I had a GREAT month … except for blogging! And my expenses were high too, but you can’t have it all I guess! What am I the most excited about this month? NO, NOT MONEY! My steps!!! I averaged 11,226/steps per day this month! Staying healthy and fit is part of my Financial Freedom plan too. I also had my best monthly dividend income EVER. Win, Win, Lose – March 2018 Income, Expenses and Goals.
I am still waiting for my layoff notice and trying to keep it together. My positive spin on it:
For every week I don’t know, it’s an extra week’s pay.
- Could Getting Laid Off Be The Right Opportunity For Me To Retire Earlier?
- On the outside I may look cool, calm and collected…
FI INCOME -$2,315
Monthly FI (Financial Independence) income:
Dividend & Interest Income: $1,239
My highest monthly dividend income ever! An increase of 203% over last year’s monthly dividend income!
Here are the stocks/ETFs I received dividends from in March:
- REI.UN – RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
- CPG – Crescent Point
- ZAG – BMO Aggregate Bond ETF
- CJR.B* – Corus Entertainment Inc.
- IPL – Inter Pipeline Ltd.
- ZDV – BMO Canadian Dividend ETF
- FIE – iShares Canadian Fncl Mthly Inc ETF
- ZDI – BMO International Dividend ETF
- BEP.UN – Brookfield Renewable Partners
- BPY.UN – Brookfield Property Partners
- ENB – Enbridge Inc.
- MFC – Manulife Financial Corporation
- GM – General Motors Company
- PFE – Pfizer Inc.
- KHC – The Kraft Heinz Company
*CJR.B? Corus Entertainment reached another new low this month but I didn’t sell yet. Do you have any CJR.B stock? Did you sell this month?
Rental income from my three rental units, all condos. You can read more info on my units here.
- Unit #1: Nothing to report this month.
- Unit #2: Tenant is moving out by the end of the summer but didn’t give me a final date yet. I am considering selling this unit and buying a triplex instead. I added the $200 back in rent income from last month since the insurance paid me back.
- Unit #3: Tenants have not returned their lease yet but they are planning to stay for one more year. I increased their rent by $20 in accordance with the maximum % allowed this year.
I estimate the time spent on rentals this month to be around 1 hour overall. The main task was to update and send the lease for unit #3.
$2,044 for 1 hour of work!
Side Hustle Income:
- $15 from selling a Toronto Blue Jays’ hat my daughter didn’t want!
- The Mystery shopping jobs were all $10-$20 so I didn’t sign up for any but I keep checking.
- I am looking for dog walking gigs since I walk my dog anyway but haven’t found anything in my neighbourhood yet.
Side Hustles are great and can allow you to retire much earlier. Check out my post Get a side hustle and retire earlier if you are looking for side hustles ideas.
CPP (Canada Pension Plan) Survivor Benefit:
This is an amount I will receive until I start receiving my own CPP (any time after I turn 60).
EXPENSES – $3,817
I started keeping track of my expenses in detail in October 2017 so I could figure out how much I would need once retired. But with my pending layoff, I now want to know how much we spend in detail so I can anticipate our needs for next year, when I am no longer working and still have kids in school.
Tip: Update your spreadsheets regularly!
Categories from Household to Cell phones are consistent each month so I will stop commenting unless something changes. You can refer to the December post for details.
Related Page: Monthly Money Reports
- I reviewed our expenses for last year and we did great at saving in many areas such as groceries, water, hydro and gas. Based on the updated numbers, I was able to reduce our monthly estimates going forward and still leave a little cushion for unexpected expenses.
Related post: 10 Easy And Quick Ways To Save Money
- Fees for my son’s Track & Field program were due AGAIN! $425. I still have one more payment of $100 to make before June.
- Reimbursed my oldest daughter for one of her university book and paid for her graduation pictures.
Related post: Why I Don’t Pay For My Kids’ Tuition
An expensive month!
- $284 for one day skiing at Mont-Tremblant for my son and I. It was totally worth it but it does add up!
- We did Take-out twice – $70 (Sorry no pics! But it was really good)
- I went for a massage and really enjoyed it. I plan to keep going once in a while when I am
retiredlaid off (part of my FI plan!) so I better make sure it is included in my future expenses – $85.
- Driver’s licence renewal, it comes around every 5 years and cost $90. No way to avoid it.
- Finally went to see an employment lawyer so I am ready when my company eventually gives me my layoff notice. Cost? $316.40 for 50 minutes!!! I can’t even say it was worth it !
- Made the mistake to walk into the mall…spend $104 on me again and didn’t need anything…shame on me! Rule #1. Don’t go shopping unless you NEED something.
Summary – FI ratio is 58% YTD including kids expenses.
- Reduce Grocery bill by 30% or $200/week. Great progress this month! Report will be out soon, in the meantime check out my previous Monthly Grocery Reports.
- Increase my dividend to $12,000. Right on target with 26% of dividend income for the first quarter.
- Finally met my goal to save 60% of all income.
It has been harder to stay motivated lately. I lost interest in Pinterest so haven’t done very much there. I try to keep up with Twitter but I know I am not tweeting enough. My Facebook account is set up but not sure what to do next so didn’t do anything. I try to comment on other blogger’s posts but it is very time-consuming so I am not always able to do it as much as I would like. Reddit was fun for a couple of weeks and then I dropped the ball there too!
Probably due to all the above factors, my traffic dropped 34% compared to last month. The Rockstar Finance feature last month gave me quite a boost and I expected a drop this month, but really thought I would keep some of the viewers…I DIDN’T! It is a very brutal blogging world out there!!! I am still hoping to make it to one year, as long as I still enjoy it.
Related page: Best Blogging Tips
- Cut back on Sweets: I did a little better in this area…and then it was Easter!
- My average daily steps were 11,226 in March compare to last month at 7,382! The weather makes a big difference, I have been out a LOT more…and blogging less! It’s going to be tough to do better next month.
How about you, how did you do in March? How was your passive income? With the nice weather, did you walk more steps too?
A special THANK YOU to the following bloggers for featuring some of my posts in March: