Sunday, May 28, 2017

April 2017 FrugalMaster Results

April had some unexpected travel expenses from the death of my brother.  A few nights in a hotel and eating out triggered a few hundred dollars in travel and food expenses.  I think this is why having some type of cash buffer or emergency fund is very important for those just starting out on their Frugalmaster exercises.  When you live well below your means you tend to not worry about money as much and always have some extra cash just in case.

That buffer also helped me finish paying off my daughters school trip to Washington DC.  The trip was $500 total and she has been helping around the house with extra chores and kid watching to help pay it back.  They also stopped at Gettysburg and Flight 93 (911 crash site) Memorial.

April Expenses


I am not quite to the 50% mark yet but my expenses for the month where 62% of my normal income.  I say normal because this month the government paid me back the taxes they had over collected.  This refund is counted towards income because it was not recorded in the previous year where it was earned. 

With that said my savings rate for the month jumped to a whopping 67%.  This is my best month ever but I think is mostly due to my tax refund.  Without it the rate would have been around 38% which is close to my average so for this year.

This extra money was saved and part was put into the 401k.  I was finally eligible to put money into it when I reached 6 months with my current company.  My plan is to save the full $18,000 dollars max into it.  So I have adjusted my contribution rate to match that or roughly $1250 a paycheck (I am biweekly).  This will leave me little extra cash with each paycheck but all the previous months this year I have saved that cash to ensure I have an adequate buffer just in case.

There were some dividend stocks purchased but I will detail that later.  I am way past due for letting you all know what I have been buying over the past few months.

Happy saving,

Dividend Family Guy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Life is not always a box of chocolates

My wife would argue that title since that is her favorite food group.  That was the best title I could come up with this morning.  It was that or my usual FrugalMaster results for April and I felt like a change. 

I have mentioned it before but my brother (who was only 3 years older than me) was diagnosed with brain cancer.  The surgery went fine to remove the tumor and he was slated to go home the next day (after many weeks of recovery.)  They had removed him from any monitors so in the middle of the night his brain decided to start bleeding and he silently passed away.

When God calls you home I suppose that is the best way to go.  He was a good man which I already knew but I didn't know he was a great man.  The line at the wake was 3 1/2 hours long of people he had affected come to offer their condolences.  His wife stood through the whole thing never taking a break. 

Ah yes he did leave behind a wife and 3 kids (one of them who is handicap).  I know how they are feeling as my father passed away when I was 18.  It sucks for a while but friends, family and time help you through it.  I pray they stay strong and together.

Things I learned from the people I spoke with:
  1. He was corny (at work and at home)
  2. He never got angry (his ears did turn red from time to time)
  3. He brought a second lunch to work (part hobbit maybe?)
  4. He taught many kids that doing good deeds and caring about the world and those in it is the most important thing in life (he was a leader in a boys club)

Well don't feel like writing more than that.  He will be missed.


Dividend Family Guy

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 2017 Dividend Growth Watchlist

Company Name
Symbol
Industry
No. Years
Dividend Yield
Sector
EPS% Payout
AmTrust Financial Services Inc.
AFSI
Financial Services
11
4.24
Financials
32.69
Lazard Limited
LAZ
Financial Services
10
3.82
Financials
56.16
Williams-Sonoma Inc.
WSM
Retail-Home Products
12
2.89
Consumer Discretionary
45.48
Qualcomm Inc.
QCOM
Telecomm Equipment
15
4.24
Information Tech
69.51
Donegal Group Inc. A
DGICA
Insurance
15
3.36
Financials
63.64
Old Republic International
ORI
Insurance
36
3.68
Financials
47.50
Span-America Medical Systems
SPAN
Medical Equipment
18
2.94
Health Care
43.54
T. Rowe Price Group
TROW
Financial Services
31
3.22
Financials
47.80
Cracker Barrel Old Country
CBRL
Restaurants
14
2.87
Consumer Discretionary
55.09
Brinker International
EAT
Restaurants
12
3.08
Consumer Discretionary
42.24

The list for May remains pretty much the same with great buys.  I bumped my yield filter down to 2.8% to account for some companies who may cross the 3% yield mark on a good dip.  I wanted to make sure they were on my watchlist so I could monitor them easily.

The newcomer to the list is Lazard Limited (LAZ).  They are a financial advisory and asset management company with over 2700 employees.  The company started back in 1848 and has grown revenue to 2.46B.  The ex-dividend date was 5/4 so I missed that boat.  With that said I would have to catch it on a good day (market/LAZ down) to make up for that lost personal revenue.  The book value of 9.40 is a bit high for my liking but that is way under the Financial Sector average of 20.24.

Happy investing,

Dividend Family Guy