June 2018 Dividend Income And Expenses

There are some months when everything in life just comes together.  Income is high, spending comes in low and everyone has a ton of fun.  Those months you just can’t help but say to yourself, “I’m winning at life!”

Then there are other months when the car breaks, the roof leaks, you lose your job, and the dentist sends you a big-assed bill.  Those months are more like, “OMG, life is so freaking hard! I can’t make any progress!”

Yes, I’ve been there.  We all have months like that, so it’s really nice to have a big cushion of assets to fall back on when life smacks you around.  This is why financial independence is so freaking awesome!

Thankfully, I’m happy to report that the Tako family’s June was more of the “I’m winning at life!” variety.


The Winning

The first milestone event in June was Tako Jr. #1 graduating from his language-immersion preschool.  They put on a graduation ceremony for the kids and everything.

preschool graduation
Excessive?  Maybe.  It was only preschool graduation, but I was still pretty proud. He’s fluent in two languages!

June also marked the start of summer swimming lessons for the kids.  I’m happy to report that our littlest octopus has taken to the water rather successfully:

new swimmer
Tako Jr. #2 took his first swimming lessons this June!  They sure do grow up fast!

June also happened to contain the most important day of the year: Father’s Day!

I might be a little biased on the importance of the day, but I was happy to spend a quiet day with my family, riding bikes with the kids, and working on projects in the garage.  Mrs. Tako even whipped up this delicious “cold noodle dish with kimchi pork” (yes, I totally made-up that recipe name):

spicy noodle dish

I couldn’t have been a happier octopus.  It tasted really incredible.  Those fine strips of what look like noodles on top are actually egg sliced very thin.  The noodle-part is actually on the bottom of the dish.

(Don’t worry folks — there’s plenty more food photos coming!  Keep reading!)


June Expenses

Our expenses in June amounted to $5,078.  This includes our mortgage ($2,180) and daycare expenses ($2,200) which made-up the vast bulk of our expenses this month.

That said, our expenses were considerably lower this month due to pre-paying a bunch of expenses back in May to qualify for a credit card reward.

june 2018 expenses


Food expenses in June amounted to $171.  Yes, that’s really low for a family of 4 people… and ‘no’ we didn’t start eating rice and beans every meal.

What blog do you think this is? 

Our food expenses were mostly lower because we utilized prepaid gift cards to pay for roughly half of the month’s groceries.

Eating really well on a small budget is one of my BIG goals for our FIRE lifestyle.  It takes some effort to make all of our meals at home, but I think June was a really successful month!

(Warning:  If you get hungry looking at photos of ridiculously good food, now would be a good time to turn away)

Our fanciest meal in June was a homemade sushi night inspired by Lily@TheFrugalGene.  We made smoked salmon temaki sushi.

Here’s the sushi spread:

salmon sushi spread
Sushi rice, smoked salmon, egg, and other sushi toppings.  The bacon-asparagus stir-fry in the middle was a side-dish.

Instead of making nigiri or rolls, we tend to make what’s called ‘temaki’ or handrolls.  It’s sort of an easy DIY sushi style that even the kids can do.  You make a “hand-roll” by laying it out like this:

temaki unrolled

After all the toppings are in place, you just roll-it-up.  Mrs. Tako made a YouTube video that shows the process.  The final result looks something like this:

temaki salmon sushi

Not every dish we eat at home is super-fancy of course — some nights our dinner is just a simple sandwich when I’m busy or tired.


Or, maybe it’s just a vegetarian night, and I make a simple miso soup and green salad:

soup and salad

Even simple homemade dishes can bring a lot of happiness to a household as long as they are well prepared.

A humble bowl of my homemade chili can be incredibly satisfying when it gushes with flavor.

homemade chili

One of our family favorites this month was a sausage and bean soup based on a Epicurious recipe. It’s spicy and hearty, with a touch of smoky flavor from paprika.

bean soup
Yes, I really do put avocado on almost everything!

Other nights I prepare dishes that the kids enjoy, like spaghetti or thin crust pizza.  All homemade of course.

