February Monthly Spending in NYC 2014

February Monthly Spending in NYC 2014

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February 2014 - Monthly Spending in Brooklyn
February 2014 – Monthly Spending in Brooklyn

Spending

Rent
To simplify the chart, I have given up on measuring the exact value of rent. It’s high. I spend 47% of my monthly income on a 1br in “I’ve never heard of that neighborhood” Brooklyn. This is my third year living here and my stabilized rent has only gone up by $80 total in that time. That is really good for NYC.

I don’t see it necessary to actually chart this expense. Especially since it really skews the chart. Just imagine the bar going on and on and on and on.

Food
Since last month was out of control with eating out, I made a conscious effort to buy groceries and bring my lunch. This was a success. But it did not save me any money whatsoever.

I completely broke even with last month. It didn’t matter whether I ate out or bought groceries, the total spent on food was exactly the same.

January spending on groceries + eating out totaled $336.
February spending on groceries + eating out totaled $339.

This was a very helpful experiment though. It means that I don’t have to beat myself up over buying lunch every now and then. It means I don’t need to worry when I haven’t bought groceries lately. I don’t need to make such a fuss over spending money on food like I usually do. This is actually a very relaxing thought.

Health
The majority of this month’s large spending on health was due to a bill from a few months ago that I finally received. Even with what my insurance covered, I still owed several hundred dollars. It wasn’t unexpected so that’s good at least. Hopefully I can claim what I paid from my FSA.

This was a walk-in appointment that required a consultation, some lab tests, and prescriptions. The whole thing was totally preventable if I wasn’t an idiot. However, it was necessary at the time so I can’t complain too much.

Therapy
I finally set up an FSA this year. The amount shown in the chart is the amount I paid out of pocket. But this will be claimed against my FSA, which means I will be paying less in total. I’m hoping that will help a lot throughout the year.

When I started seeing a therapist I made a conscious decision to not limit myself to only those who accepted my insurance. It’s not a quality issue but I mainly wanted to have the largest possible choices I could. The best fit for me is a therapist who is not covered by my insurance. But she works so well for me that I have been okay with paying for this out of pocket. In the long run, it really is an investment.

Cats
Usually my cat spending is under $50/mo and that’s for food or litter. This month included a vet bill. And next month will too. To take my cat to the vet (plain visit is $50) and have some pre-surgery blood work done, came to about $150. The blood work was in preparation for a dental cleaning he needed to get done. This was done in March (and totaled $550, excluding this earlier appointment).

Good thing I love the little guy.

Income

Most of this month’s spending was planned. I knew I wanted to make the vet appointment as soon as I received my tax refund. So income this month was about a thousand dollars higher than usual because of my tax and state refund. That money had already been allotted to the cats, misc health things, and buying myself a new laptop. All necessities.

As much as I would have loved to be able to throw this money at my student loan, I knew it needed to be spent on particular things. As it is, I have a set plan in place for the loan repayment and re-building up my savings. This is going well and doesn’t need a boost from the tax money.


All You Need to Budget is Pen + Paper

Continuing my campaign to get everyone budgeting and tracking their spending, this is a gentle reminder that you don’t need fancy software or a math wiz to keep an eye on your finances. Pen and paper. Or chalkboard. Or a whiteboard. Or nail polish. Any sort of writing utensil and blank canvas will do the trick!

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8 Replies to “February Monthly Spending in NYC 2014”

    1. Thanks! The charts are much more fun than toying around with excel. And I’m glad you like the updates. I am always on the fence about how helpful these are for others, so I do appreciate the feedback.

    1. At first I thought you meant The Iron Giant, which I know and love. But I’m not sure about The Friendly Giant, will have to check it out.

    1. Thanks! I’ve been trying to incorporate some creativity into statistics, while maintaining integrity even if it’s losing accuracy :)

    1. Thanks! This feedback is great, I’ll definitely continue making charts by hand. Any excuse to use colorful markers works for me!

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