Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mortgage Balance (UPDATE) - NOV 2017

If you have viewed our family's Net Worth Page, you probably already know that it does not include the equity in our home.  Although, we do realize that it is technically part of our overall net worth, we decided that since our home equity is not an asset that we can count on for income (unless we sell and buy something cheaper) we would exclude it from our net worth calculation.

For the purpose of this blog, we are more interested in documenting our loan balance rather than our home equity.  With that said, we will use the current Zillow value as our estimated home value and use it to figure out the percentage we owe on our home. For those interested, we will include the amount of our home equity, but know that we are less concerned with the equity since we have no plans to cash out or otherwise sell our home. Our main goal is to pay off our home on or before my retirement date. 

According to Zillow, our home is currently worth $841,084 (down $383 in the last 30-days). Up or down, it really doesn't mean much to us since we have no intention of selling our home.  We mainly post these updates to see the remaining mortgage balance and keep us motivated to push forward to be debt free (including our mortgage) one day!

Mortgage Balance (As of Nov 1st):
$271,874 (down $9,713 from our June post)

Percentage Owed:
32.3% (down 1.4% from our June post)

Home Equity:
$569,210 (up $15,351 from our June)
Mortgage Background:
For those that have not read the Preface on our home equity, we currently hold a 15-year fixed rate mortgage at the incredibly low rate of 2.875%.  My goal is to retire within 9 years and 7 months (115 months) so we are setting out to pay off our mortgage on or before my retirement date. Right now we are a few months behind the target retirement date. Currently, we have approximately 10  years and 5 months (125 months) left on our mortgage.  Nevertheless, I would like to have it paid off in another 10 years (or less). If we accomplish that, I plan to use the last few years to aggressively build our passive income to help supplement our retirement and defer tapping into the 457K as long as we can so it can continue to grow. 

Right now we are not putting any extra money towards the principal given our low 2.875% interest rate. We feel that we could make our money grow faster by investing it and while keeping the money more liquid. At a certain point, maybe in 6-9 years, we may consider using money from our investment accounts to wipe out the remaining mortgage balance.  Until then, we will continue to grow that money outside, rather than have it locked into our home.
Click on the link below to view our mortgage balance history:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

HAPPY THANKSGIVING - From our Frugal Family to yours!

I started our blog approximately 3 1/2 years ago on March 15, 2014.  Today, as I sit here looking at the roughly 614,000 lifetime visits to our little blog, I can't help but feel very blessed. I must admit that it just started out as a way to track our journey and keep our family on track towards our ultimate goal of early retirement. Considering that can no longer commit 10-15 hours each week that I use to for this blog, I honestly didn't expect to have or maintain the continually success that we've enjoyed. For that, I am VERY thankful! 

Below are the top five things I am thankful for this year:
  1. Our Readers - for your frequent visits and contributions to our blog.
  2. Fellow Bloggers - for the community, advice, and feedback.
  3. My job - for giving me the financial ability to provide for my family and also invest for early retirement.
  4. My Friends & Family - for your ongoing love and support in all aspects of my life.
  5. God - for continuing to guide and steer me in the right directions.
What are you thankful for this year?

From our Frugal Family to yours,

May you all have wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration!!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

We Just Joined the 600K Club!!

A BIG "Thank You" to everyone that has supported, and continues to support and visit our blog...whether you have been with us from the beginning or you've just recently joined the journey, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your support.  

We started blogging about our frugal family's journey roughly 44 months ago, on March 15, 2014. Our blogging journey started out as a hobby and simply a way to keep on track of our progress. Flash forward 3 years and roughly 8 months later, I am thrilled to announce that because of each and every one of our readers, we just reached yet another milestone.  Within this past week, our blog crossed over the 600K mark! Although we have not been active for a few months, its humbling to see the page views have not completely stopped. And for that, we thank each and every one of your for your loyalty and support.    

It took approximately 15 months to reach our first milestone of 100,000 page visits to our blog. The second milestone of 200,000 page visits took 6 months and 28 days. The third milestone of 300,000 page visits, even with a 6-week hiatus last summer, took us 7 months. With newfound drive, we reach our fourth milestone of 400,00 page visits in just 4 months and 22 days. Continuing that incredible pace and traffic, it took us just 3 months and 17 days to reach our fifth milestone of 500,000 page visits!

And thanks to all of you, we recently reach yet another milestone! I'm happy and blessed to say that we reached the 600,000 page milestone this past week. This last milestone, with yet another hiatus this past summer, took us roughly 5 months and 20 days.
Since I am somewhat of a stats nerd, below are some additional stats behind our 500,000 visits.

Top Referring Sites
Google searches and internal cross links within our posts play a vital role in our blog traffic. But we also want to recognize and give special thanks to our twitter followers, as well as Captain DividendMy Dividend PipelinePassive Income Pursuitand Rockstar Finance for the traffic from your respective blogs. Lastly, although not present on the list above, I would like to also thank two other fellow blogger and friend, Roadmap2Retire for your continue support and mention of our Collection of Recent Buys and Collection of Stock Analyses.  

