June 2020 Expenses And Dividend Income


June was an exceptionally good month.  Life was good.  Really good in fact!  Our financials held-up well (all things considered) during the pandemic, and the kids finally finished school in June. Which means we have the resources and time for some family adventure!

In Washington State (where we live), our “stay-at-home order” has finally ended.  Things are definitely not “back to normal”, but we can at least get out of the house a bit more.  We’ve used this newfound freedom primarily for day-trips and hiking expeditions.

While summer vacation is definitely off the agenda for 2020, it still feels good to get away from home for awhile!  Even if it’s just day trips or weekends.

In June we drove out to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula for a family day-trip.  It’s a great part of the state to visit, and only a couple hour’s drive away.  The eastern part of the Olympic Peninsula is typically much dryer than other coastal areas in Washington, so it’s always a good place to visit when rain is in the forecast.

dungeness bay

This is the coast of course, so we just *had* to visit a beach.  Don’t worry, everyone was social distancing on the beach.  Beaches in Washington are a very different experience from what you might find in other parts of the United States…

dungeness bay

If you’re curious about what those people are doing on the beach, they’re digging for clams.  We don’t tend to get a lot of sun bathers in Washington State. 😉

Other areas on our day trip agenda were the small coastal towns of Port Townsend and Sequim, which have tons of small-town charm.

port townsend

There’s also plenty of good hiking trails on the Olympic Peninsula — both on the beach and away from the beach.  We took advantage of the opportunity to let the kids burn off a little energy.

bridge hike

But enough about our June adventures already!  Let’s get down to business!  Let me tell you about our June finances!

 

Dividend Income In June

Hot damn!  Dividend income in June totaled $14,453.  Yep, no joking — that’s really how much we received in dividend income!  Having passive income is pretty fantastic, I’ve gotta say.

June was a very dividend heavy month, but every month isn’t always this fantastic.  Dividend income from stocks tends to get paid-out quarterly, so certain months are dividend “heavy” months and others are “light” on dividends.

Here’s the monthly breakdown for 2020 so far:

net dividends

For the year so far, we’ve collected $30,195 in dividends.  Clearly, most of our stocks haven’t cut dividends and we’ve benefited.  The only stock that did cut dividends we subsequently sold in June (more about this later in the post).

All that dividend growth is most likely due to the stock investments we made back in March.  We own more shares, so we got paid more in dividends!

The strategy is simple — Continue to compound dollars when good opportunities present themselves, and collect the growing rewards.

 

June Expenses

Household expenses in June totaled $3,361.  This the lowest monthly total experienced so far in 2020, which I attribute primarily due to COVID-19 closures and lower energy spending in the summer months.

Here’s the breakdown by expense category:

expenses by category

Groceries

Grocery spending in June was $475.  Yes, our grocery bill has finally come back down to “normal” territory!  For the past few months our grocery spending was elevated, even though we didn’t do any “stocking-up” or increase spending for those months.  Prices were just higher, likely due to the pandemic.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that grocery spending has “returned to normal”, but our menu has remained the same.  We’re still eating all the same luxurious and delicious food as usual… like this beautiful chicken salad.

chicken salad

As always, I take great advantage of grocery sales when I see them.  In June there was a particularly good sale on dungeness crab, so we indulged a little.

dungeness crab

Other meals in June were much more humble affairs.  We often eat-up leftover odds and ends from the freezer… to clean things out.  This pork chop meal in June is a good example of a “clean out” night.

pork chop

For Father’s Day, Mrs. Tako made some of my favorite dishes — Karaage (Japanese style fried chicken), a salad with Japanese wafu dressing, and bean & brown rice salad (a surprising side dish).  It was delicious!

fathersday dinner

June is the time when the bounty of our garden really begins.  Raspberries were in great abundance this year due to lots of rain and cool temperatures.

raspberries

This is a single day’s harvest from our raspberry bushes!  It’s incredible to eat a breakfast of wonderful fruit like this for absolutely nothing (other than the tiny bit of effort it takes to care for the plants).

The raspberry bushes were free because a neighbor was cleaning out excess vines from his garden.  That was 10 years ago.  We’ve enjoyed fresh raspberries ever since.

 

Mortgage

As usual, our largest single monthly expense is the mortgage on our home.  This amounts to $2360 every month, and does include all the extra trimmings like property taxes and homeowners insurance.

While we could technically pay off our remaining mortgage at any time, we’ve chosen to retain that money and hunt for better investments.

 

Childcare

Childcare was $0 this month, as it has been during the entire COVID-19 lockdown.  While some childcare facilities have begun to re-open, I’ve elected to keep both kids home with me during the summer.

Yep, it’s daddy daycare full-time around here, which is why our childcare spending was $0.

I’m the homeschooling teacher, the lunch lady, art teacher, janitor, nurse, and MC all rolled into one.  Hence, this is why I’m blogging a lot less than I used to.  I don’t have the time to do everything, but I do enjoy spending time with my kids.

Now that summer vacation is here, we’ve eased up on the lessons, and are having a lot more fun together.  The kids and I have been playing a lot of Splendor recently.

splendor

Unless something drastic happens, childcare spending is likely to remain $0 for the foreseeable future.

