Mid-Month Review

As of today, it has been 21 days on my new journey!  And in my mind, a lot has happened.

I have been apartment searching this month since my lease is up mid-March, and you would think that is plenty of time, but the good apartments, for a more reasonable deal go very quickly!  Last week, I had my heart set on this one apartment, but I couldn’t actually see the unit until next month when the tenant moves out. The online apartment site, had photos of the actual unit which I really liked the layout and light quality.  Finally, I drove by it and it seemed nice from the outside and I was going to place my deposit that night without seeing the inside of the unit, but unfortunately someone else snatched it up. Oh well, not meant to be.

Though, this weekend, I found something better!  My current place has a view of the Mountains, which I love, but the new place will have a view of a beautiful park and very pet friendly!  I live in Denver, Colorado. I just moved here this past summer for a new job and better opportunity, and only signed a 9 month lease at my current place. I am excited that I will be in a more trendy neighborhood and save a monthly savings of $330.  So, I have placed my deposit, and have my new apartment all set to go!  I was really hoping to save $500, but it wasn’t possible with the location I wanted. However, I am going to give up my monthly yoga membership of $139, per month and just do the Groupon gym hop.  I’ll sign up for classes and go to various places with different classes and deals. Total savings of $469!

I am pretty happy the apartment is now settled. It was stressful looking for an apartment.  Also, I have lost 6 pounds, and I have maintain that weight for this month. I am going to re-adjust my goal and lose 4 more pounds. Also, I have booked my ticket for Miami – a wedding I am going to in March. I have had a lot of expenses this month, but hopefully next month, I can really start adding to my snowball!

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ConocoPhillips (COP)

piggyI’ve made my first dividend purchase!  I put in my order yesterday after the market was closed with a Limit of $63.15 and just received the confirmation email! I purchased 10 shares of (COP) at $63.15.

With a quarterly dividend of 0.73, this will give me a yearly dividend of $29.20.

I’m super excited. This might be my only purchase for the month, but I thought I should go with an energy stock since it seems to be at a low price currently.

SmartConsensus Report lists it as a Buy and Thomson Reuters gives it a Positive.

I’m happy to report I’ve been bringing my lunch everyday and I like it. You just have to get use to it. 🙂

Photo Credit: Intothegloss.com

Research, Research and more Research

I have signed up for Mint; it is a free online budgeting tool.  It was really interesting to see the last 3 months and exactly what I spent. It made it very clear for me.  Almost too clear.

I knew December was an expensive month since I flew home for Christmas, and flew my little toy poodle with me too.  I fly Frontier which is the cheapest for me, and has the cheapest pet fee too.   Also, I bought presents for family members. I’m sure December was an expensive month for everyone, but that was 2014!   I’m not looking back.  There are some monthly expenses like my cellphone that I am going to switch providers for a cheaper rate. I’m thinking of Ting right now.  I have a monthly yoga membership too. I can’t give that up just yet. I don’t have cable so saving money there. I am definitely glad I signed up for Mint. It will help with unnecessary spending and force me to save while keeping me on point.

I am excited for January and researching my first dividend stock(s) purchases. Healthcare is an ever expanding needed industry so healthcare stocks are definitely on the radar:

  • Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BDX) is a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of medical devices, instrument systems and reagents used by healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. Recent acquisition of CareFusion (CFN), a company a company specializing in intravenous infusion pumps. Dividend yield of 1.72%, with quarterly dividends of 0.60.
  • Baxter International (BAX) is a global, diversified healthcare company. Baxter, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. The Company operated in two segments: BioScience and Medication Delivery. The company’s spin-off of their biopharmaceuticals business, Baxalta, is on track for mid 2015. Dividend yield of 2.84%, with a quarterly dividend of 0.52.
  • C.R. Bard (BCR)  is engaged in the design, manufacture, packaging, distribution and sale of medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices. Dividend  yield of 0.53% with quarterly dividend of 0.22.
  • Medtronic (MDT)  is a medical technology company. The Company provides products and therapies for use by medical professionals to meet the healthcare needs of their patients. Its primary products include those for cardiac rhythm disorders, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, spinal conditions and musculoskeletal trauma, urological and digestive disorders, and ear, nose, and throat and diabetes conditions. Medtronic operates through three segments that manufacture and sells device-based medical therapies. Its operating segments are Cardiac and Vascular Group, which consists of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM), Coronary, Structural Heart and Endovascular; Restorative Therapies Group, which consists of Spine, Neuromodulation and Surgical Technologies, and Diabetes Group. Dividend yield of 1.70% with quarterly dividend of 0.305.
  • Cardinal Health (CAH) is a healthcare services company providing pharmaceutical and medical products and services to pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, physician offices and other healthcare providers. Dividend yield of 1.70%, with quarterly dividend of 0.3425.

