April was an exciting month, nothing to do with income, blogging or steps! I traveled to Australia for business. And that was awesome! We all have different goals and aspirations in life. One of mine was always to do an international business trip (well several if I could) and never managed to get one (U.S. aside). I even considered getting a different job in order to do so but wasn’t looking to do it on a consistent basis so I never made the move. So here I am, still waiting for my formal layoff notice but finally got my international business travel opportunity! I went to Australia for two weeks…and got to pet a Koala (I know I know how lame…but I always wanted to) Check out my upcoming post for pics of my trip! Of course I could just buy myself a ticket and go visit Australia but having a mix of leisure and work was more what I was looking for (Remember I actually like my job, most of the time!) Otherwise everything for April was pretty good except blogging! Here is my April 2018 Income, Expenses and Goals.
Related post: Would You Travel To Australia For Business?
Update on layoff notice: I had a call with the “powers to be” and they had a great proposal but didn’t follow up with written confirmation yet! I have been around long enough, I don’t believe anything “they” say until it is in writing!
FI INCOME -$806
Monthly FI (Financial Independence) Income:
Dividend & Interest Income: $1,014
Not my highest month but not bad at $1K and totally within my plan!
Here are the stocks/ETFs I received dividends from in April:
- REI.UN – RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
- CPG – Crescent Point
- ZAG – BMO Aggregate Bond ETF
- CJR.B – Corus Entertainment Inc.
- IPL – Inter Pipeline Ltd.
- ZDV – BMO Canadian Dividend ETF
- FIE – iShares Canadian Fncl Mthly Inc ETF
- * new *ALA – AltaGas Ltd.
- ZDI – BMO International Dividend ETF
- GE – General Electric Company
- KO – The Coca-Cola Company
- GSK – GlaxoSmithKline plc
Rental income from my three rental units, all condos. You can read more about it here.
- Insurance: Paid the insurance on all condos. I could pay monthly but prefer to pay it all at once, which is why the cash flow is negative this month. Cost: $748.44.
- Unit #1:Nothing to report this month but did remind them their lease was up and they have to give me 60 days’ notice. I hope they stay, otherwise I may sell. I could increase their rent in June but I don’t plan to since I am already above market.
- Unit #2: Kitchen sink was leaking and the tenant waited until water was dripping down in the basement to call me! I got a plumber in (next door neighbor) and he replaced the entire faucet. Also critters are back in the basement (already had an issue a couple of years ago) so I had to call the condo corp (their responsibility) to take care of it. They did but it doesn’t look like it worked so will have to call them again! Total cost: $290.97 (I bought a good quality faucet this time!)
- Unit #3: They still didn’t return their lease. They called to follow-up on some work they want done (tiles in the kitchen and changing the AC unit) but told them I wouldn’t do anything until I get a signed lease. I paid $30 for a floor product to refresh/reshine the hardwood floor (and keep them happy).
I estimate the time spent on rentals this month to be around 3.0 hours overall, including my partner’s time to go check on the leak and going to the store to buy the new faucet, a few texts and a few calls.
$778 for 3 hours of work! Not quite as spectacular as last month but who gets paid $260/hr at work???
Related post: To Be A Landlord Or Not To Be?
Side Hustle Income:
- Nothing to report this month.
EXPENSES – $2,808
See where it all started and why I keep track of my expenses here
Tip: Update your spreadsheets regularly otherwise it takes forever!
Categories from Household to Cell phones are consistent each month so I will stop commenting unless something changes. You can refer to the December post for details.
- The school finally cashed my cheque for my son’s ski activity – $220. Thy go skiing every Friday night after school for 8 weeks. Kids love it! Not sure why it took so long for the school to cash it. I probably should have included it in my December report but I prefer the cash method:)
- Another $120 for clothing, school supplies and a show at school for my son.
Much better than last month but not overly frugal!
- $96 for eating out. Pizza & shawarma with my kids twice and a night out with my girlfriend at a great Indian restaurant (forgot to take pics again!).
- $67 for snacks and coffee this month. Took my daughters out for coffee on the market a couple of times and it’s not cheap, but we had a wonderful time. Also treated myself to a few yummy chocolates again! What’s the point to have money if I can never indulge:)
- $160 for miscellaneous items. My daughters and I went to a trade show and I spent a little more than I should have on things I didn’t need, post to follow! But we had a blast. It’s so nice when your older kids still want to spend time with you!
Summary – FI ratio is 52% YTD including kids expenses.
A drop from last month YTD at 58% because of the payment of the insurance on condos. Next month my car insurance is due so the ratio will remain low. Also I haven’t been very frugal for the last couple of months. I think it has to do with the weather but I could easily cut back on the “other” expenses if I had to…but I don’t have to yet!
- Reduce Grocery bill by 30% or $200/week. Haven’t done the detail analysis yet but I know we are on track. Check out my previous Monthly Grocery Reports.
- Increase my dividend to $12,000. Right on target with 35% of dividend income in four months.
I didn’t check for April! Taking a little break from the metrics. It was depressing last month and I assume after one month away, it must be awful! Same with Twitter followers. Blogging is very addictive and I think this forced break was good for me. Hopefully I find a good balance going forward between blogging and everything else in my life.
The main goal is to keep enjoying it and make it to One year at least!
Related page: Best Blogging Tips
- Cut back on Sweets: Made progress in April but still have work to do! (It’s the chocolate!)
- My average daily steps were 10,414 in April compare to 11,226 last month! Work got the best of me but still managed to get out for a walk almost daily.
That’s it for April. It was a really good month overall! A little late to ask readers about their April so hope it was great!
But wondering, to any current or ex bloggers, have you taken a break since you started? For how long and was it beneficial overall? If not , do you ever consider doing it? Why or why not?
A special THANK YOU to the following bloggers for featuring some of my posts in April:
- Today’s Best: Winning Women Who Money [4/20/2018]
- Weekly Roundup – Momentum’s Finest On Saturdays VOL 11 [APR. 28]