Sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to become FI! This month was one of those times. I wasn’t frugal at all! Maybe life got in the way of saving too! Just like it did with blogging!
On another note, I finally signed off on my insurance claim! Glad it is over. You can check out the full story What To Do When Dealing With A Rental Property Insurance Claim.
At work, we finally gave formal notice to most of the staff but still no update on my termination. The entire process has been very stressful and I am starting to feel a lot of anxiety. I am trying to manage it but I hope to get an update soon. How long can they drag this on???
FI INCOME -$1,230
Monthly FI (Financial Independence) income:
Dividend & Interest Income: $721.
Not quite as good as last months but that was expected for February. Still an increase of 163% over last year’s dividend income!
Dividend income is based on 17% of my Net Worth. The rest of my Net Worth is in my Group RRSP (401K equivalent) and Real Estate.
Here are the stocks/ETFs I received dividends from in February:
- 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
- ZDI – BMO International Dividend ETF
- PG – The Procter Gamble Company
- GIS – General Mills
No stock purchase/sale this month.
CJR.B? Corus Entertainment reached a new low this month and I don’t believe it will be able to maintain its current dividend payout. How about you, what do you think? Time to sell?
I have three rental units, all condos.
- Unit #1: Nothing to report this month. Their lease is up on May 31st so they need to let me know by the end of March if they plan to move out.
- Unit #2: The work is finally done! You can read about the The Frozen Pipe That Broke The Landlord’s Back and What To Do When Dealing With A Rental Property Insurance Claim. I delayed paying the deductible until March so my cash flow will be negative in March.
- Unit #3: Tenants decided to stay…for now! I am preparing a one year lease for them so they stop changing their mind! Nice people but they drive me crazy sometimes.
I estimate the time spent on rentals this month to be around 1.5 hours, all to do with the insurance claim. My rental cash flow is not great but it is positive. My goal with the rentals was to increase my equity and not focus as much on the cash flow while I was still working.
$1,474 for 1.5 hours of work!
I decided to try to keep track of my time on the rentals after reading one of Drew’s monthly landlord report, where he calculates is hourly rate as a landlord. Check out his latest report: The landlord report – February 2018. He is killing it!
Side Hustle Income:
- $15 from Ebates! Finally getting some affiliate income, even if it is from my friends! Join Ebates and get $10 off your first purchase.
Side Hustles are great and can allow you to retire much earlier. Check out my post Get a side hustle and retire earlier if you are looking for side hustles ideas.
CPP (Canada Pension Plan) Survivor Benefit:
This is an amount I will receive until I start receiving my own CPP (any time after I turn 60).
EXPENSES – $2,960
I started keeping track of my expenses in detail in October 2017 so I could figure out how much I would need once retired. But with my pending layoff, I now want to know how much we spend in detail so I can anticipate our needs for next year, when I am no longer working and still have kids in school. (You can read about my future layoff in the following two posts: Could getting laid off be the right opportunity for me to retire earlier? and On the outside I may look cool, calm and collected…)
Tip: Update your spreadsheets regularly otherwise it becomes overwhelming.
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.
- I bought an expensive pair of shoes for one of my daughters! It was on sale for $96! Apparently it was a steal, as per my daughter, for designer shoes!!! I don’t pay for my daughters’ clothes or shoes so once in a while I do something stupid … like buying a $96 pair of shoes.
- $66 for a University book. I will get that money back when the course is over and she sells it. My daughters pay for their tuition and I pay for the books.
- $174 for CAA/AAA for the one year membership for my daughters and I. It is money well spent as far as I am concerned. I still
don’t know how tocan’t change a flat tire!
The rest of the spending was all about me this month! It happens! It wasn’t totally crazy spending but still a lot more than I usually spend. So how did I spend $425 just on me?
- $154 on restaurant. And that was only for two meals! The first one was a real waste of money. I spent $101 for one dinner. I went out with a few other mothers and apparently if one of us wanted the “sharing” menu, we all had to order it. The meal was $62 before drinks, taxes and gratuities! It wasn’t even that good. Next time I will make sure to check the menu on-line before accepting an invitation.
- $35 on chocolates (Godiva and Lindt) and pastries. I just had to and it wasn’t even for Valentine’s Day.
- $236 on shoes, clothes and personal care….all for me! I should be good for a while. But I am thinking I may return the shoes…the guilt!
Summary – FI ratio is 57% YTD
It was a low-income and high expenses month so FI ratio is not as good as last month. March may be worse due to the deductible on the insurance. So far I would need to make up for $2,540 to date or $1,270/month based on current expenses. I think I could potentially get close to that amount in additional dividend income once I switch my GRRSP to dividend paying stocks/ETFs.
- Reduce Grocery bill by 30% or $200/week (the equivalent of $865 a month for a family of five – all grown kids). We are making some progress. Watch for my upcoming post to find out where we are at.
- Increase my dividend to $12,000: YTD is a little behind but hoping to catch up in March.
- Increase savings to 60% of ALL income:Not at 60% yet but working on it.
- Make it to One year. I had a tough few weeks and wasn’t able to free up as much time as needed. Check out why I was so busy When Life Gets In the Way Of Blogging
- Increase traffic by 20% every month. Even with my post Don’t get sucked into Valentine’s Day consumerism being featured on Rockstar Finance, my traffic only increased by 34%! I need to figure out what I am doing wrong. Maybe I need to go over The best blogging tips from the blogosphere one more time! But some newer bloggers are doing really well such as Ms. Ziyou who had 5K viewers in her first month! Great job:)
- Reach 1,000 twitter: As of a few days ago, I was at 368.
- Tailwind: I signed up for the free Tailwind trial and I am more confused than ever!
After reading the following post How To Promote Your Blog – From 0 to 100k views in 6 months , I was all excited about Reddit and decided to give it a try. I was banned on Day 3 from the personal finance subreddit!!! Any of you had the same experience?
- Cut back on Sweets: FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! Maybe it’s one goal I should give up on?
- 8,000 steps per day: My average daily steps were 7,382 in February. I am so close to my short-term goal of 8.000. Maybe in March!
A totally subjective goal but a very important one. I want to enjoy every single day and not let s**t get in the way! But I didn’t do well this month AGAIN. I really have to work harder at it and stay positive no matter what! I have so much to be thankful for, why do I always let little things get in the way of my happiness?
How about you, how did you do in February? Did you spend more than usual? Did you let s**t get in your way of happiness?
A special THANK YOU to the following bloggers for featuring some of my posts this month:
- Making Momentum – Weekly roundup
- Diverse Fi – Gratitude Wednesday
- Retire Early Helen – Demystify financial advisors
- Dividends Diversify – The world sure has changed
- Rogued Dad – 2 things I read for you, 2 things for you to read
- Camp FIRE – Get on the FI bus
- GenYMoney – PF Blog Round Up – Femme Fatale Edition