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July 2023 FIRE Update – Retire by 40

Hey everyone! I hope you’re enjoying summer to the fullest. I love summer. In my opinion, that’s the best time of the year in the Pacific Northwest. The weather has been awesome in the PNW this summer. We haven’t had a day over 100 degrees. So far, we dodged the horrible heatwave. I feel bad for the rest of the country. It sounds miserable in Arizona and other southern states. That’s one of the reasons why we’re staying in the PNW this summer.

In July, we visited Leavenworth and had a great time. Leavenworth is a Bavarian-themed town in Washington. It was really neat. I read the best time to visit is around Christmas. The town will be all decked out for the holidays. However, I don’t want to deal with snow so we decided to go in the summer. It was still a lot of fun. We hiked a bit and enjoyed exploring the town. The food and lodging were very expensive. But I didn’t mind splurging a bit because we saved on the transportation cost. Also, we visited the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. It was very interesting to see the salmon hatching operation. You can also take a dip in the river. All in all, we had a blast.  

On the financial side, we had a mixed bag. Our income streams were good, but we spent more than usual. That resulted in a negative cash flow month. I’m not too worried, though. It should even out by the end of the year. The stock market did very well in July. Our net worth increased a good amount and hit a new all-time high. That’s another reason why I didn’t mind splurging a bit. We should enjoy summer while we can. Soon, it’ll be dark and gloomy. We can hunker down and save money then.

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.

Most line items are looking okay…

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 as we accumulate more cash. 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. FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. This shows we can maintain our lifestyle with passive income. Things started off slow this year, but we’re improving. After 7 months, our FI ratio is 111%. That isn’t too bad. We should hit 120% by the end of the year.
  • Net worth back to an all-time high. This one is entirely dependent on our investment. I don’t have much control over it, but we made it! Our net worth finally surpassed its old ATH from January 2022. That took a long time.

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. It was cold in Portland and I had a tough time leaving the house. My average is 5,602 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 35 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. July was a good month for me. We went on a road trip to Leavenworth and had a fun time. However, Mrs. RB40 got sick afterward. I’ve been picking up the slacks for 3 weeks and I’m worn out. She is getting better so life should be back to normal in a few days.
  • 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. I’ll work on it this summer.

Net Worth (+17.1%)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006. Usually, it is very motivating to see the progress. The power of compounding is unbelievable. Sadly, 2022 was demoralizing. Our net worth dropped along with the stock market, but we kept investing. 2023 has been much better, though. We’ve reached an all-time high. Yes! It was a great month to be an investor.

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.

July 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, July was a negative cash flow month. Our income was okay, but we spent a bit more than usual.

July 2023 FIRE Income: $4,389

Our FIRE income was okay in July.

  • 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: $1,302. Good dividends.   
  • Rental income: $728. All is quiet at the rental properties. That’s the way I like it.
  • Blog income: $588. Blog income is slowing down significantly.
  • Odd jobs: I made $1,162 from being a delivery driver. But I also spent more than usual on gas. It seems to be a stable side gig so far. I also made $61 from a class action lawsuit.  
  • Interest: $23.

Spending: $4,626

In 2023, I plan to spend about $50,000. That’s the same budget as last year and we’re doing well so far. In July, we took a road trip to Leavenworth. It was a pretty expensive road trip, but we had a lot of fun.

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

  • Housing: $1,281. 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.   
  • Entertainment: $199. We ate out about once per week last month. This doesn’t include eating out during our road trip. I put that in the travel category.
  • Groceries: $529. My target for grocery expenses is $600 per month.    
  • Travel: $770.
  • 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: $723. I fixed a dent on our car.    

Saving: –$237

July 2023 wrap-up

July was a good month for us. We had a lot of family time because RB40Jr was out of school. It gave us a chance to do more fun activities together. We went to the park to play tennis, baseball, Frisbee, and Pokemon Go. It’s great to get more exercise.

We did well financially too. The stock market went up and we felt more relaxed about spending money. It’s a good feeling.

That’s it today. Did you have a good month? I hope you’re enjoying summer.

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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