March 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

March 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC


March 2013 Budget in NYC

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

Over Budget

For Variable spending, I went over my budgeted costs by $244 this month.

  • House: Lots of little purchases that I had been putting off… like batteries
  • Booze: I blame basketball and beer buckets
  • Groceries: I cancelled my Urban Organic service mid-way through so this should be back to normal next month
  • Eating Out: Waaaay over budget for the month but I’m okay with the final total. Lots of social eating.

Under Budget

For Variable spending, I was under my budgeted costs by $152 under budget this month.

  • Health/Beauty: I budgeted for a haircut ($80 incl. tip) but decided not to bother this month
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Projects
  • Gifts
  • Laundry
  • Cats

Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

I split my tax refund to put into this and am right on track for this year’s goals.

  • Savings: $400 deposit – $2,538 balance
  • Discover: $600 payment – $2,945 balance


I am now maxing out my 401K (finally) so that slightly affected the budgeted income I had for the month. I had some extra income this month:

  • Misc: $125 for selling my Garmin Forerunner watch
  • ATM Fees: $8 (USAA refunds all ATM fees)

Let’s Break It Down

After reading Edward Tufte last month, I decided to stop using pie charts as much as possible. Since pie charts always seem to go hand-in-hand with budgets, I tried using a bar chart instead. The results for this month’s spending is below.

I was rather surprised by the results. Plotting this out in a bar graph made it very easy to see that the majority of my spending per category is under $200. In fact, the highest spending categories are to be expected: Rent, Therapy, Credit Card, and Savings. I am okay with all of this.

Seeing as how most of my spending is less than $200, I decided to make a second chart breaking down those categories. This chart is below.

Now we can see that most of the categories didn’t exceed $50, which makes me happy. Although I’m not quite as happy about the categories that I spent between $50-$200. Restaurants, Groceries, and MTA (public transportation) is acceptable and will never be lower. However, I’d prefer House & Booze to stay below that $50 line. Looking at the chart above is a very easy way to see if my spending quantities look right to me.

I did one last chart to plot out the categories I spent less than $50 in. Here are the results.

At quick glance, I am happy with these numbers and don’t need to get any of them lower.

Looking at my spending with the help of these charts made for a really easy way to get a quick look at how I’m doing overall. While there were areas I spent more than I wanted to over the course of March, I am happy with my total spending per category.

What is your method of analysis for your monthly budgets? Do you look at overall trends in addition to hard numbers?


One Reply to “March 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC”

  1. And I’m super behind on reading everyone’s blogs … stupid exams! I’m liking the bar graphs, may have to try it out to see what it’s like! Thanks for all those articles on pie charts!!!!

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