March 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

March 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

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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


Income

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?

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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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