Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30/2012 - Monthly Financial Breakdown


The Fifth Unemployed Monthly Financial Breakdown.

Well, another month has passed and this means I need to do a financial breakdown. This past month went fairly well...Lets see how well it went. How much is Van dwelling in my VW Westfalia saving or costing me?

Previous Monthly Financial post here

If I sum up total expenses from 11/1/2012 through 11/31/2012 I get -$676 :-)
A rough calculation would put my yearly expenses at $8112. :)  Yeay, I did it again! another sub 1K month!!

Regular Food costs: -$75 or -$19 per week (Normal)
Fun Food Costs:  -$0 or -$0per week (Very Very low, I didn't go anywhere)
Fuel: -$24 or -$6 per week (basically didn't drive this past month)
Van: -$151 (Two oil changes, new wiper blade, circuit board repair w/ new multimeter,tire and fuel pressure gauges )
Travel: -$150 or -$0 per week (paying monthly for Caribbean trip in January)
Insurance: -$170  per month   (Van Insurance and health insurance)
Clothing: -$0 (Nothing new in November)
Misc: -$69 (lots of mailbox shipping, new watch band, credit report)
Mailbox:  -$15
Gifts: -$22 (Mother's birthday)

Things that were not necessary this past month: Not much. I guess my monthly payments on the Caribbean trip, the new multimeter, my credit report, and one of the mailbox shipping (I made a mistake and shipped a package to my mailbox instead of the address in Denver.  This brings my luxury expenses to $227 and necessary to $449 Yikes!! Without the luxury for this month, my yearly is at $5388... :)

Ok, clean out the unusual stuff and do a monthly for the rest
Regular Food and fuel: -$300
Mailbox only:  -$15
Insurance: -$170 
Clothes: -$0
Van:  -$50 (minor maintenance next month)
Fun: -$25 (very reasonable)
Yearly expense estimate with the new numbers: $6720

Under my 11k mark again.

Another Unemployed month but my expenses increased from last month. I was expecting it to be about the same since I didn't do much but the auto related expenses spiked my totals, however I am determined to figure out why the van runs weird when warm.

I am not optimistic about next month's expense sheet, with the upcoming Christmas holiday, I anticipate an increase in spending.

Here is the status of my dividend income:
I have a running total of yearly expenses which I base my numbers off of so if my monthly goes up my dividend income against it decreases in value.
Since I re-aligned my investment strategy I've been putting extra cash into dividend paying stocks and other investment opportunities.

 Last post it was at 45.96%. Previous Monthly Financial post here

Current level is now estimated at 46.23%

Progress at a snail's pace, My plan for December and the rest of the year is to put any spare cash that I receive into dividend stocks and trim expenses. Such slow progress and the market has not been very favorable. Currently in the red on several stocks but many are improving, I am still optimistic though.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Van update - 11/25

The van is no longer giving me issues with the oil pressure light/buzzer at low rpms. I have not been on the highway since fixing it so not sure at high rpms.

I did an oil change today, had to go to 5w30 so the van would be able to start up in the winter months. The 20w50 that was in there was really thick and it was difficult for the starter to crank the motor over.

Also did an oil change on the mini and changed the clutch and brake fluids.

I've been trying to figure out why the van runs worse when warmed up. When it is cold you can take off from a stop like everyone else but when warm it acts like it has no power. I have a hunch that the problem lies with fueling. I've ordered a fuel pressure gauge to do the Bently tests. When cold, the fuel injectors are kept open longer for a richer mixture but when warm they rely on the programming in the computer. If the pressure is too low then there wont be enough fuel and the spray pattern coming out of the injectors will be poor causing low power. The other test is to see what the total volume of fuel over a period of time coming out of the pump is and compare to specs in the manual.
Ill see where these tests take me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thinning the transportation herd and van update

Since I have been stationary in CO I have tried to use my time wisely by thinning down my stuff that I left at my parents house when I moved out. The process hasn't been easy for me but I work on it every day now that the weather has turned toward winter. The more stuff I find, the worse I feel. 


