March 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.

We are still waiting for the warm weather to appear here in the northeast. I think it is supposed to hit 60 degrees tomorrow which will feel amazing. My regular visitors will notice that I haven’t posted anything in over two weeks. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve been extremely busy at work and just haven’t had the time to devote much here. But hopefully things will be settling down soon.

OK, here is the breakdown of my investment and side income for the month of March:

Dividend Income (taxable brokerage account)

$329.45

Interest Income (Capital One 360 Savings Account)

$33.71

Interest Income (Lending Club)

$8.23

Ebay/Craigslist

$56.99

Blog income

$4.10

Total Investment and Side Income for March

$432.48

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

March was a great month for dividend payments. I have a few Vanguard ETFs that pay quarterly which produced a nice dividend income for the month. I continue to build my portfolio through continued investments. In March I initiated a position in Metlife (MET) and purchased more shares of the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM). With these additions, my estimated forward 12-month dividends from my taxable account stands at $1,773. As I stated in my 2014 Financial Goals, I’m trying to earn $1,800 in dividends for 2014. With continued investments, I should achieve this goal.

Lending Club

I still have only about $1,000 invested in notes so far. It’s taking longer for me to find notes than I had anticipated, but I do plan on adding more funds here. I noticed that it was recently announced that the threshold for PRIME has been lowered (again) to $2,500. If any readers are using PRIME, I would love to hear your thoughts. Is it something you recommend? I’m thinking with the lower threshold I might give it a try.

Churnin’ the Rewards Cards

As I mentioned in my last update, we met the minimum spending requirements for the Barclaycard which gives us $400 to spend towards travel expenses. We’re still working on meeting the minimum spending requirement for the Chase Sapphire card. After meeting the minimum spending requirement of $3,000 in 3 months, we’ll get 40,000 bonus points.

Ebay/Craigslist

Most of this category is from Craigslist this month. We sold two carseats that my son had outgrown.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by and reading. I apologize for being neglectful with my posts and comments on other sites.

Did you make progress towards your financial goals in March?

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36 Responses to March Investment and Side Income Update

  1. Income Surf says:

    It looks like you’re making good progress GMS. $400 is a really good monthly number. Good luck on your annual goal. It looks like you’ll make it to me. Keep up the good work
    -Bryan

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks! It feels good to have a month like this, but my goal would be for them all to be like this. Still working on it!

  2. Looking good GMS! With just over $430 on the year for dividends, your are well on your way to hit that $1,800 goal with no problem!

    As for PRIME, if you are looking for an easier means of investing, that might be a good solution for you. Set your parameters (keep them relatively simple to aid with maintaining full investment) and check in from time to time. While I don’t use it, they use a ranking system to ensure that all accounts are getting loans on a regular basis. The ranking is derived from a formula that weighs different variables from available cash as a percentage of your total account, time since last investment, etc. Again, I’d recommend some relatively simple filters if you want to use PRIME.

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks so much for your input W2R. Based on your recommendation I think I’ll give it a try. I’m looking to invest more in Lending club anyway.

  3. Liz says:

    Nice work on the side income. March was an expensive month for us. I’m hoping April is a little more income and a little less expense.

  4. Hey GMS, your goal of having $1,800 in dividend income is awesome! Do you know how much you need to invest over the next few months to get that amount? You must be close if you estimate you’ll be at $1773. What about a stretch goal of $2000?!?

    • Green Money Stream says:

      I haven’t figured out how much I need to invest to hit the goal, but that would be a fun exercise. But since I’m planning on continued investing, I want to ultimately surpass that goal. I created that back in January just looking for something attainable since I’m pretty new to dividend investing. Maybe I will be more aggressive with next years goal. :)

  5. SavvyJames says:

    Looks like it was a very good month for you. Nice!

  6. Seems not a bad thing to being absent from posting for a while because the side income earned is impressive. But that is not to say that you are not missed on the blogosphere. From the looks of it, you are doing great on both sides.

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks Jen. I’m not happy about being away but hopefully April will be a better month on the blog front.

  7. Kay,
    I love the credit card churning as I’m looking to not pay for travel. My big dividend payout are coming so I’m looking forward to that.

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks for stopping by Charles. We’re looking at a (nearly) free luxury vacation to Bermuda. I love the churning too, I just have to be super organized about the cards I open!

  8. Sorry to hear you’ve been so busy at work – that’ s always a bit of a pain. :-( You did awesome on your side hustle income, Kay! Loving those dividend income numbers!

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks Laurie. It’s always nice to have you stop by! Hopefully the job stuff settles down a bit so I can be more involved here.

  9. Great job, Kay! As someone who has been investing in a taxable account for less than a year, this is super encouraging to read. I’m planning to start buying some stocks this month. I’ve only seriously invested in index funds and ETFs so far. Thanks for sharing all this. I’m looking forward to keeping track of your progress!

