June 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

June 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

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


The Not-Tracking-My-Spending Experiment

This month was weird. I mentioned in my May spending post that I was not going to track my June spending. I am proud to say that I stuck through and did not track anything! This is not to say that I wasn’t conscious of my spending and my budget, I was, but I did not irrationally worry myself about going over an arbitrary number in my spreadsheet.

Throughout the month I felt conflicted between being free of the spreadsheet but also then even more paranoid that I was would spend all my money and be broke by the end of the month. Irrational, I know, but it was a fear that ran through my brain.

After going through all of my expenses and filling in the blanks in my budget, it does annoy me that I do not know where all the cash went. The category “Unknown” consists of ATM withdrawals. I am certain this amount could be split between booze, eating out, and some miscellaneous entertainment. All in all, it comes pretty close to my budgeted amounts – just a lil’ over. Much better than I had guessed!

When all was said and done, I did not spend more than I earned, I made a big payment on my credit card, and I enjoyed my sanity throughout the month.

Where To Go From Here

I want to continue a looser tracking of my expenses like this but I need to find something that works for me. Not knowing where my money went still makes me anxious. I am considering not breaking-out by category for Variable spending.

Once I have my fixed bills paid (incl debt & savings), it does not matter how I spend the rest as long as I don’t spend more than I earn. Right now my budget for variable spending is about $1K/mo. As long as I don’t spend more than that, who cares if it’s on booze or lunch or my cats?

Here’s how the Fixed vs. Variable spending went this month:

Any input on this would be helpful! I’m just trying to figure it out as I go.


Over Budget

  • Clothes: I replaced my wristlet that broke.
  • House: I finally bought curtains like a grown-up
  • Groceries: This is too low, I need to increase the budgeted amount


Under Budget

  • Heath/Beauty: I have not received my medical bills from last month so I will be budgeting for this until I get them in the mail. (About $500)


Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

Discover Card: $500 payment leaving a balance of $1,504 – I will have this paid off in September and cannot wait!
Savings: I am putting a hold on building up my savings until I pay off the credit card.

Income

Pet Sitting: $120
ATM Fee Refund: $15 (Thank you USAA)


Do you track your spending after each purchase, at the end of the week, the end of the month?

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7 Replies to “June 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC”

  1. At the moment, I track almost every purchase as it happens (or every few purchases in batches throughout the day) as we travel. Back home, I log into internet banking and categorise transactions in batches a couple times a week or so.

  2. I don’t track my spending. I give my self a certain amount of free spending money each month ($200) that I use on entertainment, eating out, etc. I also put a certain amount of money each month into a savings account for clothing, gifts, etc. so I don’t really think about that either. lol… I like worrying as little as possible about my money!

    Looks like you could trim some money from your “unknown” atm fee category – maybe you need to withdraw and allocate your cash once or twice or month instead of using the atm?

    1. I will think about the bulk ATM withdrawals. As it is I max out my ATM refunds at $15 so it would be nice to not have more than that in fees. My one concern is having extra cash on me/at home for two reasons.

      1) I’m usually one of those people who spends cash because it’s there but won’t use my debit card as much (many places here are cash only – so not having cash is a good disincentive not to eat out).

      2) Keeping extra cash at home or on me makes me nervous for safety issues. Probably neurotic but if my apt was robbed or I was mugged, I’d hate to lose an extra $100+ in cash.

      But I like the idea of having a limited amount of money to spend, unlike my debit card which feels like it never ends.

  3. I like budget not to drive myself crazy but because I like to know what I am spending my money on. If I am spending 200$ on alcohol that is something that could easily be tracked and adjusted by watching the budget. I seems like you enjoyed the month and were more at ease. Will you be doing this again for July? I track my spending from Tuesday to Saturday. Sunday and Monday I am basically waiting for the banks to update so I can put them in the account and label them online.

    1. I am doing this in July, however I have set my July budget to have a bulk budgeted amount for variable spending ($1K) instead of the category break-down. If I’m paying all my bills, debts, and savings, does it matter if I spend $100 or $200 on alcohol? At the end of the day, it doesn’t. It only begins to matter when I can’t pay the bills or buy groceries because my alcohol spending is out of control.

      Interesting about your tracking routine. I use my own manual categories instead of labeling within my online bank account and would usually track each purchase as I do it. I actually don’t look at my bank account too often since I’m always pretty aware of where I’m at.

      I really like all this feedback, I’m still trying to just learn as I go.

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