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How is your savings account doing these days? I bet you are really building a lot of wealth from earning that 0.75%! That is the current interest yield we are earning for money we keep in our savings accounts right now. Let's just say that we don't keep that much in our savings accounts anymore. Earning less than 1% on our money feels like a slap in the face. Our emergency fund, which is invested in certificates of deposit, isn't much better. We recently moved some of our emergency funds into a CD ladder that is bringing in a whopping 1.0% return! What a joke. Note - Our emergency fund needs to be available to us, which is why we have chosen a combination of certificates of deposit and savings […] Read More

Just the other day I asked the question - "At What Age Should You Start Investing?". In my opinion, it should be as early as you possibly can. Now I am not talking about investing without a plan, but rather buying solid dividend paying companies that will provide steady income for years. I didn't start investing any kind of money until I was 22 years old. And the type of investing that I was doing was not sustainable. At times I was acting more like a trader than really an investor. It wasn't until 7 years ago that I purchased my first dividend paying stock. Even after I purchased shares in this stock, it took 2 additional years to put together my plan to build the Money Sprout Index. The […] Read More

I am now into my early 40's. Have a wonderful wife and 3 young children. We own a house (or rather pay a mortgage on one) and have a typical crazy life carting around our 3 kids. I really can't complain about much to be honest. However, when it comes to our finances, I have one major regret so far in life. If I would have taken a different approach 20 - 30 years ago, we may already be financially independent - or at least much further along. My #1 regret in life when it comes to my personal finances is that I didn't start investing in dividend stocks at an early age. I would say that for the majority of my life, I have lived at or below my […] Read More

Did you get a raise this year? I got one last month, but it wasn't from my full time job. I haven't gotten a raise in over 3 years from my job. But that doesn't mean I don't get a raise every single month (or close to it). Anytime a company that we own in the Money Sprout Index raises its annual dividend - my family gets a raise. For now, these are small raises, but added up together they can be sizable. Each time these companies raise their dividend, our forward income increases. Dividend increases are just one way that our future dividend income rises. Buying new shares of stock also helps to push our future dividend income higher. Since we are in the allocation phase of building our […] Read More

The next stop on tracking our monthly spending and building a new budget is transportation costs. Today we are specifically looking at the cost of gas to fuel our cars. My wife and I have two vehicles - a family mini van, and a 13+ year old Saturn. The mini van is the family car used to haul the 3 kids around everywhere and to drive when the entire family travels together. The Saturn is used solely by me to drive to and from work and to various sports practices/games etc. I have said it before and I will say it again - cars are expensive! Just last month we blew our credit card spending budget up by a lot due to unexpected vehicle expenses on my Saturn. In order […] Read More

The Money Sprout was created to discuss our (my wife and I) success and failures of building sources of side income. Building side income will help my family take the needed steps to reach financial independence. We don't want to rely on jobs or other forms of income that we cannot control to provide for our family. In order to build certain income streams like dividend stocks, we need to have capital to invest. As a way to track and increase how much money we have available to invest, we have created a special checking account (aka Investment Challenge Account). This account is being used to help us invest in dividend stocks. Each month we detail the status of our account and how much money we have invested thus far. […] Read More

As long as I can remember, my wife and I have gotten back a hefty tax return each year. That money was always used to help invest in our kids 529 college savings plans. That was until this year. This year we decided that our kids future college savings were building up nicely. We opted instead to use the funds to build more dividend income. We have a goal this year to earn $1,500 in dividend income and in order to reach that goal, we need a little help from our tax refund dollars. We decided to invest $5,000 of our tax refund into dividend stocks. This type of investment will certainly help boost our dividend income earnings for this year and many years after. In order to show the […] Read More

Earlier this year, my wife and I decided that we needed a budget. Many years ago, before we had 3 children, we followed a monthly budget. We tracked our spending and made sure to keep it at or just under the amount of combined income that we were bringing in. At the time, this budget worked well for our family. But as our family grew, we moved to another state, had children, transitioned to a single income - our original budget became worthless. As the years have passed, we stopped following any sort of budget and relied on common sense to get by. We never splurge or go out to eat that often. I drive a 13+ year old vehicle that has been paid off for many years. We have […] Read More

This year is now more than half way over! Hard to believe really, but with June in the record books, we are inching closer to 2016. At the end of each month, I like to give a run down of how our dividend income portfolio (known as the Money Sprout Index) is doing. We have special news to report - June set a record for the highest dividend income ever earned from the Money Sprout Index! While we are a really long way from hitting our goals to become financially independent, these small victories (like breaking our past record) help keep us motivated. All of the new money that we have been investing in the market over the last 6 months is really starting to trickle down to our income […] Read More

Last month was a horrible month to start our credit card spending challenge. Instead of improving our credit card spending, we went in the wrong direction - by a lot! Our goal for last month was to spend $1,600 (or less) between our two credit cards. During the first 5 months of the year, we averaged around $2,000 in spending. We were looking to cut back by about $400 in our spending to help save more money. Due to several unplanned expenses during the month and an insurance payment due, we blew up our credit card spending budget ... by a lot! Our credit card spending for June was not the way we wanted to start this challenge out. We spent $3,565.02 between our two credit cards. We didn't take […] Read More

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