Money, Monthly Money Reports

February 2018 – Income, Expenses And Goals

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?

Rental Income

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.

Kids :
  • 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 to can’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.


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:

February 2018 Income, Expenses and Goals

22 thoughts on “February 2018 – Income, Expenses And Goals

  1. Thanks for the shout Caroline. Random thoughts….Tailwind confused the heck out of me as well so don’t feel bad. I still like BoardBooster better. Set it and forget it, watch your followers grow. Although I won’t throw in the blogging towel, I have many doubts the last few weeks. Tom

    1. I feel like such an idiot when it comes to Tailwind. I accomplished so much over the years and here I am trying to figure out how to schedule some pins! Yes please don’t throw in the blogging towel but I know what you mean about having doubts.

  2. Thanks for mentioning. Regarding Reddit – “It’s perfectly fine to be a Redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a Reddit account.”. So, if you are trying to help people on Reddit, and elsewhere, then you will be successful. If you are trying to promote your blog, you almost certainly will not be.

  3. I got banned from MMM forum for the same reason. I did not understand the rules against spamming. Reddit does not like it, you need to stick to the Wednesday only ‘self promotion’ thread, there it is allowed.

    1. Thanks Othalafehu. I read about the thread on one of your reports and did participate last week. It was very useful. And thanks for dropping by:)

  4. I was going to try out Reddit after reading your post a couple days ago. I guess you have to help the other people on forums to put your blog out there.
    Those Godiva and Lendt chocolates are really good but priced really high. Hopefully you enjoyed it and was worth the $35.

    1. Hi Kris, you should totally try it! Really nothing to lose…just get banned maybe:)
      Yes the chocolates are pricey but totally worth it. I also did my pastry! I didn’t eat all the chocolates yet.
      Funny thing when you have kids, I actually have to hide them so my minions don’t eat them!

  5. That’s such a pretty graphic you made! I never had Godiva chocolate before, at all, ever. What does it taste like in comparison to Lindt? My favorite chocolate is CADBURY!! They’re sooooo creamy!!!!

    Your month wasn’t even bad, I’m looking at it compared to January and Jan had much higher expenses unless I’m mistaken!

    1. Thanks Lily! I love charts and graphics, I am such a nerd sometimes:)
      As far as Godiva vs. Lindt, it depends on what flavor you like best. I love pralines so Godiva is better but more expensive.
      You are correct on the overall spending but I don’t usually spend $ on myself, just on my kids. Last month was for track. This month it was just spending on me which I rarely do:)

  6. Expensive restaurant meals are one of my pet peeves! I mean, if you’re going to pay top dollar for it, it better be special, but, in my experience, most aren’t. That’s why I usually prefer good, mom-and-pop type places, where I know the food is great. Food is usually our biggest expense, so we’re always looking for was to cut down on it.

    1. Hi Miguel, I am usually better at selecting restaurants, or at least selecting the meal but I was sort of stuck this time! Won’t happen again!Thanks for dropping by:)

  7. I love Lindt balls! They are dangerous, I can eat about 5 at one time. I like Godiva too but don’t get them regularly. My favourite is Purdy’s chocolates (do you have them in Ontario?) the Hedgehogs (hazelnut flavour) they are delicious.

    I spent $52 on brunch and it’s not even dinner haha- but I know what you mean about the ‘sharing’ plate. I actually like looking at menus online before I go because if I don’t I end up taking forever to decide!

    The free Tailwind trial gets used up within 5 days haha 🙂 Then they sucker you into buying the whole year (which is what I did). I like how you can ‘set it and forget it’ as Tom mentioned. Then they have Tailwind Tribes which try to sucker you to buy more to “power up” your Tribe membership- I haven’t succumbed to that yet.

    1. I will have to check about Purdy, it sounds familiar. My best of all times is Leonidas (Belgium chocolate) but hard to find.
      I also did spend around $50 for lunch (the other meal) but it included wine and it was actually a good meal:)
      I am still using the free trial, I am not kidding, I am so confused! But still no more spending on blogging:)

  8. Just to say you are doing awesome, hope the pending layoff comes through soon.

    And Imagine my surprise reading the post to find my humble blog even got a mention.Thanks 🙂

  9. Thanks a lot for mentioning about my blog. 7382 steps a day is really a lot you have achieved. You got a lot happening now, and the job uncertainty would make everyone unsettling. You have done great. Enjoy the coming spring.

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