2016 Financial Wrap Up

By | February 12, 2017

Author: Mr and Mrs DDU.

We like to work out how well we’re doing each month with our monthly dividend updates and savings rates but without the context of the big picture progress it might be a little meaningless.

This is a little late, but hopefully it’s worth the wait! So, let’s have a look at how we did over 2016…

2016 Savings rate

This is calculating our income (after tax) minus our expenses for the entire year. It doesn’t include any superannuation guarantee payments in the below percentages and amounts.

Total income after tax: $49,632.81

Total expenses: $40,562.36

Total savings: $9,070.45

2016 Savings Rate: 18.3%

Here’s the graph:

For our first year of officially tracking our savings rates and also doing IVF during the year (twice), 18.2% is a decent start. There were a couple of really expensive months during the year which had a big effect on our total. These months will probably have the same expenses in 2017, but our income is just going to keep growing from here so the rate should get better.

We put a bit of our savings towards investing, but kept most of it as building up our emergency fund and IVF fund. Now that we’ve made a baby and got our emergency fund to five figures, we can really focus on investing. We have 4 posts upcoming to tell you what we’ve recently added to our portfolio.

Back to reviewing our 2016 result.. we only managed to break the 50% savings rate barrier once during 2016 in May. Hopefully we can break that a few more times this year.

We’ve found our groove with our expenses; we’re comfortable with the frugal, quality approach they’re we’re spending. We’ve found the house, car, food, clothes etc. that make us happy and feel good, yet at a very affordable price considering we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

We’re working hard on increasing our income, so hopefully our savings rate just goes upwards from here.

2016 Dividend income

Dividends are the key financial statistic that we want to build. Why? One day we want to be financially free, where our expenses are completely covered by our investment income. At that point, we could decide to retire and not work again. If our investment income grows faster than inflation, retirement could get better as the years go by.

We aren’t just buying shares with the highest dividend yield. We’re buying businesses we think offer very sustainable, growing dividends over the long term. We aren’t trying to be perfect investors, but investing in what suits us the most.

Our investment income in the first few years will be fairly small, but we have to start somewhere and grow it. Compounding is an unstoppable force when it gets going and we’re going to put it to work as much as we can.

So how did we do during 2016?

We received a total of $414.47 dividends during 2016, an average of $34.54 per month.

This translates into just less than three full days of work (which is nice), but when we add it all back into buying more shares that’s when it starts becoming a strong financial force.

We were very excited to see the big totals of September and October in 2016 and can’t wait to see how much our dividends will grow this year and beyond.

Summary

Our numbers are much smaller than a lot of bloggers out there, but we don’t mind. We’re not racing anyone else, we’re just trying to do the best for ourselves whilst enjoying our lives along the way.

We want to show that it’s possible to save and invest, even if we’re pretty young (mid 20s), who don’t earn that much, living in an expensive city. But we also want to show what’s possible when you work hard, try to do the best with your money and your financial lives. You’re reading about our financial journey right from the start, hopefully you’re enjoying it and maybe even inspired by it. So thank you for reading and following our financial journey.

First full year down, we’re excited to see what 2017 brings.

What was your 2016 savings percentage and your 2016 dividends?

Onwards and upwards!

22 thoughts on “2016 Financial Wrap Up

  1. Team CF

    Still managed to save over $9K after all the IVF expenses and received over $414 in dividend? Well done you two!
    Good point about not racing with others on the path to FI, you are doing very well and will get there, no doubt in my mind.
    Just keep swimming (of have I been watching too much Finding Nemo with mini-me?)

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks CF! We are our own competition :). I can’t wait to watch Finding Dory, I bet you’ve seen that one a million times with the little one too!

      Mrs DDU

  2. Divnomics

    With all that the year has brought you, I agree with Team CF. You guys are doing pretty well 🙂

    Apart from the many wonderful things (a baby you say?) that will be happening the coming year, there will probably be more money related successes as well. We’re also still at the beginning of our journey, so I’m very interested to see what yours will be like 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Divnomics (have I said how much I love your name? I think I have). I’m pretty sure we have mentioned our baby at least once in every post since the big news, we’re just so excited! haha.

