Money, Monthly Money Reports

February 2019 – Income, Expenses & Goals

February wasn’t the greatest on the income side but it was awesome as far as expenses and my volunteer goal. Maybe March will be perfect? Check out my latest monthly money report: February 2019 – Income, Expenses & Goals.

Highlights – Life & Money

  • Lots of my time was spent nagging my son again! This time it was about applying for scholarships and finding a summer job. The kid is so hard to motivate sometimes.
  • Following his MIR (follow up from previous post), we now have to schedule a biopsy! Our health care process can be so slow!
  • Not a great dividend income month; $618 compared to $1,457 last month!
  • I had to prepare the rental for new tenants, I always forget how much work it can be!
  • I had my orientation for my new volunteer position.


Monthly FI (Financial Independence) Income Summary:

Dividend & Interest Income: $618

My dividend income in February was $618! A DECREASE of 14% over last year:) Corus Entertainment Inc.(CRJ-B.TO) and Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG.TO) used to pay monthly dividends but they both switched to quarterly and drastically slashed their dividend payout too.

If you want to find out which stocks/ETFs I received income from, check out my Monthly Dividend Income Page Here.

Stock Purchases this month:

I bought a few shares of Kraft Heinz after it crashed! Did you?

Rental Income: $1,301 – Cash Income: ($60)

Rental income from my three rental units, all condos. You can read more info on my units here.

What Happened In The World Of Condo Rentals?

  • # 1 Condo –  All good in condo #1. I hope they stay forever.
  • # 2 Condo – My tenant ended up moving all her furniture on the 24th so it gave me a few days to get some painting done, fix a few things, have the carpets professionally cleaned and clean up the place a little better.
    • I hired her step son, who does renovations, to do the painting where needed, fix some of the ceiling tiles in the basement, tidy up all cables, fix the door bell, fix sliding doors on two closets. The estimate was $500 for labour plus material. I didn’t receive his invoice yet.
    • The professional steam cleaning is something I usually do in between tenants. It cost me $240 cash and it looks much better. I think with proper maintenance, it helps to keep the carpet looking “fresher” longer.
    • Scheduled an overdue furnace cleaning while the house was empty. It is included in my annual maintenance agreement.
    • I checked and replaced light bulbs, floor vents, door stoppers, furnace filter, batteries (smoke alarm) as needed.
    • Also had to purchase an additional carbon monoxide detector because I didn’t have one near the sleeping area (required by law in Ontario). I bought another one for Condo #3 too but still need one more for Condo #1.
    • Finally I spent a few hours cleaning! In the past, I hired a cleaning service but it didn’t look that dirty… until I started cleaning.
    • I gave the keys to the new tenant on the 28th‌ after she E-transferred March’s rent, an additional $100 a month with the new lease.
  • #3 Condo – They paid another $100 towards the outstanding amount due, so still $195 to go. They asked me to come and check out some mold in the bathroom. I have been procrastinating but will go sometimes next week, probably when I drop off the carbon monoxide detector. They didn’t give me their move out notice yet so I gave them a formal notice back in January that rent would go up as of April 1st‌ by 1.8% (as per Ontario’s Guideline).

Estimated time spent on rentals in February is around 8 hours – Trip to the store, meeting the handy man, house cleaning, meet new tenants and answering texts.

My hourly rate (includes principal repayment)

  • February: $162/hour
  • Year To Date: $208/hour (approx. 14 hrs to date)

Related post: Why You Shouldn’t Be Too Nice To Your Tenants!

Side Hustle/Other Income:

  • As mentioned last month I answered a few surveys online and I made $3.50 while waiting at the dentist office! But I didn’t receive the cash yet so not included in the report.

EXPENSES – $2,718

Finally back to normal! No lawyer to pay:)

See where it all started and why I keep track of my expenses at Monthly Money Reports

Tip: Update your spreadsheets regularly.

You can refer to the December post for details on expenses not covered in a specific monthly report.

