October 2023 FIRE Update

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Hey everyone! Did you have a good Halloween? Sadly, Halloween was uneventful for us. RB40Jr and I were both sick so he couldn’t go Trick or Treat. Also, nobody came to our house. I guess RB40Jr can have the bag of Twix I picked up from the grocery store.

On the personal finance side, October was not a good month for us. The stock market went down and our net worth decreased a bit. This isn’t a huge deal because the economy is doing pretty well. The stock market should improve over the next few months. The bigger issue was our cash flow. We had another negative cash flow month. We visited Washington D.C., had a ton of fun, and spent more money than usual. It was worth it because we met up with my brothers and their families. The kids had a great time together. I don’t mind splurging on this occasion.

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!

2023 Goals

Here is my 2023 goal spreadsheet. It works well. Try it out if you can’t keep up with your New Year goals. The key is to review the spreadsheet monthly to track your progress. That way, you can see which goals need extra attention and work on them. Time is running out!

Financial Goals

  • 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 sent him $52,000 and the construction should start 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. Unfortunately, our FI ratio is lower than expected (79%). We spent too much money. Hopefully, we can bring it back before the end of the year.
  • 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! We accomplished this goal in July so this goal is done! Our net worth dropped a bit since then, but I’m still happy with 2023.

Health Goals

  • 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. Fortunately, my fitness tracker broke and I can’t track this goal anymore. This one is a failure.  
  • Cook 1 vegetarian/fish per week. I want to cook a healthier meal at least once per week. So far I have cooked 44 healthy meals. That’s steady 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 more thrilling rides. I’m glad we went. Done!
  • Happiness > 8. October was a busy month. I got to see my nephews and nieces so that was awesome. We all had a good time in D.C. I was sick for a couple of weeks, but that didn’t affect my happiness much. I gave it an 8.5.
  • Get rid of Awebber. WIP. This is one of my biggest business expenses and it doesn’t seem that useful. I want to change a cheaper alternative this year. It’s hard to get going on this front.

Net Worth (+9.8%)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006. It is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. The power of compounding is unbelievable. The stock market didn’t perform well in October. Our net worth dropped a bit. However, we’re still up 9.8%. I’m optimistic, though. The economy looks pretty good so the stock market should improve soon.  

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.

October 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. October was another spendy month for us. We’ve been lax with our spending lately.  

October 2023 FIRE Income: $4,284

Our FIRE income was good in October, but we spent more than usual. As a result, our cash flow was negative. It doesn’t look good, but I’m not stressed out yet. Our finance is solid enough to absorb a few negative months. We’ll see the overall picture at the end of the year.

  • 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: $797.    
  • Rental Income: $796. We had a roof leak at the duplex, but it didn’t cost anything. The roof is under warranty. The roofing guy came out and made a small adjustment.
  • Blog income: $1,461. Blog income is normalizing to this level.
  • Odd jobs: I made $680 from being a delivery driver. I was sick for 2 weeks so this was lower than usual.
  • Interest: $25.

Spending: $6,488

In 2023, I plan to spend about $50,000. That’s the same budget as last year. Unfortunately, we already surpassed the budget and still have 2 months left. Next year, I probably should plan for a 10-15% increase in spending.

Here are some details.  

  • Housing: $1,257. 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: $273.   
  • Travel: $3,473. We took a trip to D.C. Mrs. RB40 also went on a long business trip. She put some charges on our credit card and will be reimbursed later.
  • Entertainment: $38. We ate out once.
  • Groceries: $550. My target for grocery expenses is $600 per month.  
  • Health: $40.
  • Misc: $300. I took out some cash for our trips.
  • Clothing: $247. We got some shoes and new jackets.   
  • 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.

Saving: –$2,204

October 2023 wrap-up

October was another rough month financially. However, I’m still optimistic. We’ll have to see what it looks like by the end of the year. Q4 is a big quarter for passive income. The annual number should look better. Anyway, Mrs. RB40 is still working so we’re actually doing pretty well.

That’s it today. Did you have a good month? Are you enjoying the cooler weather?

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 sign up 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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