Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mortgage Balance (UPDATE) - May 2021


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 $952,124 ($29,319 in the last 30-days). Wow!! The housing market is out of control here in southern California. We heard from a neighbor that a home nearby sold for an unexpected $1.4 million dollars! While the home was roughly 600 square feet larger than ours, we still couldn't believe the home sold for as much as it did! If that is now the going rate in our neighborhood these days, contrary to what Zillow is showing, we think our home may possibly be worth over $1 million! 

Mortgage Balance (As of May 1st):
$186,130 (down $2,249 from our April post)

Percentage Owed:
19.5% (down .8% since our April post)

Home Equity
$765,994 (up $28,691 from our April post)


Mortgage Background:
For those that have not read the Preface on our home equity, we currently hold a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at an awesome rate of 2.875%.  My goal is to retire within 6 years and 1 months (73 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 7 years and 2 months (81 months) left on our mortgage. Nevertheless, I would like to have it paid off in roughly 5 years. If we accomplish that, I plan to use the money we use to pay our mortgage and aggressively build our passive income to help supplement our retirement and defer tapping into the 457K for as long as possible 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, we may consider using some of the 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.

Friday, May 14, 2021

WOOHOO! We just joined the 1,100,000 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 84 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 7 years and roughly 1 month later, I am thrilled to announce that because of each and every one of our readers, we just reached yet another milestone.  Just yesterday, our blog crossed over the 1.1 MILLION page visits mark! Although we are not as active as we had been during the past, it's humbling to see we still have some loyal followers who continue to click on our posts to see how we are doing on our journey to financial independence. Old or new, we thank each and every one of you for your loyalty and support.    

It took approximately 15 months to reach our first milestone of 100,000 page visits to our blog. Here are the timeframes for the next milestones:
As you all may already know, we have found a few side hustles that were simply more lucrative than blogging so we decided to switch gears about three years ago. As a result, we have seen our monthly average go from about 40,000 page visits a month at the peak of our blogging to about 9,500 page visits a month in recent months. Nevertheless, as of Friday-May 14, 2021, I am happy to announce that our blog had seen a total of 1,110,835 all-time pageviews. I'm probably about a month behind on this post but we have hit yet another milestone! Although we had considered many times to stop documenting our family's journey, we ultimately decided that we will just stick around until we have reached our ultimate goal of FI. (Financial Independence). Roughly 6 years and counting! Hopefully sooner!!

Since I am somewhat of a stats nerd, below are some additional stats behind our 1,100,000 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 My Dividend PipelineCaptain Dividend and Passive Income Pursuit for the traffic from your respective blogs. Lastly, although not present on the list above, I would like to also thank a few other fellow bloggers and friends, Rockstar FinanceRoadmap2RetireDividend Diplomats, and Dividend Hawk for your continued support and friendships.

Also, thanks to all that have tweeted or re-tweeted our posts.  Our additional presence and our followers on Twitter continue to keep our blog active and relevant. In case you would like to follow us on Twitter, we can be found under: @FrugalFamilyof4.  Although the numbers have not changed much lately, we currently have 2,181 followers on Twitter

Most Popular Page Visits

Our top three most popular page visits are: 1) Dividend Stocks Portfolio with 36.5K page views; 2) Blogroll with 19.7K page views; and 3) Background with 17K page views.

Most Popular Posts

Our top three most popular posts are: 1) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - December 2016 with 29.8K page views; 2) Stocks Added to Collection of Stock Analyses - November 2016 with 29K page views; and 3) JANUARY 2019 (Recap) - Dividend Received with 3.67K page viewsWow...What a drop from 2nd to 3rd! I'm thinking we might need to bring back the Collection of Stock Analyses!? What do you all think?

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 was the clear leader with 650K page views; 2) An Unknown Region was in second with 69.3K page views; 3) Germany was in third with 344.1K page views; 4) Russia rounds out the top four with 43.3K page views.  Canada and Russia were previously neck and neck but it looks like my Russian readers have helped distance themselves from my Canadian readers.  Where are our Canadian readers? Don't let Russia pull away any further! 

It's 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! Now into the next Milestone of 1.2 Million page views!!



Saturday, May 1, 2021

April 2021 (Recap) - DIVIDENDS RECEIVED


Our family had decided to stop adding to our stock portfolio while we try to cash flow our home improvements this past year. I'm happy to say that Phase II is almost complete, only a few loose ends to tie up and our home life can finally go back to a little normalcy. We may still keep the pause button on until after tax season because we are expecting to pay again this year. Glad our income has been growing these last two years but tax obligations have grown as well. But the beauty of a dividend growth stocks portfolio is that, even though we aren't buying, we are still getting a few dividend raises here and there. And as a result, our annual dividends continue to grow ever so slightly. :)

What is everyone else doing? Are you buying anything right now?   

Now for what you all came to see, below is a list of the dividends/partnership distributions that we received from our family's dividend stocks portfolio.

During the past month, 8 companies/ETFs/Partnerships. The total monies received from those 8 companies/ETFs/Partnerships was: $263.59

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


04/15/21 - VER (
VEREIT INC): $46.20
04/15/21 - OXY (OCCIDENTAL PETE CORP): $2.10
04/15/21 - LADR (LADDER CAPITAL CORP CL A): $20.00
04/15/21 - CAH (
04/16/21 - NTR (INUTRIEN LTD): $20.71
04/30/21 - MO (ALTRIA GROUP INC): 38.70
04/28/21 - CMCSA (COMCAST  CORP): $102.30


How did you all do? Hopefully, you all continue to see your dividends growth month after month, year after year! 

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