Money, Monthly Money Reports

September 2018 – Income, Expenses And Goals

Well my optimism regarding the employment lawyer I hired is almost history! I received her first invoice and it was a lot more than I expected! And so far, no progress. Did I also mention she forgot to tell me she was gone on vacation for 3 weeks! I don’t have an issue with her vacation but she could have told me ahead of time. My company finally responded and my lawyer was away:( So no update again. Otherwise, September was a good month overall. Check out the details in my September 2018 – Income, Expenses And Goals  update below:

September Highlights

  • Participated in the Terry Fox run with my son
  • Played “hookie” and spent a day in Perth (Ontario) in the middle of the week. It was fun:)
  • I received my first (of many I am sure) invoice from my lawyer.
  • Accumulated almost $10,000 in dividend income to date!
  • Passed the real estate salesperson course I registered for last month.  I thought it would be a great fit for me but, after learning a lot more about what the job entails, I don’t know if it is after all. I am debating whether to take the next class or not.
  • Renewed my blog for another year:)


Monthly FI (Financial Independence) income:

FI Income September 2018 Money Scrap

 Dividend & Interest Income: $1,200

Dividends Sept 2018

32% increase over last September! I would be a lot more if Corus Ent. didn’t change their dividend payout and schedule!

Dividend income to date is 113% more than last year. My focus on dividend stock is really paying off.

Dividend list Sept 2018

Rental Income: $1,774

Rental Cash Flow September 2018 Money Scrap

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

  • # 1 Condo –  Nothing to report
  • # 2 Condo – Almost a perfect month! But on the last Thursday of September, I received a text from my tenant. The light and outlet in the upstairs bathroom weren’t working. I got lucky on that one, my partner (who never wants to have anything to do with my rentals in general) was in a helping mood so we went to check it out. The outlet and switch had to be replaced. We bought both and got it fixed by the week-end. My step son-in-law (that’s a mouth full) also came along to help out. I saved a few $ on that one:) Too bad they are not always available (or willing).
  • # 3 Condo – No complaints this month from the neighbours.

I estimate the time spent on rentals this month to be around 2 hour overall (texts and trips to fix the electrical).

My rate this month: $887/hour!

 Related post: To Be A Landlord Or Not To Be?

Side Hustle/Other Income:

  • No referrals from Tangerine this month.
  • So far, the mystery shopping opportunities haven’t been good in my area, not worth the time. Most jobs pay between $10 and $20!
  • I am considering giving Rover a try.

EXPENSES – $6,899!  

See where it all started and why I keep track of my expenses at Monthly Money Reports

Tip: Update your spreadsheets regularly.

Expenses September 2018 Money ScrapYou 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:


  • Track & Field 1st payment for the season was $820! (I love my kid, I love my kid!)
  • Paid for books and a few back to school supplies for my son and one of my daughters.
  • Bought my oldest daughter $40 in gift cards at the Gluten Free Food place, so she can have nice lunches once in a while.
  • My son needed new shoes and a few shirts.


Wow, I have been spending a lot more here! In September, I always feel a little down so I need my specialty coffees more often.

  • My coffee shop breaks cost me $78 this month!!! All worth it, just can’t keep doing it. I usually go with one of my daughters or my partner so the cost is not just for me.
  • I went to a farewell lunch for another one of our co-workers.
  • Went out for brunch twice.
  • Bought Asian take-out one night
  • Paid for dinner at the airport when my niece left. It was expensive and not good but we couldn’t find anything else close by. Montreal airport needs better options!


  • The big expense is my lawyer’s first invoice: $2,793! And since then I got a second one (October budget). I am getting a little discouraged, I am not further ahead than I was! She hardly did any work on my file and it’s already costing me that much!
  • In Perth, which by the way is such a cute little town, I contributed to the local economy by purchasing fudge and chocolates
  • Spent $118 for another year of Money Scrap. I thought I had paid for two years last year but I guess it was only for some of the services.
  • Gave $50 to my niece for her birthday coming up.

Summary – FI ratio is 40% YTD including all expenses. And without discretionary & kids; I am at 79% FI ratio.