Damn! I should have put avocado on this spaghetti!

My homemade pizza is epic.  This pizza better than anything I’ve eaten from a restaurant or store.  The kids absolutely love it and I can make it faster than a pizza can be delivered.

meat lovers pizza

Or, maybe we make a Japanese fried chicken called ‘karaage’.  The kids always love fried chicken.

japanese fried chicken

And of course, there’s always plenty of tacos served in the Tako household.  I like to experiment with new taco flavors and techniques.  This month’s favorite was a butter-lime-chili shrimp taco.

butter lime shrimp tacos

For the Tako family, food is part of how we enjoy life and I’m always aiming for delicious, cheap, and easy to make.

What do you think? Was it a successful month in the food department?



Fuel amounted to $115 in June, which is a pretty typical amount despite rising gas prices.  We took a road trip near the end of the month, which included one additional fill-up.  Other than that, this was a very normal driving month for the Tako family.



Our Internet expense was $0 in June because we prepaid this expense back in May to receive some credit card sign-up rewards.  Usually our internet costs $49.95.  We prepaid $500 so I don’t expect to see an internet expense for many months to come.

In case you’re wondering, our internet service is 70 mbps down and 5 mbps up, which is plenty for our needs.


Mortgage And Childcare

As usual, our mortgage and childcare expenses make-up the bulk of our monthly spending at $4,380.78.  These are our two largest monthly expenses, and without them we would have only spent $698 in June.

That said, I consider both expenses entirely optional.

could take the kids out of daycare and keep them home with me full-time (I wouldn’t have time to blog), and we could pay-off our mortgage with cash.  So why do I bother paying for a mortgage and for daycare?

I simply choose to pay these large bills on purpose because of the advantages they provide — The kids are becoming fluent in a second language at daycare, and I get the time to blog a little!

For the mortgage — our interest rate is so low I’m almost 100% positive we can find a better return in the stock market.

Financially we’ll be better-off NOT paying-off the mortgage.



Utilities amounted to $0 in June because we prepaid the electricity & gas bill in May.  Other utility expenses like water, sewer, and garbage are billed bi-monthly, so we won’t see another utility bill until next month.



In total, the Other category was $411 for June.  These were largely optional expenses.

First, I got the oil changed in both cars for $160.  This seemed really expensive to me, and I’m no longer happy with our local “cheapo” oil-change shop.  It used to be a lot cheaper, but it seems like they’ve been raising prices lately.

Grrrr!  I won’t be going back for another over-priced oil change after this last experience.

The second big ticket item was campsite reservations for our family camping trip.  The reservation cost was $117 and this covers two campsites for 4 nights in July.  The average nightly rate was $29.43 after taxes.  Not cheap, but it’ll be the kid’s first multi-night camping trip and they’re pretty excited.

As this is our first major camping trip (and we aren’t sure if the kids are going to like it), I’m borrowing an 8 person tent from a family member rather than buying one.  If we end-up going camping more often with the kids, I’ll probably end-up buying a decent tent.

For now, I’m getting away with “free” for all other camping expenses.

The next “Other” purchase of the month was a big order of stuff from Amazon at $74.54.  In any given month we tend to buy one or more things off Amazon.  It’s usually cheaper than running to multiple stores, and with 2-day shipping it’s really convenient.

I hate paying for shipping, so I always sign-up for a free month of Amazon Prime when I need to buy something.

Some of the more interesting items from Amazon this month were: a Raspberry Pi Zero ($10), a 16GB micro SD card ($8.50), and a night vision camera ($24.99).  This was all for one project.

We wanted to watch the kids at night, but rather than spending two hundred bucks on a overpriced Nest baby monitor, I decided to roll-my own with a Raspberry Pi:

raspberry pi camera
I made a fully-adjustable stand for the raspberry pi w/night vision camera.  It was my fun project for the month.

If you don’t already know, the Raspberry Pi is a small, cheap single board Linux computer than can be used for a variety of tasks.  For now, I’ve turned it into a web-streaming video camera to make sure the kids go to bed at night.

