Sunday, January 3, 2016

November & December Budget Plus Dividend 2015 Year End Catch Up

November
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.

December
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!


Happy saving,

Dividend Family Guy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

October 2015 Budget & Savings

Income & Expenses
My income is pretty consistent now however I wish I could say the same for my expenses.  A few more bills trickled in from the birth of my daughter.  Only another 1100 dollars for general hospital services.  I ranted about the healthcare industry last month so I will not do it again.  So what else was over or under?  Let's take a look.



Auto K
Both the minivan and car are doing great.  Just fuel expenses and the cost of gas is low in my area.  I saw it for $1.89 just yesterday.

Personal J
Over budget in several sub-categories this month.  The first one being healthcare which includes my son's braces.  I pray this goes back to normal in November as the Christmas season is upon me and anything I had saved went to pay hospital bills. 

We continue to go over in childcare because of unbudgeted diapers and just buying clothes for my ever growing children.  So far we are $2000 over budget in this sub-category.  This will definitely need to be revisited next year.

Surprising we were over budget in the food category.  This doesn't include dining out.  My guess without doing too much research would be fast type meals and junk food.

Lastly my Wants was over budget.  We took the kids out to see fall colors and did some shopping in country stores.  The day trip and eating out 11 times over the course of the month was too much for the 'ol budget.  Having a baby and getting home late from work is not a good combination for saving money.  You can only do canned soup and frozen meals so much before you break down.  I do cook on the weekends but the weekday I have to plan easy things for my wife.  It will get better so I am hanging in there.

Utilities K
No surprises here.  Our phones are almost paid off (I think in November) so the phone bill will drop big time.  This will be a welcome change as I have been paying them off for 2 years.  After that all our phones are ours and I plan on getting at least 4 years out of them.

Loans & Mortgages K
Nothing new here.  Just keep on paying the mortgage down.

Savings & Summary



So it was a break even month.  Actually I had a few dollars to spare thus giving me a positive savings rate for the month.  I am pretty Ok with that considering the bills I had to pay and being over budget in more categories than I should be.  I did invest some this month on a few dips so that is a positive note.  The capital came from some previous savings which gives me some pleasure in knowing my income from dividends is still slowly increasing.

I hope your October fared better than me.  If it didn't don't give up and try again in November.  No one is perfect.  What makes the difference is your actions going forward. 

Happy saving,

DFG

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

October 2015 Dividends


Hopefully this will be the last month were not much has happened.  Just sitting back (not really, been raking leaves) and collecting income.    Another purchase I should not have made presented itself to me.  CRWS I noticed hasn't raised its dividend in years.  If only I could go back in time before I knew what to look at for a good purchase and change those decisions.  You live and you learn so going forward these won't happen again.  Until they cut the dividend I will just keep collecting it.



Company
Held In
Dividend Paid (Qtr)
Amount Received
Shares of life purchased
October
GPC
IRA
0.615
$6.98
0.0842

UBSI
IRA
0.32
$7.69
0.881

CRWS
IRA
0.08
$1.48
0.1829
Not a dividend growth stock
T
IRA
0.47
$50.91
1.5192

WGL
IRA
0.463
$48.91
0.786

EROC
Taxable
0.07
$0.26


HRZN
Taxable
0.115
$6.99


VNR
Taxable
0.118
$0.27


GE
Taxable
0.23
$6.13





My YOY dividend income took a dive again.  Same as last month regarding my selling of some bad investments.  I have since taken that money and invested it in dividend growth stocks.  Those purchases I still need to write about.  As the year gets closer to ending I do believe I will still pull in my dividends than last year.  That does give me hope and the drive to keep saving and investing.



Any cuts for you this month?



Happy dividend collecting,

DFG

Saturday, October 31, 2015

September 2015 Expenses and Savings

Income & Expenses
September the bills from the birth of our child came rolling in.  Even as I write this I am still getting bills from the hospital in October.  Even though I saved to be able to pay the deductible I got lost in the rest of the explanation of my medical benefits.  Basically I learned HSA's suck.  Especially the ones with a high deductible.

