2017 Goals

Hey folks!

First, I just have to say – 2016, what a year! It started off slow, got a little crazy towards the middle, and then ended with a bang, politically. 2017 pretty much picked up where 2016 ended but, if history is any indication, keeping my head down and working toward economic empowerment is the best way to navigate these uncertain times. No matter who or which political party is in office, I know that the best way to ensure that I am taken care of financially is to make sure I am setting and working towards achieving my goals.

Here are my goals for 2017:

2017 goals

Financial Goals-

  • Open a Roth IRA account.
  • Allocate at least $700 to either my taxable brokerage account or Roth IRA(or combination of the two) per month.
  • Increase my total net worth to $32,000 by 12/31/2017.
  • Hold taxable brokerage account balance of at least $13,000 by 12/31/2017 (Can include uninvested cash held in account).
  • Receive $300 in total dividend income.
  • Allocate $200 per month to a new car fund.

Health/Spirituality Goals-

  • Sign up for two 5K’s or one 10K by September 2017.
  • Donate at least $50 per month to church or reputable charitable organization.

Travel Goals-

  • Allocate at least $50 per month to my travel fund.
  • Take a least 2 domestic trips/international trips and 2 weekender/road trips.
  • Take a solo trip.

I’m grateful for what I have been able to accomplish thus far but I am absolutely looking forward to making great strides towards financial freedom in 2017!

Thanks for reading.

Image: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

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Dividend Income Update // December 2016

dividend income

December Dividends

  • Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) – $8.25
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.00
  • Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) – $8.00
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $16.20

Total dividends received for month of December: $48.45

That’s a 105% increase over December 2015! I am super thrilled to know that, month by month, I am earning income that I don’t even have to work for; it gets deposited into my account whether I ask for it or not.

Unfortunately, due to Pepsi’s weird payout schedule, I technically will not meet my 2016 dividend income goal. However, receiving almost $220 isn’t bad! I more than doubled the amount of dividends I received this year over last year and for that I am extremely proud.

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

My 2016 Year in Review

2016 year in review

The one thing I absolutely love about writing a finance related blog is the fact that I can keep track of how my net worth fluctuates from year to year. I am able to see how my savings rate increases and how my debts are slowly being erased; it’s truly a liberating feeling! Since keeping track of your progress in achieving a goal is the second most important thing (after setting one first), having a detailed log of how you’ve achieved them to reference is key to helping to keep you motivated.

Throughout this year, here are some of the advances I’ve made:

2016 Goals Reviewed

Financial goals
  • Allocate at least $625 per month to my taxable brokerage account. – PASS; Allocated an average of $825
  • Hold a portfolio balance of at least $10,500 by 12/31/2016. Can include uninvested cash held in account. – PASS; Portfolio balance is $10,749.41
  • Receive $225 in total dividend income. – FAIL; $219.89
  • Allocate an extra $50 per month to my car loan principal. – PASS
  • Pay off my car loan principal IN FULL (Balance is currently $4909). – PASS! Completely paid IN FULL!
  • Allocate 6% of gross income to company 401(k) to get full company match. – PASS; Completed 10/15/16
Health/Spirituality goals
  • Sign up for another 5K run or a 10K run by June 2016. – PASS; Completed April 2016
  • Donate at least $50 per month to church or a reputable charitable organization. – FAIL; monthly average $40
Travel goals
  • Allocate at least $50 per month to my travel fund. – PASS
  • Take at least 2 domestic/international trips and 2 weekender/road trips. PARTIAL; 1 international and 2 weekender/road trips

2016 Net Worth Reviewed

In December 2015, my total savings were $16,713.17. My total debts were $20,586.82.

My net worth as of December 2015 was -$3,873.65.

This year I really did strive to pay off as much debt as possible. I also really wanted to focus on saving a high percentage of my net pay and grow my net worth.

