April 2023 FIRE Update

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Hey everyone! How was April? Did you have a good month? It was a pretty normal month for us. We didn’t do much. RB40Jr went to school and his activities. Mrs. RB40 worked from home. Oh, I started delivering food for Doordash and Uber. I made a little money, but also put a lot of miles on our car. We’ll have to wait and see if I can make it work.

On the financial side, we had a pretty good month. Our spending is back to normal. Finally, we have a positive cash flow month! The extra income from delivering food was helpful. However, I spent a lot more money than usual on gas. I’ll take the win and be happy about it. Our net worth was up a little bit as well.

Alright, I’ll share how I’m doing with my 2023 New Year goals. Then, I’ll go over our net worth and cash flow. Let’s go!

2023 Goals

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.

Things are looking good so far.

Financial Goals

  • Invest in Real Estate Crowdfunding. I plan to invest in at least one RE crowdfunding project this year. In January, there was a capital call and I sent in $3,000. That’s a start. I’ll invest more when we accumulate some money. 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.
  • FI Ratio > 120%. This is my main goal for 2023. The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. This shows us we can maintain our lifestyle with our passive income. It isn’t going well this year. Our FI ratio is at 85% after 4 months. We spent a lot of money early on. However, the rest of the year should be relatively cheap. Our passive income will catch up soon.
  • Net worth back to all-time-high. This one is completely dependent on our investment. I don’t have a lot of control over it, but let’s get back to ATH! Things are looking good so far in 2023. Our net worth has recovered 68% already. Our lowest point was in October 2022.

Health Goals

  • 7,500 steps per day. Wow, this goal is tough to accomplish. My steps per day dropped like a rock after I came back from Thailand. It was cold in Portland and I had a tough time leaving the house. My average is 6,356 steps per day. The weather is getting nicer so it should improve next month.
  • Cook 1 vegetarian/fish per week. I want to cook a healthier meal at least once per week. So far I cooked 26 very healthy meals. That’s great progress.

Personal Goals

  • 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 and more thrilling rides. I’m glad we went.
  • Happiness > 8. April was a good month for us. I started driving for Doordash. It kept me busy so I don’t have time to overthink things. The weather was horrible until the end of the month. It just turned nicer over the last few days. That cheered us up a bit. Lastly, my mom passed away. It’s sad, but I’m glad she is not suffering anymore. I give April an 8.5.
  • 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.

Net Worth (+7.7%)

The stock market did pretty well in April. The economy is starting to get a bit wobbly, but no recession yet. Consumers are feeling tentative so the stock market might slow down soon.

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. Hopefully, we can get back to our all-time-high this year. 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 need 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 almost every day to check our net worth. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

April 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 I want to see if we’ll be fine after she retires. Finally, we have a positive cash flow month!

April 2023 FIRE Income: $3,674

Our FIRE income was okay in April. The extra income from driving helped a lot.

  • Real estate crowdfunding: $525. Our real estate crowdfunding income is doing quite well. You can read more on the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $543. Dividend income is always a bit low on the first month of the quarter.   
  • Rental income: $676. I replaced a garbage disposal at the rental condo. That decreased our rental income a bit. Otherwise, things were good.
  • Blog income: $1,407. My blog income is decreasing. Oh the other hand, I don’t have to pay as much tax. Hahaha…
  • Odd jobs: I made $503 from being a delivery driver. But I also spent a lot more than usual on gas. I’ll keep driving for a while to see if I can improve my efficiency.  

Spending: $3,392

In 2023, I plan to spend about $50,000. That’s the same budget as last year. We went to California in March and spent a bunch of money. The rest of the year should look better because we don’t have any big plans.

Here are some details. Actually, I’ll only focus on a few categories to keep it simple.  

  • Housing: $1,285. This includes mortgage, utilities, furniture, repair, and maintenance. Our housing expense is lower than most because we live in a duplex. We split many expenses with our tenant.   
  • Travel: $328. In the summer, we’ll go camping and take several weekend trips.  
  • Groceries: $546. We try to keep our grocery expenses under $500 per month. That’s getting harder with high inflation.   
  • Kid: $240. RB40Jr’s activities – Wushu class and ultimate Frisbee.  
  • 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.
  • Transportation: $357. This was much higher than usual. Normally, I spend around $50 on gas.  

Saving: $282

April 2023 wrap up

April was a good month for me. It was life as usual at the RB40 household. I enjoyed driving around and delivering food for a couple of hours per day. It got me out of the house and gave me a little momentum. The income was helpful as well. I suspect many retirees will be doing gig work in the future. It’s an easy way to shore up your finances.

All right, that’s it today. Did you have a good month? The weather is finally getting a little warmer in Portland. I hope life is good for you as well.

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!

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you 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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