Tuesday, August 25, 2015

July 2015 Budget and Savings

Income & Expenses
My paychecks from my new job have smoothed out and I now have a good understanding of what my monthly income from work will look like.  My healthcare costs roughly quadrupled with the move.  This was compensated by a higher salary but it still hurts to see how health costs vary from small companies (with less claims) to larger ones. 

Dividends for July were a slight drop from last year but that did not affect my income in any major way (yet.).  I think when I am living off of them any dividend cuts or stock splits will have to be watched very closely to avoid income loss.



As for expenses there were no surprises there.  We did a planned vacation that was covered by income for the month.  It was in state since my wife is in her third trimester and we needed to stay close to home.  Next year it will be back to the beach (thinking Maine this time).  One of the perks of my new company is I can book hotels through their system for personal travel.  While it is not as low of a rate as the business it is a pretty decent cost savings. 

My other needs you can see is up to 19%.  It was back to school shopping that consumed $500 for new shoes, book bags and clothing.  This exceeded my budget (shoes aren't getting cheaper) so I will most likely adjust it for next year.  My son will be starting kindergarten this year so I will have 3 in school now and 2 at home (once the baby is born.)  While we try to save as much clothing as possible most of it is worn out or trashed beyond saving.  Some of the clothes we saved from my 15 year old son had elastic waist bands in it.  So after 10 years the rubber lost its elasticity and the jeans would not say up on the 5 year old.  We don't save shoes as they wear out fast and worn shoes are not good for a persons feet or backs.  As far as shoes we save by using coupons combined with BOGO 1/2 off sales.

My other savings for the month continued in the food department (since one week of July was tacked on the June total).  Also my cell phone bill dropped as my company also gets me a 23% discount off my bill.

Savings & Summary

Compared to my previous 2 years in July I did well.  Negative territory has now turned into positive with a 2% savings rate.  This is my best year ever in my life with a 6/7 months of actually saving money.  Tracking my expenses within a budget has been a life changer.  I hope you were able to save for the month and use that to build an emergency fund or invest in some dividend growth stocks.

Happy saving,

DFG

Thursday, August 20, 2015

July 2015 Dividends

As I continue to save for expected healthcare costs not much has changed in the dividend area.  My goal was to save up $5500 dollars to cover my deductible.  I did this because I am still building my HSA (Health Savings Account) up since starting my new job in June.  At this time I am about $800 shy of this goal.  At the end of August I hope to have saved enough to get back in the investing game.

 Stock
Account
Dividend
Received
Shares of Life Purchased
Notes
CRWS
IRA
0.08
 $7.94
0.1851
No change in dividend
GPC
IRA
0.615
 $89.55
0.0775
No change in dividend
UBSI
IRA
0.32
 $40.23
0.8255
No change in dividend
RSO
Taxable
0.16
 $19.25

No change in dividend
GE
Taxable
0.23
 $6.13

No change in dividend
CSAL
Taxable
0.442
 $40.62
1.7344
First dividend after WIN split
VNR
Taxable
0.118
 $0.27

No change in dividend
WIN
Taxable
0.11
 $8.46

No change in dividend
HRZN
Taxable
0.115
 $6.99

No change in dividend
AGNC
Taxable
0.2
 $5.67

No change in dividend

The only thing I should have caught was the automatic reinvestment of CSAL.  This and WIN have not been doing well since the split and while I had stopped the DRIP for WIN it was automatically enabled for CSAL.  This will be disabled as I do not want to purchase shares in companies who are not raising dividends and earnings.



Year over year it was a 21% decline in dividends.  This was do to the Windstream split to WIN and CSAL.  At this point I am still trying to determine what to do with the stocks.  I hope your month was an increase YOY and my goal is to get back to increases soon. 


Happy dividend collecting,

Sunday, August 2, 2015

June 2015 Budget & Savings

May was a triple paycheck month so it will be hard to beat it's savings rate.  With my new salary June wasn't so bad even after paying a semi-annual car insurance bill.