Also, thanks to all that have tweeted or re-tweeted our posts.  Our additional presence and our followers on Twitter continues to help get our blog grow. In case you would like to follow us on Twitter, we can be found under: @FrugalFamilyof4.  I'm proud to say that we currently have 1,773 followers on Twitter. That is 107 new followers since our last milestone post on May 20th.
Most Popular Page Visits

Our top three most popular page visits are: 1) Dividend Stocks Portfolio with 21,351 page views; 2) 2015 - Collection of Recent Buys with 13,536 page views; and 3) 2016 - Collection of Recent Buys with 11,537 page views. It is great to see that our readers are utilizing our free reference tools. 

Most Popular Posts
Our top three most popular posts are: 1) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - December 2016 with 25,309 page views; 2) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - November 2016 with 22,765 page views; and 3) P2P Accounts (Update) - August 2014 with 2,086 page views

Top Page Views By Countries
We are tremendously grateful that our blog has seemed to have a worldwide presence as evident by the chart above.  However, the top page views to our blog came from the following top four countries: 1) United States, with the largest presence at 396,775 page views; 2) Germany is now in second with 24,921 page views; 3) Russia fell from second to third with 24,391 page views; and 4) Canada rounds out the top for with 20,419 page views.  These top four countries has consistently remained our top readers but it appears that the United Arab Emirates and France is slowly gaining ground on the top four!

Its fun to look at the stats and maybe even create a little friendly competition with them.  But the reality is, near or far, first or tenth, we truly value each and every reader.  Thank you for visiting!! Our blog and posts received the page views they did because of you (our readers and fellow bloggers).  Thank you for reading and/or sharing our post with others. We truly appreciate each and every one of you for the support!



Thursday, November 16, 2017


Below is a recap of the dividends/partnership distributions that we received from our family's dividend stocks portfolio –  OCTOBER 2017 (recap).


It's been a few months since we have reported our distributions but things are still progressing. During the past month, our family received dividends/partnership distributions from a total of 12 companies/ETFs/Partnerships!! The total monies received from those 12 companies/ETFs/Partnerships was: $301.32. How did you all do? Hopefully you all continue to see your dividends growth month after to month, year after year! 

Below is a breakdown of the dividends/partnership distributions received this past month:

10/02/17 - GPC (Genuine Parts Co): $3.38
10/12/17 - MLDZ (Mondelez Int'l Inc): $4.40
10/16/17 - WPC (W.P. Carey Inc): $6.03
10/16/17 - VER (Vereit Inc): $61.88
10/16/17 - OXY (Occidental Pete Corp): $30.80
10/16/17 - CAH (Cardinal Health Inc): $3.70
10/16/17 - ARI (Apollo Comm RE Finance Inc): $97.66

10/25/17 - ORCL (Oracle Corp): $2.09
10/25/17 - GE (General Electric Co): $8.40
10/27/17 - TD (Toronto Dominion Bank): $9.20
10/31/17 - BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia): $9.31

10/25/17 - CMCSA (Comcast Corp): $64.45

In case you interested, our family's dividend stocks portfolio 
may be found by clicking on the link below:

Monday, November 6, 2017

AFFJ - Taking a break from blogging.

Hello Everyone. 

As you may have guessed, I've been missing in action the last few months. Although I enjoy blogging and interacting with everyone here in the DGI investing community, I came to the conclusion that the blog simply was not the side hustle I had hoped it would become. Yes, it brought me a little ad revenue from Google Adsense, but when compared to the time I was spending, it just simply did not make much sense to continue the efforts.  After all, time is money they say!

So for my new side hustle, I have been selling on Poshmark and eBay.  I've certainly have a lot to learn but can already see the huge potential.  In roughly 2 1/2 months, I'm already averaging at least twice the amount of money I had made blogging. And it took my over 3 years to achieve the monthly ad revenue I had received before I decided to take my second hiatus (I took my first hiatus last summer after 2 years of blogging).  As with everything, I understand that it takes a little bit of time, and some growing pains along the way, to become successful.  But unlike blogging, which took me at least 6 months before I saw a single penny, I have already begun to discover and experience some success from new side hustle .  I am currently spending about the same amount of time I had previously spent blogging and quite please with what I am getting in return for my time spent.   

As for investing, I still invest in dividend stocks and still do plan to use dividends to help supplement my retirement (in about 9 1/2 years and counting). In fact, I've found myself trading more actively now than I was when I blogging.  Last month, I logged a total of 14 transactions (6 sells, and 8 buys). And in September, I logged a total of 8 transactions (4 sells and 4 buys). I know many here in the DGI community rarely sell, but with the market at near record highs, I wanted to tak some profits of the table and use the money to purchase a few stocks that I felt were good value buys. To name just a few, I have recently purchased GIS, ENB, CAH, and GE.

As for Peer-to-Peer lending, I am slowly exiting P2P.  As payment come in from both my Lending Club and Prosper accounts, I am moving that money each month into my dividend stocks account whereby I plan to invest that money and continue to grow my dividend income stream. 

As for blogging, I still come on and browse around to see what everyone is doing once in awhile. I do miss interacting with everyone. But the bulk of my time is currently spent towards growing the inventory and monthly profits from my new side hustle.  I still plan to share updates on our frugal family's journey from time to time. So for now, it is not a good bye, but a see you when I see you.

Until next time, Happy Investing...Keep growing those dividends!!