In Budget Roundups

Year 2019: Income & Expenses in Review


Year 2019

Income & Expenses

THE INCOME = $210,928.59

Day Job: $176,325.66

I work 40 hours a week, and if I work more, I bill more.

This is a huge mindset change/shift from when I was an employee and 80-hour workweeks flew by in a blur because I couldn’t make more money so I didn’t bother tracking what I worked.

Now, I work 40 hours and that’s it.

I also happened to take 5 months off this year because I went to Toronto for the summer, and I am thinking in 2020 I’ll do it again.

What’s more interesting is my side income because it is variable:

Side Income: $34,602.93

  • Blog: $16,222.71
  • Bank: $5280.75
  • Cashback: $2062.76
  • Dividends: $8717.56
  • Resale: $1405.99
  • Lending: $912.16

I’ll go into a bit of detail in each section.

Blog: $16,222.71

  • Advertising: $8712.03
  • Affiliate: $5460.65
  • Products: $2050.03

What do I use to manage my blogging / social media?

I am only active on 3 main platforms because I cannot handle more than that alone:

The ONLY thing I pay for in terms of social media management, aside from webhosting fees etc, is $15 a month for Tailwind Plus – a social media manager. This service has saved my life for social media management. Without it, I couldn’t do my day job, my personal life, my blogging life AND social media life / postings.

If you use my referral link, you can try out one month of Tailwind Plus for free.

The last two social media platforms are just because I find them fun. Twitter and Facebook (to me), are boring because I am more visual, and I find those platforms not conducive to the way I like to browse what is out there – via videos and images.

Advertising: $8712.03

I am with advertising networks like Google, but I also offer sidebar ads (not many takers), and don’t like to do it for cheap. I say no a lot more than I say yes.

Affiliate: $5460.65

This is stuff like ShopStyle or Amazon links, and now they’ve really tightened up the restrictions on payouts, meaning unless someone buys something, I get $0 from the click.

I don’t tend to promote things I don’t already have/own/buy on my own, so this is not an issue, but it is becoming less of a revenue stream for me because I cannot be bothered and quite honestly, I find it to be a hassle.

Products: $2050.30

This isn’t a big moneymaker for me relative to all the other truly passive forms of income (e.g. Advertising is easy), but I do sell some things:

Save. Spend. Splurge. Products sold, include:

*Note: All the net proceeds going to charity are done over the course of the year. As someone buys it, I pay the Paypal fees, and then record the amount aside in a ledger until I have enough money to make a meaningful contribution (e.g. $100 minimum). Sometimes there are charities to donate to in the moment, like what has happened in Australia recently.

Bank: $5280.75

When I say “bank” I mean everything in referral to a bank:

  • High-interest earnings in a bank account
  • Bank bonus/promotion where they give you money to sign up for new chequing accounts for instance
  • Bank referrals from readers or friends who sign up using my referral codes

If you are interested, my money is parked here:

  • LBC Digital: Excellent 3.3% high interest savings account; subject to change
  • EQ Bank: Good, general 2.3% high interest savings account; subject to change
  • Tangerine: Use my Orange key { 32726976S1 } for free money (You get $50 once you deposit $250; and I get $50 too)
  • Questrade: Use my QTrade referral { o0soehds } for $50 in free trades (this is how you buy & trade on Questrade)

You can make a significant amount of money with banks if you put in the work and keep on the lookout as you are going about your day, to see what is out there.

I have also recently started alerting people on the blog about interesting deals or promotions because sometimes there are too many to wade through, and I find not all of them are great, so I pass.

I only talk about the stuff that I think might be of interest. Some previous (and now expired) promotions I posted were:

Cashback: $2062.76

Cashback includes cashback from credit cards and from my beloved Rakuten (formerly Ebates), or even things like free rewards/points for paying your bills with your debit card.

If you’re interested these are my main cards and cashback sites:

  • Rakuten – I use this site ALL THE TIME when I shop online, and thus far have racked up $750 in cashback in 3 months. Use referral link here [ ] for a free $10 to get started.
  • PayTM Canada is also how I pay my municipal taxes, utility bills and so on with my debit account which I would do anyway, but through PayTM it lets me earn PayTM points for Amazon, Starbucks gift cards etc… Use my referral code [ PTM210713 ] for a free bonus 5000 points ($5 gift card)
  • Rogers World Elite Mastercard – No annual fee, 1.75% cash back, but you can only redeem it yearly and you have to call each year to ask them to redeem the credit against your next year’s statement. I use it for all my purchases as I buy a lot in USD$, and those purchases are 4% cash back (almost like a no forex fee in essence)
  • Tangerine Mastercard – No annual fee, 2% back on certain categories (up to 3). For their savings accounts, use my Orange key { 32726976S1 } for free money ($50 once you deposit $100; and I get $50 too). I give this card to my partner (he has a joint card) and he uses it constantly
  • I used to have the MBNA World Elite Mastercard but they increased the annual fee. That was disappointing, they used to give 2% back on everything.

