August was a fun month — although, as you’ll see, it was a considerable drain on the pocket book. The biggest thing that happened was deciding to go on a cross country road trip through the US and Canada. In the end, I spent two and half weeks driving from Quebec to British Columbia, mostly through the US. It was an unforgettable experience for sure. Especially camping in my car, often times in the middle of nowhere!

The other big thing that happened was that I moved out of my yurt and into a new apartment.  Yurt life was great, and I’m glad I tried it out, but with winter just around the corner, I had to find a new (warmer) place to live. Who knows how long I’ll be staying in this new place. While I’m sad to move out (it was too short), on the bright side I have access to the internet again (and a regular shower).

Considering all of these out of the ordinary expenses, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that I had a negative savings rate this month. It was bound to happen at some point. Life can’t just be about saving, saving and more saving! You have to let loose every so often. August was that month for me.

So on to the numbers…

Income

Salary $ 3,013.28
Dividend Income $ 60.35
Interest Income $ 21.68
Total Income: $ 3,095.31

Expenses

Vacation ($ 1,603.95)
Food ($ 369.95)
Website Related ($ 296.78)
Car Related ($ 279.35)
Utilities ($ 238.24)
Banking Related ($ 110.27)
Entertainment ($ 100.29)
Pet Related ($ 51.05)
Health Related ($ 29.24)
Other ($ 45.36)
Computer* ($ 100.00)
Elective Health Cost** ($ 367.00)
Total Expenses: ($ 3,591.48)

Income / Expenses Analysis

Percentage of my income saved: -16.03%
Percentage of income earned from passive sources: 2.65%
Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources: 2.28%
Total Money Saved: ($ 496.17)
Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.

Portfolio Analysis

Value at the beginning of month: $ 25,948.22
Add: Additional investments: $ 0.00
Total Starting value: $ 25,948.22
Value at the end of the month: $ 25,949.25
Total Portfolio Gain/Loss: $ 1.03

Dividend Analysis

Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,051.22
Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,058.90
Dividend Increase/Decrease: $ 7.68 (0.73%)
Avg. Monthly Dividend: $ 88.24

Savings: As mentioned earlier, my saving rate was negative in August. Yet despite this small set back, I think it was money well spent. I had a great time during my road trip. I got to see friends that I hadn’t seen in years, and made a lot of new lasting memories. If only every month could be this way!

On the brighter side, I’ve completely paid off my amortized expenses from 9 months ago (projector, sound system and a new computer). This should have a positive effect on my future monthly balance sheets. That being said, I think it might be time to finally start thinking about replacing my old iPhone 5, which is starting to show its age.

Investments: There isn’t a lot to report on this front. Due to a lack of funds, I didn’t buy any stocks in August. My portfolio also went nowhere during this same period — gaining a paltry $1 in value.

Dividends: I got a raise in August, albeit small, through no effort of my own. That’s the genius behind dividend investing. Regardless if my stocks go up or down, I still get paid. Although it was only an additional $8 more per year, it’s better than a kick in the butt.

So overall, not a great month in terms of savings and investing, but worth it nevertheless.

That’s it for now and thanks for reading!

André

* I bought a computer in December. I figured it didn’t make sense to expense all of it at once since it would last me much longer than a month. So instead I decided to amortize it over 9 months (this is the last month).