March Monthly Spending in NYC 2014

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Marc 2014 - Monthly Spending in Brooklyn

March 2014 – Monthly Spending in Brooklyn

Rent
I spend 47% of my monthly income on a 1br in “I’ve never heard of that neighborhood” Brooklyn. This is a stabilized rent, so it has only increased by $80 in the two lease renewals I’ve been through.

Entertainment
I have needed a new laptop for a long time but was holding off. Finally, I decided in December that I would use my tax refund to buy a replacement. That’s exactly what I did. With most of my return, I bought a Lenovo Yoga 11S. I wish I could have put that in my savings instead but I really waited as long as I possibly could.

Therapy
Once a year I see a psychiatrist to make sure the one medication, Wellbutrin, I’m on is still going well. The appointment costs $375/hour. But I get a $500 HRA from my company so I can claim it on my insurance and get all the money back as a reimbursement. Also, I can charge it to my Discover card and get rewards. I know it is crazy expensive (and she doesn’t accept insurance) but it all works out in the end. And I have no desire to find a new psychiatrist now.

Cats
Usually my cat spending is under $50/mo for food or litter. But this month involved a $650 dental cleaning for Scarface. He had to get four teeth removed!

It wasn’t an emergency but was necessary. And hopefully this means we won’t have to do another one of these. I am trying to actively brush his teeth (not a fun time) and keep an eye on his gums. As soon as I notice swelling I will bring him to the vet, instead of waiting forever like I did last time.

Food
I spent about $60 more on food than I did the previous months. The main reason, which is logical, is because I’ve been running more. I just can’t eat enough when I’m running six miles in the morning.

January spending on groceries + eating out totaled $336.
February spending on groceries + eating out totaled $339.
March spending on groceries + eating out totaled $393.

I have been using Fresh Direct for most of this month. It is very convenient but some of the items cost more than my closest grocery store. This probably accounts for some of the increase. Running also makes me want to eat higher priced items like dried fruit and nuts.

Debt Repayment & Savings
These are both automatic payments that I will not let myself change. I already have an easily accessible emergency fund with one month’s rent. Now, I am trying to build up a larger savings, slowly, in a slightly higher interest savings account. It is through a different bank so transfers take a few days. I learned the hard way that having emergency money in a difficult to access bank account was stupid.


It’s Not Too Late To Budget

Once again, this is your monthly reminder to start budgeting! Start tracking your spending! Forget excel, just take out a pen and a piece of paper. Write down everything you bought today. Easy, right? Now do that every day. See, it’s that easy. Once you learn exactly how much you spend monthly, you’re be on the right track.


2 Comments

  1. Automating debt payments and savings is such a good idea. I should do that because I’m currently transferring manually. At least your way you don’t need to even think about it, it just happens.

    • leslie beslie says:

      Exactly! I could never get into the habit of “paying myself first” so I just have small payments made for me automatically. For savings, if something tragic happens, I can always just transfer it back.

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