Monthly Money Reports

Income, Expenses And Goals Update – December 2017 (Part 1)

December was a great month for FI Income and not so bad for the investment side either. If it wasn’t for my burst pipe and flooded basement, it would have been awesome!

FI (Financial Independence) INCOME – $2,703

This is the income I will rely on once I finally reach Financial Independence (FI).

*New Category: CPP (Canada Pension Plan) Survivor Benefit:

I forgot to include this in previous reports. This is the amount I receive every month, as a widow, from the government. It increases slightly every January (for inflation) and will change once I start drawing my own CPP (anytime after I turn 60). If , when retired, I am eligible for the maximum CPP benefit, the survivor benefit will go away (CPP rule). My husband didn’t contribute regularly when he was self-employed which may explain why it is $401/month.

Dividend Income: I got over $1K!!!

I finally did it! I got over $1K in a month:) Dividend income is at its highest this month, some of my earlier purchases are finally paying off. I expect the dividend amount to be over $1K every quarter next year and still working on increasing it. Unemployment here I come! 

Keep in mind this is being generated with 17% of my Net Worth since I can’t invest my GRRSP in dividend paying stocks (not an option thru work) and I own rental properties.

Here are the stocks/ETF I received dividends from in December:
  • REI
  • CPG
  • ZAG
  • BEP-UN
  • BCE
  • ENB
  • IPL
  • ZDV
  • FIE
  • GM
  • KO
  • PFE
  • KHC
My Stock moves this month:
  • Dividend stocks:
    • Increased my position in FIE. I wasn’t ready to select one bank so I selected an ETF with all the banks instead and since it is in my regular investing account, I needed an “ eligible dividend” stock for Canadian tax purposes.
    • Bought a few more CPG as I am hoping it may have reached the bottom. So far the dividend is good so just looking to add growth too. Maybe a little risky but i am willing to take the risk.

I am planning to buy a few more stocks this week but still reviewing, maybe I will just increase my position in BCE and CJR.B. I also need to review my position in US stocks to see if there is room for me to increase it.

  • Growth/opportunity stocks:
    • Last month I sold LULU (Lululemon) stocks and bought GE (General Electric). LULU has gone up thru the roof in December. I know you can’t time the market but that one hurts! Instead of a 30% return I could be looking at 65%! At least in the last few days GE is moving up a bit.

  I have a few index funds but most of my portfolio is individual stocks (it is just a preference).

Rental Income

Background: I have three rental units, all condos. I wanted to invest in rental properties but I wasn’t ready to take on the full the risk of home ownership on my own, 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. 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.

  • No additional expenses this month, it was the best month of the year…on paper!
  • Property tax payments start again in January and I will have at least $1,000 in deductible due to my frozen pipe! You can read all about it at The frozen pipe that broke the landlord’s back
  • Tenant #3 are moving out, they gave me their notice. I have to plan for potential clean-up cost and vacancy for a few months. It is so hard to show the place when you have tenants still there.

Being sick and getting the rental emergency during the holidays is bringing back my landlord business dilemma again; To be a landlord or not to be?

Side Hustle Income:

I changed the name from on-line income to side hustle income since I think it will take a very long time before I get any income from blogging.

  • I haven’t done anything to bring in blogging income, I am struggling enough to find time to write posts, read others and trying to get the social media thing going. It has been a lot of fun and I am enjoying the interaction with other bloggers but not sure this will ever be profitable.
  • Once again, there were a few opportunities for the mystery shopping gig I registered for in October but most were still visits to the local grocery store to assess some promotional booth and it only paid $10. I didn’t feel it was worse the trips since I don’t shop there. There was one gig that paid $60 to get my eyes checked for laser eye surgery, which I would have done but I was down with bronchitis so didn’t make it. It could have been fun.
  • I sold my son’s old hoverboard for $160 just before Christmas. It was just collecting dust. I am still looking for more things to sell that we don’t need anymore, declutter and make money!

Check out my post Get a side hustle and retire earlier if you are looking for ideas.


Equity (or Net Worth) Growth for the month of December is $2,775. Considering it is based on 32% of my overall net worth, not a bad organic increase.

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

Rental properties         + 2,497

Investment                  + 278

Dividend income was good but my overall investment didn’t do that great. At least it’s positive.

I am still working on my expense breakdown and goals update. When you drop the ball for a couple of weeks (being sick and rental property emergency), it can be a lot of work to get your spreadsheets up to date, mostly with all the extra Christmas shopping. But it is coming soon.

How about you, did you buy any new stock in December? Was December a good dividend month? Any tips?

19 thoughts on “Income, Expenses And Goals Update – December 2017 (Part 1)

  1. Amazing!! Over $1000 in dividend income this month!! That’s great, those are solid companies you have in your dividend portfolio.

    Keep up the great work Caroline (as I say this in my French accent 😉 )

    1. Lol, I will always expect the french accent now:) Wait maybe I will just do a post all in french! I know I barely made it over the $1,000 but it felt pretty good.

  2. Caroline,

    The dividend income is great. Once the solid stocks are purchased, dividends flow in itself. Much lower maintenance than the rentals for sure. Hope your 2018 is even better!

    I have not invested new money for a while. Just followed the market. The only thing I did in December was: converted some from the Rollover IRA to Roth IRA. Tax-wise, it should be good in the long run.

    1. Hi Helen, so true as far as the maintenance but you do still need to work at it (nothing like rentals). Being retired I guess you may not have as much new money coming in?

      1. Caroline,
        Yes, the stocks still need some attention. You are right, I don’t have new money coming in for now. That’s one of the down sides of retirement.

  3. Great job on your dividend income last month ! I think dividend income is the best/easiest passive income. Your rental income looks good too, with positive cash flow.

  4. Hey Caroline!

    That’s awesome! $1,000 dividends per month… seriously, when are you going to celebrate your first day of unemployment? 😀 hehehe j/k…

    and eekkk to the burst pipe and flooded basement!! At the very least you had everything under control… that’s why we always have to be prepare for emergencies… *sigh*

    And how’s the landlord business going for you in general? It feels like it can be a pain sometimes depending on your tenants, eh? 😐 I think I know how that one feels……………….

    Overall, it looks like everything is going well for you. You’re making fantastic progress in your FI journey. Keep it up!!

    1. Thanks! Landlord business has a lot of ups and downs, I am trying to climb back up right now:) I need to keep building that dividend machine (as Tom says) so I can actually celebrate when I finally get my layoff notice. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Congratulations on your December Dividend income! Earning more than $1,000 in dividends in one month is a huge milestone.

    Regarding your questions, I bought a lot of stock in December. I’ve been buying a lot of ENB lately.

    Thanks for sharing the update! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Graham! I need to add more details like some of your posts. ENB is a good stock, dividend is good:) I will probably increase my position in the first quarter. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply