Sunday, May 1, 2011

NYC By The Numbers

Last week, I had officially been in NYC for an entire month. Since it's now May, I am going to try to get my budget back on track...keyword is TRY because I've had such an influx of cash recently from my first two paychecks earning a higher salary to selling my car to a gift from my parents for their tax purposes. Here was my April spending breakdown. Keep in mind that this is an expensive city and I also wanted to let myself have as much fun as possible!
  • Rent: $1,100
    This included utilities, internet and cable at the one-month sublet.

  • Metrocard: $104
    Unlimited monthly. Starting in May this is pre-tax through work!

  • Cell: $30
    Still on my parents' plan, I pay for the data portion of my iPhone.

  • Groceries: $92.73
    WOW...I can't believe how much I spent on groceries! Mostly breakfast foods, a few trips to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for quick dinner meals and snacks. Groceries are expensive here!

  • Restaurants: $380.90
    I expected this to be high. I ate out for almost every single meal except breakfast during the week. This includes Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts stops, lots of meals with old/new friends, trying a lot of food trucks...and some even had leftovers that would last me 2 additional meals!

  • Alcohol: $191.63
    I knew this was going to be high, too! My close friends in the city are solid weekend drinkers and I spent two weekends with them. I also bought three bottles of wine (one as a thank-you gift) and there was one week I went out for drinks four days in a row! It's been worth it for my social life, though. :)

  • Miscellaneous: $99.27
    Everything else. Taxis, quite a few toiletries, indoor rock climbing, a case for my iPhone, a trip to Target, flowers and laundry.

  • Savings: $600
    Regular $200/month to my Roth IRA and then I sent $200 to my Travel Fund and $200 to my Gift Fund. It feels good to increase my savings amounts! (I'm also contributing 4% to get the 4% match on my new employer's Roth 401k, but that gets taken out of my paycheck before I see it.)
So even with all my out-of-control spending, I still managed to save money this month AND I have a few hundred dollars leftover! This was due to the fact that I got paid for 5 weeks of work instead of 4 since I started on March 28 (I get paid bi-monthly now) so my first paycheck included a week's worth of retro-pay. Side note: I did do a lot of shopping as well, to the tune of $313. All of that came from my remaining bonus money from my old job and some of the money I got from selling my car instead of out of my regular budget since I generally don't shop much!

Still, this feels amazing. I'm ready for May to be a little less crazy with spending...but hey, if I can afford a bit of lifestyle inflation in a pricier city, why not?! As long as I continue to budget and save consistently. :)


Matt May 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM  

It sounds like you have transitioned well for moving just a month ago. Typically a big move like that costs a whole lot more. It seems like you were able to move and fit in nicely in New York. I'd be proud of moving to New york and being able to save $600 in the first month.

centsofacountrygirl May 1, 2011 at 7:47 PM  

I've always found that the first month in any new place is expensive. Good job still having some savings!

youngandthrifty May 9, 2011 at 11:26 PM  

Fun fun fun! Alcohol is so expensive but always ensures a good time (well, usually).

I see that your Christian Louboutin fund is full! When are you going to get them? :)

Meghan May 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM  

Mmm those food trucks are the best. Quick and delicious bite to eat.

Whenever I go out to eat with friends now, I use PayDivvy ( to manage and split all my shared expenses. That way we aren't struggling to calculate who owes what and I'm never left fronting the entire bill (that has sure lost me money in the past). Plus, PayDivvy is the only social Bill Pay solution out there!

I love eating out with friends but I agree it can get pricy after multiple meals out each week.

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