Though for my first stock purchases I might go classic and stick with some safe ones that seem to be in everyone’s portfolio such as Coca-Cola (KO) and with the oil sale, go with Conoco Philips (COP.)  Then add the healthcare stocks next.

2015 GOALS

keep_calm My 2015 goals are as follows:

1. Save more of my monthly income for dividend investing. I have a certain dollar number in mind. I’m not listing it yet, because it won’t be until April I can achieve this dollar amount. My apartment lease is up in March and I plan on leasing a cheaper apartment which will save me an extra $500 per month! I have a hefty car payment…but I love my car. I’m not giving that up. (maybe in a year…we’ll see.) Other than the car, I have no debt. Though, I can still save January-March but it won’t be the target number. The ultimate goal is to save between 40%-50% of my averaged net income.

2. Get a cheaper apartment. Stated above, I plan on doing this and currently looking. I should have something by the end of this month.

3. Bring my lunch to work – at least 3 times a week. This will save enormously on my food budget. I spend a lot of food. I normally buy something at lunch and possibly get take-out for dinner. I still plan on buying 1-2 times a week for lunch and the same for dinner. I’m a new vegetarian too. I’ve been a vegetarian now for 2 months? I’ve done it before off an on, but trying to stick to it as much as possible. So, I’m not a hardcore vegetarian, mostly 95% of the time. For me, it’s just healthier and I feel better. Also, it’s a good way to naturally consume fewer calories. I also just started the 5:2 fast diet. I only need to lose 7 pounds, but I want to have the extra pounds gone by March.

4. Only go to Starbucks once a week at most.

Presidential Stock Cycle

On my radar for this coming year is the Dow Jones Industrial average ETF (DIA), which basically imitates the performance of the Dow.  Looking back to history, the Dow Jones industrial average has risen the third year of every presidential term since 1940, gaining an average of 22.3 percent, (Barrons.)

The 30 companies that currently make up the Dow are:

MMM 3M Co
AXP American Express
T AT&T Inc
BA Boeing Co
CAT Caterpillar Inc
CVX Chevron Corp
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc
KO The Coca-Cola
DIS Walt Disney Co
DD E I du Pont de Nemours and Co
XOM Exxon Mobil Corp
GE General Electric Co
GS Goldman Sachs Group Inc
HD Home Depot Inc
IBM International Business Machines Co
INTC Intel Corp
JNJ Johnson & Johnson
JPM JPMorgan Chase and Co
MCD McDonald’s Corp
MRK Merck & Co Inc
MSFT Microsoft Corp
NKE Nike Inc
PFE Pfizer Inc
PG Procter & Gamble Co
TRV Travelers Companies Inc
UTX United Technologies Corp
UNH UnitedHealth Group Inc
VZ Verizon Communications Inc
V Visa Inc
WMT Wal-Mart Stores Inc

I would love to own many of these stocks and soon I will, but right now I have limited capital available. DIA is priced at $180.11, with a monthly dividend of 0.3834.

Nothing is ever certain, but history is a good example and source of relevant information for today. With my new brokerage fund that I am starting off for the year, I will be able to watch the progress over time.  I am naming my account: Sea of Stocks. I am excited about my snowball!  I did purchase 7 shares of BRK.B, after reading, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, an autobiography on Warren Buffett.  Also, it inspired me to blog.

Welcome

Hello and welcome!

This is my 2nd blog in my lifetime and I’m super excited!

I ended my fashion blog two years ago which I really enjoyed, but after several years I outgrew it. In fact, I outgrew shopping in general. I still enjoy fashion and collecting items for my wardrobe, but not to the same excess.

Now, I want to take the money I use to spend on clothes, shoes and accessories and turn it into a snowball that will be my new financial freedom for the future! It will mostly be stocks I know something about, and most of them, if not all, will be dividend stocks.

This will be a new journey of being frugal and smarter with my money!  I plan to document my new snowball along the way. I have evolved from fashion to now finance…I believe the future me will be even more happy!

So 2015 is gonna be my year!

Thanks for stopping by!