I honestly can’t believe that May has already come and gone! Just like in April, I spent most of my free time in May working on building a yurt, making sure that it’s ready to move into for end of June. I don’t have much of a choice to get it done since my lease ends at the end of this month. If I don’t finish it before then, I’ll be effectively homeless. The good news is that, unless disaster strikes, I should be done this weekend. Most of the work is done – I just have to fix the roof so that it doesn’t flap around as much. My dad has also started working on the door, and says it’ll be finished by this weekend. I’ve been dreaming about living in a yurt for years, so it’s strange to think that I’ll actually be making this leap — if only temporarily.
Unfortunately, because most of my free time is being spent on building my future home, I haven’t been as diligent when it comes to this blog. Normally I try to write six to eight posts a month, but this month I only managed to post three. Not the greatest I know, but given the circumstances I think it’s understandable. That having been said, I want to shake things up a little around here. For one, I plan on revamping the look of my blog to make it more engaging. I also want to change the style of my articles to make them more interesting. You’ll see some of these changes in the coming months.
Enough about the yurt already, talk about your income & expenses!
Ok, ok! To be honest I’m a little surprised by my income and expenses statement this month. Given that my yurt (sorry) is costing me a few hundred dollars more than I had originally anticipated, I thought I’d be in the red. But alas I was wrong! In fact, I managed to save just under 30% of my income. Ideally I’d prefer this to be higher, but given the circumstances (sewing machines aren’t cheap, lol) I couldn’t be more pleased.
So let’s look at the numbers.
|Dividend Income||$ 58.90|
|Interest Income||$ 24.76|
|Total Income:||$ 3,096.91|
|Yurt Related||($ 610.35)|
|Home Insurance||($ 29.43)|
|Household Goods||($ 149.72)|
|Health Related||($ 149.01)|
|Insurance & Parking||($ 71.36)|
|Electronics (Amortized)||($ 200.00)|
|Total Expenses:||($ 2,235.12)|
Income / Expenses Analysis
|Percentage of my income saved:||27.83%|
|Percentage of income earned from passive sources:||2.7%|
|Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources:||3.74%|
|Total Money Saved:||$ 861.79|
|Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.|
|Value at the beginning of month:||$ 20,291.73|
|Add: Additional investments:||$ 2,076.16|
|Total Starting value:||$ 22,367.89|
|Value at the end of the month:||$ 22,896.60|
|Total Portfolio Gain/Loss:||$ 528.71|
|Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income:||$ 858.85|
|Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income:||$ 936.04|
|Dividend Increase/Decrease:||$ 77.19 (8.99%)|
|Avg. Monthly Dividend:||$ 78.00|
A few interesting things to note. First, if you take out the yurt-related expenses, my rent and unrelated amortized costs for items I bought in the past, you’ll notice that my saving rate increases to more than 2/3 of my income. This means that in a couple months I should expect to be saving upwards of 60% per month (since I won’t have these expenses anymore). I’m actually kind of blown away by this; I never thought this would be possible. Now I’m sure I can go higher if I really put in the effort.
One place I could still use some improvement however — and it’s a little redundant by this point — is my monthly food expense. I honestly don’t know how I came close to spending another $400 on food when I barely went out in May (relatively speaking). In fact, I spent less than $150 on restaurants during the entire month. With this in mind, I planted a vegetable garden during the last weekend of May; my hope is that this will help reduce my food-related costs in the near future.
Portfolio & Dividends
Portfolio wise, my stocks really took off in May. Not too long ago I was in the red by a few hundred dollars, and now I’m ahead by a little more than a thousand dollars. It’s amazing how quickly things can change! In addition to this good news, I also bought some Coca Cola stock last month, which added another $2000 CDN to my portfolio. In keeping with my luck however, KO stocks went down the next day (although they’ve since recovered a bit). Nevertheless, if things keep up like this, I’ll reach the 25k mark in no time. My goal is to have $200k in investments.
As for dividends, Telus announced a dividend increase of almost 10% at the beginning of the month. That’s beating inflation and then some! Although in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t add very much to my bottom line, it’s still nice to know that my income is increasing through no effort of my own. This dividend hike along with my purchase of Coca Cola stocks has increased my yearly dividend payout by 8.99%. In fact, I’m averaging just shy of $80 per month, which is crazy when you consider that just 6 months ago I was making less than $10 a month!
April/May/June were always going to be transitional months for me, given my decision to move into a yurt for the summer. Despite it costing me a little over $1000 to build, I expect I’ll make that money back and then some once winter rears its ugly head towards the end of the year. After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I might choose to really tough it out and stay in the yurt (with some insulation of course), or move into a winterized van, or who knows what. I doubt I’ll want to get another apartment, given that the savings are addicting. I never thought I’d actually want to be homeless!
I’m also happy to see that my amortized costs, which have been dragging on for months, are nearly all gone. They’ll be completely gone in three months, which will increase my savings rate by quite a bit. That being said, I still have my previously mentioned medical cost, which I’m spreading over the months I get treated (no treatments this month).
That’s it for now. As always, thanks for reading. Also feel free to comment below and share what your May was like (or include a link to your own monthly statement from your blog). It would be awesome to read about it.
* I bought a projector in October 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 ($100 left for the projector and $300 left for the computer)