This is one of the hazards of having two boys share a room — they don’t always go to sleep when they’re supposed to.  Sometimes they goof-around and play, and I like being able to check on them from my smartphone.

Once they get a little older (and actually want to sleep) maybe I’ll re-use the Pi Zero to build a robot, or perhaps a small retro-game console for the kids.


Cumulative Expenses For 2018

For the year so far, our cumulative expenses reached $37,032.  If this seems really expensive, please remember that we live in a very expensive part of the Pacific Northwest.  It’s not cheap here!

net expenses june 2018

This rate of spending is very similar to what we’ve spent in previous years, so I feel pretty confident we won’t run out of money anytime soon.  Expenses should also start declining in September when our oldest (Tako Jr. #1) starts kindergarten.

Furthermore, I don’t expect any big ticket items for the remainder of the year — travel spending tends to be the largest annual item in our core expenses and that’s already happened.

The rest of the year should remain pretty affordable.


Dividends In June

Dividends in June totaled $10,660.  Yup, over ten grand!  Woohoo!  This was our largest dividend month of the year (so far) and it feels really good to be pulling in twice as much cash as we spent in June.

cumulative dividends june 2018

Most of our big holdings increase their dividends in the second quarter and this is why we saw a $1,000 jump from the March dividend number.

Did I mention how much I love big dividend increases?  It’s right up there with avocados in my “like” category.

Dividends account for the vast bulk of how we finance our lifestyle, but we aren’t afraid of realizing capital gains either.  My goal for the year is to reach $53k in dividends, but I’ve been a bit lazy on the investing front.  We might not reach that goal at our current rate.


Investment Changes In June

During the month of June we made no portfolio changes to speak-of.  We mostly just “let it ride” and the market rewarded us with a slight ($10k) drop in our net worth.

Oh well!  This is why I don’t report our net worth on a regular basis (other than the annual number)… the market is so volatile and the vast majority of that movement is just noise.

Honestly, I should have been investing our excess cash though — our dividend growth plan precludes that I’m putting money to work.  Why didn’t I?  I was distracted by other things, but to be perfectly honest I didn’t like the prices Mr. Market was offering.

I’m a stickler for getting in at the right price.

The markets have been pretty flat in 2018, and I expect this trend is going to continue in the back half of the year — As a result I’m not rushing-out with fist fulls of cash to throw at overpriced equities.

These already high prices make me nervous, especially considering the Fed is going to raise rates two more times this year.  Rate increases are almost never good for stock prices.

As always, I continue hunting for new investments that put our spare cash to work.  I regularly post my more interesting investing ideas monthly, but may or may not purchase shares.

That’s it for my June report!  Enjoy your July folks!

45 thoughts on “June 2018 Dividend Income And Expenses

  • July 7, 2018 at 3:14 AM

    Ooh all that food porn looks amazing! Lately, I’ve been trying to cut down on eating out– German cuisine is a bit hearty and making me fat–so my go to dish when cooking Chinese hot pot! Shockingly I found a few Chinese stores where I can get the ingredients and soup base, even in small Germany town, so cooking’s been a breeze! No matter where we are in the world, I can’t live without my Asian food 🙂 Thanks for all the cooking tips and recipes!

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM

      Huh! Interesting! I never would have guessed that Germany had Chinese stores!

      I haven’t had hot pot in ages….

  • July 7, 2018 at 4:02 AM

    The food looks so good, and you spend so little for it! Maybe you should start teaching a class to combine both?:)
    My kids are also fully bilingual (French) and it is one of the best gift we can give them. Barely any efforts on their part when they are young. Congrats to Tako Jr.
    Amazing dividend!

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:04 PM

      Thanks Caroline! Sortof like a frugal food workshop? That’s not a bad idea. I wonder if anybody would sign-up for it?

