April 2014 Summary

It was back to normal income in April [1] now that taxes are out of the way. This month will be the baseline going forward since it’s one of the months with my lowest dividend income; so hopefully from now on, the only way is up (income) and down (expenses)!

So how did it go? Read on to find out…

My living expenses are still artificially high this month on account of a mortgage payment for a house that I’m trying to sell [2].

The Score

Living Expenses – this is essentially how much I pay myself and it includes budget for everything I spend money on, both essential (e.g. groceries, mortgage, insurance), and non-essential (e.g. music, travel). I’ve played around with a separate budget for essential vs non-essential payments, but the combined budget is working best for me at the moment.

Security Ratio – this is the percentage of my living expenses that is paid for by dividend income. Clearly I won’t be leaving my day job any time soon!

Savings % – the percentage of my net income spent on savings. I don’t have high savings goals at present, although included in this category is my car payment which is paying an interest free loan [3].

Retirement % – the percentage of net income spent on retirement. All my retirement plans are pre-tax and not covered by this blog. They contain several low-index mutual funds and as a rule I’m paying about 16% of my gross income into my 401(k).

Living Expenses % – the percentage of net income that’s spent on living expenses.

Investment % – the percentage of net income that I invest, typically everything left over after savings, retirement and living expenses are paid.

The numbers aren’t great, but the point of this blog is to show improvements over time as I dividend income increases (hopefully!) and I reduce or at the least, control, living expenses.

Dividend Income

April is the lowest stock dividend income month for me; only DOW, JPM, UNP, KO, JMB & ADP pay out as shown below.

The yield calculations are annualized, or extended forward a year based on the current dividend payment against the cost basis or market value respectively.

Here’s the status of my fund holdings this month.

Fund income was a little lower this month, although VWESX is finally back in positive territory after languishing in negative value for nearly a year.

Net Worth

Net Worth increased this month by about 1.5% or $6000. My Portfolio gained about $3,000 and my retirement plan also increased by about the same.

Full disclosure: I am long JPM, KO, ADP, DOW, KMB, UNP, VWEHX, VWESX & VFICX.

Improvement begins with I.

[1] No-one is certain of the origin of the month April, but it’s possibly derived from the Roman word aperio, meaning ‘to open’ since it’s Spring and all that.

[2] Or maybe rent. I’m ambivalent about renting it but will need to make a decision by the end of next month.

[3] In somewhat contrived logic, I consider the car loan as money that I haven’t saved up yet. But once the loan is paid down, I’d likely continue saving that amount against a future car.

2 thoughts on “April 2014 Summary”

  1. rent your house! you will save money on agents fees and slowly renters will pay off your mortgage. So one day you might have another way of passive income. 🙂 Probably even now your renters will cover, mortgage, taxes, all expenses and still will leave you some passive income at the end. 🙂

    1. Hi HappyHealthy&Wealthy,
      Yes, I’ve been thinking about renting it out but I was hoping to sell it first; the house is in Alabama and I’ve moved back to Michigan and the agent fees are covered by my company’s relocation package.
      That said, the benefit expires this month (the house has been on the market for a year) and I received the very first offer on it this month which I accepted. So depending on how the negotiation over requested repairs goes, I’ll either complete the sale this month or start looking for a property management company if the sale falls through.

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