Related Page: Monthly Money Reports 

Variations This Month:


I missed January so will do a catch up over the next 11 months. “Giving back” is very important to me, whether it is money or time. I plan to donate the same amount each month, to various charities that have a special meaning to me.

Cell Phones:

Cell phone cost was in line with what it should be going forward for the three plans. I am getting a discount over the next 5 months on all plans from switching provider back in December.


A lot more reasonable this month:

  • $147 for a two days First Aid course for my son so he could apply for summer jobs with the city.
  • My daughter sold one of her uni books so I got $90 back.
  • The rest was miscellaneous expenses such as parking at the hospital for my son’s MRI, a special trip to Bulk barn after the MRI, kids personal care products.

Coffee Shop & Restaurant/Take Out

I noticed my partner and I were going to the coffee shop a lot more often than we used to, so I decided to keep track of it separately. It’s a nice little break (away from my kids!) on the week-end but it does add up. I can’t believe we spent $63 in February! It doesn’t help that the place we go to has an amazing almond croissant at an amazingly expensive price!

Restaurant expense was higher this month.

  • One night, the kids and I had a craving for our favorite Malaysian restaurant so we ordered quite a few dishes. Total spent: $156! I had to feed the boyfriends too! It was totally worth it and we had leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • One of my cousin’s daughter was visiting from France for a few days so one evening all the kids went downtown and had pizza; $70.
  • My partner and I went to the movies with my son, he paid for the movie and I paid for diner: $35.


  • $75 at the SPA! I had a couple of gift certificate from Christmas but added a few extras and a tip. It was so nice!
  • The balance is a mix of Dollar Store junk items, special grocery for Valentine’s Day dinner, parking for my volunteering and a few personal care products for me.

And Free Money! None

Since I am not very good with travel hacking, I am going to try to keep track of stuff I get for free by using rewards points.

  • No free money this month.

Summary – FI ratio 26%

FI ratio is 26% YTD including ALL expenses. Not very good but mainly due to the high expense ratio in January.

For Core Expenses, without kids related expenses and legal; 

My FI ratio is 67%.

(Kids related expenses include kids’ cell, kids’ portion of car insurance & CAA, bus pass, kids’ expense category)

GOALS Update  – Lots of RED!


  • Keep Grocery budget at or below $200/week. It almost feel like we are back to square one! Our average was around $240. We were doing so well last year. You can check all previous reports here.
  • Updated goal: From 4 NO SPEND days per week to 50% NO SPEND days per month. It will be easier to keep track of since I use my credit card for ALL purchases. February was a fail.
  •  Increase my dividend to $16,000. February was not a good month, let’s hope I manage to make up for the loss of dividends from Crescent Point & Corus.


  • Working on making it TWO years! In progress.
  • Post at least once a week. I almost made it except for one week.
  • Figure out Pinterest! I didn’t have time to look into it.

Related Blog: Personal Finance Bloggers Wanted!


  • No sweet during the week. Major fail in this area too, but I will keep trying.
  • Spring is just around the corner, I should start seeing an improvement soon. With the weather we have been having, there is no way I wanted to go out.

Other Goals

  • Travel: No progress on planning any trip. But planning a two day trip to Waterloo…for my son to spend the day at the University (of Waterloo!) with a student, in the program he hopes to get into! It’s called “Shadow Day”, I had never heard of it before. Pretty cool, even if it’s not the kind of trip I had in mind:(
  • Volunteering: I finished my required training and did my two hours orientation. I am now officially volunteering. FINALLY!

That’s it for February. The one rental kept me busy in addition to my volunteer project. How about you, how was your February?

Thank you for your on-going support!

20 thoughts on “February 2019 – Income, Expenses & Goals

  1. it was a solid february for us. we took our big trip for the year to new orleans with dollars we had in savings. the stock market came back nicely, didn’t it? our shopify (SHOP) stake came all the way back and has been hitting new highs as our largest holding. we didn’t buy any kraft stock, though. i hope all comes out well with your son.

