July 2017 Dividend Income And Expenses

July was an exhausting month.  Everything went well financially, but the month just felt extremely busy.

First, Mrs. Tako went on a business trip for a few days.  This made life busier than usual, having to take care of the family by myself.

There’s a lot of very important stuff to do when taking care of a young family — like making sure everyone gets their pants on the right way in the morning.

Like I said — important stuff!  I was pretty tired by the time Mrs. Tako came home.

Second, we did a lot of stuff outdoors in the month of July.  The weather was great, so we spent plenty of time hiking and taking mini-trips to the beach in July.

We also went on a road trip that took us across much of eastern Washington.  It was a very fun trip, but I’m really glad to be back home.

walla walla downtown 2
The road trip to eastern Washington was fun, but very tiring.  There was lots of driving!

I don’t know how other bloggers manage to travel and write blog posts at the same time, but let me tell you — it isn’t easy.  After a full day of traveling, I didn’t have the energy left to stay-up late blogging!


Expenses In July

Expenses for July totaled $5,526.  July was an extremely busy month for the Tako family, filled with business trips, travel, and other unusual expenses.  That said, our expenses were only slightly higher than normal for the month.

Here’s how our spending broke down for the month of July:


Food expenses appear to be a usual amount for our family — $500.  What that number doesn’t tell you, was the month of July was extremely unusual — we actually went out to eat!

STOP THE PRESSES!  Yes, it’s true we ate out for the first time in months.

Most of the time we cook delicious meals at home.  This saves us a considerable amount of time and money.   When we travel, we usually try to pack our own food, and drinks (as much as possible) in a cooler.   But it’s not always feasible to just eat food out of a cooler.

Sometimes you want a hot meal.  So, we did a little eating-out, a cost of $30.14.


It was a good meal, but to be perfectly honest, I can make a better taco at home.  (Really!)

July also included my first attempt at making Bahn Mi sandwiches.  They were delicious, and turned out great…. but were very time consuming to make properly.  I’m not sure if I’ll make them again.

bahn mi



Fuel cost was average for the month at $99.34.  We had one additional fill-up ($20) at the end of the month, right before we left on our road trip.  The remaining fuel costs for the road trip will show up in August.


Mortgage and Childcare

Mortgage and Childcare expenses are our big expenses for the month — in July they totaled $4,340.  We consider these costs entirely optional.  

Why’s that?

Because we could eliminate them at any time — We could take the kids out of daycare and keep them home with me (I’d probably have no time to blog), and we could pay off the mortgage with cash.

Outside of our Mortgage and Childcare, core expenses were $1,185.91.  This is very close to our average.



Internet expenses were $49.99/month for 100mbit service.  Normally I wouldn’t bother paying for such fancy 100mbit service, but Comcast offered this good deal for 12 months.  I couldn’t pass it up.

When they try to jack-up the price in a year, I’ll either ask for the next promotion or just downgrade our service.



Utilities were slightly higher in July because of a very large water bill ($251.42) and a larger garbage bill ($114.45).  Our electricity usage tends to drop in the summer — that was the case in July which resulted in a low power bill of $64.52.



The other category was larger in July due to higher vehicle licensing fees.  The State of Washington recently increased vehicle licensing fees for passenger vehicles, and this is reflected in July’s “Other” category.

One set of new car tabs cost me $90.75 this year.  I also had to get a vehicle emissions test for $15 dollars before the license could be renewed.

Again, this was only for one vehicle.  We have two cars, so I expect to see a similar price increase when the other vehicle’s car tab renewal hits later this year.


Cumulative Expenses

For the year so far, we’ve spent $38,213.  This includes our mortgage and daycare costs.  Outside of those two major expenses, our core spending was a mere $7,832.

july cumulative expenses


Dividends In July

Dividends in July amounted to a plentiful $4,170.  This was not one of our large dividend payout months.  The biggest payout months tend to be March, June, September, and December.  That said, July was no slouch and it covered the vast majority of our July expenses.