(Discretionary & kids being: kids’cell, donations, kids’ portion of car insurance, bus pass, kids’ expenses, restaurant, travel, learning, legal fees)

GOALS                                                                                                                                                                                                      Goals sept 2018


  • Reduce Grocery bill by 30% or $200/week.  I got too comfortable in September and once I added up all of our receipts, we were back to $280/week! While in August, we only spent $170/week ! I need to get back to entering my receipts every week. More to come on our grocery spending. In the meantime, you can check all previous reports here.
  •  Increase my dividend to $12,000. On target with $9,975 to date in dividend (or 83% of my goal), even with the change in Corus dividend payment.


  • Celebrated my one year in early September. I may make hitting 2 years my new goal.
  • Increased traffic by 25% but my numbers are very low. I gave it an orange because it’s the first time I meet this goal in over 6 months. I may give Pinterest another try but it sounds like you need to be at it consistently (as per Tom over at Dividends Diversify). It is working out really well for him. My problem is that I can’t even stick to a blog schedule so not sure about a “pinning” commitment!
  • Twitter followers are increasing slowly but steadily. I surpassed my goal already!

Related post: Best Blogging Tips From The Blogosphere


  • Back to eating sweets but a lot less than pre-August. I keep track of my food intake in the Fitbit app now, so it motivates me to stop eating when I reach my max., most of the time. I am applying the same method as I do for budgeting! Keep track of it!
  • My average daily steps were 13,670 in September! A 20% increase over last month:) I am not sure I will keep it up with the cooler weather.

Other Goals

  • Still working on our next trip for November but not making much progress.
  • I didn’t hear back from the local hospital yet about my volunteer application. I probably should apply to a few other places just in case.

That’s it for September. How was yours? How many steps do you walk per day? Have you ever tried the Fitbit app to keep track of your food intake (or any other apps)? Did it help?

A special thank you to the following blogs/bloggers for featuring one of Money Scrap’s posts:


In September I published the following posts (Did you miss any?)


30 thoughts on “September 2018 – Income, Expenses And Goals

  1. I like the dividend number Caroline. You will be crashing through $10,000 shortly. Thanks for the mention. And yes, to get the reward of traffic through Pinterest, it takes quite a bit of work. And compared to many, I’m just a novice hacking away at it. But unlike other forms of blog promotion, I kind of enjoy it. And that make all the difference. Tom

    1. Hi Tom, I have seen your latest pins and it looks like you have been putting a lot of effort into them:) I go thru phases with Pinterest but definitely not consistent enough for success yet. Maybe once I don’t work full time anymore:) Cheers

  2. Ommmg almost $10K in dividend income!! So awesome :). Have a fantastic thanksigiving long weekend!

    Ouch that’s a lot of money for the lawyer!

    1. Hi GYM, I am pretty happy with my dividend so far. Once I transferred most of my RRSP over to self directed , it should be a lot more if I invest it all in dividend stocks. Not sure what I will do?
      Yes the lawyer’s bill was a little of a shock!
      Happy Thanksgiving GYM:)

  3. wow, 800 bucks for track and field? is it a club or costs that through a school? how far do y’all live from montreal? i love that city but it’s about 5 hours from here so we don’t go as often as i would like. you make rental properties look attractive.

    1. Competitive Track. I am hoping he may get a scholarship in Uni next year with his track record (one can hope:)). Ottawa is about 2 hours from Montreal. We don’t go as often as we could but I do love old Montreal a lot too.
      From a money perspective, rentals are great! As long as you don’t mind putting up with tenants and their problems.

  4. My renewal for my blog is coming up next month since I started self-hosted mines almost a year ago. I’m on my third month on Tailwind and it can be tough at first when trying to schedule pins but once you understand the features you’ll get the hang of it and find out how convenient it is. Also my page views has gone up too since joining Tailwind so you should experience the same.

    1. Hi Kris, self hosting? I get so confused with all that stuff! I tried Tailwind but found it so overwhelming, maybe I need to give it another try. Not much free help on the internet on how to use it all.
      Glad your page views have been going up. My growth is VERY small:(

  5. What’s not to love about your numbers (well except the lawyer one)! I see you making a lot of progress. Crushing the $10k mark should give you the mental boost to fly through the last $2k for the year. Keep going Caroline!

