Monday, November 27, 2017

Purchase #10 - Another New Position - AT&T

With my Black Friday Spending, I purchased 3 shares of (T) at $34.81 per share.  They have been on my watch list and I figured now is as good a time as any to move them off my list and into my slowly growing portfolio.  This position should add some decent dividends for 2018.  This also adds some diversity in my portfolio and gives me a small start to build this position.

Did you buy any stocks on Black Friday or did you start your Christmas shopping?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday Spending

I spent a shit ton of money today - $693.91 down

Black Friday chillin with the nameless stray kittie.  She's about 6 weeks old and was found wandering around the trails of First Landing State Park.  She's a feisty little thing, but loves her new humans, and even the dogs like her.  We may have settled on Luna (loulou) for a name.

Like you didn't already know:  It's frickin Black Friday Y'all.  Folks is going crazy.  Some have been standing in line for hours.  Some even shopped after dinner last night.  To the stores that were open Thanksgiving night, I give you a HUGE middle finger.  Y'all selfish assholes suck.  I'm not sure if it's the consumers driving the stores to open when they shouldn't be, or the stores driving the consumers to come out when they should be at home.  It's likely a combination, but either way, I don't like it.

So, that shit ton (not really) of money I spent today on Black Friday did not fuel the consumer world.  Nope, I haven't even been outside yet today, except to grab a couple logs for the fire.  What I did though was follow my budget, follow my spending plan, and transferred a hunski to my savings account, and another hunski to my TD Ameritrade account so I can buy a couple shares of something, likely (T).  I also spent $400 to pay down my visa card.  The other $93.91 was the power bill.  I reckon technically, that was a consumer purchase since we consumed the power!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all and Happy Black Friday Chill Day to everyone who refuses to fuel the consumer fire today!

What did you spend money on today?  Did you go out into the crazy world today and deal with people and traffic?

Monday, November 20, 2017

New Debt – Old Debt

I made some great progress in paying off my last bit of debt and I had planned to be debt free at the beginning of November.  Well, that didn’t happen.

I’ve been receiving insurance “this is not a bill” statements and actual bills from everyone who saw me the day I went to see why I felt like I was dying.  They’ve been hitting my mailbox since pretty much the day after.  Them folks is quick to send some bills out.  Since it normally takes a few cycles of each Doctor or facility re-submitting claims to the insurance companies, and this usually happens without any assistance from my end, I decided to let them ride for a while until the claims started getting paid properly per my health insurance plan.

Once my portion was finally obtained, I decided to officially recognize the outstanding medical bills just as the bank loan disappeared because they were finally starting to go to collections.  In total, I had four folks wanting money from me, and with one of them already asking a collections company to help them out retrieving their money, I put them all on my Visa to pay them in full.  A couple people have already asked me why I paid them on my credit card.  The simple answer is that I hate collections folks calling me, no matter how nice they are.  I’m pleasant with them on the phone anyway, so I don’t really have unpleasant conversations from them, but I just don’t need that many more people telling me I owe them money.  It’s my bill, I took care of it.  They are paid.  I’ll pay a little interest for using the credit card, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid the calls.  And if y’all have ever been in collections for anything, you know they call often and at the most inopportune times.

So now I have another $1687.02 worth of debt to take care of.  Payday is Friday, so I’ll continue my $400 per paycheck debt plan, and hopefully knock this out before 2018 hits, which, by the way, is frickin coming quick.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Net Worth Update – Oct 2017 – $13,386

$13,386 - October 2017

This will be my first ever Net Worth “Update”.  I wasn’t sure tracking my net worth online, publicly, was something I was ready for, but I think now when it’s low, rather than later after it grows, is better information for any reader that stumbles upon my blog.  I think this look into my net worth and what I do, did, and will do, will be beneficial to anyone living on a single income.  Shit, it may even be beneficial to anyone in the DGI community.  I don’t expect my growth to be much at first, but it’ll be nice to see any gain, and it’ll be nice to have this and future posts to look back on as I move forward in my investing journey.  I plan on monthly updates and I’ll link them on my newly created Net Worth tab at the top of my site.

