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The LTNE Report -- August 2013 (New Passive Income Record!)

One of my daughter's photos of our butterfly gardenSummer is nearly over, the kids are back at school, and it is my favorite time of the month for blogging:  our monthly income report!  

First, a goal update:  Jen and I competed in our very first triathlon this month, ticking off one of our 2013 goals:  .5 mile swim, 22 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run!  It was harder than I anticipated it would be (even after training), but we're both hooked and we're going to sign up for several next year!

And I'm happy to report that we set a new passive income record this month, with $835.75 in passive income!  

Since the beginning of LTNE last year, we've made $5,197.55 in passive income!

Aside from advertising income (we had none this month), every passive income source increased this month.

Affiliate income this month came from a variety of sources, including:

Someone booked a trip through Orbitz:  $38.17

Amazon Affiliate:  $30.21

Dollar Shave Club:  $28.00

Lending Club Sign-Ups:  $16.00

aWeber:  $5.70

Discover It Rewards Card Signups:  $300.00

Total:  $418.08

Thanks to everyone who has used links on the site!  Remember:  using affiliate links costs you nothing extra and helps to fuel content for our site!  

Our investments through Lending Club and Prosper continue to do very well, as the chart below indicates:

We continue to reinvest the monthly interest payments paid to us for these investments, alongside principal, in new loans.  In addition, beginning next month we are going to begin to invest an additional $500 monthly in both Lending Club and Prosper.  

For more details on our P2P investing, check out my most recent video.

Another source of passive income that we just began a couple of months ago is using rewards credit cards for all of our purchases (paying them off each month, of course!) and pocketing the free money.

We earned a total of $105.10 in cash rewards using our Discover It and USAA cash rewards cards.  Since we began using and pitching the Discover It card, a couple of you have signed up for it through our site.  I'd love to get your feedback, so comment below!

The really neat thing about this month is that much of our income was truly passive, in that it was generated in large part from the back catalog of articles on this site.  I put a total of four hours into this blog this month, generating an effective hourly rate of $208.94 per hour for my work!

We also continue to invest in Vanguard 500 Admiral Shares where our assets there now total $11,162.71 ($10,000 initial investment + $1,000 monthly).  After some strong growth last month, the S&P 500 contracted this month, decreasing the paper value of our shares.  

After reaching our 2013 goal of $25,000 net worth early, we continue to make enormous progress in growth here, as our rental house value is climbing day after day and we continue to invest and save!  Interestingly, even increased the value of our 2005 Honda Odyssey (I guess used car values are going up).

Visitors to LTNE remained somewhat steady.  I've lost the peak visitors I received back in Feb-Mar-Apr from our brief appearance on Google's #1 search result for one of our articles.  

We also have very little referral traffic this month (meaning that very few sites out there are linking to our content, which is unfortunate, but also indicates how little outreach I've had time for lately).  That said, I'd like to thank our two biggest referrers:

1. Mr. Money Mustache

2. Military Money Manual

Mr. Money Mustache's site seems to be going gangbusters and his success is well deserved.  Interestingly, most of my referral traffic now comes from my YouTube video catalog, which I've grown slowly but surely.

We refinanced our home this month from a 5% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage to a 3.75% fixed rate, 15-year mortgage and our payments resume in October.  If you are interested in a mortgage refinance, we were very pleased with the service provided by Lending Tree, which allows you to compare offers from multiple lenders.

Here's our recent article on our mortgage refinance.

A trick of the calendar allowed Jen to collect three paychecks this month, so our active income hit a new record!  

I wouldn't expect that to happen again for awhile, but it was nice!

Here is our overall life strategy right now:

1) Increase our active incomes where we can.  

2) Find passive income everywhere that we can, including affiliate income, advertising income, interest from peer-to-peer lending, and the use of cash rewards credit cards (paid in full each month).  

3) Grow our assets by reinvesting peer-to-peer loan interest, principal payments, and $1,000 monthly into new loans, as well as investing $1,000 monthly into index funds through Vanguard.

4) Continue to pay the mortgage off on our rental home aggressively, with normal mortgage payments, as well as $1,000 monthly principal payments.

5) Get our emergency fund back up to $10,000, since I depleted it for the Vanguard Admiral Shares; we began to do this this month! 

 6) Continue to maintain a zero balance on all credit cards.  Continue to spend less on all things and live frugally!

7) Research and write each weekday for my PhD dissertation.

8) After completing the triathlon, make progress on my body composition goal for 2013, plus train for our November 10K race.

9) Live life fully!

Thanks for visiting Live the New Economy!  We hope you glean something from each one of these monthly reports!

One final note:  Imagine my sinking feeling when I found out today that every single Prosper affiliate link I had on this site was a bad link!  If you have a Wordpress site, I highly recommend that you check out Pretty Link to avoid this sort of mistake.  I use Squarespace, which I love, but keeping track of links on my own is getting tough! I can only imagine the affiliate income I've lost due to this mistake!


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