Money, Monthly Money Reports

January 2019 – Income, Expenses & Goals

No reports for a few months and BAM! Two within three weeks! What is going on at Money Scrap? Nothing special, just trying to catch up really. And remembering how important it is to keep track of my numbers if I want to reach Financial Freedom.

Whatever you goals are in life, money or otherwise, you need to set a plan on how to reach those goals and review your progress regularly to assess if any changes are required.

Highlights – Life & Money

  • Lots of my time was spent nagging helping my son (he is 17) with his university applications. The kids is really smart in science but not very good with reading instructions. HeWe managed to submit his five applications by the set deadlines. Many of them required Personal Assessment Questionnaire and video interview, very stressful! He already heard back from one of them and apparently the required minimum average grade was 95.5% for top 6 courses, his is 94%. He was refused, he was crushed:(
  • $1,457 in dividends this month!
  • Had to look for new tenants for March 1st. Check out my summary below.
  • Volunteer application update, things are finally happening.


Monthly FI (Financial Independence) Income Summary:

 Dividend & Interest Income: $1,457

My dividend income in January was $1,457! An increase of 29% over last year:) My forward dividend for 2019 is $15,000 and hoping to increase it to $16,000.

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

Other Income Dividend Reports you may want to check out (out of many):

Stock Purchases this month:

It had been a while since I bought new stocks, so here are my latest purchases:

  • ALA.TO, Altagas for eligible dividend income at $13.97.
  • ZAG.TO, for some fixed income diversification at $15.33.
  • AAPL, Apple because the price was right for stock growth at $151.98.
  • PM, Phillip Morris Int. for US dividend income and sector diversification.

Rental Income: $1,617 (Cash Income: $258)

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

$72 is for the purchase of Turbo Tax Software to file my taxes, mainly for the rentals. I also use it to file other returns; my partner’s parents, my three kids and my daughter’s fiance.

What Else Happened In The World Of Condo Rentals?

  • # 1 Condo –  Uneventful and I like it that way.
  • # 2 Condo – Spoiler Alert (for future post)! I didn’t sell. After the holidays I decided to put an ad for my rental, increase my rent by $100 and schedule all showings (if any) on the following Sunday from 11 to 2. If I found a tenant, I would rent and if not, I was going to put the unit up for sale. (That is what I was thinking, who knows what I may have done). I got over 1,400 views on Kijiji and 75 requests for viewing. The rental market is crazy (and so are some potential tenants!). My place was rented by the following Tuesday (references and credit check done). More details to come soon!
  • # 3 Condo – Nothing to report in January. I didn’t get their formal move out notice yet so all good for another 3 months at least:) They paid $100 towards the outstanding rent for December so still $295 to go. Not an issue for me as long as they are paying me back slowly.

I estimate the time spent on rentals in January to be up to 6 hours for the open house, screening potential tenants and answering all the emails – at most.

My rate this month: $269/hour! (includes principal repayment)

Related post: To be a Landlord Or Not To Be?

Side Hustle/Other Income:

  • Nothing to report…again! But in February I started answering surveys online and I made $3.50 while waiting at the dentist office! Almost the price of a latte.

EXPENSES – $9,155 – For ONE month!

A VERY expensive month, not typical! The two big expenses were my final legal bill and a workshop for my daughter.

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:

Cell Phones:

Cell phones cost was more expensive because I switched two out of our three plans in late December, from Telus to Koodo, and I am only getting some of the discounts over the next few months, but a higher one time charge.


I spent a lot of extra money on discretionary spending for my kids!

  • I sent my oldest daughter to a week-end workshop on “How to Become a Florist” in Toronto, it was her Christmas gift. She loved it and learned tons of new technics. I hope it motivated her to step out of her comfort zone, time will tell. She paid for her own transportation and lodging but the workshop was still $1,075.
  • Bought my son new skis. It should be the last pair I will ever buy for him since he is 17. He wanted twin peaks skis, we looked for used ones but we couldn’t find anything good so I bought new ones. They were on sale but still pretty expensive.
  • Paid for University books for my other daughter.

Legal Cost:

My final bill! Even after having spent over $10,000 in legal fees, I can now say it was totally worth it. But I am thankful I had emergency money set aside to cover the cost, otherwise I may not have hired a lawyer and would have missed out on the opportunity to negotiate a better severance package.

Silver lining: All of it will be tax deductible when I receive my severance package!

Related post: On The Outside I May Look Cool, Calm And Collected But…


Spent $96 on dog grooming! Same price I paid for my Golden Retriever years ago, except my “new” dog is tiny. But she does have very long hair and it gets matted easily.

Bought a new dinnerware set, we found a great deal at Costco. It was time , we only had two mugs left!

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.

Related post: Travel Hacking? It’s Not For Everyone!

Summary – FI ratio 23%

A VERY EXPENSIVE month at Money Scrap! But except for my travel budget, I don’t expect high expenses for the rest of the year (I hope anyway).

FI ratio is 23% YTD including ALL expenses.

