March FIRE Update
Hey, everyone. Q1 is over! Boy, what an exciting year 2022 has been, so far. Well, exciting isn’t quite the right word. The world seems to be spinning out of control, but we have to figure out what we can and can’t control. I can’t do anything about inflation, the war in Ukraine, or Covid. But I could minimize spending and get a booster vaccine shot, for example. It’s no use to worry too much about the things we can’t control. That’s how I stayed happy in March while the TV is full of bad news. (Hint: The TV is always full of bad news.) Oh, I didn’t watch much TV either.
Anyway, I’m in Thailand for just a few more days. Then, I’ll be back in Portland, just in time for spring! There are all kinds of activities waiting for me back home.
- Take RB40Jr to his soccer games. (The coach asked if I can fill in last weekend. Sorry! I’m in Thailand. Heh heh.)
- Take RB40Jr to school, meet up with his friends, and various other activities.
- Fix up the heater’s water pump and various other problems around the house.
- Cook! I haven’t cooked for 3 months. Hopefully, I can still do it.
- Exercise every morning.
- File the tax return. Actually, I’ll file an extension because I haven’t started yet.
I’m looking forward to getting back to the regular routine.
On the personal finance side, March was a very good month. Our income was solid and our expenses were low. I traveled to the beach in Thailand and spent some money, but not a huge amount. It was a nice getaway. Our passive income exceeded our expenses again. We continued to save the extras. It was a good month.
I’ll share how I’m doing on my New Year goals (badly) and update our monthly cash flow. Here are the details.
Here is my 2022 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 at least once a month to track your progress. That way, you can see which goals need extra attention.
I’m not doing so well on my goals this year. I already failed 3 of them. See the reason below.
- Real Estate Crowdfunding $200,000. This goal was a bit too ambitious. I need to extend the timeline to 2023. Also, we have an unexpected expense. We are building a beach cabin in Thailand. So, I’m not sure how much we can increase our investment in RE crowdfunding this year. Anyway, the projects on CrowdStreet finish their funding phase quickly. Investors are taking profit from the stock market to diversify. It’s a great way to passively invest in real estate.
- FI Ratio > 110%. This is my main goal for 2022. The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. So far, our FI ratio is 153%. That’s excellent. This year, I’m less focused on our passive income because Mrs. RB40 plans to work longer. However, I’ll try to keep our passive income above 110%.
- Sell rental condo. Our tenant decided to stay for another year. He’s a great tenant so I’m okay with it. The price isn’t great in that area anyway. Portland is still struggling with a lot of issues. Hopefully, the city will improve soon. Anyway, I failed this goal.
- Speculate crypto $10,000. This isn’t going too well. Crypto seems to track the stock market closely. I need to do more research and see why. Cryptocurrency will be very volatile in the short term so hang on if you have a lot of money invested. Currently, I have about $2,500 in crypto currencies.
- Unfortunately, I lost my fitness tracker in Bangkok. I have no idea how it happened. It probably just popped off my wrist. Oh well, I’ll see if I can pick up another tracker when I get home. But I lost all motivation for now. I’m eating like crazy in Thailand because the food is so affordable and delicious. I’ll lose weight later. At least, I’m walking a lot so I’m burning calories.
- Travel 180 days – I was away from home for 79 days since the beginning of 2022. It would be more fun if my family was here, but Mrs. RB40 is busy with work and RB40Jr with the school. She could retire if she wants, but she chooses to work this year. I’ll just travel solo when I can. We’ll travel together in the summer.
- 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. Currently, we have 575 subscribers on our YouTube channel. I was publishing several clips per week, but I got too busy this month. Hopefully, I’ll get back on track next month.
- Hot air balloon ride, zipline, and Disneyland. I’ll work on this when I get back to Portland. Hot air balloon ride near Portland. Zipline in Thailand in the summer. Disneyland in the fall.
- Happiness level > 8. I’m having a great time in Thailand and I’m not even spending much money. In March, I give it a 9.5. I got to see my parents and relatives. I ate a ton of delicious food. Life is good. The only problem is my mom. Her dementia is deteriorating. She’ll have to go to a nursing home soon. It’s sad, but that’s the price of getting old. I’m just happy to be able to spend time with her. Like I said, let’s focus on what we can control and let go of what we can’t.
