Budget for Better Living 2018

With the new year came a new budget.I base my budget on 2 paychecks a month.My current employer pays biweekly so I get a bonus 2 paychecks a year that go directly to savings.This works in my favor not only because of those bonus paychecks but because it is helping me learn to live on less than I make.That is always the way to a better life.Live on less.
So what did I change in the budget?

2018.1 Budget
Category Change Notes Housing/
Insurance $0 Still paying extra principle. 9 years to go Investments $0 Still maxing out 401k and IRAs Utilities -$110 Cell phone plan change Transportation $109 Cars are getting older so setting aside more cash Education $70 New category to save monthly for school fees when the kids start school. Travel $17 No travel plans yet but still saving Gifts/Charity -$25 That is on the gift side, still giving Home Maintenance/
Supplies -$161 Less mulch/more hardscape Food

January 2018 Dividends

The goal of dividend growth investing is to create an income stream from many companies that increase their dividend each year.  To protect the income stream they should also be a diversified set of stocks.  My portfolio has been a bit heavy in the financial sector which are usually the hardest hit in a recession.  Luckily last year was good and one of those stocks paid an extra dividend.
Old Republic International Corporation (ORI) has been on the DFG watchlist for some time now.  While the dividend growth rate is less than spectacular everything else looked good to me.  So overtime I have been picking up more shares.  At the end of January they paid a special $1 dividend.  It is probably the closest I will come to winning a lottery so I am very happy.
Here are the companies that paid dividends to DFG in January:
AmTrust Financial Services Inc AFSI $133.62 Cardinal Health Inc CAH $55.49 Gladstone Investment Corporation GAIN $6.50 General Electric Company GE $0.48 Old Republic International Corpo…

February 2018 Dividend Growth Watchlist

Company Name Symbol Industry No. Years Dividend Yield Sector EPS% Payout +/-% vs. Graham Chowder Rule Principal Financial Group Inc. PFG Financial Services 10 3.02 Financials 33.44 (10.4) 22.7 Altria Group Inc. MO Tobacco 48 3.75 Consumer Staples 33.00 108.1 12.1 Brinker International EAT Restaurants 13 4.18 Consumer Discretionary 54.87 n/a

DFG 2017 Year End Summary

In this post we are going to take a peak into how the DFG family spending went for 2017.  The main points of interest are:
How did spending compare to last yearWere we frugal or cheapWas savings on track for achieving financial independence
Last year we switched to using Mint to aggregate all of our data.  It also has a decent budgeting tool which I setup just to see how it works and how we do against it.  As events changed over the course of the year the budget was adjusted.  It has some nice features like adding your various savings goals  to it.  For example I added Travel and Retirement goals to the budget.  This allows me to save first for my goals and then budget the remainder.  The other feature I like is the ability to put in sporadic items like my insurance (every six months).  It will create a budget item and split the estimated cost over the time period you specify.  This ensures I am setting aside enough cash each month for the bill.

Spending vs. Last Year

Investment Disclaimer

This webpage is provided for general information only and nothing contained in the material constitutes a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at dividendfamilyguy at gmail dot com.