Money, Monthly Money Reports

FI Income and Goals – Sept. 2017

This is the moment you have all been waiting for: FI Income and Goals for September. This is my fist one so hope to get lots of feedback so I can improve each month


This is the income I will rely on once I finally reach Financial Independence (FI) so “FI income” seems like the right label.

2017 Dividend Income Net Rental Cash Flow Online Income Total
August $385 $448 $0 $834
September $903 $448 ($191) $1,160


Dividend Income

My goal is to generate $24,000/year in dividend income by the time I “retire”, with the fund I manage outside of my GRRSP. My Group Registered Retirement Saving Plan with my employer (401K equivalent) is a big chunk of my retirement fund but can only be invested in mutual funds offered by my employer. The return hasn’t been bad but it doesn’t generate any dividend.

Dividend income is growing steadily. This month is higher due to the timing of some of the quarterly dividend payments. The chart is missing January to July but I will try to add it by next month.

I adjusted my portfolio, back in the spring, to focus more on dividend paying stock and it is starting to pay off. I have also been acquiring more stocks since then and the dividends are starting to come in more regularly. My portfolio is a work in progress but it is coming along nicely. It is composed mostly of individual stocks with a few index funds.

Rental Income

My goal is to sell them all in 5 years and invest the equity into dividend paying stocks, assuming the market is right at the time. Otherwise I will wait for a bit. But then some days, when my tenants drive my crazy,  I just want to sell them all!

I have three rental units, 3 bedrooms condos. When I decided to finally invest in rental properties, I wasn’t ready to take on the full risk of home ownership, so I opted for the condo option. It is probably not the most cost-effective option but it is a personal choice and it works for me. $917/month in condo fees is high but so far I have taken full advantage of the benefits that comes with it. My insurance is also lower due to the condo status. My goal was not to create additional income while I was still working but to build up equity and to sell all units when I reach 55.  Being a landlord can be stressful and I am not sure I will want the extra headaches when I retire.

Cash Flow August September
Rent 4,360 4,360
Mortgage (Principal & Interest) -2,309 -2,309
Condo fees -917 -917
Property taxes -686 -686
Maintenance expenses 0 0
Net Cash Flow 448 448

I pay the property taxes monthly over 10 months from January to October so the last two months of the year are free! (I know not really)

There were a couple of issues with two of my units this month:

  • Break-in in one unit. The basement window was broken. I called the Condo Corp. in the morning; they had everything cleaned up and a temporary board put in by the afternoon. The window was replaced by the end of the month. I didn’t even go to the unit, the tenant sent me pictures. My cost: $0.
  • Issues with Aphid (bugs) in a tree over the driveway in the second unit. Apparently those little bugs suck the sap out of the tree and then spit it out (or something like that ). Anyway whatever they spit out sticks to cars, and in this case it is my tenant’s car! I contacted the Condo Corp and they sent someone to cut the branches within a few days. My cost: $0
  • Tenants in my third unit, which was supposed to be a flip (story for another post) have been complaining about high electricity cost and seem to think it may have something to do with the duct system being dirty or the appliances not being energy-efficient. I told them I would look into it. Hope won’t end up costing me too much.

Online Income:

Nothing to report on that front, I realized quickly how much I need to focus on setting up my blog and get traffic before spending any more time on Affiliates and advertising. I may see some very small income from my Ebates referrals in October but will see how that works out.

I included my one time hosting cost for the next two years with Hostpapa (Canadian). So far I am pretty happy with the service.

 “ORGANIC” EQUITY GROWTH THIS MONTH  –               + 2.3%

This is the increase in my equity without any additional savings. It includes rental income, principal repayment of the mortgages on my rentals, dividend income and portfolio increase (or decrease). It does not include my RRSP (401K) with my employer or my RESP (kids’ education fund).

In addition to dividend paying stock, I still hold a few growth stock (to balance out the portfolio). My best performers so far this year are two US stocks; LULU and GM. I bought LULU after their first quarter release when they dropped 25% , it is back up about 20% right now.  GM is up 24.5% since March on top of paying a decent dividend. Otherwise, in general, most of my investments, outside my RRSP and TFSA, are in Canadian stocks due to the tax advantage on eligible Canadian dividend.

Rental properties         + 0.76%

Investment                   +3.81%



  • I finally looked into my cell plan and switched to Koodo. I now pay $40/month and get 1GB of data, unlimited messaging ,500 Canada-wide anytime minutes and unlimited evenings and weekends. Much better than my previous plan and I save $10/month. Annual savings – $60.
  • September was a fail on the grocery front but I learn a lot with my new tracking method and will kill that bill by a lot more than 22% by the end of December. Check out how I plan to save on groceries.
  • Didn’t get a chance to look into other ways to make money, the blog kept me very busy with the setup.


  • Posted a few comments, I hope they were relevant. I will keep working on it.
  • Affiliates will have to wait for now so I can focus on getting traffic and the set up of my blog. Hopefully I can start looking into it by November.
  • Still too early to determine what a reasonable amount of views is for my blog. I have spent so much time learning about the set up that I haven’t had much time posting.
  • One book down, several more to go!


  • Capped my coffee intake to 2/ day except for a couple of days where I enjoyed a late afternoon cappuccino (homemade). This is a win, I don’t need to monitor anymore.
  • Sweets? It’s a fail so far. I am doing better but can’t seem to cut if off entirely.
  • 3 Glasses a day is not much considering 8 is the recommended amount! But how do people drink that much water! Update: it looks like my tea and coffee also count toward my fluid intake (not just water) so I am good! This is off the list! (I drink 2 coffees plus 3 to 4 tea a day with no caffeine and no sugar!)
  • I took the stairs twice in September, just too tired first thing in the morning. That is a lot of stairs!
  • No workout, no excuse, big Fail!!!
  • The weather was really nice this month so I did walk regularly, not every day but close enough.
  • Check out my recent post – Is a gym membership worth it?

Well this is it for now. This was a good month overall. What do you think? What else would you like to see on my monthly update?

5 thoughts on “FI Income and Goals – Sept. 2017

  1. I haven’t tried to monetize my blog, but maybe I will someday.

    I think Financial Samurai claimed – I can’t find where he said it – that he worked on his blog for 2 years before he tried to make any money. I remember being shocked when I read it.

    1. I could see where it would take that long. Most of the blogs I enjoy reading seem to have been in it for a long time before they start making any money. They also seem to be more selective on how and where they add their affiliate links. Thanks for dropping by.

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