November was not so good for investment growth but the loss was very minimum.
Here is my third Income, expenses and goals update for November 2017:
FI (Financial Independence) INCOME
This is the income I will rely on once I finally reach Financial Independence (FI).
Dividend income is at its lowest this month due to the timing of most quarterly dividend payments. December should be really good compared to the last two months.
- I sold LULU (Lululemon) stocks and bought GE (General Electric). Not sure this was such a good move, but the plan was to sell it as soon as it was past the 30% mark and it did. I am hoping GE will turn around with the new CEO and it stocks will benefit from it. It may take a little longer than planned but will see. I only do this type of “contrarian” purchases with a small amount of my investments. It is part of a very diversified portfolio.
I have a few index funds but most of my portfolio is individual stocks (it is just a preference).
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. Condo fees are 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.
- Property taxes were paid in full for this year so no more payments for November and December.
- Condo fees have gone up slightly in November.
- Paid the annual maintenance agreement for furnace for all three units. I do this every year and so far it has been very beneficial. It includes an annual maintenance visit, parts and labour coverage and 24-hour “no heat” emergency service in case the furnace breaks down.
Nothing to report this month, I am overdue on my inspections and need to schedule them for the New Year.
Side Hustle Income:
- I haven’t done much on the blogging front this month so definitely no update on affiliate programs.
- There were a few opportunities for the mystery shopping gig I registered for last month but most were visits to one of my 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.
- Still haven’t generated income from Ebates, a few people have signed up but they need to make purchases before I can get the referral fee (so sign up and buy stuff!). Anybody who signs up gets $10 in addition to the cash back. With Christmas coming up, if you do a lot of purchasing on-line, you should check it out, cash back guaranteed.
- I sold skis and skate equipment on-line and got $250 cash. I am checking to see if I have anything else lying around I don’t need anymore, declutter and make money!
“ORGANIC” EQUITY GROWTH THIS MONTH
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 + 1,679
Investment – 572
I guess my portfolio couldn’t keep going up forever, a drop of $572 this month. It could be worse. That is when rental income looks like a better choice. My Group RRSP is up .17% over last month.
EXPENSES – $3,309.00
I started keeping track of my other expenses last month so I can figure out how much I will need once my kids move out and I am retired. I am only interested in the minimum amount needed for now. The goal is for my FI ratio to reach 100% without kid’s expenses. I don’t know how long I will keep track of it to that level of detail so enjoy it while it last:
- Household: I budget our household expenses once a year, in March. I estimate the spending for the coming year based on past spending and future goals and then divide the annualized amount by 12 to get the monthly expense. I deposit my share of the expense on the 15th of each month in my chequing account. It is the same for “post kids” since I assume $1,500 is a reasonable amount for house & food regardless of where I live.
- Charitable Donations: I make bi-weekly contributions to a charity. I have done this for years. You should give while you can; you never know what may happen in the future. This doesn’t prevent me from making other donations when I come across a good cause. I don’t think I will keep my bi-weekly contributions as high once retired so adjusted it to $40/month.
- Gas: To and from work, driving the kids around. The expense should drop once I am retired and kids have moved out but I may be very active and still drive around a lot so I am not adjusting for retirement.
- Life Insurance: Additional life insurance until the kids move out.
- Bank fees: Monthly bank charges, includes VISA, chequing account and safety deposit box
- Bus Pass: Pass for my son. My daughters’ passes are included with tuition.
- Cell phone kids: I pay for all three plans; each got it as a Christmas present so I saved at Christmas but pay for the rest of the year.
- My cell plan: My plan with Koodo. It includes the cost of my phone for 2 years.
- Specialist: Had to go see another specialist and reached maximum reimbursable under my plan.
- Track and volley ball fees: My son is very active and participates in various sport programs, better than hanging out at the mall.
- Gift, Miscellaneous and Celebration R.: Bought a few gifts for birthday and Christmas. My son had a few friends over so we ordered pizza. He also went out to a play with the school. Paid for a few beauty products for my daughters as a treat, it adds up! Celebration R . was to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We bought balloons, had expensive coffee and ate Lebanese food. It was a really nice day.
- Trip? We used points for the flights and prepaid lodging. All was left was meals and it was my 50th birthday gift so I didn’t pay for anything. What a deal:)
Summary – FI ratio is 51.7%;
- Total expenses post kids: $2,229
- FI Income $1,152
- FI ratio – 51.7%
Could be better but at least above 50% which is not too bad considering my group RRSP (401K equivalent) is not included in those numbers and should generate a large portion of my retirement income.
- Real progress on the grocery front. I should have my updated post by the end of the week. Reporting it on the blog is very motivating. Check out my last month report Grocery budget – October 2017
- Traffic was up 50% from previous month! Even with my two weeks + break. My numbers are very low so not too hard to do. Next month goal is again 50% from previous month.
- I didn’t have time to look into twitter so moving the target date to the end of December.
- Moving to end of December.
- No Sweets is a FAIL. I was on vacation and ate whatever I felt like eating.
- A great month but did not make it to 10,000 each day. I actually walked 30,500 steps in one day in Honolulu, the most I have done since I keep track of it. It was many hours of walking.
That’s it for the month. I didn’t work too hard this month since I was visiting the Hawaiian islands for the last two weeks. Can you recognize the drink in the header?
How about you, how did you do in November?