    1. Hi Mr. Robot, thanks for dropping by. I thought the dividend number may be of interest to you:) The last 2K is already a sure thing:) Mentally trying to get to $13,000:)

  6. Wow that’s quite a complete report. I’m impressed! Congrats on hitting the 1 year mark, i’ve heard that if you keep at it you will continue to grow. I agree pinterest is hard, I bit the bullet and bought tailwind. I spend about an hour a week after publishing to pin to tailwind, and it automatically pins for me. I’ve seen a small increase in traffic from pinterest since using it, but it continues to grow. Worth checking out anyhow.

  7. I’ve thought about Rover because we are such a dog people, too! …But then, I always think about those crazy dog owners, liabilities in case anything happens…etc and I get discourage. I am probably thinking way too much though.

    Congratulations on your one year blog anniversary!!

  8. Enjoyed the update, Caroline! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It’s incredible that you’ve almost earned $10,000 in dividends this year. Awesome work! The rest of your income streams are impressive too. It looks like you’re on pace with most of your goals. And thanks for sharing all the little details, like your trip out to Perth, Ontario. Small trips to get away and explore new cities are fun. My September was pretty good. I’ve been working extra hours to save more money. As for steps per day, I walk and take transit in Toronto. I usually average 6,000 to 10,000 steps per day during the weekdays. I do need to focus on being more active and going to the gym. Hope your October is off to a great start.

    1. Hi Graham,
      October so far has been pretty good.
      I look at my updates and can’t believe I am almost at $10K already. All it took is a little bit of discipline and focus!
      Perth was beautiful and I plan on doing a lot more of those little one day trip. Sometimes that is all it takes:)
      thanks for taking the time to comment. Cheers

  9. Employment lawyer? That sounds like bad news at work. I hope it turns out okay.
    The track & field fee is pretty expensive. This year we’re paying for soccer and basketball rec league. I think it’ll be around $300 total. That’s not too bad for 3 seasons. I’m sure it’ll get more expensive if he ever get into the competitive league. I doubt he will, though. Our son is not that athletic compare to the other kids. He’s too small.

    1. Hi Joe, Nothing new with my work, I am still negotiating my severance package and it is taking forever!
      Track is more expensive than I expected but it is the price of competitive sports I guess. I am hoping he may get a scholarship for it.
      My girls were both in competitive gymnastics and it was a lot more EXPENSIVE! Glad it is over.

  10. nice Caroline!

    Seems like a great month. Wow that track and field cost stood out. Is that for school track and field? didnt even know there was a cost to that. our sons interested in karate. Its 280 for the first 2 months and then 130 each month after that….. dam! Soccer is way cheaper!

    Anyways great month of dividends and rentals. Glad it was a easy fix for ya.

    keep it up

    1. An easy fix this time:) With rentals you never know.
      Track and field is not with school, it’s with our local competitive team. It’s costly but it’s keeping him out of trouble. At 17, you want them to be busy and active. He is also on the volleyball and soccer teams at school for free:)
      Soccer is cheaper as long as you don’t get into a competitive league (been there, done that).

  11. Hi Caroline, yeah, the attorney fee is really high. Hopefully you’ll get a decent package from your employer very soon.

    That’s cool you plan to blog on the 2nd year. I have to make that decision in less than one month. Probably I’ll continue blogging for another year. One post every week is manageable. Writing is not too bad. Sometimes I have to make sure I’m not too obsessed with the page views and comments. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Helen,
      I am not impressed with the legal fees so far. Lots of hours and not much progress!
      As far as the blog is concerned, as long as I am enjoying it I will keep at it. I just wish I had more people reading my posts:)
      You have to keep at it Helen, I love reading your perspective on things and your writing skills are so good:)
      Keep it up:)

  12. Congrats on the 10k Caroline. No matter how hard you try to keep within budget, sometimes you just end up spending still! I’m trying the pinterest thing and its pretty hard for me as well.

    1. Thank you:)
      There always seems to be unexpected expenses!
      From everything I am reading about Pinterest, you need to spend some time (a lot of time) understanding it and then go crazy pinning consistently!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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