November 2021 Dividend Income And Expenses

Has it been a month since I last posted already?  As you can tell dear readers, I’ve been posting a lot less frequently here at MrTakoEscapes.  The truth is, I just haven’t been feeling the blogging ‘groove’ lately.

Maybe it’s all the rain and gloomy weather we’ve been having here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest).  Or, perhaps I’m just tired of all the hate and negativity when I do publish a new post on the blog.  That can be a pretty big downer!  Either way, I’ve been dialing things back a bit.  I’m just focusing on family and the more positive aspects of my life right now.

Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned blogging entirely!  I still plan to post here occasionally, when I feel inspired to write something.

Like when the dividends from all my stocks starts rolling in!  Yep, that’s inspiring (to me)!  It’s time to count some dividends!


Dividend Income In November

Dividend income in November amounted to $320.  This was a fairly ‘low dividend’ month for us.  Most of the dividend income received in November was from one single stock.  That one stock has an entirely different pays-out time than our other holdings.

Here’s the breakdown of my 2021 dividend income:

November 2021 dividends by month

As you can see in the table above, we see large swings in dividend income month-to-month.  This is entirely normal, due to the payout schedule of the stocks and funds we own.  Some months the passive income stream is a veritable river of money, other months it’s just a trickle of cash.

Most dividend payments occur quarterly, with the bulk of our dividend payments arriving in March, June, September, and December.

Clearly November was not a great month for dividends, but I expect December will be fantastic!


November Expenses

November household expenses totaled $3,910.  This is a fairly normal monthly amount for us, and included a few irregular items like household repair supplies, Christmas gifts, and even a little fast food ( Oh the horror!!).

Here’s the breakdown of our monthly expenses by category:

November 2021 expenses by category



Grocery spending in November was a fairly affordable $452.  Normally we spend around $500 per month on groceries, so it seems we’re able to keep grocery costs in-check despite the definite inflationary rise in food costs.  We’re definitely working harder to keep grocery costs down every month, and probably splurging a little less than we used to.

This doesn’t mean we’re suffering by any means.  The Tako family is still eating plenty of delicious food every month!  “Like what?” you’re probably wondering.  Rice and beans!?

No way!  If your willing to learn how, it’s not hard to make delicious restaurant quality food at home.  Like this delicious homemade banh mi sandwich I made in November…

banh mi

Another one of my “frugal favorites” is Phad Thai, the extremely popular Thai noodle dish.  Not only is it easy to make, it’s very affordable to cook at home!

phat thai

Japanese classics like this miso soup, are always hitting our table too.  Cheap, easy to make, and delicious!

november miso

Some nights we get a little fancier of course, and splurge on some expensive proteins.  Like this Thai Noodle salad (Yum Woon Sen) I made one evening this November.  Shrimp aren’t cheap, but we all love this noodle dish.

yum woon sen

Being creative is the key, and not limiting yourself to only recipes you’ve made a thousand times before.  This sweet and sour meatball dish is a perfect example of using what we already have in new and creative ways.

Nov meatballs

Of course, I don’t feel like cooking-up-a-storm every night.  Sometimes I feel tired and need a quick and easy meal that takes zero effort.  Frozen gyoza is my go to dish for one of those nights.  Pop ’em out of the freezer, a quick pan fry, and 5 minutes later they’re good to go!

november gyoza

So yes, we’re definitely seeing the effects of inflation on our grocery bill, but we’re doing our best to keep things affordable AND eat extremely well at the same time!

How do you think we doing?  Would you eat the food I cook?



Fuel spending in November totaled $139.  This amount is 3 fill-ups of regular unleaded gasoline for our two cars.  Fuel costs rose a bit in November vs. October, hence the slight increase.

We could easily stomach fuel costs that are twice this amount, so a few minor wiggles in the price of gasoline doesn’t effect our budget much.

Other than the occasional grocery trip, errand, or driving the kids to an activity, we don’t use the car a lot.

Instead of driving, I like to walk the kids to school every day. It’s good exercise, and it saves a lot on fuel!



As usual, our single largest monthly expense is our home mortgage.  This amounted to $2,313 in November.  This mortgage amount includes interest, principal, insurance, and taxes.

Housing is extremely expensive here in the Seattle area.  It’s a HCOL (high-cost-of-living) area.  Most single family homes in our area sell for over $1 million dollars!

