Overall, the second quarter went pretty well for us – similar to the first quarter in many ways.
Base income was up for both of us (extra pay period + wife working again), while bonus had a nice (although non-cash) pop mid-quarter. My company is performing at a very high level these days – producing a steady stream of equity positions. This is somewhat due to the market and somewhat due to strong execution recently.
My personal rentals were atrocious on a cash basis, but they look ok on an accrual basis (anticipated deferred turnover costs from multiple years). As you could see on net worth update, the values have increased to cushion the income-side pain.
We didn’t make a ton of headway on cutting expenses, although they were a hair lower than Q1. Lower in mortgage (zero) and travel than in the past, but offset by continued higher spending in food, kids activities & shopping, and some home improvements. Ends up that kids are exhausting (breaking news, right) and we didn’t have the energy for other goals again. Kudos to those new parents who accomplish projects/goals during the first year.
Our adjusted savings rate (excludes bonuses and charitable giving) was still strong at 74%.
|Cash Flow - 2015 Q2|
|Income Excluding Bonus||$14,783||$12,528||$21,240||$16,184|
|Auto & Transport||($254)||($141)||($729)||($375)|
|Bills & Utilities||($493)||($339)||($202)||($345)|
|Fees & Charges||($4)||($1)||$539||$178|
|Food & Dining||($1,012)||($965)||($1,178)||($1,122)|
|Gifts & Donations||($1,399)||($1,548)||($1,324)||($1,424)|
|Health & Fitness||($374)||$44||$189||($47)|
|Expenses Excluding Charity||($4,306)||($3,835)||($4,572)||($4,238)|
|Adj Savings %||71%||69%||78%||74%|
- Salaries were up from first quarter. Mine was pretty steady in the second quarter, and had an extra pay period. My wife resumed her part-time work (in addition to two kids now…unbelievable!).
- My 401k contributions have bumped up recently as our owners have implemented a 4% match! That’s a substantial upgrade from zero percent – where we’d been pegged since the downturn. It’s a credit to them that they went that high. I’m a little under maxed out I noticed, so I need to do some math and bump that up soon.
- Her 401k receives half of her paycheck each month. That is max in her plan.
- Bonus Income hit blackjack in May due to two things.
- First, we refinanced Property 3 which paid out $8,218. Pretty strong on a $12,500 investment. The property was acquired a couple of years ago and came with an existing HUD loan that had an above-market rate, and a refinance lockout period of 2 years. This discounted the price, and we took the risk that rates would stay low. They did so we won. The refinance leaves us at the same monthly cash flow, but with 2/3 of the original capital returned. Happy days.
- Second, we kicked off another apartment project at work. Construction started in March, financing closed in May – a little risky but it worked out. My equity account is set at $76,000 based on the full General Partner equity. No cash to me, but I’ve decided to count initial equity creation as income, while dispositions are not (they are just investment gains). They all fall into Net Worth the same, but this way seems sensible to me.
- Rental Income was atrocious like I said above. Maybe I should move rentals down to the expense section!*
- Rental 1 had a turnover with heavy work. I had no turnover cost during the past 2 tenants (6 years total). So this was a while in the making. Refinished the floors, repainted, fixed a million little things, cleaned carpet, replaced lights & plumbing fixtures. A total of $7,500. Ouch. But the house looks fantastic, and I no longer rent to dog owners. Also, I leased it for $1645/month, which is an increase of $300 from the previous tenants.
- Rental 2 had some late rent. Actually rent came in late April, then I forgot to cash that check, then I lost April & May’s checks, then I cashed 3 checks in June to catch up. Sometimes I’m too scatterbrained to interact with regular humans. A mess, but the quarterly average comes out right on par.
- Auto had insurance hit in June.
- Entertainment caught me sneaking out to play golf a little bit this spring.
- In your face, Fees & Charges, we got a big cash back reward from the credit cards in June. So this category was actually income. We use the Citibank DoubleCash card. It gives 2% back and has no annual fees. And it’s a Mastercard, so you don’t run into “we don’t take Amex” every few purchases. Maybe I’ll create a recommendation page and affiliate setup somewhere if I can ever figure that out some day. For now, here’s a link that pays me nothing – all just for the love of the game!
- Food & Dining are tough for me to look at. And really there is probably a little more spent on food that found it’s way to the shopping category because of Amazon & Target. We just got lazy with both grocery shopping and eating out at times. I get & believe in the healthier and wonderfuller side of having an organized grocery plan, healthier home-cooked meals from scratch, etc. I really do believe in that one day. But we were battling sleep deprivation from a 3-6 month-old and the ravings of a 2 year old lunatic who’d had half of his parents attention ripped away by his new baby brother. So we threw idealistic plans about food out the window, and solved things with pre-made food and occasional outings to the local mexican restaurant at 5:15 to kill some late afternoon time (instead of killing some kids).
- Home expenses were low due to no mortage! (Still celebrating that win) But sorted of ticked up in June. We paid our first installment to a handyman who is doing a bunch of deferred maintenance around the house on water-intrusion areas. With a 100+ year old house, you can’t get to far behind on maintenance or everything falls apart. I had been meaning to get it done, but never got around to these siding, window, and gutter repairs. I set a deadline for myself or I was calling in a pro, and missed it (even after two self-allowed extensions). So we’ll see some future costs running through in July & probably August. Have kind of gotten over the pain of no DIY savings by offsetting the cost against what the mortgage would have been. Weak way to think, but it’s where I am.
- Kids cost jump in May was due to prepayments on some summer camps/daycares. Perfectly reasonable in my mind. It gives my wife some breathing room & sanity, while allowing her to keep working part time. Her income pays this many times over.
- Shopping was nothing to be proud of, and got worse toward the end. It wasn’t much in the way of clothes…10-20%. Was dominated by Amazon. Some food, some baby stuff, some random house needs. And poof – $900 lighter in June alone.
- Travel was nice & light, as we could barely make it across town with two kids, let alone any real trip. Kudos to parents that handle 2, 3, more kids gracefully and make it look easy. Hopefully we’ll be there one day.
Let me know if you have any words of wisdom on managing income & expenses. I appreciate all feedback, except spammers.
*To this point, I’m not sure I really handled the rental loss appropriately in the savings rate calculation. Should they be in/out of savings rate? Should expenses be with my life expenses? I could argue either side. So I’ll stick with this methodology to be consistent with previous posts.