January Monthly Spending in NYC 2014

January Monthly Spending in NYC 2014


January monthly spending in nyc 2014
January spending chart made with love and markers. Fixed expenses in blue, variable in purple.

Rent Increase
New apartment lease kicked in this month, which means an increase of rent. I can’t complain too much because it is a stabilized increase. But still!

I consciously spent a lot of money eating out this month. I only went grocery shopping once and just couldn’t bring myself do any more than that. Instead, I ate a lot of lunches out. I told myself that it’s only one meal out per day, but really that’s too many for me.

I’m taking some initiative in February to plan out meals, go to the store, or try out Fresh Direct. Having leftovers is something I forget to do sometimes, so I’ll strive to get better at that.

However, I am proud of myself (in a way) for eating out. For getting over the nagging in my brain that says “you can’t afford it” and “you don’t need to eat”. Both thoughts I’ve had previously. While I would rather not spend my money this way, I clearly can afford it (as I still have a house over my head and no CC debt) and eating is better than not eating.

On the plus side, groceries and booze were both under $100!

Between a friend’s birthday and a relative’s baby shower, I didn’t get a break after December gift buying. Hopefully next year things will be timed a bit better.

I categorize “health/bty” purchases as things like band-aids and soap. But there are also one-off expensive purchases like dr appointments. Or running races. I’ve included my running related expenses into this category. The $25 I spent trying out a gym. And the $75 it cost to sign up for the Brooklyn Half. These are purchases that benefit my health and I don’t want to forget that. Even if it means I still need to buy new running shoes.

January monthly spending in nyc as percentage of monthly income 2014
January 2014 spending as percentage of monthly income

All You Need to Budget is Pen + Paper

Sure, I created this fancy pants financial spreadsheet but you don’t need it. You can keep a budget just by using pen & paper. Or markers. Or crayons. Or a chalkboard. Anything will do. Make it fun and colorful. Get out of boxy spreadsheets. Who needs straight lines? That’s not the important part, the numbers are the important part. Any way that gets you to write these numbers down, is the best way.


10 Replies to “January Monthly Spending in NYC 2014”

    1. Me too. And even sadder is it’s actually a good deal. That’s on the low-end of 1br prices and my apartment is huge by nyc standards.

  1. Your chart is so funny. Mine would look exactly the same in rent because that’s what I pay. But nice job on the groceries. Mine is around 350 but I also don’t eat out very much. I also include the stuff you do in health categories sometimes as well. The month I’m doing a two week unlimited trial membership for $25 at a very expensive studio and I included that in my health budget as well. Races are sometimes included in my travel budget.

    1. Adding up my eating out + groceries equals about $350. That’s why I don’t get myself down too much for eating out in months like this. Now, if I was spending that much on eating out AND groceries individually, that would be a problem.

      Interesting thought about adding your race to the travel budget. I guess I would still include race fees as health but all the lodging/airfare as travel. Hm. It’s hard to break things down sometimes!

  2. Love the hand-drawn charts. When I was paying down my student loan debt I had a poster board chart and for every $100 I paid off I checked off a box. Something about seeing it in black and white made it really inspiring (well and scary), but it was nice to see those numbers drop.

    1. I think there’s also something about physically writing something down that helps too rather than just typing it in or reading it on a display screen. Glad to hear it worked for you!

  3. Love the hand written chart and budget! I think it’s way cooler than schmancy spreadsheets :)

    Your rent absolutely kills me, and I know it’s probably not that high for NYC. I just feel for you — 45% on rent sucks! I’m pretty grateful my dream city (and current city, Portland) doesn’t have a high cost of living, despite having the conveniences and entertainment of a city! Even if it cost more, it would be hard for me to move — I love it here!

  4. I don’t eat out for lunch, instead I buy those frozen meals which aren’t much better. I keep thinking I will make a big pot of soup and freeze a container or two for future lunches.

    My brother lives in NYC. I think he eats out a lot too. He likes getting out of his tiny studio apartment- which he pays some ridiculous amount for – to meet friends. He is going to stay there one more year before buying. He says it costs so much to move it wouldn’t be worth it for a few more square feet.

    1. I’m sure the frozen meals are cheaper! Or do you mean in terms of healthy-ness? I haven’t eaten a frozen meal in a looooong time. Whenever I eat out for lunch it’s always a salad or a sandwich, I don’t eat fast food or anything which is why it’s so $$$ :(

      Your brother is right in that it is very expensive to move here! I love my apartment though and don’t mind the weekends where I never leave it :)

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