December was another strange month, which shouldn’t be too surprising given that it was Christmas and what not. Ho! Ho! Ho! Luckily, I didn’t have to spend too much on presents this year; however, I did buy myself a new computer (the least expensive of the Mac Minis). I wanted to put it off until the new models come out in 2016, but it was becoming unbearable not having a computer ever since my last one died. Unfortunately, the new Mac Mini was almost unusable out of the box, but I didn’t want to spend more than $1000 on a new system — which is hard to do on the Mac platform. So I decided to keep the cheap Mac Mini, but swapped the hard drive for a solid state one instead. Now it’s super zippy and I didn’t have to break the bank. Yes I know PCs are cheaper, but I really prefer Mac OS. Finally, I got 3 pay cheques in December, which explains the sizeable increase in income.

Income

Net Salary $ 4,847.62
Dividends $ 37.99
Interest Income $ 23.56
Total Income: $ 4,909.17

Expenses

Rent ($ 675.00)
Food ($ 560.19)
Household Goods ($ 292.51)
Cellphone ($ 62.22)
Internet ($ 37.89)
Home Insurance ($ 29.43)
Pet Related ($ 41.26)
Gifts ($ 171.28)
Travel ($ 92.00)
Gas ($ 110.06)
Car Related ($ 109.72)
Entertainment ($ 75.90)
Health * ($ 368.41)
Electronics (Amortized) **/*** ($ 342.87)
Total Expenses: ($ 2,968.74)

Income / Expenses Analysis

Percentage of my income saved: 39.53%
Percentage of income earned from passive sources: 1.25%
Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources: 2.07%
Total Money Saved: $ 1,940.43
Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.

Portfolio Analysis

Value at the beginning of month: $ 14,026.59
Add: Additional investments: $ 0.00
Total Starting value: $ 14,026.59
Value at the end of the month: $ 13,657.19
Total Portfolio Gain/Loss: ($ 369.40)

Dividend Analysis

Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 566.01
Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 584.50
Dividend Increase/Decrease: $ 18.49 (3.27%)
Avg. Monthly Dividend: $ 48.71

Conclusion

I knew December was going to be a tough month — with Christmas shopping, a new computer, rent and a bus pass, it was bound to be expensive. Fortunately I had an extra pay cheque to cover it. I thought things would stabilize in January, but it’s not looking like that is going to be the case. Unfortunately, I forgot that in January I will be heading to Orlando with the folks for a week. Vacations are expensive, especially with our current exchange rate! Eek! But February should see things FINALLY returning to normal (I keep saying this for some reason).

Portfolio wise, my stocks went down quite a bit in December. I’ve lost all of the gains I had made previously and am now in the red.  These sort of gains/losses aren’t really the point, however, since I’m in it for the long haul and mostly looking at dividend income. As of this writing, my yearly income from dividends is around $585 per year.

Despite the obvious increase in expenses, December was still a pretty good month.

André


* I went to a private clinic twice; however, part of these expenses will eventually be reimbursed. I’ve included the entire amount here and will add the reimbursements as income in the months they’re received.
** I bought a new computer since the old one died on me.
*** I bought a projector in October, a sound system in November and a computer in December. I figured it didn’t make sense to expense all of these at once since they would last me much longer than one month. So instead I decided to amortize them over 9 months ($600 left for the projector, $300 left for the stereo and $800 left for the computer).