at least one RE crowdfunding project this year. Earlier this year, there was a capital call and I sent in $3,000. My projects on CrowdStreet are doing quite well so I plan to invest more over the next few years. It’s a great way to generate passive income. However, I’m done this year. My dad is planning to build a beach house in Thailand. I need to send him some cash soon.
- FI Ratio > 120%. This is my main goal for 2023. FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. This shows we can maintain our lifestyle with passive income. After 8 months, our FI ratio is 101%. I’m not too worried, though. It should increase in Q4.
- Net worth back to all-time high. This one is entirely dependent on our investment. I don’t have much control over it, but let’s get back to ATH! Oh wow, we made it. Our net worth finally surpassed its old ATH from January 2022. That took a long time.
- 7,500 steps per day. This goal is tough to accomplish. My steps per day dropped like a rock after I came back from Thailand. My average is 5,464 steps per day and dropping. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll improve much.
- Cook 1 vegetarian/fish per week. I want to cook a healthier meal at least once per week. So far I have cooked 37 healthy meals. That’s steady progress.
- Disneyland, zipline, or hot air balloon ride. We visited Disneyland in March. It was great. We enjoyed the trip tremendously. RB40Jr wasn’t impressed with the classic rides, but he loved the newer more thrilling rides. I’m glad we went. Done!
- Happiness > 8. August was a great month for me. We went on a camping trip and enjoyed the last bit of summer. Life was great.
- Get rid of Awebber. WIP. This is one of my biggest business expenses and it doesn’t seem that useful. I’ll move to a cheaper alternative this year. It’s hard to get going on this front. This is my highest priority in September.
Net Worth (+15.4%)
I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006. Usually, it is very motivating to see the progress. The power of compounding is unbelievable. However, 2022 was demoralizing. Our net worth dropped along with the stock market, but we kept investing. That’s the way to build wealth.
The important thing is to keep investing even when the market goes down.
***Important*** My best advice is to stay the course. Do not stop investing. You have to keep investing when the stock market is down. Eventually, the stock market will recover and you will do very well as long as you keep investing through the downturn.
Here is a chart of our net worth from Empower. (Personal Capital is now Empower.) Sign up for a free account at Empower to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in to check our net worth and use their free tools. It’s a great site for DIY investors.
August 2023 FIRE Cash Flow
This FIRE cash flow chart includes my online income, side gigs, and taxable passive income. Mrs. RB40’s income isn’t here because she’ll retire soon. Unfortunately, August was a negative cash flow month. Our income was okay, but we spent more than usual. Travel and the new e-bike pushed our spending up. Oh, I also got a new glasses. That’s $600 under health…
August 2023 FIRE Income: $4,630
Our FIRE income was good in August, but we spent a bit more than usual. As a result, our cash flow was negative. I’m not stressed out yet. Q4 should be better and our annual cash flow should be okay.
- Real estate crowdfunding: $289. Our real estate crowdfunding income is doing quite well. You can read more on the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
- Dividend Income: $522.
- Rental income: $513. All quiet at the rental properties. That’s the way I like it.
- Blog income: $2,203. Blog income is slowing down significantly. This month was good, though.
- Odd jobs: I made $1,084 from being a delivery driver. But I also spent more than usual on gas. It seems to be a stable side gig so far.
- Interest: $19.
In 2023, I plan to spend about $50,000. That’s the same budget as last year. Unfortunately, we’re trending a bit high. Next year, I probably should plan for a 10% increase in spending.
Here are some details.
- Housing: $1,503. This includes mortgage, utilities, furniture, repair, and maintenance. Our housing expense is pretty low because we live in a duplex. We split many expenses with our tenant.
- Transportation: $1,052. I got a new e-bike. It cost around $800. I really enjoy it, though. I’ve been riding around town to do errands. In the long run, it’ll save us some gas money.
- Travel: $1,454. We went camping in August. The most expensive part was eating out. I’m beginning to dislike eating out. It’s ridiculous how much it cost.
- Entertainment: $444. I got some accessories and safety items for my e-bike. We also ate out a few times.
- Groceries: $548. My target for grocery expenses is $600 per month.
- Health: $642. I needed a new pair of glasses.
- Misc: $180. Mrs. RB40 is going back to work at her office soon. She spent some money on a haircut and a few items.
- Parent: $250. My brothers and I send $250/month to our parents to help with expenses. They live in Thailand so their cost of living is much lower.
August 2023 wrap-up
August was a good month for us. We had a lot of family time and enjoyed it. This is the good part. We are all healthy, secure financially, comfortable with our lifestyle, and don’t have any big problems. I don’t think it’ll get much better than this. Life is good.
That’s it today. Did you have a good month? I hope you’re enjoying summer too.
Passive income is the key to early retirement. These days, I’m investing in commercial properties with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the United States. Go check them out!
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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.