While technically we could pay-off our remaining mortgage at any time, we’ve chosen to retain the money and hunt for better investments instead.  So far this has proven to be a very effective strategy.  U.S. stock markets have returned far more than our home equity during the life of our mortgage.



Our internet expense for the month was $45.  This is the regular amount we pay every month for 100 Mbps cable internet.

While there are certainly faster and slower internet packages available, we’re happy with the speeds and service we’re getting.

Good internet is extremely important these days.  For $45/month, we’re pretty happy with our cable internet service.


Mobile Phones

Mobile phone spending in November was (once again) $0.   This might seem shocking to some people, but we choose to pay our mobile phone service once a year.

This happened back in May of 2021, and amounted to $34.50 for our two phones.   (Note: This low cost service does not have a data plan)

When we do need a data plan (such as during a vacation), we use Tello.  Pre-paid data plans from Tello are extremely low cost.  Sometimes as low as $5 per month (with 2 gigs of LTE data)!

If you’d like a similar low-cost plan, watch for promotions, and then sign-up using my referral code: p3s4bkgq to receive $10 off. (That’s basically 1-month free!)



Utility spending in November amounted to $390 for the month.  This included a water bill ($266) and a garbage bill ($124).

It’s worth mentioning that most of our utility bills are not billed monthly — some are bi-monthly, and others are tri-monthly.  This means our utility spending can vary greatly from month to month.



Insurance spending in November was $0.  Most of our insurance spending regularly occurs in October, due to an annual billing cycle.  We chose annual billing due to it’s lower cost.

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



Other spending in November was $570.  This was a large amount of Other spending for us, primarily due to Christmas gifts, and some new outdoor lights for the house.

Here’s the breakdown of our “Other” spending in November:

  • $46.84 — Fast food meal for the family one night. (I didn’t have time to cook)
  • $112 — Swimming lessons for Tako Jr. #2.
  • $359 — Some new outdoor lights and Christmas gifts from Home Depot.
  • $7 — A Christmas gift from Harbor Freight Tools.
  • $11 — Some metal clips for a craft project (from Amazon).
outdoor light
After our old outdoor light broke in a storm, I needed to install a new one this November.


Cumulative Expenses For 2021

For the year so far, the Tako family has spent $44,888.  This works-out to an average monthly spend of $4,080 for 2021.

Here’s the breakdown of spending every month (so far) in 2021:

november 2021 net expenses

When compared to our YTD dividend income of $47,908— we’re in pretty good shape!

With only one month left in 2021, I estimate we’ll spend around $52k for the entire year.  (December tends to be a more expensive month.  I’m guesstimating $5,000 in spending for Dec).

I also fully expect that annual spending will remain below our total dividend income for the year.

This is a good place to be!  For the entire year, I’m projecting a total dividend income of $62k.  Without any surprise expenses, our annual spending will probably be around 1.7% of our taxable portfolio.


November 2021 Investing Update

After months of making zero changes to our portfolio, I finally started making a few modifications in November.  The first big change was selling half of my First Industrial Realty (FR) position for roughly $79k.

The industrial real estate sector has been going completely crazy-town lately, and FR is up 48% year-to-date.  It’s been crushing the S&P 500, and remember: this is a REIT folks!  Listen to any industrial real estate analyst, and they all say they’ve never seen the warehouse market this hot before.  New warehouses are being built at unprecedented rates, and most are 100% leased before construction is completed.

In my opinion industrial real estate stocks are now a little overheated.  For a business that’s growing at single digit growth rates.  It seemed like a good time for me to take a little money off the table.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I still continue to hold half our position (for now).

Meanwhile, I’ve started buying shares of a medium sized regional bank.  This is actually a bank stock I discovered a year ago, and (at first) neglected to buy shares.  Which was really stupid, because the shares promptly went up.  I should have purchased shares when I first discovered it.

Oh well!  the  stock is now a bit more expensive, but should still have some growth left in the decades ahead.  I like the business model, and I’m slowly buying more shares when the opportunity presents itself.  Eventually I’d like to grow the size of my position to be about 10% of our portfolio.

That’s it for November!  Thanks for reading everyone!