      • July 9, 2018 at 2:01 PM

        Definitely! Your food looks amazing and you do so on such a reasonable food budget. This is one area that I am trying to improve as our groceries and eating out budget certainly have a lot of fat to trim, which will give us more money to invest. We have been doing much better on the eating out, but our grocery budget is still high. It feels like our two teenage boys have eaten half the groceries before we are even done unpacking them!

      • July 11, 2018 at 4:59 AM

        With the right pictures (like you already do) , we all would:)

  • July 7, 2018 at 5:01 AM

    Food porn and dividends = two of my favorite things. Your family’s food bill is beyond impressive. Keep up the great work

  • July 7, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    I watched the Mrs. roll up the sushi hand roll on youtube. Looks a lot like an Asian taco, Mr. Tako 😉 Might have to try it when we get back home and gain access to our nori seaweed wrapper stash. And good rice.

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:05 PM

      Asian taco is actually a pretty good description! Hmm… I think you must have discovered my blog theme — tacos, sushi, and money! 😉

      • July 7, 2018 at 6:39 PM

        LOL 3 things I love too (though sushi is a distant third in that regard, but give me all the California rolls from the sushi boat and I’ll be happy 🙂 ).

        • July 7, 2018 at 7:07 PM

          We totally need to level-you-up in the sushi department. A trip to Japan might be necessary. 😉

          • July 7, 2018 at 7:57 PM

            I just don’t like the texture of raw fish. Taste is okay but the texture I can’t get past. I’ll try anything once or twice or three times and try it again periodically. But I think I’ve figured out sashimi is wasted on me. Cook it and then I’ll eat it.

            Also had fresh uni in the past week. As in I caught it and killed it and ate it while the rest of the body was still squirming on the cutting board. Another fancy food I don’t have to ever worry about paying for. Not gross, just not a texture or flavor I ever care to eat again.

  • July 7, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    Hi Mr Taco.. the food looks too good 🙂 may I know if you have written the pizza / karaage / taco recipe in your blog?

      • July 7, 2018 at 6:16 PM

        Yes, I’m definitely interested in the pizza recipe, please!

  • July 7, 2018 at 8:29 AM

    Great pictures and great job on your expense. I’ll have to try the handrolls soon. It looks easier than maki rolls. Enjoy the rest of summer!

  • July 7, 2018 at 8:39 AM

    I came for the dividends and expenses and stayed for the food pictures. Nice work. I too like to add avocado to dishes when practical. I’ve been a vegan the past 5 years but a few of the dishes looked rather toothsome indeed. In fact I’m thinking of reaching for some chickpeas after I just finished a very nice salad just now.


    • July 7, 2018 at 3:14 PM

      Thanks Mike! We’re obviously not vegans, but I try to cut back on the meat portions. Some nights we eat completely veggie. It’s a tradeoff though — I want to provide protein rich meals for the kids (they’re growing!) but also keep things healthy for us adults by avoiding too much red meat and processed meat.

      Thankfully the kids really like beans and tofu, which we eat plenty of.

  • July 7, 2018 at 9:05 AM

    Oooh, those food pics! We used to have an eating out addiction until we tried making many of our favorite things at home (sushi, curries, Thai soups). It’s just as tasty when we make it at home, only now we have more money in our wallets!

    Congrats to Tako Jr. on his graduation and to your family on your dividend income! How exciting.

    Enjoy your camping trip!

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      Thanks sunshineshed! Eating out is definitely an addiction, but if you can break it there’s a world of good food waiting!

  • July 7, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    These pictures are making me so hungry and it’s lunchtime! You need to start a second blog featuring cooking lessons.

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:16 PM

      Your not the first person to suggest that RocDoc! People seem to really love the food pics!

  • July 7, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    I have died and gone to heaven reading your updates… the only way this could be better is if we lived close enough to share 😉 hmmm avocado on spaghetti… why not?! That pizza does look epic. I think that recipe needs shared. My crusts usually don’t brown up so nice… maybe I need higher heat.
    Such a bummer when you expect a ‘cheapo’ $19.99 oil change and its a lot more… and CAMPING YAY! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of family weekend camping trip. Worth it and so much more. That night vision robot thing is SO cool! Possible side hustle selling to new parents???

