2014 Dividend and Side Income Review

side incomeOne of my financial goals for 2014 was to increase my dividend income by continuing to invest in dividend paying stocks. In reality I have a mix right now of index ETFs and individual stocks that provide dividend income. In an effort to provide motivation for myself and to be accountable in terms of my stated goals, I plan on posting about my progress regularly (hopefully monthly, but we’ll see how that goes). 

I’ll also include here updates on any passive or side income.

It’s that time of year when we review where we have been and where we are heading in the year to come. I started the year with a goal to increase side and passive income. I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to accomplish the goal. I set a target for myself of $1,800 of dividend income from my brokerage account for 2014. The account actually earned $2,205 for the year! This means I exceeded my goal by more than 20%. Below I breakdown my dividend and side income for the last month of the year as well as for the year in total.

Here is the breakdown of my dividend and side income:

 

December 2014

2014 Total

Dividend Income (taxable brokerage account)

$546.42

$2,204.66

Interest Income (Capital One 360 Savings Account)

$26.25

$376.55

Interest Income (Lending Club)

$25.82

$192.59

Credit Card Rewards (Gift Cards)

$100.00

$845.00

Total Investment and Side Income

$698.49

$3,618.80

As a reminder, this update includes only dividend income from my taxable account and does not include any dividend income from my retirement accounts. My focus for this update is on the taxable account as I will be looking to access this account prior to a traditional retirement age.

Dividend Income

I’ve continued to build my portfolio throughout the year. I’ve purchased additional shares in the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) during the recent dip. Also, in December I initiated a position in Exxon Mobile (XOM). With oil prices hitting historical lows I believe that there are some good values in the energy sector right now. XOM has a dividend yield of 2.99%. I also purchased additional shares of Hasbro (HAS) this month on a dip based on a disappointing earnings report. I view the fundamentals of this toy company as strong and so took advantage of the dip to scoop up some more shares. The dividend yield for HAS is 3.13%.

With these additions my estimated forward 12-month dividends from my taxable account stands at $2,700. I surpassed my goal of $1,800 in dividends for 2014 as shown above.

Credit Card Rewards

We continued to reap the credit card rewards this month! My husband travels for work and often has client meetings where his company is paying to entertain clients (mostly dinners and sporting events). His work credit card is the Citi ThankYou Premier card and he earned enough points for us to order $100 in Wal-Mart gift cards which we used for grocery and general stock-up shopping this month!

Lending Club

I continue investing in notes as I find them and have added additional funds this month. I now have one note that is in delinquency status but I like how my interest income is increasing each month.

Goals for 2015

I’m going to try to give myself an attainable goal for dividend income for 2015 of $3,500. With continued investments, this shouldn’t be a problem. I’d like to at least double my income from Lending Club, so I’ll have a goal of $400 for the year. I’ll also continue racking up credit card rewards and will be redeeming those throughout the year.

With over $3,600 of dividend and side income for the year, that equates to about $300 a month in (mostly) passive income. That covers most of our monthly grocery bill. We continue to pay down our mortgage and are actually planning to move and downsize in the coming year. I love this house, but it is just too much house for a family of three.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a fantastic start!

Did you make progress towards your financial goals in 2014?

Posted in Earn extra income, Finances, Investing | 3 Comments

August Dividend and Side Income Update

side incomeOne of my financial goals for 2014 was to increase my dividend income by continuing to invest in dividend paying stocks. In reality I have a mix right now of index ETFs and individual stocks that provide dividend income. In an effort to provide motivation for myself and to be accountable in terms of my stated goals, I plan on posting about my progress regularly (hopefully monthly, but we’ll see how that goes).

I’ll also include here updates on any passive or side income.

August was a good month for side income, stemming largely from the garage sale that I finally had. I was able to get rid of some of the clothes and baby items that my son has outgrown. It felt good to clean some stuff out of the attic and earn some extra cash at the same time! Plus, the items were recycled by being sold to others at an extremely reduced rate over retail prices. I met many frugal shoppers at my garage sale. Continue reading

Posted in Earn extra income, Garden, Investing | 19 Comments

The Intersection of Frugality and Charity

charityAs a personal finance blogger, I focus many of my posts on frugal living as a means to save money while on the path to financial freedom. I’ve written about common frugal living mistakes that some people make. One of these is to equate frugality with cheapness. People who are cheap would look for any way to save money, sometimes at the expense of quality, health, or even social norms (Exhibit A: Extreme Cheapskates). Those of us who live frugally take a more philosophical approach to spending by evaluating our wants vs. our needs and by carefully considering purchases so that we buy quality items that will last.

For this reason, the act of charity by giving of one’s money and/or time is not at odds with a frugal lifestyle. There are many ways to give without even donating cash directly by volunteering time to a cause of your choice. And even beyond that, it’s certainly possible to invest some time and some money into a charity that will produce a proportionately greater return than what you put in. Continue reading

Posted in Frugal Living | 25 Comments

July Dividend and Side Income Update

side incomeOne of my financial goals for 2014 was to increase my dividend income by continuing to invest in dividend paying stocks. In reality I have a mix right now of index ETFs and individual stocks that provide dividend income. In an effort to provide motivation for myself and to be accountable in terms of my stated goals, I plan on posting about my progress regularly (hopefully monthly, but we’ll see how that goes).

