We are in the home stretch of 2018 and I hope you’re as pumped as I am to be debt free and build financial momentum heading into the new year. I began looking to trim any fat I could find in my budget last month so that I have the best chance possible of reaching my year-end goals: No credit card debt and $200 plus in dividends received for the year.
If I manage $200 plus in dividends by December 31, that would be a 365% dividend increase over 2017. And while I know that kind of increase will be harder and harder to achieve each year, it’s really important that in 2019 my dividend increase is better than 2018.
Why? Because 2019 will mark the start of my third year into building a dividend portfolio from scratch. I believe it’s pivotal because I won’t be in the middle of buying a home like I was in 2017 and I won’t be paying down a credit card bill for most of the year, which is how I spent most of 2018. Essentially, I won’t have any excuse to not make great strides in building up my dividend income. The pressure is officially on me to have another 365% dividend increase in 2019.
Also, if you have been following me, you know that I was spending nearly $500/month buying lunch. Turns out, that was all the motivation I needed to take my %@#$ to the supermarket. I started cooking and bringing my lunch to work about three weeks ago and I’m happy to report that bringing my lunch has been a complete success. After paying all my bills last week, I was sure that I missed paying something because I literally had an extra $200 in my checking account. It felt like I received some kind of bonus. Now I’m hooked.
I won’t be able to invest my “old lunch money” until December or January because paying off my zero-percent credit card by the December 18th deadline is priority one. But it will eventually become a part of my automatic investing by December 31.
Okay, time for the update:
September 2018 Net Worth Update
Checking $ 526.00
SEP IRA: $ 8,258.11
CASH: $ 3,650.00
MM/E Fund: $ 7,901.00
Stocks (taxable) $ 6,337.00
Investing fund $ 450.00
Vanguard $ 198.67
Business $ 4,016.02
Net Worth $56,950
Credit Card: $2,350.00 @ 0% interest
- SEP IRA: the stock market worked for me this month because I only put $150 of new capital in and put the rest on my credit card
- Traditional IRA: received the usual $455 and once again the market had a nice run
- Cash: is up $150
- MM / E-Fund: is headed in the right direction. I received another bump in the interest rate, third consecutive month that the interest has gone up. Feels great having interest work for me and not against me
- Stocks taxable): purchased a few more shares of PEG
- Bonds: are up and I’m looking forward to seeing what the new i-bond rates will be
- Ally Investment money: this account remains lower than I’d like and will probably remain low until I pay off the credit card in full.
- Business account: is higher than it’s ever been at the end of the month, which is anmindicator that I’ve managed to really keep my spending in check
- Credit card debt: is down to $950. I continue to use money once designated for saving, investing and fun to put toward this debt. I’ll need to pay $783/month for the next three months to clear this credit card
Finally, I leave you with what should be the golden rule of personal finance: “Do not save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.”~Warren Buffet