May 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

May 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

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may_budget_2013

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

Whew, this month went so much better than April! I stayed on budget for everything mainly because I over-obsess my expenses tracking. I probably should have went grocery shopping at the end of the month but really wanted to stay under. For as helpful as tracking my spending is,limiting my food options is equally harmful.

I’ve decided to take control of my finances (and sanity) by not tracking my spending at all in June.

Read more about this decision after the budget break-down below.


Over Budget

I went over my budgeted costs by $63 this month.

  • Health/Beauty: An unexpected health issue involved the purchase of various medical supplies.
  • Booze: I give up and plan to increase this next month.
  • Laundry


Under Budget

I was under my budgeted costs by $98 this month.

  • Clothes: Building a new summer wardrobe
  • Entertainment: Total nerd expenses
  • House: I finally bought curtains
  • Cats


Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

Savings: I will not be adding large deposits to my savings until I pay off the Credit Card.
Credit Card: Paid extra this month to get the balance under $2K!

Income

Normal income streams this month. The $15 from credit card fees refund is nice. I transferred $300 out of my savings to put toward my credit card balance.


Why I Will Not Be Tracking My Spending in June

I have realized that updating my budget to a T actually makes me quite anxious. There are silly sacrifices I make just to stay under-budget. While this should be a good thing, it is starting to become harmful. Not only with added anxiety of constantly feeling under pressure to stay within my budgets but also because I will at times go without eating just to make sure I don’t overspend on food. Clearly this is becoming more harmful than useful for me, so I have decided to take a break for a month.

I still created a budget for June and know the numbers in my head but I will not be tracking my expenses at all throughout the month. My goal is to persevere through the discomfort in the beginning, hopefully lighten up on myself about finances, and at the end of the month realize I stayed (relatively) on budget without needing to obsess over it.

I intend this to be more of an experiment and reality check than something I will continue. At the end of June, I will go back through my spending and fill everything in as closely as possible.


I am interested to know if you have ever felt obsessive about your finances? If not finances, have you become obsessed with tracking something else?

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10 Replies to “May 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC”

  1. YES! Not only did I get obsessive about my finances, but I exhibited the same unhealthy crazy tracking behavior when I began losing weight in 2011. I’d track my calories in a notebook throughout the day, and I’d totally skimp on dinner if I was too close to my limit after lunch. Yikes!

    1. It’s funny because if I am getting close to a budget cap, I will make sacrifices to not go over. But if I am no where near a budget cap, I use that as an excuse to spend when I normally wouldn’t – but since “it’s already budgeted” that makes it okay.

      Maybe if I just have a budget of “$XX fixed expenses, $XX variable expenses” that will help me be less neurotic but still financially responsible.

      Did you quit tracking your calories cold turkey?

      1. Eh, I kind of went on and off tracking last summer after I reached my “goal weight” in the spring. Then I quit cold turkey after my diagnosis because “I DGAF about calories, must have all the chocolate before I die!” ;) And now I’m back to cutting chocolate out, ha.

        I do the same thing. I budget the things I’ll *have* to buy – gas, groceries, cable, electricity – and then I have a big pot of “discretionary” money that can go anywhere I want. I really enjoy budgeting that way since some things fluctuate so much. I may not buy clothes for two months in a row, or I may eat out more one month than the next. We may not have any need for a gift budget one month but need A LOT of gift money the next. It just helps me relax to know that I have a big pot of money that I can spend on all these things that aren’t regular expenses.

  2. Yes, we started our official budget in January, and I felt like all we talked about for the next three months was money and spending. I was pretty stressed out, partly because I think some of our limits were unreasonable and we kept going over. After some adjusting (both of the budget and of my mindset) we’re on a better track now. One thing that helped was splitting our savings into “short-term” and “long-term,” so that if something unexpected came up or there was something unique we really wanted to do, we knew we could take from the short-term bucket.

    1. Adjusting the mindset really is the hardest part. I like the idea of a “short-term” bucket to give yourself some extra allowance without beating yourself up at the end of the month.

  3. I know how you feel. I use a spreadsheet or use pen/paper as well to track expenses and it can get exhausting but necessary all at the same time.

    1. My problem with tracking the debt is I stare at my spreadsheet going “hurry up!”. I have my whole plan in place and just want time to fly by while I pay everything off.

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