When I switched jobs I looked at the regular health insurance where you do a copay and the insurance company covers the rest.  I added up the higher monthly costs for those and the HSA (monthly cost plus the $5500 deductible.)  The HSA was $1000 cheaper per year and my company puts up to $1600 into the HSA if you get a physical and do some other online activities to learn about better health.

Sounds good right?  Well even after you pay the $5500 out of pocket (I saved for that) you still have to pay %20 of anything on top of that up to $12,000.  What??  Yeah that is crazy.  Basically I am footing most of the bill for anything and paying the insurance company monthly on top of that.  I think HAS's work if you're in good health and you can accumulate money in it and invest.




Now looking at my expenses we can see the big yellow blob that was so big Excel decided not to label it.  On top of my usual mandatory expenses was a large chunk of healthcare costs.  Everything else was pretty much the same. 

Two items continue to be over budget though.  Childcare (clothes, diapers, etc.) was $200 and my wants category.  I found with tiredness comes lack of energy to cook dinner after a full day of work.  I find myself bringing home takeout and pizza at least once a week and buying more frozen prepared meals at the grocery store.  I don't get home until 6:30 PM most work nights so I need something fast before the kids have to get ready for school and in bed.  I do try to do a big meal on Sunday so I can have leftovers at least once during the week.  So that helps some. 

Savings & Summary




This month was a big drop in my savings rate.  Most of it was planned for and I will do better healthcare planning next year knowing what I know now about my HSA.  I remember my first kid was $500 dollar copay.  My last kid has so far cost me $7000+.  Things certainly have changed in 15 years!  I am appreciative that I have a job and can afford insurance.  I definitely sympathize with those who do not have any or poor health insurance.  This is a system that definitely needs fixing.  Either that or I am moving to Canada. :-)

Happy saving,

DFG

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

September 2015 Dividends


Another great month of not working for money (well at least from dividends collected.)  I still had to go to work to earn a living for the family and generate additional cash to invest on dividend growth stocks.

The stocks listed below are ones that deposited money into my account or were reinvested during this month.  I do not count dividends I having received yet (kinda like stock, not worth much until you sell them.)



Company
Held In
Dividend Paid (Qtr)
Amount Received
Shares of life purchased
September
CVX
IRA
1.07
9.83
0.1312
6th straight quarter without an increase!
MSFT
IRA
0.31
7.69
0.1785

TGT
IRA
0.56
9.87
0.1279
Yeah 7.6% increase!
ED
IRA
0.65
51.46
0.8215

ORI
IRA
0.185
19.64
1.2438

MCD
IRA
0.85
9.47
0.0964

RIG
IRA
Who cares ->
8.57

Sold/last dividend
MCY
IRA
0.618
65.43
1.2752

UHT
IRA
0.64
68.44
1.4525

COP
Taxable
0.74
9.08

1.3% increase
IBM
Taxable
1.3
5.27


VNR
Taxable
0.118
0.27


HRZN
Taxable
0.115
6.99


NUS
Taxable
0.35
8.15


CTL
Taxable
0.54
9.3

No increase since 2013, ha why did I buy this?
FTR
Taxable
0.105
11.17

At least they had an increase in 2014
HMN
Taxable
0.25
8.74



I realize I still have some stocks that should never have been purchased in the first place (VNR, HRZN, CTL and FTR to name a few from this month.)  Either they haven't cut their dividend yet or the cost to sell them is more than they are worth.  Until I dispose of them I am more than happy to continue to collect money from them while I spend my time with the baby and the rest of my family.

My YOY dividend income took another nose dive.  This is what happens when you don't do your research and buy companies with high yields.  Sure I collected the dividends for a year or so but once they cut or stopped it completely I lost that income and the stock took a big hit.  All in all I lost money on those bets and have since learned a big lesson. 

