Where to begin? First of all, although I knew this was going to happen, January was a disappointing month as far as saving money goes! For the first time since creating this blog, I’ve been forced to post a negative monthly statement — yes, you read that right, last month I was in the hole. That having been said, it was to be expected since my parents and I had planned to go on a family vacation a few months ago, before this blog was even on the radar. To make matters worse, however, we couldn’t have picked a worse time to go given how badly the CDN dollar is currently trading against the Greenback.  Needless to say, the bills added up pretty quickly.

On the positive side, it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought it was going to be. In fact, I technically saved a bit of money last month, but because I chose to amortize a few large expenses from a few month ago, I found myself in a “technical” loss.  You win some and you lose some right? February, however, should be a lot better — in large part because I’ve decided to avoid restaurants altogether (as a personal challenge). Can I go 29 days without going to a restaurant? I doubt it, but I’ll try!

Income

Salary $ 3,022.61
Dividend Income $ 70.97
Interest Income $ 33.98
Total Income: $ 3,127.56

Expenses

Rent ($ 490.00)
Insurance ($ 86.79)
Household Goods ($ 50.15)
Office Supplies ($ 15.65)
Food* ($ 1,060.30)
Vacation ($ 625.50)
Gas ($ 98.02)
Car Misc ($ 71.04)
Gifts ($ 216.83)
Bus Pass ($ 93.00)
Utilities ($ 37.89)
Cell Phone ($ 57.95)
Health ($ 72.71)
Electronics (Amortized)** ($ 300.00)
Other ($ 52.98)
Total Expenses: ($ 3,328.81)

Income / Expenses Analysis

Percentage of my income saved: -6.43%
Percentage of income earned from passive sources: 3.36%
Percentage of expenses covered by passive sources: 3.15%
Total Money Saved: ($ 201.25)
Note: The last two figures do not take into account unrealized gains/losses.

Portfolio Analysis

Value at the beginning of month: $ 13,657.19
Add: Additional investments: $ 2,038.59
Total Starting value: $ 15,695.78
Value at the end of the month: $ 15,741.59
Total Portfolio Gain/Loss: $ 45.81

Dividend Analysis

Previous Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 584.50
Current Anticipated Yearly Dividend Income: $ 684.88
Dividend Increase/Decrease: $ 100.38 (17.17%)
Avg. Monthly Dividend: $ 57.07

Conclusion

I knew January was going to be an expensive month — travelling in the US is super expensive when your country’s money is trading at only a fraction of the US dollar. But in the end it was totally worth it; I had a lot of fun and made a bunch of memories I’m sure I’ll remember for a long time. But the fun is over now and I’ve got to get back to business — which is what February is going to be about. From this point on, things should start getting serious. I recently posted a 3 part blog post where I went into detail about where I want my life to go and how I plan on achieving my goals. On that note, things are going to start changing around here. In the works: a new look for this website, perhaps even a new name, more pertinent content, and hopefully more visitors. I also want to start working on a new blog, which I’m hoping will start generating some passive income.

Portfolio wise, January was a rollercoaster ride. In fact it went from bad to worse. At one point my portfolio was over $1000 in the red! Things have since rebounded, however, but it was interesting to watch. Unfortunately, something tells me that the correction isn’t over yet and that 2016 will be an interesting year. As far as the makeup of my portfolio goes, the biggest change was my buying into Royal Bank of Canada, which pays a decent dividend. This increased my yearly dividend by almost $100; if I keep this up, I should be making around $1000 a year soon.

Thanks for reading!

André


* My food bill was crazy high this month in large part because I spent a week in Florida eating at restaurants in theme parks. The exchange rate being what it is made this figure even higher. To compensate for this fact, I’ve challenged myself to eat only home cooked meals for the entire month of February.
** 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 ($500 left for the projector, $200 left for the stereo and $700 left for the computer)