For the year so far, we’ve collected $29,645 in dividends.

july 2017 dividends

Yes, our dividend income is trailing our expenses this year.  I’m waaay behind on my Dividend Growth Plan — Mainly because of high equity prices (more on this later) this summer.

That’s OK though.  Dividend growth investing isn’t a short-term race.  It’s a long-term marathon.

Mrs. Tako covers the difference (mostly the cost of daycare) with her job income.  This high spending outside of our dividend income won’t last forever.  The kids will eventually start school, and our expenses will fall well under our current dividend income levels.

It’s all part of our Evil Master PlanTM.  [Insert maniacal laughter here]

Please remember: This dividend income is from our taxable accounts only.  We’re not touching our tax-advantaged accounts at this time.  All dividend income in our tax-advantage accounts gets reinvested.


The Sleep Report

Unfortunately the month of July was just way too chaotic and I didn’t keep track of my sleep for the month.  Lame!

If you’re not familiar with this project, I wrote about my terrible sleep habits earlier this year.  I’m an absolutely terrible sleeper.  I average somewhere around 4-6 hours of sleep per day.  It’s not very good for my health, and I’m trying to change it.

The good news is, I’m back to tracking my sleep habits in August.  “So far so good” is all I can say.  Let’s hope I don’t get distracted again in August.


Investment Changes In July

I made no investing changes in July.  Equity valuations looked a bit stretched, so I wasn’t as enthusiastic about investing our excess cash.

While I continue to hunt for new investments, there isn’t much that appeals to me right now.

The bull market simply can’t last forever of course.  Eventually something will happen and business valuations will return back to ‘normal’ levels.  When?  I have no idea.  It could last for years!

I suppose I could simply buy into all the most popular FAANG stocks and hope the greater fool theory will provide returns.

That’s not really my style.  “Hope” is not a real strategy.  I’m not interested in being the “greater fool”, so I’ll stick to my guns about the businesses I buy… even if that means holding a lot of cash right now.


[Image Credit: Flickr1]

23 thoughts on “July 2017 Dividend Income And Expenses

  • August 5, 2017 at 5:44 AM

    Your banh mi looks yummy! It’s one of those things that are easier to buy, though.
    Our July and August are really busy as well. We’re trying to do all the summer things before school starts. We went hiking at the Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helen last weekend and we’re heading to the beach to escape the heat today. Summer is a lot of fun, but we are starting to wear down. I’m about ready for school to starts.

    Keep us updated on your investment changes. I’m very interested to see what you do with your cash position.

    • August 5, 2017 at 6:20 AM

      Completely agree, Joe. I’ve never made Banh Mi before and don’t plan on it. They’re not worth the effort to make, if completely authentic. That is a great pic and made me want to break my morning fast…

  • August 5, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    I’m completely impressed with your dividend income and expense report. I haven’t even started with dividends yet because I’m only able to cover maxing out my 401K. I still leave a lot on the table and could invest more in my Roth IRA. It is very beneficial, obviously, to have a military pension already but I need to strengthen my other areas. I’m starting to love these monthly status reports and now understand why they’re so popular.

  • August 5, 2017 at 6:30 AM

    Ohh I got so excited when I saw banh my. I’m Vietnamese, so it’s definitely one of my favorites! I know taking care of two active boys alone can be a handful, but I’m glad Mrs. Tako is back home now.

    I’m always amazed at your food budget! I have no doubt you can make the taco better at home. Your food photos always look awesome!

  • August 5, 2017 at 7:13 AM

    Your core expenses are amazingly low. That is just super cool.

    I suspect we’re just spending too much. There is a lot of fat we could trim in our budget.

    July dividend income came in at $6322.80, with the YTD through end July total at $40,407.11. I totally agree with you that dividend investing is an ultra-marathon and not a sprint.

    Have a great rest of your summer.


  • August 5, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Summer is the perfect time to be busy and enjoy the nice weather. Your banh mi looks delicious, but I think I will have to venture out to try one, especially if it gave a seasoned chef like YOU trouble 😉
    Costblogger recently posted…Costco August 2017 Coupon Book

  • August 5, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    Do you have mutual funds for dividends? My market index funds payout quarterly. Do you use dividend yield funds instead to pay out monthly?

