July 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

July 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC

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July Budget 2013 Brooklyn
This is the current personal budget I use for single-income living in a 1br apartment in Brooklyn, NY.

Over Budget

Under Budget

  • Electricity: I put zero restrictions on my A/C use this month because there were some days where it was absolutely miserable outside. Even though my electric bill did double (from $30 to $60), I over-budgeted for it. This will most likely (hopefully) be the peak of electricity expense this year.

Savings & Debt Repayment Plans

I am on track for my goals to have my CC paid off in September, pump up my savings this year, then aggressively begin paying off my student loan.

Credit Card: Remaining balance of $1,016.02

Income

Standard income from my day-job, $15 in ATM fees from USAA, and no extra income this month.

July Expenses 2013 NYC

Category Breakdown

In July, I was still figuring out how I want to use categories in my budget. A month ago, I realized that tracking every single expense per category was very stressful and my budgets per category (like for food) were arbitrary.

I slowly became restrictive, telling myself I couldn’t buy any food the last week of the month because I was “over budget”. Budgeting had become an unhealthy habit for me!

Since June, I’ve tried to remind myself that I am financially conscious of my spending without obsessively tracking everything to the penny.

As you see in the expenses above, for July I did not break my variable spending down by category at all. Instead, I gave myself a budget for all variable spending combined.

In reality, it doesn’t matter whether I spend $50 or $200 on food, as long as I am not over-spending in general. If I found myself over-spending, then I would want to track my expenses to find my weaknesses. Since I have a plan and my spending has been consistent, there isn’t a need for this at the moment.

I will add that I am trying something different, currently, for August. I am tracking my spending per category but not budgeting per category. That way I know how much I spent on food but I don’t have a set food budget.

We’ll see how this works at the end of the month!

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6 Replies to “July 2013 Monthly Spending in NYC”

  1. A couple of years ago when my financial situation changed (paid off some debt, got a raise, re-divided some household bills with H) I realized that my budget categories were no longer really accurate for me. I found that by tracking what I spent by category for a few months, without trying to bump it up against what was beginning to seem like an arbitrary budget, I was able to see where I needed to reprioritize. I saw some areas where I needed to rein things in, but other areas that I’d been overly restrictive about. It was a good exercise for me and gave me some perspective on how my situation and circumstances had changed. So I’m in favor of the method! :)

    1. Thanks for mentioning this. I realize now that I should have created a budget from a clean slate like this when I moved to NYC. Instead, I assumed I could just keep my normal living, when that really wasn’t possible at all. Hopefully the next few months will help me “reset” everything!

  2. Nice to see that despite that unexpected card expenses, things still looked good and you managed to put aside some money. And I totally agree with the variable spending budget – we do have to save money and budget, but if that gets in the way of us staying healthy or makes us miserable, it’s not good.

  3. So I’ve commented on this budget when I lived in Florida, explaining how helpful it was. I just moved to DC this month, our rent is about the same, it’s very good to see that our similar take home pay can make it here. You give me hope, girl!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I still am apprehensive about listing income sometimes but knowing it provides a helpful basis makes me feel good about my decision. Have fun in DC and welcome to the world of spending 40% of your monthly income on rent!

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