One of the benefits of investing in dividend stocks it that they can generate recurring income. Whether it's to help pay bills or boost your savings, it's not hard to find a use for some extra cash. But many dividend stocks pay on a quarterly basis, meaning you'll need to wait three months for each payout to flow through to your portfolio.

However, I'll show you how investing in three dividend stocks, all with different payment schedules, can allow you to earn $100 per month. They're all quality dividend stocks that you can hold in your portfolio for the long term, and all yield more than the S&P 500 average of just 2%.

1. AbbVie

Drug manufacturer AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is known for its blockbuster, Humira, which treats rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease among other conditions. With profit margins of at least 17% in each of the past five years and annual revenue rising from $20 billion in 2014 to $33.3 billion in 2019, AbbVie's business was already looking strong. But the Illinois-based healthcare company became an even better investment when it acquired Allergan, which makes Botox, in a massive $63 billion deal. AbbVie announced the closing of the acquisition, which greatly expands its portfolio of products, on May 8.

Suitcase full of dividend income.

Image source: Getty Images.

A stronger and more diverse business model helps make prospects for its dividend even better. And that's key for a Dividend Aristocrat that's known for growing its payments over the years. Since spinning off from Abbott Labs in 2013, AbbVie has increased its dividend payments by 195%. 

Today, it pays investors a quarterly dividend of $1.18, for a yield of 5% annually. An $8,000 investment in AbbVie would bring investors $400 for the year, or $100 every three months. Its quarterly payments come every February, May, August, and November.

Year to date, shares of AbbVie are up 6%, right in line with the S&P 500's returns.

2. Unilever

Dutch company Unilever (NYSE:UL) is another Dividend Aristocrat that's well diversified. From its food and refreshment products to home care to beauty and personal care, Unilever sells a wide range of goods to consumers. The company estimates that 2.5 billion people use its products every day. Some of its better-known brands include Ben & Jerry's, Knorr, Lipton, and Dove.

In each of the past five years, Unilever's sales totaled more than 50 million euros, while its profit margin has held steady at 9% or better. The business is stable, and that's what makes it a reliable dividend stock to hang on to for years and years. Even during a recession or pandemic, consumers are going to continue buying Unilever products because they're essential to their day-to-day lives.

However, because the company issues dividends in euros, there are some fluctuations for U.S. investors collecting a payout as a result of foreign exchange. Today, the stock is yielding 3.1%, meaning investors will need to spend about $12,900 to earn $400 in recurring income every year. Unilever makes payments every March, June, September, and December.

Shares of Unilever are up by more than 4% in 2020.

3. JPMorgan

Bank stocks are always great sources of dividend income, and that's why JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) makes this list. The New York-based company and many of its peers are facing some challenges right now amid a recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. But over the long term, bank stocks are safe bets to continue doing well as long as the economy is strong. And that's what makes a top bank like JPMorgan a fairly safe investment to hold on to.

In each of the past five years, JPMorgan has recorded a solid profit margin of at least 24%; on revenue of more than $93 million in each of those years, that's a lot of cash on a regular basis. Although JPMorgan's not an Aristocrat, it's been increasing its dividend payments regularly since the end of the previous financial crisis. Annual payments of $3.30 in 2019 were more than six times the $0.53 that it paid out in 2009.

With JPMorgan's stock down more than 25% year to date and its yield pushed up, now could be an opportune time to invest in one of the top financial companies in the country. Today the bank pays out $0.90 every quarter to its shareholders, which on an annual basis yields 3.6%. An investment of $11,100 would earn you $100 in quarterly payments. JPMorgan pays investors a dividend every January, April, July, and October.

The breakdown

Here's a summary of what the investments would look like:

Company Current Yield Investment Quarterly Payment Payment Schedule
AbbVie 5% $8,000 $100 February, May, August, November
Unilever 3.1% $12,900 $100 March, June, September, December
JPMorgan Chase 3.6% $11,100 $100 January, April, July, October

Data source: AbbVie, Unilever, JPMorgan Chase.

The total investment needed across these three stocks would be $32,000, and the individual investments would not only bring you $100 a month, they'd also diversify your portfolio. With strong businesses and great dividend payments, these are all solid buy-and-forget stocks that you can safely hang on to for years, possibly even decades.