It has been a while since we’ve posted anything about our side income, mostly because not much as happened. Now that the first quarter is in the books and all of our stocks and index funds have paid their quarterly dividends, I figured it would be a good time for an update.
Last year, we made $3,538.56 in dividends in our taxable accounts. We also received dividends in tax-advantaged and retirement accounts, but I don’t really ever look at those and don’t view them as a potential source of income in early retirement so they are not included in these numbers.
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of $6,000 in dividends for 2016. I knew this would be super aggressive and there would be a good chance we’d fall short. So how are we doing so far?
The chart below shows 2015 and 2016 actual dividends by month as well as a monthly goal of $500 needed to reach our $6,000 target. These are the bars at the bottom of the graph. The lines show cumulative dividends accrued over the course of the year.
You may have noticed, at $986.53 in dividends year-to-date we are slightly ahead of 2015 and well shy of the $1,500 we hoped to be at by this point in the year. In reality though, we’re actually doing a fair amount better than last year. In January 2015, we received a special dividend of $280 from one of our stocks, which accounted for nearly 30% of our dividends in the first quarter. We did receive a $100 special dividend this quarter, but that still puts us about $200 over last year’s pace.
As the year progresses, I’m anticipating our 2016 cumulative dividends to start distancing themselves from the 2015 actuals. However, unless we get a huge influx in cash in the equity markets, which may happen once we sell our current house, it’ll be tough to meet our goal. We’ll continue to do quarterly updates to show our progress.