For Core Expenses, without kids related expenses and legal; 

My FI ratio is 96%. 

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

GOALS Update  – Lots of RED!


  • Keep Grocery budget at or below $200/week.  I need to get back at it. We haven’t been as careful and our spending has been creeping up You can check all previous reports here.
  • New goal: 4 NO SPEND days per week. And I mean no spending at all. I started buying coffee and snacks more often again and need to cut back, for my wallet and for my waist. I tried the Monday Thru Friday NO SPEND Challenge but it was too restrictive so I decided to try something slightly different.
  •  Increase my dividend to $16,000. I expect my dividend forward to be $15,000 without any new investments so $16,000 is my challenge.


  • Working on making it TWO years! Some goals need to be reachable:)
  • New goal: Post at least once a week. I haven’t been consistent so setting it as a goal may be helpful, or maybe not?
  • Figure out Pinterest! I am back on wanting to understand it. Seems to work really well for some of my blogger friends.

Did you read my last post about missing bloggers:  Where Did They Go?


  • No sweet during the week. Haven’t started yet but my stomach has been acting up again so I need to work on this.
  • Not sure how I will get 10,000 steps a month until the spring. Not my fault if we got another 30 cm of snow recently. I can’t be expected to go out for a walk in that weather! Am I??

Other Goals

  • No progress on planning any trip. We look and look but we never book anything! Much easier when I plan for my kids and I, no need to compromise much.
  • After attending an information session in December, I submitted my application for a volunteer position working in a palliative care unit for children. I had my interview in early January and was accepted. Since then, I have been working on my required 25 hours on line training. After that I have to go thru two hours of orientation and one or two buddy sessions, and then I should be ready to go! Long process but so far still very excited about it. Can’t wait to share more.

That’s it for January. All I can add is: I can’t wait for the spring to be here!

Thanks for the on-going support!

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

    1. Hi Angela, it’s a long story.
      I didn’t get an exact date but I have a “drop dead” date, which work well enough in my overall “retirement” plan. It’s weird but I can’t complain:)
      Hope all is well with you.

  1. Uneventful condo is always good news! I thought you were going to definitely sell a condo while the markets good. How’s the winter over there?? Good thing nothing broke here – we were afraid our house pipes were going to freeze in our snow ridden week in Seattle!!

    1. Hi Lily,
      Frozen pipes?? Never again! Winter has been awful here but at least it is expected.
      I thought I would sell one too but it may still happen, who knows.
      But then I have been looking at potential flips, what’s wrong with me???

  2. Thanks for the mention! I would love to read more about your severance package deal! I remember Financial Samurai has something about negotiating a kick ass severance package.

    $1400+ in dividend income- sooo amazing!!

    1. I want to share all the info but I signed a confidentiality agreement and I am always worried somebody I knew may be reading my blog (one day!). I will see what I can really share. In the meantime I will look for that post from Financial Samurai, I am curious now.

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Caroline! Congrats on the amazing haul of dividends and 29% yoy growth! I like your latest purchases, especially AAPL and PM. That’s also cool about the floral workshop in Toronto. My parents used to own a floral shop when I was growing up so that’s probably why I’m always taking photos of flowers lol. Hopefully she enjoyed it. And I’m looking forward to seeing you get past 2 years of blogging. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Graham:) It would be my daughter’s dream if I owned a floral shop.
      I didn’t buy a large amount of each but wish I did, AAPL was already above $170 last time I checked and PM keeps going up (for now).

  4. woot sweet Caroline

    Sounds like a great month. You made it rain! haha

    Very cool about your rental, i know someone who put a penthouse condo for rent last month in toronto. Its not cheap…. There were a bunch of people applying and one offered 6 months of payments in advance. crazy

    congrats to you. a 29% growth in dividend is awesome as well and im sure your happy all that lawyer stuff is done.

    overall a great month for you

    keep it up and thanks for the mention

    1. Hi Rob,
      Yes I am very happy the legal stuff is gone. I am still working for now but at least I have some certainties about my package and when it will end for sure.
      The rental market is crazy for sure, time to jump in Rob!

  5. Hi Caroline, that’s great to hear your son is going to college this fall. That must be very exciting for him and you. Nice dividend income for January. For the rentals, no news is good news.

    Yeah, the legal fees are high, but I’m glad to hear it’s worth it. You made the right call at the beginning, and it’s a tough call. Hopefully this job change becomes a great opportunity for you, no matter what you plan to do the next.

  6. Hey Caroline, thanks for keeping us updated on your legal costs. Hopefully you will provide more detail on your severance package when it’s settled.
    Hopefully your son will be accepted to one of the universities he applied to. It sounds like a stressful time for him going through the application process but let’s hope it will be worth it in the end and gets into one of those universities.

    1. Hi Kris, I do hope my son gets accepted somewhere:) But he did apply for a competitive biomedical engineering program so we will have to wait and see.
      Hoping to share some of my severance details but I am restricted due to a confidentiality clause and the internet may not be the safest place to share! But will share a bit:)

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