Although April was a while ago, I thought I’d update the site a bit to talk about what happened during that month. As you’ll see, April was an expensive month for me. There were a couple reasons for this. Unfortunately, this had the effect of decreasing my yearly saving rate (by quite a bit). On the flip side, May should be a way better month in terms of savings. I also broke another dividend record in April (a whopping $138!) which is nearly $60 more than what I was making in April last year.

Onto the figures…

Income

Salary $ 3,520.38
Dividend Income $ 138.57
Interest Income $ 28.88
Total Income: $ 3,687.83

Expenses

Taxes ($ 1,337.05)
Vacation Related ($ 1,117.84)
Car Related ($ 978.89)
Food Related ($ 622.11)
Home/Rent Related ($ 598.08)
Utilities Related ($ 113.15)
Entertainment Related ($ 100.92)
Health Related ($ 79.86)
Other ($ 111.59)
Total Expenses: ($ 5,059.49)

Income / Expenses Analysis

Percentage of my income saved: -37.19%
Percentage of income earned from passive sources: 4.54%
Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources: 3.31%
Total Money Saved: ($ 1,371.66)
Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.

Portfolio Analysis

Value at the beginning of month: $ 30,952.67
Add: Additional investments: $ 1,999.39
Total Starting value: $ 32,952.06
Value at the end of the month: $ 33,939.37
Total Portfolio Gain/Loss: $ 987.31

Dividend Analysis

Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,100.55
Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,183.13
Dividend Increase/Decrease: $ 82.58 (7.5%)
Avg. Monthly Dividend: $ 98.59

Savings

Like I already said, April was an expensive month for me. I had quite a few big purchases this month. The first was a plane ticket for a two week hiking vacation I will be taking this summer. It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a multi-day backcountry hike in the wilderness, so this year I thought I’d go on two! On top of that, I had to replace my summer tires this year, which (as I’m sure you figured out, at least if you own a car) cost me a pretty penny… something like $700 when all was said and done. My biggest expense by far, however, was my tax bill — nearly $1400 in taxes on top of what I already paid over the course of the year. That’s what happens when you live in one of the most taxed provinces in the country (in my case, Quebec). You might think I’m crazy for living here, but the cost of living is considerably less expensive in Quebec, so the difference more than makes up of it (maybe a topic for another post).

Investments

The Trump rally was still going up in April, adding nearly $1000 to my portfolio’s overall value. When you thought it couldn’t go any higher, the economy somehow figured out a way. It seems everyone was excited when the DOW hit 20k just a couple months ago, and now it’s hovering around 21k — which is insane (in my mind). As all things, however, what goes up, must come down. At this point it’s just a question of when. In the meantime, however, I’ll continue buying stocks at my regular pace… which is fairly glacial to be honest.

Speaking of which, I did manage to buy some new stocks in April; I bought 35 shares of Enbridge around the second week of April. It’s not a particularly glamorous company, but it has a long history of dividend growth, etc. I won’t go into the analysis here. That being said, now that we’re a month later, it seems I’ve already lost a good 6% of my original investment, not that I’m particularly bothered by this. It’s all long term. As long as the dividends keep coming in, and going up, I’ll be happy.

Dividends

I already mentioned that April was a record month for me, with just over $138 in dividend income alone. I don’t know why, but that number seems huge to me. It was only a year ago I was barely making $10 a month. Just goes to show how little effort dividend growth investing truly is. I just let it sit there and let it do its thing.

As a side note, I know that a bunch of my stocks increased their dividend payouts in April, but I unfortunately lost the list that I had compiled, so I won’t be able to detail them here. All I know is that there were at least two of them! As a side note, I resolved the bug I had with the dividend income information coming from Yahoo.com (that my dividend page used). I’m not sure if it’s a bug, but their Canadian figures are all wrong, as far as I could tell. So instead I’ve created myself a little script that allows me to check dividend income and manually input them into my database. I’ll try to update these figures every month or so.

Conclusion

So despite the abysmal savings rate this month, there were still a lot of positive things happening (portfolio increases, dividend increases, record passive income amounts, etc). My monthly food bill is still a serious weakness, that could seriously be tweaked. Unfortunately, food (and Apple products) are my only real weakness. I hate cooking and restaurant food tastes so much better than anything I can make. That being said, May should be a bit more reasonable since I’ve been forcing myself to cook a bit more. We’ll see how that goes when my figures finally come out.

On that note, thanks for reading!

PS: I’ve been playing with the layout of the website a bit, removing the side bar and playing around with the fonts (omg I just discovered Google fonts, which are amazing). Anyway, let me know what you think.

André