November was almost normal. Food jumped up to my budget max because of the holidays and my wife persuaded me into buying a new washer dryer set that was $600 off and no interest for six months. So I lied it wasn’t a normal month.
That $1400 set me over my budget and gave me my 3rd month of the year with no savings. They are Maytag so they should hopefully last 10 years. Plus they use very little water compared to our old machines and they are the XL size. My wife was spending most of her time doing laundry and we can pack those babies up and cut the loads in half. I also hope they bring my super-sized water/sewer bill down and pay for themselves.
November also starts my Christmas shopping season. With that said my 'wants' category also was over budget. The washer/dryer was logged under Misc. Needs. Our old washer and dryer were still in working order so those are sitting in my garage and I need to find someone to donate them to.
As far as November dividends. Well they didn't stop. That is the nice thing. I don't have to work for them (but do have to keep an eye on them). It was the last month for my KMI dividends before the cut. I didn't sell yet but I need to before the stock drops lower. One other event was a distribution from a partnership. My account doesn't specify which one so I have no clue who it is from. I will have to try and figure out which MLP it came from.
The big news of the year (besides the birth of my daughter) was one of my loans was paid off. So next year I will not have that in my budget anymore. I got the letter from the bank this month and boy was it a nice Christmas present. On the down side that money all went to pay for my bi-yearly car insurance payment. Both our cars are paid off so I am not sure why I am carrying full insurance on both of them. This and my house insurance need to be revisited in the new year when I get some down time (not likely to happen with the baby :-)
Without a Christmas budget I overspent on the kids like I do every year. The two oldest were the most expensive. Clothes and shoes mostly for my daughter and I split the cost of an iPhone 6 with my oldest son. I found a good Christmas budget spreadsheet from Spreadsheet123. I tracked everything from this year so I can finally set a budget for next year and save for it.
December dividends are also a nice Christmas present for me. It is usually a big month for companies and this proved to be my biggest month of the year. I purchased a few stocks back in October from proceeds from selling my WIN stock. These finally generated some income which was nicely deposited into my stocking.
According to Yahoo I have a few companies with a risk of a dividend cut. Those I mostly identify by having a payout ratio above 75% and they are not MLP's or REIT's. They include CVX, MSFT, COP, CTL, FTR and KO. Event MCD is close at 74%. Rough year for them and gives me something to think about. With KMI you could see that ratio creep up and a smart person would have sold while the price was good. I just don't know what to do since some of these companies will cut and some won't. For now I will hold and watch for cuts.
Savings & Summary
2015 went out with a bang of 2 months of negative savings but that will not stop me from setting a budget for next year and trying again. I am happy though because progress was made. My yearly dividend income went up by roughly $300 and I have a happy and healthy family. Happy new year all!
Dividend Family Guy