May was an out-of-the-ordinary month for me. On the income side, not only did I get 3 paycheques last month, but I also got a bunch of back pay as well. Consequently my salary income was through the roof (if I only I could make this much every month!). Fortunately, there’s not a whole lot to report on the expense side of things. Food remains a problem (more on that latter) and my car expenses were a little higher than normal — but the latter was mostly due to a short road trip I went on, which cost me a bit more in terms of gas. But overall, nothing too extravagant.

Onto the figures…

Income

Salary $ 8,606.93
Dividend Income $ 63.06
Interest Income $ 20.46
Tax Refund $ 31.52
Total Income: $ 8,721.97

Expenses

Home Related (Rent, etc) ($ 614.29)
Food Related ($ 483.11)
Car Related ($ 424.56)
Personal and other ($ 155.07)
Health Related ($ 144.37)
Entertainment ($ 122.03)
Utilities ($ 113.15)
Vacation Related ($ 105.96)
Gifts ($ 17.71)
Total Expenses: ($ 2,180.25)

Income / Expenses Analysis

Percentage of my income saved: 75%
Percentage of income earned from passive sources: 0.96%
Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources: 3.83%
Total Money Saved: $ 6,541.72
Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.

Portfolio Analysis

Value at the beginning of month: $ 33,939.37
Add: Additional investments: $ 1,910.79
Total Starting value: $ 35,850.16
Value at the end of the month: $ 35,964.48
Total Portfolio Gain/Loss: $ 114.32

Dividend Analysis

Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,183.13
Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 1,271.72
Dividend Increase/Decrease: $ 88.59 (7.49%)
Avg. Monthly Dividend: $ 105.98

Savings

I somehow managed to save a phenomenal 75% of my income this month — unfortunately this had more to do with my making more money than me actually reducing my expenses. Had I made my normal $3.5k a month, my savings rate would have been around 30-40% (which isn’t terrible by any means). Still, I’m glad I resisted the temptation to buy a new computer (or something equally frivolous). Normally I’d put that extra money straight into my retirement fund, but I’ve got something in the works that might be a better investment (more on that latter as well). No matter how I look at it, however, this month was a much better effort than last month’s disaster, where I overspent by a good 2 or 3 thousand dollars.

Investments

According to my records, my investments are up in May by a smallish $114. Not as good as in April, where I nearly made an extra 1k due to the so-called Trump rally. Things seem to be slowing down these days, which is perfectly fine by me. Besides, I’m not in it really for the capital gains (although they’re nice). It’s all about the dividends for me! On the positive side, my Coca Cola stocks are back up and in the green. Even my newly acquired Enbridge stocks have stopped sliding.

In terms of acquisitions, I bought 40 shares of Emera Inc in May, which is a Canadian utilities companies situated in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Utilities are sort of the bread and butter of dividend portfolios, since they generally pay higher dividends, and it made sense to add this particular stock to my holdings. In the weeks since I’ve bought them, the stock is up around 2%! So things are already looking positive.

Dividends

Unlike April, which was a record month for me, May was much more modest in terms of dividend income. I made a relatively meagre $63 dollars — which is less than half of what I made in April. Since dividends work like clockwork, however, the particular quarterly cycle that May is a part of (Feb-May-Aug-Nov) tends to be my lowest. Next month promises to be way more interesting, with 7 of my holdings paying a total of $125-130. On the positive side, with my acquisition of 40 Emera shares, I added very welcome $85 to my yearly dividend income total. This represents a 7% increase overall.

There were no dividend increases in May.

Changes on the site

I’ve slowly been working away on this site, trying to improve the layout. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to update this site as regularly as I’d like to — in fact, I had preemptively decided to close GoGoAssets at one point, since it seemed silly to continue it given the lack of updates. But I’ve since changed my mind, and now I think I’ve found a happy balance  — that is until I manage to free up more of my time to work on it. (Maybe in a year or so).

Layout-wise, I decided to get rid of the side bar and make the advertising a little less intrusive (not that it’s making me much money anyway!) Eventually I want to take the links from the old side bar and put them int the footer, since they weren’t completely useless — but that won’t be for a while. I’m still working on my other site (top secret) as well, but it’s taking longer than I expected and probably won’t be up for a year or so. Hopefully by then my plan to work fewer hours at work will have come true — which means I can focus more on the things I’m passionate about.

What to expect in the coming months

I’ve actually got quite a bit going on in June. The biggest development is that I might be buying my first house. Hopefully I’ll know more next week. I’m really excited about this particular house, since it fulfils most of the items on my “wish list”. The best part is that, if everything goes according to plan, I won’t need a mortgage to buy it. I don’t want to say too much at this point, however, since I don’t know if the sale is going to go through. I’ll post more once I have a definitive answer.

The other big thing going on this month is that I’ve challenged myself to seriously reduce my monthly food bill. If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably have noticed that I have a serious problem with spending money on food. I rarely cook at home and generally just eat out — and while the food is usually great, it’s a real drain on my pocket book (usually around $400 to $600 a month). My goal is to bring this down to a more reasonable $300 a month, mostly by cooking at home and avoiding restaurants as much as possible. If I have the time, I might dedicate and entire post to this topic, since there’s a lot to be said about it!

Conclusion

Overall, May was a pretty stelar month. My income was higher than usual, and I managed to keep my expenses fairly low (although they could always be lower). I’ve also got a lot to look forward to in June, especially with the potential purchase of my first home! I’m trying not to get too excited about this, however, because this will have been the 5th house I’ve put an offer on in the last 3 years — all of which fell through due to some unforeseen technicality/problem. Nevertheless, I feel good about this one. Perhaps in my case, the fifth time’s a charm. I’ll keep you posted on this once I know more.

As always, thanks for reading!

André