Money, Monthly Money Reports

Income, Expenses And Goals Update – October 2017

October was a good month for growth! Here is my Income, Expenses and Goals Update for October 2017:

FI (Financial Independence) INCOME

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

 Dividend Income

Dividend income is slightly lower this month due to the timing of some of the quarterly dividend payments.

  • Added one ETF mid-month FIE (IShares Canadian financial monthly income) and already received a dividend payment by the end of the month.
  • Sold my Wells Fargo shares and bought Kraft Heinz Company instead. I think it is at a good price right now and the dividend is around 3.25%.

My portfolio includes a few index funds but most of it 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.

Rental Cash Flow August September October
Rent 4,360 4,360 4,360
Mortgage (Principal & Interest) -2,309 -2,309 -2,309
Condo fees -917 -917 -917
Property taxes -686 -686 -686
Maintenance expenses 0 0 0
Net Cash Flow 448 448 448
  • Property taxes have been paid in full for this year so no more payments for November and December.
  • Condo fees go up on November 1st by a few dollars.

I didn’t hear from two of the units, I hope they won’t all call at the same time, always seems to be the case! Maybe I should schedule my inspections before I leave on vacation, I used to do them every 3 to 6 months but have been getting a little behind.

Third unit had an issue with a broken lock on the gate to the backyard. Since the condo was working on the back stairs, I assumed they broke it and got them to fix it. I got lucky since I wasn’t really sure it was them. They fixed the backstairs but didn’t put the patio stones back; apparently it is the owner responsibility. I have been procrastinating on this but I do have to go and put the stones back in place. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated with the rentals.

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 am starting to get some traffic but nothing close to where I need to be to start making money. On the other hand, I am thinking of starting a few side hustles to supplement my income once I am laid off. I have registered to be a mystery shopper but no work so far. I thought I would get some income from Ebates referrals but your referrals need to make purchases before you get any money so nothing has come thru yet. Anybody who signs up gets $10 in addition to the cashback. With Christmas coming up, if you do a lot of purchasing on line, you should check it out, cash back guaranteed.


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         + 1,815
  • Investment                  + 6,980

Not sure how long this is going to last but really enjoying the investment growth. My Group RRSP is also up 2.8% over last month.

EXPENSES – $2,562.00

I started keeping track of my other expenses this month so I can figure out how much I will need once my kids move out and I retire. I am only interested in the minimum amount I will need for now. The goal is for my FI ratio to reach 100% without kid expenses. I don’t know how long I will keep track of it to that level of detail but here is October:









  • 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. Then I divide the annualized amount by 12 to get to the estimated monthly expense. I deposit my share of the estimate to my chequing account on the 15th of each month. $1,500 seems to be a reasonable amount for house and food even once my kids move out so I am not adjusting it for retirement.
  • Gas: To and from work, driving the kids around. The expense should drop once I am retired and kids have moved out but I plan to be very active and still drive around so I am not adjusting the amount 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.
  • Cell phone kids: I pay for all three plans and include it as part of their birthday/Christmas presents.
  • My cell plan: My new plan with Koodo. It includes the cost of my phone for 2 years.
  • Specialist: Had to go to the chiropractor this month and reached maximum reimbursable under my plan.
  • Track & field outfit: Pants and shirts for my son who is growing like a weed. Next month, I need to buy him shoes.
  • School picture: you have to buy the school picture! That was the cheapest option.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • I bought a phone cover from amazon for $13.00, it is red! My counter is black granite and I could never find my phone before. Best purchase ever!
    • Godiva chocolates: My son and I spent $17 for 6 chocolates. It was totally worth it, so good.
    • David’s Tea: $35.31. $8 for two teas!!! I was with my girlfriend and we didn’t check before ordering. $4 a tea, are you freaking kidding me?? We won’t do that again. I also bought my favorite tea to make at home and that was expensive too. Better add that to my Christmas list.
    • T&T Asian market: Bought dumplings and Chinese noodles for my daughter and I. $13.54.
    • Coffee and snacks: $20.00
  • Dentist: I went for a cleaning and check up this month. Once I retire, I will have to pay for those type of expenses.