I am officially one month late on this since it is now August.  I have been busy getting things ready for the baby due this month.  This past week I took off of work to spend time with the kids while I am still getting sleep.  We had fun at the zoo, the county fair, hiking in the woods and exploring a cave.  My daughter and I even spent a couple of days working on a couple of projects out in the garage.  Some great memories were created and all on a budget.  We will explore if I stayed on track when I write July's.  For  now let's take a peek at quiet June.


Income

This was the first month at my new job.  My health insurance is weird as I pay the premium for the full month in the first paycheck.  This has made it hard to set up a nice reoccurring paycheck in quicken like I have done for the past 15 years.  I am also not able to split up my paycheck and have it deposited in multiple accounts.  This snuck up on me and I have to close one of my checking accounts or pay a $12 month fee.  Other than that just enjoying the nice pay boost.


Needs

These are the things if I were to be financially independent I would cover with my dividends.  If I ever lost my job I could still cut out of my needs but life would be pretty boring (but at least we would have food on the table and a roof over our heads.)
Category
Comments
Under K or Over J
Auto
Insure was due but I had saved for that.
K
Home/Personal Expenses

Over by $200.  I had put another 15 inches of insulation in the attic in June.  I hope to recoup some of that cost this summer and winter saving on utilities.
J
Utilities
The sewer bill always follows the water bill.  I do save for this but it caused my budget to be overspent by $40 in this category.
J
Loans
2 Mortgage loans and 1 kid in braces.  Other than that debt free.
Fixed
Food
Spent the entire budget this month.  Mostly because the last week of the month started out as June and ended as July.  I shop in the beginning of the week so it goes on June.
K



Wants

We did go over for the month.  I had a reoccurring payment setup for an online subscription that I forgot to cancel.  It showed up on the bill this month.  If not for that we would have been under budget and saving more!

Category
Comments
Dining Out
Again only ate out twice this month.  That makes me feel good. July wasn't so nice on the wallet though.
Gifts
The aforementioned online subscription was for my daughter.  I have it on my list to cancel next May to prevent this from happening again.  As long as she plays the game I am OK with footing the bill.  She has helped my wife out tremendously with this kids this summer playing with them and even teaching them.  She will be a great mom or teacher someday.


Savings & Summary

So for the month of June overall I was $464 over budget.  This was Ok as it was mostly due to normal bills which I save and budget for each month.  With that said I was able to achieve a savings rate of 16% for the month.  That includes money from my taxable account dividends.  While not the half I would like to be saving it is still way above what I saved in previous years. 

Unfortunately all of this savings rolls directly into my fund for paying our health insurance deductible when the baby is born.  My goal is to use the cash to pay the bills and not touch the money in my HSA (health savings account).  I am going to build that up enough where it can be invested and let it compound tax free until I am of poor health and will need it.

After July I will have enough money saved to cover the deductible and then I can turn to my old friend the stock market.  I have missed the feel pushing the buy button on my computer and watching new dividends roll in.  Sure babies are fun but so is investing.



Happy saving,

DFG

Sunday, July 19, 2015

June 2015 Dividends

Another good month of collecting dividends and reinvesting them in my IRA.  For my taxable account I continue to amass cash so I can make a purchase.   My market is looking better so I hope to have some cash to deploy soon.

The biggest surprise I missed was ol' blue with a large increase of 15.4 percent.  I did the math a few times to be sure of it (but I could still be wrong). If that is their pace for the future and they meet or beat earnings going forward I might have to add to my position.

