WELCOME TO HOW I Spend My Money, a series on The Journal that looks at how people in Ireland really handle their finances.
We’re asking readers to keep a record of how much they earn, what they save if anything, and what they’re spending their money on over the course of one week.
Are you a spender, a saver or a splurger? We’re looking for readers who will keep a money diary for a week. If you’re interested send a mail to [email protected] We would love to hear from you.
Each money diary is submitted by readers just like you. When reading and commenting, bear in mind that their situation will not be relatable for everyone, it is simply an account of a week in their shoes, so let’s be kind.
Last time around, we heard from a 23-year-old legal secretary on €36K living and working in Dublin. This week, a data centre IT technician on €55K living in Dublin.
I’m a 27-year-old working full-time as an IT technician in a data centre for a tech company. I am currently studying part-time for a Bachelor’s degree in computer science at the Dublin Institute of Technology. I live at home with my parents and two golden retrievers, which I’m very lucky to be able to do.
I’m saving at the moment and I transfer €2,000 to a savings account every month. I am saving for a mortgage, but it’s unlikely that I will buy anything in the near future as the house prices are crazy and my girlfriend and I are planning to move abroad, potentially to London or even Sydney at least for a few years once my college degree is finished next year.
Occupation: Data centre IT technician
Monthly pay(net): €3,200
Phone bill: €10
Health insurance: €0 (covered by employer)
Subscriptions: €8.99 PlayStation, I leech off the parents’ Netflix account.
6.30 am: I wake up for work and I’m out the door by 7 am. It takes me an hour to drive to work from South Dublin to North Dublin. I sometimes take the M50 but the distance is twice that of going through the city centre and my old car burns through fuel so I opt to go through the city most of the time.
8.00 am: I arrive at work and have some cereal and toast with jam before our morning team call.
12.00 am: Busy morning at work. I head to the fridge and grab some ham and cheese for a toasted sandwich and a pack of crisps. We are supplied with food at work but it’s simple stuff – no on-site hot food canteen.
5.00 pm: I grab one of my microwave meals that I get from my subscription to Preppy foods which is a fresh meals company. It’s penne bolognese today, which is one of my favourites. (€5)
8.00 pm: I head home from work. Traffic is a bit lighter at this time but not by much.
9.00 pm: I arrive home and watch some Netflix, but I feel very tired, so I head to bed.
11.00 pm: Bedtime.
Today’s total: €5.00
6.30 am: Same story as yesterday. Out the door by 7 am and arrive at work an hour later.
8.00 am: I opt for porridge today as I won’t be as hungry in the run-up to lunch. This is provided by work.
1.00 pm: Myself and a colleague go for a chicken fillet roll around the corner from work for lunch and get a vitamin drink too. (€7)
5.00 pm: Chilli con carne with rice on the menu today from the meal prep company I order from. Costs €5 again. Their meals are tasty and the food is always fresh.
8.00 pm: I leave work and I’m home by 9pm. Small bit of Netflix before bed again.
11.00 pm: Bed time.
Today’s total: €12.00
8.30 am: I have a day off today from work. My parents are out of town for a couple of days so it’s nice having the place to myself. I buy some items in the shop for a fry up. (€12)
10.30 am: After breakfast and some YouTube, I head out for a walk with the dogs.
11.30 am: I sit down at my desk to work on my assignment for college. I’m doing a bachelor’s degree part-time, so I have to make good use of my days off as I can’t get much done during work days due to the 12-hour shifts.
2.30 pm: I have a quick snack – pot noodles to keep me going. I took this home from work so it cost me nothing.
5.00 pm: I spend some time cleaning out stuff at home. I don’t pay much in rent so I try to make sure I give a hand around the house.
6.00 pm: I head off to the cinema with the girlfriend. I have a voucher I got for Christmas which I use, so this costs us nothing. We grab a Mcdonald’s on the way. (€10)
9.00 pm: We grab a drink on the way home from the cinema and chat in the pub for a bit. (€13)
Today’s total: €35.00
8.30 am: Another day off today. I make use of the remaining food I got yesterday and have another fry up. I need to start eating healthier.
10.30 am: Time to walk the dogs.
11.30 am: Back at the desk for more studying.
1.30 pm: I have a light lunch of some fruit and crackers.
5.00 pm: Head out with the girlfriend to an Italian restaurant. I get a pizza and she has a pasta dish. We split our meals so we both get to try each dish. She’s a real foodie and doing this keeps her happy. I cover the meal as she got it the last time. (€55)
7.00 pm: We leave the restaurant and meet a few of our friends in a pub nearby for drinks. I get a round in which costs €35.
11.00 pm: Home and in bed with some Netflix.
Today’s total: €90.00
9.00 am: Wake up with a slight hangover. I’m starting my night shift rotation tonight so I get out for a walk with the dogs and have some avocado, toast and an egg for breakfast.
10.00 am: At the desk for some studying. I’m building a gaming computer at the moment and have been saving for some parts. I order these online. (€150)
1.00 pm: I make a carbonara for lunch and I’ll bring some to work with me for later. (€9)
3.00 pm: I head back to bed and try to get some sleep before work. The first night of the night shift rotation is the hardest.
7.00 pm: I’m off to work and my shift begins at 8pm.
Today’s total: €159.00
2.00 am: Busy night at work with a lot of tasks coming from the team in Seattle. I grab some carbonara from the fridge and some fruit.
6.00 am: I opt for simple cereal at this time as it goes down easy.
8.00 am: I leave work. Traffic is quieter today which I’m thankful for. It can be a real pain sitting in an hour of traffic on a weekday after a night shift.
8.30 am: Arrive home and straight to bed.
3.00 pm: I wake up and make some eggs and toast.
3.30 pm: Walk with the dogs over to the park.
4.30 pm: I sit at my desk and try to do college work but I can’t seem to concentrate, so I play some PlayStation for a bit.
6.00 pm: The mother has a lovely curry cooked (the perks of living at home). I take some to work with me.
8.00 pm: Arrive at work and get stuck into some high priority tickets.
Today’s total: €0.00
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1.00 am: I have some curry and a bit of fruit and relax on my break.
6.00 am: I have some cereal and toast.
8.30 am: I stop for fuel on the way home. (€50)
4.00 pm: I wake up and watch some TV.
5.00 pm: Sunday roast is prepared by my lovely Irish mammy. It can’t be beaten.
8.00 pm: I arrive at work.
Today’s total: €0.00
1.00 am: I grab a microwave curry and caesar salad from the fridge.
6.00 am: Cereal and some fruit for breakfast.
8.00 am: Short trip home today on a Monday morning.
8.30 am: I stop for a breakfast roll in my local. (€5)
9.30 am: Bedtime.
3.30 pm: Wake up and take the dogs out. I make some pancakes and chill on the PlayStation for a bit.
5.00 pm: Catch up on some lectures from college before heading to work for another night shift. I’m off for five days next week which is the plus side of working long hours and at the weekend. This is usually when I get the bulk of my college work done.
8.00 pm: I grab a Boojum on the way to work. (€8)
Today’s total: €13.00
Weekly subtotal: €364.00
What I learned-
- I’m grateful to be living at home and while I feel I should be contributing more financially, my parents won’t let me. I make up for this by helping around the house as much as I can.
- It was an expensive week due to the computer parts but that is an irregularity. I’m happy with my level of savings so I don’t mind spending money on nice food, but I should really be cooking more meals at home as I eat out way too much.