I've gotten around to doing my midyear budget update. The most interesting thing is to compare it to last year.
Luckily, I'm about $16,500 ahead this year. The big difference is school. No more school loans! That does not, however, include the cost of my new furniture ($4,000) and the new healthcare costs (still figuring out how much I'm actually going to end up paying).
This is where I am ahead of last year:
Rent (slightly less; I paid more the first few months of last year)
Phone (no phone bill; saved about $500 so far this year)
Charity (this expense will even out in the end)
Gifts and Entertainment
and slightly ahead in Personal Care, Fees, Restaurants (miraculously)
I have spent thousands more this year so far on Travel and Clothing. Clothing is catchup spending from years of not buying anything. Travel might end up being not too far ahead, as I took my big trip earlier in the year this year than last. Of course I'm tempted to take another big trip this year, but have been fighting myself on this. Am planning a mini-break to Montreal later this month with my friend, so that has to be my last getaway for this year if I want to keep my travel costs reasonable.
Overall, I have so much more wiggle room without the massive school bill that even my $4,000 furniture does not make a substantial difference. School debt sucks.