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Hi! I'm Mike and this is my wife, Jen!  Since we began this site, we've learned to live more frugally, completely eliminate our debts, create new income, radically increase our net worth, and live altogether better lives!  Sign up below for instant access to our members-only toolbox, including our exclusive guide:  15 Steps to Fix Your Broken Finances and Live a Better Life!

Monday
Sep012014

The LTNE Report -- August 2014

This month's highlights:

I'm waiting dissertation feedback from my committee and I've returned to work full-time.  I'm hoping to get whatever corrections done that come my way, get this thing defended, and be done with the PhD ASAP!

Our net worth is back on the increase, after I took an investment pause last month to give us some breathing room after some higher than normal expenses.  We've beat our goal for 2014 already, but we'll continue to push as much money as we can into our Vanguard funds.  (Note in the chart where we were when we began LTNE!).

We continue to draw down our P2P lending, but Prosper is simply clobbering Lending Club at this point.  I'm still happy with both as investment tools, though!

Once we are transitioned into our post-military career / lifestyle, we will likely make P2P lending a major income stream, as it continues to earn excellent passive income with even our lessening investments there.

We've earned very little income from LTNE and our niche site this month, as you would expect, given the dearth of our posting and our focus on investing and maximizing our active incomes (me through finishing my PhD and working my tail off in general; Jen has been working longer hours in her salaried job, as her staff has dwindled.  She has a pay raise in mind, as well as potentially working toward further increases in responsibility!).  

Our focus for September:

- Work on finishing the PhD

- Figure out Jen's way ahead at her current job

- Manage the kids' return to school and evening sports and activities

- Keep spending low, while investing $5,000 monthly in Vanguard funds

- I'm continuing my fitness efforts after losing 20 pounds (though my triathlon didn't happen due to a nagging injury that I'm trying to get healed!)

- Spend quality time with friends and family

Nobody wants to hear excuses about my not posting, so I won't bother.  I'll return to posting more regularly when I'm ready.  At some point, we'll announce future efforts here at LTNE or with other projects!  I'm still absolutely committed to building things (and potentially income!) online, but I want to do it on my terms and to my standards.  I'm done with silly Google games, I'm not going to hire article writers, I don't intend to be a lesser version of other blogs, etc.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday
Aug042014

The LTNE Report -- July 2014

Here are the highlights for this month:  

I'm training like crazy right now. I've dropped 20 pounds and 4 inches from my waist as I've decided that I'm going to be more fit than I was as a lieutenant.  Yes, this is nuts, but so far so good.  I pulled a calf muscle (soleus muscle) a couple of weeks ago, so I've had to lay off running, but I've been doubling my time on the bike and in the pool as it heals.  My weekly mileage is hitting new highs and I'm loving my TomTom Multi-Sport GPS watch that I reviewed earlier.  When I get time, I'll do part two of that review, now that I've spent some time with it in the pool.  

I'm on the last chapter of my dissertation.  Once I get feedback from my committee, I'll get the corrections made and prepare for the defense.  Getting this done will be an enormous relief.

Now, on to the financial stuff you're used to seeing!

(Quick note:  make sure you check out last month's report, as it lays out why I've made some of the changes that I have to this monthly report). 

I earned $97.30 in affiliate income this month from the following sources:

Amazon.com

Dollar Shave Club

aWeber

Thanks for hitting our links!

Our P2P investing generated $268.60 in interest income during July, though I am still drawing down our accounts for our transition.

We continue to use rewards credit cards (paid off in full monthly) to generate a small passive income stream.  This month's use generated $90.34 in passive income.  Most of that was on our USAA Cash Rewards American Express, which is our primary card for spending. 

We continue to experience a loss with our rental property, as the rent we collect doesn't cover either or mortgage or our HOA fees.  This is deliberate choice on our part, as our active income can cover the difference and we elected to remortgage the house to a 15-year mortgage, raising our costs, but paying it off much sooner.  Once it is paid off, that will be a nice passive income stream.  

As you can see, the vast majority of our income is still active (87%).  The goal over time is to begin to shift this balance. 

So, despite some nice passive income streams, the loss with the mortgage property still makes us have a net negative passive income.  My goal for this year is to continue to close that gap.

I suspended our mutual fund investments this month to cover some unexpected expenses, but we still managed to continue to get some growth in our net worth.  Our normal Vanguard investments return in force in August!

Traffic to LTNE remains low by our historical standards, but likely reflects the fact of our infrequent posting.  I'll remedy that in the future after we knock down some close targets first!  

The #1 thing that you can do to help out LTNE is to link to it in your own blogs, like us on Facebook, Tweet about us, etc.  Check out what we've written for the last two years and, when you find a useful or interesting post, tell people about it!  In fact, feel free to click one of the social media icons below this post!  Thanks!

I hope that you have a splendid August!