Friday, 29 April 2016

March 2016: Income & Expenses

    March was a busy month for me, between working, sorting out my taxes. Applying for and figuring out my workplace health benefits and dealing with multiple computer issues. Overall though, even with having to buy a lot of extra computer parts I am very happy with my end results for the month.


    My income for the month was a bit all over the place. Work income was definitely on the lower side; in part due to fewer full 8 hour shifts, as well as taking a few days off for a short vacation.

    Dividend income continues to remain strong, fairly consistently hitting almost, or over that awesome $100 a month mark now. I am looking forward to keep seeing it grow month over month. Here is my post on March's Dividend Income. This month, my dividends were equal to 8.7% of my work income, made up 3.2% of my total income and would have taken almost 10 hours working at a minimum wage job BEFORE deductions to have earned. Yup, I certainly prefer holding stocks to earn that money than working for it!

    Now, my 'Bonus' income for the month was unusually high due to filing and receiving my tax return. This year I did it myself using a free tax software. It was very easy and straight forward, simply filling in each line with my assembled mountain of information. Basically just T4's and aggregated medical receipts, metro passes and information from my previous filing.

    I would recommend doing it yourself so long as you feel comfortable doing it, have a decent grasp on your own finances, which credits apply to you and are not afraid to look up and interpret the information through government websites (which can be a hassle/complicated). Particularly for my situation, I have no potentially complicated capital gains or losses to calculate due to all my current investments are in my Tax Free Savings Account. If I had to start doing anything too much more complicated, I would probably get professional assistance doing it at least the first time around.


   Expenses this March were a bit all over the place, with Entertainment and Restaurant costs down, and my 'Other' category was way up! The vast majority of those costs were to fix and upgrade my desktop computer. First my graphics card was failing; crashing my computer and application, deteriorating performance. Then my primary hard-drive stopped working, resulting in some lost data that was time consuming to even partially restore. On top of that, the new graphics card I bought ended up needing a more powerful power-supply than the older one I had, so I also had to buy one of those.

    I did also buy a couple smaller one time gifts as well, which contributed to the 'Other' category, so it is not ALL computer stuff, although my new graphics card is much better than the second-hand ones that I have bought off of my friends in the past.

    Travel costs were a bit higher than usual due to using transit a bit more heavily than usual, as well as booking bus tickets to visit the lovely city that is Montreal. You'll be able to see the effect that had on my next months Entertainment and Restaurant categories in my next update.

    Groceries were a bit higher; restocked up on some basic cooking ingredients like herbs/spices, cooking oils, as well as some treat foods(shrimp rings, yum!) and more meats.

    All told, March definitely had a lot higher total expenses than usual, with my average 2015 expenses being at $1285. And if you take away March's one-time buys of the 'Other' category, the months total expenses would have been $1,219 which is actually below average. So I am rather happy with that. I also would have scaled back the graphics card I bought a bit had I not known how large of a tax refund I was getting, good old tuition credits!

     So even with having higher than usual expenses, thanks to my extra 'income' this month I still managed to eek out a savings rate of 44%, which is excellent and higher than my 2016 goal of averaging out at 40%.


  1. Hey DW,

    Hope you had fun with your new computer parts. Cool that you visit Montreal. I live there.

    1. Thanks. So far so good, loving the higher powered graphics card! Although I miss my solid state drive hard-drive, so far have not replaced that, it might be under warranty still...

      Oh nice! I love being able to see a mountain as a city backdrop, reminds me of Calgary! The bridges and Mtrl drivers are always a bit worrying though!

  2. Gotta love it when your bonus is higher than your salary!

    1. True. Although my 'bonus' came from the work I did in 2015 though. Still, I am happy to spend it on myself, and on creating dividend income :)