Our regular dividend income and expenses post for March was delayed a little. Sorry folks! We were on vacation in Hawaii!
I ended up writing a lot during vacation! I broke those posts into 4 parts: Part 0 (Packing), Part 1 (Lodging), Part 2 (Food), and Part 3 (Activities). I’m quite happy with how that series turned out, so I hope you’ll give it a read. Now that we’re back to our regular-life schedule, it’s time to give you our regular monthly report….
Expenses For March
Regular March expenses of $4,179.92 were a little higher than usual, and over our stated goal of $4k per month.
The reason? We had family visiting this month, so our Costco visits were a bit more frequent (and larger) than usual. Plus, we pulled out $300 in cash for the Hawaii trip. (Note: Some of this cash wasn’t actually spent, so we need to re-deposit it.)
Other than that, this remained a fairly usual month.
Thankfully, we received a check from our relatives for their shared portion of the Hawaii trip expenses (incurred in February), plus another couple checks that made net expenses in March a positive $920.
Meaning, over the last three months we’ve averaged expenses of $3,231.70 per month….well under our stated goal of $4k per month.
While February and March contained many of our Hawaii expenses (prepaying of flights and lodging), expenses during the trip will fall into April. Look for those expenses in our April expenses post.
Dividends for March
After an uneventful February, dividend income made a big comeback in March!
From the table above, you can see that dividends amounted to $5,352.24. Thankfully, this month’s dividends exceeded our stated goal of $4k per month. It also exceeded March’s regular monthly expenses (not counting the Hawaii trip) by $1,172.32. It looks like we’re back in the green!
As I’ve mentioned in past months, we are not utilizing dividends from our tax-exempt accounts (401k’s, IRA’s, etc). Instead, we are letting those accounts continue to grow while we live off our taxable accounts.
For 2016, our intention is to live off dividends alone, without selling any equity investments. So far this year we’ve seen our dividend income look like this:
As expected, dividend income is quite lumpy. This is completely normal, and mainly due to when assets pay dividends. We maintain a cash account for dealing with months when we run-over our dividend income. This cash account has roughly 6 months worth of regular expenses.
As you can see, our average dividend income ($3,397) is slightly below our goal income of $4k per month, but I’m not worried! We still have 9 months of dividend income to go, and we still have large amounts of cash to invest. As we invest the cash over the remainder of the year, I expect our dividend income to grow.
Unlike February, in March we made no new investments. We had family visiting in March (and April), so we’ve been far too busy to make portfolio changes. That said, I wouldn’t have made any changes anyway. We simply stayed-the-course and collected dividends in March.
Good News for April
There is good news on the expenses front coming up in April! First, our daycare expenses will go down! Tako Jr. #1 turned 3 years old in Hawaii, which means we get a reduction in our daycare expenses for him! Congrats Tako Jr. #1! We gain an extra $80 a month, or $960/year! This is fantastic news!
Second, I called Comcast in late March and had our internet package reduced to a lower speed. If you recall, in February, they raised the price of our internet package by $5 to $70/month. The price changes were happening every year, and the latest price increase spurred me to action!
After a quick phone call, I had the slower speed at the latest promotional price. Other than measuring with tools like speedtest.net, I’ve been unable to see a noticeable change in internet performance. This should save us $30 per month, or $360/year during the promotional period.
That’s it for March, but we’ll do another one of these posts in early April!
[Image Credit: Flickr]