Tag Archives: june 2014

June 2014 Balance Sheet

Today I’ll be sharing my personal balance sheet, listing all of my assets and liabilities to figure out what my current net worth is. Tracking your net worth is a good exercise in my opinion since it provides you a quick snapshot of your financial life.

Overall June was a solid month, continuing to increase my net worth by more than the amount I’m saving each month. Just shows you what happens when you use your money to buy cash producing assets. Note: the +/- after each category total represents the change only from the prior month.


Emergency Fund: $4501.38 (.37). Yay for interest! 😉

Cash Savings: $4854.53 (-1277.72). One large order of Deere stock will do that for ya. The majority of the rest is set aside for all the up-front expenses moving off-base will incur: security deposit, furniture, etc.

Roth IRA: $13,169.64 (+2476.72). Added 23 shares of Deere (DE).

Brokerage: $10,851.84 (+243.49). Just following the ups and downs of the market at this point. With my Roth now maxed out for the year, I’ll start adding to this account once again.

Loyal3: $2479.68 (+451.12). Added to my position in Target (TGT) and opened a new one in Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS).

Thrift Savings Plan: $1305.38 (+128.53). I started contributing a small portion of my paycheck to the TSP in March, splitting my contributions between a S&P 500 and a small-cap stock index fund. This is the one portfolio where I’m investing primarily for total return as these funds do not pay dividends. However, they do have some of the lowest expense ratios you can fund in a retirement plan.

Auto Worth: $5298.00 (-418). I guess the market or Kelly Blue Book anyways doesn’t like 10 year old Chevy’s. The only reason I include it here is that is is the one non-financial “asset” that if I ever needed to sell, could probably get close to its market value. Also a nice reminder each month to not think of cars as an investment.

Assets Total: $42,485.45 (+1604.51).


Credit Cards: $93.13 (-131.08). As I never carry a balance on my cards and the billing cycles ends in the middle of each month, this is simply my current balance at the end of the month. Like a lot of personal finance bloggers, I’m only in it for the rewards! 😉

Net Worth: $42,392.32 (+1735.59). Back on track after an expense heavy May ate into my returns.


Disclosure: I am long DE, TGT, and DPS.

How was your June for finances? Do you track your net worth and if so, are there any other items you track? Share below with a comment and thanks for reading!



Income/Expense Report: June 2014

As I do every month, I’m sharing all of my income and expenses this month in hopes of being as open as I can about my finances here to chronicle my journey to financial independence. Keeping my expenses low each month will allow me to have more money to set aside and invest in high quality, dividend growth stocks that I will use to reach financial independence. I hope that by sharing these monthly updates I can also prove that it is possible to take control of your financial life and invest a high percentage of your income, even on a small salary.

So how’d I do in June? After a disaster of May, awesome! 😉 Even with a couple small one-time expenses, I was able to get back on track with saving 50%+ of my net income each month.

So here’s how it all broke down:


Regular Job Income: $1951.56.


Food/Drinks: $260.75. A little less in the drinks department this month which is better for my health and wallet.

Household Expenses: $43.48.

Clothing/Shoes: $14.48.

Gas: $0. Hooray for warm weather and getting to use my bike more often again! This will probably be my last month of spending zero in gas as I’m currently in the process of moving off-base which will require me to start driving to work everyday.

Auto Insurance: $118.66. I decided to cut down my insurance to liability only recently so this will be the last month of such a high insurance cost. I can’t believe I’ve been paying that much for the last few years. Crazy.

Car Maintenance: $62.98. Oil change and new air filter.

Phone: $43.86. Still with Net10 for now but looking for a replacement to see if I can cut this down further. I recently heard about Page Plus, a pre-paid service similar to Net10 from Jonathan, a commenter here on the blog. I’m looking into it now and seeing if my current phone is compatible. Sounds like a great company though with a 1200 talk minutes/3000 texts/500 MB of data plan for only $30.

Internet: $54.99.

Entertainment: $7.99. Good ole Netflix.

Other: $3.97.

Total Expenses: $627.86.

Expense Rate: 32%

Savings Rate: 68%

How did you do in June, did you meet all of your budgeting goals?

Monthly Investing Recaps: June 2014

At the start of each month I detail all the buy/sell activity here for each of my 3 individual stock portfolios: Loyal3, Roth IRA, and Taxable Brokerage accounts. It’s just one way I am chronicling my journey to financial independence here at Starting From Zero.

In addition to these 3 accounts, I also continued investing in my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) again this month. Right now I’m contributing 4% of my base pay but may adjust this in the future. The majority of my investing will still be in my taxable and Roth accounts. The TSP is basically a 401k plan for federal employees including the military. It only offers index funds but does have probably the lowest expense ratios around, even lower than Vanguard. Right now I’m putting my contributions in the C Fund which mirrors the S&P 500 and the S Fund which is a small cap index fund. Since these deposits typically take a while to reach my account, I won’t be detailing those transactions here.

After not investing any new funds in May, I pooled all the cash I had and made one final purchase for my Roth IRA for the year and used the excess to make some smaller purchases through Loyal3.

Loyal3 Account


3.43 shares of Target (TGT) @ $58.31 per share.

3.3624 shares of Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) @ $59.48 per share.



Quick Hits: With Target continuing to trade at an attractive long-term entry point and recently announcing a 20.9% dividend increase, this dividend champion was a no-brainer to add to.

Dr. Pepper is a new position for my portfolio. DPS is a manufacturer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages that are sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company’s brands include its flagship Dr. Pepper and Snapple drinks, Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush soda, Hawiian Punch, Mott’s, Schweppes, and my personal favorite as a kid, Yoohoo. Unlike its main competitors, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, both of which are trading at P/E’s of 19+, Dr. Pepper’s P/E comes in at 17.5 with a forward P/E of 15.2, both of which are less than the S&P 500′s current and forward P/E ratios of 18.3 and 17 respectively. Although they have only been growing their dividend for 5 years, the stock does sport dividend growth rates of 10.4% for the past year, and 22.8% average for the last three years while still keeping the payout ratio at 47%.

Roth IRA


23 shares of Deere (DE) @ $91.80 per share.



Quick Hits: Deere is another new position for my portfolio and one I’ve been looking to add for a while now. Growing up in a rural town and with plenty of farmers and other users of Deere tractors and equipment in my family, I guess I have a soft spot for the stock. Although earnings are expected to decrease in the coming few years, I like the long-term growth story of this company which is summed up nicely at their investor page. After keeping their dividend static for five quarters, Deere recently announced a 17.6% increase, bringing the quarterly payout up to $0.60 from $0.51. Sweet. :) Even after the recent run-up in price the stock continues to trade at an attractive valuation with a P/E of just 9.9.

Taxable Brokerage

No activity this month.


Full Disclosure: I am long TGT, DPS, DE, and KO. This post is not intended to be a buy or sell recommendation for any stock mentioned and is intended for educational/entertainment purposes only.

How was your June for investing? What do you think of my stock picks this month? Share with a comment below and thank you for reading!