 

Internet

As in previous months, our internet expense was $45 in June.  This is our regular monthly contracted amount, and we’ll pay it for the rest of the annual contract.

For the curious, we pay for 100Mbps cable internet from Comcast (XFinity) with 5Mbps upload speeds.  It might not be the fasted package out there, but it’s more than sufficient for our needs.

 

Utilities

Utilities in June were a mere $66.  This was our electricity and natural gas bill for the month.  This amount is significantly lower than what we pay in the winter months, primarily because we’re not heating our home.  Summer is also quite cool here in the Pacific Northwest so we don’t need to pay for air conditioning.

It’s a very affordable time of year, and I hope the trend continues for awhile.

 

Insurance

Insurance costs in June were $0.  Whenever possible, we try to pay our insurance bills for the entire year all in one go, to lower the total cost.  For example, our car insurance is paid only once per year.

(For the curious: We do have home-owners insurance.  It’s included in our mortgage.  Call me lazy, but I don’t normally break that number out here in the insurance section.)

 

Other

Other spending amounted to $307 this June.  The “Other” category is something of a catch-all for expenses that don’t fit elsewhere.  In June, the Other category broke down to the following purchases:

  • $9 – A new t-shirt for Mr. Tako.  Normally I get t-shirts from the thrift store, but they’re closed.
  • $151 – A trailer hitch for the new car.  It’s a bolt-in hitch, and I will install this when it arrives.
  • $74 – New automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and rear differential fluid for the car.
  • $73 – Premium synthetic 0w20 oil, oil filter, and other parts/fluids for the car.  I do my own oil changes, and I can afford to buy the really fancy stuff!

 

Cumulative Expenses For 2020

For the year so far, the Tako family has spent $19,339.  This works out to an average spend of $3,223 per month.  Total spending is roughly $10k less than our total dividends for the year.  That’s great news!  Exactly where we want to be.

Outside of our mortgage, core spending remains very low  — typically between $950 and $1500 every month.  If this trend continues, it means we’ll have plenty of excess cash for compounding in 2020!

net expenses by month

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned what a weird year it’s been.  June continued this trend.  Our spending remained very low, primarily due to COVID-19 slowing down the amount of travel we’ve been doing.

Normally we do a bunch of traveling with the kids during the summer (and typically spending a few thousand dollars), but this year we’re sticking to home and limiting our travel to weekend road trips.

 

June 2020 Investing Update

In early June, the stock market experienced a incredible rally.  Most stocks were up, well off the lows experienced in March.  Investors were feeling pretty optimistic about the future, the pandemic, and the economy.

Too optimistic in my opinion!  I took the opportunity to dump our Limited Brands (Symbol: LB) shares on June 9th.  This was not a large part of our portfolio (only 300 shares), but I should have dumped them a year ago.

The recent dividend cut was the final straw I needed to sell our shares.  June’s rally made it convenient to do so for a good price of $19.76.

I held onto this stock too long in the hopes that it might transition into a bigger online business.  That never happened.  While we still realized some very good returns from owning this stock, in my humble opinion retail is dead.  Especially mall based retailers.  The pandemic pretty much killed any chance of future returns, so we sold.

That’s it for this month!  Thanks for reading everyone!

 

 

24 thoughts on “June 2020 Expenses And Dividend Income

  • July 5, 2020 at 2:39 AM
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    Man I LOVE Olympic National Park but haven’t been there in a while. One day I will climb Olympus, it’s on my list.

    Great month, and if that’s your house at the top of the post then, wow… 🙂

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 2:42 AM
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      Haha, no definitely not my house. Just a cool Victorian style home on the Olympic Peninsula. I believe it’s called the Bartlett House.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 4:43 AM
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    The more posts and pictures I see about Washington and the PNW, the more I want to visit. It’s been on my list since I was 14, and I thought I was finally going to see it at 41. My plan was to create my PNW itinerary after my Balkans trip in May and head there this fall, but my Balkans trip was obviously cancelled. Now it looks like the PNW will be shelved for another year. At least I enjoyed your beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:48 PM
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      Thanks Katie! It’s a great place to visit if you like the outdoors. Summer is definitely the best time of year to visit, because it’s a bit soggy the rest of the year! 🙂

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 7:39 AM
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    Man, that dungeness crab just got me hungry for seafood! Figures, now that we’re back in Ohio and nowhere near fresh seafood!

    We had a low month of spending as well. I wouldn’t want to live cooped up like we’ve had to do over the past few months, but it’s definitely been a way to cut the expenses down dramatically. 🙂

    Nice job on the income and expenses. Looks like a good month financially as well as fun with the family – can’t ask for anything more!

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:46 PM
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      Feel free to drive out here to the Pacific Northwest for some fresh seafood. 🙂 Salmon and Crab are in season right now.

