Dividend Ten

Freelance & personal finance journal

Month in Review

November 2016 Expenses, Income, Portfolio Notes

The struggle is real.

Sorry it’s been a little crazy around here so I haven’t been posting for the past month or so.

Just had a new international client hire me and I’ve been spending all my waking hours working for them, which has left almost no free time to do basic things like blog, or sleep for that matter.

Meanwhile my newly monetized blog continues to work hard for me – in fact yesterday I pulled in a whole $0.02.

We like passive income, don’t we folks?! 🙂

So I’m committing to getting back in the saddle again producing brilliant, high quality content. Or at least musings on my latest happenings and results.

So without further ado, here’s how the numbers broke out in November, with a few bullet point thoughts:

Income

  • Freelance Income: $19,301.50.  Back on track. I feel good about this number and seek to surpass it in December, taking me well into the $200k range for my first year freelancing.
  • Interest: $111  from my  1% high interest savings account at Capital One
  • Fiverr Side Hustle: $1,500 –  This was a pretty solid month for Fiverr. The problem is it takes an hour or so per night, and I’d prefer to use that time doing other stuff. So I’d love to find a way to sell this thing for a lump payout ideally.
  • Dividends – $52.58 in dividend income.
  • Blog **New entry** – $2.16 – Hey it’s not covering my hosting expenses yet, but that is my goal for this blog. I got a click on an ad which is always fun for the financial windfall it provides. 🙂
  • Gross Profit: $20,967.24 – Overall a pretty solid month. This averages out to about a cool $250k/ yr annualized. Not bad working out of my bedroom and not having to deal with the man anymore.

Business expenses

These are expenses that I incurred to earn money. I try to keep these as low as possible.

  • Payroll: $42 I have my personal consulting business structured as an LLC taxed as an S-Corp. This provides a number of tax benefits, but also there are some things you need to take care of – like running payroll for yourself. I have just started using Gusto and I love it since they make the process of running payroll and paying contractors easy. Affiliate note: you will receive a $100 bonus by signing up through this link: Gusto $100 offer
  • Proposal Software: I’m currently paying a steep $89/ mo to a cloud-based proposal software company. It’s pretty high, but in my mind worth it, because it makes snazzy as heck proposals – one of which I won for $10k so in my mind it’s an investment that more than pays for itself, even though it’s a cloud solution I use rather infrequently.
  • Subcontractors: I spent $405 on subcontractors during this time. These guys are great because I can just mark up the difference between what I pay them and what I get paid, which helps me to leverage my time. The key, however, is finding good quality talent at a decent price, which is a tough thing to do.

Personal Expenses

I try to cut my expenses to the bone. I have some core expenses like child support, insurance, and taxes which just kill my savings each month, but there’s not much I can do about that. I can only control that I can control.

Food: $425 – Got this down a lot from last month. Started shopping at Trader Joes, or TJs as I like to call them, which is the shit for the most part. They have all kinds of great organic produce, even though every few months, they seem to have some kind of pathogen outbreak in their hummus and other things, but as compared to whole paycheck, it doesnt’ break the bank. Only problem is they have a lot of sodium in their foods, which isn’t particularly healthy.

Shelter: $0 Score. Yes, I actually don’t pay rent. I moved home for a while to try to get my finances back on track. I’m looking for opportunities to move out next year, but for now am enjoying the nice savings.

Car: $0  Yes, I earn 6 figures and don’t own a car. I do what I can to keep my expenses under control.

Child Support: $1589 This is my biggest expense by far. Marriage and divorce is the worst financial move you can make.

Student Loan; $0 I just kept this line item on since I paid the entire thing off last month, it feels good to say $0.

Medical/ Insurance: $552. Not much to say. Gotta pay it.

Taxes: $6800. Yeah, so I am trying to catch up on paying taxes since I didn’t pay much for the first few months. So for the next few months, this is going to be really high.

Portfolio notes

The stock market did well this month, rallying to all time highs. My last purchase of BWLD rallied from my purchase price of $143 to $168 (+16%) over the course of the month. In addition to the massive value increase in core holding NVDA, I’m feeling pretty good and definitely seeing some nice alpha. On the downside, CBRL – another beaten down name in the restaurant sector that I was about to pull the trigger on, going all in on restaurant – also benefited from the unexpected Trump rally even more then CBRL – so it’s always hard when you have a conviction idea, that you don’t pull the trigger on, only to see it become more expensive to buy. I think there’s still room to run for CBRL, but will be holding off for now in hopes of some kind of correction.

I know many dividend investors like for stocks to go down in price, but total return is always a piece of the equation too, in my view, so unless I’m actively accumulating, I like to see stocks go up.

In terms of dividend payouts, I saw payments of $11.40 from Apple, which I reinvested into the (underpriced) stock.

Final Thoughts

Looking back at the numbers, a solid month overall. I wasn’t particularly active in the market since it ended up flying upwards, versus the hoped for correction. The 10 year continues to rise, and economy continues to do well. The market appears to be bullish on a Trump presidency, with a republican congress & senate to actually start to get some pro-growth initiatives enacted. But if there’s one thing the Trump election has taught me, is that the future is completely unknowable, and the market could do anything in the short term. That said, I continue to believe the market will continue to run, until such point as we start seeing core inflation increase, at which point we may have to reevaluate our dividend holdings. Until then, I continue to remain bullish and hope to find opportunities to buy as the opportunities present themselves going forward.

8 Comments

  1. Hey, admittedly $0.02 cents is not a lot, but look on the bright side – it gives you license to provide your $0.02 cents worth! Seriously, you gotta start somewhere, and at least you are in the game. Good luck.

  2. Hey man, good to see your income got back on track! I’ve had some busy months too and the blog has fallen a little to the wayside but I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Site continues to grow here and looks great. Hope you have a good holiday season.

    • Greg Gee

      Haha yeah thanks man, I was getting a bit worried for a bit. Thanks & have a great holiday season too!

  3. We all like passive income, even one penny at a time. Gotta start somewhere. At least your dividends are rolling in nicely. Over $50 is a tidy sum to build upon. You have a very diversified income stream between your side hustles and freelance work you do and your dividends and blog monetization can only go up from here. Thanks for sharing your income and expenses for the month. Nice to have a $0 car expense.
    DivHut recently posted…Dividend Income Update November 2016My Profile

    • Greg Gee

      Yes indeed thanks Keith. I always thought having a job was a good thing but have come to realize as you say a diversified income stream is better. If you lose your job, then you’re out of luck. If you have a lot of side hustles, dividends, etc. then it makes it easier to handle unexpected blows!

  4. Awesome month! I really like the diversity in the income stream. I will include your dividend income updates starting in Dec for the monthly dividend income round up. Wishing you continued success. http://www.predictablesnowball.com/2016/12/11/dividend-income-around-world-november-16/
    Predictable Snowball recently posted…Recent Sell (HCP)My Profile

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