December 2017 Dividends

Now that the mess with my TFSA is all sorted out, I can finally post my December dividend income! It was a pretty good month, and once again my dividend income was over $900 which is not too shabby!  It looks like Cominar paid me twice this month, so that helped. Here are the companies that paid me in December.

Taxable Account:

  • Sunlife (SLF)…..$60.97
  • Canadian National Railway (CNR)…..$7.01
  • Power Corp (POW)…..$86.76
  • Brookfield Renewable (BEP.UN)…..$64.47
  • Cominar REIT (CUF.UN)…..$19.62
  • Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP.UN)…..$19.62
  • H&R REIT (HR.UN)…..$38.41
  • Keyera (KEY)…..$18.34
  • Altagas (ALA)…..$55.30
  • Northland Power (NPI)…..$11.16
  • Pembina Pipeline (PPL)…..$10.80
  • Inter Pipeline (IPL)…..$42.98
  • Extendicare (EXE)…..$14.36
  • Enbridge Income Fund (ENF)…..$30.28
  • Slate REIT (SRT.UN)…..$25.44
  • Crombie REIT (CRR.UN)…..$19.14
  • Dream Global REIT (DRG.UN)…..$31.27
  • Killam REIT (KMP.UN)…..$10.49
  • Pure Industrial REIT (AAR.UN)…..$7.25
  • Cominar REIT (CUF.UN)…..$37.15
  • Northwest Healthcare REIT (NWH.UN)…..$0.33
  • Riocan REIT (REI.UN)…..$50.88
  • Fortis (FTS)…..$15.30
  • Enbridge (ENB)…..$95.77
  • Canadian Utilities (CU)…..$16.09

TFSA:

  • Artis REIT (AX.UN)…..$34.11
  • American Hotels REIT (HOT.UN)…..$30.23
  • Northview REIT (NVU.UN)…..$23.36
  • Northwest Healthcare REIT (NWH.UN)…..$56.40

TOTAL: $933.29

My projected annual dividend income is $11,467. This is up almost two hundred dollars from last month. I think that is mainly due to dividend increases and capital gains from the sales of some stocks. At this rate, I should definitely reach my goal of $12,000 by the end of August!

Three Decluttering Goals

One of my main goals for 2018 is to declutter my apartment. I aim to do that partly by looking for things to give away, and partly by not buying things in the first place. Here are three things I need to focus on.

1. Books

This picture should be self-explanatory:

When I first moved to London, one of the first things I did was go downtown and sign up at the main library. I’ve always been a big reader. I mentioned this to a co-worker, and he told me about a used bookstore downtown. So every weekend, I’d go to the library and then check out the used bookstore. I’d arrive home with 3-4 library books, and at least a couple of used books. I had to read the library books first because they were due back in three weeks, so the other books got put aside. Then I discovered another used bookstore downtown. With one of those twenty-five cent bins out front. Those things are deadly. A couple of months later, I discovered a thrift shop nearby. Books are $3 apiece, and the fifth book is free. So I kept buying more books, and putting them aside because I kept going to the library. But the good news is that I’ve finally gotten bored with the library, so it’s time to tackle my to-read pile at home. After I’ve read a book, I’ll most likely give it away. I’ll only hang on to my absolute favourite books.

2. Candles

Whenever I donate a bag of stuff to the local thrift shop, I usually go inside. I try hard not to buy things that will only create more clutter. So in order to keep myself out of the book section, I distract myself with the candle section. Candles will eventually get used up and they come in handy when there’s a power outage. I learned that a couple of months ago when I got home from work and the lights were out. I’ll be sure to keep a couple of candles to use if that happens again, but otherwise I will not buy any more candles until most of the ones in this picture are gone.

3. Writing Instruments

I’m not sure how I ended up with so many coloured pencils, gel pens, highlighters and regular pens. I will definitely not be buying any more until most of these are gone! I may donate the highlighters because I can’t see myself ever needing them. I’ll have to find a college student to give them to. (See what a good frugal person I am? I re-used drink containers and ice cream cartons, haha).

So these are three areas that I will try to work on this year. If I remember, I will post before/after pictures at the end of the year to compare! Now I just need to find time to read all those books…

December 2017 Expenses and Earnings

I love doing summaries of my monthly spending, mainly because I get exasperated with myself for spending too much! It’s fun to look at the breakdown and say to myself “Really? You had to buy that?” One of these days I’ll remember to say that to myself when I’m in the store, before I actually buy something. Then I’ll turn around and put it back on the shelf. Anyhow, my net income last month was $3286.06. Of that, I spent $1498.77. That means that I saved about 54% of my income, which is pretty good, although I’m going to try to get it up to 60%. Here is the breakdown of my expenses:

  • Rent: $752.34
  • Gym Membership: $11.30
  • Service charges: $8.20
  • Cell Phone: $22.60
  • Internet: $102.25
  • iTunes: $12.87
  • Netflix: $8.99
  • Baby shower gift: $63.81
  • New printer: $34.48
  • Food & Misc.: $481.93

A brief note about the service charges: it’s pretty funny, actually. I went to Subway and their machine froze up so I couldn’t pay with my credit card. I had no choice but to run to the ATM in the convenience store next door. It charged me $1.75 and then my bank dinged me another $1.50. The reason this is funny is because the cashier had decided-before she discovered that the machine was frozen-to give me a 10% discount. That would have saved me about fifty cents, but the meal ended up costing me about $2.75 more than it normally would have.

