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The LTNE Report -- September 2012

This is our 100th post and I'm happy to report that we've had our best month ever!  Since I tend to be long-winded, I'll try to be a bit more brief this month.

Up front, a special thanks to my top two site referrers this month:  Mr. Money Mustache and the Military Retirement and Financial Independence blog.  Both are superb sites that you should go check out after you read this month's report!

Our Popular Posts this Month According to Squarespace (a couple of these are oldies, but apparently goodies!):

  1. The LTNE Report -- August 2012
  2. Niche Site Ranking Woes
  3. Health and Wellness Mini-Blog
  4. How I Saved My Family $214,292 This Week
  5. Frugal and Intentional Living Update -- OOMA VOIP / Digital Phone Review


My wife started back to work and we've been able to get a full month's pay from her added to our monthly active income, so our active income increased 26.68% from last month!  We are applying all of her income to debt elimination and, once our non-mortgage debt is gone, we'll be applying it to our transition savings account!

Passive income exploded this month, primarily from affiliate income, including $73.92 in Amazon affiliate income, $2.40 in FlexOffers income (from one signup for the free online ReadyForZero debt reduction program), and $6.28 Lending Club loan interest.  With a total of $82.62 in internet-derived passive income, we've experienced our sixth month of consecutive increase with a 92.14% increase from last month!

This site generated the bulk of affiliate income this site, but I do continue to make sales over at, primarily from traffic generated by a YouTube video review!


We've continued to ratchet down overall spending, with a total reduction in spending of 10.81% this month.  As part of our reduced spending, we've reintroduced a home phone line to our home, scaling back our cell phone usage (My plan is to eventually transition from two smart phones to only one, for further savings).  We've purchased the Ooma Telo Box, which is working great for us, and only costs us $3.72 a month.

Our monthly spending number really is the magic number for us, because we're trying to dial it back to the standard of living that we consider to be frugal but still comfortable.  Once we reach that number, it will tell us a lot about where we need to be if I retire and transition from the military in two years.  If we can get that monthly number down low enough, my retirement benefits very well might get us pretty close to our monthly spending.  Those retirement benefits, plus our accumulating savings, might make early retirement very much a possibility.  We use the free service from to track all of our spending.  If you don't track your spending closely right now, signing up for makes it free and easy!


Our debt elimination continues to be our primary focus, with our total, non-mortgage debt reduced by another 29.95%.  I anticipate having our non-mortgage debt eliminated by the end of December.

Net Worth:

Our overall net worth increased 12.96% this month, continuing our march toward a positive net worth.  We bought our rental home (which was our own home prior to us moving for the military) at the height of the housing bubble and it continues to be the primary source of our net worth debacle, as it continues to lose value.  But, as long as we can continue to keep it rented, we're sticking it out!

Site Statistics:

Our Alexa rank bounced all over the place this month, briefly hitting below 400,000, but it is 428,015 as I prepare this report.  We're continuing to press for a rank of less than 200,000 by 14 January as part of the Yakezie Challenge.  You can help by spreading the word about our site!

Traffic for the site is definitely up, with a 38.21% increase, with 5,950 unique visitors this month!  Thanks!

Twitter followers increased from 1240 to 1412, though I'm beginning to think this is largely a useless metric with the number of bots on Twitter.  Hey, and we're up to 35 Facebook fans!

For those of you following our Health and Wellness mini-blog, Jen and I completed our Whole30 Challenge, where I lost a total of 11.5 pounds in 30 days, including 3 percent body fat, and 2 inches off of my waist!  Not feeling satisfied yet, I've started an October challenge over there now as well!  I'm trying to dial back the clock to where I was at 28!  Why 28?  That's the age where I feel like I started to go downhill!    

We love to hear from all of our readers, so please leave a comment for us below!  Let me know what you think about our progress, ask any questions, or highlight your own goals and progress.  We also love for people to leave links to their own blogs and sites, so please do!  Finally, we appreciate your spreading the word about Live the New Economy any way you can!  Thanks!

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    The LTNE Report -- September 2012 - LTNE: - Live the New Economy.
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    Response: Luke Hohlt
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