Summary – FI ratio is 55%;

  • Total expenses post kids: $2,185
  • FI Income $1,184
  • FI ratio – 55%

Not that great this month, I need to increase my FI income.


  • I am making 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.
  • Finally came up with my side hustles list and even signed up to be a mystery shopper. Can’t wait to get my first job, I think it will be fun. With my pending lay-off now, I am going to look into more side hustles.
  • I was going to set up page view goals but after reading other posts, I decided not to set a goal that would be purely based on other peoples’ numbers. My new goal is to increase my traffic as a % of my previous month traffic. For October it was 50%, not very aggressive considering my traffic was so low, but you have to start somewhere. My November goal is set at 25%. I am away on vacation for two weeks at the end of this month and I don’t plan to do very much while away. Hopefully, I won’t lose the traffic I gained.
  • I am going to look into twitter. I know nothing about it but it looks like it could be a great source of traffic. Lily @ The Frugal Gene has offered to help if need be. Thanks Lily.
  • I like Pinterest but every time I go on I get sidetracked with recipes! Tailwind may be helpful in getting traffic and not spend so much time on it.  Gen Y Money recently signed up so I will keep track of her updates to see if it makes a big difference.
  • No Sweets is a FAIL. I do ok for a few days and then I just catch up!  November is going to be better, it has to.
  • I changed my exercises goals to one single goal. My new phone keeps track of steps so my goal is to achieve 10,000 steps per day! Pretty aggressive but, as I get older, I need to stay active! I reached that goal 3 times in October:( My best day was 15,714 steps!

That’s it for this month. How about you, how did you do in October?

How do you like my kids’ pumpkins?

6 thoughts on “Income, Expenses And Goals Update – October 2017

  1. Thanks for sharing the detailed report, Caroline! Even though you’re not at your FI point yet, $1,184 is awesome amount of income that is starting to provide you with options. And it’s proof of concept. I like your goals too. Good luck with Twitter and Pinterest. I think your blog will do well on Twitter as the lot of the bloggers on Twitter enjoy this type of content, myself included. The pumpkins look well done too!

    1. Thanks Graham. My worry is the rental cash flow right now. it can easily go in the red! I went thru it at the beginning of the year after my tenants from hell move out. I spent close to $5K to fix the place.

  2. I love your goal posts! They’re so thorough about everything! I hate being a landlord, it’s absolutely terrible for me stress wise because it’s airbnb. My husband isn’t happy with being a landlord either. I think we’re talking about selling in the summer. I just got off the phone with an Airbnb guests who has limited English and expects me to be where his broken navigator points to….sigh. It’s taking years off my life dealing with stuff like this every dayyyyy. Time to sell and cash in!! Just wish it was sooner! 🙂

    Haha at limiting candy consumption… Maybe I should try cheat days instead of just a huge SNAP diet. Let me know when you’re on Twitter!!!! Like right away!!

    1. Landlord business is a big stressor for me too! I was thinking I should either buy a lot more properties and get a property manager or sell them all. And all my tenants are actually nice people right now. I think my bad experience in the spring really ruined it all. I was thinking airbnb maybe better, but sounds like it’s not!
      So my cheat day is on Sunday but I may have baked Banana, coconut, chocolate chips muffins last night. It was an experiment and someone had to taste them first:)

  3. Wow this is super detailed Caroline!!! Your dividend income is amazing! You’re really good with your graphs 🙂 I think Frugal Gene and Ms. FAF have had more success with Pinterest than I lol. I’ll see how it goes. I find Twitter really fun and entertaining, I think it’s my main source of traffic.
    Is Airbnb allowed in your city? In Vancouver it’s not really accepted but the City of Vancouver is turning a blind eye to it. At first I thought of doing Airbnb too later on but I think I am just going to sell instead.

    1. Thank you. I am looking forward to the day my dividend covers all expenses. We had a little bit of snow last night and I can’t do it anymore! I need warmth:) I think Airbnb is allowed but I heard of condo corps not allowing it. I still think rental property is the way to go if you can handle it.

Leave a Reply