Getting my dividend income to $100 a month

I think passive income is important. I love seeing my stocks grow but I also like receiving dividend income from the stocks I’ve invested in. As I get a bit older I can see how having a steady source of dividend income flowing in each month might be desirable in retirement. However, I’m also leery as I ha a finance professor warn us once to not only invest in dividend yielding stocks. I understand where he is coming from, a dividend is a transfer of value from the company to your bank account, which means they cannot use this capital to grow the business and as such you will not benefit from this potential growth later on. That isn’t to say dividends are bad, you just have to be careful. You should not just invest in a stock for its dividend. If you really need a steady source of income each month you should be selling part of your portfolio off. Assuming you have held your stocks for a long time and they have grown in value you will be making money on the transaction regardless. Just look at Berkshire Hathaway, it has never paid a dividend and the class-A shares sell for over $200,000. The revenue generated has always been put back into the business to grow the company and add value. Dividends pay that income out so it’s in your hands to decide what to do with it.

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Nospendver Days 1-15

As many of you know Athena, Sofia and I decided to embark on a 60-day no-spend, hilariously named “Nospendver” by my fiance. Nospendver started on October 20th and goes until December 20th (just in time for Christmas)! The rules were as follows:

1. The no spend challenge will commence on October 20th and go until December 20th.

2. Non-essential spending is limited to $20 a week or $160 in 2 months. I know for myself giving up all fun things wasn’t an option and I think the two lovely ladies agreed. This is about cutting back a lot, I know I spend more than $20 a week on fun so limiting to this amount should be interesting.

3. No purchasing clothing. I think my only exception to this would be if I purchase a pair of winter boots. I know I need them for the -40 that will soon be upon us, but if I can make it to December 20th without it getting too cold I will.

4. Christmas gifts are do not count in the no-spend challenge, though we are all trying to be frugal and creative this year with out gifts.

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October 2014 Spending Recap

Hello November! Oh, Christmas is coming so soon! I’m so excited, our Christmas tree is up and I’ve started shopping for the holiday season! October was kind of a weird month, we moved on the first to our brand new apartment which is right outside of downtown and a quick commute into work each morning. The fiance found out he would be heading out of town for training and  work at his new position. It’s been a tad lonely but I scored a free trip to Phoenix on the last weekend of October

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The financial implications of changing your name and the emotions of why I’m doing it.

I love my name, I love the way it sounds, and it is the one thing that has always been mine. No one can take my name away from me, and I’m proud of my name, my family and realistically I love being who I am each and every day. In August we got engaged and the wedding planning began. Actually, the wedding planning started long before I knew I was getting engaged, my hubby-to-be had booked the photographer and venue two months prior to asking me. What a sweetie! The wedding plans are falling into place, we’ve sent out save the dates and we are slowing figuring out the rest of the details… truthfully it’s kind of exhausting. Regardless, that isn’t the point of this post. Changing your name can be pricey. If you’ve ever lost your wallet you know how much it costs to replace all of your cards, your driver’s license etc. When it comes to changing your name you have to do that and so much more.

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2 million dollars terrifies me

… and that’s the number I want to retire with.

Seeing as I’m only 23, many of my 20-something counterparts seem to think we have the better part of forever before we have to start thinking about retirement. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case. Putting off saving for retirement may seem like a good idea at the time, but in reality you are just going to have to save more money in the long run.

Having just under $10,000 socked away for retirement, makes this goal seem exceedingly unrealistic. But, as with anything the trick is patience, persistence and maybe just a little bit of luck.

Retirement age for the average Canadian is 65. I’d like to have the option to retire at age 50, which means I have 1,990,000 left to go. If that number is as intimidating to you as it is to me then fear not, if you’re young, like myself you have time on your side! The important thing is that you start now. Don’t wait till your 30 to start socking money away for your future self, it will only delay you getting to enjoy the nest egg you have built.

I like to obsess about numbers, after all I am an accountant…

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Why you should be credit card smart

Until recently, I was one of those people that had the same credit card since I was 18. My mother was insistent on starting my credit off right as soon as I turned 18. With that, I have been just going along as normal, not realizing the amount of benefits you could actually get from a credit card. Janine has talked about this before, how she often gets free or greatly reduced flights all from points she has gotten on a credit card.

With that being said, just a few weeks ago my fiancé and I started to look through the copious amounts of credit cards and see which one would benefit us the most. There are plenty of different kinds, from cash back, travel credits, free products, etc. You name it and there is likely a credit card for that… you just have to figure out which one works best for you and your situation.

At the end of the day, it came down to two credit cards for me. The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express as well as the MBNA Smart Cash Card. I go to Costco quite a bit, and being able to have a card that can cover the Costco membership fee and well as include other benefits was huge for me! At the end of the day though, the MBNA card won me over. They have an incredible cash back plan where, as soon as you earn $50 in cash back, they send you a cheque without you having to do anything. I also considered some of the flight benefit/point cards, but honestly, we just don’t travel enough. We are both stay at home kind of people and our career is our focus right now. Travelling will be a priority for us in the future, just not at the moment.

Janine: Costco has actually just discontinued this credit card! 

With all of that said, I learned a lot more than I thought I needed too, regarding credit cards. Sometimes when you are a fresh 18 year old, you seem to think all things are easy and black and white. Well my friends, they aren’t. So, make sure you know what you are looking for and will help you in your journey to financial freedom.

Overall, make sure you do your research and get the card that suits your needs best. Don’t be like me and not take advantage of the great benefits certain credit cards can have, I learned that one the hard way!