[Image Credit: Flickr]

34 thoughts on “November 2021 Dividend Income And Expenses

  • December 5, 2021 at 6:31 AM

    Great month, Mr. Tako! I’d be happy to eat anything you cook and am sorry to hear that some of the negativity have got you feeling down about blogging lately. I’m still somewhat new to blogging, but find that my motivation and feelings towards it tend to swing high and low also. Your fast food receipt this month gave me a chuckle – reminded me of our own visit (for the first time in years) a month ago. It was neither fast nor cheap (nor, healthy or all that tasty).
    Mrs Richfrugallife recently posted…It’s Time to Perform Your Year-end Financial and Tax Review (2021)

  • December 5, 2021 at 10:47 AM

    Yeah the negativity people broadcast can be demotivating to make comments. My dad used to call them “detractors”.

    We are similarly financially independent and stopped talking/posting about it, too, due to useless negative commentary from too many people.

    Best of wishes and luck to you.

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:56 AM

    Thank you for the update! I love reading your blogposts.

    Your food sounds sooooo yummy! I wish I could cook gyoza as well as you. I’m terrible at panfrying them…

  • December 5, 2021 at 12:45 PM

    Mr. Tako

    I am not alone when I say that your blog has the most helpful information for a do it yourself investor to look at and find gems of wisdom .

    I love to see your family – look at what you are eating and what your doing day to day.

    Keep it up please and do not let the detractors influence the good you are doing.

  • December 5, 2021 at 1:10 PM

    Your food looks gourmet! I would feel lucky to eat your food or be your child! You seem to focus on what really matters! Good work!

  • December 5, 2021 at 2:28 PM

    Your food does look delicious!! Thanks for your blog posts. I enjoy reading about your life/income/expenses. One question- I don’t see an expense entry for property tax? In Texas this is a large budget expense and am guessing it is there as well. Thanks again!

    • December 5, 2021 at 3:59 PM

      Thanks David!

      Property taxes are included in our “mortgage” amount. A chunk of our regular $2313 goes into an escrow account every month for insurance and taxes.

      Texas has some of the biggest property taxes in the country. Close to 2% of assessed value if memory serves. Here in Washington (state), we’re about half that.

  • December 5, 2021 at 2:41 PM

    Thanks for continuing to blog! Have you ever thought about putting together a cookbook/frugal tips?

    • December 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM

      Never dreamed of it! Do people actually use cookbooks anymore?

  • December 5, 2021 at 4:05 PM

    I am from the Pacific Northwest, the next State (South of you), and yea, all the rain and gloomy weather. Oh ahh, looking for some rays of the sun.

    Thank you for posting and specifically for the cell phone company. I have been looking to switch from Verizon, paying $67/mo 2 lines, flip phones, ouch.

    • December 6, 2021 at 10:22 AM

      No problem! T-mobile/Tello doesn’t have the same level of coverage that Verizon does, but if it works for you, it’s a lot cheaper!

  • December 5, 2021 at 4:28 PM

    Hello Mr. Tako,

    Being a writer myself, I can completely relate to the downer feeling when negative comments come in. I have learned to pay more attention to the positive ones and that really helps. In regards to your posts, please know that I greatly enjoy reading them and I look forward to them each month. Please keep ’em coming.

    Thank you,


    • December 6, 2021 at 10:23 AM

      Thanks Vinay! Some posts the responses can be absolutely brutal. More negative than positive. It makes me not want to keep going.

  • December 5, 2021 at 4:40 PM

    You were missed! I came to your site a few days ago thinking maybe I missed a post of yours, but glad you’re back!

    Nice job on the month as usual! It looks like our cost-of-living comes out to be pretty similar. I anticipate our spending for the year will be close to yours. Even though we’re moving back to the U.S. next spring, I think a lot of our expenses will even out and that we might even end up a little lower in the end. Looking forward to that possibility!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    • December 6, 2021 at 10:21 AM

      Prices have been rising pretty quickly here, I hope you guys are prepared for it! You might be surprised by how much prices have risen while you’ve been in Panama.

      Real estate in particular has seen some incredible price increases over the last year.

  • December 5, 2021 at 5:02 PM

    Great post! Thank you! The food all looks delicious and you have certainly inspired me to try a few new items. Thanks so much for the great ideas. I love that you include meals as they always give me ideas to try.

    • December 6, 2021 at 10:19 AM

      I’m glad you enjoy seeing them Sandy! Sometimes I wonder if people even read that far into the post (statistics seem to indicate they don’t), but it seems like a few do!

