July Spending & August Goals 2014

July Spending & August Goals 2014

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I’m going to expand the spending recaps to include some of the goals/tasks I’ve been working on. I’ve been keeping them to myself because it’s personal and I don’t need the blog to stay accountable. But I like providing a living example of a productivity process that has been working for me.

July living expenses in nyc - All expenses over $100 in Brooklyn
July living expenses in nyc – All expenses over $100
July living expenses in nyc - All expenses less than $100 in Brooklyn
July living expenses in nyc – All expenses less than $100

July Living Expenses in NYC

Well I went through a break-up this month so…. the bad news is I re-decorated my living room. The good news is, in general, I spend a lot less money when single. So hopefully this will even out in the coming months.

Now that my life is more stable, I reduced my monthly therapy appointments which will save me $190/month. This was also because I have used all my FSA funds for the year. Those reimbursements were very helpful. So I’ll just cut the costs directly instead.

The house & cat expenses are related to my living room make-over. I replaced an old cat tree with a nice (though pricey) standing scratching post. Plus, long shelves hung above the couch. And a few wall decorations like a clock & photo frames. I bought a bunch of prints when I moved into this apartment three years ago and never hung them up. I love the new look and it feels like a good “fresh start” for me. It also really makes my apartment feel more comfortable. Which is good because I imagine I’ll be hanging out here more often.

Let’s take a look at my super consistent food spending (groceries + eating out) this year:

  • Jan: $336
  • Feb: $339
  • Mar: $393
  • Apr: $298
  • May: $366
  • June: $362
  • July: $353

I’m very proud of that food spending. Sure, I’d like to have more months like April but clearly my eating habits are what they are. I’m aiming to cook more at home this month, so I’m interested to see how that affects my food spending.

Also this month, my electricity bill was a mere $10 extra than usual. This has been a very pleasant summer weather-wise. Let’s hope August stays this mild and my air conditioner rarely has to be used. There was also a lot of gift buying this month. I had a baby shower, a friend’s birthday, and a 1 year-old’s birthday. Small gifts all around but it added up quickly.


August Monthly Goals & Weekly Tasks

Tracking weekly tasks directly related to monthly goals and long-term values
Tracking weekly tasks directly related to monthly goals and long-term values

Value – Financial Stability

Goals: Continue increasing net worth, paying off student loan, using CC responsibly
Weekly Tasks: None

While there aren’t any weekly tasks, I have stayed on track for this goal throughout the year. Although I have been tempted to change my payments, I have continued doubling my student loan payment this month. And I have been paying off my CC balance at the end of each month.

Value – Physical Health & Fitness

Goals: Have a consistent routine running 4 times a week, Eat healthy
Weekly Tasks: Run 3 times a week, Eat 1 fruit/vegetable a day 4 times a week

Although I have been running a long time, it has never been consistent. Which really means very slow progress. Ideally, it is recommended to run four times a week if you want to see real improvements. This is what I am aiming for long-term. However, it is too much of a jump for me to try to do now. So for this month, I will track my runs with a goal of three runs a week. This consistency will hopefully turn into a habit.

Like most everyone, I would like to “eat better”. This is also tied into my running performance and my health in general. Keeping track of how often I eat fruits & vegetables is a really easy way to quantify “healthy eating.” Eating at least one a day, will put me on the right path for this. A long-term plan would be to increase that. This also keeps me aware of what I have eaten throughout the day. I’ve been working on this one for the past month but want to stay focused on it for a few more weeks. It also really ties into my goal of buying more groceries, to ensure I always have vegetables at home.

Value – Respect & Appreciate Personal Relationships

Goals: Make my friends feel special, Exhibit patience to everyone
Weekly Tasks: None

From March of this year, I have been trying to stay on top of my friend’s birthdays. By either sending birthday cards in the mail. Or taking an extra second to send an email and/or text to wish them a happy birthday. Since I don’t use Facebook, I have had to put in an effort to keep track of my friend’s birthdays. I know it’s a little thing. But it is something I can do to show my friends I am thinking of them. Especially if they live far away.

Patience is something I have been trying to work on this year. But it is very difficult. I have improved in my patience with strangers (like, on the subway). But tend to get more impatient with friends or loved ones sometimes. This is disrespectful and not how I intentionally want to treat people I care about. I will continue to try to be conscious of when I do lose my patience. And aware of what surroundings trigger this. Then I can work on strategies to keep myself calmer on a day-to-day basis. This also falls under my value of Mental Health below.

Value – Mental Health & Surroundings

Goals: Don’t let apartment messiness get out of control, Stay calmer
Weekly Tasks: Don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight 3 times a week, Buy groceries 2 times a week

Cleaning is not fun for me at all. But, this is my apartment and I am responsible for it. While I don’t really care about cleanliness per se. Seeing the apartment dirty or cluttered really stresses me out. I am trying to frame cleaning as a mental health issue for me. I hate seeing a sink full of dirty dishes more than I hate actually doing them. I’ve been able to recognize that my mood is noticeably improved when the kitchen is cleaned up. This is also directly related to my physical health because when the kitchen is clean, I am more apt to cook. And when I am cooking, that means I am less likely to order (unhealthy, expensive) food out.

Since grocery shopping stresses me out, I only do it once a week. If that. But vegetables just last me a few days. So by mid-week, I am out of food and back to eating lunch out and having popcorn for dinner. While I don’t like going to the store, I want to get into the habit of going more often. This is all related. The more groceries in the house, the more likely it is I’ll cook. So hopefully with a clean kitchen & stocked fridge, I will eat at home more, which means healthier meals at a lower cost.

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4 Replies to “July Spending & August Goals 2014”

  1. I really like the “Respect & Appreciate Personal Relationships” goals. I’ve been trying to be more conscious of others which can be challenging as an anxious person who doesn’t always feel comfortable around even my closest friends, so even the little things can make a difference.

    1. The bike lane problem truly is frustrating because it’s a matter of safety for everyone involved! When it comes to smaller (yet still irritating) behaviors like on the train, I just try to remind myself I can’t control other people’s behavior. Another helpful thought is “Will this matter 5 years from now?”

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