April 2013 Monthly Budget Spending in NYC

April 2013 Monthly Budget Spending in NYC


April 2013 Budget in NYC

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

I’m The Worst Person

Ugh. I destroyed my budget his month. Gone. Blew it out of the water. I just kept on spending like a nutcase. I don’t want to show you this but I’m putting it out there to show that we’re not all perfect. We don’t all make sacrifices when we should. And sometimes we make mistakes.

Yes, I spent more than I earned this month. And that is terrible awful! On some bright note, at least I did put money toward my credit card this month. I had already decided not to put money into savings because I really do need new clothes. This is a truth, I need a new spring wardrobe. I don’t want one – I hate clothes shopping – but I need one.

Clearly food destroyed me this month. How did I spend $300+ on eating out? Well, $60 of that went to taking myself out to dinner to a restaurant I made reservations with months ago. Unfortunately it wasn’t even that good. That alone put a huge dent in the food budget.

Towards the end of the month I knew I was going to go over so I cancelled two therapy appointments, saving me $200. Not that it matters much because once I realized I was already killing my budget in a brutal painful death, I told myself “fuck it, I’m getting a much-needed haircut.” I’ve been putting this off because it’s $80/cut (I cut my hair twice a year) but I seriously need a haircut now! And since after the hair-cut I was already waaay over budget I continued and said “fuck it, I’m buying an ipod touch for $100.” And I did.

I can’t justify any of this though these were all conscious decisions. Hopefully next month will be less brutal to my finances. Granted, none of this went on my credit card. I am still repaying my debt. I just really need to start eating out less and get back into the habit of bringing my lunch to work. That alone is killing me (FiDi lunches are $$$).

Over Budget

I went over my budgeted costs by $556 this month lol kill me now.

  • Clothes: Summer tops & two pairs of jeans
  • Entertainment: This would have been fine if I didn’t buy the iPod Touch for $100
  • Groceries: I can’t even explain this. Not only did I go waaaay over on groceries but somehow I also went waaaay over on eating out. That doesn’t even make sense!
  • Eating Out: I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much on eating out in a month in my life. Granted, if we take away that terrible $60 dinner at Dirt Candy, this figure looks slightly more reasonable. Kinda.
  • Health/Beauty: Initially went over budget buying cold supplies then said “fuck it” and got a hair cut at Pirka ($65 before tip and it’s totally worth it).
  • Cats: These monsters went through so much food this month.

Under Budget

I was under my budgeted costs by $223 this month.

  • Projects: This was dumb. I overbudgeted for my Cookbook project as it only cost me about $50 total. But instead of just keeping the extra funds, I used the rest to buy a $100 scanner. I didn’t need it, but it definitely is nice. Still under budget but I could have been more under.
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Therapy

Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

Even though I did not put money into my savings this month, I am still on track for this year’s goals.

  • Savings: $0 deposit – $2,538 balance
  • Discover: $380 payment – $2,600 balance


I am now maxing out my 401K (finally) so that slightly affected the budgeted income I had for the month. I had no side gig income this month:

  • ATM Fees: $15 (USAA refunds all ATM fees)

Breaking It Down So I Can Feel Worse About Myself

Everything looks more painful in chart format:

Please share your budgeting mistakes in the comments below so I can hate myself less.


14 Replies to “April 2013 Monthly Budget Spending in NYC”

  1. Trick is to buy EVERYTHING on a card such as Chase Freedom & pay it off EVERY MONTH. I have 120$ & climbing in rewards. That Chase Freedom card I purposely have a 600$ limit on. I earn 5% cash back on EVERYTHING I buy. 600 bucks is my disposable income. Business expenses such as my cell and MTA/Path which are reimbursed monthly also go on this card. If i eat out in a group.. I pay the ENTIRE balance on the card.. and reap the rewards of 5% plus the normal 1%. Last month alone I spent so much on this card I took away 45$ in rewards cash.

