August 2021 Goals & Financial Update

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Hey, everyone. Did you have a good August? We took it easy and relaxed around town before school started. September will be very busy due to school, sports, home repair, home winterizing, and various other errands. That’s why we didn’t do much in August. The weather is already cooling down by the time I wrote this update. It’s nice to get some relief from the summer heat, but I am not looking forward to the rain at all. Hopefully, we’ll have nice weather for a while. Once it starts raining, we’ll be in for many months of darkness.  

On the personal finance side, we had an okay month. Our net worth increased a little and hit another new high! Our cash flow was also pretty good. The only issue was our passive income. Our deck needed a cover so we ordered one. This will help channel water away from the foundation and we’ll be able to use the deck when it rains. We paid 50% in August and 50% in September. This is on our duplex so it is partly a business expense. Anyway, our passive income took a hit from this project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to recover by the end of the year. At least our cash flow was okay.

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. I already accomplished many of my goals and I’m making good progress on the rest. (I made modest goals this year because last year was so crazy.) Here are the details.

Financial Goals

  • Real Estate Crowdfunding $150,000. Earlier this year, 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. 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 divide by expense. We did pretty well until last month. In August, we had high expense and low passive income. This is due to repair at the duplex. Our FI ratio dropped to just 103%. That’s not good.  
  • 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 $21,800 in the bank. We are a bit behind on this goal.
  • 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 my main side hustle is charging scooter. In August, I made $2,902. Wow! This is a great side gig when the weather is nice. 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. Also, we got $250 from the child tax credit.


  • 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 329 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I gave up on this goal. Unfortunately, I ran out of new recipe to make. Oh well, maybe we’ll get back into it later.  

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 there and was able to keep it off. Now, I weigh 131 pounds. The summer activities really helped.
  • 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 scheduled an initial consultation. The wheel is in motion…
  • Happiness level > 8. August was a 9. We just relaxed at home and around town.

Net Worth (+12.2% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see our progress. Our net worth is up 12% since the beginning of 2021. That’s really good. My target is +10% per year. We’ll be set for a very comfortable lifestyle if we can meet this target most years. Anyway, I got scared of the delta variant and became a bit more conservative recently. I sold some stocks and move some money to bonds and real estate.

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 ($21,891 YTD)

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

August was a tough month for passive income. Our FI ratio got a bit messed up.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: I received $0 from our investment last month. No big deal. Next month should be good.
  • Rental income: It was also a rough month at the rentals. We had a negative month, -$886. This was due to the porch cover we’re adding to the duplex. Next month will be rough as well. The payment was spread out over 2 months.    
  • Dividend: We received $915 from our dividend portfolio. That’s not too bad.

At the end of August, our FI ratio was 103%. That’s not great. It might dip below 100% next month due to the rental. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m not too worried, though. We still have 3 months to turn it around. Q4 is usually better for passive income.

*FI ratio = passive income/expense

August 2021 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was good in August. We spent a bit more than usual, but we still saved 55% of our income. The big expense was the deck cover for our duplex. Luckily, my side hustle income was very good last month. I made $2,902 from charging scooters. That was my best month ever. I’m all worn out, though. I’ll hustle less in September.

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

Gross Income: $15,229

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

  • Mrs. RB40’s job: $9,466.
  • Blog income: $2,581. We had a good month at RB40.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $0. No payout this month for RE crowdfunding. You can read more at the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Rental income: (-$886). Negative month at the rental due to repair. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $915. It was also a nice month for dividend income. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Interest Income: $0.
  • Side hustle & Misc: $3,153. Wow, I made $2,902 from charging scooter. That was a record high. Now that the weather is cooler, this income will be much smaller in the coming months. We also got $250 from the child tax credit.   

Monthly Spending: $4,427

This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. Our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. August was a high spend month. We busted our monthly budget. It isn’t a huge deal, though. We are still well under our annual budget.

  • Housing: $2,633. 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 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 minimal.
  • Groceries: $477. Usually, we spend less than $500/month on groceries.  

Here are some of the dishes I made.

Fish Sauce Wings – Yum! We rarely get wings because it’s the most expensive part of the chicken. This turned out quite well.

Tuna poke bowl – I also rarely buy tuna, but once in a while, I couldn’t resist.

Nori bento & spam musubi fusion – Super easy to make, but probably not too healthy. Heh heh.

  • Bills: $23. (This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.)
  • Transportation: $318. This was for gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and maintenance. Whoa, this one was higher than usual. Our neighborhood has meters and we need to pay $200/year so we can park in the street.
  • Entertainment: $183. We went kayaking with friends before school started. We also ordered out a few times.    
  • Kid: $63. New shoes and school supplies.
  • Pet: $30. Pet supplies.
  • Travel: $177. Flight to CA for Mrs. RB40.  
  • Health: $0. Doctor appointment and prescriptions.
  • Clothing: $84. I purchased some shorts and t-shirts for myself.
  • Misc: $23. Mrs. RB40 got a few things from Walgreen.


I don’t count these as personal spending.

  • Taxes and deductions: $2,380. 

2021 Savings ($72,429 YTD)

Alright! 2021 is going quite well for us.

  • Joe’s 401k: $19,375.   
  • Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $12,750. She contributes $750 every paycheck.
  • Roth IRAs: $8,000
  • 529 College Savings: $3,000.
  • Extra savings: $29,304

YTD 2021 saving rate = 60%

August 2021 wrap up

August was a good month overall. We had a relaxing time and didn’t do too much. We were afraid of Covid. The number of new cases in Oregon surpassed the surge from last winter. Mrs. RB40 and I are vaccinated, but our son isn’t. He is only 10 and he can’t yet. That’s why we were being conservative and mostly stayed home last month.

On the personal finance side, things were good. Our net worth and cash flow were both pretty good. Passive income was low, but I’ll keep working on it. We still have a few months left until the end of the year. This is why I plan to only do one big home project per year. They are expensive and can mess up the budget. I’ll share how the project turns out next month.

How was August for you?  I hope you enjoyed the last of the summer because autumn is coming up very soon.

*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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