As of December 21, 2016, here is my financial situation:

Debt

Student loans:

$3,148.27 at 3.4%

$2,631.43 at 4.5%

$2,001.58 at 5.6%

$5,747.27 at 5.0%

Total student loans: $13,528.55

Car loans:

$0 balance

Credit Cards:

$0 balance

 Total Debt: $13,528.55 (decrease of $7,058.27)
Savings
 Retirement accounts:

$9,394.04

Personal Savings:

Emergency Fund balance at $5,000

Investment portfolio account balance: $10,749.41

Total Savings: $25,143.45 (increase of 8,430.28)

NET WORTH: $11,614.90

Wahoo! My net worth is finally positive! Up until this year, I was worth more as a baby with a $0 net worth (as the former Dividend Mantra used to say) than I was at 25. But due to diligently paying down debt, increasing my savings rate and making sound investment choices, I have crossed the $0 threshold and now know what it feels like to have a positive net worth; it feels great!

Stay tuned to see what my goals are for next year – I’ll have an updated blog post on that soon. I really can’t wait to see what financial goals I am able to achieve in 2017.

What have you accomplished in 2016? Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Upsplash with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // November 2016

dividend income

November Dividends

  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) – $3.50

Total Dividends received for the month of November: $3.50

This update is a short one, folks. Due to Starbucks moving its dividend pay date to December, Kinder Morgan is the only position that paid out a dividend in November. November has (and likely always will be) a low dividend paying month for me but I’m looking forward to a fruitful December!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

 

Dividend Income Update // September 2016

dividendincome_sept2016

September Dividends

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.00
  • Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) – $8.00
  • Pepsi Co, Inc. (PEP) – $7.53
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $16.20

Total dividends received for month of September: $47.73

Wow, that’s a 114% increase over September 2015! I spoke last month about my disappointment in not posting a YOY increase due to a dividend cut from KMI. However, I think I more than made up for it this month when I more than doubled my dividend income! This was accomplished through increasing the number of shares I own and through dividend increases from Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo., and T. Rowe Price. While I am happy to have added a new position in Amgen, Inc. I’m really more so excited by the fact that JNJ and PEP decided to return $0.05 more per share and TROW, $0.02 per share to me. All I had to do was continue to hold my shares…it’s like getting a raise for doing absolutely nothing!

At nearly $50, this is my highest paid out month to-date and I’m really excited to see what the future hold for me and my freedom fund. Stay tuned for more updates on my dividend income, as well as, updates on progress on my portfolio value.

Thanks for reading.

Images: Upsplash with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // August 2016

dividendincome_aug2016

 

August Dividends

  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) – $3.50
  • Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) – $6.60

Total dividends received for the month of August: $10.10

So, July marks one year since I started my investing journey but August actually is the first month where I received dividend income. As part of my journey, I’ve been keeping this blog to record my steps along the way and chart my progress and I’m hoping that it will be easy for me to compare year over year my portfolio balances and dividend increases.

As you can tell, I received less income this August versus last August. This is due to the fact that KMI decided to slash their dividend by 75% back in December 2015. While it was certainly disappointing, the dividend reduction was definitely necessary in order for KMI to keep their credit rating and reevaluate their heavy reliance on debt to finance their capital ventures.

So, why am I sharing all of this? Basically to show that there can be minor setbacks sometimes. Would I have loved to report how much my dividend income has grown since last August? Absolutely! However, even with this minor setback, I still have received more in dividend income this year than I have all of last year and we’re only a little more than half way into the year. I consider that a win in my book!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // July 2016

dividendincome_july2016

July Dividends

  • The Walt Disney Company (DIS) – $8.52

Total Dividends received for the month of July: $8.52

This month marks the one year anniversary of my investing journey and I am so happy to see where I am today! I know that $8.52 a month isn’t enough to live on but I hope that one day my total dividends received will cover my monthly expenses. In the meantime, I will continue to chronicle the journey here and continue looking for many more dividend paying stocks to invest in.

Cheers to one year of dividend investing down!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.