So, without further ado, here is my first official Net Worth posting.


Checking Account
Savings Account 1
Savings Account 2
TD Ameritrade Account
Simple IRA
Land Cruiser
GMC Pickup
Total Assets

Bank Loan and Visa
Total Liabilities
Net Worth


Checking Account:  This account, for the most part will remain around $500, after everything hits.

Savings Account 1:  This account will remain at $1000

Savings Account 2:  +$200 – I started saving again

TD Ameritrade Account:  +$330 – I added to it and realized some growth

Simple IRA:  +$498 – Payroll additions plus Company Match plus growth

Cars:  These values pretty much remain the same (KBB and Craigslist).  They have all but stopped depreciating.  These suckas be old.

Bank Loan and Visa:  -$800 – regular budgeted payments.  This was paid off in early November, but I added some medical bills to my Bank Visa so I’ll keep this debt going on this line

Overall – I reduced my debt by $800 and added $1028 to my assets.  October was pretty good.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Milestones - Hitting the Small Ones to Catch the Big ones

From  British Dictionary definitions for milestone


  1. a stone pillar that shows the distance in miles to or from a place
  2. a significant event in life, history, etc

I like the the British Dictionary version of the definition, but I like to read it as a pillar that shows a distance FROM a place.  My place was a negative net worth, zero savings, and zero investments.  I made some pretty drastic changes in my financial life that put me on this upward and outward path, allowing Milestones to appear in front of me, and giving me the ability to walk right past them to see more.

I recently hit a big to me, but relatively small milestone since I started investing in Dividend Producing Stocks earlier this year.  Since my purchases are small right now, this Milestone is a big first for me.  I hit the $1000 mark (Market Value) in my TD Ameritrade account after adding a position in (XOM).  This is exciting for me.  I love opening the TDA app and looking at my balance, seeing some gains, but also seeing some losses, and also realizing some dividends from the few holdings I have.  This community is equally exciting, reading about everyone else’s daily lives, their big wins, and just their progress in general.  Most impressive is the support that comes from this community.  Everyone has the same interest in achieving something bigger.  Goals are made.  Goals are achieved.  Goals are supported.

I imagine for a while, my Milestones will be slow and low, but fear not fair DGI community, I plan on reaching more, and reaching further.

What was your first “big” Milestone?  Were you as excited as I am???

Friday, November 10, 2017

Purchase #9 - A New Position - Exxon-Mobil

If you’ve been following along, you probably would have guessed that my next purchase would have been more Ford.  Well, after just posting about my mothers and uncles holding in (XOM), and having them on my watch list since I started investing, and them being a Dividend Aristocrat and all, I decided it was time to start a position with them.
Since I’m still not quite debt free, I only have $100 allocated in my budget for this paycheck to go in my TD Ameritrade account.  So I only was able to purchase 1 share at $82.69, but I’m excited to start this position.

Also, their ex-dividend date is today.  I’m not sure if my purchase made it in time.  Do they count it at the beginning of the day or the end of the day?

The power of DRIP and holding - Two very different strategies - Two very decent results

Examples from my Family

My mother and my uncle were both given around 83 shares each of (XOM) back in August of 1981 by their grandmother.  At the time, they were roughly trading for around $4.00 per share.  I don’t know the details of how the transaction took place, but I assume it was willed upon her death.  What I do know is (most of) the history of these shares since they changed hands to my mother and my uncle, and I do know their share quantities today.
At the time, my mother was deep into family life married with 3 kids.  My father was career Army (oddly, he was stationed in Virginia Beach for most of his career) and my mother worked, I think, part time while we were younger and later full time as we were older.  They chose to not utilize the Dividend Reinvestment Plan - DRIP, and instead used the quarterly dividend check to help maintain our family life.  We were just a standard working class family.  I don’t think we ever suffered and I don’t think we ever had more than we needed.  They have always made decent money and still do.  My dad still refuses to retire from his post-military career.  