      Thanks for reading!

  • December 5, 2021 at 10:28 PM

    Thanks for the article and sorry about negativity. I’ve posted some of the negative comments in the past on a couple of your articles; and done a poor job of giving you positive ones. I’ve read everyone of your articles since RootOfGood referenced you a couple years ago. I’ve done your cucumber soup many, many times. Your food posts are always mouth watering. Wish I knew more of your Japanese cooking style. I have missed your articles and enjoy that you mix a lot more lifestyle into your posts rather than the constant drum beat of FIRE article after article. Happy Holidays.

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:58 PM

    I look forward to your weekly blog Please keep your blog going. I have learned many things and you inspired me to look at investing a different way. I am alot better investor and person because of you.
    Love your food Always makes me hungry.
    Look forward to your next blog

  • December 6, 2021 at 7:48 AM

    Hi Mr. Tako,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are getting hit with negative comments. Are people criticizing the delicious food pictures? Honestly, I’m surprised peopled don’t have better things to do!

    I am wishing you a winter that isn’t too tough and that goes by quickly. Long days and pleasant summer weather will be here soon again!

    In Bangkok, Thailand we are having our two weeks of winter and that means that daily highs are in the upper 80’s and overnight lows dip into the mid 60’s and people break out the jackets and scarves for that… no joke!

    • December 6, 2021 at 10:16 AM

      Wow, your “winter” sounds like and absolute dream! That’s like August (mid-summer) for us!

      Thanks for all your kind comments Mike!

  • December 6, 2021 at 9:44 AM

    Hey man,

    Just keep doing what you do (at your own pace) and we will continue enjoying all the great content you put out there.

    The vast majority of us get a wonderful benefit out of what you do and it is greatly appreciated. I feel like I learn so much when I read your blog and it is interesting to read as well. A lot of the stuff out there is really dry.

    There are far more of us out there who are on your side vs the other fools out there who seem to thrive on chaos and insult.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Best wishes.

  • December 6, 2021 at 10:54 AM

    Your meals look awesome, as usual. Don’t let the negativity get you down. I have a troll that comes by once a month to bother me too. It’s a sign that you’ve made it. Hahaha.
    November seemed much colder than usual. I was a bit down too, but we had a few nice days near the end of the month. Those cheered us up a bit. We’re hunkered down for the winter now, though. No hope for nice weather until May…

  • December 7, 2021 at 9:10 AM

    Mr. Tako, please don’t let the negative comments and emails get you down. As you get more and more popular, that will attract more trolls. Just like you won’t let strangers in your house and mess around with your house, you don’t let trolls into your blog. Simply ignore them and block them.

    Yea it has been quite wet here in BC. Some sunshine would certainly be nice.

    Keep up the good work, we all enjoy your writing. 🙂
    Tawcan recently posted…National Bank Direct Brokerage Review – $0 per trade. Should I consider switching?

  • December 7, 2021 at 4:09 PM

    I for one always enjoy the food updates – especially when they come with recipes! Your food budget is significantly lower than ours, and we only have 2 people!

    The meals are a reminder that we can do better, which is my primary goal next year

  • December 11, 2021 at 12:35 PM

    Mr. Tako,

    I don’t usually comment but please don’t let the haters discourage you. I love your posts and recipes! Thank you so much for sharing with the community and serving as an inspiration for others.

  • December 11, 2021 at 7:38 PM

    I really enjoy your blog posts and hope you keep posting. I’m sure there are way more people with positive responses than you realize. What’s not to like?!

  • December 21, 2021 at 11:59 AM

    Hi Mr. Tako
    I tune into your blog every couple of months and have read almost every post that you have made. I am a huge fan and wanted to let you know that you have many quiet fans out here. Ignore the negative ones, you are an inspiration. I discovered the FIRE movement a number of years ago and at the time read many blogs and listened to many podcasts. Yours is one of the few that I still tune into to keep inspired on my financial journey.
    Thank you!

  • January 8, 2022 at 8:17 PM

    Ah the negative folks and the wet ‘em weather combine into a nice drumbeat …I’m a fan as many of us are and we are just quiet. We read and take notes and learn and apply what works…and that is all from the leaders like you who are willing to put yourself out there and share some amazing details that made the FIRE lifestyle realistically achieve able . Keep it up at your own pace and know that the Leader path can be a lonely one.


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