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks Addison! I didn’t get real serious about investing in the taxable account until 2012, so you are not that far behind me. From what I’ve seen based on others progress, once the ball gets rolling with the dividend income it can pick up speed quickly. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

  10. GMS,
    Love it! Great progress with your dividend income. I’m also looking at the VYM along with some other higher yielding ETFs (SDIV, DWX) for retirement accounts. Recently bought some VNQ as well. This sell off today is promising for better value, but I get the feeling if I don’t buy today, things will be back up tomorrow. Just one of those markets.

    I am now eligible for LC Prime but haven’t done it yet. I defer to WYOR on this one. I’m still pretty hands on so I don’t mind logging in to make purchases. I don’t have to do it very frequently.
    -RBD

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Always nice to have you stop by RBD. You and I think alike regarding today’s sell off. I bought more shares of MET as well as VYM. I’m also invested in VNQ. I will definitely look into PRIME since the ease of use is something I need right now!

  11. That’s a nice amount of sideincome! I can’t wait for my summerjob to start up again, I vary from 300 – 1000 in extra income in the summer, it’s nice to have. :)

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks! I’m really trying to get a nice passive income stream coming in, mostly through dividends.

  12. Syed says:

    It looks like you’re making some great progress in your taxable accounts. I’m seriously looking into setting this up myself soon. Thanks for the motivation!

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks Syed! I’ve had the account for many years now but just recently started purchasing individual stocks and being more aggressive with the savings. It is starting to pay off.

  13. Rob McNelis says:

    Love the transparency! Looking forward to reading more of your posts :)

    Rob

  14. Looks like you are making great progress and congrats on the bonus of the carseat sale!

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks! I’m going to try to unload some more stuff on Craigslist this week, plus we have a spring garage sale in our future!

  15. debt debs says:

    Kay, that dividend income is awesome! Is that for the month only or year to date?
    Do you mind me asking what is the value of the investments for that amount?

    Actually I have more questions, because I have a small bonus coming in and have been wondering if I should put it in RRSP, pay down debt, a combo, or maybe do non registered investments like this. Your post has got me really thinking about it.

    Do you mind me asking what the trading fees are for the on-line brokerage you use and what the name of it is? I know you are in the US so probably not the same as what is available to me in Canada.

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Hi Deb. I don’t mind the questions, though I have steered clear of giving the total value of my investments. I’m still wading into these types of disclosures and am considering posting my net worth at some point, still thinking about it. Right now, this account has a little more than $60K in it and I would say it is pretty evenly split between several ETFs (all Vanguard) and individual stock holdings. The reason this month’s dividend income looks so impressive is because the ETFs pay out quarterly, so about $250 of that is from the ETFs and I would expect that amount every three months. If you look at February’s update you’ll see it was not as impressive. But I’m working on building this fund up right now.

      I use Vanguard, I just like them and like having everything in one place. It’s $7 a trade for the stocks but the ETFs are commission free, so I don’t pay the $7 for them (however there is a small expense ratio with them: .05% to .10%). There are cheaper ways to trade stocks, but I like being able to have access to Vanguard’s index funds in this way. If you are interested in just buying stocks you could look at Loyal3, they provide no cost DRIP accounts.

      I don’t know your debt situation (how much interest you are paying, etc) so it’s tough to say what would be a good move, but perhaps you can use some of the bonus to pay down debt and then some to dip your toes into investing in this way. But that would also depend on if you have maxed out the RRSP and what investments are available to you through that. Hope this helps!

  16. Poor Student says:

    Nice passive income! I’m thinking of having some passive income from dividends only, but I’m wondering, you have to pay taxes for those dividends right? Is there some kind of bracket where you have tax free dividends?

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Well the dividend and capital gains rate is 15%, so it is less than the rate on my regular income or interest. I think if you were living off of dividend income at say $25,000 a year you would just be in a low tax bracket anyway, but I don’t know off hand at what point that income would be tax free.

  17. Wow, I loved this post. Dividend income always gets me excited. I admit that I currently have zero dividend income outside of my retirement account, but I might make it a goal to funnel some side hustle $ into the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF…I definitely would love to start building up dividend income.

  18. DivHut says:

    It is always inspiring to see other people achieving passive income. My two favorite words. I think more people need to embrace the concept of going through life with all its ups and downs all the while having money drip into your bank account on its own, whether from blog revenue, interest, dividends etc. The point it’s “passive.” Love reading these types of blog posts.

    • Green Money Stream says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I always enjoy reading the progress of others, which is why I post mine here. I’m going to put up the April numbers soon. They are not as impressive as March, but my 12 month forward payout keeps increasing and that’s my goal!

      • DivHut says:

        I just posted my April numbers on my site and though not as big as March I’m still headed in the right direction. It’s not about daily or monthly performance as much as the long haul road of a decade or two or three even.

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