Last weekend I sold my 1972 t250 suzuki motorcycle. I have owned this bike since before I could drive and had intentions of riding it and/or restoring it but after seeing it wrapped up in plastic tarps in the back yard I realized that my intentions and reality are two different things. I put it up on craigslist along with a bunch of other stuff that I no longer need. It took about a month before someone wanted to buy it. A sad moment indeed but a necessary one. The rest of my stuff is still up there though. One of the things I have learned is that other people aren't interested in my stuff no matter how cheap it is. Only weird people like me want it and there seems to be a lack of people like me out there. No one cared that the bike still ran well and that it was fully functional for a 40 year old bike. No one cares about the fact that it was suzuki's fastest two-stroke bike with a 6 speed racing gearbox that could do over 100mph all on 250cc. No one cares that this bike essentially killed off most of the small English bike manufacturers. What people care about is getting the right size ipad so they can play angry birds. I swear I was born in the wrong time period.

Van update:

The boat is in winter storage and I just winterized the water tanks on the van because I don't believe I will be taking it on any long trips in the near future that will require the kitchen systems.

Winterizing the water systems is simple:
1. pump out all the water from the main tank
2. use sponge to hand dry the remaining water inside the tank
3. blow out sink water line with air to prevent faucet and pump from freezing 
4. drain grey water tanks (they don't completely drain dry)
5. pour winterizing fluid into sink drain to keep the grey water tanks from freezing.

I had some sort of crazy electrical problem happen on election day. The oil pressure buzzer and light started going off all the time when driving and at idle. The buzzer isn't supposed to work at idle so I knew that there was something wrong with the system. After taking the console apart and doing the bently electrical testing (which I swear burned out the LED oil light) I came to the conclusion that the zener diodes on the circuit board were malfunctioning. A trip to radio shack for diodes and a 12v red LED was successful and I managed to repair it. There still could be an oil pressure issue when the engine is hot but I have not taken the van on any long trips to test it out.

I also had to get a new wrist band for my casio databank 150 watch. I think this was third watch band I've purchased, they only last about 3-5 years before sudden catastrophic failure.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

10/31/2012 - Monthly Financial Breakdown

I have been sick for over two weeks with an infection in my tonsils that has basically kept me in bed or doing very little which means I haven't spent much this past month.

The fourth Unemployed Monthly Financial Breakdown.

Well, another month has passed and this means I need to do a financial breakdown. This past month went extremely well...Lets see how well it went. How much is Van dwelling in my VW Westfalia saving or costing me?

Previous Monthly Financial post here

If I sum up total expenses from 10/1/2012 through 10/31/2012 I get -$379 :-)
A rough calculation would put my yearly expenses at $4548 . :)  Yeay, I did it again! another sub 1K month!!

Regular Food costs: -$75 or -$19 per week (Normal)
Fun Food Costs:  -$12 or -$3 per week (Very Very low)
Fuel: -$61 or -$15 per week (The last trip to the springs was on the first and then I went nowhere for a month)
Van: -$0 (no car maintenance expenses)
Travel: -$150 or -$0 per week (paying monthly for Caribbean trip in January)
Insurance: -$170  per month   (Van Insurance and health insurance)
Clothing: -$0 (Nothing new in October although tempted by patagonia down jacket)
Misc: -$35 (mailbox shipping, new watch band, two sets of antibiotics)
Mailbox:  -$15
Gifts: -$0 (zip)

Things that were not necessary this past month: Not much, being sick saves you money. I guess the one night of eating out and my monthly payments on the Caribbean trip.  This brings my luxury expenses to $162 and necessary to $212 Yikes!! Without the luxury, my yearly is at $2544... :)

Ok, clean out the unusual stuff and do a monthly for the rest
Regular Food and fuel: -$300
Mailbox only:  -$15
Insurance: -$170 
Clothes: -$0
Van:  -$50 (I don't anticipate any large projects for next month)
Fun: -$50 (I need to watch my fun costs)
Yearly expense estimate with the new numbers: $7020

Under my 11k mark again but mostly due to being very ill. 

Another Unemployed month but my expenses dropped considerably from last month. I was expecting a bit less but I didn't expect it to be so low.

I am optimistic about next month's expense sheet, should be interesting to see exactly what is going to happen.

Here is the status of my dividend income:
I have a running total of yearly expenses which I base my numbers off of so if my monthly goes up my dividend income against it decreases in value.
Since I re-aligned my investment strategy I've been putting extra cash into dividend paying stocks and other investment opportunities.

 Last post it was at 45.18%. Previous Monthly Financial post here

Current level is now estimated at 45.96%

Progress at a snail's pace but improving, My plan for November and the rest of the year is to put any spare cash that I receive into dividend stocks and trim expenses. Such slow progress and the market has not been very favorable. Currently in the red on several stocks but many are improving, I am still optimistic though.