January 2013 Monthly Spending for Urban Living


This is the current personal budget I use for single-income living in a 1br apartment in Brooklyn, NY.

Over Budget

  • Entertainment: This was a conscious decision since I did so well every where else at the end of the month. I was under, then treated myself to a used Garmin Forerunner watch to better track my running progress.
  • Groceries: I did not incorporate the vegetable delivery service into the budget and had already done a good shopping trip before signing up.

Under Budget

  • Travel
  • Clothes
  • Gifts
  • Health/Bty
  • Lanudry
  • Cats
  • House
  • Booze
  • Restaurants: All “eating out” falls under this category. Buying lunch during workdays is the biggest cause of overspending here, and I did very little of that this month

Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

By making these set monthly payments, I will have my credit card paid off by the end of the year and hit my emergency savings goal. Having a plan and keeping to the monthly schedule reduces the stress of debt repayment and savings building.

Income & Rent Changes

Thanks to a “health and wellness” program at my company, my monthly health insurance cost decreased by 50%. This helped counter the Social Security tax increase.

For the first time in history, I renewed a lease! With this brought a 2% rent increase, as mandated by the NYC rules of rent stabilization. This now brings my rent to 42% of my monthly income. I am not sure what’s worse, that this is true or that it no longer depresses me.

Opinions Needed

Please leave me your opinions if I should continue monthly spending posts for the rest of 2013. I want to write these if they are helpful to nyc potentials, residents, or curious others. I go through this analysis on my own at the end of the month so this break-down is for you. If it is helpful to compare your spending or get an idea of nyc costs, please let me know in the comments below or via twitter so I will keep writing these.


If you have thoughts on this and would like to discuss please use Twitter or send me an email.