      Mrs DDU

  3. Amber tree

    taking IVF i to account and still saving close to 20pct is a win in my books!

    The dividend earnings will grow slowly over time, like a snowball

    keep doing what you do!

  4. Adventures with Poopsie

    You guys did so well considering your IVF expenses! Well done.

    Dividends can be slow going, but before you know it, they’ll snow ball and you’ll be financially independent!

  5. Graham @ Reverse The Crush

    Thanks for sharing such a detailed report! Great job on your savings rate! 18% and over $400 in dividends will snowball into something big in the long term.My savings rate was nothing because I was not working. And my dividend income was around the same. I’m trying to do the same thing as you guys in the long run. I want to blog full time through a combination of dividends and blogging income. Have a great week 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Reaching the day where dividends match expenses will be a dream come true! Slowly but surely you and us both will get there :). Although for us the blogging income is just a bit of a bonus, we shall see where it goes as time goes on.

      Mrs DDU

  6. The Jolly Ledger

    Excellent work guys! You should be super proud of the progress you have made thus far. I am less comfortable with dividend investing but have been throwing around the idea of adding add not her rental property into the mix. I think we could use the diversity in our income stream especially considering he who shall not be named. Who knows what kind of damage will happen there.

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks TJL :). It’s kind of fun how all of us on the FI path have a slightly different tactic – if property is your thing then go for it. Don’t be afraid to one day consider dividend investing though, just for a little diversification ;). I’m sure we will own a little slice of property one day.

      Either way, sounds like you’re in a great position at the moment, even with Voldetrump in the mix.

      Mrs DDU

  7. Mrs. ETT

    “This translates into just less than three full days of work” – the direct correlation between money and time excites me. It’s like your employer saying “here, have 3 extra days fully paid annual leave.” Yes please! The best part? You know that you’ll get that 3 days every year for the rest of your life, and if all goes well in the markets, you’ll get more an more days each year.

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Oh I love this comment, such a fitting one coming from the “time” blogger herself! Thank you for the reaffirming words Mrs. ETT. 3 extra days of annual leave is a great way to look at it (kind of wish we could get those extra days off though! sadly not yet).

      Mrs DDU

  8. Jef

    Nice work team, wouldn’t worry too much about the small progress, you guys are young and have a massive head-start.. Keep on keeping on and you’ll get to those goals :)!
    You’re making a massive difference in the bloggersphere as well and have prompted me to look at tracking a saving rate 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thank you Jef, that is a huge compliment. We don’t really see ourselves as that influential when it comes to the blogging community haha but it’s an honour that you think so! Blogging has been one of the best things we’ve done for “keeping track” of the finer numbers every month, making a promise to ourselves (and the blog) to track monthly outcomes has transformed our mindsets and put a rocket on our FIRE path.

      I’d really like to be able to compare ourselves now, to ourselves if we never started blogging – I would say there would be quite the difference!

      Mrs DDU

  9. our frugal escapades

    Great round up! You are making incredible progress and you have a good savings rate! 🙂

    We changed our portfolios some time ago to dividend funds, and are big believers that this is the best way to go where we have no interest in becoming landlords.

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks OFE. We are a little bias, but that’s exciting to hear that you made some changes to your portfolio in favour of the dividend method. Being a landlord sounds offputting for sure, who knows if we will ever decide to dabble in it for a bit of diversification – not ruling it out just yet 🙂

      Mrs DDU

  10. Josh @MoneyBuffalo

    It’s amazing how compounding works. Some of the best funds I have have been invested for 10-15 years now & I haven’t contributed to them in several years.

    Congrats on the progress made in 2016 and as you said, we all have to start somewhere!

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Thanks Josh. I’m looking forward to 10-15 years of our investments maturing, I hope we have good results like you’ve had.

      Mrs DDU

  11. LadyFIRE

    I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to post and say Hi! 18% is a great starting figure. I’m super keen to see how you guys go moving forward 🙂

    1. Dividends Down Under Post author

      Hi LadyFIRE! Sorry it’s taken so long to finally say hello back. We have seen all the nice comments you’ve been leaving lately. A belated welcome to the blogging community too 🙂

      Mrs DDU

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