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:21 PM

      Yup yup, heat is the secret for pizza! This is why I use a skillet! I toss the skillet on the stovetop and let it heat-up on high for 5-10 minutes. Then I start building the pizza.

      While I’m putting the toppings on, the crust is browning and the oven preheats (broiler, max temp). The skillet also acts like a pizza stone helping pump btu’s into the pie. Works extremely well!

  • July 7, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Lol I’m so tech stupid I thought that was a Raspberry pi microscope…which doesn’t make sense at all. Also thanks for the shout out!!

    Is that smoked salmon from land of de Costco?! I’ve always wanted to try their smoked salmon but wasn’t sure for the price per oz if it was better than their farmed salmon.

    That chili looks amazing too! Thanks for the temaki video 🙂 gonna watch it to improve our folding skills.

    • July 7, 2018 at 3:22 PM

      Yup, that’s costco smoked salmon. It’s expensive, but it’s good!

  • July 7, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    Amazing food pictures!!! Your monthly expense reports are similar to mine! Not too much spending on food, but making amazing food nevertheless! And thats awesome that your sons are in an language immersion program. Which second language are they fluent in? I’m thinking about language immersion for our daughter when the time comes…

  • July 7, 2018 at 8:18 PM

    $10k in dividend income! That is glorious!!! Congrats!

    The food pics are delicious looking- do you have a recipe for chicken karaage? It looks difficult to make. Do you use panko?

    I tried making pizza but the crust was too thick. Yours looks so good!!

  • July 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM

    The food looks fantastic!! Most certainly a great month. I get a lot of recipe inspiration on these PF blogs now too

  • July 9, 2018 at 10:11 AM

    What’s your normal monthly cost for groceries? We do a fair amount of home cooking but I am always looking to add a few more creative dinners to the menu. I just picked up some musubi molds for making spam musubi because I have an addiction and it’s much cheaper to make it at home than running off to Hawaii constantly 😉

    I’m having some regrets about not searching out a language immersion preschool for JB … maybe we should do that now.

    I love your webcam – it looks like you made a baby Johnny 5!

    • July 9, 2018 at 10:12 AM

      If you look at previous monthly food totals, it averages right around $500 per month.

  • July 9, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Oh the food porn is serious!!! Awesome that you guys maximized with prepaid gift cards for food.

    Baby T1.0 “graduated” from pre school too but didn’t have any elaborated graduation ceremonies or clothing. It’s interesting that preschool graduation is a thing now.

    Amazing dividend income, so impressed!

    • July 9, 2018 at 10:13 AM

      Thanks Bob! Congrats on Baby T1’s graduation too!

      He’s not really a baby anymore, maybe we should start calling him Tawcan Jr. 🙂

  • July 9, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Can you do a post of your recipes? i.e. the kimchi pork noodle salad, pizza etc.?

  • July 9, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    I’m not sure which is more tasty–all of that delicious looking food or that juicy $10k dividend payout! Amazing on all fronts and congrats on the graduation.

    My two boys work in auto shops, and it was nice having my oldest take my car to work one day for an oil change and AC recharge all at no cost. If you were closer I would try to barter free oil changes for some of that amazing food!

    • July 9, 2018 at 9:24 PM

      Thanks Divvy Dad! A free oil change sounds like a good route to go! I’d gladly trade some tacos for that!

  • July 11, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    The food looks delicious as always. I’ve been on a long term calorie restriction diet (down 55 pounds so far!) But I found a quick and simple dish. I put tuna in the bottom of a double size coffee cup, top off with frozen broccoli, add spices, and chicken broth to dissolve the spices and nuke. It’s low calorie, high protein, delicious, and filling. And about 55 cents a serving.

    Your oil change price is highway robbery. Find another vendor or start changing your own (its easy!) I invested in a socket set that fits the oil filter so you can work the old filter off with a ratchet.

  • July 30, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    Big payday. Hurray!!! Keep it up. Dividend growth is my favourite strategy.


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