Dividends: $8717.56


This is my mini dividend project details and my dividend short list of stocks I was looking at to buy for Canada and the U.S.

I have a 2020 goal of $12,000 a year in dividend income but I am not fixated on it. I just like that it is going up and it is a steady income on the side.

I also don’t put all my investments in dividends because I split half of it to go into index funds. Kind of playing both sides here.

My investments in dividends are in the following:

Total Invested Capital: $180,361.94

  • Banking: $63,551.07
  • REIT: $35,708.09
  • General: $33,016.08
  • Food: $14,277.74
  • Utilities: $27,841.19
  • Steel: $5967,77

I have a year-over-year comparison of my dividend income (see below).

Resale: $1405.99

This one is easy. Only once Poshmark landed in Canada have I actually started selling items. It is easy to list, take photos and just get rid of stuff I cannot fit into any more.

I have a few things in consignment as well (designer labels), and some listings on Kijiji.

I thrift often as well, so I have been looking for items I think might resell well, and have been listing them on Poshmark.

Private Lending: $912.16

I do it via a platform called Lending Loop:

I am also considering actual private lending through a mortgage broker.

He has some clients who could be interested, and the minimum buy-in is $30K. If I do it, I’ll write back/report on how it went. I am not sure I will yet.


I think it can all be summed up in one quote:

My day job should bring in about $260K a year, and side income maybe $30K?

Maybe I could set my goals up this year for my income to make $40K in side income, so I can have a $300K year.

Food for thought! But I don’t really like stressing myself out. I am already in a good balance in terms of income, spending and saving in recent months, and if I also try to tack on a stressful “let’s hustle 2020” approach, I may start to crack under all of that pressure and work.

I already have goals to spend only $40K

THE EXPENSES = $4345.73

I almost hit my own 2020 stretch goal for expenses (my goal was $40K), and I just have to scale down a little more and I am golden, which should not be difficult as I plan on being way more careful with my spending.

In detail this is what it looks like annually:

My average per month was more $3500 than $3000, so I am cutting that down to $3000. Or lower.

My bare bare bare minimum budget is $2000, but that’s beans & rice and absolutely little to no shopping or fun things, nor medical expenses like say.. a root canal.


My goal is simple – stay at $40K or under.

If I can set my average monthly basic expenses to be $3000 or under, and $4000 for my vacation to NYC, I am golden!

Overall, going down $14K from the previous year is a big, HUGE leap for me.

Comparison of expenses from last year 2018 to 2019

I am a geek so I like to see how I have done year over year.

It looks like in Groceries, Household and Gifts, I went up, but everywhere else I decreased by quite a bit especially in Children, Grooming/Spa/Yoga, Clothing, Accessories and Alcohol.

I pulled Little Bun out of daycare full-time and he only goes 3 days a week because I need a break, and my partner stays home the other two days.

As for Grooming/Spa/Yoga – I stopped those facial treatments (I am not certain they did anything to be honest), and stopped going to yoga weekly, because I left my old contract and it was no longer convenient.

As for Clothing & Accessories, I started selling/returning items near the end, and really stopped spending quite drastically. I am more into secondhand these days.

For Alcohol – I don’t drink but I bought wine for my partner for gifts and so on, and he has been cooking with less wine these days because it has been affecting his joints.

I am pretty happy with these expenses.

I am hoping that Household Equipment will go down because my partner will cool it with all the spending for pots and pans, and so on. My partner is also working on the apartment and I think he is FINALLY DONE because the apartment is now “perfect”.

At any rate, I think $40K is a nice number for expenses, and I will work on the shopping part, which I think could be tightened up a bit, if not for eco-friendly, but just in oversupply reasons.

I am starting to sell off more from my closet from things I cannot fit into any more, are no longer my style, etc and I am pretty happy that I am clearing out my closet. Finally letting things go is very difficult for me because I am a Collector.

Truth be told, I’d keep it all and I would love an Archived Closet section. ALAS! It is not to be. So, selling it is.

Comparison of Dividend Income over the years

If we look at the dividends coming in over the years, I am pretty happy. It dipped in 2016 and 2017 because I divested to buy my home, so I “lost” some of that invested capital.

Next year will be higher, my goal is $12,000 a year, which means I only have about $3500 left to go.

So that does it for 2019 Income & Expenses! How did you do?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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