My uncle married and him and his wife moved to DC to work at various (never named - couldn’t tell) employers, had no kids, and chose to take advantage of the DRIP.  They have always invested and made decent money.  Luckily, for the purpose of this comparison, they never added any more money towards further investing in (XOM) until March of 2005 where he stopped the DRIP and chose to instead invest the dividends from (XOM) into other holdings to better diversify the weight in his portfolio.  So this real-world comparison shows how their respective shares faired taking these two different routes over 24 years of holding this particular investment.

Through the various splits and the merger with Mobil, they’ve both realized increases in share quantity.  My mom now has 996 shares with no DRIP.  My uncle has 2264 shares leveraging DRIP.  His shares more than doubled by reinvesting the dividends.

This real-world case shows 2 very different results, but both cases show that good things happen in either plan if held long.  My mom’s 996 shares doing nothing and getting that extra quarterly bonus ain’t bad.  My uncle’s 2264 shares without the quarterly bonus ain’t bad either!

The lesson here seems to be to invest early and hold long.  DRIP also helps, but time seems to be the number one factor in the investing world.

Do you agree about time being a HUGE factor in investing?  What other factors do you see as significant?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Don’t Feel As Excited As I Thought I Would After Paying Off My Personal Loan

Y’all remember that dang ol’ debt I’ve been working on???  Well, yesterday, I threw $400 at it after ensuring my checking account wouldn’t drop to an uncomfortable point.  Technically, that $400 was in the budget from my last paycheck and should have been paid to the loan on 10/27, but I spent a bit of Amazonian Budget Buster money on my beater cars and other stuff mid-October and I wanted to make sure I could make it, as in not spend any un-budgeted money, to the next payday.  I made it y’all, and slid the $400 to my loan yesterday, AND I sold a dining room set last night for a little extra pocket cash.  Since tomorrow is Veteran’s day, we got paid today instead, so I paid off the final $397.53 this morning.

The loan is gone, but I’m not debt free as expected and as hoped.  There’s no screams of joy, yet.  There’s no dancing, yet.  There's no celebration, yet.

You see, that, VERY painful, Kidney Stone ended up costing a little bit.  After Insurance finally kicked in their share, I was left with about $1700 in medical bills.  I’ll continue my budgeted line item of $400 per paycheck to tackle this last debt.




Amazonian Budget Busters – When Beater Cars Desire Attention

My Beater Cars need love too.

In mid-October, the BMW had a slight miss on acceleration because of a misfire on cylinder #6, and I could have fixed it with a $20.46 coil (I love Amazon).  I decided instead I wanted six new coils, new spark plugs, and since I found a small amount of oil around one of the spark plug wells, I wanted to change the valve cover gasket and spark plug well seals also.  So my $20 repair turned into around $179 in parts (I love Amazon) and two hours of my time.

The Land Cruiser needed a new radio antenna because it was lopped off after catching a tree limb on a tight trail and I was sick of listening to the cd’s that were in there.  Since I’ve had it, ONE speaker worked.  I wanted 4 new speakers, so I bought new factory replacements for $40 that sound great (I love Amazon).  Back in my younger years, I would have spent more money on SPEAKER WIRE alone and spent insane money on speakers, amps, equalizers, and other such items for superb sound.  These cheapo speakers sound great and they fit in the stock speaker holes.  So total, I put around $58 into the cruiser to “upgrade” the stereo system.  It wasn’t needed, but it was wanted.

Blue, Baloo the Bear, didn’t need anything, but I wanted to upgrade the radio in there to be able to have an auxiliary input so I ordered a dash kit that replaces the stock radio (a funky non-standard size) with a pocket and moves the new radio (already have) to the center dash area.  The kit, with the matching color dash pieces, an antenna adapter, a wire harness, and the pocket, was only $26 (I love Amazon).

Since I have a slight addiction to Amazon, I also ordered some fire starter material, Fatwood (this stuff is amazing), a new harness for the girlfriends dog, new scooter wheels for my youngest boys birthday present and new front and rear brake pads for the girlfriends car.  I should invest in (AMZN) stock!!!

Net Worth Update – APRIL 2019 - $40,623 (+$2,234)

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