 Company
Account
Dividend
Div Received
Shares of Life Purchased
June
CVX
IRA
1.07
9.73
0.0969
No change in dividend
TGT
IRA
0.52
9.11
0.1155
No change in dividend
MSFT
IRA
0.31
7.64
0.1639
No change in dividend
ED
IRA
0.65
50.88
0.8843
No change in dividend
MCD
IRA
0.85
9.39
0.0988
No change in dividend
ORI
IRA
0.185
19.41
1.2418
No change in dividend
RIG
IRA
0.15
8.57
0
No change in dividend/not reinvesting in this
MCY
IRA
0.618
64.73
1.141
No change in dividend
UHT
IRA
0.64
67.51
1.4528
.7% increase vs. last dividend
COP
Taxable
0.73
8.96
0
No change in dividend
AGNC
Taxable
0.2
5.67
0
No change in dividend
IBM
Taxable
1.3
5.27
0
15.4% increase vs. last dividend...go blue
NUS
Taxable
0.35
8.15
0
No change in dividend
VNR
Taxable
0.118
0.27
0
No change in dividend
HRZN
Taxable
0.115
6.99
0
No change in dividend
CTL
Taxable
0.54
9.3
0
No change in dividend


Compared to the same time last year my dividends were cut in half or so.  The biggest change was the complete dividend cut (SDRL) and partial cut (RIG).  This was a large chunk of change I will never get back from them.  This was a purchase before I knew better and was very high risk.  Any dividends I received from them did not come close the loss I toke from Mr. Market when they cut their dividends.  You are always learning in life that is for sure.


Happy dividend collecting,
DFG

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DFG Moving On Up

It has been a busy past couple of months for the Dividend Family Guy.  My wife is due with our next installment of the clan in August and I switched jobs in June.  What I thought was a good decision turned out not to be.  Less stress is good right?  Not so much.

The 10% loss of income I talked about some time ago created more friction between me and the Mrs. Than I thought.  Sure we didn't go deeper in debt but my budget was so tight you could bounce a nickel on it.  We weren't living on mac & cheese but we weren't doing much of anything except for free or discounted family fun things.  That didn't really bother me since we had fun regardless of how much it cost.  What has been bugging me is I haven't had any cash to invest no matter how much I trimmed the fat.

Could I have trimmed more?  Sure but it wouldn't have been enough to invest again on a regular basis.  To do that you either have to earn way more money or cut a big item out of the budget.  For me that left earning more money.  Luckily an opportunity presented itself and it came with a nice pay increase.

The company I now work for is a Global Fortune 100 company and I already owned some of its stock.  I am happy to work for a company with a strong brand and reputation and who knows it may be my last job switch.  The stuff we are working on is near and dear to most people's pocket books and could change the industry the company is focusing on.  Vary vague I know but it is good stuff.

The first week of work my manager gave up his conference ticket to me and I was off to New York City.  My coworker and I were in the Financial District for the conference so I snapped a few pictures I thought you all would enjoy.

Enjoy,

DFG

The Bull - Couldn't get close to my friend that has been helping our accounts for the past couple of years.

We walked this famous street which is open to only foot traffic these days.

Tech problems sure, but the building looked cool.

Another view of the New York Stock Exchange.  I love old buildings.

This one is for you No More Waffles!

AMEX now known as NYSE MKT


Own MCD and probably the flashiest one I have ever seen.

Another time square stock I own.
Last picture but not the least.  We will remember this day forever!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

May 2015 Dividends

Another month of collecting cash came and went and I almost didn't get it out in June.  Thought I would take 30 minutes and knock it out. 







Company
Held In
Dividend Paid (Qtr.)
Amount Received ($)
Shares of Life
Note
AT&T
IRA
.47
49.56
1.43

WGL Holdings
IRA
.46
48.10
.8744

Northwest Natural Gas Co.
IRA
.47
48.42
1.0837

American Capital Agency Corp
Taxable
.6
6.24
0
Now building up cash
Horizon Technology Finance Corp.
Taxable
.35
6.99
0

Kinder Morgan
Taxable
.35
13.73
0

Eagle Rock Energy Partners
Taxable
.07
.39
0

EV Energy Partner LP
Taxable
.5
.37
0

Vanguard Natural Resources LLC
Taxable
.35
.27
0








I am starting to build up cash in my ShareBuilder account (or whatever Capital calls it now).  When I get enough cash I can start buying again.  Hopefully soon!

Happy dividend collecting,

DFG