Sunday, March 13, 2016

February 2016 Update

Expenses

I can never say I had a normal month with my budget.  It has been over a year since we had to do any work on my wife's 10 year old minivan.  Time and the salt of winter finally caught up and we had to do some repairs.  On the bright side the van broke down on a street and not the highway.  With that said the repairs exceeded what I pay on the house.  Given the age this is accounted for in the budget at $444 per month for things like repairs and gas.

Regarding the rest of the budget we went over in the "Wants" category by $66 as I purchased some Groupons to use later in the year for some events we like to go see.  Also food went over by  $242.   We usually go shopping on the weekend for the next week so the last weekend in February was for food for the first week in March.  It all evens out in the end since January was under budget in this category.

Last but never least was the budget category of childcare.  This is the amount of money I spend on things like diapers, school activities and clothes.  It was $56 over budget this month from a "letterman" type jacket I bought for my daughter.  She helps out with the baby and watches the kids all for free so I thought this would be a nice thank you gift for her.




Savings



New this year are some savings goals.  If I stay on track I should be able to contribute to all of my goals.  They are my Christmas/Holiday fund, Emergency Fund, and Vacation fund.  Each fund I figured out what I need to save for it and divided by twelve months.  So each has a monthly target.  With the van repair I could only contribute  to two out of the 3 funds.

My next fund to add is investing.  Not sure why I did not factor that into my overall budget.  I may have to revise the 2016 budget and get that in and see if I can contribute to that goal regularly.  I have been purchasing some stocks but the funds come from savings not from my monthly income.

Overall, even with the auto repair, we came in under budget and we saved 9%!  Spring is right around the corner so with diligence we will see if the savings will continue.

Dividends

On the up side I purchased 25 shares of ADM.  On the down side I received my last dividends from KMI as I sold what I had as a result of the dividend cut.  Somehow I messed up my Excel online chart and now my years show up as Series 1…Series x.  I will have to find some time to fix that while maintaining the same embedded link.

Other noteworthy stocks were dividends from T, PG and CAT.  They are all above 75% payout ratio so I will not be adding to these positions until they can get there cash flow in a better position.  I know other bloggers have been talking about CAT lately but it does seem risky at this point in time.



In general it was a YOY increase vs. last February so I am happy with the progress.  I hope your February saw you one step close to financial freedom.

Long on all above except KMI.

Cheers,
DFG

4 comments:

  1. DFG,

    Great job overall - definitely would say you should add the investing goal! And pumped that you bought ADM - they've been great for me so far, and they are an aristocrat : ) Congrats and looking forward to your March month!

    -Lanny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lanny! Yeah if you done plan on it you will never have money to invest. Not sure why it took me so long to figure that out.
      DFG

      Delete
  2. Hi DFG,

    Congrats on coming in under budget this month! I was slightly over but should make up for it in March. I like the savings funds you have too and that should make the holidays at the end of the year go smoothly.

    Best wishes,
    -DL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DL,
      It will. Nothing like having the money saved before you spend it. Now when I get my vacation/holiday bills I won't be sweating it anymore.
      DFG

      Delete