I’ll also include here updates on any passive or side income.

July was my best month for side income yet! Of course, this is due to a great opportunity that I was given to do a little consulting work on the side. I did most of the work over the course of May and June and I’d estimate that I didn’t put in more than 40 hours total on the project. So this was a good rate of pay, plus it gave me the chance to expand my experience a little in my field as the project had me learning some new things. It’s also a resume builder! So I’m very pleased with this. It’s important to remember that I will have to pay income taxes on that $3,500 at the end of the year, though. Check out my post if you’re interested in finding a side hustle of your own.
Continue reading

Posted in Earn extra income, Finances, Investing | 16 Comments

Frugal and Fun Summer Activities for Kids and Adults

summer activities for kidsSummer is in full swing for most of us and hopefully everyone has been enjoying theirs. Summer is a great time for many reasons, but one of the best things about summer is that there are so many great free activities to take advantage of. I’ve put together a list of some of the ways we enjoy summer frugally here on the Green Money Stream. Of course, these are just a few summer activities for kids and adults so please add your favorites in the comments below!
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Posted in Frugal Living, Kids | 8 Comments

One Year Blogiversary

oneSome of my regular readers have noticed my absence from the blogosphere and rather limited posting in the past few months. I had initially thought I would just start posting again as if there had never been a lull. But I would rather acknowledge my absence and my short-comings before I begin posting again.

I started this blog a year ago because I had been reading and enjoying other personal finance blogs for some time. Then, like many of you out there, I thought “Hey, I can do this. Maybe I can help someone live a more financially stable life by starting a blog and writing about what has worked for me.” So I headed over to Blue Host, secured a domain name, and I was all set. I started the blog in July 2013. (Cue link to embarrassing first post.) Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

June Dividend and Side Income Update

earn extra incomeOne of my financial goals for 2014 was to increase my dividend income by continuing to invest in dividend paying stocks. In reality I have a mix right now of index ETFs and individual stocks that provide dividend income. In an effort to provide motivation for myself and to be accountable in terms of my stated goals, I plan on posting about my progress regularly (hopefully monthly, but we’ll see how that goes).

I’ll also include here updates on any side or passive income.

Summer is in full swing here and we have been trying to make the most of it. Our garden is just starting to produce some real results. As I’ve stated in the past, one of my goals this year is to make a little extra cash selling some of our garden vegetables. We are doing good with this and I’ll include a line for this in my July Side Income update. 

As I reported in my April Side Income Update, I was approached by a local colleague to do some consulting work (separate from my full-time job). I’m happy to report I finished this project up and it will add $3,500 to my side income for the month of July. This was a great opportunity and I’m hoping that it will lead to similar work that will hopefully provide a path into part-time consulting as part of my early retirement strategy. Continue reading

Posted in Earn extra income, Finances, Investing | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

April Investment and Side Income Update

earn extra incomeOne of my financial goals for 2014 was to increase my dividend income by continuing to invest in dividend paying stocks. In reality I have a mix right now of index ETFs and individual stocks that provide dividend income. In an effort to provide motivation for myself and to be accountable in terms of my stated goals, I plan on posting about my progress regularly (hopefully monthly, but we’ll see how that goes).

I’ll also include here updates on any side or passive income.

It’s at least starting to look like spring around here, if not feel like it. Today we have had beautiful weather for a relaxing Mother’s Day. Work continues to be busy for me, causing a reduced posting schedule on this site. I’m fine with doing what my time allows. With a full-time job and a family, I have to prioritize my time.

I did have an interesting opportunity present itself in April. I was approached by a local colleague to do some consulting work (separate from my full-time job). It will take me a couple of months to complete on a part-time schedule, but should bring in about $3,000 in side income! I’m pretty excited about this type of opportunity because I just think it opens up the possibility of doing more work like this on a regular basis. It may provide a segway into part-time consulting as part of my early retirement strategy, who knows? I’ll keep you all updated on the progress and will post the actual side income in one of these updates once the gig is completed (which should be by the end of July). Continue reading

Posted in Earn extra income | 38 Comments

Five Reasons Why You Should Start a Vegetable Garden This Year

start a vegetable gardenWe’ve already begun working to prepare our vegetable garden for the coming season. Those of you who have been reading my posts since last summer will know that my husband does an amazing job with our garden each year and we really reap the benefits of having a backyard vegetable garden. While having a garden involves some planning and work (sweat equity, anyone?), we find that the rewards truly outweigh the effort that goes in. If you don’t have a backyard garden, let me suggest that you give it a try. Here are five reasons why you should start a vegetable garden. Continue reading

Posted in Frugal Living, Garden | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Would You Let Your Insurance Company Monitor Your Movements to Save Money?

usage based insuranceI guess the answer depends on how much money, right?

Auto insurance companies have been offering usage based insurance (UBI) programs for over a decade now and many in the industry see these programs as the future of insurance. So what is usage based insurance? Basically, the insurance company sends you a small device to install in your car. The device collects data about your driving habits as you drive and sends the information back to the insurance company. The insurance company can then use real-time driving data to set future rates. Continue reading

Posted in Cutting Expenses, Frugal Living | 21 Comments