Some questions I now ask myself like many other DGI are:

Is the dividend sustainable?
Do they have a track record of increasing the dividend for more than one economic cycle?
Is earnings increasing enough so that the dividend can also increase?

Any good increases for you this month?

Happy dividend collecting,
DFG

Monday, September 28, 2015

August 2015 Budget and Savings

Income & Expenses
I just realized today that I did not send this out shortly after I totaled up my dividends.  Time flies when you go to work, rush home help out with the kids, crash into bed and then start it all over again.  I truly enjoyed the few weeks at home after the baby was born.  No rushing around and I spent more time with the kids.  August was when the baby was born so expenses will be going up.  Diapers, baby food, etc plus the additional cost of health insurance for the baby.  I did save up enough to cover my health insurance deductible so that won't cause any further debt.  Income was normal with 2 paychecks.




I was over budget in 5 categories this month which caused me to go over my overall budget by $200.  Guild Free Spending Monday was $90 over as the kids and I dined out several times while my wife was in the hospital and we visiting with her.  Added to that was my zoo membership.  For a mere $80 I get unlimited visits to the zoo for the family.  We go several times a year so it easily pays for itself.

The second category over was childcare.  School clothes and supplies continued to pile up despite our best efforts to reuse and buy low.  On top of that was some diapers.  The best thing out of the month was stocking up on $10 jeans at Old Navy for the kids (and their future selves).

Surprisingly food was $150 over my generous budget.  I did buy several build food items from Amazon in an effort to save in the long run.  That combined with my food shopping cycle just added up for the month.

The fourth was household items.  We needed some new towels as the old ones were falling apart after 5 years of use.  I also took a trip to Lowes and purchased some trim and paint to fix up our master bath.  I had big plans to get it done in August before the baby was born.  The baby came a week early so this project is on hold for some time.

Last was personal care which includes toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other items I care not to talk about that women need.  The kids and I also got haircuts which adds up quick even though it is $13 a cut.  It all adds up quick and I ran $77 over budget there.

Savings & Summary




It has been a good year so far and I have continued that in August with a 15% savings rate.  Even though I was over budget in a few categories I still managed to save a decent amount of after tax income.  This extra income I can now use to purchase dividend producing stocks that will grow their dividends over time.  This will ensure the income keeps up or exceeds inflation.  That extra income will then be used to purchase more stocks and continue to increase my income.

Some of that savings was from one of my loan payments being returned to me.  Not sure why yet and I am following up with the bank.  By my calculations I had several more years to go on the loan.

Happy saving,
DFG

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August 2015 Dividends

Company
Held In
Dividend Paid (Qtr.)
Amount Received
Shares of life purchased
Notes
T
IRA
$0.47
$50.23
1.4459

WGL
IRA
$0.46
$48.51
0.8678

NWN
IRA
$0.47
$48.92
1.1008

AGNC
Taxable
$0.20
$5.67


EROC
Taxable
$0.07
$0.39


EVEP
Taxable
$0.50
$0.37


HRZN
Taxable
$0.12
$6.99


KMI
Taxable
$0.49
$14.01

Penny increase or ~ 2% div hike
VNR
Taxable
$0.12
$0.27



As you can see in the above table an extremely uneventful month.  Stocks I own generate dividends (sometimes increasing them like KMI.)  Reflecting back if I had started investing right out of college I could retire now in my forties and spend all of my time with my new born babe.  My wife gets that privilege now while I go work for the man.  I wonder what it would be like to be your own boss and raise kids for many years.  I get a glimpse on vacations and weekends but I don't know what it would be like if both my wife and I had raised them together.  Right now work stresses me out (even the new job) and some of that comes home distracting me from what is most important in life.  

My noble purpose is to teach my kids the value of money and the freedom it can buy you.  With that knowledge I hope they can lead rewarding and happy lives.

Year over year August was an improvement so I am heading in the right direction!

Happy dividend collecting,

DFG