June 2014 Financial Update
June came and went and treated us very kindly. Somehow we spent next to nothing, and had a fabulous month of investment income.
At $9,611 in total income during June, we more than covered our monthly expenses of $830. And then some. And then some more.
The most notable source of income in June was dividend income totaling $5,264. Most of our index funds pay dividends quarterly which explains why there is so much dividend income in June. Looking at second quarter dividend payments overall (including a few dividends that slipped into the first few days of July), we received just over $7,000. That brings the total investment income year to date to just under $12,000, and puts us on track to surpass our $22,300 of dividend income during 2013.
Income received from rootofgood.com totaled $211 in June. This amount is much lower than May due to the timing of some payments that have been received in July. Long term, it looks like $600-800 per month is a reliable guess for income from this blog, subject to normal monthly fluctuations.
“Deposits” totaling $1,800 was repayment of a business loan made to family in 2013 (and reflects two payments for June – one at the beginning, one at the very end). There is only a small balance outstanding and this particular source of income will be gone after July.
I continued to sell stuff I don’t use, and received $75 by selling a few old Magic: The Gathering cards from my high school days. A friend of mine came over and we played a little Magic. He went through my small assortment of cards I didn’t eBay already and found a very rare card (dual land?) that was worth almost $75 all by itself. I also had the option to take payment in store credit to buy more games and receive a 30% bonus on the $75. Even though board games are one form of good cheap fun, I decided to take the cash and not force myself to buy stuff I didn’t really want at the moment (even if it is a “good deal”).
After meeting the spending requirements on my Barclay Arrival Plus card, I requested statement credits to pay for our AirBnB apartment rentals in Canada. The “Travel” income reflects $500 of statement credits I received in June. If you haven’t signed up for your own Barclay Arrival Plus card yet, don’t miss out on $450-500 in free travel (or check out one of the other great bonus offers available here). We’ll be getting another $500 or so on a future travel purchase using Mrs. RoG’s sign up bonus!
The other $200 in Travel income was a refund of a deposit we made for a Caribbean cruise. We planned on taking a week long cruise to Jamaica, Mexico, and Grand Caymen Island in September (for $1,400) but decided to skip it this year since it’s so close to our big summer trip.
A quick note on the expense tracking and income tracking tools I use. I took screen captures from Personal Capital and included them in this blog post. All of our savings and spending accounts (including checking, money market, and five credit cards) are all linked and updated in real time through Personal Capital. We have accounts all over the place, and Personal Capital makes it really easy to check on everything at one time.
Personal Capital is also a solid tool for investment management. Keeping track of our entire investment portfolio takes two clicks. If you haven’t signed up for the free Personal Capital service, check it out today (review here).
Now let’s look at June expenses:
I’m pretty amazed that we spent less than $1,000 during the month of June. There wasn’t any conscious effort to spend as little as possible. We simply lived as we normally do.
In fact, we spent a lot of money on clothes since the kids are growing and need summer gear. I also updated my shorts wardrobe (a key part of the early retiree’s uniform) in preparation for our summer trip. The ladies all bought new shoes for our trip. Add in a few new bathing suits, and the clothing total came to $216 for the month. That’s about a third of what we spend in a year on clothing, so that should be the bulk of spending on clothes for a while. Most of the clothes shopping was completed at Walmart, with a tiny amount ($30) at the thrift shop. That $30 went pretty far, as Mr. RoG Jr. got a half dozen new outfits and the girls picked up some more summer clothing. The thrift shop prices are about 10-20% of retail prices, and the clothes are often brand new or barely worn.
June’s grocery expenses were lower than normal because we were busy emptying the fridge of perishables before our big trip to Canada for the entire month of July. We continued to use the Extreme Grocery Shopping strategies to keep costs down.
I also spent a few bucks on a replacement speaker for my cell phone. I did have to bust out my trusty voltmeter to diagnose the problem, but the $3 repair was worth it to get back full functionality on my $50 phone that’s on Freedompop’s $0/month plan.
We budgeted $32,000 per year for retirement, so a half year of spending should be $16,000. At $11,744 year to date actual spending for the first half of 2014, we are 27% under budget for the year. July will be an expensive month since we will be on vacation the entire month, and we had an issue with the car (more details in a future post!), and the annual insurance bills on the cars and house are due. But we should still remain well under budget even with all that lumpy spending in July.
Net Worth: $1,444,000 (+$33,000)
As the temperatures rose in June, so did our net worth! A net worth increase of $33,000 represents an entire year’s living expenses for us. As of the date of this article, July has swallowed up a lot of the net worth gains, and may leave us with a decrease in net worth. I actually welcome declines in the stock market occasionally because it keeps sanity in the markets. If the markets continued going up month after month after month, some folks would get the wrong impression that steady 20-30% annual returns are the norm (which isn’t true – don’t bank on more than an average of 8-10% long term).
Year to date, our net worth is still up over $150,000. All of those gains can get erased and we will still be able to survive on a 3% withdrawal rate from our investments.
Enough talking about money. Now I’ll be getting back to enjoying the last few weeks of our trek through Canada. We save and invest money in order to have fun spending it, right?
We did great in June! How did you do?