February 2018 Income & Expenses

4 min read

At the end of each month, I provide a recap of all the income I earned from dividends (brokerage account only), blogging, and working at my good ol’ 9-5 as a data analyst.

Related: January 2018 Income & Expenses

I share my raw monthly income and expenses because I have always found it insightful to see the real numbers behind a blogger’s financial journey. I love talking about how to earn more and save more, but it’s helpful to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how I’m actually managing my own money.


Here’s what my income looked like in February along with the previous three months. All numbers are post-tax.

Monthly Income Streams
  November December January (’18) February
CVS Stock  $9.62      $9.69
KR Stock    $5.05    
WPC REIT      $99.82  
OHI REIT  $85.59      $88.90
JCAP REIT      $53.37  
LADR REIT      $94.50  
VDC Fund    $51.96    
VYM Fund    $15.65    
Ally Bank Interest  $5.27  $5.98  $4.11  $7.52
Side Hustle
Blog Income $338 $207 $37  $516
9-5 Income
Data Analyst $7,419* $4,715 $4,827  $5,064
Total Monthly
$7,858 $5,001 $5,116  $5,686
  November December January (’18) February

*I received one extra paycheck in November and also worked overtime the weekend before Thanksgiving, which explains why my 9-5 income was much higher than usual that month.

Here’s my February income according to type:



Here are my February expenses:

Monthly Expenses
Expense Amount
Rent $611
Groceries $175
Miscellaneous $106
Gas $94
Dining out $86
Utilities $46
Entertainment $25
Internet $25
Phone $25
Coffee $14
House plant $11          already starting to die :'(
Total $1,220

The Net

Here’s a visual look at my total income, expenses, and net savings in February:


February Savings Rate: 79%


Financially, this month was a real beauty.

Passive Income

I earned $106.11 in passive income, which came in the form of dividends from my CVS stock and OHI REIT along with interest from my Ally Bank savings account. 

What I love about my dividend streams is the fact that they grow every quarter without any work on my part. After my initial investment, I can sit back and automatically have the dividends reinvested each quarter.

This reinvestment along with dividend raises from the companies naturally leads to a dividend snowball that increases in value each quarter.

Here’s how my OHI and CVS dividends have grown over the last three quarters:


This is the power of investing in assets. When you purchase a material good, that money is gone forever. But when you purchase an asset (like a dividend-paying stock), that asset becomes an employee that works for you full-time, helping you earn more and more money over time.

The trick to accumulating wealth is simply accumulating assets. If I had to, I could distill my entire financial philosophy into six words:

Buy less stuff. Buy more assets.

It’s that simple.

Blogging Income

My blogging income also jumped up this month, which was nice to see. As I shared last month, I recently switched ad networks, moving from MyFinance to MediaVine. I won’t receive my first payment from MediaVine until April, which meant most of my income this month came from affiliate links.

Specifically, most of my affiliate income came from Personal Capital. When readers click through to their site using my link and set up an account, I earn a commission with no additional cost on their end.

This is one of my favorite forms of blogging income because I get paid to recommend a free financial tool that I personally use. I recommend very few financial tools because truthfully most of them are garbage and attempt to swindle people out of money by charging unnecessary fees.

Fortunately, Personal Capital is not one of those tools, which is why I personally use it and recommend it.

Some Thoughts on Dividend & Blogging Income

This month I earned a total of $623 from blogging and dividend income. My rent was only $611. Knowing that I earned enough money from passive income (dividends) and active income that I love (blogging) to completely cover my rent is an amazing feeling.

While I didn’t initially start a blog to earn additional income, it has organically happened over time. Even if I didn’t earn money from this blog (which I didn’t for nearly a year), I would still churn out articles because personal finance is a topic I’m passionate about. The fact that I earn any money from it is almost too good to be true.

Related: If you’re interested in starting your own blog, check out my page here for a simple guide on how to get started.


There’s not much to say about my spending this month. It was right in line with my usual $1,200 – $1,400 monthly expenses. I did spend $11 on a house plant from Home Depot, which is nice to look at in my room even though it’s already starting to die. I guess this is why I write about personal finance and not how to care for plants…

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, I expect both my blogging and dividend income to increase steadily each quarter. Combined, they accounted for 11% of my income this month. Ideally, I’d like to see that number creep up closer to 25%.

Until then, I’ll continue to rake in money from my day job, save 75 – 80% of my monthly income, and enjoy watching my net worth climb higher each month.

That’s all for this month, thanks for reading 🙂

My favorite free financial tool I use is Personal Capital. I use it to track my net worth, manage my spending, and keep an eye on my monthly cash flow. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it makes tracking your finances simple and easy. I recommend trying it out.

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Disclaimer: I am NOT a registered investment adviser, investment professional, brokerage firm or investment company. Readers are advised that information on the website is issued solely for information purposes and not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any securities. All information, opinions, and analyses included are based on sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty is made concerning accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or appropriateness. Please consult with an investment professional before investing any of your money.

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6 Replies to “February 2018 Income & Expenses”

  1. Congrats. Looks like you’re on your way. That’s a very high percentage of monthly income you are able to save. It will definitely speed up the growth of the passive (dividend) portion of your monthly income.

  2. Hi Zach, I have saved 57% of my pay check and progress is little slow this month. Next few months are going to be expensive too, keeping my head down and moving along.

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