      In fact, not far from where I took that beach photo, Crab season is open until September 7th. If you have some waders and a rake you can pick them up off the beach at low tide. https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 8:07 AM
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    These dividends are always amazing to see. But the best thing from this post is the raspberries. I shell out $10 a week on these bad boys. Probably should invest in a bush and call it a day 🙂

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:42 PM
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      Find a gardener friend that has a few bushes. They spread extremely well, so it’s not hard to dig up a few vines and do your gardener friend a favor.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 1:44 PM
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    Nicely done, and even though you want to mentally smooth your dividends, it’s kinda nice when the big month hits!

    $9 shirt seems a little extravagant for you, but we’ll allow it 🙂

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:39 PM
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      Indeed! I like to think of cashflow in streams, like water, but it’s important to remember that it can often be “chunky”.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 4:19 PM
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    A nice chunk of dividends! We just started reporting ours this month 🙂 Of course, most of ours comes annually since it’s mostly index funds that make dividend deposits on 12/31.

    Seems you’re mostly in individual stocks (the horror 🙂 )!

    Roughly how many bushes of raspberries are we talking here? That seems like quite the haul!

    We loaded up on blackberries here in VA recently, probably a pint or so, and that was from probably a dozen bushes. Granted, still early in the season, and more to come but… seems like a productive raspberry bush collection! Congrats on the freebie.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 5:34 PM
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      We’re not all in individual stocks. There’s still a BIG chunk that’s in index funds. Many funds pay out quarterly dividends actually. It’s pretty common. I’ve never actually owned a fund that paid annually.

      Those raspberries are from about 5 bushes.

      Reply
      • July 5, 2020 at 7:08 PM
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        5 bushes, a lot of production! Very nice.

        Yea, certainly things like VTSAX are quarterly. But, it seems common for target date retirement funds to be annual, ex: VFIFX. We’ve got some 401k limitations where the funds available that track the S&P are nothing but annual payers, too – sadly.

        Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 6:21 PM
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    Dividend is holding up surprisingly well so far. We’ll see how it goes the rest of 2020.
    Thanks goodness school is over. It was a tough quarter for all of us. Double with 2 kids.
    We’re sticking mostly close to home this summer as well. We might drive down to Northern CA in July, but not sure yet. We’ll see how it goes.
    I love Dungeness crabs too. Yum.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 7:21 PM
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    Thank you for your honest posts. Would you share your % allocations & to which stocks/funds?

    What are you looking at when you consider liquidating the positions?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 9:51 PM
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      Hi Sam. I don’t keep a fixed allocation % to stocks or funds. I commit capital to one or the other when it makes sense to do so. In recent years this has meant individual stocks are way cheaper than the general market, so the % has been growing there.

      But, should the S&P 500 fall to more reasonable levels (which I define as an earnings yield 4 times the 30 year treasury rate), then I would buy an index fund.

      Another way to put this, I would need to see the S&P trading at a PE of 16 at current interest rates before I’d be putting funds into an index.

      Reply
  • July 6, 2020 at 11:17 AM
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    Thank you, Mr. Tako. It does make sense, are you looking at PEs of the stocks as well when selecting appropriate ones to buy? Looking at the historical valuations, it seems 2011-2012 were the last years when S&P500 was fairly valued.

    Reply
    • July 6, 2020 at 3:04 PM
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      Well, the risk premium of an individual stock is typically higher than an index fund, so I usually demand a larger free cash flow yield for individual stocks.

      Reply
  • July 6, 2020 at 11:30 PM
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    It is, I was going to say, you are increasing standard deviation and potential drawdowns with individual stocks, resulting in higher volatility of your portfolio vs ETFs/indices. Do you balance this volatility with the treasuries?

    I also assume you don’t hold companies that don’t pay dividends, like Amazon?

    Reply
  • July 8, 2020 at 5:19 PM
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    My family spends 2x as much!

    Request:
    2 week grocery and menu list

    Reply
    • July 10, 2020 at 11:51 AM
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      Appreciate the detailed breakdown. I really need to get my grocery bill down to your level. I’m at $800 a month family of 4.

      The more I read about dividend investing the more appealing it looks. I guess the appreciation growth of the stock is irrelevant if you just keep reinvesting the dividends to buy more stock.

      Port Orchard is a great town. That whole area is gorgeous. I was stationed out in Bremerton 17 years ago in the Navy. I lived in Silverdale but traveled all over Kitsap County. Such a nice part of the country. Need to go back one day with the kids.

      -HD

      Reply
  • July 11, 2020 at 7:01 AM
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    Glad you are enjoying the board games with the kiddos. SPLENDOR is one of our faves. We got the expansion set and that is pretty fun too. The designer makes a game called MAJESTY and also fun. These tend to be a great investment for the family. Congrats on a monster June!

    ZXM

    Reply
  • July 21, 2020 at 12:58 PM
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    It’s nice to see someone else with dividend income that is like a roller coaster ride from month to month, due to the payment schedule of the companies we own. But 14k….wow… that’s completely impressive!!! I would love to be there one day, but right now I’d be happy with hitting the 1k mark. 🙂 All I need is some time.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2020 at 1:23 PM
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    Do you not have Cell phone bills? My utilities include Gas $88, Electricity $134, Cell phones $65 for 3 phones, Internet $60.

    Reply

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