Net Worth (-3.2% 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. However, 2022 might not work out so well. The stock market dropped quite a bit since the beginning of the year. Our net worth followed the market down and dropped about 3%. I think that’s all right, though. The stock market increased so much last year. It needs to calm down a little. I’m surprised it came back so quickly with the ongoing geopolitical crisis.
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.
2022 Passive Income ($13,783 YTD)
Here is a quick summary of our passive income. You can see all the details on my Passive Income page.
March was a good month for passive income. Also, we didn’t spend much so our FI ratio looks really good.
*FI ratio = passive income/expense
March 2022 Cash Flow
Our cash flow was good in March. Our income was solid on all fronts except for side hustles. I’ll take a break from side hustling this year because we plan to travel a lot more. Last month, we didn’t spend much. Overall, it was a good month financially.
Here is the Sankey diagram of our March cash flow. You can get a quick overview from the diagram and see the details below.
Gross Income: $14,176
Our gross income will be lower than usual this year. We plan to work less and travel more.
- Mrs. RB40’s job: $8,417. Mrs. RB40’s income was normal.
- Blog income: $3,355. My blog income was higher than usual. Q1 is usually the best quarter for me. It’ll be down next month.
- Real estate crowdfunding: $10. It was a slow month for Real estate crowdfunding. You can read more on the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
- Rental income: $884. We had a nice month at the rental. I think we’ll have a good year with rental income. Things are smoother than the previous year.
- Dividend Income: $1,723. See more details on my Dividend Passive Income page.
- Interest Income: $7
- Side hustle & Misc: $0
Monthly Spending: $3,244
This year, I plan to spend about $50,000. So our monthly spending budget is $4,166/month. In March, we were under that budget. We didn’t have any big expenses. My travel didn’t cost that much so that was good. Here are the details.
- Housing: $1,381. This category includes mortgage, home insurance, HOA fees, property taxes, utilities, home improvement, repair, and furnishing.
- Parents: $250. My brothers and I each sent $250/month to my parents. They don’t have much retirement savings. Fortunately, they live in Thailand so it is enough. I also own the condo they live in so their housing expense is minimal.
- Groceries: $409. Usually, we spend about $500/month on groceries.
- Bills: $23. (This is just life insurance. Water, gas, and electric bills are included in the housing category.)
- Transportation: $139. This category includes gasoline, insurance, public transportation, and car maintenance.
- Entertainment: $98. Mrs. RB40 and Junior got takeout a few times.
- Kid: $44. Some game bucks and school pics.
- Travel: $541. Hotel rooms, condo, food, and transportation. Not too bad. I traveled to the beach and ate some delicious seafood.
- Health: $12.
- Clothing: $147. Mrs. RB40 purchased some stuff.
- Misc: $200. Donation.
I don’t count these as personal spending.
- Taxes and deductions: $2,630.
2022 Savings ($27,006 YTD)
I don’t think we’ll save as much as usual this year. We plan to travel more and relax a bit. We’ve been saving for so long. I think we deserve a break.
- Joe’s 401k: $2,300.
- Mrs. RB40’s 401k: $4,500. She contributes $750 every paycheck. She’ll need to increase it this year, though. I’ll send her a message.
- Roth IRAs: $3,000.
- 529 College Savings: $0.
- Extra savings: $17,206
YTD 2021 saving rate = 65%
March 2022 wrap up
March was a crazy month for the world, but I had a very nice month. I spent a lot of time with my parents. Financial independence enabled me to do this. My brothers also visited, but only for about 10 days. They don’t have time to relax and help with my mom. This is probably the last time I’ll have good quality time with my mom. The next time I see her, she’ll probably be in a nursing home and who knows how much time I’ll be able to see her then. They still don’t want visitors because of Covid.
I’m just glad for this time with her. Also, it didn’t cost that much money to stay in Thailand for 3 months. It’s a trial run for my future retirement. I’ll spend 6 months in Thailand and 6 months in the US. Life is good in Thailand when you have US money. Housing, food, transportation, and entertainment cost way less than in the US. Fortunately, I have some families here so I’m not too lonely.
How was March for you? Did you have a good month?
*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.
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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.
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