    Also, never buy any groceries that aren’t on sale. i bought 20 SunBeam 5 minute microwave awesome meals in that blue pouch for only 20 bucks! Normally they are 3.27 a bag! But they were on sale! I hoarded like a mother! I saved over 300 bucks in groceries this month.

    Eating out? Psssssh! Take out 60 bucks for lunches FOR 2 WEEKS in cash and put it in your wallet. Living in NYC… you can eat for under 5 bucks a day and it isn’t garbage.

    Alcohol is a money bit and a syphon of cash. Do away with it. a 6 pack fo Brooklyn Lager is 7 bucks at the store.. YET 8 BUCKS A BOTTLE in a bar! SCREW THAT!

    Good article. Good read.

      1. I have heard great things about the Chase Freedom card too. I, like leslie, am still paying down some credit card debt. I find it very confusing to be paying down one balance and watching one go up (even temporarily). In the past, this has gotten me into trouble and derailed my debt progress, so I am trying to get away from credit cards (even for rewards) until I am in the clear. Feels like penance for my credit card debt, or something…

        1. I have not decided yet if I will use a credit card for rewards after I pay off this balance. I actually like everything coming out of my checking account – it feels more “real” to me.

    1. I do not buy packaged goods. The main problem with the groceries is I make food for people/events. I enjoy cooking and sharing, so I tend to make (a lot of) food when hanging out with friends or volunteering for projects that require bringing a dish/dessert.

  2. Yeah .. um, since I don’t blog my finances I don’t have to put it out there, but I will just say that I did the exact same thing you did this month (including the “fuck it .. I’ve already spent $$$, so I’m just going to spend MOAR!!!”)

    After talking with Katie (@grlredballoon), I’ve decided that once I get back from NY, I’m going on a spending diet type of thing. I have budgeted out everything I need for the rest of May and that’s ALL I’m going to spend. I’ve allowed myself a fixed amount of discretionary money for things like a coffee at work or other small personal expenses, but other than that, I’m on restriction.

    Oh, and while I’m here … is there a good place in FiDi to pick up some little grocery type things to keep in our room? I’d love to get some fruit and goodies to stash for quick breakfasts or when Z gets in late from his sessions. We have a teeny tiny fridge if that helps.

    1. There are little bodegas around where you could pick up some snacks/fruit. There might be a gristedes near you (small market) but it will be EXPENSIVE. Fairway or Trader Joe’s would be your best bet for cheap snacks/veggies — closest TJ’s is Union Square (14th St and Broadway). Chinatown (Canal St) might be a good option too (some people swear by cheap groceries there, I’ve never tried it).

  3. Hm. I was planning to walk around Chinatown today anyway, so I’ll try that! And thanks for the TJs location. I should have thought of that!! Yay!

  4. I think spending/saving is a lot like what happens to people when they are on a diet. They are so good for awhile and have one piece of cake and think fuck it, what’s another piece of cake…and so on. I have totally had those months you just had, in fact this month is not looking so good for overspending. At the very least writing it down puts in right in front of you so you can see what’s going on and get back on track. Without a budget I had no idea where my money was sometimes going.

    1. I go back and forth on this. For the most part, it is definitely good to see where the money goes. But then things like that project. I saw that I had $150 dollars extra sitting in that budgeted category and thought “I might as well spend it since I already budgeted for it”. Probably not the best way to use a budget.

  5. Aww don’t beat yourself up (too much). I have those months too. I really have to stick to my budget to the penny or I go wild. When I moved in with my BF, I had to buy some stuff for the place then went completly crazy buying stuff that I didn’t need, at all. Like daring myself to max out my credit cards. Sigh. Why can’t this stuff be easy?

    1. That is exactly the problem! I need to buy things for the apt and I need new spring/summer clothes. But then once I hit my budget for those things, I want to keep going because I see so many more cute things I want to buy. I have great discipline at not going in stores altogether, but zero once I’m already there.

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