Tuesday, 16 February 2016

January 2016: Income & Expenses

    After posting my January Dividend Update I kind of forgot about my other main monthly post, my Income and Expenses report. What better time to write it then being relatively snowed in (don't want to go outside again) and having the day off of work? So here it is! January had me back to a relatively normal level of spending from what I have recorded in 2015. Except of course for the usual outlier month of December, where holiday spending increases my expenses. Thankfully that month also saw a large increase in income.

    This January however did prove to have quite a bit more income than I was generally expecting. In
part due to record high dividend income, higher than predicted income from work; holiday pay, hours worked etc. As well as getting some income from other sources, such as Federal and provincial payments(sort of becoming regular at this point), but also received my first Google Adsense payment from 2015!


    As I mentioned, my average work income has gone up. I used to average about $1,400 a month or so. Now, as far as I am able to tell I am getting/expecting closer to $1600, while not being a lot more it is doing so working fewer hours! So there is opportunity to work more and make more, or stay at my current levels and get to enjoy doing what I want a bit more.

    Dividend income for January was stellar, $227.23 of money going directly into savings that I did not even have to work for, pretty fantastic! Dividends represented 11% of my total income this month.

    My Bonus income this month had a new component, Adsense revenue! I first got Adsense enabled on my blog November, 2014. It has slowly been creeping up its earnings over the months and finally got to the $100 payout threshold, so I got my first deposit from Google for $106.05! Pretty exciting, and certainly gives me a little bit more motivation to keep up with my writing if I ever needed it.


    Expenses were in line with my 2015 average of $1,285, slightly below them actually. Which is a great way to start the new year and help me towards one of my 2016 Goals. In fact, so well that so far I am currently making my 2016 goal of hitting a savings rate of 40%, as this January did just that, with 40% of my income saved!

    I managed to keep quite a few of my spending categories down this month. Primarily my Travel column, in December I had bought a quite a few extra transit tokens since the price was going up in the new year, combined with some tokens as a present as well, I managed to not spend any extra in January.

    I also re-evaluated my phone plan and had noticed I had build up quite a balance for my pre-paid phone and so took it off of automatic top-ups for a bit to drain the balance some. So saved about $28 there this month, and going forward will be spending less on it.

    Restaurant and Entertainment costs were relatively average and are generally the easiest areas of my spending to either save money on, or spend too much. I am quite happy with how I managed them in January, and so far in February as well.

    Groceries are quickly becoming a bit of a sore spot in my budget for two reasons. The first being that as the Canadian dollar sinks, imported food has steadily been rising in prices. And as it is winter, that means trying to eat healthier is also becoming more expensive, but necessary. Secondly, my old job at Starbuck's did come with some hidden perks. Such as pretty much unlimited, on-demand fresh, high quality coffee whenever I wanted. So far I have done well to have only bought coffee a few times in the last three months. However, I was also able to make fruit smoothies for snacks or lunch instead of going out and buying one, or get some food at a discount. Not to mention the occasional just past date snack for dinner or breakfast the next day, which all helped to contribute to a lower monthly grocery bill. When a company says they have a great total pay package, I wonder how many include food in their pitch?

    Overall though, I am very happy that I am able to continue to keep my total costs down, as well as earn some extra money. Which has definitely been showing in my last few Recent Buys, two in January( MFC & MFC #2) and one so far in February (PPL). And funnily enough my dividends this month would have been able to cover all but fifteen cents worth of my groceries! Or, 18.5% of my total expenses this month.


  1. Keep it up Wisp. You're doing awesome. Keep hustling it up and build your life up. You're on a great path and I'm happy for you. You're gonna rip it up. Don't stop. Cheers buddy.

    1. Thank you so much! Just got to keep moving forward and getting ahead!

  2. Oh my goodness, I'm the same way with food. I want to eat healthy but it's SO expensive. Just fresh fruit alone to make smoothies is crazy. I now buy as much bulk as I can then freeze the rest. The smoothies turn out really well!

    It's really cool that you broke down your expenses. That's awesome that you don't have student loans or a car payment weighing you down (unlike me). Keep up the savings!

  3. Yeah, I have definitely been feeling the food expense creep up over the months. I buy most of my fruit smoothie stuff frozen already, much cheaper and just as good. Just add fresh bananas/yogurt.

    I like breaking them down like that to further track spending. I lump alcohol/games etc together since it is stuff I do for 'fun', and alcohol is certainly not food/grocery related :) And Other is a catch-all for non-regular purchases.

    And it is a big help not having tuition repayments anymore, and instead of car loans etc, i have bus/subway fare (travel) expenses.