July is in the books. I’m going to go on record and say that July was the best month of my life. I did have a pretty stressful stretch of a couple weeks where my work/life balance was pretty bad (and led to writing this), but that just reinforces the big plan. All that said, the baby is entering Toddlersville, and that means it’s open season on previously banned activities like going on stroller walks when its dark out, wrestling on the floor, and giving her all sorts of new foods.
I fully understand those folks who choose not to have kids, but dang man, kids are just fantastic. And so far, they’re like a fine wine; they just get better with age.
August is bringing with it so many other great things. While I still try to live in the moment, I can’t help but get excited for the return of Fantasy Football, slightly cooler weather, a trip back to Minnesota, and a junket up to NYC tomorrow to finally clear the lease on the NYC apartment.
The Path to Financial Independence
The ultimate graph of financial independence (above) shows that my forward passive income plus side hustles covered 15.3% of our expenses in July.
I’ve come to the realization of how long this is going to take. We’ll be seeing small little increases every month, along with step-ups after we sell each of the cars, and then one major step-up when we relocate in retirement transition. However, the month-to-month is sort of like watching the hour hand go around. At least it’s going in the right direction.
See Investment Portfolio for Full List of Holdings and Details
Paid In July: $573.93
Previous Forward Dividend Income: $750.36
New Forward Dividend Income: $762.95 (+1.7%)
Man, July sucked!. Not really. The first month of the quarter is never very good. On a positive note, dividends paid in July were 23% higher than dividends paid in the comparable month of April–so that’s nice. Unilever increased their dividend slightly, although UL tends to adjust their dividend (up and down) every quarter–but up is always nicer. I also bought another tranche of muni bonds. I also reinvested dividends, but that’s old news.
All told, the projected salary that my clones make after I fall asleep increased 1.7% over last month–I’d love to get a 1.7% raise every month at my day job! The fourth quarter will be very strong in boosting forward income, as I’ll be investing my IRA contributions, I’ll be able to re-up on my covered calls, and I’ll have a nice cash balance to invest that I’m currently just building up in the IRA.
Paid In May: $0.00
Previous Forward Interest: $41.99
New Forward Interest: $42.24
My annual interest payment for my annuity occurs in April. I’ll continue contributing a little bit each month to this account.
Retire29 had its best month ever!!! Not only in terms of income, but also in terms of page views (12,483). I’m getting the impression that Retire29 is where I really like to do my writing, so SeekingAlpha will be a backburner type thing for now.
I finally set up a Twitter account and Facebook page, and I’m working on a new theme that will hopefully look a little more professional. I like looking at my Alexa ranking, and it currently stands at 826,013th worldwide. That’s like a 1.5M improvement from 90 days ago, at this rate, I’ll be bigger than Google in like six weeks (jk). Improvements from here on out will only get more difficult, so I’ll just have to keep writing decent stuff, networking with other bloggers, and trying to make Retire29 a little better every day.
My goals for the blog this year were 5,000 views/month and $10/month. I’m right on pace for the views, but the trend is strongly up, so I think that won’t be a problem. The revenue side of things is slightly behind schedule, but only on a linear basis. This summer has been great, so I think that will be no problem, either.
The two big line items on top are really a drag. What’s more, August will have a $1700 car repair bill (another reason not to own expensive German engineering). One car will be paid off in January, and the other shortly after that. Cash flow is still very tight, otherwise I’d just do it now. Once paid off, they’ll get sold and used to pay down debt and buy a car befitting a growing family.
Part of me wants to just stop looking at expenses for a year or so, since there really isn’t much change. But, it’s probably a good idea to keep tracking, so I can see where other improvements can be made throughout.
Net Worth is a rather poor proxy for financial independence, however, people like using it for comparative purposes, so I oblige. My net worth rose 2.25% this month to $350,083. That is a $7.7k increase. The market had a good month with the S&P up 2%–although AAPL took a bath toward the end, so I did about what was expected. I paid off about $3.5k of consumer debt (now at $27.4k), which was pretty cool. I’ll try to keep that pace up.
I have no specific net worth goals. I reckon my Net Worth will be somewhere around $700k by the time I retire, however, that is just an approximation. Far more important is that little line chart at the very top, showing my passive income as a percentage of my expenses.
Thanks for reading and following along, as always!
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