    • August 5, 2017 at 5:32 PM

      We do have some index funds that produce dividends, but they mostly sit over in our tax-advantaged accounts. The overall contribution to the monthly dividend number is pretty small.

      And no, I don’t use funds to create a monthly payout…which is why we get the big swings from month to month.

  • August 6, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    $4,000 is a “low” month for dividends, ha! I can’t wait until I can say that. You’re killing it! Keep up the great work, I look forward to your next update.

  • August 6, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    You keep your monthly expenses pretty much the same even though you travelled more and eat out. Well done!

    “Bahn Mi sandwiches. They were delicious, and turned out great…. but were very time consuming to make properly. I’m not sure if I’ll make them again.”

    I had NO idea it takes so much work! I was already shocked that the best Banh Mi in the world I had in Vietnam only cost me $1.40 CAD. Now that I know how much work goes into it, I’m going to treasure it even more!

  • August 6, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Sounds like a solid, albeit chaotic month. The tacos and bahn mi looked absolutely delicious! Keep up the good work!

  • August 6, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Dear Mr. Tako,

    Those are amazing dividend numbers!

    Have you blogged before about your garbage expenses? I get hives about the fact that I have to pay $1.75CDN to dispose of a bag of garbage. However, after recycling, composting and buying in bulk (no plastic packaging, the major contributor to our garbage), we only put out 4-5 bags a year.

    Besos, Sarah.

  • August 8, 2017 at 11:48 PM

    As everybody said, that Banh Mi looks delicious. What was the time consuming part? I assume that if you do not prepare a big batch of it, getting all the ingredients ready makes for long preparation times?

    • August 9, 2017 at 12:38 AM

      Actually everything about it was time consuming — from thin slicing and pickling the vegetables, to slicing and marinating the pork, to making the special egg-yolk-only mayonnaise….it was all very time consuming.

      I made six sandwiches in one go, and all the time added together must have amounted to at least 4 hours spread over two days.

  • August 9, 2017 at 12:36 AM

    Great to read that you had such a busy and fun month in July. Curious to read about your plans to increase the dividend income to surpass the total expenses (core expenses are definitely not an issues here). Best of luck!
    Team CF recently posted…July 2017 Savings Rate

    • August 9, 2017 at 12:42 AM

      Daycare expenses are going to dramatically drop once Tako Jr. starts school (in less than a year). We also plan to eventually move to a lower cost of living area that will further reduce non-core expenses.

      That should put us easily into the “green”. Meanwhile, dividend income continues to grow…

  • August 9, 2017 at 5:28 AM

    Very inspiring, Mr. Tako!

    I share other commenter’s jealousy when it comes to your $4,000 “not my highest month” dividend income! That is impressive!

    It’s so true what you said about eating out and making your own food. Every time I go out to eat at a restaurant (it’s not very frequent) I often think the same thing – I could do better than this at a fraction of the cost!

    On a vacation though, not having to set aside 4 hours for Bahn Mi is part of the relaxation!
    Josh recently posted…Is Project Fi Worth it? I Save 50% Over AT&T

  • August 22, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Great site. This is my first time visit and I look forward to following your journey. I do have one question though. You seem to be “retired”, but your wife works and you send your kids to daycare? That seems like quite an odd setup to me..my wife would never allow for this to happen! Please correct me if I am understanding anything wrong. Great work and I am hoping to retire around 35-38 myself. Currently 30.

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:06 PM

    Solid month Mr Tako. I suppose the coolest part of this post was that Mr Tako made tacos. That just made me laugh. Thank you.

    I’ve been keen as to buy FAANG for a while now too, but having not had an international brokerage account when they were reasonably priced I’m on the sidelines too. Just collecting cash and marking time.

  • September 1, 2017 at 7:17 PM

    Dividends are usually distributed per quarter after earnings, how are you able to get dividends on a per month basis?

    • September 2, 2017 at 3:10 PM

      Dividends are paid quarterly by most companies, not monthly. However, many companies pay quarterly on *different schedules*, and this can result in payouts every month.


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