Speaking of Subway, food is definitely my worst category when it comes to spending. I love my chocolate bars, I usually pop into Starbucks on the weekend, and I just can’t seem to stay away from the vending machine at work. I used the ATM a lot this past month and I haven’t been tracking my cash spending so I don’t know exactly how much I’ve been spending on food outside of the grocery store. But here are the amounts that I spent on my credit card alone.

Subway: $23.36
Pizza place: $25.50
Dollarama: $43.80
Vending Machine: $12.80
Starbucks: $10.50

I’m blown away by how much I spent at Dollarama. Especially when you consider how often I pop in there on my way to work to pick up a couple of chocolate bars that I buy with whatever change I have lying around at home. The total spending at Dollarama is probably much more than $43.80. I can remember buying a new computer mouse and some printer paper there last month, but mostly I think it was chocolate and various unhealthy foods. That’s definitely something I’ll have to work on.

I go to Subway about once a week. It’s usually after my last shift of the week, just as a way to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. But I’m usually not hungry when I get it. I just buy it because it tastes good. So I could probably cut that out of my routine. Fortunately the current weather will help me out with that. As I write this, it’s -17 outside with a -25 windchill so that should deter me from the 15-minute walk to Subway and the 15-minute walk home

I’m not sure what to think of my trips to the pizza place. I go there during my lunch break. I know that bringing food from home is supposed to be cheaper than eating out, but the pizza place only charges $5.10 for two slices and a can of Coke so it’s a pretty good deal. And I have to eat something at lunch, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money like I do when I go to Subway. I think I’ll just try to limit the pizza to once a week because there are healthier options.

The vending machine is another thing I need to give up. If you pay with your credit card, they charge you an extra fifteen cents. That means paying $1.90 for a chocolate bar, which is highway robbery. I definitely need to avoid that.

And as for Starbucks…well, I got a gift card for Christmas so I shouldn’t be spending any of my own money there for the next month or so.

So in summary, I will be focusing on (a) avoiding Dollarama, (b) avoiding Subway and (c) avoiding vending machines.

P.S. I will post my December dividends report as soon as possible. My TFSA is currently being held hostage by Scotiabank until they receive/process the documentation I have mailed in. So I am unable to see how much income I made on the stocks that I had transferred in! It should be around $900 total, but I’ll give you the exact number as soon as I can.

Financial Summary for 2017

Well, the holidays are over so it’s time to get back to my blog! I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year. I thought it would be fun to post an annual summary of my investments so that I can see how they grow from one year to the next. I also thought it might be a good idea to make this post in order to give you the whole picture. I’ve mentioned my dividend income plenty of times, but I’ve never talked about my mutual funds or GICs, or about my peer-to-peer lending account.  I’ll try to give you book values when I can, but in the case of my mutual funds I only know their current market value.

1. RRSP. In my RRSP, I have mutual funds and a GIC. Most of my mutual fund money is in Scotiabank’s Canadian Bond Index Fund. The GIC will mature at the end of 2020, at which point I will take the cash and buy stocks with it. The current values of my investments in my RRSP are:

GIC: $1336.90

Mutual Funds : $37,556.26

  1. Taxable investment account. This is where all of my stocks are at the moment. I will be transferring some of them into tax-free accounts when I get them set up. In 2017, I earned $9923 in dividends. Based on today’s exchange rate, my projected income for the next twelve months is $11,126.

Book value: $208,456.05

  1. Non-registered GICs. I have no idea why I bought these GICs, but they’re right there on my account page. They’re locked into five-year terms, but I won’t renew them. I’ll take the cash and use it to buy more dividend-growth stocks. One GIC will mature at the end of 2018, the other at the end of 2019.

Current value: $1596.89

  1. Peer-to-peer lending. At the suggestion of a co-worker (who is a pretty savvy investor), I signed up on Lending Loop in April. (You get $25 for each person that you refer, so I’ve used an affiliate link). I’ve decided that I’m not a huge fan of peer-to-peer lending. But most of my money is locked into three-year loans, so in 2018 I’ll reinvest my payments into two-year loans. In 2019 I’ll only reinvest into one-year loans, and then I hope to close the entire account down in 2020. I have earned $95.26 in interest since April.

Principal invested: $2500

Based on all of the numbers above, my current net worth is $251,446.10.