    1. Hi Freddy, I have been reading about your trip and the puppies, really cool:) I definitely want to make it to New Orleans.
      I almost bought Shopify in late 2018 and now the stock is up almost $100! Arghhh. Good move on your part.

  2. I love your goals chart. This is something that I think I would benefit from. So thank you for this idea.

    I am also getting started on a dividend yield portfolio. That is something I have been working on for a while now.

    1. Hi Angela,
      I know! We should be able to buy whatever we want and not worry about it…but no..we can’t help it!
      Pastries are definitely one of my many weaknesses. Hope you are having a great week. Cheers

  3. Hey Caroline, I just wrote a comparison post between investing in rental property vs investing in REIT. Would be nice to hear your feedback since you’re a landlord. Thank you.

  4. Great monthly overview as usual, Caroline! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t buy any Kraft recently but I do try to buy on dips like that. That’s too bad about the decrease but dividend cuts happen. That’s still a very nice haul of passive income! My month was good. My portfolio has been doing well along with the markets. Take care!🙂

    1. Hi Graham, I bough Apple in January on a dip and it is up 25% since! Sometimes it works out better than others. But your progress is really awesome! Cheers

  5. Another great snapshot of life with older kids (I’ll be there myself pretty soon!) Funny that I never considered their future partners would eventually need to be factored into some costs like meals out and maybe even travel. However, like you said, its worth it!

  6. nice Caroline

    congrats on finishing all the volunteer steps. Seems like the rentals continue to treat you well.

    Cuts happen, not much you can do in hindsight.

    Nice raise on the rental atleast!

    All the best

    1. Hi Rob, yes the rentals are doing well so far. I will have a preliminary update on the “mold problem” in March. It may cost me quite a bit! But on the plus side, property values are finally going up in my area so potential more equity in the rentals.
      You need to get into that rental gig!

  7. I’m looking forward to hearing how your volunteering is going!

    Are you going to a local coffee place or to Starbucks? If it’s the ‘bucks, maybe you could buy discounted gift cards or use credit card rewards to make it a little less expensive. I cut out stopping for coffee while I’m out by myself, but have no issue with meeting friends out a few times a month. It’s cheaper than cocktails and I’m more productive after!

    1. Lol, I actually don’t like Starbucks coffee! We go to a local coffee shop and they don’t have a reward program yet. When I am alone and I NEED that cappuccino, I go to Bridgehead (not sure if it is only a local franchise or also in Toronto) and they have a reward program.
      I have done three volunteer shifts so far and it is nothing like what I ever experienced before.

  8. I think if it’s quality time with your partner where you can communicate and focus on each other, you should go for it! Coffee shop relaxing and a delicious almond croissant? Sounds fantastic!

    Congrats on officially being a volunteer!

    That sounds like a lot of work you did on Condo #2, I’m surprised it only came up to 8 hours! Still a good Rate of Return though.

    1. Hi GYM, maybe we can skip the almond croissant once in a while:)

      It’s only 8 hours because aside from the cleaning, I didn’t do the rest of the work myself:) I scheduled the steam cleaning and the furnace maintenance at the same time, and did the cleaning while they were doing their thing. I can be very efficient sometimes:) All my three condos are within 10-15 mns from my house, it helps a lot. I can stop on my way home from work so it doesn’t add travel time.

  9. I’m a sucker for sweets too, its unfortunate sometimes that I work by a couple of grocery stores because I easily go there and buy some chocolate bars, need to stop that.
    Speaking of chocolates, I really love chocolate croissants and look for one every time I’m at a coffee shop. Almond croissants are really good too!!
    Congrats on completing your steps to be a volunteer!! Hopefully you provide updates on the volunteer projects you will be doing.

    1. Sweets! Sounds like you and I are in the same boat. We do need to stop that!
      I am very happy to be done with my training and have been volunteering for the last two weeks!

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